Posts tagged ‘theory of time’

May 5th, 2012

A Dynamic Theory of Time Preferred Over A Static Theory

by Max Andrews

The dynamic theory of time (A-theory) holds that God is not timeless and relates to the actual world within the bounds of time.  First advocated by J. M. E. McTaggart, this entails a tensed knowledge of God and that all events are not simultaneously real, there is only one absolute now.[1]  Given that the General Theory of Relativity is true, objects in motion tend to slow down.  This in no way takes away from an absolute now; Lorentz advocates that this absolute now cannot be measured because measuring devices are in motion.[2]  God’s relationship to time would be the absolute now.  Dynamic theory holds that façon de parler (in a manner of speaking), prior to creation (cf. Jude 25); God was timeless and so entered time to relate to man.[3]

The static theory of time (B-theory) holds that God is omnitemporal and continues to exist timelessly (atemporal) since creation.  There are no tensed facts.  Yesterday is just as real as today, which is just as real as the year 2039.  God is simple under a view of timelessness.  If God is simple then He cannot be temporal, for a temporal being is related to the various times at which it exists:  It exists at t1 and at t2, for example.  But a simple being stands in no relations.[4] 

April 26th, 2012

Defining Omniscience

by Max Andrews

As advocated by St. Anselm, God is a maximally perfect being.  If ignorance is an imperfection, all things being equal [according to Ockham’s razor], then it is greater to be knowledgeable.  To prevent initial detractions from the classical definition of omniscience, omniscience should be understood as knowing all truths.

O.  For any agent x, x is omniscient= def. For every statement s, if s is true, then x knows that s and does not believe that not-s.[1]

If there are truths about future contingents, God, as an omniscient being must know these truths.  Since there are truths about the future, that is to say, since statements about future contingents are either true or false, and they are not all false, God must therefore know all truths about the future, which is to say He knows future-tense facts; He knows what will happen.[2]  One may try to avoid this reasoning by contending that future-tense statements are neither true nor false, so that there are no facts about the future.  Since the future does not exist, it is claimed that the respective future-tense statements cannot be true or false, simply without truth.[3]