Eternity, not determinism

1.) Transcendence unifies what is diverse at a lower level, without simply mixing it together. 

The brain unifies the information of the eye and the ear without being an eye-ear. The friendship of virtue is both pleasant and useful, but it is not just a mix of friendship of pleasure and of use.

2.) Eternity transcends time. 

Eternity is outside of time, but it is not a time outside all time. In fact, a time outside all time is a contradiction (since it is to have an X beyond all there is of X). A Parmenidean (or Einsteinian) block universe is either impossible or exists only for an observer transcending time.

3.) The eternal sees all things at once, but not before they happen. 

The eternal sees sees the whole of time, whether actual or possible, at once. The “at once” is the “at once” of transcendence, the way higher friendships unify the lower ones at once, or higher cognitive power unifies all the lower ones at once. But seeing things at once is not to see things before they happen, which is a contradiction. To see things “before they happen” means “to see them happen when they are not happening”.

4.) Eternity is not determinism.

Eternal knowledge makes determinism only if it were seen as making the whole of time like a film already shot, so that we could no more change the future than we could change the past. But a whole film differs crucially from the whole of time – the whole film exists at one time, but all time does not and cannot exist at one time.

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