Saturday, September 30, 2017

Undeveloped and Scattered Ideas About Divine Atemporality/Temporality

I used to read many books about God and time. These scattered thoughts were developed from those studies:

Notes on Divine Temporality

Advocates for Divine temporality (Stephen T. Davis, Richard Swinburne, John Sanders, Nick Wolterstorff, Terence Fretheim, William Hasker, William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantinga, F. Pike, Greg Boyd, and Clark Pinnock).

Other side: Brian Leftow, Richard Creel, Brian Davies, Paul Helm.

1) Possible atemporal causation definition: S possibly brings it about that X happens @ t1-contiguity with space-time

2) Divine episteme: Can a timeless being know temporal particulars directly/immediately qua temporal particulars? Thomas Aquinas and Augustine seem to answer no.

3) In my estimation, it is logically possible (maybe metaphysically possible) that timeless events are impossible.

However, what about the event of God generating/creating the only-begotten Son?


Sean Killackey said...

I have the idea that if God is timeless, presentism is false, and eternalism is true. Maybe vice versa, I'm not sure.

On their other hand, people like Edward Feser, believe in presentism, and that God is timeless (since he is simple).

Now, you said that you think that timeless events are impossible (is this given eternalism or presentism, or does it matter?) Does this extend to simultaneous causation.

Do you think God could create two temporally disconnected universes? If so, what would that mean for the nature of time and God's relation thereto?

Edgar Foster said...


It seems to me that if God is timeless, then presentism could well be false and eternalism would likely be true. But, as you say, God's timelessness appears to be entailed by divine simplicity because simplicitas rules out spatial or temporal parts for God. Witbhout temporal parts, it is difficult to see how God could be temporal, but presentism seems more unlikely too in that scenario.

Given presentism or the A theory of time, I would venture to claim that atemporal events are not possible. Richard Swinburne argues for this position in one of his books. Of course, how one defines events might also determine whether this idea is right. I also believe that simultaneous causation could be included among various temporal events. An event can be simultaneous with another without being atemporal. There is certainly no logical impossibility with temporal simultaneous causation.

I see nothing impossible (logically or metaphysically) about God creating two temporally disconnected universes. Although the cosmoi would be temporally disconnected from one another, what would prevent God from being related to each world causally, especially if these worlds are temporal in se?

Philip Fletcher said...

Don't mean to sound ignorant here, but God is King of Eternity, it would indicate that he is all about time I mean he encompasses time. He is the reason for time. it might be an intricate part of him, that he shares with all of us.

Edgar Foster said...

Philip, you never sound ignorant. I always like your feedback. While I agree with your understanding of the title, King of Eternity, many in Christendom understand God to be a timeless deity.