The Eternity Problem

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In particular, the following generally accepted Aristotelian rules were considered to be violated by the idea of a beginningless world: first, that it is impossible to add to the infinite; second, that it is impossible to traverse what is infinite; third, that it is impossible for the infinite to be grasped by a finite power; and fourth, that it is impossible that there be simultaneously an infinite number of things. In addition, the theory of a possible eternal world seemed to clash with self-evident principles such as that the whole is greater than the part John Pecham or that, since the infinite is infinite , one infinity cannot be greater than another, or that there is no order in the infinite because there is no first element Bonaventure.

Some of these alleged contradictions had already been pointed out by John Philoponus in his De aeternitate mundi contra Proclum On the Eternity of the World Against Proclus and had circulated among Arabic authors such as Algazel in his Metaphysica before they were transmitted to the Latin West see al-Ghazali ; Islamic philosophy: transmission into Western Europe. In part, their argumentation rested on the rebuttal of those arguments that the proponents of a demonstrable beginning had invoked to refute the possibility of an eternal world.

They concluded that since the beginning of the world could not be demonstratively proved, the universe could have existed without beginning to exist. Proponents of the possibility of a beginningless universe interpreted creation out of nothing as creation not out of anything, that is, not out of any independently existing matter.

Creation was understood as a relation of causal dependence of creatures upon God, and in this interpretation the status of being a creature was not necessarily inconsistent with being beginningless. The argument that the universe depends for its existence upon a superior principle that is not prior in time but prior in the order of things can be found in Avicenna's Metaphysica , and was at the heart of Aquinas' rebuttal of Bonaventure's interpretation of creation from nothing see Aquinas, T.

The infinity arguments in favour of a beginning were considered off the mark by the proponents of the possibility of an eternal world. With regard to the traversal argument, for instance that is, the argument that if the world had always been, an infinite past time would have been traversed , they emphasized that the traversed infinite time was a successive and not a simultaneous infinity, and hence, that the contradictions that seemed to follow from the premise of an eternal world were not pertinent.

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There will always be only finitely many past days between this and any past day. A beginningless world does not imply that any past day was infinitely remote from this day. In general, the adherents of a possible beginningless world held the same Aristotelian views on the infinite as their opponents. They disagreed only over the kind of infinity that was involved in a possible eternal world. Henry of Harclay was an interesting exception. He agreed with his opponents that a possible eternal world would entail an actual infinity, but he denied that the conclusions that followed from this stance were contradictory.

Harclay argued that the infinite can be traversed, that it can be exceeded, and that not all infinites are equal see Infinity. For Ibn Sina, divine efficient causality is based in the otherness of the divine, for it is a cause that bestows existence on that which differs from itself. It is broader than simply a motion from potentiality to actuality, which is secondary causality, for it is a cause coming from something other than itself. Thus, God becomes the supreme cause, being that it is from God that the first emanation occurs.

When emanation occurs in the sub-lunar world, it achieves a level of plurality unseen in other emanations. God, therefore, is prior to the universe only in the sense that his essence is prior to the essences that emanated from him. Craig notes that the first and second arguments were not influential, and that the third and fourth arguments come from the Alexandria Christian theologian John Philoponus Yahya al-Nahwi.

Deutch and R. Al-Ghazali offers the analogy of a man pronouncing divorce from his wife. Craig concludes that this is a premise al-Ghazali grants to his opponents for the sake of the argument. For example, al-Ghazali uses the terms murajjih and takhsis in three different senses. First, he uses it as a principle, when determining or choosing without any motive one of two similar objects to establish a distinction between them through choice.

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Second, as a principle that determines or chooses without the motive being known, the existence of one or two opposites that seem equally purposeful. Third, some dissimilarity that gives a motive for choice. Craig concludes that the first and second usages are efficient causes, while the third can be seen as a sufficient reason.

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See Craig, Kalam Cosmological Argument, For the cause of the world to which the argument concludes is conceived by the Muslim thinkers to be, not just the mechanically operating, necessary and sufficient conditions for the production of an effect, but a personal agent who by an act of will chooses which equally possible alternative will be realized. Rather he follows a position closer to al- Juwayni. See R. Each glass is exactly the same, and so the man chooses one glass over the other through some internal differentiation the man is right handed, one glass appears clearer, one is closer to him, etc.

Incoherence of the Philosophers, He is, of course, no crude anthropomorphist.

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The question at issue between him and the philosopher is whether the ground of all being is not adequately described by human analogies or by analogy to natural forces. All aspects of the human life, pleasure and pain or sickness and health are given in justice. This is so that the value of all things might be realized. Were it not for illness, the healthy would not enjoy health.

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Were it not for hell, the blessed in paradise would not know the extent of the blessedness. London, Luzac, First, because it was shown above that there is some first being, whom we call God; and that this first being must be pure act, without admixture of any potentiality, for the reason that, absolutely, potentiality is posterior to act. Now everything that is in any way changed is in some way in potentiality.

Hence it is evident that it is impossible for God to be in any way changeable. Secondly, because everything which is moved, remain as it was in part, and passes away in part…thus everything which is moved, there is some kind of composition to be found. But…in God there is no composition, for He is altogether simple. Hence it is manifest that God cannot be moved.

Thirdly, because everything which is moved acquires something by its movement, and attains to what it had not attained previously. But since God is infinite, comprehending in Himself all the plenitude of perfection of all being, He cannot acquire anything new, nor extend Himself to anything whereto He was not extended previously. That is there is no multiplicity in knowing multiple universals or addition because of knowledge. If both God and the other thing existed during an interval, the change may not have involved God [e.

But if there were periods during which only God existed, then God himself must have been undergoing constant intrinsic change during those times. Ganssle and David M. Woodruff eds. Since temporal phenomena have an origin, then time itself must have an origin.

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DeWisse concludes that timeless, or atemporal beings contain three characteristics: they are abstract, unlike concrete temporal entities; they must exist necessarily; and they are immutable. DeWisse, however, adds that no theologian would want to uphold that God is abstract. Craig adds that the scientist and natural philosopher have come to deny absolute time, because it is empirically unidentifiable. Since logical positivism is a defeated philosophical method, the logic of absolute time can be observed since absolute time transcends physical measurements of it. Related Papers. By Poh Seng Tan. The Timelessness of God.

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    Divine Timemaker to Divine Watchmaker. By Ryan Mullins. From Divine Timemaker to Divine Watchmaker. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. The three evolutionary algorithms are: genetic algorithm, an own implementation of a technique based on immune system concepts and a multiobjective evolutionary algorithm developed from the genetic algorithm.

    Eternity of the world, medieval views of

    In addition to comparing the results obtained by applying these evolutionary algorithms, they also will be compared with an exhaustive search algorithm backtracking and random search. For the evolutionary algorithms two different fitness functions will be used, the first one as the score of the puzzle and the second one as a combination of the multiobjective algorithm objectives.

    We also used two ways to create the initial population, one randomly and the other with some domain information. Article :. DOI: