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Is omniscience logically possible?

Freeman
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5/27/2010 10:17:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think I came up with a valid argument that disproves the existence of God. Perhaps I have failed miserably. Perhaps I have succeeded.

P1: If God exists, then he is omniscient.
P2: If God is omniscient, then he must know everything. (from 1)
P3: If God knows everything, then he must know that he doesn't know something (i.e. knowing that you don't know something is in itself a form of knowledge. (from 2)
P4: Therefore, it is not the case that a God can be omniscient. (from 3)
C: Therefore, it is not the case that God exists. (from 1 and 4)

I think omniscience might be a logically incoherent concept.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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5/27/2010 10:24:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 10:17:53 PM, Freeman wrote:
P1: If God exists, then he is omniscient.
P2: If God is omniscient, then he must know everything. (from 1)
P3: If God knows everything, then he must know that he doesn't know something (i.e. knowing that you don't know something is in itself a form of knowledge. (from 2)
Knowledge of ignorance of X is effectively the same as actual knowledge of X in this case. The counterexample you'd have to show is that God DIDN'T know that he was ignorant of X - but that in turn is solved by God knowing that he knows everything.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
Sam_Lowry
Posts: 367
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5/27/2010 10:32:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I would agree with you but not for your reasoning. The fact that something is proposable does not mean it is factual. If you were omniscient, you would know that you DO know everything. There would be nothing for you not to know.

My problem with omniscience is that there is no way to prove (even to one's self) that one is omniscient. Even if you DID know everything there is to know, how could you possibly know that there is nothing else to know? How could you really know that you are omniscient?
belle
Posts: 4,113
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5/27/2010 10:37:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
fail. lol. omniscience isn't the same as omnipotence. if god "knows everything" he knows everything that is the case not every thing that could be the case (ie is logically possible).

it makes no sense to say that if god can know everything he would know something he doesn't know. the "eveyrthing" there is contingent on whatever actually *is* true.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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5/27/2010 10:38:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 10:32:16 PM, Sam_Lowry wrote:
I would agree with you but not for your reasoning. The fact that something is proposable does not mean it is factual. If you were omniscient, you would know that you DO know everything. There would be nothing for you not to know.

My problem with omniscience is that there is no way to prove (even to one's self) that one is omniscient. Even if you DID know everything there is to know, how could you possibly know that there is nothing else to know? How could you really know that you are omniscient?

Knowing everything would be a 'fact' thus comprised under omniscience itself. If omniscient then it is true that under omniscience I would know I was omniscient. Sure it defeats the point of your question but that's what you get when you slap a label of omniscient on something.

@ Freeman

http://www.infidels.org...
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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5/27/2010 10:49:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 10:38:47 PM, Puck wrote:
At 5/27/2010 10:32:16 PM, Sam_Lowry wrote:
I would agree with you but not for your reasoning. The fact that something is proposable does not mean it is factual. If you were omniscient, you would know that you DO know everything. There would be nothing for you not to know.

My problem with omniscience is that there is no way to prove (even to one's self) that one is omniscient. Even if you DID know everything there is to know, how could you possibly know that there is nothing else to know? How could you really know that you are omniscient?

Knowing everything would be a 'fact' thus comprised under omniscience itself. If omniscient then it is true that under omniscience I would know I was omniscient. Sure it defeats the point of your question but that's what you get when you slap a label of omniscient on something.

@ Freeman

http://www.infidels.org...

Yep... I know about those arguments.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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5/27/2010 11:18:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 10:17:53 PM, Freeman wrote:
P3: If God knows everything, then he must know that he doesn't know something

Contradiction. If the first part of P3 is true, the second part of P3 can't also be true.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Sam_Lowry
Posts: 367
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5/27/2010 11:29:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 10:38:47 PM, Puck wrote:
Knowing everything would be a 'fact' thus comprised under omniscience itself. If omniscient then it is true that under omniscience I would know I was omniscient.

Isn't that circular logic? If I believe I am omniscient, am I actually omniscient? I understand your point, but I do not understand how one could logically come to the conclusion that they are omniscient, even if they were.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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5/27/2010 11:35:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 11:29:00 PM, Sam_Lowry wrote:
At 5/27/2010 10:38:47 PM, Puck wrote:
Knowing everything would be a 'fact' thus comprised under omniscience itself. If omniscient then it is true that under omniscience I would know I was omniscient.

Isn't that circular logic? If I believe I am omniscient, am I actually omniscient? I understand your point, but I do not understand how one could logically come to the conclusion that they are omniscient, even if they were.

Not really circular. If I ask you, are you omniscient and you reply truthfully with 'I don't know', then you are not omniscient. I know there seems to be a 'final step' that's always out of reach - but it's a definitional issue. If the label is true then that assures knowledge of the label. How one applies that label correctly is a separate issue altogether.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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5/27/2010 11:37:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 11:29:00 PM, Sam_Lowry wrote:
At 5/27/2010 10:38:47 PM, Puck wrote:
Knowing everything would be a 'fact' thus comprised under omniscience itself. If omniscient then it is true that under omniscience I would know I was omniscient.

Isn't that circular logic? If I believe I am omniscient, am I actually omniscient? I understand your point, but I do not understand how one could logically come to the conclusion that they are omniscient, even if they were.

because belief =/= knowledge.

you know how some people tend to claim they "just know" whatever? in this case it would actually be true. but if i know what you're getting at, it would indeed be indistinguishable from someone who merely believed they were omnipotent experientially- until you put that knowledge to the test.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Sam_Lowry
Posts: 367
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5/27/2010 11:41:31 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 11:35:28 PM, Puck wrote:
Not really circular. If I ask you, are you omniscient and you reply truthfully with 'I don't know', then you are not omniscient. I know there seems to be a 'final step' that's always out of reach - but it's a definitional issue. If the label is true then that assures knowledge of the label. How one applies that label correctly is a separate issue altogether.

The "final step" is a little much to wrap my head around, but I think I get it.
Sam_Lowry
Posts: 367
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5/27/2010 11:44:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 11:37:13 PM, belle wrote:
you know how some people tend to claim they "just know" whatever? in this case it would actually be true. but if i know what you're getting at, it would indeed be indistinguishable from someone who merely believed they were omnipotent experientially- until you put that knowledge to the test.

I don't think omniscience could be proved experimentally. Ultimately you could be fairly sure that a being was omniscient, but I don't see how you could ever be 100% sure.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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5/28/2010 12:28:36 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 11:44:57 PM, Sam_Lowry wrote:
At 5/27/2010 11:37:13 PM, belle wrote:
you know how some people tend to claim they "just know" whatever? in this case it would actually be true. but if i know what you're getting at, it would indeed be indistinguishable from someone who merely believed they were omnipotent experientially- until you put that knowledge to the test.

I don't think omniscience could be proved experimentally. Ultimately you could be fairly sure that a being was omniscient, but I don't see how you could ever be 100% sure.

Dude, you're missing the point entirely. We are assuming that said being is actually Omniscient. Whether Omniscience is actually possible or not is irrelevant. We're talking about God, who, by definition is Omniscient. The point of the argument (though it's flawed) is to show inherent contradictions in the propositions of the Theist assertion of God.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
belle
Posts: 4,113
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5/28/2010 12:30:16 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 11:44:57 PM, Sam_Lowry wrote:
At 5/27/2010 11:37:13 PM, belle wrote:
you know how some people tend to claim they "just know" whatever? in this case it would actually be true. but if i know what you're getting at, it would indeed be indistinguishable from someone who merely believed they were omnipotent experientially- until you put that knowledge to the test.

I don't think omniscience could be proved experimentally. Ultimately you could be fairly sure that a being was omniscient, but I don't see how you could ever be 100% sure.

sure, but the individual themselves would know by definition :P
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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5/28/2010 9:26:04 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 10:17:53 PM, Freeman wrote:
I think I came up with a valid argument that disproves the existence of God. Perhaps I have failed miserably. Perhaps I have succeeded.

P3: If God knows everything, then he must know that he doesn't know something (i.e. knowing that you don't know something is in itself a form of knowledge. (from 2)

The cheese has fallen out of your sandwich. something has clearly turned your brain to goo.
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

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Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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5/28/2010 9:31:24 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/27/2010 10:17:53 PM, Freeman wrote:
I think I came up with a valid argument that disproves the existence of God. Perhaps I have failed miserably. Perhaps I have succeeded.


P1: If God exists, then he is omniscient.
P2: If God is omniscient, then he must know everything. (from 1)
P3: If God knows everything, then he must know that he doesn't know something (i.e. knowing that you don't know something is in itself a form of knowledge. (from 2)
P4: Therefore, it is not the case that a God can be omniscient. (from 3)
C: Therefore, it is not the case that God exists. (from 1 and 4)

I think omniscience might be a logically incoherent concept.

This is a joke right?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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5/28/2010 9:55:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/28/2010 9:31:24 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 5/27/2010 10:17:53 PM, Freeman wrote:
I think I came up with a valid argument that disproves the existence of God. Perhaps I have failed miserably. Perhaps I have succeeded.


P1: If God exists, then he is omniscient.
P2: If God is omniscient, then he must know everything. (from 1)
P3: If God knows everything, then he must know that he doesn't know something (i.e. knowing that you don't know something is in itself a form of knowledge. (from 2)
P4: Therefore, it is not the case that a God can be omniscient. (from 3)
C: Therefore, it is not the case that God exists. (from 1 and 4)

I think omniscience might be a logically incoherent concept.

This is a joke right?

April fools! Oh wait...
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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5/28/2010 10:56:31 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/28/2010 9:31:24 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 5/27/2010 10:17:53 PM, Freeman wrote:
I think I came up with a valid argument that disproves the existence of God. Perhaps I have failed miserably. Perhaps I have succeeded.


P1: If God exists, then he is omniscient.
P2: If God is omniscient, then he must know everything. (from 1)
P3: If God knows everything, then he must know that he doesn't know something (i.e. knowing that you don't know something is in itself a form of knowledge. (from 2)
P4: Therefore, it is not the case that a God can be omniscient. (from 3)
C: Therefore, it is not the case that God exists. (from 1 and 4)

I think omniscience might be a logically incoherent concept.

This is a joke right?

Yes...
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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5/28/2010 11:05:50 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/28/2010 10:56:31 AM, Freeman wrote:
At 5/28/2010 9:31:24 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 5/27/2010 10:17:53 PM, Freeman wrote:
I think I came up with a valid argument that disproves the existence of God. Perhaps I have failed miserably. Perhaps I have succeeded.


P1: If God exists, then he is omniscient.
P2: If God is omniscient, then he must know everything. (from 1)
P3: If God knows everything, then he must know that he doesn't know something (i.e. knowing that you don't know something is in itself a form of knowledge. (from 2)
P4: Therefore, it is not the case that a God can be omniscient. (from 3)
C: Therefore, it is not the case that God exists. (from 1 and 4)

I think omniscience might be a logically incoherent concept.

This is a joke right?

Yes...

I hope for your sake it was!
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Sam_Lowry
Posts: 367
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5/28/2010 12:19:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/28/2010 12:28:36 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Dude, you're missing the point entirely. We are assuming that said being is actually Omniscient. Whether Omniscience is actually possible or not is irrelevant. We're talking about God, who, by definition is Omniscient. The point of the argument (though it's flawed) is to show inherent contradictions in the propositions of the Theist assertion of God.

I'm not missing the point at all. I completely understand that an omniscient person could know that they are omniscient. However, no one else could ever possible know that this is true. There is no way to logically prove to another person that you are omniscient. Read the context of the post I was replying to.
Atheism
Posts: 2,033
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6/1/2010 10:02:26 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Might I add this bit of thought? If god created adam and eve, and put the tree of knowledge there, knowing they would take the fruit...Then wouldn't he be the most sadistic and evil thing ever? Also, choose: Free will or no god. ==D
I miss the old members.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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6/1/2010 10:08:03 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/1/2010 10:02:26 AM, Atheism wrote:
Might I add this bit of thought? If god created adam and eve, and put the tree of knowledge there, knowing they would take the fruit...Then wouldn't he be the most sadistic and evil thing ever? Also, choose: Free will or no god. ==D

how bout the fact that he created imperfect beings who could plausibly sin, in the first place.

why?

just so he could end up essentially re-absorbing one portion... and ETERNALLY TORTURING the others.

the variety he gets is only in the torturing of souls...

all other souls essentially get pressed down by the weight of God's goodness... and are basically eventually (in heaven) reflections of god.

so... is it he wanted vain images... or he wanted to eternally torture souls???
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Atheism
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6/1/2010 10:17:50 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
So yeah, what basically Matt and I said put together, god is either a terrible, terrible sadist, or unreal. Please decide.
I miss the old members.
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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6/1/2010 10:24:51 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Or, we humans do not know everything about God. Sometimes we suffer from a disease, but we do not always know which one it is. It means that we have a hard time actually knowing about what is happening within ourselves. How can we, with our limited thoughts, know everything about God? We cannot.
CrappyDebater
Posts: 334
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6/1/2010 10:25:56 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
how bout the fact that he created imperfect beings who could plausibly sin, in the first place.
Imperfect? Why not perfect with free will?
Why are humans not robot-like creatures?

just so he could end up essentially re-absorbing one portion... and ETERNALLY TORTURING the others.

The Eternal Torture thing is still up for grabs.
Possible options (speculation):
1. You can get out of Hell (the fire + brimstone type)
2. Hell is simply existence without creator
3. No existence at all after death (sheol)

(If there was a God who allowed evil for whatever reason, do you think someone like Hitler should be punished in the afterlife to some degree for his choices in life?)

the variety he gets is only in the torturing of souls...
so... is it he wanted vain images... or he wanted to eternally torture souls???

I would say neither.
I would say God wants to live side by side with all of us.
Zetsubou
Posts: 4,933
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6/1/2010 10:38:42 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/1/2010 10:25:56 AM, CrappyDebater wrote:
how bout the fact that he created imperfect beings who could plausibly sin, in the first place.
Imperfect? Why not perfect with free will?
Why are humans not robot-like creatures?

just so he could end up essentially re-absorbing one portion... and ETERNALLY TORTURING the others.

The Eternal Torture thing is still up for grabs.
Possible options (speculation):
1. You can get out of Hell (the fire + brimstone type)
2. Hell is simply existence without creator
3. No existence at all after death (sheol)

(If there was a God who allowed evil for whatever reason, do you think someone like Hitler should be punished in the afterlife to some degree for his choices in life?)


the variety he gets is only in the torturing of souls...
so... is it he wanted vain images... or he wanted to eternally torture souls???

I would say neither.
I would say God wants to live side by side with all of us.

Jew?

------------
Your argument can be contended if it's christian based.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Atheism
Posts: 2,033
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6/1/2010 10:43:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I say that god cannot possibly be real. Getting back on-topic, lol, the question of omniscience is somewhat tricky. I believe JUST omniscience may be possible, if only slightly. But omniscience and omnipotence is impossible or incredibly cruel. Take your pick.
I miss the old members.