Tuesday, June 4, 2019

God Both Is And Can't Be Unchanging

Christians believe Jesus has a set of attributes on the authority of scripture. Classic Christian Apologists took these attributes and formed arguments around them that lead to their God. The cosmological argument, which argues that a First Cause is needed for our universe’s origin, emphasizes God’s atemporal and aspacial attributes to signify that only God is outside time and space. God is then uniquely qualified to create time and space under the reasonable assumption that the cause of time and space cannot come from within time and space.

Apologists then recognize a necessary consequence of God’s independence from a dimension of duration: God is unchanging. Which leads to an inconsistency that can be laid out in a syllogism, much like the cosmological argument itself.

  • Premise 1: Everyone that acts, changes from a state of inaction to action.
  • Premise 2: If there is a creator of the universe, that creator acted when creating the universe.
  • Conclusion: Therefore, if a creator of the universe exists, that creator changed.

The apologist is left arguing for a God with attributes in conflict with the implications of their argument.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, the God of the Old Testament frequently seems to change his mind, does things he later regrets, etc. Hardly consistent with a being existing outside of time.

    The problem that an act of creation is inherently a form of change for the creative agent is not one which would have occurred to the goat-herding hicks who wrote the Old Testament. Such problems arose from exposure to philosophy and logic as they had developed in the more advanced civilizations of the era (Greece, Babylon).

    It's a special case of the fact that an entity with more than one absolute attribute is logically impossible, because any absolute can be shown to be in conflict with any other. This is revealed as soon as philosophical logic is applied to the incoherent mythology of primitives. Given what we now know about the universe, any conscious entity which created it as Genesis describes would need to be beyond human comprehension. Fortunately, as Hawking and Krauss have shown, no such entity need be postulated.