Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Outside Time

First things first, in order for god to create the universe he must exists outside the universe. Well, that’s a very convenient way to put it. In other words, for god to be exempted to the rule of causation, he must exists outside time and space.  It’s not really new. The idea that the biblical god must be outside time started by the pagan philosopher Plotinus (205-270 CE).  His idea came from Plato, and then it was adopted by Augustine, Boethius, Aquinas and the Jewish philosopher Maimonides.

Time is a human invention.  It is an invention used to describe observed phenomena in the external world. To describe it more simpler, time is simply the number of ticks on a clock. To make things a little complicated, some philosophers defined time as an illusion. Some even say that it doesn’t even exists. According to Alfred North Whitehead and the French intuitionist Henri Bergson, time can be grasped only by nonrational intuition and the scientific concept of time as a dimension actually misrepresents reality. Some even believed that before the universe existed, there was no time.  This idea will fit the idea that god must be outside time. But again…

Lately, only few Christian theologians promote this “outside time” theory of God. The reasons: It’s not biblical and frankly, it is non-demonstrative and it makes no sense.  According to Christian apologist William Lane Craig, everything that began to exist has a cause and yes, that exclude god since god is supposed to be timeless. However, Dr. Craig offered the possibility that god is timeless based on a different type of time. He called this an “undifferentiated time.” Well… an undifferentiated time is still “time” – just like the same as our time, it can be divided by moments and units of duration so obviously, Dr. Craig knows the problem.

So what is it like to be a god outside time?

If god is outside time, then he cannot act nor make any decision, since to act takes a deliberate change (from point A to point B) and to decide on something needs a deliberate time – to consider his options. A god outside time can be a little bit puzzling since he can make and un-make something at the same time – an idea which is quite absurd. Thinking about creation – a god outside time can make creation actually happened and not happening all in the same time, but then the universe (according to Christians) was created, right? So, how could god create something outside time since cause and effect must precede its effect in time? A god outside time cannot think since thinking is govern by succession of mental events and complex thoughts. Therefore, a god outside time doesn’t think, doesn’t move, cannot create, cannot act, and cannot even make decisions.

Another problem that face this “god outside time” is the Bible. The biblical god is a personal god which is known to interact with humans. He also feel the same human feelings like regret, jealousy, anger, and love.  A god outside time cannot have feelings since this god must be in some sort of a super-time outside our space-time universe, looking at everything past, present and future all simultaneously which prevents him to interact – that will be quite impossible since all throughout the Bible, different prophets have talked to god and asked him of his feelings, and his next plan of action. The biblical god have plans and sure enough, this god have his ways set up following a pattern in time. The Judeo-Christian Bible was compiled in a chronological order and god has his own time table from creation till his so-called final judgment.

Now, since planning and decision making requires time, then the biblical god is not outside time since a god outside time can only have a flash of a super thought to figure out everything– this makes god an impersonal motionless block of solid mass and a very few Bible pages. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you John..I love this article and I just can't help my self to share and post this on my timeline....Thank you