Greg Kasarik

"Act with Empathy"
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God and Omniscience

Another implication of god experiencing time, is that god cannot be omniscient, as is traditionally supposed. To understand why, it is necessary to understand the nature of the infinite, with respect to time. While it might be possible that a timeless being might contain within their mind the set of Infinite Knowledge, without the capacity for “before” and “after” it is difficult to see how such a being would have any consciousness, or way of drawing upon that knowledge. But as soon as you place a being within a timeline, you also prevent it from achieving omniscience. A being could say, “I am omniscient”, but in fact by virtue of being in a timeline, they simply won’t have had time to learn, understand, or experience all that there is. It might be that the being has the capacity to draw upon all knowledge, so that if they thought about something, the answer would immediately come to mind, but as there is potentially an infinite amount of knowledge, a being would require an infinite amount of time to make all of those connections and a being within a timeline simply has not had an infinite amount of time.

Even if we consider that the being may not have had a starting point and therefore be infinitely old, it still wouldn’t be able to contain the infinite amount of knowledge possible. We can compare this to counting to infinity, which is impossible to do. Even if a being were infinitely old, if we were to ask what number it had managed to count to at this point, it would have to give a precise figure (at this point it is OK if your head implodes, with wondering what kind of number an infinitely old being would have counted up to: surely it would have to be infinity? This can be conceptualised by imagining that an infinitely old being would have just got to “zero” from counting up from negative infinity. Dealing with concepts like the infinite is not an easy thing to do and I interact with it on an intuitive, rather than mathematical level, so my explanations may not make too much sense, particularly for a mathematician...), and as such we can confidently say that they still have an infinity of counting ahead of them.

For those looking for a more visual understanding, another way of expressing the same concept can be found the Symbol of Life, in which the area outside the oval ("Wisdom") represents the infinite into which consciousness and sentience expand. Irrespective of how large the Symbol of Life grows, there will always be an infinite space into which it can continue to expand. Similarly, the area within the oval represents the amount of knowledge that the being has obtained, but irrespective of how much space there is within the oval, it will always be a finite amount.



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