Ramblings & ephemera

Timelessness, eternity, god

From "Science and Faith", at Ockham’s Razor:

Time, along with matter and space is a constituent part of our universe. Time cannot exist without matter and space. So it makes no sense to talk about a time before our universe came into existence. …

To begin with, what does the fact that there is no absolute time say about God? If one accepts that God has created the universe, through the Big Bang or some other means, then he must have created time in the process.

So God is not constrained by time, and God is not carried along in time as we are. God simply is. …

It follows that God is not waiting to find out what the future holds. For God, it is already present. You might imagine God as seeing the whole of creation, beginning, middle and end, all laid out before him. Rather like the pictures on the wall of an ancient tomb, or perhaps like the frames of a movie film. …

At first glance, God’s knowledge of the future might suggest predestination. But that does not take into account that we ourselves are moving through time. …

But having made that choice, you will not be able to go back and change it. It will have been swept away in time to become an immutable fact. And similarly for all our lives, our free choices are turned into unchangeable facts by the passage of time. … Does that mean that it was predestined? Certainly not. It simply means that our free will, within time, exists alongside God’s foreknowledge, outside of time.

The common understanding of eternity is of time simply going on and on forever. But as science now indicates, time can only exist as long as space and matter, that is our universe, exists. And since science also indicates that the universe is finite (that is, it had a beginning some time ago and will come to an end one way or another sometime in the future), our time, and hence our eternity are finite also. …

We need to think of an afterlife that involves a transfer of consciousness into a timeless state that is linked in some way to God’s being.

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