When reading Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, I came across an interesting question in one of his footnotes.
Do some theological views place God outside of time because an omniscient, omnipotent being couldn’t feel up his days? (44)
How would God fill up His days if He were inside of time? (Maybe God would just be inactive most of the time?) We fill up our days because there are many tasks which take time for us to complete. I cannot read a book in an instant. I cannot eat a meal in an instant. I fill up my day working on a variety of tasks. But, assuming that God is acting within time, then God only needs the smallest unit of time to complete any task. And, given that God is omnipotent and omniscient, He is never delayed with problem solving. God can (presumably) multitask to an infinite degree.
So God would struggle to fill up His days with activity and tasks. To be active throughout the day, God would have to complete His tasks in a leisurely manner. Or God would have to be idle throughout the day.
If God could not act without time existing, then that means that God needs time to exist in order to do anything. But if God needs time to exist prior to His doing an action, then God could never create time. Why? Because He would need time to create time, since the creation of time would itself be an action that would require time to exist. So time would have to exist beforehand, if God required time to act within time.
So, if God has to be within time to act, then two things seem to follow:
- God didn’t create time.
- If God acts, then He completes actions in a leisurely manner so as to fill up His day, or He is idle for most of the day.
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