Friday, 2 October 2009

Augustine & Time

In his Confessions, St. Augustine proposed that before creation, there was no time as we know it, “no past and no future” but simply “always the present.” So what is of interest here is essentially:

Before creation there was no time.

The very notion of there being no time before creation is self-contradictory. "Before" is a word dependent on things existing within some sequential order, and here that order is time. It then makes no sense to place a word whose specific necessary context is within time in a context you declare to be without time. If there is some kind of world or dimension without time, then of course there is no place for this timelessness occurring before something else. "Before" can only have its rightful place within the world of time. What should be said is that there is no time without creation, and since time and creation or existence are co-existent, inseparable, it is meaningless to talk of existence before creation, or as it could be rendered, existence before existence.

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