Tim Bayne: An Objection to Atemporalism

Tim Bayne, Philosophy of Religion: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2018), 21.

A second objection to atemporalism is rather more serious. The objection in question is that atemporalism is difficult to reconcile with the claim that God is personal. As the philosopher Grace Jantzen has put it, ‘A timeless and immutable God could not be personal because he could not create or respond, perceive or act, think, remember, or do any of the other things which persons do which require time. There are, of course, many religious traditions in which God is thought of impersonally. For example, there are elements of ancient Greek thought in which God is regarded as more akin to an impersonal force than a personal being, and impersonal conceptions of God can also be found in certain strands of Hinduism and Daoism. But the central monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – are strongly committed to the view that God is both an agent and a subject of experience, and it is far from clear how an atemporal God could have these attributes.

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