It's time:

Whateverman

Well-known member
Please explain how anything can exist without time.

Christian apologists are fond of claiming that their god exists outside of space and time. Ignoring the question of how the former is even possible (which is just as valid of a question), I'm curious to know how anything can think act or breathe when there is no time in which to do so.

Go for it, the stage is yours, apologists...

ps. I expect that only crickets bought tickets to this show...
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
Please explain how anything can exist without time.

Christian apologists are fond of claiming that their god exists outside of space and time. Ignoring the question of how the former is even possible (which is just as valid of a question), I'm curious to know how anything can think act or breathe when there is no time in which to do so.

Go for it, the stage is yours, apologists...

ps. I expect that only crickets bought tickets to this show...
In fact, the owner of this site has said that he advises Christians not to use the, God is outside of time, argument.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
In fact, the owner of this site has said that he advises Christians not to use the, God is outside of time, argument.
Yup, I've seen this here and elsewhere too. Maybe AIG, or the Creation Institute.

Apparently, apologists aren't on top of modern apologetic scholarship on the subject...
 

Torin

Active member
Yup, I've seen this here and elsewhere too. Maybe AIG, or the Creation Institute.

Apparently, apologists aren't on top of modern apologetic scholarship on the subject...
Thomists think God is timeless. Theological positions rarely ever disappear. They multiply. This is a good reason why an atheist might want to be familiar with the history of theology. It is a kind of self defense.

Speaking as someone with a little such familiarity, my impression is that classical theists believe God is timeless because he has his life all at once, in an eternal, simultaneous present, rather than in a series of discrete moments like we have our lives.

I'll leave it to you to decide how plausible that account is. I will say that it follows pretty naturally from the Thomist natural theology.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
Atheist created strawmanning

God created time and God created minds to figger out numbers.






14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Please explain how anything can exist without time.
So your problem here is that because you don't understand something, it can't be?
Doesn't that exclude you from understanding the lives of 7.8 billion other people?

Christian apologists are fond of claiming that their god exists outside of space and time.
Where do you think we get such an idea from?


Ignoring the question of how the former is even possible (which is just as valid of a question), I'm curious to know how anything can think act or breathe when there is no time in which to do so.
I think that you shouldn't ignore the question.
You're restricting your perspective to solely your own bias and preconceptions.
Why would you want to limit yourself to what you think you know instead of taking the time to learn?

Go for it, the stage is yours, apologists...
It's actually explained in the bible.
Do you ever read, or do you leave learning to others?


ps. I expect that only crickets bought tickets to this show...
That's entirely up to you.

I asked you 5 questions.
Consider them, and get back to me.
 

Dizerner

Active member
Please explain how anything can exist without time.

Christian apologists are fond of claiming that their god exists outside of space and time. Ignoring the question of how the former is even possible (which is just as valid of a question), I'm curious to know how anything can think act or breathe when there is no time in which to do so.

Go for it, the stage is yours, apologists...

ps. I expect that only crickets bought tickets to this show...

God exists not just outside of time but outside of anything that can be thought. What gives us trouble to think about it is that our thoughts feel naturally time-dependent I guess. But I'm not even sure logic would be time-dependent really, and I think some atheists might agree with that.

But I'm a Christian anti-apologist; I hate the whole idea of proving supernatural things with logic, and think trying to argue WITH logic about something ABOVE logic is just misguided. Logic itself is just too limited to understand all things because it is inherently self-contradictory.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
God exists not just outside of time but outside of anything that can be thought. What gives us trouble to think about it is that our thoughts feel naturally time-dependent I guess. But I'm not even sure logic would be time-dependent really, and I think some atheists might agree with that.

But I'm a Christian anti-apologist; I hate the whole idea of proving supernatural things with logic, and think trying to argue WITH logic about something ABOVE logic is just misguided. Logic itself is just too limited to understand all things because it is inherently self-contradictory.
Thankfully, YHVH demonstrates himself to those who come to repentance and faith in Jesus. Our job is to focus on the gospel, and truth.
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
Please explain how anything can exist without time.

Christian apologists are fond of claiming that their god exists outside of space and time. Ignoring the question of how the former is even possible (which is just as valid of a question), I'm curious to know how anything can think act or breathe when there is no time in which to do so.

Go for it, the stage is yours, apologists...

ps. I expect that only crickets bought tickets to this show...
The usual reply is 'magic'. Christians will use other words like 'beyond your comprehension' or 'divine power' or something. But when they cannot explain something about God its easy to just say it was God's magic.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
The usual reply is 'magic'. Christians will use other words like 'beyond your comprehension' or 'divine power' or something. But when they cannot explain something about God its easy to just say it was God's magic.
To be fair to both you and @Dizerner , this question/dilemma has been floating around in my head for more than a decade, but the thread was "inspired" by the thread titled Who Created God

In particular, one Christian I'd exchanged posts with argued for the persuasiveness of the cosmological argument (aka. first cause). My response was that to cause something to happen entails time, which wouldn't exist before the Christian God created the universe. I was then told God exists outside of time, etc.

Again, with respect to any sincere Christians who've posted to this thread, I can't figure out how an apologist can justify this claim without explaining how anything can be done outside of time. Yes, "magic" (or its equivalent) seems to be the preferred answer, but I was hoping for more a substantive explanation.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
So, this cricket thing you said you're expecting...
Is that why you're not responding?
Or is it an ignoring people thing?
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
my impression is that classical theists believe God is timeless because he has his life all at once, in an eternal, simultaneous present, rather than in a series of discrete moments like we have our lives.
I've never actually heard this idea before reading your post.

I suppose I'd offer that this doesn't solve the conundrum, in that actions/thoughts happen at discrete moments in time. A God who lives His life in an eternal simultaneous present would never be able to cast a vote in our presidential elections, for example, because we'd never receive his completed ballot before the election was over.

ps. the second paragraph was rhetorical; I don't expect you to respond to it. Still, an eternal simultaneous present is an interesting idea...
 

Torin

Active member
I've never actually heard this idea before reading your post.
I would recommend reading Boethius' *Consolation of Philosophy* if you'd like to learn about this concept. I have not personally read it all the way through, but it has a reputation for being very accessible.

I suppose I'd offer that this doesn't solve the conundrum, in that actions/thoughts happen at discrete moments in time.
Classical theists do not think God literally has thoughts like we do. Theistic personalists do though.

A God who lives His life in an eternal simultaneous present would never be able to cast a vote in our presidential elections, for example, because we'd never receive his completed ballot before the election was over.
Why not?

ps. the second paragraph was rhetorical; I don't expect you to respond to it. Still, an eternal simultaneous present is an interesting idea...
Thumbs up.
 

Ontos

Member
Thomists think God is timeless. Theological positions rarely ever disappear. They multiply. This is a good reason why an atheist might want to be familiar with the history of theology. It is a kind of self defense.

Speaking as someone with a little such familiarity, my impression is that classical theists believe God is timeless because he has his life all at once, in an eternal, simultaneous present, rather than in a series of discrete moments like we have our lives.

I'll leave it to you to decide how plausible that account is. I will say that it follows pretty naturally from the Thomist natural theology.
A Thomist would say that God is "actus purus" or Pure Actuality and that God is "ipsum esse subsistens" or Subsistent Being Itself.

God qua pure actuality has thus no potentiality, and to change - to be in time - just is to be potential; so God is timeless...

Aquinas addresses it in Book I Q.10 of Summa Theologica
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Well, it's become clear that the only crickets I'm seeing are the op's author's.

Whateverman said:
Please explain how anything can exist without time.
So your problem here is that because you don't understand something, it can't be?
Doesn't that exclude you from understanding the lives of 7.8 billion other people?

This strikes me as a matter of simply not being aware that the creator of time is not bound by time. Someone commented that CARM says we should not use the "God exists outside of time" statement.
I'd be more than happy to abide with that, if he hadn't himself stated that he inhabits eternity.
From Isaiah 57:15

For thus says the High and Lofty One​
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:​
“I dwell in the high and holy place,​
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,​
To revive the spirit of the humble,​
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.​

So, I don't know.... looks to me like he exists outside of time, and space. I.e., in eternity. But... you tell me. What does the word- eternity-- mean to you?
If someone claimed to live in eternity, where/when do you think that'd be?


Whateverman said:
Christian apologists are fond of claiming that their god exists outside of space and time.
Where do you think we get such an idea from?

We actually find this idea in the bible. It's not something we just concocted to toy with you. I don't even think any of us are smart enough to concoct such a thing.

For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,​
To revive the spirit of the humble,​
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.​


Whateverman said:
Ignoring the question of how the former is even possible (which is just as valid of a question), I'm curious to know how anything can think act or breathe when there is no time in which to do so.
I think that you shouldn't ignore the question.
You're restricting your perspective to solely your own bias and preconceptions.
Why would you want to limit yourself to what you think you know instead of taking the time to learn?

I'm disappointed that you'd actually stop thinking.
It's possible because of who YHVH is.
He states in Isaiah 40:12 that he holds the cosmos in the span of his hand.
I'd like to ask if you ever considered such an idea. But since you said you had to ignore the idea, I'm thinking you haven't.

Anyone even know what the span of the hand is?
Here are a handful of articles on the matter.
Here's an article, correlating the height to the span.
Which is where this point goes to next.
If God's span holds the entire cosmos, then we can actually calculate his height.
According to numerous science articles, the entirety of the universe is somewhere around 91-93 billion light years (BLY). If anyone knows how many miles are in a light year, it's not difficult to calculate it in terms of miles.
So, let's take the smaller of the two numbers, 91 BLY. my span is 9 inches. So, for ease of calculation, let's do a "9" sized span, and say that the average height is 72 inches, also for ease of calculation. So, as we all know, 9 goes into 72, 8 times. This means we can calculate using the size of the cosmos..... 8 x 91 BLY = 728 BLY.
Anyone want to throw some numbers in a calculator?
Just for ease of calculation, we're getting a number of 728 billion light years in height. I'm pretty sure he's much larger than that, but this is to get you an idea..... That's approx. 4.28 x 10^24 miles.


So, I don't think he has any problem whatsoever dwelling outside of time. Especially as he's the one who created everything, and spoke the cosmos into existence, and Jesus is the one who is sustaining it by the word of his power.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,​
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.​
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;​
He lays up the deep in storehouses.​
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;​
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.​
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.​
10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;​
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.​
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,​
The plans of His heart to all generations.​
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,​
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.​

2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,​



Whateverman said:
Go for it, the stage is yours, apologists...
It's actually explained in the bible.
Do you ever read, or do you leave learning to others?

Apparently this is where the crickets show up..... silence for a couple days now.

Whateverman said:
ps. I expect that only crickets bought tickets to this show...
That's entirely up to you.

I asked you 5 questions.
Consider them, and get back to me.

Still waiting for the author of the op, or even any intelligent atheist at this point to engage in this one.
Lest the crickets fill the auditorium, leaving for an empty, and useless op.
 

Algor

Active member
Please explain how anything can exist without time.

Christian apologists are fond of claiming that their god exists outside of space and time. Ignoring the question of how the former is even possible (which is just as valid of a question), I'm curious to know how anything can think act or breathe when there is no time in which to do so.

Go for it, the stage is yours, apologists...

ps. I expect that only crickets bought tickets to this show...
Note that this has implications for ANY cosmogony.
 

Woody50

Well-known member
Well, it's become clear that the only crickets I'm seeing are the op's author's.



This strikes me as a matter of simply not being aware that the creator of time is not bound by time. Someone commented that CARM says we should not use the "God exists outside of time" statement.
I'd be more than happy to abide with that, if he hadn't himself stated that he inhabits eternity.
From Isaiah 57:15

For thus says the High and Lofty One​
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:​
“I dwell in the high and holy place,​
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,​
To revive the spirit of the humble,​
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.​

So, I don't know.... looks to me like he exists outside of time, and space. I.e., in eternity. But... you tell me. What does the word- eternity-- mean to you?
If someone claimed to live in eternity, where/when do you think that'd be?




We actually find this idea in the bible. It's not something we just concocted to toy with you. I don't even think any of us are smart enough to concoct such a thing.

For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,​
To revive the spirit of the humble,​
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.​




I'm disappointed that you'd actually stop thinking.
It's possible because of who YHVH is.
He states in Isaiah 40:12 that he holds the cosmos in the span of his hand.
I'd like to ask if you ever considered such an idea. But since you said you had to ignore the idea, I'm thinking you haven't.

Anyone even know what the span of the hand is?
Here are a handful of articles on the matter.
Here's an article, correlating the height to the span.
Which is where this point goes to next.
If God's span holds the entire cosmos, then we can actually calculate his height.
According to numerous science articles, the entirety of the universe is somewhere around 91-93 billion light years (BLY). If anyone knows how many miles are in a light year, it's not difficult to calculate it in terms of miles.
So, let's take the smaller of the two numbers, 91 BLY. my span is 9 inches. So, for ease of calculation, let's do a "9" sized span, and say that the average height is 72 inches, also for ease of calculation. So, as we all know, 9 goes into 72, 8 times. This means we can calculate using the size of the cosmos..... 8 x 91 BLY = 728 BLY.
Anyone want to throw some numbers in a calculator?
Just for ease of calculation, we're getting a number of 728 billion light years in height. I'm pretty sure he's much larger than that, but this is to get you an idea..... That's approx. 4.28 x 10^24 miles.


So, I don't think he has any problem whatsoever dwelling outside of time. Especially as he's the one who created everything, and spoke the cosmos into existence, and Jesus is the one who is sustaining it by the word of his power.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,​
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.​
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;​
He lays up the deep in storehouses.​
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;​
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.​
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.​
10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;​
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.​
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,​
The plans of His heart to all generations.​
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,​
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.​

2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,​





Apparently this is where the crickets show up..... silence for a couple days now.



Still waiting for the author of the op, or even any intelligent atheist at this point to engage in this one.
Lest the crickets fill the auditorium, leaving for an empty, and useless op.
He doesn't seek truth, but his own pleasure, brother.

Great posts and responses. Press on in Him.
 

Algor

Active member
<what> has implications? The question of how something can exist outside of time and space?
Yes, that's what i meant. The question of how something can exist outside of time, and maybe space.

Obviously if you are postulating some process that transcends time and space, you run into the problem that "process" without time or space is basically a nonsense word. This is an especially obvious problem if the process you have in mind is conscious, or intentional. But a similar problem affects the non-theists who try to "explain" (for instance) "Big Bang" cosmogony. At some point they have to admit that words don't really fit the maths very well at all.
 

Komodo

Active member
Yes, that's what i meant. The question of how something can exist outside of time, and maybe space.

Obviously if you are postulating some process that transcends time and space, you run into the problem that "process" without time or space is basically a nonsense word. This is an especially obvious problem if the process you have in mind is conscious, or intentional. But a similar problem affects the non-theists who try to "explain" (for instance) "Big Bang" cosmogony. At some point they have to admit that words don't really fit the maths very well at all.
To take this from another angle, any explanation we offer for ultimate origins -- an infinite past, the beginning of time, uncaused events, etc. -- is probably going to end up defying our commonsense understanding of how things work. So I can't get too far up in arms when theists offer "a being outside of time," but I would object if they attempted to demonstrate that it must be such a being, because other explanations defy our commonsense understanding of how things work. (This is what the Kalaam Cosmological Argument, for example, seems to do.)
 
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