A common idea of God is that he exists outside of time. Does this make sense? Here are some objects. Do any of them work?

  • Impossibility of immutability: If God exists outside of time, then by definition he cannot change. If he cannot change, can he know what time it is now?
  • According to this SEP article, being outside of time implies the B-series of time, which that SEP article says is impossible.
  • Can there be any causation? If God "caused" the universe, he must have existed before it, but there is no before for God if he exists outside of time.
  • Can God be rational if he cannot think, which stems from him not existing in time? He cannot say "because X, I do Y", because that would imply X exists before Y.
  • Does it make sense for us to say God exists outside time? Discussed here.
  • Does God know what it is like to experience time like we do, if he exists outside it?
  • Isn't God fairly lifeless and disconnected if he cannot change at all?
  • Are there any other objections? Do any of the ones here or here (arguments are in previous section of article also) work?
  • 1
    I think this is unanswerable as written, but it's also flawed on several levels. In your immutability question, you're assuming time equals the possibility of change -- you're also assuming God changes. In your B-theory question, you have a "they" with no antecedent. (are "they" voices in your head? presumably no, "they" are particular philosophers). / several of your other questions aren't necessary for God to exist out of time (God needn't by any known definition have all human experiences nor be temporal to be causal on things in a world with time). – virmaior Dec 10 '16 at 0:30
  • @virmaior OK, I edited the question with the B-series. With the immutability, I'm not necessarily assuming God changes, I'm just asking how it would be possible if he didn't change, because he would have no idea what time it is now. I'm not saying God does have human experiences, but I suppose I'm asking more if he knows what it feels like for humans to have those experiences. With the last thing, you've got a point there. Thanks for the feedback! – APCoding Dec 10 '16 at 2:34
  • @virmaior With the SEP article, it says "First, that eternalism depends upon a demonstrably false view of time, the B-series view." – APCoding Dec 10 '16 at 2:41
  • 2
    That seems to be really poor reading of the article; please reread it. The article says William Lane Craig says it's impossible. That's not quite identical to the article's author being convinced nor to do it actually being impossible. Similarly, the article does not say in an unqualified way that eternalism depends upon a demonstrably false view of time, the B-series view. Instead, it says temporalists maintain this as one of their arguments against divine eternalism. That's very different. – virmaior Dec 10 '16 at 4:31
  • 1
    This still remains a really poor fit for the SE-model. There's far too many questions that are speculative rather than objectively answerable, there's far too many reasons that an answerer would have to give to have that answer. If you want to make it work, ask a much narrower question about an argument you're having trouble following in either pro or con. – virmaior Dec 10 '16 at 4:33

It’s not just possible...it IS SO.

“God” is not an entity that exists within the finite boundaries of the physical universe where “time” is an abstract perceptual construct that only exists within the material plane we call the “universe” for the singular purpose of defining more than one occurrence of ANY event as distinct from another event.

Time is necessary for the human brain to perceive events as separate from others.

| improve this answer | |
  • I made an edit to remove your name since it is already listed and to break the text into paragraphs to emphasize the points. You may roll this back or continue editing. I would recommend adding one reference to someone who has a similar position to yours. This would strengthen your answer making it less of an opinion and more of a reporting of what others think. It would also give the reader a place to go for more information. – Frank Hubeny Aug 16 '18 at 14:52
  • Thank you for your contribution. Your feedback is helping me learn how this site’s text input functions. I need to read the tutorial. By the way, how do I create a new paragraph? Hitting “return” immediately publishes my post, rather than start new line. And why can’t I post my first name only? – Renée Michelle Oct 7 '18 at 15:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.