What do we owe to people who don't yet exist? Intuitively, it seems to me that we shouldn't, say, cause widespread damage to earth because it will so valuable to our descendants. But can we really be said to be doing something wrong to someone who doesn't exist? And would it be wrong to do something that would cause them never to exist in the first place? It seems that if we can do moral harm to future people, but it isn't wrong to cause them to never exist, then it morally superior to never have children rather to bring children into the world in which you have done the *slightest* damage. (The children, of course, would disagree.) But if it is wrong to cause them to never exist-and, since they would drastically prefer to exist-then we have a tremendous burden to reproduce as much as possible.
If it make any difference, I am interested in how these question relates to our burden to reduce catastrophic/existential risks to the human species (global warming, nuclear war, gray goo, etc.).
Please pardon the awkward structure of this question; I am afraid the insuperable inadequacies of autodidacticism will prevent me from asking it clearly. What I want to know is, in a nutshell: Is the Past eternal? That is to say, it makes sense to make statements about the Present (if in fact there is a present; one sometimes reads there isn't) which take the form "X is the case." It also obviously makes sense to say, where t is some point in the Past, things like, "At time t, X was the case." But I'm much less confident that I'm allowed to have sentences like (if X is no longer the case but used to be at t, which is in the past) "At time t, X will always have been the case." And in fact I want very badly to say not only that but "For any X which once obtained, is obtaining, or will obtain, at any time T, will always once have obtained." I also want to believe this not only of propositions which once held, but also of all phenomena & entities which ever occurred & existed. (That they will always once...
Are the concepts of omnipotence and omniscience mutually exclusive?
God is generally considered to be both omnipotent and omniscient. Let’s say he created the universe. At the time of creation he knows how everything is going to play out. Doesn’t that limit his options to intervene in the future? In order to maintain his omniscience, he can’t intervene in a way that he didn’t know he was going to do beforehand. And if his actions are limited by this constraint, can he be omnipotent?
How can time really exist? If you think about it, threre is an immeasurably short time which is the present which is ever changing. It is commonly accepted that that which cannot be measured cannot physically exsist. I think that we understand the present the way we do because of the past, and predict the future due to the past and present. But, there is effectively no actual past or future. The present doesn't even exist because the point in which it exists is so brief that by the time we perceive its existence, it is part of the past, which is impossible. So, how can time really exist?
I cannot understand how things move. Consider the leading point of a pool ball: for the ball to move, that leading point has to dematerialise from Point A and materialise at Point B. When I attempt to explain this to others, they invariably respond with something along the lines of 'But it just moves a small distance'. This is what causes me a problem because, regardless of the distance moved, small or large, the leading edge of the pool ball must be in one place at one moment, and the next moment, it is in a different place. What else can this be other than dematerialisation / materialisation. Which, as I understand, is not possible. So how do things move?
If there is an all-knowing God who knows the future, then he knows I'm going to sneeze in 10 seconds. But if I do something to control my sneeze, then I have just changed the future. Does this mean there is not an all-knowing God who knows the future, because we have control over our future. This would suggest multiple futures and abolish the theory of God. Or is there some way for there to be multiple futures and an all-knowing God?