Creation ex-nihilo


#1

Hi,
My question is that if God is a perfect being outside of space and time then how can he “create” anything because creation requires an act and an act has a cause and an effect. A cause and an effect take place in space and time. How is creation philosophically possible? Could someone list some philosophers to help me out?
Thanks


#2

[quote=Brown10985]Hi,
My question is that if God is a perfect being outside of space and time then how can he “create” anything because creation requires an act and an act has a cause and an effect. A cause and an effect take place in space and time. How is creation philosophically possible? Could someone list some philosophers to help me out?
Thanks
[/quote]

I don’t know any philosophers…but it seems to me, Timeless/Omnipotant God is Master of everything–including cause and effect. He is the causeless Cause and everything is subject to Him. God can will time, work without time, work within time, work beyond time, work through time. Time is His creation and therefore subject to Him–not the other way around. We’re never going to be able to exactly comprehend God–He is too beyond us.

I don’t know if that’s any help or my typical mindless gibberish!:whacky:


#3

With creation, God IS the cause. There is nothing outside himself as cause. Cause and effect do not require space and time. The angels, for example, were created as purely spiritual beings. They have no matter whatsoever, and thus occupy no space and take up no time.

God is the cause; creation is the effect.

God is the cause; created spirits (angels) are the effects.

God is the cause, matter, space, and tiime, are the effects.

As for philosophers, I would recommend Mortimer Adler, Frank Sheed, or Peter Kreeft.


#4

[quote=Brown10985]Hi,
My question is that if God is a perfect being outside of space and time then how can he “create” anything because creation requires an act and an act has a cause and an effect. A cause and an effect take place in space and time. How is creation philosophically possible? Could someone list some philosophers to help me out?
Thanks
[/quote]

That in bold is where your logic is screwed up. A cause and effect need not take place in space and time. Angels cause things and they are not located in dimensive space. There’s no reason to hink that both the cause and the effect must be in space and time and every reason to think that it need not be so.


#5

[quote=Brown10985]Hi,
My question is that if God is a perfect being outside of space and time then how can he “create” anything because creation requires an act and an act has a cause and an effect. A cause and an effect take place in space and time. How is creation philosophically possible? Could someone list some philosophers to help me out?
Thanks
[/quote]

You’re right, cause & effect take place in space/time.
We human beings are bound to only one time dimension, moving along it in one direction only (past to future). Therefore we are bound to always experience cause & effect. God can move either direction along our timeline (past to future & future to past), and thus could experience effect first, then cause. Further, he quite possibly has access to additional time dimensions “intersecting” our own, and would move in other time directions (besides past and future) that we are unable to comprehend.
So to answer your question… yes, I would say a perfect God can create something. He does this by utilizing cause & effect. But he chooses this option from many that are at his disposal, and is by no means bound to cause & effect the way we are in this universe.
I suppose it’s part philosophical, part physics.


#6

[quote=Joy1982]You’re right, cause & effect take place in space/time.
We human beings are bound to only one time dimension, moving along it in one direction only (past to future). Therefore we are bound to always experience cause & effect. God can move either direction along our timeline (past to future & future to past), and thus could experience effect first, then cause. Further, he quite possibly has access to additional time dimensions “intersecting” our own, and would move in other time directions (besides past and future) that we are unable to comprehend.
So to answer your question… yes, I would say a perfect God can create something. He does this by utilizing cause & effect. But he chooses this option from many that are at his disposal, and is by no means bound to cause & effect the way we are in this universe. I suppose it’s part philosophical, part physics.
[/quote]

Hmmm, a couple of things as mentioned. Cause and Effect can take place in and outside of time. Our physical bodies are bound to “one time dimension”, but not our souls. (example bilocation of the saints). And the cause and effect individual’s experience is different from God’s vantage point as He really doesn’t move forward or backward through our time but witnesses the eternally present.

And interesting take on the “additional time dimenions ‘intersecting’” is the theoretical science and eulogization in sci-fi of the meeting of time and anti-time. If they were to intersect, the point of intersection would experience annihilation or rift. Thanks and God Bless.


#7

Why does God have to use cause and effect? He’s all powerful, so why does he have to follow the rules which human scientists have discovered to be absolute truth? He is the Alpha and Omega, meaning he is time. He is everything. He knew about atoms before humans did. Meaning, why did he have to do anything humans comprehend or can explain in science and/or logic and philosophy? When you know everything and can do anything, I’m sure making universes is as simple as flushing the toilet.


#8

A good book on this subject is “Beyond the Cosmos” by Hugh Ross. ISBN 1576831124.

Here is a good article by Ross on the same subject. You’ll probably have to register (free) on the site to get it, though…
h++p://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/temporality_beyond_time.shtml#_edn2


#9

[quote=Dagnarille]Why does God have to use cause and effect? He’s all powerful, so why does he have to follow the rules which human scientists have discovered to be absolute truth?
[/quote]

I wouldn’t think he has to use them. I suppose he chooses to most of the time. But I would classify miracles as times when God violates our laws of physics. But too much of that and faith becomes obsolete…


#10

[quote=slinky1882]Our physical bodies are bound to “one time dimension”, but not our souls.
[/quote]

That’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? He made our souls eternal.

[quote=slinky1882]And the cause and effect individual’s experience is different from God’s vantage point as He really doesn’t move forward or backward through our time but witnesses the eternally present.
[/quote]

I agree. I didn’t mean to sound like I think God “currently” moves only along our one timeline, although a person could argue He did once (Christ). :slight_smile:


#11

[quote=Joy1982]I wouldn’t think he has to use them. I suppose he chooses to most of the time. But I would classify miracles as times when God violates our laws of physics. But too much of that and faith becomes obsolete…
[/quote]

Out of curiousity, “too much of” what and “Faith becomes obsolete”??? Thanks and God Bless.


#12

[quote=slinky1882]Out of curiousity, “too much of” what and “Faith becomes obsolete”??? Thanks and God Bless.
[/quote]

I just mean that, if God did miracles left and right and it was common thing for most people to see, it would be more and more difficult for people to deny that He exists. Instead, I think it means something to God when we believe in Him without proof. (I’m not saying you or I don’t have proof, but we don’t have the kind of proof that can be tested with science.) If God revealed himself to the world through obvious miracles it would eliminate our need to believe without proof (faith), because it would be so obvious.


#13

If he did miracles for this group of people he’d have to do it for other groups too. It’s just like people question why ‘God gives him a better life than me.’ Besides, he performed plenty of Miracles while on Earth.

I agree though, the more ‘proof’ he puts on our doorsteps the less faith we have, because it defies the definition of faith.


#14

[quote=Brown10985]Hi,
My question is that if God is a perfect being outside of space and time then how can he “create” anything because creation requires an act and an act has a cause and an effect. A cause and an effect take place in space and time. How is creation philosophically possible? Could someone list some philosophers to help me out?
Thanks
[/quote]

Perhaps God isn’t a “perfect being outside of space and time”?


#15

Christ in his human nature experienced time. Presently He in his human nature would be experiencing a different kind or order of time that transcends the one on earth but is itself trascended by the eternity enjoyed in his divine nature with the Father and Holy Spirit alone. This is sometimes called “aeviternity”


#16

[quote=Joy1982]I just mean that, if God did miracles left and right and it was common thing for most people to see, it would be more and more difficult for people to deny that He exists. Instead, I think it means something to God when we believe in Him without proof. (I’m not saying you or I don’t have proof, but we don’t have the kind of proof that can be tested with science.) If God revealed himself to the world through obvious miracles it would eliminate our need to believe without proof (faith), because it would be so obvious.
[/quote]

Ahhh, I see. Thank you for the clarifcation. But I would have to say that miracles occur all the time (ex. Transubstantiation), but I believe you are referring to overt miracles that all can see. Sadly, a lot of our contemporaries have forgotten the small miracles and are far more apt to dismiss the BLINDING ones as a result. Thanks and God Bless.


#17

[quote=Brown10985]Could someone list some philosophers to help me out?
Thanks
[/quote]

I’ve only read one philosopher on the subject–William Lane Craig. I read his book, Time and Eternity. I didn’t understand all of his arguments, so I don’t know if I should agree with him or not, but basically his position is that God existed timelessly, and created space and time. He entered time simultaneously with time’s creation, so his act of creation did not happen apart from time. Time and his act of creation began simultaneously.


#18

[quote=Brown10985]Hi,
My question is that if God is a perfect being outside of space and time then how can he “create” anything because creation requires an act and an act has a cause and an effect. A cause and an effect take place in space and time. How is creation philosophically possible? Could someone list some philosophers to help me out?
Thanks
[/quote]

Aquinas addressed this in his Summa. He argues there is no potentiality in God, no “cause” waiting to become “effect”. God is pure “Act”. To me, that means everything happening to us is simultaneous and already exists to God. Time is a result of our limited perception.

You can read the whole SUmma at newadvent.org


#19

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