## Arguments/premises to disprove God's omniscience

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I was thinking about validity of God's omniscience and stumbled upon three statements, which can be summarized as -

• To be omniscient, a being would require to capture and store all the data in the universe. This would need a space larger than the
universe itself.

• Omniscience is just a property ascribed to God. No one knows whether it is true or not.

• An omniscient being would need more than a second to record and store data about the entire universe. So there will be gaps in the
recording

Are these three statements philosophically valid?

1This would need a space larger than the universe itself. All the data n the universe is stored within the universe proper, just as all the raw data about ourselves is found within our own bodies and minds. So the first statement is a false premise. The third statement is also false, because all of the universe's data is already stored within itself. It simply exists, and nothing has to be done to preserve it. Just as our own minds store memories naturally, and our bodies store DNA coding, effortlessly. Written or digitally produced records can't replace integrated memories and communication. – Bread – 2018-12-22T22:51:24.650

What I've learned is you can't disprove anything about "God" because all attributes of this being are unverifiable baseless claims. For any claim you make I'll make a new claim that says God is an exception. For any existing property of God that appears contradictory or nonsensical I'll say that claim is merely figurative. Ex. God is bigger than the universe; claim 1 is now irrelevant. Divine revelation, now claim 2 is irrelevant. God transcends time; claim 3 is now irrelevant. – Cell – 2018-12-22T23:03:50.097

Beyond any of the particular claims, there's an even bigger problem. What does philosophically valid mean? – virmaior – 2018-12-23T04:39:22.003

@Cell Makes sense! Thanks for your input. – None – 2018-12-23T07:29:34.943

3An argument is valid or not; not a single statement. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2018-12-23T08:22:19.097

"philosophically valid" makes little sense... A statement in philosophy can be true, or at least plausible. "Omniscience is just a property ascribed to God. No one knows whether it is true or not." is a plausible stateemnt: we do not know if it is true or not because we do not know if God exists. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2018-12-23T08:23:32.157

The other two statements about omniscience consider "physical" limitations to it; of course, we have no reason to assume that an omnipotent being, like God, must be subject to physical (or other types of) limitations. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2018-12-23T08:27:04.837

1God is the universe.. and so is intrinsically omniscient. – Richard – 2018-12-23T23:32:43.340

what is god???? – None – 2019-01-01T01:53:43.960

The first statement is false because the data of the universe could be compressed and represented by significantly fewer arranged molecules. Such as our physical structure and other information is stored in tightly bundled DNA – Breakskater – 2019-01-01T05:24:56.080

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1. A widespread assumption is that God, if there is a God, is incorporeal. Since God does not occupy space, or have any spatial location, the knowledge God has does not need any spatial storage, let alone 'a space larger than the universe itself.

2. 'Omniscience' is a concept full of logical difficulties. So it is not clear what we are attributing to God when we attribute omniscience. But if omniscience, 'to speak with the vulgar', means complete and perfect knowledge, I can't see any means by which we can establish whether God, if there is a God, has it or not. There might be an oblique manner of proof. If we can prove there is a perfect being, God, then we can infer that God would have complete and perfect knowledge by virtue of God's perfection. But I know of no argument by which the existence of a perfect being can be proved or probabilified.

3. It's a difficult idea but the standard view is, I think, that God is not 'in' time but transcends time. In that case God would need no time, not even a second, 'to record and store data about the entire universe'. Also it is a reasonable inference from God's omniscience that God already knows everything and does not need to record and store data. All 'data' is present to the divine mind without any process of record or storage.

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Arguments/premises to disprove God's omniscience

My refutation of God's omniscience consists of showing the impossibility of omniscience itself. That addresses the core of your question and more specifically your 2nd premise, for an entity (be it God, a person, an oracle, etc.) does not have something that does not exist ... that would be a non-sequitur.

Statement #2:

Omniscience is just a property ascribed to God. No one knows whether it is true or not.

As I will explain, the 2nd statement is false.

If I ask an entity "What is the very next number after ²√2 (the square root of 2)?", the entity will be unable to come up with the correct answer. Indeed, for any number that the entity purports to be the answer, I can rule it out by producing other numbers which are even closer to ²√2 (and, thus, likelier to be the very next number) than the entity's answer. One such number is the average:

Our trivial ability to compare any two numbers x, y (with x!=y) in the set of reals R suggests that there must be a very next number. The difficulty lies in finding it, but the mere impossibility of computing it cannot negate its existence. That is, the very next number exists; it just cannot be computed or identified. Therefore, that number cannot be known.

The existence of at least one item (here, a number) which exists but is unknowable implies the impossibility of omniscience. This leads to the conclusion that omniscience, the property ascribed to God, is untrue.

Statement #3:

An omniscient being would need more than a second to record and store data about the entire universe. So there will be gaps in the recording

The very notion of omniscience implies determinism and negates randomness. Omniscience implies that an omniscient being would necessarily possess proficiency in deterministic techniques with which he could compute the state of a system at any given point in time.

Let f=f(t) express that deterministic algorithm or function. Determinism renders any recording gaps inconsequential. That is because information about the state of the system at that any particular instant can be recovered from the deterministic formulation f anyway.

But the conclusion about Statement #2 unveils the actual problem; namely, that one cannot know what happened immediately after that specific instant. This means that the pseudo-omniscient entity can figure out what happened at t=²√2 by computing f(²√2), but not what happened immediately after t=²√2 because the entity does not even know what input t to use in f(t).

Statement #1:

To be omniscient, a being would require to capture and store all the data in the universe. This would need a space larger than the universe itself.

Since omniscience is impossible (see above), the amount, availability, and purpose of storage of the totality of data are inconsequential and/or pointless, accordingly.

1"Our trivial ability to compare any two numbers x, y (with x!=y) in the set of reals R suggests that there must be a very next number." No, there is no "next number" in the reals. Not knowing "the very next number after ²√2" no more invalidates the concept of omniscience than not knowing what a circle with corners looks like. – curiousdannii – 2020-02-21T06:15:49.533

@curiousdannii By definition of circle, the notion of a "circle with corners" is a non sequitur, whence "not knowing what a circle with corners looks like" is devoid of meaning. But the definition of reals does not negate (and, admittedly, does not establish either) the existence of a "next real" notwithstanding that reals are uncountably infinite. In misapplying the "circle with corners" as an analogy, you are assuming that non-computability (or unknowability) of the next real implies its nonexistence. – Iñaki Viggers – 2020-02-22T23:52:25.473

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1) To be omniscient, a being would require to capture and store all the data in the universe. This would need a space larger than the universe itself.

By current theories in physics, all information needed to predict and reconstruct the universe is reflected in the combined surfaces of the black holes as a holographic image. But that is a surface, which is infinitely thin, and occupies no three-dimensional space at all. If we let physics get away with this, we can't object to it in theology.

2) Omniscience is just a property ascribed to God. No one knows whether it is true or not.

This is not an argument against the existence of God. The argument from ignorance is itself a fallacy. As Goedel pointed out, something can be unknown, even unprovable, yet true. No one knows whether it is true or not, so how can you deduce anything from this lack of information?

3) An omniscient being would need more than a second to record and store data about the entire universe. So there will be gaps in the recording

Again, by current theories, black holes do this on an ongoing basis in real time, no gaps. If a natural physical process can do it, we can imagine an intelligent process that would have access to the result. So this is not an argument against God.