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Is God Truly Outside of All Time


urroner

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Is God truly outside of all temporal dimensions and not subject in any way to any of them?

The reason why I ask is because of any action or change to take place, there has to be a temporal dimension for the change to occur. For example, in the Bible it states that God repented of certain of His actions or thoughts, so doesn't "repentance" indicate some type of change? Did God always plan on creating the Earth ever since forever ago, or did He decide at some point to create the Earth where before He hadn't decided?

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I don't have the physics to explain it in detail, but my understanding is that God exists outside of the eleven dimensions of space-time in our universe (see Hyperspace by Dr. Michio Kaku) and thus, his "time" is not the same as our "time" So, as far as this universe is concerned, there is no "time" when God wasn't working the Plan of Salvation.

Yours under the multiversal oaks,

Nathair /|\

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It is my opinion that days, years, and centuries have little meaning for a being that lives for eternity, but I do think that he sees things as a sequence of events like everyone else. For him there would be a "before" and "after".

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I think Blake Ostler does a good job in refuting the idea that God exists in an "eternal now" in "The Attributes of God" (Greg Kofford, 2001), pp. 152-53:

At first blush this statement appears to say precisely that all things past, present and future as with God one eternal now. Such a reading supports a conclusion that God is timeless in precisely the way intended by Boethius. However, a closer reading shows that this cannot be the case. Reading this ti say that God is timeless so that temporal designations of "before and after" do not apply to God is inconsistent with the statements that Jehovah contemplated these events "before" the morning stars (i.e.,the sons of God in the heavenly council) sang for joy. Thus, we must look for another interpretation to make sense of the context of the statement. The entire context is describing the plan of salvation and how God preplanned and made provision for salvation of the dead by providing the doctrine of baptism for the dead. A more consistent reading of this statement is that in the deliberations leading to the plan of salvation, God considered all of the possibilities that were likely to occur. In his contemplation, God considered all things past, present and future and he made provisions for all possibilities that could befall the human family in adopting his plan. For example, he contemplated the fall of Adam and knew that it could occur. If it did occur, then God planned to provide a Savior to redeem mortals from the fall.

If read to indicate that God is timeless, it is hard to make sense of the nation that God was once a man as the Book of Mormon unambiguously asserts (1 Ne. 19:7-10; Mos. 13:34; 15:1-2) or that God progresses in any manner as Joseph Smith asserted in the King Follett discourse delivered in Nauvoo in 1844. For if God is timeless, then there was no real time prior to which God became man nor could there be an interval during which he experienced mortality and again became divine. Indeed, the view that the past and the future are just as real as the present leads to a clear absurdit: in the same moment of reality in the eternal now (EN) Washington is both crossing the Delaware and already dead! If God sees simultaneously with his gaze that the Apollo 11 astronauts are walking on the moon, then it follows that Washington's crossing of the Delaware is simultaneous in time with the Apollo 11 astronauts walking on the moon--for if a is simultaneous with b, and b, is simultaneous with c, then the law of transivity requires that a is simultaneous with c (a=b, b=c, therefore a=c).

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Is God truly outside of all temporal dimensions and not subject in any way to any of them?

The reason why I ask is because of any action or change to take place, there has to be a temporal dimension for the change to occur. For example, in the Bible it states that God repented of certain of His actions or thoughts, so doesn't "repentance" indicate some type of change? Did God always plan on creating the Earth ever since forever ago, or did He decide at some point to create the Earth where before He hadn't decided?

An interesting question but as far as I know any answer would have to be speculation at this point in time. :P

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Of course He is outside time. He must be.

He sees the entire scope of our temporal existence as if were a detailed image laid out from beginning to end. It is as if He were the being living in three dimensions looking at a photograph of all of us and all our doings from one end to the other. He already knows where we will end up, because, to Him, it has already happened. If prophecy is not to fail, ever, it must be that way. So what is to us time is to Him mere position. What is Time to Him is incomprehensible to us.

Some would complain that that removes our agency, but of course it doesn't. We don't know what our choices will be, and we have free will wihin the bounds of our existence, but He has already seen our choices, even though to us we haven't yet made them.

I prefer not to think about it too much. I cherish the illusion of uncertainty; it is my security blanket.

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You can see it either way I think without paradox as long as we don't get locked into a single linguistic level or context.

Suppose all the universes his children occupy are like rooms in a vast mansion, each on their own "time" relative to each universe, and he can come to visit any one he chooses, or hang out in his own place.

To put it in human terms, he can visit his 4 year old child or his 90 year old child and all the 90 year old's great grandchildren, each "living" their own time line.

Simple, but since we have no idea, that is as good a picture, in my opinion, as any.

In this analogy, we can imagine a scenario which would allow him to be both outside and inside any given timeline or eternity as needed. This apparant paradoxes I think can always be solved by using propositions about the other propositions, as in the solution for the Liar's Paradox.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liar_paradox

Alfred Tarski

Alfred Tarski diagnosed the paradox as arising only in languages that are "semantically closed", by which he meant a language in which it is possible for one sentence to predicate truth (or falsehood) of another sentence in the same language (or even of itself). To avoid self-contradiction, it is necessary when discussing truth values to envision levels of languages, each of which can predicate truth (or falsehood) only of languages at a lower level. So, when one sentence refers to the truth-value of another, it is semantically higher. The sentence referred to is part of the "object language", while the referring sentence is considered to be a part of a "meta-language" with respect to the object language. It is legitimate for sentences in "languages" higher on the semantic hierarchy to refer to sentences lower in the "language" hierarchy, but not the other way around. This prevents a system from becoming self-referential.

I would use the term "language game" instead of language. So by moving "up" in context, apparent paradoxes can be resolved

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Is God truly outside of all temporal dimensions and not subject in any way to any of them?

...

Facsimile #2 does not seem to say so:

Fig. 1. Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the
last pertaining to the measurement of time
. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.

Richard

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Of course He is outside time. He must be.

He sees the entire scope of our temporal existence as if were a detailed image laid out from beginning to end. It is as if He were the being living in three dimensions looking at a photograph of all of us and all our doings from one end to the other. He already knows where we will end up, because, to Him, it has already happened. If prophecy is not to fail, ever, it must be that way. So what is to us time is to Him mere position. What is Time to Him is incomprehensible to us.

The question isn't "Is God outside of our temporal dimension." I will grant that as a given, but is God outside of all temporal dimensions.

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The question isn't "Is God outside of our temporal dimension." I will grant that as a given, but is God outside of all temporal dimensions.

I don't think we are meant to know that until we can comprehend his science. In other words I can't believe our intelligence is that sophisticated to grasp that science concept unless you want to take it as faith.

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The question isn't "Is God outside of our temporal dimension." I will grant that as a given, but is God outside of all temporal dimensions.

Why is this important?

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When you speak of eternities (forever). How can you have time except in the sense of measurement. I don't believe HF is subject to time. It is only a tool.

If that is true, he could not progress. He could not change from state of perfection 1 which is lower than state of perfection 2 unless he does it in time.

That is the argument anyway.

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If that is true, he could not progress. He could not change from state of perfection 1 which is lower than state of perfection 2 unless he does it in time.

That is the argument anyway.

Then why have the concept of eternity? If forever is forever then like how you said how can there be progression? When the glories are closed are not eternal progression stopped for those in the telestial and terrestrial? That's why I accept KFD as doctrine. There is no beginning and there is no end. Timeless

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Who created this temporal dimension that He exists in?

As LDS we do not believe in ex nihilo creation anyway. I am just trying to explain the KFD- that is where the discussion begins.

Everything has "always" existed. It is no different than the KFD.

Am I missing something?

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As LDS we do not believe in ex nihilo creation anyway. I am just trying to explain the KFD- that is where the discussion begins.

Everything has "always" existed. It is no different than the KFD.

Am I missing something?

No, you're not missing anything. I was just wondering how those who believe in ex nihilo are able to adjust to the paradox of God having to have a temporal dimension already before being able to create the first temporal dimension.

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I think Blake Ostler does a good job in refuting the idea that God exists in an "eternal now" in "The Attributes of God" (Greg Kofford, 2001), pp. 152-53:

I disagree. He asserts or posits that Joseph Smiths opinion on progression is the full story of progression, I would disagree that Joseph Smith necessarily knew "all" of the elements involved. I would also view his assertion that time in our existence must be connected or flow with time in another existence. If they are not connected beyond that of Heavenly Father then his idea of timelessness of God is wrong. What if time is the shape of a sphere and outside of time you see the different points on the surface of the sphere which are points of time? Eucledian Geometry need not apply to the space time continuum. :P

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No, you're not missing anything. I was just wondering how those who believe in ex nihilo are able to adjust to the paradox of God having to have a temporal dimension already before being able to create the first temporal dimension.

A good point.

There could be no "beginning" to time unless there was a time "before the beginning"

Now I get what you were driving at.

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Ever notice that the scriptures often quoted, don't say "before the beginning" but rather "IN the beginning".

So even if you ASSUME that no time existed "before the beginning" (which you have shown to be in error), to be "IN the beginning" means that some period of time had already past. Other wise you wouldn't be "IN" but "before" or "at".

Does that make sense?

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Ever notice that the scriptures often quoted don't say "before the beginning" but rather "IN the beginning".

So even if you ASSUME that no time existed "before the beginning" (which you have shown to be in error), to be "IN the beginning" means that some period of time had already past. Other wise you wouldn't be "IN" but "before" or "at".

Does that make sense?

It does to me.

The more I think about it, the more I think our buddy urroner is onto something I for one hadn't really thought too much about.

I think it could really hurt the whole idea of "ex nihilo" creation- at least how it relates to time.

It would seem to me that there could be no ex nihilo creation of time.

That is not to say that God could not create "relative time zones" in a different scale than his time, but if this is correct, he could never be totally outside of time- just in his own time reference which would be different from ours.

Anybody see a problem with this?

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And IF God created everything ex nihilo, then He sat FOREVER (explicitly meaning the passage of time) in nothing, doing nothing.

So, what caused Him to change?

Ex nihilo theology doesn't eliminate "first cause" issues.

Sorry for the tangent.

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