Sunday, March 06, 2011

God is Timeless

When people say that God is timeless, they may mean many things. They may mean that He is above and beyond the mundane world, like the truths of mathematics, for example. But they would not then be disagreeing with Open Theism:
......Under Open Theism, God is certainly above and beyond His creation, a bit like a dreamer and the dream he finds himself within. And one of the few coherent philosophies of mathematics is Open Theistic Constructivism, in which God, being omnipotent, creates the truths of mathematics—from the basic concepts of a thing and of possibility (the latter grounded in His omnipotence)—doing so endlessly because such is the nature of the former concept, according to the resolution of Cantor’s paradox that takes it to be showing that cardinal numbers are collectively indefinitely extensible (one of the few coherent resolutions).
......Of course, they may instead mean that God is not changeable. But even that isn’t incompatible with Open Theism, under which God cannot change his essential properties. Nor can you, of course. You can’t become me, for example. You might change by becoming in a manner of speaking a different person (i.e. your character might change, for better or for worse), but under Open Theism God’s character remains perfect. So the only disagreement with Open Theism could be that such philosophers are denying that God could choose to cause any real change in anything; and not only is that clearly not what most believers mean when they say that God is timeless (is rather more like an absurd denial of the reality of change), such philosophers would be denying God’s omnipotence:
......The deliberate creation of anything contingent surely requires several real possibilities to choose between, as well as a single actuality amidst counterfactuals, and hence some sort of change (not necessarily one that takes place within spacetime).

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