Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Theistic Presentism again

This is the ninth of 17 posts, which are collectively Eternity, etc.
......The collapse view of quantum mechanics (see previous post, also Modern Physical Probability) can help us to understand human agency [i]. But if wave-functions do not collapse then you would now be about to do everything that it was physically possible for you to do [ii], by splitting into lots of you (whereas you are a responsible agent). Furthermore, Perfect Being Theists—unlike most physicists—would not regard the question of what (or who) could collapse the universal wave-function as problematic.
......And our third reason—that there would be nothing to make all truths about the past true under Presentism—is similarly trivial under Perfect Being Theism, because God’s memory might serve as such a truth-maker [iii]. Conversely, Presentism can support Perfect Being Theism. E.g. it allows such Theists to “accept neither the timelessness nor the temporality of the being of God[iv], insofar as “temporality” means being inside the temporal dimension or being dependent upon temporal constraints [v]. Furthermore, Presentism allows perfect goodness to become omnipresent [vi].
......Presentism is not, then, obviously implausible under Perfect Being Theism. So although there is a sense in which your earlier belief about reading on (or not) may have been correct—perhaps it seemed so with hindsight—it does not follow that an omniscient God would have known what you were going to do. Under Presentism, such a belief would not have described what was originally real—the two possibilities—accurately enough for it to have been part of divine omniscience.
......Nevertheless, it seems to me that if a God who does not know all about how things will be would be liable to bodge things up, as Mawson’s main argument claims [vii], then an omnipotent being would know them.
......Notes:
......[i] Henry P. Stapp, “Quantum Interactive Dualism: An alternative to materialism,” Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (2005): 43–58.
......[ii] Penrose, The Road to Reality, pp. 783–4, pp. 806–9.
......[iii] Alan R. Rhoda, “Presentism, Truthmakers, and God,” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2009): 41–62. Incidentally, even the Presentist past is completely real in the sense that all statements about it have definite truth-values. Indeed, it is at least partially real in the more ontological sense that some continuants that did exist still do.
......[iv] Colin E. Gunton, The Triune Creator: A historical and systematic study (Eerdmans, 1998), p. 92.
......[v] With different senses—e.g. those of Padgett, God, Eternity and the Nature of Time—Presentism would allow us to accept both terms consistently.
......[vi] Paul Copan & William Lane Craig, Creation out of Nothing: A biblical, philosophical, and scientific exploration (Apollos, 2004), p. 162 n. 29.
......[vii] Mawson, “Divine eternity,” pp. 45–9.

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