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JimL
03-28-2015, 07:07 PM
Is it possible that God could have, had he chose to do so, created the universe prior its origin of 14 billion or so years ago? In other words is it possible that the universe could be 15, 16, or 100 billion years old right now, had God chose to create it that long ago? Or did God have no choice but to create it 14 billion years ago? Discuss.

pancreasman
03-28-2015, 07:19 PM
Is it possible that God could have, had he chose to do so, created the universe prior its origin of 14 billion or so years ago? In other words is it possible that the universe could be 15, 16, or 100 billion years old right now, had God chose to create it that long ago? Or did God have no choice but to create it 14 billion years ago? Discuss.

Personally I don't accept the model of God as a kind of meta-cosmic engineer who 'builds' a universe separate from Himself. I am inclined to think the universe is an organic consequence of God as an apple is an organic consequence of an apple tree. That being said, for the purposes of your question, the universe we're in has particular physical laws whose unfolding to reach the point where we are now requires a specific amount of time (around 14 billion years). I don't think you can read backwards from us now and say, therefore God had no choice but to create us when He did.

37818
03-28-2015, 07:44 PM
Is it possible that God could have, had he chose to do so, created the universe prior its origin of 14 billion or so years ago? In other words is it possible that the universe could be 15, 16, or 100 billion years old right now, had God chose to create it that long ago? Or did God have no choice but to create it 14 billion years ago? Discuss.

I do not see a problem, conceptually with this.

". . . Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God." -- Psalm 90:2. From this eternity was created first.

And the one who created this was God's Logos [the Word] who "was God" too, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . . He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) . . . ." -- John 1:3, 10, 14.

And so the Logos [the Word] is God of Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Again, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." -- John 1:3. (see also Colossians 1:16-18 on this.)

JimL
03-28-2015, 07:45 PM
Personally I don't accept the model of God as a kind of meta-cosmic engineer who 'builds' a universe separate from Himself. I am inclined to think the universe is an organic consequence of God as an apple is an organic consequence of an apple tree.
That being said, for the purposes of your question, the universe we're in has particular physical laws whose unfolding to reach the point where we are now requires a specific amount of time (around 14 billion years). I don't think you can read backwards from us now and say, therefore God had no choice but to create us when He did.
But i'm not saying that God had no choice in the matter, i'm asking if you think it possible that our universe, physical laws and all, could have been created by God, had he chose to do so, prior to the 14 billion years ago that we know it to have originated?

JimL
03-28-2015, 07:50 PM
I do not see a problem, conceptually with this.

". . . Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God." -- Psalm 90:2. From this eternity was created first.

And the one who created this was God's Logos [the Word] who "was God" too, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . . He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) . . . ." -- John 1:3, 10, 14.

And so the Logos [the Word] is God of Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Again, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." -- John 1:3. (see also Colossians 1:16-18 on this.)
I don't see how this answers to the question I raised 37818. Its a philosophical question requiring a philosophical answer.

Irate Canadian
03-28-2015, 07:54 PM
Is it possible that God could have, had he chose to do so, created the universe prior its origin of 14 billion or so years ago? In other words is it possible that the universe could be 15, 16, or 100 billion years old right now, had God chose to create it that long ago? Or did God have no choice but to create it 14 billion years ago? Discuss.

This is the answer most Christians will give you.

JimL
03-28-2015, 08:05 PM
This is the answer most Christians will give you.
Do you mean to speak for most Christians in asserting that they don't bother to think and form opinions on matters relating to their beliefs?

37818
03-28-2015, 08:20 PM
But i'm not saying that God had no choice in the matter, i'm asking if you think it possible that our universe, physical laws and all, could have been created by God, had he chose to do so, prior to the 14 billion years ago that we know it to have originated?

What if what current science thinks they are looking at as the beginning, is really the universe's collapsing in on itself, as seen in the distant past. Making he universe much much older than the mere 14 billion years calculated based on an assumed beginning.

"Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: . . . ." -- Psalm 102:25-26.

So what our current science calls "dark energy" would be really an evidence of the universe collapsing in on itself.

JimL
03-28-2015, 09:10 PM
What if what current science thinks they are looking at as the beginning, is really the universe's collapsing in on itself, as seen in the distant past. Making he universe much much older than the mere 14 billion years calculated based on an assumed beginning.

"Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: . . . ." -- Psalm 102:25-26.

So what our current science calls "dark energy" would be really an evidence of the universe collapsing in on itself.
But the question isn't about the particular time that the universe was created, the question is, no matter when the universe was created, could God have created it prior to that time if he so chose? In other words "if" it is true, "if" the science is correct, and the universe began 14 billion years ago, could God have created it say 20 billion years ago instead of 14 billion years ago if he so chose?

pancreasman
03-28-2015, 09:10 PM
But i'm not saying that God had no choice in the matter, i'm asking if you think it possible that our universe, physical laws and all, could have been created by God, had he chose to do so, prior to the 14 billion years ago that we know it to have originated?

I guess I'm really not sure what you mean. Isn't iit true that time itself began with universe? If so, then the timeline of the universe is like a ball of string unravelling. It takes 14 billion years to unravel as far as it has. Are you asking if the universe could have been created 'earlier' and held in stasis until God caused it to unwind? If He did, how would we know? There would be no evidence. Or are you looking at eternity past as a big timeline within which God at some point created the universe. Why that point? Could God have started 'earlier'? If this is what you're asking I think the problem is the idea of God existing in some kind of ' super timeline'. Most theologians postulate God existing in a timeless state (whatever the heck THAT MEANS.)

JimL
03-28-2015, 10:11 PM
I guess I'm really not sure what you mean. Isn't iit true that time itself began with universe?
That is one hypotheses, it certainly began 14 billion years ago as far as our universe is concerned. The other is that time, however that is eventually defined, is itself eternal, our universe beginning within eternal time.

If so, then the timeline of the universe is like a ball of string unravelling. It takes 14 billion years to unravel as far as it has.
Sure, but thats time for our universe, not necessarily the beginning of time. You had a beginning in time as well and have travelled as far as you have within it, but time didn't begin with you, you began in it.

Are you asking if the universe could have been created 'earlier' and held in stasis until God caused it to unwind? If He did, how would we know? There would be no evidence. Or are you looking at eternity past as a big timeline within which God at some point created the universe. Why that point? Could God have started 'earlier'? If this is what you're asking I think the problem is the idea of God existing in some kind of ' super timeline'. Most theologians postulate God existing in a timeless state (whatever the heck THAT MEANS.)
Okay, the question is this; If as it is claimed, God is eternal, existing outside of the temporal world of his creation, could he have created that temporal world so that it is now a trillion years old rather than 14 billion years old? In order to do so would require the existence of time prior to 14 billion years ago, indeed it would require time to have been existent a trillion years ago. If God could have created time prior to 14 billion years ago would presuppose the existence of a "time before" 14 billion years ago in order that he do so. Also, if time did not precede the existence of the universe, then like the notion some have of God, the universe would be eternal.

pancreasman
03-29-2015, 12:08 AM
That is one hypotheses, it certainly began 14 billion years ago as far as our universe is concerned. The other is that time, however that is eventually defined, is itself eternal, our universe beginning within eternal time.

Sure, but thats time for our universe, not necessarily the beginning of time. You had a beginning in time as well and have travelled as far as you have within it, but time didn't begin with you, you began in it.

Okay, the question is this; If as it is claimed, God is eternal, existing outside of the temporal world of his creation, could he have created that temporal world so that it is now a trillion years old rather than 14 billion years old? In order to do so would require the existence of time prior to 14 billion years ago, indeed it would require time to have been existent a trillion years ago. If God could have created time prior to 14 billion years ago would presuppose the existence of a "time before" 14 billion years ago in order that he do so. Also, if time did not precede the existence of the universe, then like the notion some have of God, the universe would be eternal.

Thank you. That's much clearer but is out of my comfort zone to attempt an answer.

shunyadragon
03-29-2015, 04:43 AM
Is it possible that God could have, had he chose to do so, created the universe prior its origin of 14 billion or so years ago? In other words is it possible that the universe could be 15, 16, or 100 billion years old right now, had God chose to create it that long ago? Or did God have no choice but to create it 14 billion years ago? Discuss.

We have had this discussion before concerning the Baha'i view of Creation. I sort of agree with Pancreasman here. You tend to use limiting anthropomorphic terminology to describe the relationship between God, Creation and humanity. IF God exists, the human perspective could not explain the ultimate relationship between God and Creation in a limiting way of how Creation must be.

The Baha'i view is that the attributes and nature of Creation are a reflection of the eternal nature of God that reflects an eternal cyclic process, and not a specific act. Creations are possibly an infinite number of universes within the eternal nature of Divine Creation. Creation would not be a specific act of the anthropomorphic 'watchmaker' form an archaic anthropomorphic human perspective.

You have objected to the Baha'i view before assuming a negative limited view of how God must be in relationship to Creation IF God exists. This in reality only applies to ancient world views of limited archaic visions of the nature of God, and those that wish to assume a negative hostile view of the possibility of the existence of God.

shunyadragon
03-29-2015, 05:00 AM
That is one hypotheses, it certainly began 14 billion years ago as far as our universe is concerned. The other is that time, however that is eventually defined, is itself eternal, our universe beginning within eternal time.

This in a way assumes that our universe began at a specific time in the past, ie 'Big Bang cosmology. Current Science of Cosmology does not assume the certainty that our universe began at some point in the past. It is also currently accepted that time does not exist beyond our time space relationship of our universe.


Sure, but thats time for our universe, not necessarily the beginning of time. You had a beginning in time as well and have travelled as far as you have within it, but time didn't begin with you, you began in it.

As above time out side our universe time likely does not have a beginning nor ending.


Okay, the question is this; If as it is claimed, God is eternal, existing outside of the temporal world of his creation, could he have created that temporal world so that it is now a trillion years old rather than 14 billion years old? In order to do so would require the existence of time prior to 14 billion years ago, indeed it would require time to have been existent a trillion years ago. If God could have created time prior to 14 billion years ago would presuppose the existence of a "time before" 14 billion years ago in order that he do so. Also, if time did not precede the existence of the universe, then like the notion some have of God, the universe would be eternal.

Time does not likely exist outside our space time perspective of our universe. In other words there is not likely 'time before.' The eternal infinite world of God does not necessarily exist in time as we view it in our limited perspective.

JimL
03-29-2015, 09:48 AM
We have had this discussion before concerning the Baha'i view of Creation. I sort of agree with Pancreasman here. You tend to use limiting anthropomorphic terminology to describe the relationship between God, Creation and humanity. IF God exists, the human perspective could not explain the ultimate relationship between God and Creation in a limiting way of how Creation must be.
Sorry shunya, but anthropomorphic terminology is all we have to go by when it comes to describing anything we believe. If you can not explain the existence of God, then why do you believe it?

The Baha'i view is that the attributes and nature of Creation are a reflection of the eternal nature of God that reflects an eternal cyclic process, and not a specific act. Creations are possibly an infinite number of universes within the eternal nature of Divine Creation. Creation would not be a specific act of the anthropomorphic 'watchmaker' form an archaic anthropomorphic human perspective.
Yes, that could be true, but you give no reason as to why one should believe it is true since it could just as well be that there is nothing divine about the existence of the natural world. Why should I believe that the world is a reflection of the devine rather than what it appears to be, ie. a reality unto itself?

You have objected to the Baha'i view before assuming a negative limited view of how God must be in relationship to Creation IF God exists. This in reality only applies to ancient world views of limited archaic visions of the nature of God, and those that wish to assume a negative hostile view of the possibility of the existence of God.
You have objected to the purely materialistic nature of existence before, assuming a negative limited view of its uncreated natural existence, if it is uncreated. This in reality only applies to ancient world views of limited archaic visions of the nature of the natural world, and those that wish to assume a negative hostile view of the possibility that existence, the natural world, is a reality unto itself.
Sorry for being a bit sarcastic in my reply shunya, but perhaps you can see in it how empty such a statement is to a non-believer. We take a negative view, not to be hostile, but because such assertions have no positive value.

37818
03-29-2015, 09:56 AM
But the question isn't about the particular time that the universe was created, the question is, no matter when the universe was created, could God have created it prior to that time if he so chose? In other words "if" it is true, "if" the science is correct, and the universe began 14 billion years ago, could God have created it say 20 billion years ago instead of 14 billion years ago if he so chose?
God who has no beginning, He could just as easily have created an infinite series of creations, where there would be no first creation at all.

JimL
03-29-2015, 10:22 AM
This in a way assumes that our universe began at a specific time in the past, ie 'Big Bang cosmology. Current Science of Cosmology does not assume the certainty that our universe began at some point in the past. It is also currently accepted that time does not exist beyond our time space relationship of our universe.
No it doesn't really, it assumes that our particular place in the cosmos began at a specific time in the past, i.e. 14 billion years ago. Current science, does make this assumption, which is why the 14 billion years is posited as its beginning. And no it is not currently accepted that time does not exist beyond our time, what is currently accepted is that we don't know exactly what time is in itself, if anything, or if it only applies, becomes manifest, to things which begin to exist.



As above time out side our universe time likely does not have a beginning nor ending.
Which means what, that time outside of our universe is infinite, or that time outside our universe doesn't exist?



Time does not likely exist outside our space time perspective of our universe. In other words there is not likely 'time before.'
Thats an assertion that, though some may assume to be the case, you won't hear from any physicist. We can not even explain the existence of time as a thing in itself within our own universe let alone whether it is a factor outside of it. And to my main point which your last statement answers to, if there is no time before our universe, then our universe, like that of the notion of God, would be defined as being eternal and so could not have been created. If our universe were a trillion years of age rather than the 14 billion years of age that we understand it to be, then there would have to have been a "time before". The same would apply to the future, if God should create another universe, in the present say, then there was obviously a "time before" 14 billion years before, when our universe was created.

The eternal infinite world of God does not necessarily exist in time as we view it in our limited perspective.
Yes, and the eternal infinite world doesn't necessarily include a Divine creator either as we view it from our limited perspective.

shunyadragon
03-29-2015, 10:25 AM
Sorry shunya, but anthropomorphic terminology is all we have to go by when it comes to describing anything we believe. If you can not explain the existence of God, then why do you believe it?

If you propose this then you do not understand what aanthropomorphic means.

adjective 1. ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human, especially to a deity.

You most definitely do not need to describe God in anthropomorphic terms, unless you believe that God is a man or woman as some believe.


Yes, that could be true, but you give no reason as to why one should believe it is true since it could just as well be that there is nothing divine about the existence of the natural world. Why should I believe that the world is a reflection of the devine rather than what it appears to be, ie. a reality unto itself?

Legitimate questions, but the why? and reasons to believe would be the subject of another thread.


You have objected to the purely materialistic nature of existence before, assuming a negative limited view of its uncreated natural existence, if it is uncreated. This in reality only applies to ancient world views of limited archaic visions of the nature of the natural world, and those that wish to assume a negative hostile view of the possibility that existence, the natural world, is a reality unto itself.

Actually if you follow my posts I HAVE NOT, and threads in the past I have not been hostile to the naturalist/materialist world view. Please do not misrepresent me. I have taken a lot of flack, and accusations for being everything but a theist from theists because of my open views on these philosophical and theological issues. I have previously stated that this is a distinct possibility from the perspective of Methodological Naturalism, which is neutral to the existence of God or spiritual worlds beyond. Philosophical Naturalism is a possible conclusion and in the past I consider the only two options that are not distinctly illogical are the Philosophical Naturalist position, and the Universal Theistic naturalist perspective of the Baha'i Faith, and I am open to discuss different views in this respect. Ancient world views are illogical, because each reflects an ancient world view of one culture, and fail to have a universal perspective that reflect the knowledge we have today for the history of humanity, and the science of our physical existence.

I am an agnostic theist, because in reality I do not know, and a Baha'i by choice of faith. I consider the different religions of the past to be a human view of God of the time and culture the Revelation took place.


Sorry for being a bit sarcastic in my reply shunya, but perhaps you can see in it how empty such a statement is to a non-believer. We take a negative view, not to be hostile, but because such assertions have no positive value.

By the nature of your posts, the view is hostile. I believe there is distinct value in the Baha'i worldview in presenting a unifying vision, and progressive evolving views concerning science that spiritual laws. If it were not for the Baha'i Faith as an alternative I would probably be a Philosophical Naturalist of some sort.

JimL
03-29-2015, 10:31 AM
God who has no beginning, He could just as easily have created an infinite series of creations, where there would be no first creation at all.
So, then a Cosmos that has no beginning could easily have created an infinite series of creations, where there would be no first creation at all?

Adrift
03-29-2015, 12:05 PM
It sounds like what you really want to know is "can time exist before the universe came into being". That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with God or creation. Currently, there seems to be some consensus among physicists that time came into being when the universe came into being.

shunyadragon
03-29-2015, 01:29 PM
So, then a Cosmos that has no beginning could easily have created an infinite series of creations, where there would be no first creation at all?

If Creation exists eternally as attributes of God, there would be no beginning nor first Creation at all.

JimL
03-29-2015, 04:13 PM
It sounds like what you really want to know is "can time exist before the universe came into being". That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with God or creation. Currently, there seems to be some consensus among physicists that time came into being when the universe came into being.

The question is could God, if he so desired, have created a universe previously to the origin of our own universe 14 billion years ago if creation takes place in timelessness? Previously or before denotes time, so either an eternally existing creator had no choice but to create time 14 billion years ago or time itself is eternal and creation can take place at any time. If you say that God, if he wanted to, could have created a universe of time previously to the creation of our own, then that denotes the existence of time previous to our universe and that asserts that creation takes place in time, not in timelessness. At any rate I don't believe that your assertion is correct in that there is a consensus among physicists that time itself came into being when our universe came into being. The consensus is probably more like time became manifest for our universe when our universe came into being. Afterall, time only has meaning for existing things. Time didn't begin for you until you came into being either and so if our universe began 14 billion years ago, then time didn't exist for it either until it came into being, but just because time didn't exist for the non existent you, or the non-existent universe doesn't mean that time didn't exist at all.

JimL
03-29-2015, 04:22 PM
If Creation exists eternally as attributes of God, there would be no beginning nor first Creation at all.
Sure, and the same could be said of an eternally existing Cosmos, so what is the point of positing something other than the Cosmos itself when we have no knowledge of anything other than the Cosmos.

37818
03-29-2015, 04:41 PM
So, then a Cosmos that has no beginning could easily have created an infinite series of creations, where there would be no first creation at all?

Easy for God who has no beginning. To have created an infinite number of ex nihilo creations where there would never have been any first creation among the infinite creations.

37818
03-29-2015, 04:48 PM
Sure, and the same could be said of an eternally existing Cosmos, so what is the point of positing something other than the Cosmos itself when we have no knowledge of anything other than the Cosmos.

An eternally existing Cosmos has to have an eternal existence in which to exist.

shunyadragon
03-29-2015, 05:07 PM
Sure, and the same could be said of an eternally existing Cosmos, so what is the point of positing something other than the Cosmos itself when we have no knowledge of anything other than the Cosmos.

True, as I stated before. This would not be the reason for believing and the why? of believing or why? the nature of existence is as it is. Methodological Naturalism is just descriptive of the nature of existence as it is, and does not answer the question beyond that.

shunyadragon
03-29-2015, 05:08 PM
An eternally existing Cosmos has to have an eternal existence in which to exist.

No it does not have to be so from the human perspective, but, yes I believe it so.

Irate Canadian
03-29-2015, 05:09 PM
Do you mean to speak for most Christians in asserting that they don't bother to think and form opinions on matters relating to their beliefs?

5000

How exactly do you extrapolate that from what I said? God could have made the world whenever he pleased.

JimL
03-29-2015, 05:39 PM
5000

How exactly do you extrapolate that from what I said? God could have made the world whenever he pleased.
"Whenever" denotes a a point in time, a before or an after. Besides that, if there were no time before the universe existed, then the universe is defined as existing eternally.

JimL
03-29-2015, 05:44 PM
An eternally existing Cosmos has to have an eternal existence in which to exist.

Thats just an assertion, nor does it make sense. If that were true then God, by that definition, would need an eternal existence in which to live.

pancreasman
03-29-2015, 05:49 PM
An eternally existing Cosmos has to have an eternal existence in which to exist.

You keep using this sentence as if it were meaningful. I don't think it is.

JimL
03-29-2015, 06:20 PM
True, as I stated before. This would not be the reason for believing and the why? of believing or why? the nature of existence is as it is. Methodological Naturalism is just descriptive of the nature of existence as it is, and does not answer the question beyond that.
You mean that methodological naturalism doesn't answer to the universes origin. So why assume because of that, that it was created? This thread is about the assertion of timeless creation and its logic or lack thereof. If you believe that time is infinite and co-eternal with its creator then I have no dispute with you on the topic. The only dispute I would have with you is whether or not a God has anything to do with creation, which is not really the topic of the thread. If on the other hand you believe that creation takes place in a timeless realm, so to speak, then that is what we can discuss. If a time does not exist prior to the existence of any-thing, then that thing, whatever it be, is eternal. So my contention is that either the universe is eternal or time existed prior to its existence.

Adrift
03-29-2015, 09:03 PM
The question is could God, if he so desired, have created a universe previously to the origin of our own universe 14 billion years ago if creation takes place in timelessness? Previously or before denotes time, so either an eternally existing creator had no choice but to create time 14 billion years ago or time itself is eternal and creation can take place at any time. If you say that God, if he wanted to, could have created a universe of time previously to the creation of our own, then that denotes the existence of time previous to our universe and that asserts that creation takes place in time, not in timelessness. At any rate I don't believe that your assertion is correct in that there is a consensus among physicists that time itself came into being when our universe came into being. The consensus is probably more like time became manifest for our universe when our universe came into being. Afterall, time only has meaning for existing things. Time didn't begin for you until you came into being either and so if our universe began 14 billion years ago, then time didn't exist for it either until it came into being, but just because time didn't exist for the non existent you, or the non-existent universe doesn't mean that time didn't exist at all.

JimL, I have read the words that you've written, and the point is the same one I replied to in your original post, so its not like I didn't see what you wrote before. What I'm telling you though is that you can eliminate words "God" from the equation right now, and still ask pretty much the same question, "can time exist before the universe began?" And again, the current widely held consensus (despite your protestations) seems to be that, no, time began to exist at the beginning of the universe. Coming straight from Stephen Hawkings' speech synthesizer,

the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago. The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which the laws of physics would have broken down. Nevertheless, the way the universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics, if the universe satisfied the no boundary condition. This says that in the imaginary time direction, space-time is finite in extent, but doesn't have any boundary or edge. The predictions of the no boundary proposal seem to agree with observation. The no boundary hypothesis also predicts that the universe will eventually collapse again. However, the contracting phase, will not have the opposite arrow of time, to the expanding phase. So we will keep on getting older, and we won't return to our youth. Because time is not going to go backwards

By the way, I'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but how you're wording your question, it almost sounds as though you think that God was sitting in some sort of black empty space...waiting for eons...and then bam! he created the universe. If so, that's not at all what most Christians mean by the word "timeless". Also, it isn't the case that the word "previously", or rather "prior" necassarily denotes time. Defenders of certain cosmological models make a distinction between something that is temporal prior and causally or ontologically prior. One has to do with time, the other (so they argue) has to do with causal directionality. Craig defines the difference like this,

1. Causal priority has to do with what’s called causal directionality. That is to say, if A and B are causally related as cause and effect, is A the cause of B, or is B the cause of A? Temporal priority has to do with whether A is earlier than B. Notice that even if A and B exist or occur at the same time, so that there is no temporal priority of one to the other, the question of causal priority still makes sense. To borrow an illustration from Kant, a heavy ball’s resting on a cushion is the cause of a depression in the cushion, even if the ball has been resting on the cushion from eternity past. Some philosophers who believe that the future is as real as the past or present think that there can be cases where causal priority can actually run in the opposite direction of temporal priority: first the effect occurs and then later comes the cause, so that although A is causally prior to B, B is temporally prior to A! As for ontological priority, that would indicate that some being’s existence presupposes the existence of another being. I think that in this context it basically comes to the same thing as causal priority. (In another context, one might say, for example, that a substance or thing is ontologically prior to the thing’s properties.)

But anyways, like I said, you don't really have to bring God into this yet. First of all you have to establish whether or not time existed prior to the Big Bang. The widely accepted Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems suggest it did not.

37818
03-29-2015, 09:18 PM
Thats just an assertion, nor does it make sense. If that were true then God, by that definition, would need an eternal existence in which to live.

A God which is in need of an eternal existence to live is no God.

37818
03-29-2015, 09:22 PM
You keep using this sentence as if it were meaningful. I don't think it is.

What do you see is the problem? I understand existence and a thing which exists are two different things.

pancreasman
03-29-2015, 11:47 PM
What do you see is the problem? I understand existence and a thing which exists are two different things.

Yes you do and I have no idea why. For you 'existence' becomes another thing to exist.

shunyadragon
03-30-2015, 05:57 AM
You mean that methodological naturalism doesn't answer to the universes origin.

No, that is not what I said. In fact this is a bit confusing. Our sciences are basically descriptive of the nature of our physical existence, and does not answer the questions of why? In my view science is simply descriptive of the how of Creation, which is a natural process.


So why assume because of that, that it was created?

I do not assume it is Created, I believe it is.

This thread is about the assertion of timeless creation and its logic or lack thereof. If you believe that time is infinite and co-eternal with its creator then I have no dispute with you on the topic. [/quote]

OK. My issue was the anthropomorphic language, necessary?, in understanding whether God Created our physical existence, and why?


The only dispute I would have with you is whether or not a God has anything to do with creation, which is not really the topic of the thread. If on the other hand you believe that creation takes place in a timeless realm, so to speak, then that is what we can discuss. If a time does not exist prior to the existence of any-thing, then that thing, whatever it be, is eternal. So my contention is that either the universe is eternal or time existed prior to its existence.

Yes, our difference is you believe in Philosophical Naturalism, and I believe in a Theistic Naturalism, both share and accept Methodological Naturalism. Part of what is the foundation of my belief is the evolving spiritual nature of humanity as described in the Baha'i Faith. I tend to avoid the flawed outdated logical arguments for God common in Christian apologetics.

37818
03-30-2015, 06:29 AM
Yes you do and I have no idea why. For you 'existence' becomes another thing to exist.

Ah, so existence does not exist?:huh:

pancreasman
03-30-2015, 02:29 PM
Ah, so existence does not exist?:huh:

I don't see how. It's like saying 'loud' exists as a thing itself instead of as a quality of sound.

shunyadragon
03-30-2015, 03:51 PM
Ah, so existence does not exist?:huh:

How are you defining existence?

JimL
03-30-2015, 05:21 PM
JimL, I have read the words that you've written, and the point is the same one I replied to in your original post, so its not like I didn't see what you wrote before. What I'm telling you though is that you can eliminate words "God" from the equation right now, and still ask pretty much the same question, "can time exist before the universe began?" And again, the current widely held consensus (despite your protestations) seems to be that, no, time began to exist at the beginning of the universe. Coming straight from Stephen Hawkings' speech synthesizer,

the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago. The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which the laws of physics would have broken down. Nevertheless, the way the universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics, if the universe satisfied the no boundary condition. This says that in the imaginary time direction, space-time is finite in extent, but doesn't have any boundary or edge. The predictions of the no boundary proposal seem to agree with observation. The no boundary hypothesis also predicts that the universe will eventually collapse again. However, the contracting phase, will not have the opposite arrow of time, to the expanding phase. So we will keep on getting older, and we won't return to our youth. Because time is not going to go backwards

By the way, I'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but how you're wording your question, it almost sounds as though you think that God was sitting in some sort of black empty space...waiting for eons...and then bam! he created the universe. If so, that's not at all what most Christians mean by the word "timeless". Also, it isn't the case that the word "previously", or rather "prior" necassarily denotes time. Defenders of certain cosmological models make a distinction between something that is temporal prior and causally or ontologically prior. One has to do with time, the other (so they argue) has to do with causal directionality. Craig defines the difference like this,

1. Causal priority has to do with whatís called causal directionality. That is to say, if A and B are causally related as cause and effect, is A the cause of B, or is B the cause of A? Temporal priority has to do with whether A is earlier than B. Notice that even if A and B exist or occur at the same time, so that there is no temporal priority of one to the other, the question of causal priority still makes sense. To borrow an illustration from Kant, a heavy ballís resting on a cushion is the cause of a depression in the cushion, even if the ball has been resting on the cushion from eternity past. Some philosophers who believe that the future is as real as the past or present think that there can be cases where causal priority can actually run in the opposite direction of temporal priority: first the effect occurs and then later comes the cause, so that although A is causally prior to B, B is temporally prior to A! As for ontological priority, that would indicate that some beingís existence presupposes the existence of another being. I think that in this context it basically comes to the same thing as causal priority. (In another context, one might say, for example, that a substance or thing is ontologically prior to the thingís properties.)

But anyways, like I said, you don't really have to bring God into this yet. First of all you have to establish whether or not time existed prior to the Big Bang. The widely accepted Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems suggest it did not.
Hawking may believe that time began in the Big Bang, I don't know, but my guess is that he is speaking about time in relation to the Big Bang and the beginning of this universe. Everyone believes that time began for this universe when the universe began, i.e. at the Big Bang, just like for anything that begins to exist, time for it does't begin until it begins, but Hawking, brilliant physicist that he is, doesn't know, anymore than anyone else knows, what, if anything, lies outside of this universe. This is basically a philosophical question, not a scientific one. What does eternal even mean in the abscence of time? If eternal means that there was no time that a thing did not exist, then the universe itself would be defined as eternal since there was no time that it didn't exist. If it means always existed or existed forever, then those terms as well denote time, as in infinite time. Even to say that the eternal is that which existed before time, the before in that statement denotes time. The ontological, causal priority argument, to me, seems no more than a meaningless rationalization. The bowling ball in Kants argument was no more the cause of the dent in the cushion than the dent in the cushion was the cause of the bowling ball resting on the cushion, unless the ball was placed there.

JimL
03-30-2015, 06:01 PM
No, that is not what I said. In fact this is a bit confusing. Our sciences are basically descriptive of the nature of our physical existence, and does not answer the questions of why? In my view science is simply descriptive of the how of Creation, which is a natural process.
Okay shunya, but this thread isn't about why the universe was created, it is about whether or not the origin of the universe was also the origin of time.



I do not assume it is Created, I believe it is.
Okay, thats fine, I believe it wasn't. But the question is not whether it was created or not, the question is, no matter how it came to be, did time exist prior to its coming to be or did time make its first appearance, so to speak, with the birth of the universe?



OK. My issue was the anthropomorphic language, necessary?, in understanding whether God Created our physical existence, and why?
Well anthropormorphic language is probably used because the only God we know of is the one in our human imaginations. But again, the main point of the thread, whether he exists or not, is not about the nature of God, its about the nature of time.


Yes, our difference is you believe in Philosophical Naturalism, and I believe in a Theistic Naturalism, both share and accept Methodological Naturalism. Part of what is the foundation of my belief is the evolving spiritual nature of humanity as described in the Baha'i Faith. I tend to avoid the flawed outdated logical arguments for God common in Christian apologetics.
I believe the the universe is a reality unto itself, you believe it is a created reality. As I told you once before, from what I understand of your religion, though i don't believe in a diety, I appreciate it. But though the nature of time, whether or not it is infinite, naturally brings up the topic of God, the nature of God is not the main point of the thread.