The Christian God has many attributes that are logically impossible, but one of my favorites is the idea that God exists outside of time. This is a very popular idea among Christians, and I encounter it almost every time I ask them to define god. They always seem surprised when I object to this particular attribute, as if the idea of existing outside of time (whatever that means) is perfectly obvious. Well not only is it not obvious, it’s completely incoherent. Let me explain.
Existence, by definition, is a temporal condition. For something to exist, time must pass. If time doesn’t pass, it doesn’t exist.
Imagine if a mother told her son, “Don’t worry about the boogeyman in your closet. He exists outside of time. Goodnight!” Her son would probably be a bit confused by that, wondering what it means as he watches her shut out the light. If he believes in the boogeyman, he’ll no doubt assume it means the boogeyman is still in there.
Christians are similarly confused. They don’t really know what it means to exist “outside” of time, but since they believe in God, they go ahead and assume it means god is there.
Look at this way: What if I told you the devil exists for zero seconds? Does that mean the devil exists or not? Well, since no time passes and the devil can’t be said to exist before or after anything, then he can’t be said to exist at all. So no.
But how is that any different from saying he exists outside of time? In the same way, no time passes and he can’t be said to exist before or after anything. Therefore, to say something exists outside of time is to say it doesn’t exist at all.
Every time you say God exists outside of time, you’re saying God doesn’t exist.
Carlos Márquez says
I like it! I will try that one on for size in a couple of apologists that I know. May I ask, some apologist attempt to define god into existence via logic, I find such endeavors useless, What is your opinion?
Thanks for sharing your views.
“Existence, by definition, is a temporal condition.” – What definition were you talking about?
Just about any definition. I just googled it and it says, “the fact or state of living or having objective reality.” The words living and having imply the passage of time.
That is a good sign god doesn’t exist when Christians are very vague in describing their god.