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Saturday, 15 October 2011

Things a God Can't Possibly Know.

Thinking logically - after all, that's what Atheists do - there are several things no god could know about itself.

1. That it is omniscient.

  • To know this, any god would need to know that it knows everything, but how could it be aware of something it doesn't know about? It could only know what it knows it knows. It could not possibly know about something it doesn't know about.
  • As Donald Rumsfeld once painfully reminded us, there are unknown unknowns.
  • So any claim it might make about omniscience may be false and can not be made with any certainty.

2. That it is omnipotent.

  • Leaving aside the obvious paradox that no god can create an object so heavy it can't lift it, unless it knows everything it can't possibly know if there is something more powerful about which it is unaware. If there is, clearly the god can't be all powerful since the more powerful thing could have power over it.
  • So any claim of omnipotence may also be false and can not be made with any certainty.

3. That it is omnipresent.

  • Unless it knows everything, it can't possibly know if there is somewhere where it isn't present.
  • So any claim of omnipresence may also be false and can not be made with any certainty.

To make a claim of fact in the knowledge that it may be false is dishonest, so one thing we can say with certainty is that any god for which its followers claim omni qualities is a dishonest god at best.

Of course, that's not really fair on these gods. It's not the fault of gods that they were unintelligently designed by dishonest people. (Tweet this)


81 comments:

  1. Hi,

    1. If God is omniscient, then doesn't God know that he is omniscient?

    2. Have you ever taken philosophy of religion?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous.

    >1. If God is omniscient, then doesn't God know that he is omniscient?<

    What I said was that no god can possibly know it is omniscient with any certainty therefore a claim that it is so is dishonest.

    Would you care to address that rather than avoiding it?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi,

    "no god can possibly know it is omniscient with any certainty"

    Unfortunately this isn't true. It is possible for an omniscient god to know with certainty that it is omniscient. Omniscient means "all-knowing," so if a god is all-knowing, it knows that it is all knowing.

    Have you ever taken philosophy of religion?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous.

    I'm afraid merely asserting that something is untrue doesn't make it untrue.

    It's perfectly obvious that nothing, whether a god or not can know what it doesn't know, so it can never be sure it knows everything.

    Simply declaring itself to be omniscient doesn't make it so. In fact it makes it at best unreliable, and, assuming it's got a modicum of intellectual ability so it'll be aware of this impossibility, it also makes it a liar.

    Therefore the claim that a god declared its omniscience renders either it or it's inventors unreliable, stupid, or liars.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I did not merely make an assertion. You are confused. This is why I have been asking you if you have ever taken a class on philosophy of religion, because you may have been taught something that we can work with to show you your error.

    Omniscience, by its very definition, means "all-knowing." You appear to be saying that an entity could be omniscient and yet not know something (namely, that it is omniscient), but that is just to say that the entity is not omniscient.

    It is fine to say that there are no omniscient entities, but it is not fine to say that an omniscient entity does not know everything, since the very definition of "omniscient" is "all-knowing."

    I hope this makes sense to you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "but how could it be aware of something it doesn't know about?"

    This is another faulty question. This seems to be a trend on this blog. Let's see if we can give an example how the question itself is illogical.

    A man knows that he has 5 cars in the parking lot because there are only 5 cars in the parking lot. You come along and say "how can he be aware of the sixth car?" You see how that makes no sense? There is no sixth car.

    So there is no knowledge outside of God.

    "It could not possibly know about something it doesn't know about"

    Exactly. There is nothing He doesn't know.

    "So any claim it might make about omniscience may be false and can not be made with any certainty."

    I don't see how this follows.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Square Circle

    >This is another faulty question.<

    No it isn't. Having an answer you find embarrassing doesn't make it faulty.

    Clearly the answer is "it can't". This might be an inconvenient answer for you but that doesn't make it a wrong one or turn a perfectly valid question into a faulty one.

    Impressive mental gymnastics, though.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous.

    >I did not merely make an assertion. You are confused. <

    assertion [əˈsɜːʃən]
    n
    1. a positive statement, usually made without an attempt at furnishing evidence

    Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/assertion

    You: Unfortunately this isn't true.

    I reckon that meets the above definition.

    Sad to see you've needed to assert private definitions of words already. It normally takes a few more exchanges before religious apologists have to resort to that.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You can drop the condescension as I have been educated and know what an assertion is. If I had only said, "Unfortunately this isn't true," then yes I would have have been merely making an assertion, but that is not all I said. I explained why I said that. So I did not resort to a private definition of a word. You quoted one line out of context and said it was merely an assertion, which is silly.

    Who ever said I am a religious apologist? You know what they say about people who "assume" things right? I am an atheist trying to correct a very simple mistake, but you seem unwilling to be corrected.

    Now could we get back on topic? You did not address my point that pertains to your post and you still have not answered my question about whether or not you have taken a class in philosophy of religion.

    Sheesh! I suppose this is how people get treated when they are just trying to be helpful nowadays.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous.

    BTW, you still haven't said how you know that Satan didn't write the Bible. The smokescreen you're putting up hasn't hidden that; it merely shows you have something to hide.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous

    So was your ignorance about what an assertion is merely feigned as a ploy to excuse the fact that your argument was merely an assertion?

    BTW, shyness about revealing your name scarcely lends credence to your 'arguments'. How do readers know they're not reading comments by several different individuals and that you're not going to disclaim them at the next post?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post Rosa. I believe you have killed omniscience, and will provide hours of fun for future debates.
    'God knows everything'
    'How do you know?'
    'God told me'
    'How do you know God knows He knows everything?'
    'God knows everything'
    'What if He's wrong and there's something of which He is unaware?'
    'That's not possible'
    'So is it impossible for God not to know something?'
    'Yes'
    'How do you know?'
    'God told me'
    'So is God not able to not know something?'
    'No'
    'So does God know how utterly stupid the whole concept of omniscience is?'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hehehehe,

      so ...is it impossible for god to make a mistake...


      hahahaahahaha

      then u have him in 2 ways pinned..

      Delete
  13. dawkinsassange.

    At least we can be sure that the idea of an omniscient god couldn't have been intelligently designed.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "BTW, you still haven't said how you know that Satan didn't write the Bible. The smokescreen you're putting up hasn't hidden that; it merely shows you have something to hide."

    During the course of our discussion this topic has never come up. You are confusing me with somebody else.

    "So was your ignorance about what an assertion is merely feigned as a ploy to excuse the fact that your argument was merely an assertion?"

    It was not an assertion. I already addressed this in my previous comment. Now you are just being dishonest.

    If an entity is omniscient then by definition, the entity knows everything.

    So when Rosa Rubicondior comes along and suggests that there might be something that the omniscient entity does not know, she is missing that by definition, the entity knows everything. There is no "something" that the entity does not know.

    This is really, really basic stuff. This post is an embarrassment to atheists.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes I may have confused you with someone else. That a risk you run when you, like others, lack the courage to give a username, even a fictitious one.

    Now, once again, how could anything, including a god, know something it doesn't know, please?

    You still haven't said.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rosa,

    >To know this, any god would need to know that it knows everything, but how could it be aware of something it doesn't know about? It could only know what it knows it knows. It could not possibly know about something it doesn't know about.<

    omniscient [ɒmˈnɪsɪənt]
    adj.
    Having total knowledge; knowing everything: an omniscient deity; the omniscient narrator.

    Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/omniscient

    You: As Donald Rumsfeld once painfully reminded us, there are unknown unknowns.

    Are you alleging he is so omniscient that he knows that someone who is omniscient doesn't know something? Or is he just as confused about definitions as you are?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  17. Matt,

    I think readers of this blog either know what omniscience means or are capable of looking it up for themselves, but thank you for doing it for them.

    I assume you did it to be helpful and that you weren't trying to get away with the absurd suggestion that your god must be omniscient because you can define omniscience. If that were logical it would mean anything can be anything just so long as you can define the word. For example, I could be a multi-billionaire just by calling myself that, because you can define multi-billionaire. But I doubt anyone would be silly enough to try that one, so I'll assume you were just being helpful.

    However, the subject of the blog is the impossibility of anything, including a god, knowing what it doesn't know.

    Would you like to address that problem?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Rosa,

    Sure. Simple Logic. The One who created everything that exists, knows everything that exists.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  19. Matt.

    I know how you struggle with it but try doing some good old honest grown up joined up thinking for once. Explain HOW something can know what it doesn't know instead of just asserting that it can like a child would.

    You might just as well be jumping up and down shouting "'Tis! 'Tis! 'Tis!" at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Rosa,

    With all due respect, your condescension needs to stop if you want to be respected as a thinker. You need to understand that you have the narrowest of all tunnels restricting your vision so that if the answer does not fall within that microscopic line of sight, you'd just as soon say it's not there. I would invite you to widen your vision, and I would suggest, humbly, that you are not looking in the right direction to begin with. Perhaps recruit a male friend to help you (that is not pejorative or chauvinistic. Nature dictates men are wired to think more logically).

    God claims to be Omniscient. God also made everything that exists. Those cannot be separated from each other. If they're regarded separately, then the Christian God is not whom you're talking about. Of course, if you're simply railing on some other generic god, have at it. But for the Christian God, there simply are no unknown unknowns.

    I would ask upon what basis do you assert that there are with regard to God?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  21. Matt.

    I can't understand how a god can know something it doesn't know because I'm not a man, eh?

    That would be laughable if it didn't betray the rather nasty bigotry you are obviously hiding behind your facade of religious piety.

    Would you now like to try to explain HOW something can know what it doesn't know, rather than using your inability to as as an excuse for a bout of condescending sanctimonious bigotry and misogyny?

    Or are you not at all bothered about truth and honesty?

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's interesting how religious people assert that God is omniscient 'by definition' and then, without any further justification, confidently leap to the subjectively comforting conclusion that their assertion is true. Doesn't this semantic silliness simply serve to illuminate the fact that God's characteristics are defined, indeed created, by the myth-addled mind of human beings? A rose isn't a rose by definition, but a real-world object subject to independent verification and testing wholly separate from whatever labels we impose upon it. But God never submits to such testing, never can be found by objective, scientific means, and must always be defended by mere human wordplay. And unlike the rose, simply asserting that God is omniscient because you say so, or someone else says so, or some book says so 'by definition'... really stinks.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Most people in the comments are missing the point. A being cannot know everything because the statement 'I know everything' cannot be proven. This is because there could be a fact that the being does not know, and is not aware that it doesn't know.

    You people are approaching this as the idea of omniscience. Omniscience is a human idea, as is a perfect circle. Rosa is a talking about a being who is claiming it is omniscient or thinks its omniscient in real life. The IDEA of omniscience is of the imagination and a little less practical than the IDEA of a perfect circle.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Matt says: "Nature dictates men are wired to think more logically..."

    BWAAAHAAAHAAAAA!!!

    Thanks dude, I needed a good laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Rosa,

    You're right. It has nothing to do with you being a woman. I know women who do understand, so obviously that's not the issue :) consider it a straight-faced joke.

    In any case, what you're saying is, on Rumsfeld's authority, there are things God does not know. I'm not obligated (nor is anyone else) to take his word as Scripture, no pun intended. I'm going to quote the Scripture I believe, so hold on to your seat, if you possess the capacity. (I'm trying to be considerate here. Some people just can't handle it.)

    1 John 3:19-20 19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

    Ps 147:5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
    his understanding has no limit.

    God knows everything that is real and true and logical. He doesn't know false or illogical things (i.e. that there is something he doesn't know). Same to your "can God [do something] he can't [do]."

    Beyond Mythology,

    It's interesting how atheists (or otherwise non-Christians) assert that it's a fact that God's characteristics are defined, indeed created, by the myth-addled mind of human beings.

    Doesn't this semantic silliness simply serve to illuminate the fact that the non-Christian is simply incapable of grasping, much less accepting, the truth of God and his Word?

    Also, if human beings' minds are "myth-addled" does not that directly affect whatever "independent verification and testing" comes about from such minds? In fact, let me offer a quote from the Great High Priest of Atheism and Naturalism, Charles Darwin:

    "But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?"

    You said, "[That] really stinks."

    Ok.

    In conclusion, a god who *isn't* omniscient couldn't possibly know that is is omniscient. Such would be untrue in that case.

    Of course, the Christian God actually *does* know everything, so the point is moot.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. assert that it's a fact that God's characteristics are defined,

      then he has limits...

      hahahahahahahaha

      Delete
  26. Matt

    Your task is very simple. It is to explain how anything, including a god, can know something it doesn't know.

    Instead of hiding your inability to do so under a heap of verbiage, how about making an honest attempt to explain it, or honestly admitting you can't?

    Basically, it all comes down to honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Rosa,

    If a person or some god doesn't know something...it doesn't know something. There is no other explanation than that it simply does not know something. If it doesn't know something, it can't know it is Omniscient.

    Someone can't "know" something that isn't true. For instance would you be able "know" you are a cactus? No, because to "know" something requires it first to be true. A little issue in epistemology (secular, mind you) called "Justified True Belief."

    Now, I'm assuming you're attempting to critique the Christian God with this post. Essentially all you've come up with is, "God can't know everything because God can't know everything." That's called tautology, and serves no purpose.

    What you have to come up with is something - one thing - that God does not know, for you to be able to say God does not know everything. Of course, that would require you to know as much as God, and more. Are you making that claim?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  28. Matt

    >If a person or some god doesn't know something...it doesn't know something. There is no other explanation than that it simply does not know something. If it doesn't know something, it can't know it is Omniscient. <

    Well done. You got there in the end.

    So, if your god claimed it was omniscient, did it not realise that claim couldn't honestly be made or did it just dishonestly hope to get away with it?

    Or was this just a mistake on the part of those who thought your god up and who unintelligently designed it?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Rosa,

    You said, "if your god claimed it was omniscient, did it not realise that claim couldn't honestly be made or did it just dishonestly hope to get away with it?"

    Well, I seriously doubt he holds to your contradictory logic. So, no. Just like you can't "know" you're a cactus, because "knowing" or "realising" something requires it to be true.

    "Or was this just a mistake on the part of those who thought your god up and who unintelligently designed it?"

    I disagree that the Christian God was "thought up" or "created." Can you offer any evidence for that assertion? Namely the assertion, "those who thought your god up and who unintelligently designed it."

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  30. Matt.

    I feared you uncharacteristic outbreak of understanding was too good to be true. Looks like we're back to square one again.

    So let's take it slowly:

    How can anything, even a god, know something it doesn't know, please?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Rosa,

    "How can anything, even a god, know something it doesn't know, please?"

    Once it can be established that it actually does not know something, then we can conclude by implication that it cannot know that it does know it. There is a conditional there. You see that, don't you? Once the assertion "God does not know x" can be substantiated, then and only then can we say it cannot know that it knows x (much less everything).

    But not before that is established. To make such an assertion before having it substantiated is to consider your own claim an "established fact needing no further supporting evidence" which you (or at least we, depending upon if you're playing by your own rules) are "not entitled" to do. You'll excuse the redundancy, I hope.

    Unless, of course, you're seriously suggesting Donald Rumsfeld is the authority on what God knows or does not know. In which case, you really do not deserve to be taken seriously. (note the conditional there too)

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  32. Matt.

    So how can anything, including a god, know something it doesn't know? Your verbiage once again failed to hide the fact that you still haven't answered that question.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Rosa,

    A god that doesn't know everything can't know that it does know everything.

    But a God who does know everything, can.

    Upon what basis do you insist He doesn't know everything in the first place?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  34. Matt.

    Your task was very simple. Instead of merely asserting that a god can know what it doesn't know, you needed to explain HOW it can know what it doesn't know.

    Isn't it time you faced up to the fact which must be abundantly obvious to anyone else: that you can't explain it because it can't be so?

    All you really need is the honesty to admit this to yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Rosa,

    >"you needed to explain HOW it can know what it doesn't know."

    What part of, "A god that doesn't know everything can't know that it does know everything" *doesn't* answer your question?

    >"Instead of merely asserting that a god can know what it doesn't know"

    I never said or asserted that a god *can* know what it *doesn't* know. Because I don't believe that.

    What you are consistently and unwittingly doing is evading your responsibility to justify your own implicit assertion that "No god knows everything." Which, again, is the very hinge upon which your argument turns. And no one is required to accept an unjustified assertion. It's time to mature, and own up to the fact you're the one tossing out assertions as if they're fact.

    I pointed out that you essentially cited Donald Rumsfeld as a support for that point, but as you and I both know, unless he knows everthing, he can't possibly know that God *doesn't* know everything. Please answer this.

    >"Isn't it time you faced up to the fact which must be abundantly obvious to anyone else: that you can't explain it because it can't be so?"

    Unless you're being intentionally ignorant, or otherwise intellectually lazy, you'd infer from my comments that "possessing knowledge of x" is *not* equal to "NOT possessing knowledge of x." (by the Law of Non-Contradiction. See? I can justify assertions.) And I've not once said anything contrary to that. In addition, neither does Christianity teach anything contrary to that.

    I can see it now: "So does this mean you can't answer the question?" Please. For your own sake and the sake of your readership. Grow up.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  36. Matt.

    It doesn't tell me HOW a god can know something it doesn't know. As I explained as simply as I could, it would need to be able to do so to be sure it knew everything.

    In other words,it is IMPOSSIBLE for a god to know it knows everything. If it is an intelligent god it would be aware of that, so, clearly your god, if it existed and if it claimed to me omniscient, would either not be very intelligent or it would be dishonest.

    Clearly, you god has been created by unintelligent and/or dishonest creators.

    But then both you and I know that, don't we.

    All you now need is the honesty and personal integrity to say so.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Rosa,

    "How" as in the mechanics? Or "how is it possible"? I don't think I can explain the mechanics of a logical contradiction, as no such mechanics exist.

    >"In other words,it is IMPOSSIBLE for a god to know it knows everything."

    Why can't you just say that it is impossible for a god *who doesn't know everything* to know it knows everything? I know you can't allow that, because you would then have to allow the possibility that a God who *does* know everything can know it knows everything. But that's too much of a jump for you isn't it?

    Let me ask you a more straightforward question, addressing your assumption: Is it possible for God to know everything in the first place?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  38. Matt.

    >Why can't you just say that it is impossible for a god *who doesn't know everything* to know it knows everything? <

    Because that's not what I wanted to say. What I wanted to say was that a god can't know what it doesn't know.

    You claim it can but you can't explain how.

    Why won't you just risk your imaginary friend's anger and admit what we can all see - that you're desperately avoiding being honest because you know honesty is inconsistent with your dishonest superstition, and that belief in your imaginary friend requires dishonest?

    ReplyDelete
  39. " What I wanted to say was that a god can't know what it doesn't know."

    It is pretty clear that Matt has thoroughly shown this to be an idiotic question/statement in regards to the Triune God of Scripture. It seems Rosa is simply unable to think logically or is just intellectually dishonest.

    Given x is O how can x be not O? Seriously........ I'm not sure you could get more idiotic than this post Rosa. You really need to take a step back before you make people think you have serious cognitive difficulties.

    Sincerely
    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  40. Bob.

    In that case it should be easy-peasy for you to explain for Matt how a god can know what it doesn't know.

    Also, maybe you can have a go at explaining how a god's abilities change when it, or rather it's supporters, define the meaning of a word used to describe its abilities. Words like 'omniscient'.

    If you can, you may have hit upon some fantastic new method of creating lots of new, say, doctors: we simply redefine the word 'human' so it defines people with all the abilities needed to become doctors, and, shazam! all the doctors we need.

    Take a few days if you need them.

    BTW, I'd be grateful if you could curb your evident enthusiasm for insults.

    Ta, very much.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Rosa,

    >"Because that's not what I wanted to say."

    I know. You refuse to acknowledge that the answers change when the conditionals do. You want to insist (like I pointed out) that no god can know everything. When I ask you about that, you refuse to answer me. I would argue that's because it is indefensible, but I'll leave that up to you.

    >"What I wanted to say was that a god can't know what it doesn't know."

    And I agree. No one can know something he doesn't know.

    >"You claim it can but you can't explain how."

    Rosa, please, show me somewhere - anywhere - that I said a god can know what it doesn't know. I never once said that. YOU implied that's what theists believe. And frankly, you're incorrect. Christians believe there is nothing God *can't* know. Nothing that isn't true, that is.

    On the subject of imaginary friends, who is informing you of Christians' beliefs?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  42. Matt.

    Okay, Matt. You've finally conceded that you can't substantiate your assertion but don't have the honesty or good grace to say so.

    All you need now is to find the courage to say that I'm right; that a god who made the claim of omniscience would be either dishonest or not very intelligent.

    Or would you rather conceded that such a claim was made by the dishonest and/or not very intelligent people who invested the god in the first place?

    BTW, I fully expect you to back-pedal furiously when you realise what you've just conceded.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Rosa,

    What exactly was my assertion? Can you quote me or point me to a comment wherein I made an assertion that I didn't substantiate?

    >"that a god who made the claim of omniscience would be either dishonest or not very intelligent."

    Well, as I pointed out numerous times, that isn't saying enough. You can only honestly, logically, and truthfully say that a god *who doesn't know everything,* who then claimed omniscience woud be either unintelligent or dishonest.

    You seem incapable of taking an omniscient God even for the sake of argument, without inserting your own presuppositions regarding it. And that's all anyone here has come to expect from you, unbending and unreflective dogmatism.

    So I ask you again, what exactly was my assertion? Please quote me on it.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  44. Matt.

    You 1 November 2011:

    "The One who created everything that exists, knows everything that exists.

    I hope that helps.

    BTW, your comments are still available for people to read. No point in denying them yet.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Rosa,

    Thank you for quoting me. Now just a couple questions.

    How is "The One who created everything that exists, knows everything that exists" similar in any way to, "asserting that a god can know what it doesn't know" which *you* said was my assertion? And you're talking about honesty.

    This entire time, it's clear you're assuming, "No god can know everything." Why don't you give me a reason to take your word for it? Is Donald Rumsfeld your authority on that?

    I really am not worried about people reading, and holding me to, my comments. All you're exhibiting is that I disagree with you, not that I've said anything false or incorrect. Am I not being "honest" unless I'm agreeing with you?

    So in conclusion, 2 challenges:

    1) Do you not agree that a God who does know everything *can* know that He knows everything?

    2) Why should I believe that no god can know everything?

    Your answers to these will move the conversation so immensely far forward.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  46. Matt.

    Do you seriously imagine I'm quoting Rumsfeld as some sort of authority? If so, I suggest you ask a grown-up to read my blog to you.

    I'm pleased I was able to help you with your convenient selective amnesia, BTW.

    >1) Do you not agree that a God who does know everything *can* know that He knows everything?<

    Yes I do not agree. (Next time can you try to formulate a less clumsy question which doesn't require such a clumsy reply, please - or ask an adult for help)

    >2) Why should I believe that no god can know everything?<

    Because you just spent several weeks showing me you can't explain how a god can know what it doesn't know.

    This is joined-up thinking; an idea of which you appear to be completely unaware.

    ReplyDelete
  47. 1) If omniscient means all knowing then how can the being not know something.

    2)If a mechanical engineer designed an engine should he know everything in minute detail about it ??? Possibly not.....so if the hypothetical creator did create this universe can it be omniscient ??? Possibly not.

    If after a few centuries science develops to such an extent that it is possible for the engineer to know everything then it might be possible that "there are unknown unknowns" will become obsolete.

    Isnt that what science does solving the puzzle by finding the unknowns ??

    ReplyDelete
  48. Pruthi.

    >1) If omniscient means all knowing then how can the being not know something.<

    If I define myself, or someone else defines me, as a brain surgeon, does that make me a brain surgeon?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Rosa,

    I'll give this one more shot.

    >"Do you seriously imagine I'm quoting Rumsfeld as some sort of authority? [condescension, ad hom]"

    No, Rosa, and you know that, and I've said that. Give me a reason, if not Rumsfeld. I will take your silence on this question as evidence of your inability to answer.

    >"Yes I do not agree. [and some more condescension, ad hom]"

    Ok, so you do not agree that "omniscience" means "knowing everything." Duly Noted.

    >"Because you just spent several weeks showing me you can't explain how a god can know what it doesn't know."

    And that's your reason for why I should believe that no god can know everything. Hardly sufficient (by even the most stringent scientific standards), even less convincing, and, If I might say, childish. But that is your answer.

    And you are correct, I have no clue what "joined-up thinking" is. But what I do see is your attributing things to me that I've never said, i.e. that "god can know what it doesn't know."

    When I claim you said something that you didn't say, what is that called? Dishonesty.

    So moving forward, Rosa, remember: Honesty. That's all it takes, right?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  50. Matt

    >No, Rosa, and you know that, and I've said that. Give me a reason, if not Rumsfeld. I will take your silence on this question as evidence of your inability to answer.<

    Er... one problem with that theory, Matt: I did answer it, as people can see.

    Looks like that problem with joined-up thinking has come back, and you were doing SO well, too.

    >And you are correct, I have no clue what "joined-up thinking" is. <

    Oh dear!

    But that DOES explain your weeks of struggle and mental turmoil on this one question alone.

    I'm sorry to have given you so much to struggle over.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Rosa,

    Perhaps you can repeat it for me. What was the answer?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  52. Matt.

    You tell me. It's YOU who likes to pretend your imaginary friend is omniscient but can't explain how, if it were really real, it could honestly make that claim.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Rosa,

    What? No I'm asking you for *your* reason why God cannot know everything, or that no god can know everything. State it clearly, please. You've written many things, I just want a clear answer to work with.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  54. Matt.

    Because it is impossible for anything to know what it doesn't know.

    I know you know this because you've been singularly unable to explain how it could do so, despite your desperate refusal to accept that it is, as I said, impossible.

    It's as silly as trying to explain why a triangle has four corners even if you suffer from a superstition which says it must have.

    This is an example of that thing called 'joined-up-thinking' that you have been too afraid to try out for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Rosa,

    No god can know everything because no god can know everything? It might behoove you to look up "tautology" at this point.

    I find it ironic that you point out the silliness of asking "why does a triangle have 4 sides," when you yourself ask "how does a God know what He doesn't know?" You see, inherent to the definition of a "triangle" is that it has 3 sides. So inherent to the definition of God is that he is omniscient. x = x, as it were.

    You've been corrected on this in one of the first comments here, by a fellow non-believer. Of course, you proceeded to deride that person because he didn't agree with you. That shows a lack of maturity and character on your part.

    I did not "refuse" to accept that no one can know what he doesn't know. In fact, I affirmed it, countless times (hyperbole). God cannot even know what He doesn't know. The only difference is, there is nothing God doesn't know.

    So yes, I've belabored this post, once again, way more than I needed to. It's sufficiently apparent that you are simply out of your league, and that you really just need to study and master the art of critical thinking and logical argumentation. I'm done here.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  56. Matt.

    I can understand your embarrassment at having to try to maintain the pretence of a belief in something even YOU know to be untenable, otherwise your imaginary friend might hurt you, but do at least TRY to be honest.

    As you well know, my argument is that nothing can know what it doesn't know. You have to say a god can otherwise it might come and get you for disloyalty, but haven't been able to come up with a rational explanation of how.

    Do you think your imaginary friend is stupid enough to be fooled by your pretence that I was arguing something else, or are you just hoping readers of this blog are?

    I wonder if your imaginary friend has notice you showing people how you need dishonesty to maintain a belief in it.

    Good thing it isn't real, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Your logic sadly is flawed and not logical at all because;
    Number one: You argue a point based on a property of a thing you claim is non-existent. If a thing is non-existent, then you can have no knowledge of a God’s properties. Therefore you are unqualified to know what God can or can’t know. So you have failed to make any logical statement about a thing you cannot know anything of.
    Number two; If a God exists that created the world and mankind then that God would be greater than you and you could not begin to know what a greater being would and would not know. So therefore you make another statement from lack of knowledge and out of ignorance of any logical theory. You assume to know that there is something a Superior Being could not know, but you do so claiming or implying you know, the unknowable.
    Number Three: Since your whole posting is based on you knowing what is impossible for you to know, your points are totally irrelevant and foolish banter. That is the true logical approach to what you said.
    Cogito ergo sum (Descartes) Unless, you have had contact with God to prove your posting, then you can know nothing about God past that statement, unless you are telling us God exists, you have had contact with Him past the Bible and these things were observed, experienced, or revealed to you by Him. Choose your poison God exists and you are claiming personal knowledge or you believe God does not exist and your knowledge of God and logic is pure bull.
    The only unintelligent design I see here is the logic you chose to use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did I claim this "thing's" non-existence as part of the logic of my argument, please?

      If it's not there, maybe you could explain why you needed to say it was, unless it was to mislead and make it look like you had refuted my argument when you knew you had not.

      Delete
    2. Maybe you should read your own posting and the conclusion you have drawn. The fact you hold that "It's not the fault of gods that they were unintelligently designed by dishonest people" gives rise to the fact you have based your supposed logic on a fabrication of dishonest people, not existence. Still your logic also gives the implication that you can know the unknowable. If God exists and is superior to you, you cannot know what He knows or what He does not know, so the point is your whole posting is refuted in both facts. Your claim God is a product of dishonest people, which contains the implication God does not exist in reality. Furthermore, you claim to know that God cannot know everything, which means you are stating God’s knowledge is limited in some aspect that you know might not be true. The premise of knowing that God only has limited knowledge is given with knowledge you cannot know that as fact. And as you stated “To make a claim of fact in the knowledge that it may be false is dishonest” and fails any logical test. Therefore you make a claim that cannot be made with any certainty.
      You also have failed to qualify your statement of God being dishonest, because you have failed to exhibit how you can know the unknowable short of it being revealed, but I am glad to see you accept the fact God exists or were you claiming to know the unknowable because He doesn’t exist? As I have pointed out you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Either you have met God and know that His knowledge is limited because He told you so or not. Which is it? Your logic starts with the fallacy of stating you know the amount of knowledge God holds and ends up in a circular argument of proving your first premise, which is unproven and cannot be a premise to arrive at a conclusion. This fallacy of logic is the entire basis of your argument; you start with a conclusion based on a premise which is based and a restatement of the conclusion. In fact every premise you make is based on a restatement of your conclusion. Logic uses premises to arrive at a conclusion of truth, not a conclusion to make premises. If any premise can be falsified then your conclusion is not logical. The premise of the Bible states in the beginning there was God, which states there was nothing else, therefore if true there was only God and all else is created by God, which means your premise of limited knowledge is knowingly made without any certainty to its truth.

      Delete
    3. Can we take it that you're not even going to try to explain why you tried to mislead people with the impression that I had used the non-existence of gods as part of my argument and that somehow you had refuted it?

      I would prefer it you would stick to honest arguments in this blog and didn't need to resort to the standard tricks and deceptions which characterise so many superstitious people's 'debating' style, please, even if the latter is probably easier for you and something you've rehearsed and perfected over the years, and the skill with which you are probably quite proud.

      Delete
  58. Assertion: Fail.

    Observation: As an amused observer who did not participate until now is convinced Anonymous made his point in the "by definition" statement while Rosa has asserted without evidence there there are unknown unknowns to a hypothetical being which knows everything in the definition of its hypothetical existence. Assertion of unknown unknowns to all knowing hypothetical sentient being is ridiculous and semantically charged without meaning.

    Further Observation: assertion Christian Deity is all knowing is based purely on human observation and probably flawed biblical quotes which are unacceptable evidence for omniscience. Further failure of another assertion.

    Conclusion: Rosa, you provided a flawed and purposeless argument based in subverting the definition of omniscience in the quality of this hypothetical being. The term Tautology most certainly applies. You failed to bring your own supporting evidence and by mere repetition were trying to redefine the term omniscient, which may apply to nothing but this hypothetical being, but the definition alone for the hypothesis is the originating premise of your entire discussion. Either it means all knowing without exception or you are asserting it does not. Word play does not change that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good. So you can help 'Anonymous' out here and explain what he was unable to explain and got into such a hilarious muddle over:

      How can a god know what it doesn't know, please?

      (I assume you really ARE a different anonymous, and not just the old one pretending someone agrees with him to see if that fools anyone.)

      Delete
    2. Another anonymous,

      I think you're spot on with saying that nothing can know that which it does not know. However, if there is nothing that it does not know, then there is nothing it does not know. And I suppose if there is nothing it does not know, then it knows everything. Confused?
      Let's play with sets (Philosophers love to play with sets)
      Let's say there is a set with n members. n probably isn't finite, but I'm not certain at the moment what cardinality of infinity it should have. Doesn't really matter. Anyways, this set, lets call it O with members {a, b, ... n} is the set of all propositions. I suppose you agree that it is propositions which can either be known or not known. If you know about every member of O whether it is true or false, then by definition you know there is all you are able to know. Now, there is an obvious member of O we need to include. This is the proposition that O is the set of all there is to know. This is a proposition after all.

      Ok, now about knowing things you don't know about. Let's say the set of all things you know is some set P {a, b, ...n1}, and that is the set of all the propositions that you know to be either true or false. Now, it is obviously true that if there is some proposition z that is not a member of P, then you don't know if z is true. So, for anyone, there is some set ~P that includes all the propositions about which he or she does not know its truth value. So, the sentence
      "Someone cannot know what they cannot know" could be translated as: If someone does not know the members of ~P, then they do not know the truth values of the members of ~p.

      But, for omniscient beings, we would say that their set P just is O, the set of all propositions. There is of course a set ~P for them: the null set. It is true that the omniscient being does not know any of the members of ~P. So it does not know about the truth values of the members of ~P. But here is the kicker: ~P has no members. So there is no proposition about which the omniscient being does not know the truth value. Hence, there is *nothing* the omniscient being does not know, because "Knowing what it does not know" does not refer to any proposition.

      Clear as mud?

      Delete
    3. >However, if there is nothing that it does not know, then there is nothing it does not know. <

      How about if there is something it does not know but it does not know about it? How would it know?

      Delete
    4. Well, that is an uninteresting claim though. (From hereon OB = Omniscient BeingThe conditional:
      If there is something an OB does not know, then X

      That is a necessary truth. But a boring one, because the antecedent is necessarily false. It is contradictory for anything to both be omniscient and not to know something, so "There is something an OB does not know" is necessarily false. If you want to get even more geeky:
      Here is the definition of omniscience (O - the property of omniscience Kxy - x knows the truth value of y, where y is some proposition):
      Ox =df ∀y Kxy (if something has the property of omniscience, then it knows the truth value of all propositions)

      Now I think you want to claim that it is logically impossible for anything to have that property. But your proof relies on the following conditional (which you state above. Also a two new letters: Lxy - x knows about y; knows that there is such a proposition as y I suppose. Not entirely sure how to interpret knowing "about" something. Py - y is a proposition)

      ∀x ∀y[(Ox & Py & ~Kxy &~Lxy) -> ~Kx(~Kxy) & ~Kx(~Lxy)]

      In english: For all x and all y, if x is omniscient and y is a proposition, and x does not know the truth value of y and does not know about y, then x does not know that x does not know the truth value of y and x does not know the x does not know about y.

      Now, if you could make this antecedent true for any omniscient being, you'd have proved that there are two things it does not know. But the antecedent is necessarily false, because it contradicts with the definition of omniscience. So I don't see how this is a problem for an actually omniscient being.

      Maybe your worry is the following: If you start with some knowledge you know to be finite, and you go out seeking truth after truth, how could you ever be sure you've found all of it? How would you know that there isn't one more truth out there you haven't found yet?
      Well, here's how: Once you find out he truth about what all there is to know, you can go find them. If you have not yet learned the truth about what all there is to know, you know that you are missing at least one, so you'll know that you're not omniscient yet.

      Let's put it some other way: We stumble upon some being and are trying to find out if it is omniscient. We happen to have our dandy truth-o-meter with us, that will tell us for any thing anyone says if it is true or not. We then ask this being: "Do you know what all the truths that could be known are?" If it says "yes," and our truth-o-meter agrees, then we can ask "And do you know them all?" Once again, if it says yes and the truth-o-meter agrees, we've found an omniscient being.

      One other way: Certainly some putative omniscient being has some beliefs about what all there is to know. If that belief is false, then no need to bother checking for omniscience. But unless you want to assert from the get go that any god must necessarily have some false beliefs, that doesn't really seem to go anywhere either.

      Making more sense yet? Thinking strictly about logically possible beings, there really seems to be no problem with a being knowing the truth value of all propositions. Asking "what if it didn't" doesn't tell us anything about THAT being at all. It would be some other possible very knowledgeable being, but we weren't interested in that one.

      Delete
    5. To cut through the cackle, are you saying something can know what it doesn't know or that it can't?

      Or are you using a specially low standard of logic for gods?

      Delete
    6. To cut through the cackle, are you saying something can know what it doesn't know or that it can't?

      Or are you using a specially low standard of logic for gods?

      >It is contradictory for anything to both be omniscient and not to know something..<

      Indeed, but producing an undesirable conclusion is no reason to discard the logic, not even if you have an imaginary god you want to present as omniscient.

      Delete
    7. >To cut through the cackle, are you saying something can know what it doesn't know or that it can't?<

      No, nothing knows what it does not know, and nothing knows what it cannot know. Did I say otherwise?

      It proves that once you don't know one thing, you also don't know a second things (namely, that you don't know the first). That's a curious fact, but it doesn't prove that there isn't anything that could know everything.
      Because if [what it does not know] is an empty set, then there is nothing it does not know.

      Delete
    8. I take your 6 months of silence as an indication that you in fact agree to my point and concede that your argument is bunk. Please be honest and put a "Refuted" sign on the main post.
      Thanks

      Delete
    9. Wait six months hoping everyone has forgotten and won't bother to check, then claim victory, eh?

      Can see why you're still too cowardly to give your real name. Must be embarrassing needing to stoop that low to lie even to yourself.

      Delete
    10. Wait, so the pseudonymous author of this blog calls me a coward for not using my name? That's amusing.
      More to the point though, you didn't read my longer post because you didn't understand it, asked the same question I already answered, and tried to pin something on me I didn't say. I was checking more regularly if you'd respond, you didn't, so I left. The other day I had that twisted desire to do some sparring with rabid atheists, so I figured I'd look back around. Maybe you'll actually address what I said above this time. Or not, it's your blog.

      Delete
    11. Anything to divert away from your inability to deal with the subject of the blog, eh, and STILL needing to hide behind anonymity too...

      How sad. Are there no forums or blogs devoted to children where you could try to impress people with your dishonesty and skills at sophistry and evasion?

      Delete
  59. GOD REFUTED..
    Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
    of coures gods dont breath..or die.
    and
    he returneth to his earth
    if he was omnipotent he is everywhere at the same time AND DOESNT NEED TO return SO becouse of that he is not infinite and becouse of the fact that he had gone and returned ( infinite gods dont go and return) , he is not eternal becouse goining away and then returning takes ``time``.
    HAHAHA
    end of god.


    hahahahahahahaha

    now i m looking for something like this that refutes lallah

    maybe someone here can help me?? who knows a verse in the fuckran that resembles this and makes this construction possible?

    grtz from a dutchman..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosa, have you considered the implications of omniscience to a god itself? If a god is omniscient, then how could he/she/it ever have a new thought? A truly omniscient being already knows all of its own future, including its own thoughts. Therefore, it can have no sub-conscious or free will.
      This realisation leads us to the conclusion that this type of god can only be the equivalent of a computer program, all of its software fully loaded (when?) & running its inescapable programming (a bizarre program if the Bible is any guide).
      Further, if believers say that an omniscient god interacts with our reality, then it can only be as an automaton following its data instructions, or, a Godbot.
      Lastly, if believers then say that this Godbot created their reality, then any actions or inactions of believers is merely the output of a cosmic multimedia template, so any free will of these robots created by a robot goes kaput. It's a pity that whoever set up the program didn't incorporate Asimov's 3 laws of robotics in believers. "You must not harm, by action or inaction, any human..."

      Delete
    2. Absolutely! I covered more-or-less that same ground in a much earlier blog On The Logical Fallacy Of God's Inerrant Omniscience with:

      "In fact, such a god might as well be an unthinking rock on some remote planet orbiting a sun in some distant galaxy, functionally indistinguishable from any other rock on any other planet in any other galaxy.

      And, paradoxically, since this god could not have created the universe in the first place, a universe occupied by an inerrantly omniscient god could not have been created by it.

      The logic of an inerrantly omniscient god not only means you cannot have free will, it also means that such a god, for all practical purposes, does not exist and could not have created the universe.

      Conversely, any creator god cannot be omniscient and inerrant like the one described in the Bible the Torah and the Qur'an."

      Delete
  60. I don't believe any omniscient being or entity exists or has ever existed. But the important thing is by the very definition of the word such a being or entity 'if it existed' would know everything and would also be aware of that fact. There would be no unknown unknowns. What is so hard to understand about that? By saying 'how would an omniscient being know what it doesn't know' is like asking 'where is the bachelors wife?'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So a hypothetical god can define itself as omniscience and then it becomes omniscient? Why does that only work for gods?

      Delete
    2. I agree with you that omniscient beings / entities are only hypothetical if not impossible. I was just trying to make a point of the definition.

      Ps. love reading your blog.

      Delete
  61. I feel an omniscient being cannot be reconciled with human free will because the deity will know who will sin who's going to hell etc... So what's the point of worshiping it then. It already knows who's destined for where and why even before they are born. So where does free will come into it? When does it decide to intervene in our affairs? When's the second coming?

    Regarding omnipotence if he could create something that was unbreakable that would be a paradox, would it not?

    ReplyDelete

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