Surely an omnipotent being could travel back in time and create the circumstances leading to His creation. This would solve the problem of endless regression. Is it really altogether impossible that the eventual conclusion of evolution is the creation of an omnipotent, eternal, all-knowing being?

  • 2
    Ex nihilo nihil fit, nothing can come out of nothing. Aristotle did have some considerations that led to this catchphrase.
    – Philip Klöcking
    May 19, 2016 at 12:55
  • Why would an omnipotent being be beholden to such trivialities as time? Most theologians do not assume that God predates the universe temporally, eternal means timeless, not everlasting. Teilhard de Chardin argued that universe evolves towards the higher state of Omega Point, but not in the sense of creating the creator en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega_Point
    – Conifold
    May 19, 2016 at 20:04
  • Btw, a solution not altering the concept of God as eternal has been provided by the Kabbalah (the principles of en sof and zimzum) as well as Spinoza. Eternal would mean exactly not coming into being at a certain time, but being all time at once and therefore out of what we call time (especially not time traveling and still being in one particular time), as Conifold said.
    – Philip Klöcking
    May 19, 2016 at 21:12
  • @Confold, why not? What is wrong with the idea of a universe evolving into a creator of sorts? All living beings create offspring. Perhaps the universe is part of the life cycle of a creator. Please note, I'm not saying it is. I'm merely seeking definitive proof to the contrary. Anyway, thanks for your comments. May 20, 2016 at 10:09
  • Time travel in the form you describe faces inconsistency problems, assuming your creator has free will en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_paradox Even that aside, a being subject to time may well be very powerful, but it can hardly be called omnipotent, even if omnipotence is restricted by logical consistency.
    – Conifold
    May 20, 2016 at 20:12

5 Answers 5


Because creating something is "causing" it to exist. If God is the creator of the universe, then he is the cause of the universe's existence. But a cause must always exist before its effect. Therefore God must exist before the universe if he is the cause of the universe.

The issue with the idea of the universe "evolving" a deity isn't that such a thing looks metaphysically impossible. But rather that whatever that deity might be, it couldn't be the creator of the universe, but rather than opposite.

  • Lol that's my point. Why not? May 19, 2016 at 14:33
  • because a cause can't precede it's effect. When you see the rain make the ground wet, you don't think the water on the ground caused the rain to fall, right?
    – user5172
    May 19, 2016 at 14:34
  • But it does. Water evaporates which results in rain. May 19, 2016 at 14:39
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    the water on the ground on tuesday didn't cause the rain to fall on monday.
    – user5172
    May 19, 2016 at 14:40
  • shane, time appears to be causal and one-directional to us. but it might not be, and if it is not, we might not know the difference. most physicists who accept the Big Bang believe that not only space and "stuff" was brought into existance 13.8 billion years ago, but that also time. i.e. there was no before the Big Bang. May 19, 2016 at 23:17

It appears that the debate on God is rooted in theistic definitions of words. To have implicit belief in God, the language we speak has to be theistic; theism appears to dictate diction. theism itself appears to be a linguistical phenomena; atheists trying to disprove God fall into the trap of believing that something that doesn't exist needs to be disproven. There is a theist privilege in language and logic as well. That's why weak atheism appears to be an accommodationist view to keep theism in the privileged position of power.

Logic dictates semantics; logic bred theistic epistemic ideas into head just implicitly affirming God's existence. this appears to create theistic notions in our syntaxes. Our children are linguistically and logically bred to have theistic notions without ever having to explicitly state a theist position.

Atheists are just people unlearning epistemology of God. Their language, their logic has yet to unlearn semantic theism. When they debate, they accidentally affirm God's existence just making presuppositional theistic statements.

It's revealing to know that logic has theistic suppositions; our lenses that reason are theistic lenses; logic deduces God's existence. intersectionality speaking, logic and theism have been bedfellows. Logicians are predominantly theistic; it appears logical theism has developed quite nicely that atheists are havin, to literally change our logical axioms such as God, as if God is an axiom, as if axiom is God.


it might be that God transcends time just as God transcends space, "stuff", and everything else that is part of creation. perhaps God looks at spacetime in much the same way that physics describes it (where time is just another dimension or axis), but none of us, in our temporal and 3-dimensional existence, can visualize.

i wouldn't ascribe too many concrete attributes or properties to God.


automatically assume the existence of a creator It is because the universe is a logical one. This is one of the self-evident truths all agree upon. (For example consider the Law of Non-contradiction) And logically, a Creation cannot exist without a Creator...Cause...Source...Designer. This is a necessary axiom as a prerequisite to the discussion. The Law of Causation applies here (not the theory, not the hypothesis, not the opinion, but the Law). Nihil sine Deo


The (attempted) maximal concept of a divine being involves this being "seeing all time at once," at eternity. Geometrically, this can be interpreted as a deity's temporal dimensionality being greater than that of linear (one-dimensional) time. A being in a two-dimensional time could perceive whole timelines at once, so that fits the Boethian thesis, here.

But another attempt to maximize this concept, then, would go a deity existing in some drastically higher-dimensional time. How drastic is this maximum? Mathematically, and for the relevant mathematician (who more or less initiated this discourse in its main sequence), the option of splitting infinity into relative and absolute forms and assimilating the divine nature to the scale of mathematical terms like ORD or V, is given, so here, for example, we would be talking about something like V-dimensional spacetime.

The upshot of all this conceptualization, modulo your question, is that time travel would be a weaker solution to the transcreation problem than what the divine nature is inherently, absolutely capable of. The maximal deity, over the picture of "infinite-dimensional spacetime" (actually, then infinite dimensionality over any metaphysically substantial "grid"), doesn't need to travel to one edge of a given temporal line segment, but can comprehend both edges simultaneously, and far more besides, "forever and ever, amen."

However, consider the Platonic demiurge. If the universe has a world-soul to its name, if the universe on a total level somehow exists as a living entity/force/???, and if all life is evolving "below," what is to stop the ur-lifeform from evolving, too? Now, we might imagine, then, a Form of the Good in place of a "properly" monotheistic deity, and the Form of the Good is not self-created (or created at all; indeed, one might think that this Form is the one of Creation (as a power) itself, after all). But the demiurge could be left to its own devices in such a way that the world-soul transforms into the demiurge "at the end of time" (at the completed synthesis of a mere temporal line segment, actually), whereupon the demiurge cycles back to the beginning of the segment and does not well-found but cofounds the world-soul through which it will one day truly come to exist. Or, then, some creation-relations can be read off theories of grounding and/or founding functions (in set/proof theory, as well as elsewhere).

A mordant example of your theme is, incidentally, a major plot point in a certain unfinished series of weird novels about a girl who saves an ambiguously Satanic cat. The cat is somehow involved in a plan by sentient antistars(???) in the insanely far future, a group of religious-seeming entities who send a malevolent, Hell-like force back to the Big Bang to reprogram the universe so that heat death doesn't occur. (This entity, the Versal Apex Predator (somehow the story actually involves the multiverse, and the absolute higher-order multiverse of multiverses known just as "the Verse"), is outright equated with Evil with a capital "E" and Hell with a capital "H.") But for whatever, on its way to the foundations of the world, it seems to intersect the cat, in part because the cat was also sent by an opposing faction to do... something...? We never quite find out what is going on, and we just barely read about how much is really at stake (if I remember correctly, one of the books, 4 or 5 I think, has an epigraph that says something like "you don't know what's at stake"). But so basically, an Antigod in a narrative setting where there is supposedly no positive God, however; and this Antigod goes back in time, to the beginning of time, to alter the fundamentals of future reality. But so as to create itself? Again, we don't know, or at least I don't (there were intended to be 27 books in the series, but the author left off at 5) because we don't know what the Versal Apex Predator was actually going to have to do to reprogram the Big Bang. The "ritual" of its future creation was effected by the antistars (again, I am assuming that this description matches what the author said these future time travelers were, and it seemed to me that when he talked about them being stars, he was being partly literal; and so their enemies became antistars instead), who sacrificed a trillion positive stars (or something) to generate the portal though which the Versal Apex Predator would go back in time. Why does the Apex evil not reach the beginning of time "automatically"? Arguably (very arguably), some kind of tachyon-theoretic explanation could have been intended by the author, in the sense that when Hell incarnate starts time-traveling into the past, it is not a jump to some location whereafter (more or less immediately, when the "portal collapses") the traveler resumes forward temporal orientation, but instead the Antigod is traveling backwards in time through and through, like tachyons (or, then, as tachyons, I guess), so it will take it however many eons to reach the Big Bang as there were eons from the Big Bang until the heat death so anathema to the antistars.

In preemptive counterpoint, City at the End of Time plays out with a future transpowerful evil force devouring the universe (or something), but there's a plan by one of the protagonists to reboot the cosmos. This guy doesn't create himself, as far as I know, though multiversal factors are reportedly involved (I didn't pick up much of those on my readthroughs of the book, but to be honest a lot of the prose just baffled me).

At any rate, quite a few "stories" have been advanced that play off this theme of self-defining powers operating on the metaphysical, and physical, nexus of the setting. Your question, and the hypothesis underlying it, seems to be a reasonable course of thinking, at least to the extent that the examples given seem reasonable. Overall, I would say that given an absolute context, of ORD-dimensional agency say, it seems unnecessary to burden a maximal creatrix with time-travel problems, though.

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