beginning of time, Christianity, end of time, eternity, invalid questions, logic, religion, time
The word “before” is commonly defined something like this, “During the period of time preceding a particular event, date, or time”.
Let us consider, for a moment, the question; What was before the beginning of time? This question is relevant to many Christians because they believe that God existed before time and that God created time. Their answer to the question is, “Before time, there was God.”
Many Christians also believe that time will end and after that, the good people go to heaven and the bad people go to hell. It is the belief of many Christians that time itself is a small portion of eternity. They might imagine eternity as being a line that stretches infinitely in both directions and that time is only a small section of this line. A section that has beginning and end.
The Christian’s beliefs about time do not make sense and here’s why; Logically, you cannot refer to ‘before the beginning of time’ or ‘after the end of time’. Any statement that does this, is nonsensical – it’s logically senseless.
There cannot be a ‘before’ the beginning of time. The word “before” implies the passage of time but when used in reference to the beginning of time, we are basically asking, “What happened in that period of time before there were periods of time?” It’s a bit like asking, “What is north of the north pole?” or “What was I doing ten years before I was born?” The question is logically nonsensical – it is an example of an invalid question. For the same reason, there cannot be a ‘after’ the end of time.
The idea of eternity is also logically problematic for Christians. Most Christians believe there was a beginning of time, there will be an end of time, and there is eternity. It is however, logically impossible to have all three. You cannot have eternity if there is a beginning of time and an end of time.
It is not uncommon for people to ask what was before the beginning of time, or what was before the universe or the multiverse. It’s not that we don’t know the answer to the question, it’s simply that there is no answer. There cannot logically be a statement that truthfully answers that question, given our definitions of the terms used.
That doesn’t make us feel any better about it, of course, but there you have it.