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A timeless being cannot create
#1
A timeless being cannot create
I think there's a logical argument to be made against God's existence here on the basis of incompatible properties. God is outside time, we're told. He's not only eternal (existing forever) but also unaffected by temporal changes. He is after all the creator too, and that includes time. Yet when something is created, it comes into being. That entails a previous instance where it didn't exist of course. Yet if time itself was created, that makes no sense. To speak of a time "before" time is meaningless. Moreover, how does a timeless being create while outside time (and space as well)? A creation involves a change in space and time. It's enough to see how this could be done by a lesser being. How though could it be with a timeless being? I suggest it's incoherent, and the very fact that things do exist shows that such a being (i.e. God) doesn't. What do you think?
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#2
RE: A timeless being cannot create
Ah, yes. All those experts on who and what God is have told us (or their holy books have told us) that God cannot possibly be a temporal thing. He is above and beyond temporality, they say, in much the same way that he is above and beyond physicality. No self-respecting God would dirty himself by association with material objects. No self-respecting God would associate himself with any given moment of time, such as the present... or a specific movement of the past or future.

The Hindus have a concept of Brahman who is not only entwined with, but characterized by the events of the present moment. As disagreeable as the concept of Brahman may be to many here, there is no contradiction with Brahman like the one you have described with "other" god-concepts. As I see it, Brahman, is far more realistic than those other "timeless" god concepts.
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#3
RE: A timeless being cannot create
(July 17, 2019 at 12:55 am)mcc1789 Wrote: A creation involves a change in space and time.

I wonder if this is so...

If there is no space and time yet, then there can be no change in space and time. So creation doesn't change space and time -- it makes space and time. 

I don't think it makes sense to imagine a big blank space hanging around in time waiting for creation, and then changing. There was no blank space and no hanging-around time.

mcc1789, I don't know if you want to put in a lot of time on this. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. But all these questions have been worked on for a long time, and there are very involved and careful answers. You can be sure all the obvious questions ["if everything has a cause, then what caused god?"] have serious answers, though surprisingly few people have bothered to look into them. I think you'll find in fact that a lot of people prefer to mock the whole issue rather than learn anything at all. 

If you go to this site and start clicking links, it will give a taste of how careful explanations have been offered. 

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1044.htm#article1

I am NOT saying they are right or wrong. Nor am I saying that I understand much of it.
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#4
RE: A timeless being cannot create
(July 17, 2019 at 12:55 am)mcc1789 Wrote: I think there's a logical argument to be made against God's existence here on the basis of incompatible properties. God is outside time, we're told. He's not only eternal (existing forever) but also unaffected by temporal changes. He is after all the creator too, and that includes time. Yet when something is created, it comes into being. That entails a previous instance where it didn't exist of course. Yet if time itself was created, that makes no sense. To speak of a time "before" time is meaningless. Moreover, how does a timeless being create while outside time (and space as well)? A creation involves a change in space and time. It's enough to see how this could be done by a lesser being. How though could it be with a timeless being? I suggest it's incoherent, and the very fact that things do exist shows that such a being (i.e. God) doesn't. What do you think?

Our understanding and our brain capacity cannot understand or interpret a universe outside the edges of the discovered universe. It doesn't mean nothing is there; but it means our minds cannot understand or translate things but in this primitive, basic way.

The future, the present and the past might exist at the same time

https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/...belltitem2


Quote:So, is time just an elaborate mind trick? And more importantly - is time travel possible?

Dr. Miller's answer to that is "yes". Of course, just hypothetically, since we'd need to figure out first how to travel at "some reasonable percentage of the speed of light". Going to the past would entail using wormholes, like "short cuts through space-time".
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#5
RE: A timeless being cannot create
And on the seventh day, God rested. Because........... Not tired............ just because! Dunno
And days aren't real days ....obviously! Gods don't need no stinkin' days to get stuff done! ...........just because......

gotta go ...disaster! ..............Little Lora is sad because her pony is the wrong shade of light brown ....
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#6
RE: A timeless being cannot create
(July 17, 2019 at 12:55 am)mcc1789 Wrote: I think there's a logical argument to be made against God's existence here on the basis of incompatible properties. God is outside time, we're told. He's not only eternal (existing forever) but also unaffected by temporal changes. He is after all the creator too, and that includes time. Yet when something is created, it comes into being. That entails a previous instance where it didn't exist of course. Yet if time itself was created, that makes no sense. To speak of a time "before" time is meaningless. Moreover, how does a timeless being create while outside time (and space as well)? A creation involves a change in space and time. It's enough to see how this could be done by a lesser being. How though could it be with a timeless being? I suggest it's incoherent, and the very fact that things do exist shows that such a being (i.e. God) doesn't. What do you think?

I hadn't considered this one (you're correct, of course), but I've long felt that God is such a mess of incompatibilities that it's defined out of existence.  God cannot be both omniscient and omnipotent, merciful and just, and now we can add 'temporal and creative' to the list.

Unfortunately, theologians are then constrained to go through the most torturous wordplay in order the reconcile what they say God is with what they want it to be.  Smacks of desperation, that does.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#7
RE: A timeless being cannot create
And that's not even getting into how a timeless being acquired the power to bring things into existence by commanding it to. And this is supposed to be a more believable origin story for the universe than the expansion of matter and energy when we already know that particles pop into and out of existence all the time in space.
Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

10 Christ-like figures that predate Jesus. Link shortened to Chris ate Jesus for some reason...
http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-chris...ate-jesus/

Good video to watch, if you want to know how common the Jesus story really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

A list of biblical contradictions from the infallible word of Yahweh.
http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_m...tions.html

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#8
RE: A timeless being cannot create
(July 17, 2019 at 6:25 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: God cannot be both omniscient and omnipotent

As always, these words are usually misunderstood. 

"Omnipotent" doesn't mean God can do anything. There are any number of things he can't do, like logical impossibilities. 

The idea of omnipotence is based in the contrast of act and potency -- whether a characteristic is fully enacted or only latent and potential. Every material thing has potential -- it can change, grow, decay, fall, etc. Only God cannot change; he is totally, purely actualized. By saying he is omnipotent, theologians are saying that he is the cause of the activation of the potentialities in the material world. There is a long involved argument as to why the activation of potencies in the world requires a completely non-potential cause. But that's a different subject, and you won't like it anyway. 

"Omniscient" also depends on Aristotelian metaphysics. It doesn't simply mean that there is a mind and it knows stuff. 

The theory was that to know something, we take in its form but not its material. The material wouldn't fit into our heads anyway, but the form on its own is immaterial and has no extension in space. Since God contains all the forms, yet is perfectly immaterial, it is argued that all the forms, which constitute knowledge in animals, is present immaterially in him.

Again, I'm very sure you won't agree with any of this, and I'm not trying to persuade you. I'm only saying that the simple "he can do anything," or "he knows if you've been bad or good," dumbed-down versions of this are indeed silly, but that is not what serious people aver. Nor is this merely wordplay to try to save appearances, because it originates in serious attempts to understand the world that pre-date Christianity.

(July 17, 2019 at 6:41 am)Chad32 Wrote: And that's not even getting into how a timeless being acquired the power to bring things into existence by commanding it to.

Timeless beings can't acquire anything. That would require change.
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#9
RE: A timeless being cannot create
(July 17, 2019 at 6:48 am)Belaqua Wrote:
(July 17, 2019 at 6:25 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: God cannot be both omniscient and omnipotent

As always, these words are usually misunderstood. 

"Omnipotent" doesn't mean God can do anything. There are any number of things he can't do, like logical impossibilities. 

The idea of omnipotence is based in the contrast of act and potency -- whether a characteristic is fully enacted or only latent and potential. Every material thing has potential -- it can change, grow, decay, fall, etc. Only God cannot change; he is totally, purely actualized. By saying he is omnipotent, theologians are saying that he is the cause of the activation of the potentialities in the material world. There is a long involved argument as to why the activation of potencies in the world requires a completely non-potential cause. But that's a different subject, and you won't like it anyway. 

"Omniscient" also depends on Aristotelian metaphysics. It doesn't simply mean that there is a mind and it knows stuff. 

The theory was that to know something, we take in its form but not its material. The material wouldn't fit into our heads anyway, but the form on its own is immaterial and has no extension in space. Since God contains all the forms, yet is perfectly immaterial, it is argued that all the forms, which constitute knowledge in animals, is present immaterially in him.

Again, I'm very sure you won't agree with any of this, and I'm not trying to persuade you. I'm only saying that the simple "he can do anything," or "he knows if you've been bad or good," dumbed-down versions of this are indeed silly, but that is not what serious people aver. Nor is this merely wordplay to try to save appearances, because it originates in serious attempts to understand the world that pre-date Christianity.

I'm well aware of what 'omniscient' and 'omnipotent' mean regarding theology.  Even with these definitions, the two qualities remain mutually exclusive.
Try to be a little less condescending.
Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#10
RE: A timeless being cannot create
The concept of a god is fantasy. To argue what it's fantasy attributes are, and then what they can and can't do might be interesting, but ultimately just whimsy. 

But, if you'd like, you can pop over and watch me lift Thor's hammer.
God(s) and religions are man made and the bane of humanity. 

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. Ozzy or Twain/take your pick
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