Friday, July 24, 2009

God and the beginning

Today we'll just raise a few classic (related) questions. Maybe next time we'll look at some classic answers.

In the Bible it says that in the beginning God made the world but it doesn’t quite explain what that means. What was God doing for all those eons (for example) before He created the world? Why did He choose just that moment, and not some other, to create the world, or was that just an arbitrary decision? (Could God ever make purely "arbitrary" decisions?) And if there was a “before” – as there must have been, if God Himself existed before the world -- then didn’t something already exist independently of Him, namely time – in which case God has not actually created everything? Or could we say that God created time, too, when He created the world? But then wouldn’t we want to ask what He was doing before He created time – which already presupposes that time existed, for there to be a “before”? And how could He have created time, anyway? Doesn't something already have to exist in order to do anything, such as "create" -- in which case God must have existed "before" He created anything, in which case time already existed on its own?

These questions are discussed in The God Question ( by thinkers such as Augustine, Saadia, Avicenna, Ghazali, and Averroes.

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