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A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Science of God - Schroeder Chapter 2

Like my prior post The Science of God - Schroeder Chapter 1 and the series of posts begun here The Science of God Schroeder Part 1 which covers Chapter 9,  this post will mainly discuss his citations of Jewish holy texts.

This post will cover his Chapter Two. {Schroeder has a newer edition - so the page numbers may not match up exactly. Most if not all of my post will probably still apply to his newer edition}

Page 24 Schroeder say "On the fact of time's non existence prior to the creation, theology and science are in complete agreement." 

Schroeder’s statement is inaccurate.

Can Schroeder find version(s) of Cosmology that imply time had a beginning ? I think so, but not all Cosmologist would agree the Universe or time began. For example see Proof of God from Big Bang, Kalam - Premises and Conclusion Repudiated

Can Schroeder find a version of Jewish Philosophy -Theology that claims time had a beginning ? I think so, but it depends on which particular Talmudic or Rabbinic commentator's interpretation. Related discussion is  found in Kalam-Repudiated by Theology

Here are some conflicting examples about when and if time begins.

Talmud - Mas. Shabbath 88b R. Joshua b. Levi also said: When Moses ascended on high, the ministering angels spake before the Holy One, blessed be He, ‘Sovereign of the Universe! What
business has one born of woman amongst us?' ‘He has come to receive the Torah,' answered He to them. Said they to Him, ‘That secret treasure, which has been hidden by Thee for nine hundred and seventy-four generations before the world was created...

There were generations before the world was created, suggesting time exists before creation.

Genesis Rabbah 9:2 Said R. Tanhuma:
The world was created when it was due, and the world was not fit to be created earlier.

Earlier than what if there is no time ?

On the other hand the next citation suggests time was created - the measure of day and the measure of night.

Chagigah 12a Rab Judah further said that Rab said: Ten things were created the first day, and they are as follows: heaven and earth, Tohu [chaos], Bohu [desolation], light and darkness, wind and water, the measure of day and the measure of night.

We also find in Greek Philosophy different opinions when and if time begins. For example, there are passages in Plato's Timaeus suggesting that  when the heavens came into being so did time.   Other passages in Timaeus suggest time pre-exists the creation of heavens.  

(Schroeder in  Chapter Three changes his tune saying biblical time takes hold not at creation but at the appearance of matter,  which Schroeder claims is when quark confinement occurs. This allows him to back into time periods that he can reconcile with the Bible, as he interprets it).

Moving on, Schroeder cites two of our holy texts (see below) to support Maddox's notion that the Universe is an effect whose cause cannot be identified or even discussed. 

Page 24 Note 8 I am not sure what motivates Schroeder to cite Talmud Hagiga 12A, because it starts out reiterating the required number of students per Teacher when discussing creation, as discussed in my previous post The Science of God - Schroeder Chapter 1.  I could not find anything similar to Maddox's notion. Maybe I missed it. Or maybe Schroeder is equating "cannot be...discussed" with the Talmud's requirement. If so, Schroeder has completely misunderstood the Talmud.

Page 24 Note 9 Schroeder cites Ramban's  Introduction to his commentary on Genesis. I could not find support in that Introduction either. But Schroeder may be referring to Ramban's commentary on Genesis 1:1 "To declare the power of the process of creation to a mortal being is impossible.” Perhaps an argument can be made it is similar to the Maddox comment.

Continued in Chapter 3 - section 1

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