My answer to Does God really exist outside Time, space and matter?
Answer by Vishu Menon:
This question arose in mind when I came across a video where Kent Hovind, the supreme Christian fundamentalist-evangelist answered the question, “where does God come from” by a slip-shod answer that God of the Bible exists outside time, space and matter. He won thunderous applause for this answer.
Hovind pointed out that the Bible began with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” which means time, space (heaven) and matter (earth) were created together, and the God of the Bible exists outside all the three. Like man who created the computer does not exist within the computer, nor is he a part of the computer, explained the evangelist, so does God exist outside time, space and matter.
Good argument. Never forget for a moment that Hovind is talking specifically about the God of the Bible. He quotes the Bible verbatim because that is the authority, full and final. There is no allegory here, just a statement of divine truth. God created the heaven and earth, which is the same as space and matter, and therewith began Time. Just as, to repeat, a person could create a computer its software and built-in calendar, but would remain outside all the three.
“Outside space time and matter” is a phrase stolen from modern science that virtually denies God. Let us say Bible did mean the entire space by Heaven and all the matter in the universe by Earth. Let us pretend there is no matter outside the earth and for the moment take sides with the evangelist,
Now, God of the Bible had the shape of man, for it was in his form that he made man.
Gen 1:27 . So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
The image factor is repeated twice in this verse so that no doubt remains in the mind of man. So God has nose, which couldn’t be for a show -but to smell (a sweet aroma of burnt flesh – Ex 29:18) and needs fresh air to breathe. He cannot bear anything unwashed or unhygienic – or even malformed like a hunchback or a dwarf near his altar. He has eyes, so he has to have matter to see and to discriminate good from the bad (Lev. 21:16–23). Unlike a pagan god who might have eyes all around his head, this god has the same kind of eyes as man has – and hence can’t see behind him or beyond his line of vision (which is why he didn’t notice Eve being tempted). He actually fashioned man from dust like a piece of sand-art, and breathed into his nostrils (Gen 2:7), again showing that God has lungs, windpipe and a mouth; thus he breathes, hence needs air from this space.
God of the Bible surgically fashioned the woman from one of the man’s ribs, so he has hands to work with matter. He worked for six days, which means he was not outside of time because work is a function of time.If one assumes that the days of God are meant, which means that each day was a thousand years of man, then God was no instant creator by sheer will. There was no one out there to count the number of days; even the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day only although time came into being on day one. God counted the time himself. On the seventh day, just after ordering things around He created man with hands and blowing breath into him, and surgically implanting a woman by his side. He made them both stark naked and ignorant. God got so tired that he had to take rest. He decided that, as a strict norm at the risk of immediate murder, no man will work on that day. When God rested, he wanted man to rest and called the day the Sabbath. When an ignorant villager picked up sticks for firewood on a Sabbath, He had him killed for the crime (Numb. 15:32–35). You cannot find a more material God than the God of the Bible.
God also decided that man should have no knowledge of good and evil.
“ Gen 2:17 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
God lied that they would die if they ate the fruit of knowledge, or perhaps He had not dared to try out the fruit himself. A wily serpent knew for sure that they would not die ‘if they ate the fruit of knowledge’. Alternatively, God exaggerated about the consequence being death because was He so jealous and possessive of his own knowledge of sexual pleasure. Why else would he furnish differential but complimentary, mutually and simultaneously excitable genitalia to Adam and Eve?
All that shows that the God of the Bible has his limitations within space and time. He was walking in the evening cool of the day in the garden of Eden (Gen 3:8) when he discovered that the duo had acquired the knowledge of good (nudity) and evil (sex). Incidentally, God is susceptible to the ecological elements – he loved the cool breeze in the garden he created.
Gen. 3:22 . And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
The man that God created within time and space with matter, according to the Bible, lacked just two characteristics to be equal to God – knowledge of good and evil, and eternal life. In this sacred passage we do not see an alien God from outside space matter and time, but a furiously jealous man-God with just two superior qualities from the ordinary man He created. We also notice that He was one of the worst preceptors that one could ever expect. This God was not just jealous, being which is a very earthly vice, but also utterly loathful of his own creation. I do not know of any computer designer who would get jealous if his computer gets too much memory or processing power, or acquires an operational life that would even exceed his own.
God loved food, and till the day he got his own secretly begotten Son killed as a cannibal offering, he wanted goats, oxen and other animals fed to him as burnt offering and piece offering. Burnt offering is a sweet savor to God (() He appreciated Abel’s supply of butchered meat, but disliked Cain’s healthy and ethically produced vegetables and fruits. God is a carnivore (Gen 4: 3–5) who needed matter (meat) for his gourmet pleasure. God of the Bible is just a carnivorous glutton, a very earthly being.
God of the Bible, who is supposed to have dictated his own eulogies and the history of man to Moses never mentioned the millions of galaxies, of the difference between stars and planets or anything beyond the sun and the moon which He hung up in the sky for light in the day and night respectively. Instead he threatened that stars would fall on earth (Mark 13:25) when the end time came. Massive stars falling like LEDs on our minuscule earth is an absolute impossibility; so he was woefully ignorant of cosmic facts. God thought that the sky is a hard firmament and put his throne and 24 Elders above this sky (Revelation 4:4) , and actually rode astride a winged Cherub (Psalms 18:10). He did not even know that there was little or no gravity for him to sit firmly on his golden throne, nor air to breathe in the sky above – all of which, I’m sorry to say, are the signs of a primitive ignoramus who belongs to this very earthy matter and ignorant time.
No, Mr. Kent Hovind, God of the Bible is not identical to the man who made a computer and lived outside it. He was one who is supposed to have built a house (earth) with a ceiling (heaven above) and lived on top of it, proudly proclaiming that “I’m a jealous God, my name is Jealous” (Ex. 34:14).
A God outside time space and matter was the ‘formless, devoid of attributes and emotions” god of ancient Hindu philosophers who, for a living, soon yielded this noble – even if unsubstantiated – concept to those who built and worshiped thousands of gods and goddesses.
If there is one god, there is no reason why there can’t be several – the job of creation, maintenance and replacement should be unimaginably huge. The sole advantage of Monotheism – one lonely jealous God – is that, as Richard Dawkins once famously stated, you need to knockout just one God and not too many gods to get at sensible, scientific and humanistic atheism.