Re: God the interactor (was God the tinkerer)

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Tue Sep 06 2005 - 14:16:49 EDT

Don,
Why do you insist on spouting nonsense? There is nothing sensible I can
say in response to you.
Dave

On Tue, 6 Sep 2005 04:10:12 -0700 "Don Winterstein"
<dfwinterstein@msn.com> writes:
Dave,

I see the big difference between us on this issue as stemming from your
view of what God's eternal nature requires. You infer from God's eternal
nature that he cannot experience sequence and cannot change. (George
Murphy said something similar.) Although I've reviewed all your
statements on this (e.g., to George et al.) made in the recent days while
I was away, these inferences still seem to me to be non sequiturs.

I visualize two different kinds of time, one that God generates by
creating events in sequence, and another that he has created in
generating our universe. If God does create events in sequence, as I
believe, then he unquestionably experiences his own kind of time. This
does not in any way require him to be confined within our space-time, but
it would make his interaction with us in our kind of time more
understandable, as such interaction would simply represent further
creation in sequence on his part. The certainty of his interaction with
us therefore makes it likely that he does indeed experience his own kind
of time.

If God is eternal, he must have been doing lots of stuff before he
created our finite universe. Or can you imagine him sitting there for
half an eternity doing nothing? Trying to imagine God before the big
bang increases my respect for his greatness.

I agree that "To inject time into timelessness is to produce
self-stultifying nonsense," but maybe there's no such thing as
timelessness.

Don

----- Original Message -----
From: D. F. Siemens, Jr.
To: dfwinterstein@msn.com
Cc: asa@lists.calvin.edu
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 11:11 AM
Subject: Re: God the interactor (was God the tinkerer)

Don,
There is no before and after outside of time. Before equals t-x; after,
t+x. To inject time into timelessness is to produce self-stultifying
nonsense.
Dave

On Fri, 2 Sep 2005 03:25:03 -0700 "Don Winterstein"
<dfwinterstein@msn.com> writes:
Dave,

I was hoping you were going to tell me why the eternal God was unable to
generate events in sequence. That is, why can't there be an "earlier"
and a "later," a "before" and an "after," for the eternal God? There's
no reason that I can see why this would mean he was confined within our
space-time. It would just mean he had the option of doing novel things.
And doesn't the finite age of our universe imply that it's just such a
novel thing?

Apparently the explanation is far too sophisticated for my poor brain to
absorb. : )

Don

----- Original Message -----
From: D. F. Siemens, Jr.
To: dfwinterstein@msn.com
Cc: asa@lists.calvin.edu
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 11:15 AM
Subject: Re: God the interactor (was God the tinkerer)

Don,
Giving things a different label doesn't make it different. Since you
don't see the problem, there is nothing more I can say.
Dave

On Thu, 1 Sep 2005 01:48:58 -0700 "Don Winterstein"
<dfwinterstein@msn.com> writes:
Dave,

Not so. What I am saying is that before God created time he created
event sequence; and having once created it, he experiences it. Thus,
"before" and "after" have meaning for God much as they do for us. (I'm
assuming God has done things in addition to our space-time
universe--including things prior to 14 billion years ago our time.)

Event sequence is not the same as time. Time as the measurable quantity
we know requires regular periodic oscillations. So time requires space,
because such oscillations (at least, as we know them) can occur only in
space. The events God creates in general presumably do not require space
and, if not, can have sequence but not sequence in time.

If God can experience event sequence in the absence of space-time, he
likely can also experience event sequence in time much as we do. So he
is the creator of time, but he is able to experience and interact with
his creatures--time, us, etc. George's Latin does not conflict. I'm
sure Augustine would not have ruled out God's ability to interact with
his creatures; he himself experienced such interaction: "Tolle, lege!"

What are alternatives to divine "befores" and "afters"? God either 1)
does nothing or 2) does everything continuously. If 1), why should
anyone care? If 2), all his creatures should be eternal and unchanging
as he would be, because he presumably has done everything continuously
for all eternity. I offer instead that God can and does create new
events after old events. Our universe is an example. And then he
participates in the things he creates.

I claim further that he gets his satisfaction out of his ability to
participate. That's what motivates him in the first place.

Don

----- Original Message -----
From: D. F. Siemens, Jr.
To: dfwinterstein@msn.com
Cc: asa@lists.calvin.edu
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: God the interactor (was God the tinkerer)

Don,
Without realizing it, you have placed God in time, making it impossible
for him to be the creator of time. See George's citation of Augustine.
Dave

On Wed, 31 Aug 2005 04:40:59 -0700 "Don Winterstein"
<dfwinterstein@msn.com> writes:
Dave Siemens wrote: "Change requires a before and after, a previous
state and a
succeeding state, requiring time and probably space and matter, with the
possibility of analogs in the case of finite spirits.... If you can come
up
with a consistent description of a being both outside of time as Creator
and within time as reactor...I'll acknowledge
a mutable deity. "

Any activity whatever requires a before and after, so if God is active
apart from our universe, event sequence exists for him even though not
measurable in our kind of time. By doing anything whatever he creates
event sequence. So event sequence is more fundamental than space-time.
God is outside of our kind of time but he acts and so experiences event
sequence.

I see no reason why God should not be able to experience also our kind of
event sequence and participate with us in our events. And yes, by
interacting with us he permanently changes. The creation is important to
him, it's not an idle pastime; and he knew at the outset he would be
changed by it.

Don
Received on Tue Sep 6 14:49:06 2005

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