Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by RJM Corbet, Sep 25, 2018.
No, that's from my own collection. I did a whole series a while back using some of Aussie's shots of the Fiji Islands from our collaborative days.
1. I don't think saying "there is no time to God" is accurate, imo "God is not bound by time" or "God is outside of time" is better. I think the simplest way to think of time is as a line that's growing or a bubble expanding.. a wave whatever it is, it is in motion and being outside of it/independent from it, God sees it "growing".
2. Yes, I believe God knows what will happen whether you cross the street and He knows what will happen if you don't and in every other possible variation of your future.
3. It only contradicts it if you include the future as knowable.
4. I always viewed it as God covering His bases so you will not have any valid arguments on judgement day. If you never asked for Him to be in your life and He does anyway and then you end up in hell you could legitimately say "I may not have ended up here had you not interfered". It is also why I think an infinite worlds theory might be true.
Interesting. So God standing outside of time is able to view the outcome of every possible action. In the 'sum over all histories' a thrown ball explores every possible path in the universe to decide on the course (of least energy) that it actually chooses.
But the majority of possibilities cancel each other out, which makes it reasonably safe to predict the ball thrown with that force and that elevation in that direction will go to where it's thrown, instead of landing on the moon.
Although it might be hit by a sudden gust of wind, or something. Of course it's applied to the world of sub-atomic particles, not the macro universe.
Is the infinite worlds theory here as infinite other bubble universes seeding and appearing as our own did via the Big Bang?
All energy (whatever that is) and all the forces that govern energy came into being out of nothing from nowhere at the moment of the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. That is the moment time and space began. I'm sure you know. Others may not.
I prefer 'many worlds' because 'infinite worlds' leads to infinite monkeys on typewriters infinitely creating the complete works of Shakespeare by accident?
You are right, many worlds is better.
I'd say not. I remember walking with family and friends. Our twin daughters (then 3 or 4) ran off across a field towards the woods. Half way, they stopped and looked round. "A will come back," I said. "And B will run on," said my beloved. Which is just what happened. It wasn't prescience, really, just we know our kids.
If we do anything, we follow patterns. Even trail-blazing, etc., is a pattern. Even those who think they're 'left field' and 'out of the box' are conforming to a predicable pattern. We are so-o-o-o predictable.
It doesn't take a deity to know what we're gonna do...
I think there's something in that. I do not see God as a micro-manager.
It depends how you view hell.
I'm not sure I completely buy into all the medieval imagery of a place of unimaginable suffering (although in imagining all the possibilities, the medieval mindset really let rip!).
I prefer the notion of hell as Gehenna, the analogy Christ used. Yes it was a place of fires, but more to the point, it was a place where the abandoned and unwanted were cast aside, or cast out. So I see hell as a place bereft of light, love, life ... as the ultimate separation from God.
I do believe (contrary to popular Christian opinion), that the soul is not immortal. It comes into existence, and it can pass of of existence. There are a number of early fathers who believed this, but the simple fact is an intellectual appreciation of the possibility of non-being does not motive the volitive man quite so much as the idea of a demon with a trident ... (any more than an intellectual argument for God wins converts).
So I believe in hell as a place where the candle burns down, and then goes out. It is not self-sustaining.
Nor do I accept it in any 'good' that a sin, committed in a finite circumstance, it worthy of eternal punishment, nor indeed in the value of punishment if the punished cannot change.
How do we figure time in the eschaton? It is neither forever, nor momentary ... but then if we believe that we live in an afterlife, then living must, surely, include some cognisance of self ...
I don't. I think the accomplishment (cf John 19:30) of the cross was an act 'outside' of time, a triumph over death, an event in the finite physical that reverberated through the infinite transcendent ... I believe the cross was there before the world was made, if you like. It's inevitability assured the moment that Eve reached out her hand ...
So I believe those who died before Christ were saved by Christ and their salvation was, if you like, immediate ... they didn't have to wait until the event on Golgotha. I hope that makes sense?
Stephen Hawking agreed:
... Their results, if confirmed by further work, would have far-reaching implications for the multiverse paradigm. “We are not down to a single, unique universe, but our findings imply a significant reduction of the multiverse, to a much smaller range of possible universes,” said Hawking.
This makes the theory more predictive and testable...
Who can fathom the mind of God?
Only if God chooses to interfere in our free act.
Well that's a complex neurological question.
The help is always on offer, but God is not a 'nuisance neighbour'! It's there if you want it ...
Or unless specifically directed by God.
It's not that He's forbidden, it's just that when God says 'I made you free' He means it all the way. But yes, essentially that. It is humbling.
William Holman Hunt's "The Light of the World" says it all. Christ knocking at an overgrown door: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20).
Hunt felt obliged to explain that the door has no handle, and can be opened only from the inside, representing "the obstinately shut mind".
Only if God chooses to interfere in our free act.
Ah. Good point. Yes, of course.
Or unless specifically directed by God.
Yes. That's understood.
... the door has no handle, and can be opened only from the inside ...
Of course when I do finally cry for help, it may initially come in the form of God stripping away material and emotional baggage, to enable entry through the narrow door, the camel through the eye of the needle -- having to discard that treasured grand piano to be able to board the aircraft -- to become light enough to rise. That may be quite a painful process?
The disciples were told to carry nothing, not even a spare robe. 'There where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'
Not really. If God knows that I am going to fail His test then by allowing me to exist He has condemned me. If God knows I am destined for hell before I am even born then what chance do I have? I would have to prove God wrong to avoid hell. I don't see how this could be fair or just or good.
Another way to look at it is if God knows my future actions then I have no other choice than to commit those actions. If God knows that I am going to lie to my mother on the 25th of September 2024 at 5:45pm.. how do I do the right thing and not lie to my mother on that date at that time?
"It is clear, however, that Polkinghorne has been moved to this view by his work as a physicist"
I have no background in physics but came to a very similar conclusion.
It might appear so, but it's not the case according to traditional Christian (or,indeed, trad. theology). You have to keep the omniscience of God, and your own personal freedom, quite distinct.
We are free and autonomous individuals. God allows us to exist and make choices. The decision to exercise certain choices that limit our freedom are ours, they are not pre-determined nor pre-destined, even though they are 'known', by virtue of the fact that 'time' is a condition of finite existence.
That we make 'wrong' decisions is our choice, not God's. That God does not interfere to make us make the right decisions is in respect of our freedom and autonomy, which is pre-ordained.
You are not destined to hell. You are free to pursue your destiny regardless.
The fact that 'someone' knows what choices you make does not determine that you will make those choices. Are you a parent? It's a lesson we learn quite quickly. When our children are young, we can step in and 'interfere'. When they're older, it's more difficult.
No, that doesn't follow at all.
God knows because God is 'outside' time. That God sees the flow of events does not mean God determines the flow of events.
An analogy I've used before: I have twin daughters. When they were toddlers, we were out for a walk and they ran off together across a field. Half way across they stopped. My beloved and I looked at each other. "A will run on, B will come back." That's exactly what happened. We know our kids, but our knowing did not determine their choices...
There is a thing amongst Bible critics to keep bringing up how God punishes mankind.
As @wil observed a(nti)theists are often the strictest Bible literalists.
@OrtaYol the observation is obviously not directed at you because I don't know your beliefs or lack of beliefs.
IMO The 'punishment' sections of particularly the Old Testament are just 'karma' ie: the punishments are a natural result of certain actions.
'Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God,' may be all there is to know?
I think Christ was trying to shift the people away from certain views of God that were generic, rather than just in the Hebrew Scriptures. The gods of the old pantheons were pretty bloody awful after all, quite often suffering the worst human vices and quite regularly spiteful and capricious when it came to their dealings with humanity.
I think karma in that aspect survives in 'populist' interpretations of scriptures, it fulfils the need people have to believe the bad guy gets his comeuppance in the end, and the desire for revenge.
As you observe, I'm pretty sure the Jews do not read their Scriptures in quite the same literalist way the critics do, but it's obviously there in the literal word. It's there in populist Islam on the one hand, and populist Buddhism on the other.
With 617 commandments, Jews were.fairly literal
They've added 4 since I finished rabbinical school?
I guess I should have read my mail from the alumni association!
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