Common Conceptions of Eternity
1. TIME WITHOUT A BEGINNING OR AN END, OR SEMPITERNITYThe total eternity, which has neither beginning nor end, may
be regarded as divided by any moment into two eternities:
the past eternity (aetemitas a parte ante) and the future eternity (aetemitas a parte post).One may speak of this eternity in four ways:
In Christian thought:
|a. ||Absolute eternity, having neither beginning nor end.|
|b. ||The two “eternities”: aetemitas a parte ante AND aeternitas a parte post.|
|c. ||The past eternity, time without beginning: aetemitas a
parte ante ONLY.|
|d. ||The future eternity, time without end: aetemitas a parte post.|
|a. ||Pertains to God and his nonsuccessive knowledge of everything.|
|b. ||Pertains to God before AND after creation of the universe
|c. ||Pertains to God before the creation of the universe and
|d. ||Pertains to God AND the universe after creation AND
One version of b is Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five
(New York, Dial Press, 1995), extending the Christian God's
knowledge to creatures on the planet Tralfamador.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: A Very Brief History of Eternity.
Contributors: Carlos Eire - Author.
Publisher: Princeton University Press.
Place of publication: Princeton, NJ.
Publication year: 2010.
Page number: 229.
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