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RunnerOnAir
October 10th, 2002, 03:41 PM
Know, I know this a HUGE subject, but I would like to here some responses to this, especially from the open theist :)

In an attempt show that relativity and a temporal view of God don’t contradict, Boyd offers us the following support for the A-theory: “God’s experience of others is not dependant on the speed of light…this means that for God—but for no one else—there can be an all embracing now in which all the relative ‘nows’ experienced by finite observers coincide.” Relativity, however, does not work that way. Michael Follin, in his dissertation on God and time, writes: “As we have seen, Einstein’s STR…implies that there is no such thing as ‘the present’…” A-theorists have attempted to circumvent this by offering evidence of background radiation that allows us to speak of unique cosmic time, which some say is special frame of reference. However, in order to prove a special frame of reference, this must be identical with a “single present moment of human consciousness.” Even if it were proven, one of the premier physicists promoting a “special frame of reference” asserts that this special frame of reference must not have a special identifiable role, which because “the frame of reference with a special identifiable role is exactly the means by which others attempt to remedy the problems of the implications of STR.” So the idea of an “all embracing now” is far fetched—the idea of a special frame of reference hasn’t been proven, and even if it were, it would have to coincide with a human frame of reference, which consequently, according to a premiere physicist, could not have any special role, which is hardly a description of God.

Jaltus
October 10th, 2002, 05:09 PM
Of course God does not have to be in a physical now, just a now.

RunnerOnAir
October 10th, 2002, 10:17 PM
<Of course God does not have to be in a physical now, just a now.>

Now that was a clever answer wasn't it, now? :)

I said nothing of a physical now, if there is no possible special frame of reference in the present there is no possible special frame of reference for God either, "physical" or not. The fact is that if God is in time He is subject to relativity (as time is), and relativity doesn't allow a special frame of reference, even for God. Maybe relativity just supports the Biblical notion of God's timelessness, hmm...

RunnerOnAir
October 10th, 2002, 10:20 PM
Well, I need a 100th post. And I am making a good profound one--I am tired and going to bed, knowing I reached 100 :) And for all the people I showed their error, don't even worry about it, it's perfectly ok for you to be wrong :) (I am just kidding in ever facet of the word! :))

chance
October 11th, 2002, 12:30 AM
You're assuming that the special theory of relativity is accurate which is an assumption I do not share and the last I heard, scientists are either in the process of ditching or have ditched this theory in search of a better one.

I would give a link to that article I found from the American Spectator a few years ago while in Denver, but I am too tired to look for it. The article basicly confirms what I just said, i.e. that Einstein's STR is going.

oh yeah, where in the world do you get the idear that the Bible teaches that God is timeless? There aren;t any verses taht would give any such implication, so enlighten us as to what you have in mind. At the very least we can show how your spoof texts are poor support for a timeless (and therefore nonexistent) God ;)

Jaltus
October 11th, 2002, 07:07 AM
First, let me disagree with Chance. Scientists ARE NOT leaving STR behind, theologians are latching on to the one scientist who did, Polkinghorn, and claiming him as a champion. Of course Polk. left it behind because he became an Open Theist (and a professional theologian), not because science pushed him that way. Besides, it is not denying STR it is denying Minkowskian space-time that leads to what Polk wants. Yes, I am also a former physicist turned theologian.


I said nothing of a physical now, if there is no possible special frame of reference in the present there is no possible special frame of reference for God either, "physical" or not. The fact is that if God is in time He is subject to relativity (as time is), and relativity doesn't allow a special frame of reference, even for God. Maybe relativity just supports the Biblical notion of God's timelessness, hmm... If you talk about a frame of reference, you are talking about physicality. Frame of reference is short for inertial frame of reference, which always denotes physicality. STR cannot account for the spiritual, it is just something that does not fit the equations. If God is in time, it is because He wants to be. God is not subject to any part of creation, for He is the creator, a distinction you are clearly forgetting. Also, the Bible does not affirm God's timelessness nor His being in time. Both are constructs foisted onto the biblical narrative. Both are essentially wrong.

1013
October 11th, 2002, 09:43 AM
This is not a subject laymen really can speak authoritatively on as it is way up there. For that reason, I like to mention that 2 out of three physicists I've spoken to do not believe that reletivity is clearly or necessarily in conflict with presentism (that is what you'll have to demonstrate to give the open view a run for it's money). the third one who disagreed *coughJaltuscough* was not trained specifically in special reletivity and had only a bachelors. the other two had phd's. in physics.

for what it's worth as far as my conception of reletivity is concerned, nothing in my layman's grasp of str is incompatible with presentism. if something speeds up, the rate of time slows down, but does it skip out on some of the sequence in the universe? not at all. every moment that one twinn (in the twinns' paradox) experiences can be coincided with a moment in the other twinn's experience just as you can match up every one of the infinite points in two different lines of differing lengths.

in gtr, I guess time would be going in circles if the universe was rotating. this also troubled einstein (for what ever reason) but he said that that just isn't happening so it is a non-issue.

and there is a problem where gtr meants str. suppose you have two singularities that form a wormhole. If the singularities are traveling at a different speed, the opposite ends of the wormhole will empty out onto different time periods of the universe thus creating real time travel.

I have to think that this is a mistake though. why wouldn'tthe differing ends of the wormholes simply be comparable to the twinn's paradox, where the rate's may be different, but nevertheless, every moment in every part of this universe can be coincided?

perhaps some physicists *coughjaltuscough* are reading this thinking "stulte!" But hey, I'm only a laymen and this is the best I can do.

and if the theories of reletivity turn out to be irreconcilable with presentism, we who hold presentism so crucially to our paradigms can always point to the fact that science is not a finished project. Maybe reletivity rules the roost now, but what about in the next 50 or one hundred years from now? maybe a more ingenious scheme will be figured out which is either compatible with presentism or intrinsically affirms it and explains the universe and time better than the theories of reletivity.

As for greg boyd's contrabution, does this arguement come from his book God of the possible? If so, I read a thread at his website where he said that after talking to some physicists who disagreed with him, he came to a better understanding that he thought was more compatible (and I believe that the physicists didn't disagree with whom he was speaking to). But don't ask me what that is.

RunnerOnAir
October 11th, 2002, 11:37 AM
<You're assuming that the special theory of relativity is accurate which is an assumption I do not share and the last I heard, scientists are either in the process of ditching or have ditched this theory in search of a better one.>
Any coherent physicist knows that STR is as much proven as the fact that the earth isn't flat. And yes, there are people who argue that.

<0h yeah, where in the world do you get the idear that the Bible teaches that God is timeless? There aren;t any verses taht would give any such implication, so enlighten us as to what you have in mind.>

He He, well, You asked for it :)

In light of Scripture, the timelessness of God is clear from numerous verses, and a few will be considered. The first is Psalm 90:4 (NJKV): “For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past.”—God’s view of time is much different than ours. Not only does he see a thousand years as a day but he “inhabits eternity” (Is. 57:15) , which implies that God’s dwelling place is beyond time. In addition, Jesus states that “Before Abraham was I AM.” Jesus affirmation of his deity implies His presence now before Abraham. Jesus also states: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”
A straightforward reading must conclude that Jesus is both in heaven (inhabiting eternity) and on earth at the same time.

Concerning the death of Christ, the Scripture speaks of the “Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.” One must be careful, as many scholars have done, not to read into the passage—it does not say that God foreknew the death of Christ, it states that Christ was slain at the foundation of the world, a clear indication of God’s dwelling outside of sequence and time. These verses, along with many others, indicate God’s presence at events before (or after) they happen sequentially in our frame of reference, a clear indication that God is timeless. In addition, the question of the atonement becomes important. If God is inside of time then Christ could not have covered future sins at the cross, since He didn’t know what they would be and they hadn’t yet been committed.

Another Scriptural problem with a temporal God deals with the issue of God’s dominion, and open theism’s assertion of creation being a self-limitation of God, in which God chooses to limit His knowledge to the past and the present. When God limited himself, it implies that God has two modes of existence—a-temporal and temporal, or the unlimited and limited. I am quoting Michael Folin here: that “there is insufficient reason for describing the unlimited mode as anything other than the first term in the temporal series of the limited mode (since it has a temporal relation to the second term)—and thus God becomes wholly temporal.” Thus we have a God who was never really unlimited, as it was simply part of a sequence moving towards His limited mode. This idea directly contradicts the clear statements of Scripture describing God’s dominion and transcendence over all living things.

The other problem is that presentism implies a chaotic universe. Presentism, and God's supposed ignorance of the future, does not follow when considered in the light of physics and philosophy, —physicist Laplace correctly reasoned that omniscience of the present implies omniscience of the future and past in a deterministic universe. In support of this theory, Stannard argued “that the universe effectively is deterministic, as indeterminacies at the quantum-mechanical level do not persist to the macroscopic level of observation.” In addition, Scripture seems to clearly support an ordered universe. One example is Colossians 1:17. Commenting on the phrase, “by Him all things consist,” Albert Barnes writes: “The meaning is, that they are kept in the present state; their existence, order, and arrangement are continued by his power. If unsupported by him, they would fall into disorder, or sink back to nothing.” If the universe is in fact effectively deterministic (whether soft or hard determinism) and ordered (rather than chaotic), and God has perfect knowledge of the present, He must also have perfect knowledge of the past and future. An important point to note is that the idea of a chaotic universe is grounded in naturalistic assumptions, and has been developed into a full blown philosophy via process theology.

1013
October 11th, 2002, 02:33 PM
“For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past.”—God’s view of time is much different than ours.

so what if it is? that doesn't mean he isn't an enduring presentist being.

what does it mean that to God a thousand years is as a day and vice versa. Maybe he has existed for an infinite amount of time so that explains why from his perspective, a thousand years is as a day. And perhaps his ability to accomplish anything possible in a moment and his ability to grasp an infinite amount of details is why from his perspective, a day is as a thousand years.


Not only does he see a thousand years as a day but he “inhabits eternity” (Is. 57:15) , which implies that God’s dwelling place is beyond time.

maybe that means that he's just lived an infinite amount of time and will live for that long. in theology, eternity means a tenseless view of time. That doesn't mean that that's what isaiah had in mind.


In addition, Jesus states that “Before Abraham was I AM.” Jesus affirmation of his deity implies His presence now before Abraham.

that understanding of the verse is compatible, but is it necessary. The interesting grammer of this could mean that a "now" before abraham still exists for God to inhabit, or he is just identifying himself with the name of God Yahweh.


Concerning the death of Christ, the Scripture speaks of the “Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.”

Look at luke 11:50. From the foundation doesn't mean precisely at the beginning or before the beginning of creation.

50Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary.

No one believes that this slaying was literal and many believe it to be symbolic of the plan to sacrifice Christ for our sins. Thus from the foundation, just after adam and eve sinned, was the lamb slain.

Furthermore, it is not clear that it was the slaying of the lamb that was from the foundation. Another possible translation (as the NASB has it) is that it was the names that was written from the foundation. that is consistent with Rev. 17:8.


One must be careful, as many scholars have done, not to read into the passage—it does not say that God foreknew the death of Christ, it states that Christ was slain at the foundation of the world, a clear indication of God’s dwelling outside of sequence and time.

that they don't hold this doesn't mean that they read it into the passage nor that they haven't been careful. scripture communicates through metaphore and idiom.


Another Scriptural problem with a temporal God deals with the issue of God’s dominion, and open theism’s assertion of creation being a self-limitation of God, in which God chooses to limit His knowledge to the past and the present.

Did God place himself in time or is he by nature of being a person temporal experiencing things in sequence? The former is not strictly an open theist position either as Bill Craig holds this position. And very few open theists hold that God limited his knowledge. Most open theists hold that God knows the universe past present and future exhaustively. God knows the future as open because it is open. Not because he made it closed and settled but decided to limit his knowledge about what was settled. He knows all of the possibilities that exist (though Jaltus may disagree with me holding that this is last detail on possibilities is a Greg boyd exclusive. I think he's wrong but I suppose I could be wrong on that).


This idea directly contradicts the clear statements of Scripture describing God’s dominion and transcendence over all living things.

temporal sequence is alive?


The other problem is that presentism implies a chaotic universe. Presentism, and God's supposed ignorance of the future, does not follow when considered in the light of physics and philosophy, —physicist Laplace correctly reasoned that omniscience of the present implies omniscience of the future and past in a deterministic universe.

that is correct. In a deterministic universe, such is the case. Not so in a universe were there are self determining (libertarian free) creatures.


In support of this theory, Stannard argued “that the universe effectively is deterministic, as indeterminacies at the quantum-mechanical level do not persist to the macroscopic level of observation.”

it is not clear that human behavior yeilds to determinism. perhaps it does when considering lots of people (like considering lots of molecules) but that doesn't mean that individuals are determined.


In addition, Scripture seems to clearly support an ordered universe. One example is Colossians 1:17. Commenting on the phrase, “by Him all things consist,” Albert Barnes writes:

Peter Van Inwagen wrote a brilliant essay where such is not the case that because God sustains all, he determins all. He shows that God may give causal powers to a creature to do one of several things in one situation. thus it is self determining without God's specific Guidence, yet he sustains it.

then again he may just be keeping the laws of physics going thus all are consiting by him. there again determinism is shown to be unnecessary.


If the universe is in fact effectively deterministic (whether soft or hard determinism) and ordered (rather than chaotic)

indeterminism doesn't necessarily yeild to chaos. We oder things all the time without exhaustively controlling every detail. technically, the math of chaos is deterministic (so I've been told).



An important point to note is that the idea of a chaotic universe is grounded in naturalistic assumptions, and has been developed into a full blown philosophy via process theology.

belief in a universe with undetermined aspects is as old as belief in free will.



ps. Jaltus, see, here's a chap who draws the connection between timelessness and determinism. And by the way, as a moderator, I get to make one ad hominem argument a week that everyone has to recognize as valid. THis one's it, so I win. Huzzah to me.

Jaltus
October 11th, 2002, 03:06 PM
Again, it is NOT STR that is in conflict with presentism, it is Minkowskian space-time.

every moment that one twinn (in the twinns' paradox) experiences can be coincided with a moment in the other twinn's experience just as you can match up every one of the infinite points in two different lines of differing lengths. This is the fallacy of equivocation, giving moment 2 different definitions:

every moment (1) that one twin experiences can be coincided with a moment (2) in the other twin's experience

Moment (1) CANNOT EQUAL moment (2), or else there would be no paradox. Thus, you have two different meanings of moment. Substitute the word "second" for "moment" and you will clearly see what I mean.

Therefore, it is an invalid argument.

1013
October 11th, 2002, 03:18 PM
Again, it is NOT STR that is in conflict with presentism, it is Minkowskian space-time.

you might as well be spriken the doitch. but I'll take your word for it as I've never spoken with any physicist other than yourself on minkowskian space-time.


Moment (1) CANNOT EQUAL moment (2), or else there would be no paradox.

I thought the twinn's paradox was just the technical name of the example. I had no interest in demonstrating a paradox.

also, when I say moment, I am speaking of a length of time comparable to a the lenght of a point on a line. it is infinitesmally small. and every point on a two foot line can coincide with every point on a two inch line.


Substitute the word "second" for "moment" and you will clearly see what I mean.

seconds aren't infinitessemally small.

Jaltus
October 11th, 2002, 03:31 PM
Neither are moments. There is no such thing as a "point" in time unless you are stopping all motion. The entire thrust of the twin paradox is that there is no way to reduce the numbers such that they match. Let me put it this way:

Blah is the smallest unit of time ever conceived.

every blah that one twin experiences can be coincided with a blah in the other twin's experience

This in fact CANNOT be true unless one of them doubles up on blahs in order to connect them.

You see, even your example about a two foot line vs. a two inch line does not wrk, for a point technically takes up NO SPACE. There is no such thing as a point that is a measurement. you are trying to say that ther is something called a blah that has NO DIMENSION and yet still, when added together, make up time! That is IMPOSSIBLE! If I added together 100 points, I would still have NOTHING, for points have no dimensions. So if I add up 100 blahs, I either have nothing (assuming they have no dimension) or else I have a measurement of 1200 blahs. If a blah actually measures time, then a blah is some precise fraction of a second, which means that one twin experiences more blahs than the other, making your point still not work.

Does that make sense?

1013
October 11th, 2002, 04:06 PM
Neither are moments. There is no such thing as a "point" in time unless you are stopping all motion.

moment, temporal slice, whatever you want to call it. I don't see why we can't speak of a point in time like we can a point on a line. I don't see how the innability to stop all motion causes us difficulty in speaking of moments as an ininitely small slice of time in the manner that a point is of a line is relevent to our conception of this for the purpose of understanding presentism.


There is no such thing as a point that is a measurement. you are trying to say that ther is something called a blah that has NO DIMENSION and yet still, when added together, make up time!

what is a line? an infinite series of points that are connected. of course it is not a measurement. I'm making measurement irrelevent to the issue of presentism.

a plane isn't a measurement either, yet we could say that there are an infinite number of plans in a 3 dimensional object.

every line segment has a halfway mark. you can divide a line in any way you like. any division of one line can have a corresponding division in another line. 3 qurters of an inch can correspond to 3 qurters of a mile. 1 billionth of an inch can correspond to one billionth of a mile. I don't see why we can't do the same with time. if we can, then it is reasonable that every moment the twinns live is in the same present as the present of the other and those presents correspond in there time lines.


If I added together 100 points, I would still have NOTHING, for points have no dimensions.

then what does have a dimension. in a four dimensional universe, a 100 3 dimensional "planes" add up to nothing. so what are we then?


which means that one twin experiences more blahs than the other, making your point still not work.

of course one twinn will experience more time than another. however if you divide each twinns experience of time by infinity, both of the experience an equal amount of those divisions. as long as we can do this, it is simple to see how str does not threaten presentism (Which I know you said is not the problem, but then what is your point in challenging what I said of the twinns? If that is Minkowski... and not str (not strictly str) then I don't see what the problem with the Minkowskian picture is)

jobeth
October 13th, 2002, 08:58 AM
I think the biggest problem with the notion that events are eternal with God, is that it eliminates the possibility of causal relationships.
If the future already actually exists, then no event can be said to be subsequent to or dependent upon any prior event. Rather, it would mean that all events exist independently of one another.

Singularities never obtain in the real world.

And nothing can be singularly known.

Rather, we know things in 3 ways.
The law of consensus - Observe and verify (we obtain consensus of the data).
The law of non-contradiction - Experiment and reproduce (we demonstrate consistency with results).
The law of causal relationships - Deconstruct and Model (we discover agency of phenomena).

Any theory that does not comply with these 3 Laws, (consensus, consistency, and contingency) can be said to false with respect to Reality and what actually obtains. The goal of falsification is to discover what does and does not actually obtain.

Mathematical and computer models are helpful to us in discovering what actually obtains in that they conform with these laws in the abstract, without our having to deconstruct and model the real universe, which in any case is impossible.

It is a common misconception that Georg Cantor proved that infinities actually exist. They don't. Cantor's diagonal method only works for series that have a sum (countable infinities).
The problem comes not because we know that infinities never terminate. Everyone recognizes that infinites do not terminate. But where the sum of infinities is proved a fallacy is in the fact that Infinities also never begin!

To begin counting an infinity is biased reasoning, because it assumes that there is a point where you can begin counting, which is impossible by the definition of an infinity.

Cantor's proof that the number of subsets of an infinite set exceeds the number of members of the set falls apart because it is based on an impredicative definition. (By definition, a property is impredicative if it applies to itself). (taken from "Mathematical Fallacies and Paradoxes" by Bryan Bunch)

Avoiding impredicative definitions would eliminate these kinds of fallacies. But, I assume that would also eliminate a lot of fun for mathemeticians and philosophers, scientists and theologians. While it is interesting to contemplate these paradoxes, I suggest we avoid them when striving to discover and arrive at what actually obtains.

That is why I reject the notion that the future already exists as a special frame of reference for any knower, in agreement on this point, with the OV'ers.

We know that God's referring to Christ having died before the foundation of the world is referring to His death as being logically prior to God's decision to create the world as it is. Without the certainty of Christ paying the penalty for the sins of the whole world, God would not have created the world as it is. Yet Christ's actual death was chronologically subsequent to the creation of the world.

(In the same way that an artist's conception of his work is logically prior to the finished product, while the finished product is chronologically subsequent to his having produced what he had previously conceived.)

To abandon causal relationship is to depart from reality and what actually obtains. And having abandoned causal relationships as necessary will lead to all sorts of fallacies and paradoxes which we should want to avoid in our pursuit of truth. Einstein's reservations with Minowski space-time and time travel, I believe, came from his conviction that the events in the world never occur without causal relationships.

Let us stick to the old axiom that "All events have a cause", and we will not err in the way that Minowski and others have done in departing from reality and imagining that singularities actually obtain when they clearly cannot by definition.

RunnerOnAir
October 14th, 2002, 12:10 PM
Hey everyone,
Thanks for the comments. I was in Philadelphia at a debate tournament debating poverty policy, but I am back now to debate theology :)...so I have not ignored anything you have written, and will be looking at it here soon...

1013
October 14th, 2002, 05:30 PM
na ah! your stumped. Admit it. I'm the winner. Hurray for me.

RunnerOnAir
October 14th, 2002, 06:10 PM
<na ah! your stumped. Admit it. I'm the winner. Hurray for me.>

Lol, hey, hey, I was busy beating up on people's "mandatory literacy education for those under the poverty line" and "allow immigrants immediate welfare" :)

NATEDOG
October 14th, 2002, 09:42 PM
"It is hard think straight when you're tired."

:crackup: True.

1013
October 14th, 2002, 10:40 PM
look runner, you just can't stop me when I'm wallowing in self-congratulatory zeal. so just accept defeat gracefully.

RunnerOnAir
October 15th, 2002, 09:10 PM
<No one believes that this slaying was literal and many believe it to be symbolic of the plan to sacrifice Christ for our sins. Thus from the foundation, just after adam and eve sinned, was the lamb slain.>

No one? Weren't Abel and Zechariah martyred? It seems literal to me.

Quote
"Furthermore, it is not clear that it was the slaying of the lamb that was from the foundation. Another possible translation (as the NASB has it) is that it was the names that was written from the foundation. that is consistent with Rev. 17:8."

Hmm, I am not sure about that, it seems like a stretch but I would have to look at closer.

Quote:
"Did God place himself in time or is he by nature of being a person temporal experiencing things in sequence? The former is not strictly an open theist position either as Bill Craig holds this position. And very few open theists hold that God limited his knowledge. Most open theists hold that God knows the universe past present and future exhaustively. God knows the future as open because it is open."

Interesting question. However, I would ask you a question. If God created the world, knowing that the future would be open in this world, in a sense didn't He limit his knowledge by allowing for something He couldn't know? And your second point essentially runs into major philosophical arguments, waters I will not tread at this time:)

"Peter Van Inwagen wrote a brilliant essay where such is not the case that because God sustains all, he determins all. He shows that God may give causal powers to a creature to do one of several things in one situation. thus it is self determining without God's specific Guidence, yet he sustains it."

Interesting, I am not sure about this exactly. An interesting question. I think what this deals with is the idea that if God knows the present perfectly, then things in the present point exactly to what the future will be...I have to think on this one :)

"indeterminism doesn't necessarily yeild to chaos. We oder things all the time without exhaustively controlling every detail. technically, the math of chaos is deterministic (so I've been told)."

But can it be truly ordered if it is not determined? If it is not determined in some way then what can prevent at least some things from happening that messs up the order?

"belief in a universe with undetermined aspects is as old as belief in free will."

True...it is interesting b/c in some ways it seems that evolution affirms a determined, naturalistic universe, but almost determined by the forces of chance and evolution, but yet everything seems totally chaotic, then process theology adds God into the picture and says God orders the chaos...

Honestly, I don't know enough about all these areas to really formulate my opinion strongly, but I figure its helpful to walk through and discuss and get my ideas down...

1013
October 16th, 2002, 12:44 AM
<No one believes that this slaying was literal and many believe it to be symbolic of the plan to sacrifice Christ for our sins. Thus from the foundation, just after adam and eve sinned, was the lamb slain.>

No one? Weren't Abel and Zechariah martyred? It seems literal to me.

relevence?

we are speaking of the slaying of the lamb in rev 13. I don't see what bearing abel and zechariah have here.


Hmm, I am not sure about that, it seems like a stretch but I would have to look at closer.


as I said, look in the nasb. the experts behind that translation don't think this is a stretch. there is an ambiguity in the greek that that translation takes the other way.


If God created the world, knowing that the future would be open in this world, in a sense didn't He limit his knowledge by allowing for something He couldn't know?

if God created a certain future, doesn't he limit his knowledge to the precise details of what he can know of that future? The limit of knowledge is truth. What is the world like. If God "knows" something about the world that isn't true of the world, transgressing those limits, he doesn't really have knowledge. So the question isn't about wether God's knowledge is complete or limited. The question is "what is the world like?" If it's open, ie filled with possibilities, then a God with unlimited knowledge of that world will know that the future is open.


But can it be truly ordered if it is not determined? If it is not determined in some way then what can prevent at least some things from happening that messs up the order?

the world is determined in that it is ordered. It just isn't determined exhaustively. Thus we do not have determinism. Indeterminism is not the total lack of determined aspects and details. It is merely the negation that everything is determined. and that which is undetermined isn't merely senseless chaos. As you've already pointed out, a radically indeterminate picture given to us by quantum mechanics yeilds to determism at the macro level. and that picture as a whole really can't be called determinism as determinism is the total determination of all of the future from the beginning or the eternal past. Furthermore, some of the indeterminate features of the world will still recieve order. We make determinations in time. thus details that weren't determined are set in order by rational minds (though sometimes they are determined irrationally).


True...it is interesting b/c in some ways it seems that evolution affirms a determined, naturalistic universe, but almost determined by the forces of chance and evolution, but yet everything seems totally chaotic, then process theology adds God into the picture and says God orders the chaos...

well, in the grand scheme of things, you can still hold consistently hold to either determinism or indeterminism in an evolutionary frame. the difference is this. if a determinist who is an evolutionist uses the term "chance", he doesn't mean real metaphysical uncertainty but rather he uses the term in the sense that it is purposeless even though each detail and step and wiggle of an atom that contributes to this was determined at the big bang or in the eternal past before the big bang. The evolutionist who does not subscribe to determinism means that chance really is chance. If you were to take the universe and wind back the clock and set everything back a billion years ago, the deterministic evolutionist would say that everything would wind up exactly as it is today if time then proceeded to go forward. The indeterminist would say that much would most likely be different.

but I'm not an evolutionist so most of that makes little difference to me.


Honestly, I don't know enough about all these areas to really formulate my opinion strongly, but I figure its helpful to walk through and discuss and get my ideas down...

bueno. take your time.

geralduk
October 17th, 2002, 04:46 AM
Who can PLUMB THE DEPTHS of God.
Or find them out?

It seems much of this debate on this subject is trying to put God in a managable form that will allow man to still think he is greater or at least not realy SUBJECT to God.

Is it considered that God is both the CREATOR of time.
Who made Himself SUBJECT to it.
and showed that He was both MASTER in and out of time.

That the BIRTH,LIFE,DEATH,RESURECTION,GLORY and RETURN were and are all ACCORDING to the SCRIPTURES.
Showing that HE is God and MASTER of ALL.
and ALL things WORK according to HIS will.

Jaltus
October 17th, 2002, 08:47 AM
I'll get back to this tomorrow or later today.

1013
October 17th, 2002, 06:27 PM
It seems much of this debate on this subject is trying to put God in a managable form that will allow man to still think he is greater or at least not realy SUBJECT to God.

why should the knowledge of God be unmanagable or unreasonable. Nobody's denying that God is mysterious. But lets understand what we can understand.


Is it considered that God is both the CREATOR of time.
Who made Himself SUBJECT to it.
and showed that He was both MASTER in and out of time.

maybe he did create time. you couldn't prove it by scripture though. And maybe time is eternal because an eternal God is temporal thus making it nonsense to speak of God outside of time.

Jaltus
October 18th, 2002, 09:35 AM
1013,


moment, temporal slice, whatever you want to call it. I don't see why we can't speak of a point in time like we can a point on a line. I don't see how the innability to stop all motion causes us difficulty in speaking of moments as an ininitely small slice of time in the manner that a point is of a line is relevent to our conception of this for the purpose of understanding presentism.The problem is that a "slice" of time still has dimensionality, whereas a point in time does not. Having width or depth means that if you put some of them together, you start building something bigger. When you have points, if you put them together, you still only have a point for they have no width, height, or depth. A billion points are the same length (or whatever dimesnion you wish) as one point. A billions slices is bigger (in what ever dimension) than a single slice. do you see the difference yet?

My point (pardon the pun) is that there is no basic unit of time such that every one of that unit corresponds to another one of those units in the twin paradox unless they have no dimensionality, in which case both twins experience an infinite number of them. There are the same amount of points in a foot and in a centimeter. Why? Because both have an infinite amount. That means that a point is not in fact a measurement, it is only position. That is the difference.

what is a line? an infinite series of points that are connected. of course it is not a measurement. I'm making measurement irrelevent to the issue of presentism.But measurement is relevant to the issue at hand.

a plane isn't a measurement either, yet we could say that there are an infinite number of plans in a 3 dimensional object.True.

every line segment has a halfway mark. you can divide a line in any way you like. any division of one line can have a corresponding division in another line. 3 qurters of an inch can correspond to 3 qurters of a mile. 1 billionth of an inch can correspond to one billionth of a mile. I don't see why we can't do the same with time. if we can, then it is reasonable that every moment the twinns live is in the same present as the present of the other and those presents correspond in there time lines.Correspondance shows that there is still a difference. If an inch is set equal to a mile, we still know that the inch has less length than a mile does. In the twin paradox, the question is how can one experience more time than the other? There is correspondance of time, but there is not EQUALITY of time. One will always experience more seconds or nanoseconds or whatevers than the other. No matter how small of a unit you break it down to, as long as it has some dimensionality, one will always experience more than the other. There will never be a place where you can say they experienced the same amount of something. The obvious exception to this is "points in time," since both (and everyone else) experiences an infinite amount of "points of time" each and every second, since a "point of time" has not dimensions, it is only a specific instance, showing position on the "time graph," as it were.

The twins never experience the same amount of anything as long as that anything has dimensionality.


then what does have a dimension. in a four dimensional universe, a 100 3 dimensional "planes" add up to nothing. so what are we then?We are not planes. We are not 100 planes added together. We are actual four-dimensional objects. If you keep adding 0 to 0, you keep getting 0. It is not until you add 1 to 0 that you come up with something other than 0.


of course one twinn will experience more time than another. however if you divide each twinns experience of time by infinity, both of the experience an equal amount of those divisions. as long as we can do this, it is simple to see how str does not threaten presentism (Which I know you said is not the problem, but then what is your point in challenging what I said of the twinns? If that is Minkowski... and not str (not strictly str) then I don't see what the problem with the Minkowskian picture is)First off, you cannot divide infinity. It is an indivisable number (other than by itself or 0, either of which are points of singularity, meaning that what happen is undefinable). You cannot have an infinite number of measurements. Anything divided by infinity is zero. An infinite number of divisions means you have NOTHING LEFT. Then you are saying that you have equal amounts of nothing to compare, which is nonsensical (or a tautology). Presentism does not make sense because there is no way to show that the twins have blahs that correspond as long as the blahs have dimensionality.

1013
October 18th, 2002, 02:23 PM
That means that a point is not in fact a measurement, it is only position. That is the difference.

and all I'm suggesting is that there is only one temporal position at which all of actual reality takes place within.

so what if two people experience a different amount of duration. I really don't see why that matters as long as halfway through one's second can correspond to halfway through anothers minute, 22.58835 percent of the way through one's second corresponds to 22.58835 percent of the way through another's minute. and when do these correspond? In the present. Is there any incoherence in this description? I just can't concieve how one can be derived.


Correspondance shows that there is still a difference.

and what difference is that to presentism? that the correspondence can exist at all is all that is necessary for the coherence of presentism in a reletivistic universe.


No matter how small of a unit you break it down to, as long as it has some dimensionality, one will always experience more than the other. There will never be a place where you can say they experienced the same amount of something. The obvious exception to this is "points in time," since both (and everyone else) experiences an infinite amount of "points of time" each and every second, since a "point of time" has not dimensions, it is only a specific instance, showing position on the "time graph," as it were

Isn't that what I've been saying?

however if you divide each twinns experience of time by infinity, both of the experience an equal amount of those divisions.


An infinite number of divisions means you have NOTHING LEFT. Then you are saying that you have equal amounts of nothing to compare, which is nonsensical (or a tautology).

It doesn't seem incoherent to speak of a plane within a four dimensional space.


Presentism does not make sense because there is no way to show that the twins have blahs that correspond as long as the blahs have dimensionality.

but you've just said that there can be an equal amount of points of time no matter what the length. there you go. and if we cannot speak of this because points are equal to zero, then we can't speak of points at all. but we can. they are mere "positions," not actual lengths, and presentism merely suggests that there is only one position in all of the temporal order of things that is real regardless of the differences in the rates of duration throughout the universe.

perhaps some analogies would help. if you had two pipes of water and selected a single point on both pipes, lining them up, and in one, lots of water ran through swiftly passing the point and in the other the water went slowly. that doesn't effect the fact that there is only one point to which both streams of water pass and that is like reality. Of course you may ask, well gee, we've got this quatifiable entity that runs at different rates through out the universe and your suggesting that it is only real at this one point? that would be a good observation, and perhaps you could say that there really is something there, but that does not necessarily indicate that on a metaphysical level that the present isn't the only truly inhabitable point of time (the most real or only real) and the future isn't maleable and the past isn't set in stone.

presentism just simply isn't about length of duration and different lengths experiencable aren't relevent.

perhaps you understand something about this that makes it difficult and perhaps an incoherent picture, but nothing you've said really communicates that to the laymen.

so are we talking about reletivity or minkowski. My college introductory level education of physics calls the twinns paradox reletivity. but you say it's problematic although you hold that str isn't problematic for presentism.