The "Universal Set"/Uncertainty Principle or Mutually Exclusive Knowledge
I was reading this article, and the part about refuting omniscience by using the "Universal Set" threw me off. This argument seems to presume that knowledge is infinite and disregards the concept of omniscience when knowledge is finite (I'm not an expert on set theory though, so feel free to explain where my argument breaks down, if it does). I understand the idea that any finite set could possibly be a subset of any larger finite set, but the problem I see is that the inclusion of "all" in the definition of omniscience would seem to preclude that argument by indicating that there is no larger set; while it could be used to argue against claims of omniscience provided a comprehensive list of all knowledge posessed by the claimant can be shown to be missing knowledge, but the mere possibility of the knowledge posessed by the claimant being incomplete seems to me to be little better than an apologist stating "you might be wrong, therefore God." I think this is from a confusion between what is meant by omnipotent, meaning all-powerful, but also translating into having infinite power simply by virtue of what being all-powerful entails; as in, nothing can be more powerful (not even the laws of the universe), and the being is capable of any action they desire, even if it violates reality. This doesn't translate directly to the definition of omniscience, because there can easily be a finite amount of knowledge in the universe (provided that the universe is finite), and to be all-knowing is not the same as having infinite knowledge; if there is a limit to the knowledge that can exist, then one can theoretically know everything. Now, I agree that omnipotence is impossible, because it expressly allows for the violation of natural laws, but omniscience is trickier, as I pointed out; the argument from knowledge of the universal set only provides for the possibility that omniscience does not exist (it uses "could" and "can"), not a solid refutation. I think, better than the knowledge of the universal set argument, there should be a section refuting omniscience based on the Uncertainty Principle; there are certain pieces of knowledge that are mutually exclusive, and one cannot have knowledge of both without also posessing omnipotence, which then inexorably links omniscience to omnipotence, and thereby gives a stronger basis for refutation. Reverend Lucifer (talk) 01:13, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
- Hmm, it makes sense, but it seems to be somewhat confusing to be applying quantum mechanical things like the Uncertainty Principle. Quantum physics does include knowledge in terms of probabilities instead of certainties. But omniscience can be taken to mean the knowledge of all that is possible to know. Thus god would only know probabilities, not certainties! That would mean that god can't predict stuff precisely and he has basically limited his own knowledge by creating quantum mechanics! Maybe I'm not making sense, but it's late at night for me and my undergraduate physics is rusty. :P
- It's an interesting idea, though, and I'm tempted to add a section to the article explploring it. Anybody else have thoughts on this? Nullahnung (talk) 18:25, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
This article seems to have been jumbled together from multiple people who repeat each other's points.
The point that omniscience is as implausible as something quantifiable taken to infinites is repeated multiple times, even within the same section.