Theology and Relativity

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Being an agnostic, I don't buy into the heaven/hell deal, but it's still fun to explore theological concepts in the same way it is to talk about what's going to happen in the Matrix or Star Wars.



That said, I've always thought it a totally reasonable conclusion (within a theological framework, of course) that upon arriving in heaven one could expect to find all their loved ones there (those that made the cut, that is) even if they weren't dead at the time of one's death. Your parents, friends, spouse, children, great, great.... great grandchildren would all be there the moment you arrived (and vice versa with respect to them).



Why? Well, obviously Einstien's theory shows that time isn't constant, and even if it was an all-powerful diety surely has the ability to alter time, so there is no reason why heaven or hell would have to be on the same clock as earth.



Applying the same logic to those religions that believe in re-incarnation, one could expect to be re-incarnated into the past as well as the future. Extending this, for a religion that accepts re-incarnation there is no reason to believe (theologically speaking) that a soul couldn't be re-incarnated into a different person (or animal) during the same time period. Taking this notion to it's logical extreme there might be only one soul that has been reincarnated into everyone in the future, past, and present.



For some reason most theists I talk to have a problem with these ideas, but they can't cite any scriptural reason why it couldn't be the case (except to challenge re-incarnation if their theism doesn't believe in that). So, I thought I'd see what people on this forum thought. Have at it.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    thttht Posts: 3,046member
    Relativity is old. Now, strings? That's the thing.
  • Reply 2 of 65
    aaplaapl Posts: 124member
    .

    .

    Long you live and high you fly

    And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry

    And all you touch and all you see

    Is all your life will ever be

    .

    .
  • Reply 3 of 65
    i've never really thought of time like that. i don't know much about relativity (doesn't it have something to do with E=mc^2?). i'm an atheist, so i haven't belief for any theological structures, but it would be quite interesting, if i did, to think of a soul veering down two paths "simultaneously".
  • Reply 4 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by thuh Freak

    it would be quite interesting, if i did, to think of a soul veering down two paths "simultaneously".



    Gives a whole new potential to the idea of "soulmates".
  • Reply 5 of 65
    haraldharald Posts: 2,152member
    Brilliant.



    Under quantum theory, whenever the universe has to make a choice (which side the toast will land on etc.) BOTH choices actually get made. You just don't see the other possibility as it happens in another universe.



    I'm sure God wouldn't pick anything less then the optimal path for the life you lived and remember when in heaven. As time is a human perception of the universe's thermodynamic 'direction' tending only toward entropy and nothing more, as you stated originally Nordstrodamus, there's no conflict between the universes where you died age 2 and the one where you died age 102. You get to heaven at the same 'time.'



    You'll look back on a life filled with incredible sex, a beautiful partner, shitloads of guilt-free money, wisdom born through excellent choices, a huge and loving family, a great bike, fantastic health, G4 chips that clocked at 7GHz, and awesome sequels to movies.
  • Reply 6 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Harald

    Under quantum theory, whenever the universe has to make a choice (which side the toast will land on etc.) BOTH choices actually get made. You just don't see the other possibility as it happens in another universe.





    Dude, I didn't even think of the quantum implications. Those present some really wild possibilities theologically speaking. I think there is a bit more of a jump, however, as most theists will accept the evidence of relativity and the existence of time or, at the least, agree that it is something God could manipulate. The many worlds theory is certainly more speculative and would also fall under a god's discretion (i.e. God could do the many worlds thing, or just the one).



    Also, the many worlds thing would seem to present the interesting possibility that you would either be in heaven and hell at the same time or an infinite number of copies of your soul would be in heaven and an infinite number in hell as well.



    Quote:



    G4 chips that clocked at 7GHz, and awesome sequels to movies.




    Now cmon, let's be realistic!
  • Reply 7 of 65
    dp
  • Reply 8 of 65
    haraldharald Posts: 2,152member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Nordstrodamus

    Dude, I didn't even think of the quantum implications. Those present some really wild possibilities theologically speaking. I think there is a bit more of a jump, however, as most theists will accept the evidence of relativity and the existence of time or, at the least, agree that it is something God could manipulate.



    Mein Gott. You're right ... the rabbit hole goes deep with this one (to mix movie metaphor). Before you hit philosophy, only the flat-earth tendency would posit the impossibility of a complex multiverse due to theological constraint; an extension of the argument that says "Yup: the big bang is possible, evolution is possible: God willed it."



    But ... theological / philosophical reading is a problem ...



    If (Christian) God, infinitely forgiving, infinitely powerful, really is both those things then She would only chalk up the best possible version of life for each soul: why send you to hell when you could go up? But if there's a multiverse of souls then there has to be a multiverse of Gods. And we all know there is no God but God, indivisible, or a trinity at best.



    ___DOES NOT COMPUTE___



    Welcome to the free will discussion writ large: what does it matter what you do when you'll make it to Heaven anyway? Christian God wouldn't want that (as I understand that religion).



    We just PROVED there is no God!



    (Note to believers: I do not for a second belive I just disproved God)



    Edit: c'mon God squad! We're having respectful fun here! What do y'all think?
  • Reply 9 of 65
    I appriciate your thread Nordstrodamus. I believe you have a deeper sense of exploration than so many. I have thought about physics in the "God" context and the realm of thoughts within this subject is really interesting. I believe God did not create "robots" meaning of course we do indeed have free will as does God. The possibilities of God are infinite.



    Fellowship
  • Reply 10 of 65
    aaplaapl Posts: 124member
    God is in everything, everywhere, at every time.



    That means that your "choice" to choose is his "choice'. The "Frenchman" in the movie The Matrix kinda touched on this theme.



    The concept of personal responsibility is of paramount importance in Judaism. There's no crouch to lean on, and no one to save you from your choices, other than yourself.
  • Reply 11 of 65
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Harald

    Brilliant.



    Under quantum theory, whenever the universe has to make a choice (which side the toast will land on etc.) BOTH choices actually get made. You just don't see the other possibility as it happens in another universe.





    Actually in Schrodinger's famous hypothesis re "Schrodingers Cat Paradox," the cat is both dead & alive & all states in between. As long as you don't open the lid to find out ; the cat is contained within all possible quantum states ( including it no longer being a cat ).



    So using your metaphor the toast can be done, not done, or even not be toast in a general relativistic quantum sense.....it could turn into a ironing board.



    ...unless your really quick in putting some butter or jam on it !
  • Reply 12 of 65
    haraldharald Posts: 2,152member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aquafire

    Actually in Schrodinger's famous hypothesis re "Schrodingers Cat Paradox," the cat is both dead & alive & all states in between.



    ... and when you do open the box, the cat is dead in one universe and alive in the other (according to the multiverse theory, which has a common root with Schrodinger's Cat, but is not the same thing).
  • Reply 13 of 65
    one has to wonder what all these scientifical theorists, and threaders are smoking when they come up with this stuff. i'm on ganja and i couldn't invent multiverses. wow.



    i'll fall back into my cave now.
  • Reply 14 of 65
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Harald

    ... and when you do open the box, the cat is dead in one universe and alive in the other (according to the multiverse theory, which has a common root with Schrodinger's Cat, but is not the same thing).



    Ah so true Harald. A true conundrum.



    But which universe has the kitty litter ?



    And which has the mices....?



  • Reply 15 of 65
    Quote:

    Relativity is old. Now, strings? That's the thing.



    Strings are old, branes are the thing now, but strings are just one-branes.
  • Reply 16 of 65
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Angels are mono-poles and God's wrath is mini-blackholes. It explains a lot.
  • Reply 17 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by FellowshipChurch iBook

    I appriciate your thread Nordstrodamus. I believe you have a deeper sense of exploration than so many. I have thought about physics in the "God" context and the realm of thoughts within this subject is really interesting. I believe God did not create "robots" meaning of course we do indeed have free will as does God. The possibilities of God are infinite.



    Oh stop, Fellowship, your making me blush. I would be interested in hearing your evaluation of my post's thesis (heaven's timeline being discontinuous with our own).



    As to your comments, this does usually lead to the same sort of paradoxes, some of which segovious explored. There are some obvious limits to the infinite power's of god, of course. Obviously, God cannot create another god, or destroy himself, or create a rock he can't lift, etc... The standard response to these are either that they are concepts limited by human perception or that they are meaningless wordplays. Given what QM has already taught us I could buy the former explanation.
  • Reply 18 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by segovius

    And that's where things get really interesting:



    if God has free will and he also infinite possibilities that means he had other options than putting the tree in the garden when man was in a sinless state (I'm talking purely in terms of the Judeo-Christian conception of God here btw).




    Ahh, yes segovius, but the obvious theistic response is that this state was God's chosen formulation for our existence because it was the best possible formulation. All the suffering we witness must necessarily be part of his divine plan that we cannot fathom.



    I know, I don't buy it either. Especially when one is expected to believe simultaneously that you cannot know the will of God, but then must intuit it correctly in order to be saved.



    I think the crux of your point is valid, that from God's perspective we do not have free will, because he knows exactly what we will do. Also, since he is omnipotent then it is certainly clear that he created the devil since he knew that was the ultimate fate of one of his angels.



    I'll have to read more about the Gnostics, interesting stuff.
  • Reply 19 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Nordstrodamus

    Oh stop, Fellowship, your making me blush. I would be interested in hearing your evaluation of my post's thesis (heaven's timeline being discontinuous with our own).



    As to your comments, this does usually lead to the same sort of paradoxes, some of which segovious explored. There are some obvious limits to the infinite power's of god, of course. Obviously, God cannot create another god, or destroy himself, or create a rock he can't lift, etc... The standard response to these are either that they are concepts limited by human perception or that they are meaningless wordplays. Given what QM has already taught us I could buy the former explanation.




    Greetings Nord



    Word play, rock God cannot lift. I believe God is dimensional as well as extra-dimensional. This is to say God has a vantage point within and outside that of our own perception.



    To me it is very simple yet very profound.



    Fellows
  • Reply 20 of 65
    I'm too drunk to really communicate on any intellectual level...... but there are a few books out there that are about the exact topic. Two that I read (10 years ago?) are God and the New Physics and The Tao of Physics. Both are very interesting reads.......... I just can't rmemmmmmmbbbbbbuhh...........
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