Author Topic: The Bible implies God is not omniscient  (Read 4373 times)

Clarity

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The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« on: January 08, 2014, 03:34:45 PM »
I see nearly everyone on this forum assumes that God is Omniscient, and then some spend inordinate amounts of time trying to get around all the problems this causes, as atheist simultaneously feast on their dilemmas and use them as ammo to try and discredit God and Christianity. The same is seen with the made up straw man of ‘Omni-benevolence’.

I ask, it is not a ‘begging the question’ fallacy and also a ‘circular argument’, the assumption of God being omniscient? It is unproven, so in effect a straw man too that atheist set up to entrap Christians who all too often naively swallow it?

All the supposed scriptures in the Old Testament are pretty ambiguous, most refer to clairvoyance or remote viewing of already existing events, or there is foreordination, which we all do, as in make the future happen as opposed to just seeing it passively. Those scriptures don’t give any implication for them to be stretched into some infinite micro-detailed infinite knowledge of all futures.

The New Testament ones I see are also misused:

 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”— John 16:29-30

 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”— John 21:17

The problem with extrapolating eternal unlimited minutiae from the phrase ‘all things’ is one it’s out of context, and two, it’s used in multiple other places that cannot be eternal or applying to unlimited Omniscience. Some quick examples are:

 “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”— 1 John 2:27

(Do those with the Holy Spirit know all things with no limits? No, it’s relative.)

 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”— John 14:26

(Does this mean true Christians are Omniscient? No)

 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” — Matthew 21:22

(Can we really have unlimited things we ask for? No)

There are many more here: https://tinyurl.com/p7j6vj9

There only needs one clear counter point of God not knowing something for the Omniscience hypothesis to fall down on itself, and there are many scriptures. Here are some: Genesis 6:6; Genesis 18:20-21; Exodus 32:14; 1 Samuel 13:13; Isaiah 5:2-4; Jeremiah 3:6-7, 19-20; Hebrews 6:18; Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 26:3, 19; Ezekiel 22:30-31; Genesis 22:12; Exodus 4:8-9; 2 Samuel 24:12

A few of the above:

The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain — Genesis 6:6

Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know. — Genesis 18:21-22

Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. — Exodus 32:14

During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. — Jeremiah 3:6-7

They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal, something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind. — Jeremiah 19:5

Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way. Then I will relent and not bring on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. — Jeremiah 26:3

Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.” — Exodus 4:8-9

Then there is the other begging the question of whether there is anything to see in the future (I’m not speaking of God’s planned events). If the future does not exist, then there is nothing to see, except vast possibilities, but not set, except those events foreordained (made to happen).

It’s a bit like asking, “Can God see what William Lane Craig ate for breakfast on 1 June 1776? Surely God can do this?!”

Well no, even God cannot do this, as there is nothing to see, as WLC didn’t exist, and just the same with most of the future, if it does not exist to see. If we claim it does exist somewhere, then we have to prove that premise before we can claim God saw it all beforehand, otherwise we’re just building a house of logical fallacies and kidding ourselves it’s some type of intellectual rigour or spirituality, when in fact it’s just pretentious delusions, weak attempts at making our uncertain lives feel a little bit more planned and safe.

God is omnipotent, so nothing can stop his plans, and will, and seeing or planning some future events does not mean all events, so I wonder why so many Christians naively cling to this omniscient label, when there is substantial evidence it does not exist and is not needed anyway.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 03:38:15 PM by Clarity »
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Lambert

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 03:55:04 PM »
It is obvious that God was not a materialist who wants to know what William Lane Craig ate for breakfast on 1 June 1776, but if God is first cause in every thing, the very thinginess of the thing already is the manifestation of God and that is wherein he is omni-all.

From this follows that if he is omni-all God himself is not apart from the being he  created to be.

FNB - Former non-believer

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2014, 12:10:15 AM »
It is obvious that God was not a materialist who wants to know what William Lane Craig ate for breakfast on 1 June 1776, but if God is first cause in every thing, the very thinginess of the thing already is the manifestation of God and that is wherein he is omni-all.

From this follows that if he is omni-all God himself is not apart from the being he  created to be.

You can be a cause of something yet be totally different from the effect you caused. I can throw a basketball into a hoop yet I am not a basketball or a hoop.

Lambert

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2014, 09:32:41 AM »
It is obvious that God was not a materialist who wants to know what William Lane Craig ate for breakfast on 1 June 1776, but if God is first cause in every thing, the very thinginess of the thing already is the manifestation of God and that is wherein he is omni-all.

From this follows that if he is omni-all God himself is not apart from the being he created to be.

You can be a cause of something yet be totally different from the effect you caused. I can throw a basketball into a hoop yet I am not a basketball or a hoop.

Yes, but to score a hoop remains the fantasy of an ideal, and that is not a 'thing.' It therefore remains a fantasy no matter how fantastic it may have been.

I can elaborate on this to say that it has no material cause for it to be and therefore remains a fantasy that at best can give us a bloated chest, and so is ego serving and not the self (but that is not really the point I wanted to make but add it just in evidence).
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 09:44:23 AM by Lambert »

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2014, 12:15:27 PM »
It is obvious that God was not a materialist who wants to know what William Lane Craig ate for breakfast on 1 June 1776, but if God is first cause in every thing, the very thinginess of the thing already is the manifestation of God and that is wherein he is omni-all.

From this follows that if he is omni-all God himself is not apart from the being he created to be.

You can be a cause of something yet be totally different from the effect you caused. I can throw a basketball into a hoop yet I am not a basketball or a hoop.

Yes, but to score a hoop remains the fantasy of an ideal, and that is not a 'thing.' It therefore remains a fantasy no matter how fantastic it may have been.

I can elaborate on this to say that it has no material cause for it to be and therefore remains a fantasy that at best can give us a bloated chest, and so is ego serving and not the self (but that is not really the point I wanted to make but add it just in evidence).

I am not sure I understand what you are saying. If you are saying that no point was scored because a point is a figment of our imagination in some sense I don't totally disagree. However, something happened… a basketball went through a circular object and it was caused by me. Likewise if I kick a ball I can move the spatial location of the ball while not being a ball.

Lambert

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2014, 06:00:13 PM »
It is obvious that God was not a materialist who wants to know what William Lane Craig ate for breakfast on 1 June 1776, but if God is first cause in every thing, the very thinginess of the thing already is the manifestation of God and that is wherein he is omni-all.

From this follows that if he is omni-all God himself is not apart from the being he created to be.

You can be a cause of something yet be totally different from the effect you caused. I can throw a basketball into a hoop yet I am not a basketball or a hoop.

Yes, but to score a hoop remains the fantasy of an ideal, and that is not a 'thing.' It therefore remains a fantasy no matter how fantastic it may have been.

I can elaborate on this to say that it has no material cause for it to be and therefore remains a fantasy that at best can give us a bloated chest, and so is ego serving and not the self (but that is not really the point I wanted to make but add it just in evidence).

I am not sure I understand what you are saying. If you are saying that no point was scored because a point is a figment of our imagination in some sense I don't totally disagree. However, something happened… a basketball went through a circular object and it was caused by me. Likewise if I kick a ball I can move the spatial location of the ball while not being a ball.

Yes, you just kicked God around if God as present in all things. That is why "this" is the body of Christ in the same way as "this" is Buddha as the substance in which God is first cause . . . and is not Lord God as the body of Christ until isolated and consecrated as such.   

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 10:45:14 PM »
It is obvious that God was not a materialist who wants to know what William Lane Craig ate for breakfast on 1 June 1776, but if God is first cause in every thing, the very thinginess of the thing already is the manifestation of God and that is wherein he is omni-all.

From this follows that if he is omni-all God himself is not apart from the being he created to be.

You can be a cause of something yet be totally different from the effect you caused. I can throw a basketball into a hoop yet I am not a basketball or a hoop.

Yes, but to score a hoop remains the fantasy of an ideal, and that is not a 'thing.' It therefore remains a fantasy no matter how fantastic it may have been.

I can elaborate on this to say that it has no material cause for it to be and therefore remains a fantasy that at best can give us a bloated chest, and so is ego serving and not the self (but that is not really the point I wanted to make but add it just in evidence).

I am not sure I understand what you are saying. If you are saying that no point was scored because a point is a figment of our imagination in some sense I don't totally disagree. However, something happened… a basketball went through a circular object and it was caused by me. Likewise if I kick a ball I can move the spatial location of the ball while not being a ball.

Yes, you just kicked God around if God as present in all things. That is why "this" is the body of Christ in the same way as "this" is Buddha as the substance in which God is first cause . . . and is not Lord God as the body of Christ until isolated and consecrated as such.

It seems to me that a cause doesn't have to be the same thing as the effect. In the example, the fact that I am not a basketball just because I pick one up and throw it shows that a cause is not equal to an effect. I am not sure your point about the body of Christ or about Buddha.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 10:53:20 PM by emailestthoume »

Lambert

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2014, 11:31:04 PM »
Yes, but then it probably remains a fantasy. God pertains to being only and there is no being in making a hoop or kicking a ball.

Elias

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2014, 04:46:35 PM »
Certain OT passages indeed suggest that God is not 100% sure concerning what future outcomes will take place.  This, in my opinion, did not violate God's omniscience if the future is not set but is a collection of possibilities. The mentioned position is known as open theism. One could take these passages metaphorically if she sees open theism as a less-than-satisfying option. One could also argue that since the OT prophets are part of the Christian tradition, Moses and others can be labeled as open theists.

Quote
That is why "this" is the body of Christ in the same way as "this" is Buddha as the substance in which God is first cause

What do you mean by "this" in "'This' is the body of Christ?" How is Buddha the substance of the first cause? Could you elaborate? Does not Buddhism teach that the universe is eternal?
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foytik

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2016, 11:26:12 AM »
I agree we should base beliefs on scripture and not theological concepts like omniscience. We should admit that we don't know everything, and that although we know from scripture that God declares the beginning from the end, and that He declares what shall come to pass, we do not know the details. Perhaps God knows because the future is closed, perhaps because God can and will bring everything He declares to come to pass... we are not told all these details. What is important is that we have faith that whatsoever God declares, it was, is, or will be as He said, depending on tense.   

Gordon Tubbs

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2016, 04:05:30 PM »
For a being whose intelligence that we cannot fathom, omniscience is sufficient to describe what our perception of God's intelligence must seem to be. In comparison to our finite intelligence, God (basically) knows everything.

Philosophically, omniscience carries with it its own baggage as a property, and I agree that it is problematic. This is why in recent years Open Theism has gained some traction, because it seeks to eject Greek Philosophy from Christian Theology by arguing exclusively from scripture anything regarding God's intelligence - not just taking it for granted because Aquinas or Augustine said so.

Surely any being capable of designing and creating the Universe, writing the code of DNA, manipulating creation itself even to guide evolution, etc. must have an intelligence capable of knowing all things there is to know. And if this being has total knowledge of the past and present, with an intelligence sufficient to comprehend all of it, surely this being could adequately predict future outcomes with a near-perfect level of accuracy. From there, you're just one step away from omniscience. Of course, total predictive power doesn't necessarily denote certain knowledge of the future (i.e. knowing the future as fact), but for all intents and purposes this may as well be omniscience.

Personally, I prefer to say that God has infinite intelligence, just to be on the safe side (philosophically).
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 05:32:00 PM by GordonTubbs »
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Jenna Black

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Re: The Bible implies God is not omniscient
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2016, 04:48:04 PM »
I see nearly everyone on this forum assumes that God is Omniscient, and then some spend inordinate amounts of time trying to get around all the problems this causes, as atheist simultaneously feast on their dilemmas and use them as ammo to try and discredit God and Christianity. The same is seen with the made up straw man of ‘Omni-benevolence’.

I ask, it is not a ‘begging the question’ fallacy and also a ‘circular argument’, the assumption of God being omniscient? It is unproven, so in effect a straw man too that atheist set up to entrap Christians who all too often naively swallow it?

All the supposed scriptures in the Old Testament are pretty ambiguous, most refer to clairvoyance or remote viewing of already existing events, or there is foreordination, which we all do, as in make the future happen as opposed to just seeing it passively. Those scriptures don’t give any implication for them to be stretched into some infinite micro-detailed infinite knowledge of all futures.

The New Testament ones I see are also misused:

 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”— John 16:29-30

 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”— John 21:17

The problem with extrapolating eternal unlimited minutiae from the phrase ‘all things’ is one it’s out of context, and two, it’s used in multiple other places that cannot be eternal or applying to unlimited Omniscience. Some quick examples are:

 “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”— 1 John 2:27

(Do those with the Holy Spirit know all things with no limits? No, it’s relative.)

 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”— John 14:26

(Does this mean true Christians are Omniscient? No)

 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” — Matthew 21:22

(Can we really have unlimited things we ask for? No)

There are many more here: https://tinyurl.com/p7j6vj9

There only needs one clear counter point of God not knowing something for the Omniscience hypothesis to fall down on itself, and there are many scriptures. Here are some: Genesis 6:6; Genesis 18:20-21; Exodus 32:14; 1 Samuel 13:13; Isaiah 5:2-4; Jeremiah 3:6-7, 19-20; Hebrews 6:18; Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 26:3, 19; Ezekiel 22:30-31; Genesis 22:12; Exodus 4:8-9; 2 Samuel 24:12

A few of the above:

The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain — Genesis 6:6

Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know. — Genesis 18:21-22

Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. — Exodus 32:14

During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. — Jeremiah 3:6-7

They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal, something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind. — Jeremiah 19:5

Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way. Then I will relent and not bring on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. — Jeremiah 26:3

Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.” — Exodus 4:8-9

Then there is the other begging the question of whether there is anything to see in the future (I’m not speaking of God’s planned events). If the future does not exist, then there is nothing to see, except vast possibilities, but not set, except those events foreordained (made to happen).

It’s a bit like asking, “Can God see what William Lane Craig ate for breakfast on 1 June 1776? Surely God can do this?!”

Well no, even God cannot do this, as there is nothing to see, as WLC didn’t exist, and just the same with most of the future, if it does not exist to see. If we claim it does exist somewhere, then we have to prove that premise before we can claim God saw it all beforehand, otherwise we’re just building a house of logical fallacies and kidding ourselves it’s some type of intellectual rigour or spirituality, when in fact it’s just pretentious delusions, weak attempts at making our uncertain lives feel a little bit more planned and safe.

God is omnipotent, so nothing can stop his plans, and will, and seeing or planning some future events does not mean all events, so I wonder why so many Christians naively cling to this omniscient label, when there is substantial evidence it does not exist and is not needed anyway.
You are not considering the important idea that God is omnipotent and omniscient.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

anything