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Is God timeless or eternal? The cosmological argument.

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Introduction

Is God timeless or eternal? The cosmological argument. The fourth century philosopher, St Augustine made this statement concerning time: 'what is time? When no-one asks me I know. But when I am asked to explain it I can't.' Time is a human construction, the twenty four time zones were established in 1884 because of the innovation of the railway system. The calendar itself is also a human invention devised to coincide with the movements of the planets. The modern world seems to be obsessed with time and the immediate future and this has lost us the opportunity to reflect on the past. This, according to Paul Davies, is an important part of a person's character as memories and past experiences create personality. The human being's lifespan is totally inconsequential relative to the history of the universe and although we are insignificant on a cosmic scale a person's memories can shape their influences. ...read more.

Middle

Human beings are finite and are therefore bound up with potentiality for change. Everything that moves does so in temporality and spatiality and so only a finite being can develop and acquire more knowledge. However, we understand God to be omniscient and so he cannot have the potential to learn more. Aquinas uses this logic to conclude that God is timeless in that he exists outside of time as we understand it. This also suggests that God is immutable. This is because to move would require time and space and God lives outside of these. All matter and finite beings have the potential to move and improve and because God lives outside of time God must be completely unchanging and never anything but God. The cosmological argument is an a posteriori argument and is defined by Aquinas in three ways. ...read more.

Conclusion

A potential infinite exists if it is always possible to add one to a number, for example the days in the future as more events are constantly being added. The actual infinite is complete at all times. It is simply the biggest number possible so half of the number equals the number itself as both are the largest possible. This is illogical and hard to comprehend but is a set mathematical concept. The Kalam version of the cosmological argument is based on the concept of infinity. The past cannot be infinite because that would mean it was possible to constantly add another yesterday which would mean today would never arrive. The present does exist and so the past is not infinite. It must therefore have had a beginning and since nothing can cause itself it must have had a cause. This cause was God. Hannah Fleming L6E 14.10.03 ...read more.

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