Mike Burke

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Does Dr. Craig contradict himself in this article?
« on: February 12, 2015, 07:28:41 pm »
Does Dr. Craig contradict himself here?

Quote
Very often, lay people will say, "Well, why can't God be both? Why can't He be both temporal and atemporal?" Well, the problem with that answer is that unless you can provide a model that makes sense of that claim, it is flatly self-contradictory and therefore cannot be true. It's like saying that something is both black and not black. That is logically impossible, unless you can provide some sort of model that would provide a distinction that would make it possible. For example, something might be black on one side and not black on the other side. Or it might be black at one time but later be non-black at another time. So if you're going to maintain that God is both temporal and atemporal, you need to provide some sort of a model that would make sense of that. But obviously, in this case neither of these two alternatives would do because one part of God can't be temporal and the other part atemporal, because as an immaterial being God doesn't have separable parts. He's not made up of parts. Neither can you say coherently that God is atemporal at one time and temporal at another time because it's flatly self-contradictory to say that He's non-temporal at a certain time. That’s a contradiction in terms. So both of these views of divine eternity cannot be right. We have to decide whether God is timeless or temporal...We've seen that time must have had a beginning. God exists in time. And yet God is beginningless. How do you make sense of that? How can God exist in time, time have a beginning, and yet God be beginningless? It doesn't seem to make sense. Does this force us to say that therefore God is simply atemporal?

Well, I think not
, and I want to propose a model for divine eternity that I think will resolve this problem. Let's suppose that time begins at the moment of creation, and let's call that moment “the Big Bang” for the sake of convenience. Then God would not exist literally before the Big Bang, because to exist before the Big Bang is to be in a temporal relation. So God would not be temporally before the Big Bang. He would in some mysterious way exist beyond the Big Bang, but not before the Big Bang. Now in such a state, He would clearly have to exist in a changeless way, because if there were events, if He were changing, then time would not begin at the Big Bang. It would begin with those first events. So God existing beyond the Big Bang must exist changelessly. But such a changeless, eventless state is, as I say, plausibly taken to be a state of timelessness. Therefore the model I want to propose is that God exists timelessly without creation and temporally subsequent to (or "with") creation.

I think we can get a physical analogy for this from the notion of an initial cosmological singularity. The cosmological singularity in which our universe began is, strictly speaking, not part of space and time, and therefore it is not earlier than the universe; rather, it is the boundary of space and time. The singularity is causally prior to our universe, but it is not chronologically prior to the universe. It exists on the boundary of space-time. Analogously, I want to suggest that we think of eternity, like the singularity, as the boundary of time. God is causally prior, but not chronologically prior, to the universe. His changeless, timeless, eternal state is the boundary of time, at which He exists without the universe, and at the moment of creation God enters into time in virtue of His real relation to the created order and His knowledge of tensed facts, so that God is timeless without creation and temporal subsequent to (or "with") creation.
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/god-time-and-eternity#ixzz3RaFslZTx

(Parentheses mine.)

Why isn't this a contradiction?

Doesn't he end up saying what he starts out saying would be a flat out contradiction?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 07:32:29 pm by Mike Burke »

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Re: Does Dr. Craig contradict himself in this article?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 08:59:25 am »
I think it's indeed contradiction. It strikes me hard how WL Craig chooses between philosophical and physical concepts in order to prove his ideas. With regard to cosmology Craig always uses philosophical concept of absolute nothingness even though there is no reason to believe such thing or state ever existed, whereas here he sticks to physical concept of time instead of philosophical that is the existenc of time is indicated by existence of discernible events. It's obvious that notion of time in our unvierse doesn't apply to broader reality, after all there may be multiple other universes with their own timelines. But to say that something beyond our time must be timeless is nonsense to me. I believe that even outside of each single universe in say multiverse, some form of time would still make sense, for example maybe you could somehow observe universes moving and then conclude that since there is moment before and after they moved time passed.

To me it only makes sense to look at totality. It doesn't make sense to postulate god changed his state from timelessness to temporality. Changes by definition indicates time. If there was moment in which god existed in state X and there was moment in which god existed in state Y it means we have moments and time as a result. Saying that despite that god is still somehow timeless by definition is like saying that well I have no children but by definition I'm father. It's absurd. Also why would you even postulate timeless being? WL Craig doesn't believe god can be black and not black at the same time, that indicates he doesn't really believe god can break logic, law of noncontradiction in this case, yet still be god, why then he tries so strenuosly to add timelessness to god's properties even though it clearly doesn't make sense, no one is able to imagine how such being could really exist?
You see a grammar or spelling error in my post? Feel free to point it out, I'm still learning.

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aleph naught

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Re: Does Dr. Craig contradict himself in this article?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 09:19:03 am »
Does Dr. Craig contradict himself here?

Quote
Very often, lay people will say, "Well, why can't God be both? Why can't He be both temporal and atemporal?" Well, the problem with that answer is that unless you can provide a model that makes sense of that claim, it is flatly self-contradictory and therefore cannot be true. It's like saying that something is both black and not black. That is logically impossible, unless you can provide some sort of model that would provide a distinction that would make it possible. For example, something might be black on one side and not black on the other side. Or it might be black at one time but later be non-black at another time. So if you're going to maintain that God is both temporal and atemporal, you need to provide some sort of a model that would make sense of that. But obviously, in this case neither of these two alternatives would do because one part of God can't be temporal and the other part atemporal, because as an immaterial being God doesn't have separable parts. He's not made up of parts. Neither can you say coherently that God is atemporal at one time and temporal at another time because it's flatly self-contradictory to say that He's non-temporal at a certain time. That’s a contradiction in terms. So both of these views of divine eternity cannot be right. We have to decide whether God is timeless or temporal...We've seen that time must have had a beginning. God exists in time. And yet God is beginningless. How do you make sense of that? How can God exist in time, time have a beginning, and yet God be beginningless? It doesn't seem to make sense. Does this force us to say that therefore God is simply atemporal?

Well, I think not
, and I want to propose a model for divine eternity that I think will resolve this problem. Let's suppose that time begins at the moment of creation, and let's call that moment “the Big Bang” for the sake of convenience. Then God would not exist literally before the Big Bang, because to exist before the Big Bang is to be in a temporal relation. So God would not be temporally before the Big Bang. He would in some mysterious way exist beyond the Big Bang, but not before the Big Bang. Now in such a state, He would clearly have to exist in a changeless way, because if there were events, if He were changing, then time would not begin at the Big Bang. It would begin with those first events. So God existing beyond the Big Bang must exist changelessly. But such a changeless, eventless state is, as I say, plausibly taken to be a state of timelessness. Therefore the model I want to propose is that God exists timelessly without creation and temporally subsequent to (or "with") creation.

I think we can get a physical analogy for this from the notion of an initial cosmological singularity. The cosmological singularity in which our universe began is, strictly speaking, not part of space and time, and therefore it is not earlier than the universe; rather, it is the boundary of space and time. The singularity is causally prior to our universe, but it is not chronologically prior to the universe. It exists on the boundary of space-time. Analogously, I want to suggest that we think of eternity, like the singularity, as the boundary of time. God is causally prior, but not chronologically prior, to the universe. His changeless, timeless, eternal state is the boundary of time, at which He exists without the universe, and at the moment of creation God enters into time in virtue of His real relation to the created order and His knowledge of tensed facts, so that God is timeless without creation and temporal subsequent to (or "with") creation.
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/god-time-and-eternity#ixzz3RaFslZTx

(Parentheses mine.)

Why isn't this a contradiction?

Doesn't he end up saying what he starts out saying would be a flat out contradiction?

It's not a contradiction, but I don't think it's coherent either. I would scrap all talk of God existing before or beyond creation, because I don't know in what sense God could exist beyond or before space and time.

Craig distinguishes between God existing without creation and with creation, but now we've got the exact same issue all over again. Why isn't this a contradiction? Craig is ascribing two mutually exclusive properties to God. And, Craig can't say that God instantiates these properties at different times, as is what we typically mean when attributing mutually exclusive properties. He could say that God was with creation at all times, and without creation at no time. But that doesn't seem to express what he wants to.

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Atheist in Louisiana

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Re: Does Dr. Craig contradict himself in this article?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2016, 09:46:17 am »
I agree with AN.  It's not really a contradiction.  It's just incoherent.
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