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Contingent things probably can't be timeless

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  • Contingent things probably can't be timeless

    As I've thought about the nature of contingency, and the nature of being eternal, it doesn't seem to me to be the case that timless things can be contingent. Atleast in the sense that they could go out of existence. For, doesn't timelessness necessitate immutability? And certainly, to go from existence, to nonexistence, is a type of change; therefore, it couldn't go out of existence if it were timeless, and further, is not contingent.

    Maybe this was obvious, but I feel as if many arguments for God's existence assume that timeless contingent things are possible, so I would like to hear any of your thoughts on that as well.

  • #2
    Originally posted by ClassicalLiberal.Theist View Post
    Maybe this was obvious, but I feel as if many arguments for God's existence assume that timeless contingent things are possible, so I would like to hear any of your thoughts on that as well.
    Which arguments, and which timeless contingent entities do they assume to be possible?

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    • #3
      I think your reasoning is correct; contingent things probably can't be timeless. But I don't think it's very relevant; the argument that necessary beings probably must be timeless would be relevant, but what is so special with saying that contingent things probably cannot be timeless? It can be nice if you have an argument for the existence of a timeless being, because then it would follow that this timeless being would probably be necessary. But I doubt there are arguments for the existence of a timeless being that aren't also direct arguments for the existence of a necessary being.

      I also don't recall seeing many arguments for God assuming that timeles contingent beings are possible. Note that a being that has existed from eternity is not the same thing as a timeless being. So I don't see it. Most arguments from contingency simply move from a general PSR (usually considered to be self-evident, or supported by experience), or a more modest principle (such as Inference to the Best Explanation), to the conclusion that God exists, or probably exists. There is usually no discussion about timeless entities (and most atheists and naturalista anyway do not believe in timeless entities)

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      • #4
        Greg
        Some sort of PSR type argument. The existence of timeless contingent things is accepted, for under the PSR, it sill requires an explanation nonetheless.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ClassicalLiberal.Theist View Post
          Greg
          Some sort of PSR type argument. The existence of timeless contingent things is accepted, for under the PSR, it sill requires an explanation nonetheless.
          But that's not the same as assuming. In one case it's "Given that X is possible", in the other "Even if X is possible."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ouros View Post

            But that's not the same as assuming. In one case it's "Given that X is possible", in the other "Even if X is possible."
            Fair enough

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