God And Eternity: Actions In An Atemporal State

guest blog by Razor Swift*

universeA couple of weeks ago I had a discussion with an atheist in my Paltalk chatroom and he posed an interesting statement. He informed me that he used to be a Christian and I asked what made him become an atheist. I got the typical “there’s no evidence for God” response, which I expected to hear. I proceeded to ask him what he would accept as evidence for God’s existence. He brought up a deductive argument that stopped me in my tracks. He said “No entity can perform any action in an a temporal state”. He’s trying to make the point that action requires time and if God is outside of
time, then it’s contradictory for an action to happen in eternity. An action would require a starting point which eternity wouldn’t have. He said that such an argument proves God’s non-existence as it’s a logical contradiction. After some thought, I admitted to him that I wasn’t sure how to answer
his comment. There just may not be a satisfactory answer/formula either.

The Big Bang From Beyond

I talked to my brother-in-law (and a friend) about this too. Though they gave me some interesting thoughts, we still came up empty handed in our understanding. I do however, have a parallel of sorts that I would like us to consider. Lets look at the creation of the universe for a second. The
scientific consensus of how the universe came to be is the Big Bang Theory. The prevailing theory states that before the Big Bang there was no time, space, matter, or energy [1]. So if this is true, that the universe had a beginning, it would need an uncaused cause i. e. God -from outside of time- that started things from an atemporal state. The way to get around this is to invoke the multiverse, but even there we run into problems.

Lets say for argument’s sake, that, another universe started this one. The question is did that universe have a beginning, and the one before it, did it have a beginning? You see where this is going? Well, just a moment, we’ll get there. The way I see it, is that we have only a couple of options to consider. One is that if this universe -and multiverses, if they exist- are truly eternal, then you have action in them (creation of universes in an atemporal state) which my atheist friend has already said is a contradiction. The other option is that if all of the “verses” are temporal, they still need an outside cause (which again is action in an atemporal state) to get that first universe going.

My atheist friend offered a third option [2] but I’m not convinced. If we were to say that these multiverses have always been, but yet are temporal,
we have an infinite regression of universes, which is a logical contradiction as well. One can say that these universes are infinite, but even then, the infinite still has a starting point or beginning whereas the eternal does not. In closing, admittedly none of this solves our problem to the original
question from our atheist friend, but hopefully this is something to chew on. Perhaps you, the reader have some thoughts about this.

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References:
1. Big Bang Briefly (Briefly Ep. 01) From the video, a professor of Physics and Astronomy Janna Levin says: “The picture of the Big Bang starts with nothing. There’s really nothing, there’s no space, there’s no time, there’s no matter, there’s no energy. It’s nothing, but the potential to exist.”
2. He gave me this illustration below. What he’s asserting is that you can have something that has no beginning that’s infinite yet not be eternal. To be honest, I’m not sure how this could be applied to the universe and solve his dilemma. < etc ‘-5′, ‘-4′, ‘-3′, ‘-2′, ‘-1′, 0, ’1′, ’2′, ’3′, ’4′, ’5′, etc >

 

*Razor Swift Research Group is a nondenominational think tank founded by former atheist and skeptic A. M. Hempe. The objective of R. S. R. G. is to open hearts and minds through the platform of apologetics. It’s our desire to approach Biblical, faith, and other issues from a different perspective rather than just preaching to the choir in the Christianese dialect. We maintain that faith and reason mustn’t necessarily be at odds with each other, but can be complementary. May no stone lay unturned.

 

The Poached Egg ApologeticsRECOMMENDED APOLOGETICS RESOURCES:

New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy

Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists

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