Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The riddle of Omnipresence / Eternalness - A

We would like to dissect the purported omnipresence and eternalness of God. Taken together it means that God is present at all places and at all times. How do we make sense of such a crazy idea ? How do we begin analyzing it ?

Let us ask some questions first. Can God view the future as well as past at the same time (I am not sure what it means) ? Maybe he can go to any moment of past or future at will ? If so can he visit his own beginning ? Suppose he does, then at that *moment* are there two copies of God ? How many copies is he allowed of himself ? Or maybe he is without any beginning. Even then suppose he visits any epoch twice, does that make two copies of him ? Maybe he can only *observe* any epoch, but not *enter* it bodily. If so, in what sense he is eternal ? Or maybe He is outside of time. Anyway, does He change with time ? If so how was a *young* God ? Maybe eternalness means unchanging. Then is he a fossilized being ? Maybe we should understand time's status in the Real System first.

What does going back in time means ? Let us say I was born 100 years back and living hale and hearty 50 years back. Now if my today's self visits the epoch 50 years back, am I there as two copies of myself ? Maybe the moment my current self enters that epoch, the earlier self vanishes. If so, then what happens if I want to leave that epoch after staying there 5 minutes ? Does the original self comes back to reoccupy that epoch ? Where it would come from ? Such a conundrum surely doesn't happen with space. If I revisit a point in space where I was 5 minutes back, that point doesn't get two copies of me at the same instant. Or rather my past self and current self are separated by 5 minutes in time even if they occupy the same point in space. We never observe anybody or anything occupying one instant of time at two different points of space. What about its dual : can somebody occupy one point of space at two different instants of time ? Surely it can. We have plenty of such experiences. We won't be surprised if a chimpanzee also understands this.

There appears a fundamental asymmetry in the nature of space and time. Unlike space, time is essentially unidirectional (at least as far as all our experience goes). Why this is so is the biggest of mysteries. To confound matters, many of our physical laws appear symmetric in time. Meaning they do not explicitly forbid backward time travel. As far as I know, only two laws are asymmetrical in time. They are the second law of thermodynamics and state vector collapse of a quantum state. The former is actually a statistical statement, which makes backward evolution ridiculously improbable. The latter imposes insurmountable barrier against backward evolution, as after a wave function has collapsed, it looses all information as to where it came from, hence cannot go back. This picture of real world (actually the real model) is certainly open to revision in future but as of now, there is no way it can be challenged. Some people do dispute this interpretation, but even the most serious dissenters would agree that quantum mechanics does impose a barrier against backward time evolution. And nobody can deny that there is no such restriction (either in the reality or in its model) for space.

What does this tell us about Omnipresence and Eternalness ? We will see ...

No comments: