Saturday, May 31, 2008

Omniscience

     Some people claim that their god is omniscient. I am inclined to claim their god is non-existent. Now, strictly speaking, there are two ways to take a claim of omniscience. One is that the being knows everything that will ever be of consequence to us. The other is that the being knows everything period. The first is possible (though highly doubtful.) The second is not.
     Consider the statement "'does not produce a statement that god believes when preceded by its own quotation' does not produce a statement that god believes when preceded by its own quotation." I realize it's a mouthful. I believe it is a true statement because I do not believe there exists a god to believe that or any other statement. But suppose there is a god. If he believes that statement, then it is false. A god who believes a false statement is not omniscient. Well, suppose he does not believe it. Well, that is just what the statement says; and so we have a true statement that the god does not believe. He may or may not actively disbelieve it. Either way, he is not omniscient.

5 comments:

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Pvblivs,

Could you expound a little on your 'statement': Consider the statement "'does not produce a statement that god believes when preceded by its own quotation' does not produce a statement that god believes when preceded by its own quotation."

Also, I was wondering: You asked if God 'knows everything period.' but then you talk about whether God 'believes' a statement you wrote.

With omniscience comes the knowledge of the writer (you), the idea (your thoughts), the intent (your heart), and the facts (truth or lie).

God not only looks at your statement, but the entirey of all that surrounds it. In fact, He actually knew it all before you actually thought it up. This is omniscience.

It is not simply knowing what is, but to know what will be as though it is (knowing the past and future in present tense).

Tim

Pvblivs said...

     I thought the concept of something preceded by its own quotation was self-explanatory; but I will give a simpler example. The quotation of something is just that thing in quotation marks. So the quotation of "that" is "'that.'" Now, if you precede something by its own quotation you have the quotation first followed by the thing unquoted; so "a sandwich" preceded by its own quotation becomes "'a sandwich' a sandwich." Obviously that operation does not always produce a statement. But sometimes it does. "Is not a sentence" preceded by its own quotation becomes "'is not a sentence' is not a sentence." Interestingly, it becomes a true statement because "is not a sentence" is only a sentence fragment.
     A being that knows everything about a particular field believes all true statements within the field and disbelieves all false statements within the field. If a god exists, it is meaningful to talk about his beliefs. In this manner I can construct a statement which is either a true statement that the god does not believe or a false statement that he does. Of course, while this statement demonstrated that there are limits to the god's knowledge, it serves no other purpose. It doesn't change anything we do.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Since God is omniscience 'all knowing', would He not know the 'false' and the 'true' of the statment without having to actually put belief into either?

You write: 'I believe it is a true statement because I do not believe there exists a god to believe that or any other statement.'

But we must remember, simply because we believe or write something does not make it true. Even though it could appear absolute in our minds, it could be relative in the mind of another. Especially, in the mind of one of higher intelligence than ourselves.

Tim

Pvblivs said...

     Knowing something implies believing it. If I know a particular ball is red, then I also believe it. If I have no beliefs about something, it is a complete "I don't know."

flinging dust said...

I'm just stopping in to say hello.

::waves to pvblivs::

I like your comments at Ray's :)