Omnipotence, Everything

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Reply Tue 16 Oct, 2007 12:49 pm
this is what I've been thinking over lately, and it's really starting to bother me because I haven't been able to find a reasonable answer.

all I want to know is, if it is ridiculous to think this, and if so, why.


I've been thinking a lot about existence and non-existence, everything and nothingness, and a lot about whether or not "God" exists, and what "God" is. I've come to believe that...there is absolutely no one, no thing, that can know everything. I think this because, in order for one to know everything, it would have to be everything. if it were to be everything at once, nothing would exist.

am I right in thinking that? and if that makes sense, does it not prove that nothing can be truly all-knowing?

if someone, or something, were to suddenly know everything right now, I think they would become something like a black hole. maybe not exactly a black hole, I haven't studied them in depth so I don't know much about them, but basically, it would wipe everything out...instantly. and then, nothing will have ever existed, because nothing would exist, and time is something, the past is something. and since we exist right now...since we can observe time, doesn't that prove that there is no thing, no being, nothing, that is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent?


please tell me if that makes sense, if it is right, or wrong, or what.
thanks for reading.
 
PoPpAScience
 
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 10:26 pm
@rottingteeth,
rottingteeth, here is a thought for you. Close your eyes and visualize your self on a beach looking out to the ocean. Now Imagine if this Universe is like your mind, manifesting a constant scenario through the "Art of Evolution".
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 10:45 pm
@rottingteeth,
rottingteeth wrote:
this is what I've been thinking over lately, and it's really starting to bother me because I haven't been able to find a reasonable answer.

all I want to know is, if it is ridiculous to think this, and if so, why.


I've been thinking a lot about existence and non-existence, everything and nothingness, and a lot about whether or not "God" exists, and what "God" is. I've come to believe that...there is absolutely no one, no thing, that can know everything. I think this because, in order for one to know everything, it would have to be everything. if it were to be everything at once, nothing would exist.

am I right in thinking that? and if that makes sense, does it not prove that nothing can be truly all-knowing?

if someone, or something, were to suddenly know everything right now, I think they would become something like a black hole. maybe not exactly a black hole, I haven't studied them in depth so I don't know much about them, but basically, it would wipe everything out...instantly. and then, nothing will have ever existed, because nothing would exist, and time is something, the past is something. and since we exist right now...since we can observe time, doesn't that prove that there is no thing, no being, nothing, that is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent?


please tell me if that makes sense, if it is right, or wrong, or what.
thanks for reading.


I think this because, in order for one to know everything, it would have to be everything. if it were to be everything at once, nothing would exist.

But what is your reason for saying that? Surely, if I know about something, then what I know about does exist, otherwise, I could not know about it. So, if someone were to know about everything at once, then what he knows about must exist. So, it seems to me that just the opposite of that you say is true.
 
rottingteeth
 
Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 10:32 am
@rottingteeth,
if I knew everything, I would have to be everything, because I'd have to know what it's like to be any given thing. that would make me everything, and if everything was actually one thing, the only thing it could be is...nothing.

that is, no one thing can be the only thing in existence. right? by definition of "thing", it isn't possible. in order for some thing to be, it has to be distinguishable from some other thing. right? the simplest example I can think of: a speck of light (energy) in empty space. there you have not one thing but two: the white speck of light, and the dark, empty space around it. Buddha said (this is one of my favourite quotes): "Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two."

it makes sense to me.

but you're right, if you knew about something, that would mean it existed, and you wouldn't be the only thing, there would be something more than nothing. but in order to know everything, you would also have to know what it's like to be that other thing. the only way you could truly know that, is if you were it.

I can't say I know what it was like to be Abraham Lincoln. I was not him, so I don't know. the only way I could know what it was like to live every second of his life, and to know every thought he had, would be if I actually was him. that would make us the same person, just in a different time.

if I knew everything, wouldn't I know what it was like to be Abraham Lincoln? if I didn't know that, I wouldn't know everything. so if I knew that, that would mean I was Abraham Lincoln. but then to know everything, I would also have to be everyone else, at once. if it was not all at once, I wouldn't know everything, because I would not know the future. to know the future I would have to be in it (somehow).

so the only thing that can know everything is...nothing. it is not a thing at all, because, as we can see by our existence, there is no such thing.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2007 07:30 pm
@rottingteeth,
Quote:
I've been thinking a lot about existence and non-existence, everything and nothingness, and a lot about whether or not "God" exists, and what "God" is. I've come to believe that...there is absolutely no one, no thing, that can know everything. I think this because, in order for one to know everything, it would have to be everything. if it were to be everything at once, nothing would exist.

am I right in thinking that? and if that makes sense, does it not prove that nothing can be truly all-knowing?


I have also thought a great deal about this. I periodically sit and try to think about what it means to know everything. It is enough to know all of my thoughts, let alone 7 other billion people like me who exist in this exact moment, and worse off all the thoughts and actions of every person who has ever lived. The feeling I get when I try to think this is much like Plato's sudden glimpse of the forms.

When I think about what it means to be an all knowing being, I wonder how time can flow for this being, how can you have any subsequent events, how could you ever learn anything new if you are all knowing?

When I think of God, I think of him existing outside of space and time. I imagine a bubble that exists which contains the past, present, and future of space and time all wrapped up into one set of knowledge. This is what it means for God to be all knowing (about our existence within space and time).

I then thought, if God is all knowing then he never makes any decision, because every decision is already made. When I think this, I am reminded of a quote from Kierkegaard: God doesn't think, he creates. But if he is all knowing, he must be all knowing all the time, so how can he ever create, everything would just be created.

---

About your comment that an all knowing being must "be" everything. I think you are correct. If God created the world, how is everything not him? I will try to take kenethamy's thought further (because I had it while reading your post, then read what he wrote): Imagine you are a being who is all knowing, every thought you have is part of you, but they are also distinct from one another, and thus are individual. The problem you would lead into here is that since they are my thoughts, I must control them, then what happens to my thoughts free will, this is the problem with anthropogenic analogies (it is hard to give an example of an all knowing being by using a being who is not all knowing.) You can apply this to God though, since he is all powerful, he can give his thoughts (you, me, the world, the universe) free will (well, you and me at least, the others must adhere to the laws of physics, we escape the laws with our imagination).

There you go, upheavals of thought.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2007 07:34 pm
@rottingteeth,
My previous post was not clear enough, and for some reason I cannot go back and edit it, so here is the clarified version:

Imagine you are a being who is all knowing, every thought you have is part of you, but they are also distinct from one another, and thus are individuals. Now apply this to God, every thing is part of him, but also an individual in him. The problem this leads into is: if we think of ourselves and our existence as being thoughts of God, then God must always control these thoughts, like we control our thoughts, thus there cannot be freewill and all of this is just a dream of Gods that is controlled by him. To escape this, we must assume that God is omnipotent, and can give his creatures (thoughts) free will.

This is the problem with anthropogenic analogies (it is hard to give an example of an all knowing being by using a being who is not all knowing.)
 
nameless
 
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2007 02:13 am
@rottingteeth,
rottingteeth;5130 wrote:
all I want to know is, if it is ridiculous to think this, and if so, why.

It is only ridiculous to think something if you think that something is ridiculous to think, I think.
 
Sovereign
 
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2008 01:24 am
@nameless,
We can only think about five different things at the same time and we only use 3% of our brainpower so how many things can god think of at the same time? it is possible that God can in fact process all the information in the universe simultaniously and thus achieve Omnipotence or somthing similer to.
 
nameless
 
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2008 03:43 am
@Sovereign,
Sovereign;7644 wrote:
we only use 3% of our brainpower

Actually, thats not true. 100% of the brain is in use, at any particular time. There are no unused areas unless there is physical damage.
Carry on.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2008 03:10 pm
@nameless,
Quote:
I think this because, in order for one to know everything, it would have to be everything. if it were to be everything at once, nothing would exist.


If an omnipotent being must be everything, why does this mean there is nothing? I don't see how this follows. If anything, if the omnipotent being is everything, then there is only one thing; if your first true premises are true, monism seems to be the result.

Quote:
if I knew everything, wouldn't I know what it was like to be Abraham Lincoln? if I didn't know that, I wouldn't know everything. so if I knew that, that would mean I was Abraham Lincoln. but then to know everything, I would also have to be everyone else, at once. if it was not all at once, I wouldn't know everything, because I would not know the future. to know the future I would have to be in it (somehow).


This is a very interesting argument. I only have one question: how can the future be knowledge, something to know, if it has not happened? Continuing with the monism theme, if the omnipotent being is everything, he would know everything at any given moment, and we assume would have memory, thus knowing everything in the past. By virtue of being everything, anything that happens he will know - anything the future contains, he will contain, and will know it when it happens.

I guess the underlying questions here is:
Must an omnipotent being know the future?

I dont think one must; as the future has not happened, there is nothing to know about it. If he is omnipotent, he will know what happens when it happens, and know what has happened.
Though, being omnipotent, perhaps he could know the future, in that he plans the future?
 
Sovereign
 
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2008 04:15 am
@Didymos Thomas,
I meat in terms of what our brain can do the average human only taps about 3% of that potential, not 3% of the actual brain.
 
ogden
 
Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2008 06:33 pm
@Sovereign,
Quote:
Rottingteeth- If I knew everything, I would have to be everything, because I'd have to know what it was like to be any given thing. That would make me everything, and if everything was actually one thing, the only thing it could be is nothing.


No- everything still could be the totality that is not nothing. Being and nothingness is the inescapable bianary condition. If you could reduce to a singularity then I would have to agree that everything must surely be nothing and nothing would be all there is.

If you must become what you know, then how is it that you know what nothing is, but are not become nothng? Very Happy
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2008 08:06 pm
@rottingteeth,
Quote:

I meat in terms of what our brain can do the average human only taps about 3% of that potential, not 3% of the actual brain.


What more can our brain do? How does one prove that we only use 3% of our brain?
 
Doobah47
 
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2008 11:06 pm
@de Silentio,
Quote:
I've come to believe that...there is absolutely no one, no thing, that can know everything. I think this because, in order for one to know everything, it would have to be everything. if it were to be everything at once, nothing would exist.
I interpret 'all-knowing' as not so much a long list of every single thing there is to possibly conceive or perceive, but as a super intelligent intuition, a subconscious intelligence. So if you asked God a question and God wasn't listening, God would still know the right answer. Or if you wanted an idea for some biology research God would be able to guess what you were to discover if you took his advice, even though the research had never been done and there was no way of telling what might happen.

However I also have a theory that God is a template for mass populations, and their potential; maybe we are coming close to being all knowing (ie DNA, atoms, cloning) or maybe we are very far away, but I have a hunch that some people have already discovered everything there is to know and are drip-feeding us information using hypnosis, and that religion has manifested a determinism specifically for humans, something that we cant break out of... paranoia...:eek:

But, that would mean that we are God, which kind of makes sense really - we are becoming all-knowing, give the scientists a couple of hundred years and there probably wont be anything left to experiment with; we could well be omnipotent, if you take curing ills and causing death to be a symptom of power; and we are well on the way to becoming omniscient, I read the other day that there's now a satellite that can look through the clouds, there are probably cameras that could fit into people's eyes or on flies etc. So I think my theory isn't so outlandish, the big question is who set all this religion up?
 
the thinker
 
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2008 11:12 pm
@Doobah47,
I would have to say that there is no all-powerful, all-knowing being. I just don't see how that's possible. If there is some sort of being that knows far more than we, as humans, can, I would not call them all-powerful and all that, but another species, another race. An alien, maybe. Don't laugh.

Also, if the higher power knew all, then they'd have to know past, present, and future. That would mean that there is no free will, wouldn't it? Unless there are alternate universes for each time when things could have gone differently. But those would be virtually infinite. Which brings us to the point of infinite numbers. How could anything know them all?
 
saiboimushi
 
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2008 02:01 am
@rottingteeth,
rottingteeth wrote:
I've come to believe that...there is absolutely no one, no thing, that can know everything. I think this because, in order for one to know everything, it would have to be everything.


You may be absolutely right. And you could go even further, if you wanted, and say that to know anything, one must first know everything.

Quote:

if it were to be everything at once, nothing would exist. [...] it would wipe everything out...instantly. and then, nothing will have ever existed, because nothing would exist, and time is something, the past is something. and since we exist right now...since we can observe time, doesn't that prove that there is no thing, no being, nothing, that is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent.


Perhaps you could explain this in more detail, because you may be on to something here.

It's tempting to get this far into the science of knowledge and turn back. The idea of an omniscient being is so far removed from our experience that, even if it were true, it would seem to have no effect on us finite mortals. If knowledge exists, then (as one argument goes) surely it must be a human thing; and if it isn't, then philosophy cannot and should not touch it. But what if it isn't human? Should we then just stop thinking about it?

You're getting into deep issues when you talk about something "being everything at once." The last stage in epistemology, or really in every Ology, may be the science of Infinity. This is something that I've only just begun to look into, in order to visualize (if possible) what it means to be omniscient (i.e., ALL-knowing).

A new/old ontology or mathematics must be developed--one which, although it may sound unphilosophical, will philosophically refuse to rest on any assumptions about things like quantity, quality, continuity, division, or totality. Quantum physics and the like might eventually stumble onto it, following blindly the method of trial and error. But we cannot afford to wait for others to do the work of eternity; we must engage the problem of ontology ourselves.

My old sunday school teacher once told me, "All of God is everywhere." Finding out what he meant might be the same thing as discovering the true nature of knowledge.
 
saiboimushi
 
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2008 02:23 am
@rottingteeth,
rottingteeth wrote:

if I knew everything, wouldn't I know what it was like to be Abraham Lincoln? if I didn't know that, I wouldn't know everything. so if I knew that, that would mean I was Abraham Lincoln. but then to know everything, I would also have to be everyone else, at once. if it was not all at once, I wouldn't know everything, because I would not know the future. to know the future I would have to be in it (somehow).


Of course! Of course. You're really thinking here. But what's the next step? How can we go further? For surely you cannot be satisfied even with this--you, a true dreamer.
 
Doobah47
 
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2008 10:05 am
@rottingteeth,
There's an interesting little paradox that if ther were an 'all-knowing' x, then would x have to know 'nothing' in order to know everything.

This sounds good, but I think the answer is no...
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2008 10:37 am
@rottingteeth,
Quote:

I wouldn't know everything, because I would not know the future. to know the future I would have to be in it (somehow).


If you know everything about the past, you can predict the future with 100% acuracy.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2008 10:39 am
@rottingteeth,
[quote] I've come to believe that...there is absolutely no one, no thing, that can know everything. I think this because, in order for one to know everything, it would have to be everything.[/quote]

If an all-knwoing being was seperated from space-time as we know it, it would not have to be everything to know everything.
 
 

 
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