Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Morriston refutes Craig over deriving Personal God from Kalam

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In his paper "Must the Beginning of The Universe Have a Personal Cause?"[1] Wes Morriston quotes William Lane Craig making the augment that a personal origin is the only way to have an eternal cause with a temporal effect.[2]  The rationale for that is merely an assertion that with an eternal cause working mechanically the effect would be eternal too,:
If the cause were simply a mechanically operating set of necessary and sufficient conditions existing from eternity, then why would not the effect also exist from eternity? For example, if the cause of water's being frozen is the temperature's being below zero degrees, then if the temperature were below zero degrees from eternity, then any water present would be frozen from eternity. The only way to have an eternal cause but a temporal effect would seem to be if the cause is a personal agent who freely chooses to,create an effect in time. [3]

Craig is using this argument to argue for the personal nature of God, If God was just a natural process the the effects of his creation would have to be eternal, but if God is personal he can decide to create or not to create. Time has a beginning with the big bang (simultaneously). Morriston points out that Creaig;s argument assumes that there are only two possibilities, the personal decision maker, or machine-like impersonal process.An example of he impersonal machine-like cause wold be water freezing at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn't decide t do it it just does.[4]Craig distinguishes between Agent cause and event cause. An agent can exist for a long time without producing the cause, but an event cause has to produce when the event happens.[5]

Morriston represents Craig's argumemt in this way:

a. It has been shown that the universe has not always existed.
b. The cause of the universe must be eternal. (Otherwise it, too, would have a beginning and would require a cause.)
c. The cause of the universe must be either a personal agent or a non-personal sufficient condition.
d. If a "causal condition sufficient for the production" of the universe exists "from eternity," then the universe has always existed.
e. So the cause of the universe is not a non-personal sufficient condition.
f. The cause of the universe must therefore be a person.[6]

I will not go through the whole argument but I will just deal with the issue of personal and impersonal and quantum indeterminacy,

Morriston argues that Craig can't pull off his assumption that personal decision maker or impersonal machine-like cause are the only two possibilities (premise c). He offers as a possibility  quantum
indeterminacy. In other words, the condition for the creation of the universe could exist eternal but the universe i snot eternal  because it's indeterminate popping in and out of existence. Morriston argues quantum indeterminacy against  premise (1) of the Kalam argument (whatever begins to exist has to have a casue). He does not spell it out this clearly but I think he is assailing Craig;s answer that quantum particles are not uncased merely because they come to be without immediate trace of a causal event. That is  the background conditions that make them possible precede their existence, thus they are not "uncaused," "The appearance of a particle in a quantum vacuum may thus be said to be spontaneous, but cannot properly be said to be absolutely uncased, since it has many physically necessary conditions." [7]

To this point Morriston answers, "Presumably Craig would have to agree that non personal conditions that are only  necessary for some effect could exist from eternity without producing that effect." [8]  
Thus  there are more alternatives than just a decision making personal cause, or a machine like impersonal cause. There is also an indeterminate impersonal;a cause. But then Morriston hits him with a blow from the opposite direction, an eternal personal cause would mean the world must be eternal. "It will do so only if no eternal state of that agent is causally sufficient for the existence of the world."[9] To pull this off he appeals to premise d of his version of the argument: d. If a "causal condition sufficient for the production" of the universe exists "from eternity," then the universe has always existed.

Here Morriston gets stuck on an issue about does God work in time or with time? Does he create the universe simultaneously with time, or in time? He argues that must always know he;s going to create the world, "This is much too easy. God's eternal decision to create a universe must surely be causally sufficient for the existence of that world. So if, as Craig indicates in this passage, God's will to create is eternal, why doesn't he conclude, in line with principle (d) above, that the universe is eternal?."[10]
That assumes creation in time. 

Here we see there's a problem in Morristons argument, Hes assuming God;s decision must be in time, Moreover he;s assuming that our understanding of time holds constant
 Now this condition might hold in the case of "a man sitting from eternity" who decides, at some time, to exercise his power to stand. The man, we may suppose, has not always had the intention to stand up. But this easy answer will not do if the first cause is identified with God. God, after all, "knows from eternity" what God is going to do. So it seems that he must "have the intention" of creating the universe "from eternity." On standard views about God, his will is causally sufficient for the existence of the universe. So, one may well ask Craig, why doesn't it follow that the universe exists "from eternity?"[11]





He sees the problem i Craig's thinking but turns around and makes the very same mistake. He's treating non  time like it's time as though it's a very long time..I used to make the same argument Craig is making and I did so interdependently without knowing about Craig's answer.

Morriston says God would have know from eternity about his desiccation to create that long ago! It's non time so it would just as easily be a decision "Just made" as always was. It would not make the actual universe eternal but merely the concept of it not the actuality. There's a larger question raised by this realization why should we think that an eternal universe negates the Christian God. The big fear is  pantheism but the reality is panENtheism [12] which in my book is a valid Christian idea,I have been unsuccessful finding it, but I am sure Aquinas had the idea of the eternal flutist analogy, the music is eternal but it's eternity is dependent upon the fluitist continuing to play.

The thinking decision argument still allows us to argue for a personal God, The skeptic is in the position of having to prove a quantum indeterminacy is really sufficient to explain the universe because it still, cant be considered uncased,it is still understood within  framework of prior codition. Morriston really doesn't answer that. We have to overhaul our understanding of what time is, the skeptic  is also on the hook to explain time and non time. We can think of eternity as space rather than time,So God is beyond  time. God is both in time and beyond it. Thus all reality is in God that doesn't make all aspects of reality part of  God.




Sources

[1]Wes Morriston, "Must the Beginning of The Universe Have a Personal Cause?" FAITH AND PHILOSOPHY Vol. 17 No. 2 April 2000 149-169 PDF version:http://spot.colorado.edu/~morristo/wes2craig1.pdf

(accessed )

[2]Craig, "The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe," Truth Journal, 3 (1991: http:/ /www.iclnet.org/c1m/truth/3truthlthtml)

[3] Morristom,op cit, 164.

[4] Ibid,

[5] Craig quoted in Morriston, 164, the original citation tabbc 146

[6] Morristo, 164/

[7] Ibid, 164-165

[9] Ibid, 165

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid

[12] Writing Panenthiesm with the bold capital EN is my idea i';s not done that way by anyone esle. Tillich called himself a panentheist, panENtheism is often associated with an impersonal God but I don't agree that it must be so connived,



43 comments:

Mike Gerow said...

Do you think a personal/mechanical dichotomy really holds up beyond the conditions of the universe as we know it?

Or does the whole thing unjustifiably extrapolate from the conditions inside a system to the conditions outside that system?

Why couldn't there just be " a thing that only moves once" out there somewhere beyond the rules of spacetime as we know it? Why is that illogical?

It seems perfectly conceivable to me....

Mike Gerow said...

Because, as Hume said, "cause" is really just correlation......

Mike Gerow said...

Now this condition might hold in the case of "a man sitting from eternity" who decides, at some time, to exercise his power to stand. The man, we may suppose, has not always had the intention to stand up. But this easy answer will not do if the first cause is identified with God. God, after all, "knows from eternity" what God is going to do.

Would a person experiencing eternity be able to decide to stand "at one time" or are they already existing in time,not in eternity, if they did? Is the attribute of eternal knowing a function of Gods omniscience or of the eternal non-time in which God presumably inhabits, so it would be impossible for even a human to exist there without possessing "eternal knowing"?

This is a bizarre topic, I think, and not just bizarre but undecidably bizarre.....

Joe Hinman said...

That points to my criticism of Morriston's thinking. He is treating eternity as though it's a real long time not as though no time.

Joe Hinman said...

Mike Gerow said...
Do you think a personal/mechanical dichotomy really holds up beyond the conditions of the universe as we know it?

No M's thing about indeterminacy blows that up. But I don't think indeterminacy lends itself to negating the CA.

Or does the whole thing unjustifiably extrapolate from the conditions inside a system to the conditions outside that system?


that too, well put

Why couldn't there just be " a thing that only moves once" out there somewhere beyond the rules of spacetime as we know it? Why is that illogical?

It seems perfectly conceivable to me....

my argumemt is rules change,

Joe Hinman said...

Mike Gerow said...
Because, as Hume said, "cause" is really just correlation......

In terms of proving that's true. The little moron who said I know nothing about epistemology said I was stupid for thinking that. He knew so much !

im-skeptical said...

Come on, Joe. Aside from demonstrating your level of sophistication as debater, your ad hominem attacks on me should not be allowed to stand without an answer. You know perfectly well that I didn't say what you claim. What do you have against truth?

Joe Hinman said...

over and over again you have demonstrated you do not understand the things I say. you are never on the page.

im-skeptical said...

over and over again you have demonstrated you do not understand the things I say. you are never on the page.

- No Joe. It's just that I don't agree with much of what you say. No rational person should.

So let's revisit the causation issue. I am well aware of what Hume said. And it was NOT that "cause" is really just correlation. That is only one component of a causal relationship. Think about it. If what you say is true, then cancer causes smoking. Hume was not so blind to reality.

Hume actually argued that there has to be an additional relationship between objects in a causal relationship, but it was problematic to prove. However, science is not hung up on the philosophical proof of a causal relationship. Scientific establishment of causation requires a causal mechanism in addition to the correlation. That is what fulfills the role of the additional relationship that Hume spoke about.

Joe Hinman said...

So let's revisit the causation issue. I am well aware of what Hume said. And it was NOT that "cause" is really just correlation. That is only one component of a causal relationship. Think about it. If what you say is true, then cancer causes smoking. Hume was not so blind to reality.

this is proof that you cannot think past the end of your ignorant little nose, you can't understand what I'm saying because too busy looking for the worst light in which to interpret what I say.

Hume actually argued that there has to be an additional relationship between objects in a causal relationship, but it was problematic to prove. However, science is not hung up on the philosophical proof of a causal relationship. Scientific establishment of causation requires a causal mechanism in addition to the correlation. That is what fulfills the role of the additional relationship that Hume spoke about.


That's why science is not philosophy, It can't ever bridge that theoretical space was saying not that causation is correlation but that the only way of proving cause is ultimate through correlation.

The bit about mechanism is right but the only way to prove you have the right mechanism is through correlation, it's just theoretical the only proof that you have that it's right is corroboration; the nature of what is being proved includes a priori mechanism and it's theoretical relationship to the equation; Met Knew it w he knew I knew ect.why I did not have to spell it out,

im-skeptical said...

too busy looking for the worst light in which to interpret what I say.
- I'm in favor of making charitable interpretations. When Mike said "Because, as Hume said, "cause" is really just correlation......", you agreed, with regard to proof. But that's NOT what Hume said. Hume said you CAN'T prove it. Now, I agree with you that correlation is essential in establishing causation in a probabilistic sense, so I think we have some common ground.

That's why science is not philosophy, It can't ever bridge that theoretical space
- There's a point we disagree on. Science was traditionally regarded as philosophy. That's what the 'Ph' in PhD stands for. Science certainly employs the use of logic. What makes it different is that it ALSO employs empirical observation and verification, which are not necessarily engaged in other forms of philosophy. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that non-empirical philosophy is less than science, because it lacks the tools of science.

the only way to prove you have the right mechanism is through correlation
- We never prove causation, as Hume said. But we do establish reasonable belief, based on probability. It is also important to note that (lack of) correlation disproves causation. But you have to be able to isolate the variables. Two things might be correlated, but it is due to some other third factor that is the real cause of both of them. In that case, if you (properly) remove the third factor, you should cease to see a correlation between the two.

Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...

im-skeptical said...


Meta:
too busy looking for the worst light in which to interpret what I say.

Skep:
- I'm in favor of making charitable interpretations. When Mike said "Because, as Hume said, "cause" is really just correlation......", you agreed, with regard to proof. But that's NOT what Hume said. Hume said you CAN'T prove it. Now, I agree with you that correlation is essential in establishing causation in a probabilistic sense, so I think we have some common ground.

Meta:
that was a paraphrase, he didn't really say that but what he did say basically taps out to that

Meta:
That's why science is not philosophy, It can't ever bridge that theoretical space

Skep:
- There's a point we disagree on. Science was traditionally regarded as philosophy. That's what the 'Ph' in PhD stands for. Science certainly employs the use of logic.


Meta:
I studied the dispute between Hobbes and Boyle in grad school, that science began as natural philosophy is well known basic knowledge,

Skep:
What makes it different is that it ALSO employs empirical observation and verification, which are not necessarily engaged in other forms of philosophy. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that non-empirical philosophy is less than science, because it lacks the tools of science.

Meta:
You are just privileging empiricism because you prefer empiricism as a ideological point since you that saves your science bias over religious thought. My point was that science can't traverse the gap that is the crux of epistemology the basis of the problem (which used to be called "the empiricists dilemma") is at the heart of why science was taken out of philosophy. Both disciplines will hold each other back if they try to meet each others standards.

Philosophy needs to be speculative and sciences needs to be limited by epistemology, Otherwise we would be stuck in waiting on umpiotiuth observations that will nevrer prove anything, see Popper,


Meta:the only way to prove you have the right mechanism is through correlation


- We never prove causation, as Hume said. But we do establish reasonable belief, based on probability.

Meta:
In keeping with the point I myself have already made it's obvious I am speaking in a less formalistic operational snese,


Skep:
It is also important to note that (lack of) correlation disproves causation.

Meta:
Only when dealing with an issue that is amenable to empirical observation and probability and when the correlation is expected.It is not true that merely failing to find a correlation is disproof.


But you have to be able to isolate the variables.

Meta:
good,kind what I was saying,

Two things might be correlated, but it is due to some other third factor that is the real cause of both of them. In that case, if you (properly) remove the third factor, you should cease to see a correlation between the two.

Meta:
called "intervening veritable," it can also create the illusion of a cause if it's undetected,

Joe Hinman said...

this guy actually tires to explain to me what the Ph in PhD is for !

im-skeptical said...

this guy actually tires to explain to me what the Ph in PhD is for !
- Aw, just when I thought we were agreeing on some things. You DID say "science is not philosophy". I beg to differ.

But moving on, I have some things to say about timelessness and the personal nature of God here.

Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...

yes that was getting good pretend i didn't say that say that,

Although, a formal holdover from the middle ages doesn't make scientists experts in epistemology,


Skep:
, I have some things to say about timelessness and the personal nature of God here.

>>>ok let's hear them

im-skeptical said...

Um, it's here: https://theskepticzone.blogspot.com/2018/03/on-timelessness-of-god.html

Joe Hinman said...

If you are so smart, why can't you make links?

your link

Joe Hinman said...

And then we have theists who are simply confused about the logical problems of time for theism. Joe Hinman wants to have it both ways. Hinman never discusses A-theory or B-theory.

so typical of the ignorant know nothing to think if he hasn't seen it it doesn't exist. If one doesn't crow and strut all time (like Skep does) then one doesn't know about it,he crows and struts so he knows all about it.

He never mentions the issue of Relativity, leaving us to wonder whether he is aware of these things at all.

see he expects crowing and strutting if you are prancing around declaring you know all about something you just don't know it.It's only if you wave your ignorance about like a badge that you really know, like he does. I don't claim to be an expert om relativity so Ii don't crow and strut about relativity, I m not impressed by those who constantly issue forth conventional wisdom.

cock-a-dooo-dle-DOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I know it allllllllllllll


But he seems to think that God exists both in time and not in time.

yes me and stupid old St. Augustine stupid old C.S.Lewis probably 90% of theologians,


For a God that exists in time, eternity is time that has no end (or no beginning). But Joe calls that "non time".

Now is that what I call non time? In addition to being an expert on all other things this guy is also an expert on what I think. Didn't I just get through critoicozimg Morriston for thinking of eternity as being a very long time?


He sees the problem i[n] Craig's thinking but turns around and makes the very same mistake. He's treating non time like it's time as though it's a very long time ... - Hinman

where exactly am i doing that? Several years ago I wrote about it. I dealt with Craig's view as it was in about 2004, because atheists were making an argument I had to deal with it, but I never claimed to be an expert so I moved on as the need subsided;but I did write enough the time if anyone cares to look for it one will see this guy's criticism is just bullshit, he hast hasn't bothered to carefully understand my view,




Joe Hinman said...

Skep:Let's be clear. An eternity is not non-time. It is time without end.

more of his arrogant stupidity. He didn't learn the phrase that way so he assumes there can't be any other use of it. The term eternity is largely a matter of operational definition, it is used either way.



eternal (wester4):

e·ter·nal
əˈtərn(ə)l/Submit
adjective
lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning.
"the secret of eternal youth"
synonyms: everlasting, never-ending, endless, perpetual, undying, immortal, abiding, permanent, enduring, infinite, boundless, timeless; amaranthine
"eternal happiness"
(of truths, values, or questions) valid for all time; essentially unchanging.
"eternal truths of art and life"
informal
seeming to last or persist forever, especially on account of being tedious or annoying. (skepie is eternal)?
"eternal nagging demands"
synonyms: constant, continual, continuous, perpetual, persistent, sustained, unremitting, relentless, unrelieved, uninterrupted, unbroken, never-ending, nonstop, around/round-the-clock, endless, ceaseless
"eternal vigilance"



Eternity allows a changing state of affairs. Non-time doesn't.


depends upon how the term is used, one needs to be careful to be sure how the speaker is defining it,


webster:Definition of eternal
1 a : having infinite duration : everlasting eternal damnation
b : of or relating to eternity
c : characterized by abiding fellowship with God
good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? —Mark 10:17 (Revised Standard Version)
2 a : continued without intermission : perpetual an eternal flame
b : seemingly endless eternal delays
3 archaic : infernal
some eternal villain … devised this slander —William Shakespeare
4 : valid or existing at all times : timeless eternal verities
— eternalize play \i-ˈtər-nə-ˌlīz\ transitive verb
— eternally play \i-ˈtər-nᵊl-ē\ adverb

most interesting there is no real use of time in that definition



And still, Joe agrees with Craig that god exists in time (as well as outside of it).
The thinking decision argument still allows us to argue for a personal God ... So God is beyond time. God is both in time and beyond it. - Hinman



But as I explained about the relationship between time and change, that doesn't make any sense at all. For God, there is either a changing state of affairs, or there isn't. Even God can't have it both ways. But there you have it.


I am sure Skepie thinks he knows better than God, his stupid little idea that are only two possibilities for God shows his extreme poverty of imagination and his illiteracy of theology, he has not read jack shit about theology,probably got all of this from some dumb atheist website, some atheist philosophy student decided God should be limited to the A or B bull shit and never bothered to read real theologians,

Joe Hinman said...

I was planning on doing a thing on Morriston's part 1 that would have involved discussing this topic. I don't have time t deal with it now. I am going to do something on the ideas here expressed. So I don't want this to go on here since there's going to be a post on Monday.

I know Skepie will want to say "I am smart I know all," go ahead, then stop.

Joe Hinman said...

what really irks me so deeply is that this bozo think I've never heard of this stuff or these things have never occurred to me, or William Lane Craig, he thinks no Christian has ever thought about it, because he;s not getting the tribal ques of hearing the jargon spit back to him at the expected time.

im-skeptical said...

Joe, we can discuss our differences. You really don't need to act this way.

Start with the definition of time. As you pointed out, the definition is "lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning." That is time with out an end, just like I said. There is no implication of "non time" (as you put it), which would imply an unchanging state of affairs. Wouldn't you agree with that?

im-skeptical said...

what really irks me so deeply is that this bozo think I've never heard of this stuff or these things have never occurred to me, or William Lane Craig, he thinks no Christian has ever thought about it, because he;s not getting the tribal ques of hearing the jargon spit back to him at the expected time.

- Joe, I commented in my blog. But you are mistaken in thinking that I am just crowing, and that I don't suppose you or WL Craig ever thought about the things I discussed in my article. I cited what Craig wrote, and he does discuss them (but obviously you haven't read it). So I know that he, at least, has considered these things (A-theory, B-thoeory, and relativity). What I don't know is if you have any real understanding of what Craig has to say, since you tell us you agree with him, but there is an obvious point of discrepancy between the two of you.

Joe Hinman said...

where did I say i agree with him? To what was I referring?

Joe Hinman said...

Joe, we can discuss our differences. You really don't need to act this way.

Start with the definition of time. As you pointed out, the definition is "lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning." That is time with out an end, just like I said. There is no implication of "non time" (as you put it), which would imply an unchanging state of affairs. Wouldn't you agree with that?

>>>you are already distorting what was said, you said eternal means endless time I say it mean either spending upon what one means by the phrase,

I showed Websters shows both, iu don't read anything so you didn't notice that,

im-skeptical said...

where did I say i agree with him? To what was I referring?
- You agree with Craig on the personal nature of God. You do not subscribe to the Thomistic (impersonal) view. You believe that God makes decisions - and that logically implies that something changes. Where you depart is on the issue of whether existence in time is entailed. I think Craig's stance makes more sense, because he believes that God exists in time, and that would be necessary if anything ever changes for him (like making a decision). But you disagree with the idea that a decision must be made in time. You say: "He's treating non time like it's time as though it's a very long time".


you are already distorting what was said, you said eternal means endless time I say it mean either spending upon what one means by the phrase,

I showed Websters shows both, iu don't read anything so you didn't notice that

- The definition you showed was consistent with everything I have said. But there is a common synonym: timeless, and that can be interpreted in different ways. If that word is used as a synonym for eternal, it means something like existing without regard to time - not "non time" (notice Webster #4). All those definitions are about time without end - not "non time". This is important because "non time" implies no change. No sequence of events. No decisions.

Mike Gerow said...

I don't know that non time implies no change.... I think our sense of time depends on natural regularities that allow us to anticipate the future.(like the changing of the seasons throughout the year and such.) in a random or chaotic environment where there could be no anticipation, there would be no "time" as such, even If things were changing.

The existence for us of time as such is "opened" by regularities and predictabilities, not by changes alone.....whch sounds a bit Heideggarian.

im-skeptical said...

I don't really think the concept of time has anything to do with regularity (although that is involved in our conception of periodic things, like years). But time and change (or movement) are inseparable. You can't have one without the other.

Mike Gerow said...


Interesting that you would equate change to movement, cuz even "movement" IS a regularity, implying that things are taking a predictable arc thru space, and in such cases we tend to believe we can tell where they have been and predict where they are going. Our efforts to anticipate and control the future by referencing the past hence CREATE time, in a sense, and as relativity also points out, we are not the neutral observers of some universal and ineluctable phenomena.

im-skeptical said...

even "movement" IS a regularity
- That's not correct. We observe that physical things move according to physical laws, which entails regularity for the movement of physical things. That is not the same as saying that all movement is (or must be) regular. Theists would agree that God (or any human) making a decision would be a case non-regular movement. But the point is that whether or not movement is regular, it still entails a sequence of events in time.

Joe Hinman said...

where did I say i agree with him? To what was I referring?
- You agree with Craig on the personal nature of God. You do not subscribe to the Thomistic (impersonal) view. You believe that God makes decisions - and that logically implies that something changes. Where you depart is on the issue of whether existence in time is entailed. I think Craig's stance makes more sense, because he believes that God exists in time, and that would be necessary if anything ever changes for him (like making a decision). But you disagree with the idea that a decision must be made in time. You say: "He's treating non time like it's time as though it's a very long time".

I don't Craig believes God is wholly in Tine According Morriston he says he could go either way but he prefers God creates the universe with time,that means God must be outside time.


you are already distorting what was said, you said eternal means endless time I say it mean either spending upon what one means by the phrase,

depends not 'spending"

I showed Websters shows both, iu don't read anything so you didn't notice that

- The definition you showed was consistent with everything I have said.

except where it says timeless

But there is a common synonym: timeless, and that can be interpreted in different ways.

what a doge it obviously disproves your point

If that word is used as a synonym for eternal, it means something like existing without regard to time - not "non time" (notice Webster #4). All those definitions are about time without end - not "non time". This is important because "non time" implies no change. No sequence of events. No decisions.

none o those sources went into detail on temporal theory and they are general popular word usage not specialized. What philosophers and physicists mean by it is another matter,I've plenty use it both ways,

I used to use it to mean time running forever, because in church growing up we used that way,I think you might have church of Christ or Baptist background as I do (c of c) ?

in any case so many atheists told me it meant timeless I started using it that way to avoid hang ups and to communicate, then you come along! ;-)

Mike Gerow said...

In contemporary philosophy and theology, an irregular "movement" like that is sometimes called an "event" (as opposed to "effect" which is regular and predictable movement) and there's some ambiguity, therefore, if it's happening "in time" as opposed to it being an irruption from "somewhere else." The trace of God is the event, so to speak...

But anyway, I'm not sure that a human consciousness - esp one that we imagine has been removed from the comforting regularities of the body- would be able to continue to maintain a sense of temporal sequence if placed in a random, unpredictable environment? "This happened, then that, then that...."

Or is that temporal reality constructed by us from hints and clues of the seeming-regularity around us?

im-skeptical said...

I don't Craig believes God is wholly in Tine
- You agree with Craig that God is personal. Logic implies (as Craig tells us) that a personal god exists in time. Your disagreement with that is illogical. That's what I've been explaining to you.


except where it says timeless
- Joe, listen. 'Timeless', as a synonym for eternal DOES NOT mean "non time". It means "lasting forever; never showing the effects of aging". Something that is eternal can still exist in time. Something that changes MUST exist in time. Craig understands that. Why don't you?


what a doge it obviously disproves your point
- No, it IS my point. You don't understand what is meant by the word 'timeless'.


in any case so many atheists told me it meant timeless I started using it that way to avoid hang ups and to communicate, then you come along! ;-)
- Joe, you use the word 'timeless' in one sense to mean "non time". And you use it in another sense to mean something that has no beginning or end IN TIME (which is what 'eternal' means). In philosophy, that's what we call equivocation. That's a fallacy. I used to be able to speak with people in unequivocal language. And then you came along. :-0

im-skeptical said...

I'm not sure that a human consciousness - esp one that we imagine has been removed from the comforting regularities of the body- would be able to continue to maintain a sense of temporal sequence if placed in a random, unpredictable environment?
- Mike, you are confusing the measurement of time with the existence of time. Yes, we MEASURE time by regular events. But that is irrelevant to the conception of time itself, which is dependent on the mere fact of some sequence of events, but not their regularity.

Mike Gerow said...

So you believe in immeasurable time? That seems a departure for an empiricist.

If a cause is preceded by an effect, as they say sometimes seems the case with quantum phenomena, then which happened first?

Time is how we think, how we're forced to think by our perceptual and instinctual apparatus .... but it lacks solidity under careful analysis. If we can imagine conditions under which "before" and "after" might be tenuous to us, might even cease to exist for us, then it's questionable if time has absolute existence for there to be an "inside" and "outside" of it.

It's just how we see things.....

im-skeptical said...

If a cause is preceded by an effect, as they say sometimes seems the case with quantum phenomena, then which happened first?
- I really don't know what your point is. All I'm saying is that if there is ANY sequence of events, there must be time (as we conceive it). It isn't about causality, and it isn't about our ability to measure it. Those things are different issues. And by the way, time is NOT universal, because the sequence of events and the interval between them is not the same for all observers.

Mike Gerow said...

If a person is subjected to a particularly weird sequence of events in which what seem like effects are proceeded by what seems like the causes of those effects might they believe they are going 'backward In time'?

im-skeptical said...

OK. So what's your point?

Mike Gerow said...

That I think it's possible to imagine change without "time", since time is not absolute but (largely anyway) a human construct based on our ability and need to predict the "future" by recalling the "past."

But all of that effort only works in our frame of reference....

im-skeptical said...

Change without something you see as a "standard" measure of time, as you think of it. But it's still time. It's still a changing state of affairs. That's MY point.

Mike Gerow said...

But are you equivocating? "Time" and change really don't seem to be synomens, and I'm not sure that either in itself automatically implies the other ....change in itself doesn't automatically equate to time cuz "time" infers not just any changes but a lineararity, a sensible PROCESS of change. And that seems basic,,,,

Conversely, if we say, "no time passes if every single particle in the universe freezes simultaneously for a billion years"?

So the concepts are not equivalent, and I think you are equivocating by making observations about how things work inside the universe and then applying them to unknown conditions beyond the universe.