God Is Outside Of Time And Space

This is a common counter-argument offered by the religious whenever God’s actions or state present problems of their own. For example, a logical objection to God being “always there” is that it presents an infinity. An infinity of time in this case.
As it is impossible to traverse an infinity there is no way that God couldn’t have always existed and yet somehow arrived at the time when he chose to create the universe. I was recently presented with the “God is outside time and space” defense in a similar time related objection to God.

God being “outside time and space” presents problems of its own though. While there are potential problems with being non-spatial I don’t see them as being insurmountable (I encourage anyone who does see a serious problem with this to describe it) but being non-temporal causes an immediate and insurmountable problem.

If you are existent in a non-temporal state you must necessarily be static. Any change in state automatically invokes time. There would be a before state and an after state. Before and after of course are temporal terms. Time can be viewed as simply (change or an occurrence of change). This has serious implications for God. He would be entirely static and incapable of change. It would be exactly as though someone had pressed the pause button on God and so it would remain forever (ok it wouldn’t “remain” “forever” it would just be) :)

There are many instances in the bible that show God as being not only temporal but also not omniscient. In one instance, God is warming up his smiting arm but Moses talks him out of it. God’s actions were not predetermined. He didn’t know in advance that he wasn’t going to smite, it was Moses who convinced him not to. This clearly displays that God did not know the future. He is not omniscient and also just as much a subject of time (he changed his mind over time) as anyone else.

Exodus 32:11-14

Theists of course wear themselves out trying to find loopholes to squirm through and reason why the obvious implications aren’t so or that the completely straightforward narrative is not as it appears. When you can invent any justification you want without evidence for it, it is not possible to be shown to be wrong. You can always just tack on another property onto God. Nowhere in the bible is God described as “outside of space and time”. It is entirely an invention of theistic apologists. That is why this argument and all other arguments will fall on deaf ears. Were this objection about a god the theist in question did not believe in, they would happily accept the obvious logic. So is the nature of the human being! :P
GoodReason GoodReason
31-35, M
15 Responses Aug 4, 2010

Cloudnine, <br />
I can't really agree with that. Most of our advanced ideas about the universe are not even available to our five senses. Our understanding need not be limited to these. It is pure assumption on your part that our experience of the universe is <i>not</i> what reality is. You have, by virtue of the same limitations, nothing to base that on except a particular mental construction of your own. I contend that reality does conform (I'm not suggesting 100% accuracy) largely to what we percieve. If you are standing in the path of an oncoming car, it really doesn't matter mental construct you want to deploy. Either you step out of the way or it will hit you. The evidence that reality conforms, at least to a fair extent, to our view of it is that we are here. We can navigate and survive this reality and manipulate it to our own ends. To adopt a nearly nihilistic view of our ability to accurately percieve reality is to deny your own success at operating in it.<br />
It might be true that what I see as blue is actually what I think is green in my mind when you look at it. Such inaccuracies in communicating about our relative experience are ultimately trivial. That we can agree with independant minds about so much offers further evidence that we are perciving something that actively exists. <br />
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When you disscuss how the universe can't be as our 5 senses percieve it is something of a misundertanding of the problem. It is correct to say that our limited perceptions cannot percieve it in its entirety but that does not stop us from representing what we cannot directly access in accurate ways. It also does not suggest that what we do precieve is <i>necessarily</i> inaccurate. <br />
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Reality, the universe, however you want to phrase must have some properties. I contend that our secess at manipulating our reality is evidence that our perception of it and its properties are accurate. <br />
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<i>f you go "right back" to granting "truth" to our 100% subjective view after investigating the nature of experience, it is simply out of the comfort of habit</i><br />
Everyone does this, you included. I think it is because, mental exercises aside, we don't really believe that our sense can't be trusted. We have years of experience of them corroberating with our navigation of the world. At best any misperception on our part is a cosmetic thing. One thing is certain. No matter how much I percieve water as air, I won't be able to breathe under water. If we weren't, as a species, representing reality with a high degree of accuracy, we wouldn't be here to wax philosophical about it :)<br />
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The Hitchhiker's guide is a great laugh. One of the funniest things I remember which touches on these ideas was the spaceship that was emminating a distraction field. The characters where standing in a small asteroid (I think) where there was no atmosphere. The field distracted you from thinking about the fact that you should be suffocating and as a result you didn't (something like that anyway. I haven't read those books in years) :) <br />
A bit like the falling and forgetting to hit the ground thing :>

Cloudnine, <br />
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I think you have been reading too much philosophy :P<br />
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It is true that there can't be an epistemologically sound basis for any claim, beyond <i>cogito ergo sum</i> anyway, that can be deduced from uncontroversial premises. It is true we must presume certain things when ever we reason about anything. We presume that we can trust our senses etc. <br />
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Once we move beyond these philosophical questions (basically just decide that our senses and minds can be trusted to a fair degree) we can start to operate reason and logic. While these certainly are concepts, they are not concepts arbitrarily invented for no reason. Logic works. If it didn't we would have stopped using it long ago. The universe too is much as we think it is. It can be tested (ignoring "brain in a vat" type of scenarios). We can choose to be philosophically pedantic and claim that everything is just in our minds if we choose to but that will get us exactly nowhere. There seems to be a very large amount of evidence that how our minds represent the universe is actually quite accurate. You are correct that all of the concepts we use to navigate the world are just that, concepts, but it seems fair to me to claim that they map very well onto reality. Most of the time anyway! :). Assuming that we accept the "real" as extant we have grounds to feel about for its edges, its shape, and it’s consistency. We have gotten very good at this. So good that Einstein was able to predict, though logic and mathematics alone the phenomenon of time dilation. Amazing really when you think about it. <br />
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Philosophy is a wonderful subject for opening up minds and really getting folk to consider the nature and limitations of knowledge and our ability to reason. I think sometimes it can be taken too far though. We all accept reality as extant and we further believe that it is actually quite like what we think it is. It can be interesting to challenge this assumption but such challenges are ultimately just mental exercise. As soon as we are done pondering it, we will go right back to our assumptions. Unless someone has actually done as God did in the <i>Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy</i> and managed to disappear in a puff of logic :P

I am part of Jesus flock. John 10 is where Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. That analogy should however be seen in its correct cultural context. In Jesus time a shepherd would walk before his flock and his flock would follow. The shepherd would be the first to find water and pasture. He would know each sheep by name and they would know his call. He would protect them against wild animals. In fact when sheep slept at night it was in a stone circle - a sheep pen with no door. No door because it was the shepherd who lay down in the gap that was the gate. In fact Jesus takes the analogy further - he suggests that that he would lay down his own life for his sheep. <br />
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Thats the kind of God I want!<br />
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It is hard to understand God. Jesus knew this. That is why he told so many parables within his teaching. One of his teachings was that if you want to know The Father - God - look at the Son - Jesus. Jesus is the proof of God's existence. Jesus is an historical figure. He is talked about by many historians - Pliny the Younger being the most famous - outside of the Bible. Check out a book called "The case for Christ". by journalist Lee Strobel.<br />
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Phil

Phil, <br />
<br />
Can you ease off on the duplicate postings. Thanks.

I am part of Jesus flock. John 10 is where Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. That analogy should however be seen in its correct cultural context. In Jesus time a shepherd would walk before his flock and his flock would follow. The shepherd would be the first to find water and pasture. He would know each sheep by name and they would know his call. He would protect them against wild animals. In fact when sheep slept at night it was in a stone circle - a sheep pen with no door. No door because it was the shepherd who lay down in the gap that was the gate. In fact Jesus takes the analogy further - he suggests that that he would lay down his own life for his sheep. <br />
<br />
Thats the kind of God I want!<br />
<br />
It is hard to understand God. Jesus knew this. That is why he told so many parables within his teaching. One of his teachings was that if you want to know The Father - God - look at the Son - Jesus. Jesus is the proof of God's existence. Jesus is an historical figure. He is talked about by many historians - Pliny the Younger being the most famous - outside of the Bible. Check out a book called "The case for Christ". by journalist Lee Strobel.<br />
<br />
Phil

I am part of Jesus flock. John 10 is where Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. That analogy should however be seen in its correct cultural context. In Jesus time a shepherd would walk before his flock and his flock would follow. The shepherd would be the first to find water and pasture. He would know each sheep by name and they would know his call. He would protect them against wild animals. In fact when sheep slept at night it was in a stone circle - a sheep pen with no door. No door because it was the shepherd who lay down in the gap that was the gate. In fact Jesus takes the analogy further - he suggests that that he would lay down his own life for his sheep. <br />
<br />
Thats the kind of God I want!<br />
<br />
It is hard to understand God. Jesus knew this. That is why he told so many parables within his teaching. One of his teachings was that if you want to know The Father - God - look at the Son - Jesus. Jesus is the proof of God's existence. Jesus is an historical figure. He is talked about by many historians - Pliny the Younger being the most famous - outside of the Bible. Check out a book called "The case for Christ". by journalist Lee Strobel.<br />
<br />
Phil

<i>Jesus is the proof of God's existence</i><br />
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This is not at all true. Even if Jesus were, without any doubt, an historical figure, it is still in no way proof of God. <br />
If you think he is, then you should also be a Muslim. Mohammed calimed pretty much the same thing as Jesus. Not being God incarnate but that he was making God's will (Allah's will in this case) known through his teachings and actions. Mohammed was definately an historical figure. There is absolutely no doubt about this. Does that convince you that Allah is the one true god?<br />
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If you do not find Mohammed's existence proof of Allah, why should we consider Jesus' existence as proof of Jehovah or YHVH or whatever you want to call him.<br />
If Jesus did exist, and I think there is a least a case to be made that he did, he was most likely just an eccentric rabbi. Regardless of his lack of divinity, I think Jesus was a huge improvement over the ghastly savage of the Old Testament. He was quite progressive for his time, though he would probably be considered morally unclutured by todays standard. I think much of what is attributed to Jesus as his teachings are quite good. Some not so great notions too, but overall as far as relgious icons go, you could do worse. <br />
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If you read accounts of great battles and great events, the authors of the accounts often exaggerate about major pla<x>yers in events. This is magnified a thousand fold where religion is concerned. There are many people alive today who are attributed magical powers by sycophntic followers. You could go and hear eye-witness accounts of miracles that were performed. I strongly suspect you will have no difficulty at all in rejecting such claims without even investigating them. Oddly though, you are willing to accept two thousand year old claims of the same nature with only unreliable second hand heresay to support them. I don't doubt that you believe but don't kid yourself; you believe because you want to believe, not because of any evidence.

I am part of Jesus flock. John 10 is where Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. That analogy should however be seen in its correct cultural context. In Jesus time a shepherd would walk before his flock and his flock would follow. The shepherd would be the first to find water and pasture. He would know each sheep by name and they would know his call. He would protect them against wild animals. In fact when sheep slept at night it was in a stone circle - a sheep pen with no door. No door because it was the shepherd who lay down in the gap that was the gate. In fact Jesus takes the analogy further - he suggests that that he would lay down his own life for his sheep. <br />
<br />
Thats the kind of God I want!<br />
<br />
It is hard to understand God. Jesus knew this. That is why he told so many parables within his teaching. One of his teachings was that if you want to know The Father - God - look at the Son - Jesus. Jesus is the proof of God's existence. Jesus is an historical figure. He is talked about by many historians - Pliny the Younger being the most famous - outside of the Bible. Check out a book called "The case for Christ". by journalist Lee Strobel.<br />
<br />
Phil

I am part of Jesus flock. John 10 is where Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. That analogy should however be seen in its correct cultural context. In Jesus time a shepherd would walk before his flock and his flock would follow. The shepherd would be the first to find water and pasture. He would know each sheep by name and they would know his call. He would protect them against wild animals. In fact when sheep slept at night it was in a stone circle - a sheep pen with no door. No door because it was the shepherd who lay down in the gap that was the gate. In fact Jesus takes the analogy further - he suggests that that he would lay down his own life for his sheep. <br />
<br />
Thats the kind of God I want!<br />
<br />
It is hard to understand God. Jesus knew this. That is why he told so many parables within his teaching. One of his teachings was that if you want to know The Father - God - look at the Son - Jesus. Jesus is the proof of God's existence. Jesus is an historical figure. He is talked about by many historians - Pliny the Younger being the most famous - outside of the Bible. Check out a book called "The case for Christ". by journalist Lee Strobel.<br />
<br />
Phil

It's funny how those who believe in a higher power love to ask for proof of their deity's non-exsistence, yet can never provide any for the contrary. I just love the fact that Christians refer to themselves as the "flock" and "God" is the "Sheppard". This mentality of ignorance, of following just because that's what the others are doing, is extremely naive. There is another saying folks, "... like lambs to the slaughter". Look up the definition of the word "cult" and you will see that all religions fall under this category.

People accepted that the earth was flat, that the sun orbited the earth, that slavery was good etc. The fact that some people believe in invisible people does not attest to their existence.<br />
Now in this case you are purporting that not only is a silent, transparent, faith based entity responsible for the creation of both time and space but that this conjecture must be accepted with no proof but you affirmation<br />
Would you think it rude if I asked about your credentials?<br />
You might also like to rethink the concept of me as the challenger, for it is you who is basing your arguments on gods, fairy's, angels and Santa.

LOL! Shifting the burden of proof. It is an old tactic and I've seen it so many times before. People have accepted God exist. You are the challenger and not the defender so it would be more appropriate if you do the proving.<br />
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Shalom aleichem

The problem is your assumption that a god created time and space. If you plan to make an argument or state a point you must first establish the facts, for which you have not. You must first prove there is a god in order to then credit it with the creation of the aforementioned

This is really intoxicating me and don know what to believe. I just believe that we are energy and when we die we will come back as another person or something else.

The problem that I have is that God created time, space, and matter. How then can he be defined by time? God knows into the future as for Him it is the same as the now. God can however change what we call the future. It is not predetermined but by His grace and unfailing love He does change His mind if there is enough for Him to feel that way. That is a known from the Bible. God has always been there. If one implies that God is located in time, one would then imply that God has a definite beginning day. Who then created God? Someone that must have been outside of time? That is then a circular argument. The way I see it is that we that are defined by time can not even begin to imagine how the world works in a dimension where time is non existent and has never existed at any point of time. The same can be said for infinity. One can maybe describe it in words but try and convince one's mind to fully understand it is impossible.