We often hear of God's unlimited powers such as omnipotence, omni benevolence, omniscience, and who knows what omni-else. Where did God get these marvelous powers? Why, he got them the same way that Superman got his powers--by the stroke of a pen! Ancient theologians were obsessed with the kinds of qualities a perfect being ought to have, and they eventually came up with this list in an age that knew of no scientific limitations, an age that imposed no restraint on human imagination.
Do these powers actually mean anything or are they just an incoherent or contradictory collection of words signifying nothing? Take the case of omniscience, the power to know all that is logically possible to know.
God can only know those things that he does know. That seems trivial until you realize the hidden implication that God cannot know that he knows everything! He cannot know that he is omniscient. That would require God to know that there are facts he is unaware of. You can't know about something that you are unaware of, even if you are God! Of course, if this gap in God's knowledge can be deduced from things God knows there is no problem. We know that we can't read Chinese (if that is the case) because we know about Chinese newspapers filled with Chinese characters. Thus, the stage is set for a story about omniscience.
In this story God created the heavens and earth, including all the basic kinds of plants and animals. God has also taken a special interest in Homo sapiens, at least a little tribe of them. Moreover, God has no beginning and no end, and it seems to him that he can do anything that is not logically impossible. God knows of no rival. However, unbeknownst to God there exists a higher, more powerful being who has secluded itself in a higher realm beyond Gods perception. This being also has no beginning and no end, but it did not create our universe and it takes no interest in human affairs.
If God is supposed to be omniscient, then he cannot exist. He doesn't know about this higher being. But wait! This higher being has the same problem! It seems that no being can be sure of detecting gaps in its knowledge unless they can be deduced from existing facts. One could define gaps out of existence but that just begs the question. How can a lack of knowledge be detected if there are no clues? Since no being could be certain that there are no gaps in its knowledge, no being could be omniscient.
I do realize that omniscience is hardly a burning issue among us atheists, being that we generally have a very sensible view about those omni-powers, namely that they are so much philosophical poop delivered with questionable odors, but the problem here is intriguing. If sound, it could be a neat, little debating point.
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