Nature of Reality, Will the Real YHWH Please Step Forward, 4) Dimensions
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A dimension is an aspect, feature, or element of something.
This might sound strange, but the first thing we need to do is discuss what dimensions are and what they are not, and this is really not difficult unless you are a philosopher (apologies to Peter Kreft, William Lane Craig, Frank Beckwith, et.al.)
A dimension is simply and only some aspect of something that can be measured. The question is, what is being measured?
If my car travels one mile per hour for one hour, then my car has exhibited numerous dimensions including distance (one mile, 5280 feet), change of position over time, so time (one hour), mass, velocity, and so on. It itself is a three dimensional item, that is it had a certain height, width, and depth.
We could use the term “three directional.” But we could rename them by degrees and cause Descartes to roll over in his grave.
To show that it exists in these dimensions all I need to do is measure it using any kind of measurement from my eye to a ruler or other metric than can be used on the specific dimension.
To know it exists in time, all I have to do is see it exists, that it has some kind of duration. If I can see it now, and then now, a second later proves it exists in time.
To know it can move, all I need to see is that it was in one place and now it is in another place, even if it changed location by a millimeter.
This isn’t rocket science, again, unless you are a philosopher (with apologies to any philosopher that understands this.)
Let me use the dimension of length as an example. Think about the curb on a street.
Let’s assume our curb lies at 90 degrees on the compass, in other words, due east. So here is the dimension of length, that which cuts across the plane at that particular spot at 90 degrees. The curb is a line on this dimension of length, and let’s say for convenience it is a segment which is 100 feet long. The dimension of length keeps going beyond the length of that line of concrete.
Now also the curb has four dimensions at least, it has width and height also, and it is here and now, so it exists in time, that is it has a duration or period of existence. For now let’s stick to the dimension of length, and that dimension does not end. I could extend it to the next curb in the long chain.
If you are in a flat city, particularly those laid out on a grid like Phoenix Arizona, I could extend that line out quite a distance. McDowell Road is pretty much straight as an arrow for 27.5 miles, all on and in the same general dimensions.
Is the dimension a thing? Well, yes, it is a mental thing, it is a noun, so, yes it is a thing, and a thing I can measure. I can be on or off that specific thing, in fact we are all off that particular dimension if we are discussing the front top curb along McDowell road in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
What if I take my same measuring device for the dimension of length, say, my ruler, and, while keeping it touching that curb with one end of the device, but I change the angle, I move the other end from 90 degrees on the compass to 95 degrees. Is it the same dimension?
Well, in that it is still measuring length, yes, but it is no longer on the dimension of length that McDowell road is on, it is a slightly different dimension, a different aspect, a different but distinct feature of that dimension is that it lies at 95 degrees on the compass, but it is still length.
This would be true of length, width, and height as well. In this case, the curb can’t move, it is inanimate but the ruler can be moved. But here, let’s deal with time, a different but just as real dimension. Just as the curb exists in a segment of the dimension of length, it also exists in a segment of time. I can go there today and see it now.
Time is the continuum that is always “now.” It is existential in the sense of existing, non-spatially, always in the present. We call that time which was the past, and that which is not yet, the future. Neither the past nor the future currently exist nor do the events that will happen then. All such events are possibilities and many can be shaped by you and me. Tomorrow I can get up and make coffee, or tea, eggs or oatmeal. These are real choices and real possibilities. So there are very real possibilities in front of every one of us.
Time is Qualitatively Different
Time is qualitatively different (it has different qualities) than length. Time is nonspatial continuum of discrete moments, always at the current time, and which is not reversible and non-accelerable, that is you cannot speed it up and you cannot slow it down. You can speed up things that happen over time periods, that is, speed up a certain kind of clock by, say, winding it too tight, as it were, but this does not change the interval of time.
Einstein was wrong about gravity accelerating time, gravity speeds up or slows down molecular interactions, or reaction times in a specified period. But then he thought the universe was in a steady state and that time only existed to the edge of the universe. He was a naturalists and this gave him the wrong worldview.
Unfortunately we all have the wrong view on this because the question is not “is God outside of time” rather, what is the dimension that time is the measurement of?
The subject curb along McDowell road in Phoenix is in a specific but indeterminate segment of time. It did not use to be there and sometime in the future it will be gone, even if only replaced by another.
Dimensions are things that can be measured and described in part by that measurement, but not completely nor exclusively. The curb was not there three hundred years ago, and, it will be torn out at some time in the future. That is what is meant by it sharing time, it was not, then it was, and it will not be in the future. It will cease to exist in that location as a curb. (You don’t call crushed concrete a “curb.”)
YHWH in the Dead Sea Scrolls
It's About Time
If the curb above was never built then it would not share the dimension that time measures.
Time measures duration.
There are things like that, the engineer designed it and gave it certain theoretic dimensions on paper, but it was never built, so, it was not, it is not now, and it will not be in the future, it simply does not exist.
What do you mean by “theoretic dimensions on paper?” Most things are draw to a scale on paper, blueprint, design specification, drafts, etc.
Let assume the scale is one inch equals one foot, the ration is 1:12, and so when I show this on page, the line representing, say, a side, is three inches long but represents something three feet long. So there is a difference between the theoretic line which is actually three inches, and the component which would be three feet if it is ever produced to this specification.
So how do we know if there is a dimension or not? We measure it. In the case of time, something that exists at one time and then another, even if it is for a nanosecond like some subatomic particles, experience the dimension that time measures.
But let’s go to the other extreme. I have a plant called Old Man Live Forever (Pelargonium cotyledonis, below). Many long lived plants have similar names indicating longevity, that is, its life can be measured by a period of time for many years, another is a genus called sempervirens.
This word used as a species we have Sequoia sempervirens, the Giant Redwoods. But the king of the hill in this regard is the Bristlecone Pine, appropriately named in Latin Pinus longaeva, (omnia melius Latine sonat) or long lived pine. They can live more than 5000 years. Yes, four digits, three zeros, this is not a mistake. They are the oldest living biologic entities.
Let’s return to my geranium. Does it truly live forever? Well, when compared to the Bristlecone Pine we see that it does not. In fact, I have taken cuttings that have dies, so, unequivocally, no, they do not live forever.
I actually don’t know how long it lives, but let’s say it lives 100 years. I am not questioning whether the name is justified, rather only if the name is logically true, that is, what does it mean to live forever?
It means that once it sprouted from seed its life would never end. Time in the future for the plant would never end. That is what living forever means, time for its existence will not stop.
Well, even the Bristlecone Pine misses this mark.
If something had past eternal life it means it was not created, and always has been in past times. This would be YHWH, his duration, or period of existence never ends. However for that to be true, time necessarily existed as well, but measured moe like they did before clocks, by events like a calendar does, but time is not dependent on clocks to exist. Only existence is needed for a period of existence to exist even of that period has no beginning or ends, i.e. is "eternal."
Christians claim the YHWH offers eternal life. Let’s return to our first rule of logic, A=A, so here, “Eternal”=”live forever.” This is to say, they are equivalents.
The word “eternal” means time for it never ends. If you claim that “eternal” does not mean endless time, or time without end, then you have equivocated, changed the term, or lied about the meaning of the word, according to the intent.
This is truly rudimentary English.
Hang in there, the picture is slowly coming together. But we still have not actually mentioned the dimension, just what the measurement of it is. For this artist to paint the picture, I need to make our own paint, the stuff in the store is tainted. We need to start over. But now we have the canvas and some of the ingredients.
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