Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

The infinity of God and 'space' for creation


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Daniel Ro.

Daniel Ro.

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:19 PM

Hello everybody,

I'm new to this forum, I was born and raised as a Serbian Orthodox. I've read through these forums but couldn't really find an answer to my question maybe some of you could help me, I would be really grateful. Having said that I hope you don't see my question as disrespecting God.

The question is, if God is infinite how can our universe (creation) exist next to it, for an infinite God there wouldn't be 'space' for us and the creation. I hope you know what I mean, I haven't been able to answer this properly. Thanks a lot in advance!

Regards

#2 Herman G.

Herman G.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 29 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:32 PM

Why does God's existence require the use of space? Is space not a created object by the Maker? Is God solely physical?

#3 Jeremy Troy

Jeremy Troy

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 175 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:58 PM

I think I understand your question to be something like this: If we said that an apple is both infinitely large and infinitely dense, we would have to say that nothing physical other than the apple exists. Whatever amount of space there is available, the apple would take up all of it and more. But to take another example, if we said that a balloon is infinitely large, we wouldn't get the same result. Since the balloon is not also infinitely dense, other physical things can exist inside it while it itself is infinitely large. Both of these are physical things, so they take up space.

God, on the other hand, is not something physical. He takes on a physical body in his incarnation, but he is not physical in his essence. He fills all that we call physical with all of himself, yet is not contained by what he fills. Neither, in his filling of the physical, does he 'take up the space' of the physical. Since he is not physical, his being in the physical does not exclude things that are physical from being there as well.

To put it another way, we need to re-examine what we mean by "space". Space is something that God created to put physical things in. Physicality is also something that God created, and it is essentially linked to taking up space. To think of God's infinity in terms of his taking up infinite space, then, is to suppose that God is something physical, which he is not. God is prior to space, and so he is not bound by any concepts defined in terms of space.

#4 Daniel Ro.

Daniel Ro.

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:50 PM

Thanks Herman and Jeremy, that actually makes sense but I have to think about it, it is a bit difficult to understand to me.

Thank you very much.

#5 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:23 AM

To stretch your brain a bit more...consider the color black. Space is black, there is nothing in space to see but color. color from light. Therefore black is a noncolor and does not exist as a color. So what is black?

#6 Owen Jones

Owen Jones

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,341 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:18 AM

The question posed actually derives from Isaac Newton. The following explanation is from Eric Voegelin:

While empirical observation does not show any bodies at absolute rest, Newton nevertheless introduces this concept. Here we have tracked down the first serious reason that would induce a physicist to make the assumption of absolute space: he needs the assumption for the purpose of defining rest. And he needs this concept in order to maintain the first law of motion that “ Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a [straight] line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.” Without the assumption of absolute space no meaning can be given to the notion of absolute rest, and absolute rest seemed to Newton, as it did to Galileo, a fundamental experience that could not be dispensed with in the formulation of the first law of motion.

[While the theoretically indicated course would have been to drop the concepts of absolute time and space, Newton refused to do so, for he believed, following the Cambridge Platonist Henry Moore, that the concept of absolute space protected the notion of God as the divine substance that manifests its own infinity in the double infinity of absolute space and time, thereby refuting Descartes’s identification of extension and matter that would have materialized space.]

. . . . The intellectuals who absorbed the Newtonian system, in particular after its popularization through Voltaire, were satisfied with Newton’s recognition of absolute space and could dispense with his religious motivation. The system of the Principia was complete with the first edition; the Scholium Generale [Newton’s commentary] of the second edition added nothing to empirical physics. Here was a system of the world, legitimated by the genius of the man whose name at this time carried more authority in the intellectual world than anybody else’s. And this system showed the world as consisting of nothing but matter obeying a uniform law. The theory of absolute space sealed this system ontologically against God, and by virtue of this character, the Newtonian system became socially effective. The well-intentioned theory of absolute space had resulted in precisely the disorder it had intended to avert.

#7 Daniel Ro.

Daniel Ro.

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 01 November 2012 - 03:17 PM

Thanks Owen, I apologize, this could be completely wrong what I'm saying, I've read trough the above text many times, is God located or does he occupy the absolute space and we (our cosmos, humans etc.) are located in relative space and this relative space is in turn located in absolute space?

Is that what Sir Isaac Newton meant??

Thanks again!

#8 Daniel Ro.

Daniel Ro.

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 01 November 2012 - 03:17 PM

Thanks Owen, I apologize, this could be completely wrong what I'm saying, I've read trough the above text many times, is God located or does he occupy the absolute space and we (our cosmos, humans etc.) are located in relative space and this relative space is in turn located in absolute space?

Is that what Sir Isaac Newton meant??

Thanks again!

#9 Herman G.

Herman G.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 29 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:58 PM

I'm still learning myself, but perhaps the writings of St. Gregory the Theologian would be useful:

Therefore we must begin again thus. It is difficult to conceive God but to define Him in words is an impossibility, as one of the Greek teachers of Divinity taught, not unskilfully, as it appears to me; with the intention that he might be thought to have apprehended Him; in that he says it is a hard thing to do; and yet may escape being convicted of ignorance because of the impossibility of giving expression to the apprehension. But in my opinion it is impossible to express Him, and yet more impossible to conceive Him. For that which may be conceived may perhaps be made clear by language, if not fairly well, at any rate imperfectly, to any one who is not quite deprived of his hearing, or slothful of understanding. But to comprehend the whole of so great a Subject as this is quite impossible and impracticable, not merely to the utterly careless and ignorant, but even to those who are highly exalted, and who love God, and in like manner to every created nature; seeing that the darkness of this world and the thick covering of the flesh is an obstacle to the full understanding of the truth. I do not know whether it is the same with the higher natures and purer Intelligences which because of their nearness to God, and because they are illumined with all His Light, may possibly see, if not the whole, at any rate more perfectly and distinctly than we do; some perhaps more, some less than others, in proportion to their rank.


- Oration 28

#10 Daniel Ro.

Daniel Ro.

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

Thanks Herman, I have another idea, maybe this is a bit of a stretch, but could it be that God exists on a different kind of 'dimension', as does heaven and hell?

#11 Owen Jones

Owen Jones

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,341 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:50 AM

What Newton meant by absolute space equates with infinite space. To summarize, his theory was in part to defend the mysticism of the Cambridge Platonists against Descarte's supposed duality or dichotomy between God and matter. But as Voegelin points out, the idea of absolute or infinite space results in God becoming an unnecessary appendage to the universe.

#12 Derek Sandor

Derek Sandor

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:10 AM

Does infinity even have to exist? Can it even exist? I wonder.

Could the universe be potentially infinite in our ability to perceive it and God as its creator beyond infinite in his ability to manifest it?

If space and time as we know them are finite then isn't the idea of and endless supply of them still finite and infinite just a word?

Is the fact that he is everywhere present and filling all things reason to assume that every point in space and time contains the potential for an infinity of infinite universes?

Could the reality of the physical universe we perceive in space and time be created on the fly by God as we turn our attention further and further into space, like the holodeck in star trek?

Does the collision of what can't be changed (the past) with what can be changed (the future) create an interference pattern along the lines of laser holography, that crystalises in conscious creation by beings subject to and aware of these conditions? In other words, is the universe itself somehow artificial and illusory compared to the reality of the uncreated God? Would that mean that there is nothing finite or infinite and these are just ideas that we kind of have to have, but do not necessarily exist, like a shadow in our minds?

#13 Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 September 2014 - 06:38 AM

To stretch your brain a bit more...consider the color black. Space is black, there is nothing in space to see but color. color from light. Therefore black is a noncolor and does not exist as a color. So what is black?

The absence of light.



#14 Loucas

Loucas

    Contributor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 95 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 September 2014 - 11:46 PM

This question begs to understand what we believe about God. Your suggestion makes me feel that you might understand the Icon in the Apse of the Church, she who contained that which can not be contained. However, to me anyway, the notion that time, space or anything that our limited ability can comprehend, though we can not comprehend infinty, would in anyway restrict or inform God's existance makes no sense. I can only put this in a simple responce, because I am a man, created by God. There it is my brother, If as we confess we believe in One God....creator of the Heavens and Earth and of all things visible and invisible, Why would God's creation in anyway make God, God. In other words, turn your question around and understand it. Time, space and everything for that matter are affected, and informed by God. So everything is of and from God. Infinity and Space must then conform to creation as they were also created by God, not he by them.



#15 Bryan J. Maloney

Bryan J. Maloney

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 364 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 October 2014 - 11:15 AM

God transcends. God may occupy the same space as anything, should He desire it. God is not bound by physics. God is God. We are bound and limited by physics, God is not.



#16 Bryan J. Maloney

Bryan J. Maloney

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 364 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 October 2014 - 11:17 AM

Thanks Herman, I have another idea, maybe this is a bit of a stretch, but could it be that God exists on a different kind of 'dimension', as does heaven and hell?

 

God exists here and now, within and among all, AND beyond and outside all. Without the active Presence of God, no particle would exist. God permeates all but is not part of any. Nothing can exist without God, not the smallest particle nor the weakest force. God exists without anything.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users