In the beginning... God and time


(Shawn T Murphy) #41

I agree with you, this is an unambiguous statement. God is divine, immortal and ethereal. Now what unambiguous characteristics of God does man possess? This unambiguously singular construct says that God created us divine, immortal and ethereal. Then came the Fall. Therefore, the story of Adam and Eve is not the beginning of God’s creation. It is the beginning of the restoration of the fallen.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #42

There are better ways to give your corrections to people than to falsely attribute ‘apparent’ illiteracy to them, Mitchell. Work on gracious dialogue, please. And others ought to be permitted to have their own problems and issues with any given thread even if “their problems” don’t happen to match your own - even if it is your own OP. Steering it back to the OP subject is certainly within your right. When others see related issues (and the Genesis 1 opening ought to qualify as that, at least), it may help add broader interest to a thread I should think.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #43

Michael, thank you for your help.


(David Heddle) #44

That is not correct. In fact, if I give a particle at rest another mc^2 in in energy, its energy would then be 2mc^2, corresponding to a gamma (the usual relativistic factor) of 2, which in turn corresponds to an speed of 0.87 times the speed of light. I would need infinite energy to accelerate a particle to the speed of light (assuming, of course, it is not a massless particle.)


(Mitchell W McKain) #45

Yes this is correct @heddle. When I looked at this before I only caught that @mtp1032 was objecting to this equation being about the interdependence of mass and time, to say it was about the connection between mass and energy, which was correct. Since it would take an infinite amount of energy to actually accelerate to the speed of light, perhaps this is essentially what mtp1032 meant. That accelerating to some percentage of the speed of light would be require energy in an amount proportional to mc^2. One of these amounts, as you say to get to 86.6 percent of the speed of light, and 10 of them to get to 99.5 percent of the speed of light.


(Marvin Adams) #46

so you therefore you attribute to God the property of being alive therefore confirming life to predate his creation, thus he cannot have created life as he already possessed it. Thanks for clearing that up - unless you want to postulate that he did not willfully create the universe but accidentally farted it into existence as some Atheists parodise creation.

Considering that the organisational capacity of matter is a consequence of the law which their behaviour follows, this is executed will as well.

which would attribute life to a robot that can choose the probe which it applies to drill a hole into Mars depending of surface hardness. To me it executes the will of its creator so it is independently alive but a tool.

life coming from not life…

Perhaps you can explain the concept of the nothingness of quantum fluctuations in a way that is logically coherent. Looking forward to see a convincing argument and the overwhelming evidence :slight_smile:


(Mitchell W McKain) #47

No. I attribute to God the property of being life-giving not of being alive. And since life is not actually a stuff to be given this does not mean that God has that stuff in order to be life-giving. It only means that God created life and provides what living spirits require for their life to continue eternally. So… Life does not predate God’s creation of life.

And since matter follows law even when something is not alive this demonstrates that executed-will is not the same as life.

Incorrect. Those were the conditions for a self-organizing process to be alive. Robots are not even a self-organizing system. Therefore it fails to meet even this pre-condition. The robot is a product of design as tools are and is not a product of growth and learning as living things are.

Sure. Quantum fluctuations are a consequence of the time-energy uncertainty principle. In small intervals of time an inversely proportional quantity of energy can simply appear from nothing and create particle-antiparticle pairs as long as they annihilate and the energy produced disappears again within that small interval of time.

Of course it is a typical tactic of empty rhetoric to simply select any component of any explanation and to declare that this is the something from which those things come from rather than from nothing. So no doubt you would say that these particles come from the uncertainty principle. But this is rather silly because it is ultimately like saying that the particles come from my explanation rather than from nothing, even though these are categorically unrelated. The principle only explains the appearance of those particles and certainly does not become them.

It is like the previous explanation of creation ex-nihilo.

  1. First there was only God, which is the same as saying God and nothing else.
  2. God created the universe.
  3. Then there was God and the universe.
  4. God did not become the universe. Nor was God decreased by the universe in any way.
  5. So the only change is that the “nothing else” has become “the universe.”

You cannot see anything with your eyes closed.


(Marvin Adams) #48

which means there never was nothing. There was only no-thing, e.g. no matter. Now is God “thing” as in not being material or are do nonmaterial objects not exist?

So would you think that the law of energy conservation is not a divine law of nature or that God would make laws that he does not need to obey himself or do you deny the validity of the law of energy conservation?

to the incoherence of your argumentation.

Coherence is one of the prime demands towards the validity of a worldview

So in order to improve my understanding of reality please point out where my thinking is incoherent instead of telling me I have my eyes closed.


(Marvin Adams) #49

I asked you were you get that from and you replied

which makes you sound a bit religiophobic. In the end religions are the expressions of worldviews based on experienced reality and philosophy under the awareness of the limitations of the measurability of reality.

so when it comes to self replicating and self organising robots, are they alive or are they tools? By your definition at the top they would be alive, particularly in the light of your comment below.


(Jay Johnson) #50

Hi, Michael @mtp1032. Do you have an opinion on the NRSV rendering above?


(Shawn T Murphy) #51

Dear Marvin,
Thank you for the insightful video presentation on Truth. I really enjoyed it because it reflects the path that my life has taken me. Although I have not finished learning humility, I do appreciate the lessons I have been given.

I would highly recommend that reach member of this forum go through the process of examining their own worldview if the format recommended.

  • Logical Consistency
  • Coherence
  • External Correspondence

I have a recommendation when considering revelation and authority. Having studies 18 different religions, science and philosophy, I have seen that authority and revelation are repeatable across culture, time and language.


(Michael Peterson) #52

The NRSV translation is grammatically correct in that it supports the idea that God’s first creative act (the creation of light) was done in the presence of a pre-existing substrate. The Scholar Ziony Zevet and host of others make this more explicit by also rendering the second verse as a past perfect (e.g., “had been”. I would also note that Young’s literal translation (YLT) was a century ahead of these scholars being the first, as far as I know, to render Genesis 1:1-2 as a past perfect.

The Church fathers and others (Philo, for example) never doubted that God had created this so-called substrate, but it simply wasn’t as important to him as was his intent to advance the creation of light as the important and seminal act of creation.

In my personal opinion, whether God created the world ex nihilo or ex materia is adiaphoric, i.e., of little or no theological consequence. Sorry if I don’t have a more profound answer.


(Christy Hemphill) #53

How is that? Isn’t Hebrew an aspect-based verb system? It doesn’t have “pluperfect constructions,” those are tense-based constructions. Inferring based on context that when translating to a tense-based verb system, the pluperfect would be the best choice is a translation inference.

And doesn’t that come from the translation, not the Hebrew?


(Shawn T Murphy) #54

How can you call anything from the books of Moses to be a perfect translation without the original documents of the Yahwehist?

For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. Malachi 2:7-9

Ezekiel and Jeremiah agree with Malachi. By the time that the Hebrew bible was written, it had strayed far from the 10th century BC version. This is what the Hexapla demonstrated in its scientific comparison of the five major OT versions - Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew.


(Michael Peterson) #55

You are correct and because biblical Hebrew is aspect and not tense based, the ability of biblical authors to express in Hebrew what English expresses trivially has historically been context-dependent. But, in 1995 Ziony Zevitt published a paper that described the grammar of the Hebrew version of the the pluperfect. In Hebrew the pluperfect is called the anterior construction and you can read all about it here.

Ziont Zevitt, “The Anterior Construction in Classical Hebrew”, SBL Monograph Series No. 50.

The rule is as follows:

  1. The first verbal clause must contain a perfect verb.
  2. The second verbal clause must begin with a vav.
  3. The second clause’s verb-subect order must be reversed.

This is precisely the organization of Gen 1:1-2. For a more complete discussion of the ‘pluperfect’ aspect (irony alert) you can read this


(Michael Peterson) #56

Forgive me, but I have no idea how you came to the conclusion that I claimed anything was a perfect translation. I’m a semi-professional translator and would never, ever claim a translation to be ‘perfect’. Geez, English to Engish communications are difficult enough.

Perhapse you’re taking issue with my claim of grammatical correctness. I stand by that claim in that my judge of grammatical correctness is any number of Hebrew grammar text books.

Cheers,


(Jay Johnson) #57

I’m pretty much in agreement on that score. I am more inclined to the traditional translations (“In the beginning, God created …”), but there is enough grammatical ambiguity that it makes it difficult to draw any firm conclusions about God based on this verse alone. John 1 is a different discussion.


(Jay Johnson) #58

Interesting. For the non-specialist (me!), can you give some other examples that follow this rule? (No need to be exhaustive.)


(Shawn T Murphy) #59

Dear Michael,
Sorry, you said “grammatically correct” and I took that to be just correct.


(Michael Peterson) #60

Well, google “anterior construction” and dive in. But, since the first and second creation stories are of keen interest to this group (and me), one of the most controversial and theologically significant examples of the Anterior Construction is Genesis 4:1: Here’s my translation:

And the man proclaimed his wife’s name Eve, because she was [the] mother of all the living. Now the man had known his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man together with the LORD.

(NOTE: Careful readers will recognize that the first part of this verse, (bolded), is identical to Genesis 3:20. In all probability its appearance as Genesis 3:20 is a copying mistake. Many (most?) scholars now believe that this verse probably appeared originally as the first clause of Genesis 4:1). My translation here reflects this view and you can read more about it here.

The use of the anterior construction suggests that the author intended to convey the idea that Eve had conceived and bore Cain before their expulsion from the garden. There is some scholarly support for this notion, but I don’t buy it, nor do a majority of scholars I’ve read. I think the more likely explanation, and the one with the widest support is that the realization that they were both naked and covered up their genitals and were now ashamed, is taken to mean that they had begun a sexual, erotic relationship. But, the inevitable happened and she became pregant. This explains why God conveyed to Eve the consequences pregnancy in the expulsion speech.