Summit Clock Experiment 2.0: Time is Absolute

Johnny

New member
Lighthouse said:
Oh great! my watch stopped! Now everybody else is moving so fast I can't see them!
Is that an argument or are you making a joke (some jokes are arguments). I'd like to know before I spend time responding.
 

Lon

Active member
Clete said:
Lonster,

I ask you again...

If you are not willing to reject a doctrine on rational grounds then on what grounds are you willing to reject it?

Or put another way...

Is any of your doctrine falsifiable and if so, on what grounds?

I keep asking because we are at an impasse until this question is resolved. You've already shown with your own words that you don't really know whether what you believe it true or not when you said this...

"If I were to accept that God is constrained to time, because He cannot exist outside of it, I'm saying that it is a concept that is proved on a metaphysical plane. My mind is already asking if it could be an incorrect perception of time that leads to this dichotomy. In other words, is it possible that this too could be the 'illogical question?'"​

How would you ever hope to resolve the mystery if you accept a priori that man cannot think clearly?

The dichotomy is flawed, by the way, but not in the way I think you might suspect. The error comes from your still ingrained notion of time being a thing instead of an idea. You cannot live outside of an idea nor can you be constrained within it. Time does not exist and thus God neither exists outside of it nor is He constrained by it. Time is not a place or a location, it's just a concept, nothing more.

Resting in Him,
Clete

#1) This is somewhat incorrect as well. One truth 1 meets truth 2 and they are contradictory then: one of the truths are incorrect or one of the truths are perceived as incorrect. As a thinker and a theologian, I would want to ask way more questions and I see this as a good thing, but 'for you' it could become 'exasperating' because you already see the answer to this dilemma for you. This should make it pretty clear about the ground for provability: lots of questions, my logic is not so shallow as to concede an illogic for the very next questions are: why must this be true? Is his perception correct? Is his question meaningful? Is his conclusion correct? and so forth.

#2)
"If I were to accept that God is constrained to time, because He cannot exist outside of it, I'm saying that it is a concept that is proved on a metaphysical plane. My mind is already asking if it could be an incorrect perception of time that leads to this dichotomy. In other words, is it possible that this too could be the 'illogical question?'"​
Aha, this is important: I see logic as important because God is absolutely logical. HOWEVER, this does not make MY logic a pinacle importance. I would say simply this: Christ is the imperative, NOT logic. "To Him who is able to keep you!" How do I know if I am kept in logic? Christ. Logic is important for understanding and helps us walk through the eggshells of broken doctrine to identify false teaching (God does put emphasis on our logic to be certain). I am completely moved by logic in this sense, but it is God who brings this and does this. Our arguments are terrific or I wouldn't be here, but I'd ask that you pray with me for the Holy Spirit to validate our thinking. Only He is the true source of any truth. I am quite easily swayed in logic where His logic is concerned, but I would definitely want to see this clearly from Him. Does that work?

I like the last idea here, but science is in disagreement still even understanding these ideas. What this means for me, is that either they are wrong, or we. IBecause it is so hot in debate, it is very difficult at this time, for me to ascertain God's truth concerning time, which is exactly why I'm in this discussion. I would like to discern as much of this for its real truth as God will enable us to understand it. When I say 'we' perhaps it is solved for you, but I think the doubts and concerns regarding it from my perspective will bring further enlightenment, because my doubts are not superficial, shallow or in denial.
 
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Lon

Active member
A question of Salvation

A question of Salvation

stipe said:
Your words:

I'm going to ask Clete for help here because I believe the misunderstanding needs correcting desperately. Clete: Are we talking about our Salvation in any way, shape, or form here?

And in case it is dubious on my part: Have I made a comment that you can see that would lead Stipe to this conclusion? If so, what was it? This needs serious clarity.
 

Clete

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Lonster said:
I'm going to ask Clete for help here because I believe the misunderstanding needs correcting desperately. Clete: Are we talking about our Salvation in any way, shape, or form here?

And in case it is dubious on my part: Have I made a comment that you can see that would lead Stipe to this conclusion? If so, what was it? This needs serious clarity.
Well I think I see Stipe's point. You made the comment earlier about how the Open View is a very philosophically rigorous doctrine and so surmised that there would be some large percentage of our potential audience that would be left behind because of a lack of ability or desire to delve into such philosophic heavy lifting and you then asked how we planned to reach such people with the truth.

Stipe might be stretching a little bit to think that you must be discussing salvation rather than the "deeper truths" of the gospel but it's not that big of a stretch given the way you put the question. When you talk about "reaching people with the truth" it sort of comes off as though you are referring to reaching lost people with the truth of the gospel.

For the record, the answer is no, we are not discussing salvation but rather things which I would call the "deeper truths" for want of a better, less lofty sounding term.

Resting in Him,
Clete
 

bob b

Science Lover
LIFETIME MEMBER
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Lonster said:
Are we talking about our Salvation in any way, shape, or form here?
.

If I might chime in here, my opinion would be that anything that causes people to doubt that scripture is telling the truth could potentially affect Salvation.

Where does doubt about scripture stop? Or might it eventually cause some to doubt that Jesus is God, so that His atoning sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to pay the debt for all the sins of all humanity for all time?
 

Clete

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Lonster said:
#1) This is somewhat incorrect as well. One truth 1 meets truth 2 and they are contradictory then: one of the truths are incorrect or one of the truths are perceived as incorrect. As a thinker and a theologian, I would want to ask way more questions and I see this as a good thing, but 'for you' it could become 'exasperating' because you already see the answer to this dilemma for you. This should make it pretty clear about the ground for provability: lots of questions, my logic is not so shallow as to concede an illogic for the very next questions are: why must this be true? Is his perception correct? Is his question meaningful? Is his conclusion correct? and so forth.
Lonster, I don't think you understand what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about someone's mere opinion about whether truths 1 & 2 are contradictory. What I'm talking about is when they are in fact contradictory.
Now the question you should be asking right now is, "How do we know for certain that truths 1 & 2 are in fact contradictory?" or "How do we tell the difference between the factual truth and our mere opinion?" Such questions strike at the very heart of the Christian worldview because we claim to have access to ultimate truths which concern issues like the existence of God and salvation and eternity and if we aren't any better equipped to know for certain that we are right than the atheist is, then in what way is our worldview superior to theirs? The Reformed theologian really does unwittingly throw the baby out with the bath water when they accept antinomy and thereby reject a rational worldview. They forfeit the only ground they have from which to mount a successful fight against the enemy. They disarmed themselves before the fight ever begins.

#2)
"If I were to accept that God is constrained to time, because He cannot exist outside of it, I'm saying that it is a concept that is proved on a metaphysical plane. My mind is already asking if it could be an incorrect perception of time that leads to this dichotomy. In other words, is it possible that this too could be the 'illogical question?'"​
Aha, this is important: I see logic as important because God is absolutely logical. HOWEVER, this does not make MY logic a pinnacle importance. I would say simply this: Christ is the imperative, NOT logic. "To Him who is able to keep you!" How do I know if I am kept in logic? Christ. Logic is important for understanding and helps us walk through the eggshells of broken doctrine to identify false teaching (God does put emphasis on our logic to be certain). I am completely moved by logic in this sense, but it is God who brings this and does this. Our arguments are terrific or I wouldn't be here, but I'd ask that you pray with me for the Holy Spirit to validate our thinking. Only He is the true source of any truth. I am quite easily swayed in logic where His logic is concerned, but I would definitely want to see this clearly from Him. Does that work?
Not really no, it doesn't. I mean it sort of does but not in the way you are thinking. This statement of yours is one of those oddball statements that can seemingly only happen within Christian circles. What you've said is true but what you meant is not. Let me explain.

I've highlighted what seems to me to be the central point of the above paragraph where you said, "Christ is the imperative, NOT logic." When I read that sentence it rings in my ear as though you said something like, "Water is necessary for life, not H2O." In other words, you're right Christ is the imperative but, as I have shown previously, Christ IS Logic! (John 1:1-17) You might as well have just said, "Christ is the imperative not Love!" The sentence makes no sense in light of what the Bible comes right out and blatantly says.

I like the last idea here, but science is in disagreement still even understanding these ideas. What this means for me, is that either they are wrong, or we. IBecause it is so hot in debate, it is very difficult at this time, for me to ascertain God's truth concerning time, which is exactly why I'm in this discussion. I would like to discern as much of this for its real truth as God will enable us to understand it. When I say 'we' perhaps it is solved for you, but I think the doubts and concerns regarding it from my perspective will bring further enlightenment, because my doubts are not superficial, shallow or in denial.
I have no problem with your not having yet been convinced. Please understand that. It's just that I think your major hurtle here isn't so much an understanding of the philosophical issues or the science but rather your own ability to trust your ability to think. You like to point out verses of Scripture that you take to mean that we can't think clearly when all they really mean is that we don't understand fully; that there is a whole lot more to know than we can imagine. I recommend that instead of focusing on verses that artifically denigrate man to a position lower than he is actually in and focus instead on verses like Psalms 32:9 & 49:3, Proverbs 1:1-7, John 1, I Corinthians 2:16, Eph 5:17, Col. 1:9 & 2:2, Hebrews 11:1-3 and of course many others (indeed the entire book of Proverbs).

And let me close with one additional observation that I don't think you've considered.
You've talked several times now about about how your logic is imperfect and flawed because of sin and likened it to seeing through a glass darkly, etc. And you use this premise to say basically that we cannot trust our own ability to use logic. But hasn't it ever occurred to you that you came to that conclusion via the use of logic? If your use of logic brings you to the conclusion that your use of logic is systemically flawed then how do you know that this conclusion is correct? Do you see how your position is self-defeating? Without logic, we can't know anything, including the fact that we can't know anything! Every time you attempt to argue against the trustworthiness of logic, you have to use logic to do it! That's irrational in the extreme!

Resting in Him,
Clete
 

Lon

Active member
I had originally repeated in address here what I said to Bob's statement so needed to remove one or the other and I haven't figured out how to actually remove it altogether.
 
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Lon

Active member
bob b said:
If I might chime in here, my opinion would be that anything that causes people to doubt that scripture is telling the truth could potentially affect Salvation.

Where does doubt about scripture stop? Or might it eventually cause some to doubt that Jesus is God, so that His atoning sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to pay the debt for all the sins of all humanity for all time?
Bob asked this and I think it helps me to organize my dishevling into a bit of coherence:
Yes, if you understand my statements this way you are correct, and I've stated my position in an over-arching manner in unclarity. It is rather on this particular issue of omniscience and God's relativity to time, or rather better said, the philosophical metaphysical discussions that lead me to be okay with the perplexing and irrational contexts. For basic doctrines and truths I am quite confident in logic for it is from Christ. It is only when discussing with man, truths that are cloudy that I would question my logic or the logic of another and see room for error.

I would liken this to higher math (one area of applied logic). The higher we get in math, the more room for error. Basic math? No question, easy. Imperative truth. Algebra: More difficult but still based on solid truth, but more of the heretics (D and F students) start getting answers wrong. Calculus: Severe drop-out, but clearly we can still discern truth. Once we get to "mathematical analysis and functional analysis" and traverse into string theory it gets complicated. It isn't that truth is not there, but that logic starts having a hard time grasping it and you start getting credit for partial answers so you don't flunk out. We don't even listen to the ones who flunked out of 'basic' math and 'algebra' about higher math because if they couldn't understand basic math there is no way they can comment on Geometry and Calculus, and they think theorems and postulates aren't even mathematical terms. In theology these are the heretics and false teachers.

Back to a glass darkly: I have no problem with 'simple, basic, or other solid' doctrines of faith and logical belief held therein. We are totally on the same page and I don't question my logic whatsoever. No question: If you try to prove to any of us that Salvation can be found anywhere but in Christ we are going to have a serious logic problem dicussion with that heretic (2+2=10). If you say that the trinity is a false doctrine we are all going to have to give a logical dismiss and see it as their problem, not ours (a+5=10; a=4). Once we say however that God exists outside of time or does not exist outside of time we are becoming more speculative and frankly, I've memorized a theorem and would have to go back quite a ways to see why my theorem would be wrong. Some of my theorems are wrong, but not on the 'basic math/algebraic" level. I also hold that most of my theorems are correct logically so I would say that I am not altogether illogical. The only thing I am trying to say is that the higher we go in extrapolations from scripture (it is illogical for God to be outside of time), the less likely I will be able to logically aquiesce (and I would rather say that I am illogical than say you are 'stupid' at that point. 1) because I have a very high view of other believers in Christ whether they agree with me or not. We agree on the 'basic math and algebra' (basic doctrine) implicitly 2) because three fingers always point back which allows me to have an honest pause over how logical I am on the 'higher math/logic' of it 3) because I want to prepare myself for what Christ is preparing for a logic lesson. If I don't concede that my logic has an ability to be faulty I'll just argue. I think this is actually anti-intellectual, anti-logical, and not very gracious to boot. In order to appreciate higher math, you have to be able to see your mistakes and admit them or you learn nothing, albeit, once you get to higher math those mistakes should be far and few between.

If God is constrained to our time, I do not see the truth of it. My logical structure is built upon theorems and postulates that I've used to solve other troubling logical problems over years and they work very well. I would necessarily have to become very illogical to reshuffle and analyze those postulates and theorems (at least through a shuffling process restructuring process).

Here at last is the position: I see a proposition that is not as clear or as truthful as you are proposing (for me). I've read over the posts here and other places to get clarity on this subject and what I am finding is that it is by no means clear and it is by no means agreed upon. It would be very easy to simply walk away and say "My views work very well for me, since there is much debate over this I'm not going to worry about it. I'm just going to keep what works for me here and believe they are wrong."

My only problem is that I love God's people. If they do not agree with me and I believe we have the same faith, I want to know "why?" I want to see their side to at least appreciate it. There are plenty of denominations and we all disagree on the "higher math." Or as you put it "The Deeper Truths" for lack of a better word. My stance is simply to say "I might not understand your view here at all. It may be illogical or I may be illogical on this perspective but I'd like for us to become as logical together as we can."
 
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Clete

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Lonster,

I'm stunned! I am almost unable to believe what I've just read!

Why can't other Calvinists be this gracious and this intellectually honest?!

You are never allowed to leave TOL as long as you keep this attitude!

I just hope that you don't turn this higher math analogy into a hidey-hole that you jump into every time you run into a problem that you can't see your way around. I would hope that you would agree with me that a theology which only rarely resorts to this sort of "I don't get it - for now" position is superior to one that seems to hide out there all the time.

Resting in Him,
Clete
 

Lon

Active member
Clete said:
Lonster,

I'm stunned! I am almost unable to believe what I've just read!

Why can't other Calvinists be this gracious and this intellectually honest?!

You are never allowed to leave TOL as long as you keep this attitude!

I just hope that you don't turn this higher math analogy into a hidey-hole that you jump into every time you run into a problem that you can't see your way around. I would hope that you would agree with me that a theology which only rarely resorts to this sort of "I don't get it - for now" position is superior to one that seems to hide out there all the time.

Resting in Him,
Clete

No, but when it does present itself as difficult for me to grasp, I've got to see it as a different level because it first assaults my logical sensibility. At that point I'm like "What am I gonna do here? Am I really going to chuck my reformed doctrine for this? I kind of love this doctrine, but if he is right or can prove he is right, I'm gonna be in irrational mode for awhile again." In other words, I'm totally open to what God would correct in my life, the problem is that when we look at each other's doctrinal stance and go "How can this guy honestly believe this? It just doesn't make any sense." After that, I bring my other logic in to play. "This guy holds in salvation by grace and faith in Christ, perseverance, not just emotional love but commitment to Jesus. And he honors the God of the Bible even if I see some of his theology as whack."
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
Lonster said:
No, but when it does present itself as difficult for me to grasp, I've got to see it as a different level because it first assaults my logical sensibility. At that point I'm like "What am I gonna do here? Am I really going to chuck my reformed doctrine for this? I kind of love this doctrine, but if he is right or can prove he is right in gonna be in irrational mode for awhile again." In other words, I'm totally open to what God would correct in my life, the problem is that when we look at each other's doctrinal stance and go "How can this guy honestly believe this? It just doesn't make any sense." After that, I bring my other logic in to play. "This guy holds in salvation by grace, perseverance, not just emotional love but commitment to Jesus. And he honors the God of the Bible even if I see some of his theology as whack."
Wow.... I am really impressed by your humble attitude and thoughtful posts. :up:
 

Lon

Active member
Let me ask a few tracer questions from a few different angles that will help me understand 1) if time is escapable 2) if I can get perspective on your notion to understand it's logic.


First of all, is time escapable? I read a little of the discussion about the science of time travel into the future and the past. I do not understand the complications of the science and theory of such a proposition but my mind does not dismiss the idea, which would tell me there are possibilities at least in the mind for such.

I was thinking specifically of dreaming. I sometime relive a dream of a past experience and often used to have 'recurring dreams.' Dreams are vivid and real and here is the first question: Do we transcend time in our sleep? It seems to me that we are on a different dimension of consciousness and that the time is different because I am dreaming in real-time, but my dream is happening in another time.

Next, I want to get perspective on your idea that nothing exists outside of time.
Let's use Peter Boyle for this discussion. Peter, the actor who played Raymond's father Frank on "Everybody Loves Raymond" recently died. We know he existed in the past. Peter is no longer here with us. If I can grasp your logic here that nothing exists outside of time, would we say Peter Boyle no longer exists? My proposal would be that he does exist presently but in an altered state. For this discussion, I'm trying to grasp the increments that allow me to grasp time or eternity past so that I can compare and analyze future consideration. It is when we get to future events that my logic begins having a difficulty with the statement "Nothing exists outside of time." If you can state this concept in a way that constrains it to the present and past for consideration, it will help me analyze the truth of the statement that "nothing exists outside of time" for the future.

Here's the difficulty: Does the earth exist right now? (keep in mind your now will be different than my now, my now is in the past but it is my now, now). Did the earth exist in the past? Does the earth exist tomorrow? Answers: Yes/no/yes (yes it exists now, no/ it doesn't exist in "your"(my) now in the present but yes still your now now(present which is now your now now also, although it will be a new now when I read your response).
Does the earth exist in the past? Obviously. Now the tricky part: When you get this, the earth does exist in the future or you cannot read this. Rather I am progressing into the future when you are reading this in 'real-time' but it was written in the past (I'm not presently in your 'now' discussing this. I'm in your past discussing this, (haunting isn't it?)
No, my ghost of typing past will not pass through your screen and scare you, but I'm probably off somewhere eating breakfast lunch or dinner or playing with my kids. Have I somehow traversed time from my past (my now) and traversed into your future? I've at least intellectually done so (crossed a 3-d dimension). Though this future becomes rather 'predictability' in a sense, there are perceived ventures into the future for consideration. 1) I am anticipating an actual real discussion into the future 2) I am applying physical (light and representation from the screen) attributes that will traverse into a future state. Granted my typing is done in the past, but it is speaking to you in your future. Anticipation, in my mind, is an exercise (limited though it may be) into the future, in other words, my mind is able to traverse time while the thinking is done in the 'now.' This troubles my concept that "Nothing exists outside of the past or now."
I have no doubt that God exists in the future because He is eternal, the real question for me isn't a problem with logic then, it is a problem 1) with my understanding 2) the logic question or dilemma. It does not make sense to me that nothing exists in the future. In a way, I'm saying not only does God exist in the future, we exist in the future. Rather it is experience awareness that is constrained to time. Some of this appears to me to be semantics. I have no concept of "I do not exist tomorrow" but I would say logically "I do exist tomorrow."
 

Clete

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Lonster,

I had somehow missed your post. I will try to respond tomorrow but if I don't do so, please send me a reminder. I don't want to lose track of this thread.

(If the administration of this website would be so kind as to put a "Mark as Unread" tag somewhere on the User Control Panel, as I have suggested about 2,432,576 times, this sort of thing wouldn't happen.)

:chuckle:

Of course Knight knows I'm just teasing him but it really would be nice, wouldn't it?

Resting in Him,
Clete
 

Clete

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Lonster,

I'm way short on time (okay, not the best choice of words), umm, I'm extremely busy so I can only reply briefly.

"Can you escape time?" is conceptually the same as asking "Can you escape existence?"

The answer is no.

And all of existence is now and only now. The past and future do not exist because time is an idea not a thing or a place and thus things do not exists within the past or future.

I should have more later.

Resting in Him,
Clete
 

Clete

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Lonster,

Read through your post and look for instances where you mix tenses by referring to the past or future in the present tense. It is not that you exist tomorrow but that you will exist tomorrow. It's not that you exist in the past but that existed in the pasted.

See my point?

Resting in Him,
Clete
 
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