Tuesday, November 19, 2019


Here’s an interesting thing. Suppose perdurance is true. Then God cannot be in time. For if perdurantism is true and God is in time, then God is composed of infinitely many temporal parts. But:

  1. This violates divine simplicity.

  2. These parts are concrete and presumably not created by God, so there are concrete things other than God that God didn’t create.

  3. God acts in virtue of the temporal parts acting, but then God’s actions are not the fundamental explainers.

  4. The temporal parts are all-knowing, so God is not the only all-knowing entity.

This is utterly unacceptable. So, one cannot both accept perdurantism and that God is in time.


Michael Gonzalez said...

I'm curious, Pruss.... Don't 2-4 all cause problems for human beings as well? #2 describes the parts as "other than God"; so, does that mean that the parts of humans on perdurantism are parts "other than the humans"? In line with #3, would our actions, on perdurantism, not be explained by our own will, but by temporal parts? And #4 implies that each temporal part is a separate entity from each other and from God overall (by calling them each all-knowing entities aside from God as an all-knowing entity).

Scott said...

I would argue that the possibility of perdurantism makes any non-presentist theory of time false unless you accept the possibility of an actual infinite collection of objects.

Of course God having any collection (finite or otherwise) of temporal (or any other kind of) parts would violate Divine Simplicity, so a fortiori in the case of perdurantism.

Michael Gonzalez said...

Scott: I'd never thought of it that way before, but I think you're exactly right. That's a pretty serious problem for B-theorists to deal with.