Saturday, December 18, 2010

Email about the 'Desire' contradictory set

A friend emails:
I think the main problem with the that it doesn't properly see God as an eternal/timeless say that "At time t God is x" is always false, where x is any intrinsic attribute of God.  You could say "At time t God did (felt, spoke, etc.) x toward the world".  In that case, x is relational toward the temporal universe and can be true of God.

So, to say "At all times God desires the actual state of affairs" is to say something intrinsic to God, and is technically false, or possibly meaningless if you include non-temporal facts into "actual state of affairs".  What would it mean for "At time t, a timeless being desired a timeless state of affairs"?

So, statement 5 is false because even though God desires to grow the number of worshippers, He does so exactly at the rate He desires.  To God, the actual state of affairs is the totality of history plus all that is true timelessly.
I agree, and might add that stressing immanence over transcendence seems to be a powerful current in contemporary Christian thinking about God (but don't get me wrong, immanence must be true to some degree to distinguish theism from deism, and even more so with Christianity); and more to the matter at hand, apostates often retain whatever ideas about Christianity they formerly held when arguing against it.  "Young intellectuals are abandoning the warm fuzzy faith of their parents," is the standard explanation given for the growth of secularism and even New Calvinism in America. Regardless, a post on impassibility might be fun...stay tuned!


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