Thursday, August 03, 2006

2: Eternity - Some Thoughts

So God, for reasons that are none of our business, created the universe roughly six thousand years ago, in about a week.
God being eternal, one might wonder what he did with his time before he got round to this job. Eternity being what it is, it could go back a very long way - even if such a thing as Eternity could be said to have a start at all.
Actually it could, because we are often told that if we're naughty or give too much credence to certain parts of the Bible and not enough to other parts, we will burn in hell for all of it - though clearly we are not there already.
Eternity, though, in all probability goes infinitely far back as well as forward (the odds of our present time being anywhere near the start of something infinitely long are obviously infinitely small).
This, surely, would give God literally no end of time to practice on previous Earths - thus becoming Perfect - before getting around to ours. However ours is so clearly faulty that it seems likely to be one of the practice versions itself. Infinitely more likely, come to think of it. Also, if God is eternal, then no matter how old he is NOW, he's still young in comparison to eternity (though old enough to have a son, of course).
This does of course present the disturbing picture of God being young and inexperienced by divine standards - a picture that rather matches the petulant, tantrum-prone character in the Old Testament.
All this raises the worrying question of whether any of us are going to get to Heaven. After all, the super-perfect graduates of any future draft of Earth - which there must be in all Eternity - might have something to say about it (though very politely, of course). Unless we get kicked out when they arrive, in which case (a) they get a second-hand Heaven, (b) we would have to clean it up before leaving, and (c) we would be spending much of our time there worrying about the next place, in which case it wouldn't be Heaven.
Presumably they could get some Damned Souls in from Hell to clean it up one Sunday. This would have the side benefit of showing them what they were missing, thereby making them even more Damned - though it would probably be more efficient just to pipe down pictures of it on cable TV for them to watch with one eye whilst having the other gouged out with a rusty fruit knife, or whatever it is they do.

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