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Omniscience & Omnipotence

Posted by tuk22 
Omniscience & Omnipotence
August 06, 2010 05:37AM
Omnipotent: The ability do anything logically possible.

God is assumed to be omnipotent which implies there can be no other being greater than God.

But what do we mean by omniscience?

From Wikipedia:
Quote

Omniscience (pronounced /ɒmˈnɪsiəns/)[1] (or omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc.

I find conflict with the idea of God 'knowing' everything and God being the greatest conceivable being.

Human knowledge is only understood through proper reasoning and thought processes.

This takes 'time'.

Agree?
Anonymous User
Re: Omniscience & Omnipotence
August 06, 2010 07:20AM
tuk22 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Omnipotent: The ability do anything logically
> possible.
>

I never heard the word "logically" added to the definition before. Is that your idea? Have you seen a dictionary definition that includes that? I must say it makes sense. For example, is God so powerful that he can jump high enough that even he can't safely land?

Now, I'll have to ponderer your thoughts about omniscience.
Re: Omniscience & Omnipotence
August 06, 2010 03:50PM
Omnipotent: The ability do anything logically possible.

ummm that's only one definition

I know that using wikipedia is a lazy thing to do but I can't be bothered.

Between people of different faiths, or indeed between people of the same faith, the term omnipotent has been used to connote a number of different positions. These positions include, but are not limited to, the following:

A deity is able to do anything that is logically possible for it to do[4].
A deity is able to do anything that it chooses to do[5].
A deity is able to do anything that is in accord with its own nature (thus, for instance, if it is a logical consequence of a deity's nature that what it speaks is truth, then it is not able to lie).
Hold that it is part of a deity's nature to be consistent and that it would be inconsistent for said deity to go against its own laws unless there was a reason to do so.[6]
A deity is able to do anything that corresponds with its omniscience and therefore with its worldplan.
A deity is able to do absolutely anything, even the logically impossible, i.e., pure agency.

[en.wikipedia.org]

There is a distinction between:

inherent omniscience - the ability to know anything that one chooses to know and can be known.
total omniscience - actually knowing everything that can be known.

Some modern theologians argue that God's omniscience is inherent rather than total, and that God chooses to limit his omniscience in order to preserve the freewill and dignity of his creatures.[3] Certain theologians of the 16th Century, comfortable with the definition of God as being omniscient in the total sense, in order for worthy beings' abilities to choose freely, embraced the doctrine of predestination.

[en.wikipedia.org]

Though I think they just about covered everything.
Re: Omniscience & Omnipotence
August 06, 2010 07:10PM
FF,

A deity is able to do absolutely anything, even the logically impossible, i.e., pure agency

I can't accept this because it is nonsense, and nonsense isn't a 'thing'. Its just nonsense.

All the other definitions are consistent with a God who can do anything logically possible.
Anonymous User
Re: Omniscience & Omnipotence
August 09, 2010 11:04PM
good topic!
first, i do NOT agree with the definition for omnipotence. Well, maybe i DO, but with qualifications. I think god can do everything it is possible for him (it) to do, but that does not include going against his nature i.e. god could not have decided murder was desirable. and i certainly disagree with the definition ff posted that it means able to something logically or sensibly impossible. god can't create a square circle.

omniscience means posessing all knowledge that exists, has ever existed, or will ever exist.
Re: Omniscience & Omnipotence
August 12, 2010 05:24AM
"omniscience means possessing all knowledge that exists, has ever existed, or will ever exist."

How is it meaningful to say God possesses all knowledge when the only definitions of knowledge in epistemology are human in nature? i.e. proper human reasoning?

IMO God doesn't 'think'. Thinking takes time, and I can conceive of a 'greater' being who knows something instantaneously and without having to use a brain...

It’s like we need a God epistemology to make sense of how God knows what God knows..

It seems to make more sense to claim God is knowledge or God is the foundation for knowledge...

Rob?
Anonymous User
Re: Omniscience & Omnipotence
August 12, 2010 10:09PM
tuk
i like it. i agree. certainly god doesn't have a brain, and doesn't "think" via a process of chemical and electrical stimuli as we do, but just "knows", just as i define good as that which is in accord with the nature of god, and evil as that which is not.
very insightful.
but am i right it appears you can conceive of but don't believe there is such an entity?
Re: Omniscience & Omnipotence
August 12, 2010 11:53PM
For this exercise we are assuming such a being exists...

The concept of omniscience makes sense, but when you combine it with a God who is omnipotent as well IMO it looses meaning because there are only a few theories in epistemology that account for knowledge as we understand it.

e.g. God knows your name is Rob and knows every little detail about you... If we apply our understanding of knowledge to God, nothing makes sense. Is it self evident that God knows everything about you? If so, that is knowledge that can't be shared since it isn't self-evident to us. Does God know you through experience or is it evident to God's senses? If so, God is a lesser being because experience based knowledge takes 'time' and I can conceive of a greater being...
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