The Metaphysics of Time & God


In this talk, Dean Zimmerman lays out the two main philosophical conceptions of time (i.e. the A-theory, which is a dynamic conception of time, and the B-theory, which is a static conception), and argues that a certain theological view, called “open theism”, is committed to the dynamic A-theory of time, and hence to the reality of objective temporal Becoming. He then goes on to discuss what is regarded by many to be the decisive objection against the A-theory of time: namely, its apparent incompatibility with relativistic physics. Open theism is motivated by an incompatibilist or libertarian conception free will, which is inconsistent with God’s infallible foreknowledge of our future actions. According to open theism however, God can still be considered omniscient despite the fact that He doesn’t know what His free creatures are going to freely choose since, given the A-theory of time, the future has no genuine existence or reality. And given this indeterminacy, the future remains open rather than eternally fixed and settled ahead of time.

This is part of the Faraday Institute lectures from Cambridge University.

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