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Switch to Forum Live View The recurring proof of the existence of God
2 years ago  ::  Nov 11, 2011 - 5:50AM #21
Ibn
Posts: 4,237

Nov 11, 2011 -- 3:46AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Good morning my friend Ibn,


Nov 10, 2011 -- 7:34PM, Ibn wrote:


Nov 9, 2011 -- 12:43PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


The universe has always existed and will always exist. Yet, it is still created by a First Cause. It just goes to show how Great God is.


I do understand that anything is possible with God but God also wants us to think, ponder over His Message, and understand it rather than be cause of our confusion through something not being made clear in our understanding, that He has given us to understand His Message. Therefore, how can we reconcile "universe has always existed and will always exist" with "it is still created by a First Cause"?



Bahá'u'lláh's purpose with the previous passage was precisely to reconcile this confusion which arises from time-dependent thinking. The apparent contradiction can be reconciled (i.e. shown that there is in fact no contradiction) by understanding that being the First Cause is not the same as being "the first in time". It means being the cause of time itself. Time cannot constrain God. The dimension of time may well at some point be proven by science to be beginningless. It can be an open-ended dimension, both ways. For God to be literally "in the beginning" before all else is to unwittingly imprison God within time - His own creation! It is making Him a time-dependent entity that exists at some point in time, namely at the beginning point before anything else exists. Bahá'u'lláh's equation in the foregoing is not a logical contradiction but rather a perfectly logical equation. However, its understanding requires one to transcend the ordinary thinking that God exists within time (in the beginning).


This is the reason why Bahá'u'lláh speaks of essential pre-existence being reserved to God only. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son, distinguishes between essential pre-existence and pre-existence in time. The latter is time-bound causation; your father preceding you, the Big Bang preceding the present form of the universe, etc. Bahá'u'lláh is trying to carefully explain that God pre-exists time itself and hence cannot exist "in the beginning" but rather He causally pre-exists even the very notion of "beginning" which is a time-related notion. Here the term "pre-existence" means preceding causally. Some causes and effects occur within time. However, the Creator of time itself, by logical necessity, cannot exist within time but causally "before" time.


If you ponder it a while, the matter becomes clearer. It is in fact quite fascinating a notion and profound a notion. But you must free yourself from the thinking that everything occurs within the dimension of time. There is no contradiction.


With kind regards,


LilWabbit



Good morning dear friend, LilWabbit,


I don't think Bible regards God to have a beginning nor do I. When the Bible says, "in the beginning" it is not saying beginning of God but beginning/creation of heavens and earth and whatever is in between them rather than beginning of creation of time that was done before the creation of time. I am talking about creation of anything before time having a beginning or no beginning.  


There is no contradiction in my mind about creation of time, pre-existence in time or "essential pre-existence". I am trying to understand contradiction in pre-existence of God (essential pre-existence) and pre-existence of any matter/entity before time, other than God, from which creation of universe occurred/happened. If we assume that something other than God has always existed even before creation of time then we are getting into domain of shirk. Logically, everything must have been created by uncreated God if it has a beginning within or before time as we know it.  


If only God has no beginning then everything else must have a beginning and was nothing before that beginning. And if something else also has no beginning then that "something else" also is essential pre-existence. In my mind, only God is "essential pre-existence" and everything else must have a beginning even before time creation or at least at the moment of time creation.


Sorry if I sound confused to you. I am only trying to understand whether only God has no beginning outside time or something else too has no beginning before time. Also if everything else has a beginning whether in or outside time then how did that beginning come about, through God's creating work? From something or from nothing?


Peace


Ibn

I know one thing: There are a billion Islamic people in the world today, and there will be about 2 billion by the time we're dead. They're not going to give up their religion.
(Chris Matthews)
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 11, 2011 - 6:55AM #22
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,761

Nov 11, 2011 -- 5:50AM, Ibn wrote:


Sorry if I sound confused to you. I am only trying to understand whether only God has no beginning outside time or something else too has no beginning before time. Also if everything else has a beginning whether in or outside time then how did that beginning come about, through God's creating work? From something or from nothing?



I guess we can put it simply: God is the only true Beginning. All other beginnings are secondary and relative. This is my understanding of what Bahá'u'lláh is trying to say. Even an open-ended time dimension which does not have a beginning point in time, has, as a dimension, a beginning in God. The dimension itself is not without a Beginning. Only the events within that dimension may not have a particular point that is the first point. Infinity would still remain but a creation while God is beyond all infinities.


Best,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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