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User Info: TurtleInFreedom

TurtleInFreedom
3 months ago#1
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/-philosophy-god-omniscience.html

Just a good article I wanted to share.

User Info: kozlo100

kozlo100
3 months ago#2
Well that's a different take on the problems with omniscience than the one we usually get, but I still don't find it particularly compelling.

the tl;dr of it for those who don't want to click through the article:

if God knows all there is to know, then He knows at least as much as we know. But if He knows what we know, then this would appear to detract from His perfection. Why?

There are some things that we know that, if they were also known to God, would automatically make Him a sinner, which of course is in contradiction with the concept of God. As the late American philosopher Michael Martin has already pointed out, if God knows all that is knowable, then God must know things that we do, like lust and envy. But one cannot know lust and envy unless one has experienced them. But to have had feelings of lust and envy is to have sinned, in which case God cannot be morally perfect.


In particular I disagree that in order to know a thing, you have to have done the thing, particularly where omnipotent deities are concerned. I think it is perfectly possible for an omniscient being to know what lust and envy feel like without actually feeling them itself.
Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.

User Info: OrangeWizard

OrangeWizard
3 months ago#3
kozlo100 posted...
I think it is perfectly possible for an omniscient being to know what lust and envy feel like without actually feeling them itself.


What kozlo said.

"To know" shouldn't be conflated with "to feel". Omniscience means "all-knowing" not "all-feeling".

I would think that feeling lust is outside of "knowledge", and should be placed in a different category. I would say that God perfectly understands what lust is, and how humans are affected by it, but that God shouldn't have to feel it in order to keep his omniscience.

User Info: kozlo100

kozlo100
3 months ago#4
On that same tack, I think it's a little bit silly to assume that God gained his knowledge by learning it. As if there was some process he had to go through to gain the knowledge, rather than his omniscience just being an inherent characteristic. To assume that would be to assume there was a time when God wasn't omniscient.

If all knowledge is just part of his fundamental nature, then he definitely does not have to go through the process of actually feeling and emotion in order to gain all knowledge related to that emotion.
Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.

User Info: zinformant

zinformant
3 months ago#5
kozlo100 posted...
On that same tack, I think it's a little bit silly to assume that God gained his knowledge by learning it. As if there was some process he had to go through to gain the knowledge, rather than his omniscience just being an inherent characteristic. To assume that would be to assume there was a time when God wasn't omniscient.

Suppose we don't live in a deterministic universe and that election is not reality (where many here, of their own admission, believe salvation is an active process). It stands to reason, under those conditions, that God actively learns about His world as His people are saved or otherwise.
kozlo100 posted...
I think it is perfectly possible for an omniscient being to know what lust and envy feel like without actually feeling them itself.

This is a provocatively interesting note. Is it really possible to understand experience without said experience? Men, do you know what childbirth is like? Limitations of language make it such that we may never really understand the full experience from a first-person perspective. Omniscience is all-knowledge but not, necessarily, all vantage points. I don't know where I'm going with this...
Is it naive to dream of a world without war?

User Info: kozlo100

kozlo100
3 months ago#6
zinformant posted...
It stands to reason, under those conditions, that God actively learns about His world as His people are saved or otherwise.


I don't think 'learns' is the word I'd use for how God comes by that knowledge. It's maybe a semantic argument, but to me it implies that there is a state of affairs where God does not possess all knowledge, then he takes an action, and afterwards does possess all knowledge. While it's possible for a being to work that way, I don't think that's really something that's properly called innate omniscience.

In any case, the point is that God doesn't have to read a book to know what's in it. He just knows, because he's omniscient. If there's a thing that can be known, he knows it without having to seek the knowledge.

zinformant posted...
Is it really possible to understand experience without said experience?


For humans, probably not, which does make things tricky to think about. With an omniscient being though, I think it's different. Just like God doesn't have to read the book to know what's in it, he doesn't have to be malicious to know what malice feels like. I think what you say about vantage points speaks to that. An omniscient being doesn't have to be you, or hold your vantage point, to know what you know.
Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.

User Info: IHeartRadiation

IHeartRadiation
3 months ago#7
TurtleInFreedom posted...
Just a good article I wanted to share

It's crap, but ok.

You’ve probably heard the paradox of the stone before: Can God create a stone that cannot be lifted? If God can create such a stone, then He is not all powerful, since He Himself cannot lift it. On the other hand, if He cannot create a stone that cannot be lifted, then He is not all powerful, since He cannot create the unliftable stone. Either way, God is not all powerful.


Arguing omnipotence is always a waste of time. If God created a stone He couldn't lift, He'd make Himself able to lift it and the stone no longer "unliftable" whatever that is supposed to mean. Either He can do anything (within reason) or He can literally anything, which is pointless to debate about. Can you speculate on how a universe where 1+1= -Fish would work? No? Then don't bother, it's a game that can only be played by insane asylum patients.

There are some things that we know that, if they were also known to God, would automatically make Him a sinner, which of course is in contradiction with the concept of God. As the late American philosopher Michael Martin has already pointed out, if God knows all that is knowable, then God must know things that we do, like lust and envy. But one cannot know lust and envy unless one has experienced them. But to have had feelings of lust and envy is to have sinned, in which case God cannot be morally perfect.

A morally perfect being would never get enjoyment from causing pain to others. Therefore, God doesn’t know what it is like to be human. In that case He doesn’t know what we know. But if God doesn’t know what we know, God is not all knowing, and the concept of God is contradictory. God cannot be both omniscient and morally perfect. Hence, God could not exist.


This is saying that only way to understand these emotions and feelings is to experience them, even though that's just plainly stupid. You're comparing how a chemical monkey brain operates to the timeless essence of existence (which exists everywhere is able to hold a conversation with a group of people while counting atom splits). Ergo, the article sucks and author is very boring.
I don't get it either.

User Info: OrangeWizard

OrangeWizard
3 months ago#8
IHeartRadiation posted...
Can you speculate on how a universe where 1+1= -Fish would work?


Did everyone else get the "2 + 2 = fish" meme from Fairly Odd Parents, or just me?
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Rvtq7C2JFAU/hqdefault.jpg

User Info: IHeartRadiation

IHeartRadiation
3 months ago#9
OrangeWizard posted...
IHeartRadiation posted...
Can you speculate on how a universe where 1+1= -Fish would work?


Did everyone else get the "2 + 2 = fish" meme from Fairly Odd Parents, or just me?
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Rvtq7C2JFAU/hqdefault.jpg

Is that old or new? I want to get back into it and see if was all that good, but I don't want to see the... Mpreg... baby... thing.
I don't get it either.

User Info: OrangeWizard

OrangeWizard
3 months ago#10
IHeartRadiation posted...
Is that old or new?


That's old, way before the baby, or the girl, or the talking dog, or the live action movie with Drake from Drake and Josh.
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