Debate: Is it possible for God to be timeless?

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I have heard people in the other debate topics assert that God is the only logically possible cause of the universe, but is it possible for God to be entirely seperate to, yet completely responsible for the universe?

To me, it seems not. I see time as a continuum and the medium through which causality can exist. If you take away time, you take away all means of causality and thus in this way you cannot have a God who lacks time and yet still causes physical events.


I used to think of time that way as well, but the theory of relativity (or some other related physics) appears to disagree: time is a dimension in which one can move, just like spatial ones. So if we believe that God can exist in all places, He could (must?) exist in all times as well.

I should point out that I have no evidence for this, but thinking of it that way helps me to organise my thoughts, such as they are.--CPalmer 08:15, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

I thought relativity stated that time is relative to the speed of movement in the spatial dimensions. In this way I dont think relativity addresses so much the existence of a continuum but how the rate of this continuum is relative to movement. -Barnes

I agree that time is a continuum, but the idea that one's position in time can be affected by movement in space suggests to me that it might be sensible to think of time in the same terms as the familiar spatial dimensions. If you follow my line of thought above, God can only be timeless if He is also omnipresent: do you believe it's possible for God to be omnipresent? If not, there's not much point pursuing this.--CPalmer 09:57, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
But mixing omnipresence with general relativity implies that God is a physical part of the universe. Anyway general relativity would require that something without movement cannot progress in time, which doesnt allow for timelessness so much as a lack of a continuum for God to cause within.
I can understand how omnipresence might work, but it makes God a part of nature rather than the separate creator of the universe. -Barnes
I disagree that omnipresence makes God a physical part of the universe. If He was both omnipresent and physically present, there wouldn't be any room for anything else, would there?.--CPalmer 12:56, 27 October 2008 (EDT)
I disagree that what you are proposing about God and time is possible in any way. General relativity applies to spacetime bound physical objects which leave an imprint on a proverbial sheet to explain the force of gravity as the curvature energy makes on this sheet. How you fit God into this picture is beyond me.
It is quite possible for God to be timeless. To try and explain, humans always feel the need to quantify everything, even things which cannot be quantified. Thus you end up with thought experiments such as "If God is forever, where did He come from?" (How many people here have asked themselves that question? I bet all atheists have at some point and used their lack of an answer as a basis for their non-belief) and "If I fly forever, will I run out of universe?". The concept of eternity (running forwards and backwards) is simply a condition that we cannot (yet) wrap our minds around. Even if the Big Bang theory is true and one proton became "everything" and time started from that point, where did that one proton come from? It's when we try and picture and already infinitely old God standing in an infinite nothingness, holding a metaphorical match under this lonely proton that the thought experiment starts to become mind-bending. (Another t.e. we did a while ago was "if God is eternal and the Earth is 6,000 years old, what was He doing for eternity-6000?")
That could be why many people reject the notion of God, "I cannot conceive the concept of God being forever, because I do not understand 'forever', thus God cannot exist." God's existence cannot be quantified, which is where "belief" and "faith" come it, as unsatisfactory as some people find those answers. --KotomiTKonnichiha! 15:04, 27 October 2008 (EDT)
Im not rejecting the impossibility of timelessness out of incomprehensibility but logic, as I explained in the first post.
The big bang does not mention one proton becoming everything, since the big bang started with a point of energy. It is entirely possible that this energy came from nothing as things tend to do, hence why we have vacuum fluctuation models.
Im not disregarding the concept of infinity, I actually think that the most plausible timeline for God would be one which was infinitely long. I just think that there has to BE a timeline.- Barnes
Also, I want to note here that a kid is already trying to disprove the Theory of Relitivity. And from what I've researched, he's doing a good job so far. MHarris

Well if god is existing as all, then he is also existing in a non-existence. Which is clearly...impossible. 2ndly, if god is everything, he is also the devil, and all the atheists in the world, he is existing in the evil that is in the world...which is impossible because god by a moral standard is benevolent and loves all his people...And we must also remember...God isn't proven to be everything in the world...if you want to go with simple claims then your argument is no better than the Islam yelling Allah is the god, and Allah is everything, or An atheist saying the FSM is everything and it is god, or me saying I am everything and I am god. If we dont need evidence any of these claims would work. If you dont realize it, ideas dont gain truth in numbers, it gains it with evidence, having billions of people follow your religion doesn't mean its right, at one point in time most people thought the world was flat. At one point in time we didn't know tobacco was bad...

And if you forget, For god to be timeless he doesn't play by the rules of time, which makes no sense because everything came into existence 6,000 years ago according to the bible. Logically time itself existed only then, so God can't be existing before then...unless he is living in a non-existance...which would make no sense because there is no recorded evidence of the non-existance...Its like saying there is something out there that we, nor the universe can have physical or mental contact, meaning it doesn't effect the universe whatsoever, but it exists, its undectectable and doesn't affect us in any way but its there. It can't be reached by us, but it can reach out to us, and its disguised as normal things that are actually the affects of that unknown thing. --Yes...that makes perfect sense. Or we can just say that things happen. User:ChillinBM

Chillin, I'm afraid you are taking things WAY to literally. I don't remember reading much of any of what you said in the Bible.

God created time, space, matter and laws, but of course God Himself is not bounded by any of these. Just because we are stuck in time and space doesn't mean God is. I love a saying that God flips through time faster than we flip a page in a book.Kmcheng 12:02, 25 December 2008 (EST)

God created the Universe, and therefor is not bound to it. God already knows how everything will paly out, who is saved and who isn't, because that's what he decided before he even created time.A second is like a thousand years, all that lines --SeanS 13:13, 3 June 2011 (EDT)
That theory seems a bit odd, SeanS. It lays out that all our choices are already premade and if true conflicts with one of Mankinds most valuable possession from God. Free Will. We aren't governed by Fates or gods that know our choices before hand. We have a loving and watchful God that tries to make guideposts that lead back to Him, but do not force us to follow them if we choose not to. Thats why he gave the Cannainites(sp?) 400 years to try and redeem themselves before God attempted to eradicate them all though the Hebrews. Though, a look at what happened in the following years points to it not completely working. Though not a surprize, can you trust an entire army to kill every woman and child they see?
And saying we can trump god's influence with free will is putting us above our creator. Predestination would be a good read for you. you should also try and sign your posts. Saying man cannot be destined ot something by god because of free will denies god both his throne and his omnipotence, and i didnt say there is not choice in life, but ultimately, god will call those destined to be with him to be with him.--SeanS 16:03, 3 June 2011 (EDT)


If God is timeless, then he cannot know what time it is. Human beings in linear time, for example, can know it is 2:45 PM, and a minute later can know it is 2:46 PM. But a timeless or immutable God sees all of time from a detached vantage point quite removed from the changing knowledge of watching a clock. If God cannot know what time it is, then he cannot be omniscient.RubyR 01:05, 16 October 2009 (EDT)

also time is of our own creation. We could have made 48 hour days with 30 min time windows. And then 10 months in a year with 36/37 days in a month. MHarris

I don't know, and nor do you

Perhaps God is just so far outside of human comprehension, trying to work this out is impossible. God is, and that's all that really matters. NewCrusader 08:50, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

Would you say that God is outside of logic too? The fact that you can assert that God exists means that you are conforming God to logic, since affirming his very existence means obeying the logical law of non-contradiction. -Barnes

Yes Time is a human invention so as to live in hour world. Yes it does say in the "It was evening and it was morning and it was one day". But that doesn't contradict what I am trying to say. The Bible was given to us as humans. And as humans the only way we would be able to understand the word of G-D, would be to have a Bible written that humans can understand. If G-d would be contrained by time, this world would not be able to exist. It is written that in order for this world to exist, G-d has to be constatly watching over it. If G-d stops thinking aout this world for even one second, this world would no longer exist. So we would have to learn from this, that while G-d is watching over the present he would at the same exact time have to watch over the past and the future. But all that is from our prespective. From the prospective of G-d there is no such thing as time. No past, no present, no future. In such a case time really does not exist, and if time doesn't exist then there is no question over whether G-d can exist out of time

Why are you writing 'G-d'? Afraid of using His name in vain? I doubt using his name to educate people isn't using it in vain. MHarris
Some people (including many Jews) prefer to write "G-d" to avoid the potential of destroying something with God's name on it. For instance, if someone were to print this page out and then destroy it (whether deliberately to desecrate God's name or just in the course of everyday life) some people would not want the explicit word "God" to be destroyed. But that is besides the point. Gregkochuconn 13:47, 23 June 2011 (EDT)