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funnieguy

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The Paradox of the Omniscient
« on: December 11, 2012, 11:33:04 pm »
The question of Omniscient was posted here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/omniscience/can-god-truly-know-he-is-omniscient-4868668.0.html.

I've edited the omniscience page on RationalWiki: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Omniscience. The argument goes like this:

1. Knowledge is quantifiable.
2. Quantifiable sets could always be a subset of another.
3. The set of the things one knows can be a subset of the universal set.
4. Knowing everything would include this knowledge: {The set of the things one knows can be a subset of the universal set}.
5. Assuming an omniscient being knows everything, he knows that "The set of the things I know can be a subset of the universal set".
6. "The set of the things one knows can be a subset of the universal set" is a mark of uncertainty and ignorance.
7. Therefore the omniscient being cannot exist.

Can God know he is omniscient? The answer is probably no. God would not be able to prove it to himself, since knowledge is finite. If God thinks that he knows everything, it would be a closed system and nobody, even himself, can verify it. Why don't we ever think that God is all-colour, all-smell, all-taste, all-height or all-long? It seems ridiculous, but the same is for knowledge, which is a noun we use to describe the things we know, which are made up of material components. What does it even mean to have all-height?

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Will

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 07:11:24 am »
This seems to posit that knowledge, and thereby truth, somehow exists "out there."  As if God acquires knowledge, and, given his infinite nature, he "gathers it infinitely" (then we call this omniscience).

In a Christian framework, truths are divine thoughts (as truth value (and therefore any resultant knowledge) is ultimately a property of propositions, which are contingent on the mental).  Since truth is contingent upon a mental creative author, and God knows of no other god (that fits this capacity; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6-8), then it follows that God does not "know" that "Quantifiable sets could always be the subset of another."  For God to know this he would have to presuppose that he is not "I AM that I AM." 
Will

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Stephen

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 07:27:41 am »

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Eugeny

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 07:47:09 am »
1. First of all you have to proove that knowledge is quantifiable. If space and time are continuous then knowledge of what is happening in every point of space and time is continuous also.
3. This assumption implies universal set is infinite. If universal set is finite then the statement must be 'The set of the things one knows can be either a subset of the universal set or very universal set.

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Can God know he is omniscient? The answer is probably no. God would not be able to prove it to himself, since knowledge is finite.
There are two theorems in mathematics which are called Gödel's theorems. The theorems imply that any consistent set of statements is not complete, and consistensy of such a set can not be proven by means of the set. I.e. in order to prove consistency of God's knowledge he must use knowledge he don't know.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 07:55:50 am by Eugeny »

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funnieguy

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 10:23:35 am »
@Will

I am not implying that there is certainly more to know. I am saying we can never know if there is more to know. The same goes for God. Given he knows everything about, lets say, the universe, because he created it, he still can't be certain of the existence other beings or knowledge he will never come across. Even if God does not acquire knowledge, he would need to prove that he has all knowledge to know that he has all knowledge. At most you can say he thinks he has all knowledge. Then it comes back to the paradox where all knowledge would include that "all my knowledge is all that I know and I am not certain of anything I do not know".

"For God to know this he would have to presuppose that he is not "I AM that I AM."".

He himself cannot presuppose his omniscience, cannot presuppose that he is "I AM that I AM". Anybody who talks to me cannot presuppose his omniscience, cannot prove his omniscience and therefore I do not need believe or act as if somebody is omniscient.

@Stephen
You could replace the word 'set' with 'group' or 'collection' or 'list' the argument still holds true. If I see 3 monkeys, I know that 3 monkeys exist, I am not certain if there are any more. If God knows whatever he knows, he still cannot be certain of things he don't know. Set theory is an explanation of what we observe. We could do it with arithmetic the same argument would arrive. Given n things that God knows, how does he know if there are n+1 things?

God could recall all his knowledge and still be not certain if there are any more. A hypothetical scenario would be that the God Christians know only thinks he is the supreme being but actually some other entity created him. Everything he knows, including himself is a closed system and nothing can be inferred about anything outside of it.

@Eugeny
Knowledge is quantifiable if it is a set of propositions. Proposition 1, proposition 2, proposition 3 and so on. What does it mean if knowledge is infinite? Proposition 1000, proposition 1001, proposition ∞?

We can't be certain of what the universal set is, and God can't be certain either. Whether it is infinite or not, the same would hold true. I do not need the universal set for the same effect, I just need a possible bigger set. "The set of the things one knows can be a subset of another set" would suffice.

"in order to prove consistency of God's knowledge he must use knowledge he don't know." Indeed.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 10:45:13 am by funnieguy »

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Will

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 02:22:54 pm »
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I am saying we can never know if there is more to know. The same goes for God.  Given he knows everything about, lets say, the universe, because he created it, he still can't be certain of the existence other beings or knowledge he will never come across. .

How do you know the same goes for God?  You would have to be certain about this for your argument to work; you can't be certain about this per the argument itself; therefore your argument doesn't prove anything either way.  If God cannot be certain about the existence of other beings, then, yea, he cannot be the one who is the author of all knowledge, and is therefore not omniscient.  However, this just asserts the non-omniscience of God to prove that he isn't omniscient. 

The nature of truth also negates this argument, imo.  Truth and knowledge presupposes a unity of diversity; a solution to the problem of the one and the many.  This problem can only be solved by the equal ultimacy of both one and many, ontologically grounded in the triune God -- from the Christian perspective.  Hence, either there is an ultimate grounding to all knowledge, like Scripture teaches, or there is no such thing as knowledge anyways.  It is rampant chaos (ultimate plurality), or static oneness; neither of which can ground knowledge.  Your argument hinges on the existence of knowledge (for a potentially larger set than what "God" knows), but talk of any knowledge presupposes its grounding in the mind of the trinity. 
Will

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funnieguy

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 11:26:51 pm »
The nature of truth also negates this argument, imo.  Truth and knowledge presupposes a unity of diversity; a solution to the problem of the one and the many.  This problem can only be solved by the equal ultimacy of both one and many, ontologically grounded in the triune God -- from the Christian perspective.  Hence, either there is an ultimate grounding to all knowledge, like Scripture teaches, or there is no such thing as knowledge anyways.  It is rampant chaos (ultimate plurality), or static oneness; neither of which can ground knowledge.  Your argument hinges on the existence of knowledge (for a potentially larger set than what "God" knows), but talk of any knowledge presupposes its grounding in the mind of the trinity.

Mindblowing. Let me substitute the words so that it sounds like what a Muslim can potentially say.

The nature of truth also negates this argument, imo.  Truth and knowledge presupposes a unity of diversity; a solution to the problem of the one and the many.  This problem can only be solved by the equal ultimacy of both one and many, ontologically grounded in the One God -- from the Muslim perspective.  Hence, either there is an ultimate grounding to all knowledge, like Scripture teaches, or there is no such thing as knowledge anyways.  It is rampant chaos (ultimate plurality), or static oneness; neither of which can ground knowledge.  Your argument hinges on the existence of knowledge (for a potentially larger set than what "God" knows), but talk of any knowledge presupposes its grounding in the mind of the One.

Your response is not even loaded it is a non-argument that is unfalsifiable.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 05:02:01 am by funnieguy »

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Will

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 07:03:43 am »
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Mindblowing. Let me substitute the words so that it sounds like what a Muslim can potentially say.

The nature of truth also negates this argument, imo.  Truth and knowledge presupposes a unity of diversity; a solution to the problem of the one and the many.  This problem can only be solved by the equal ultimacy of both one and many, ontologically grounded in the One God -- from the Muslim perspective.  Hence, either there is an ultimate grounding to all knowledge, like Scripture teaches, or there is no such thing as knowledge anyways.  It is rampant chaos (ultimate plurality), or static oneness; neither of which can ground knowledge.  Your argument hinges on the existence of knowledge (for a potentially larger set than what "God" knows), but talk of any knowledge presupposes its grounding in the mind of the One.

Your response is not even loaded it is a non-argument that is unfalsifiable.

This argument doesn't work with the Muslim God, and it actually is used to disprove monistic views of reality just the same as your pluralistic one.  Since Allah is ultimately one, Muslim ontology is ultimately "one."  Thus, it falls prey to the problem of ultimate oneness (it cannot account for co-ultimacy in one and many).

Secondly, even if you could create a Muslim version that was coherent, then your view is still false.  Either way, you cannot account for knowledge on your worldview, therefore you cannot critique any other worldview with knowledge.  Or, you cannot construct your own view of knowledge (even if it is incoherent) and then equivocate that definition into the Christian definition to disprove God's omniscience -- that would be begging the question. 

And I agree, it is not falsifiable.  But that is only natural.  One cannot falsify the transcendental preconditions for knowledge, for falsification presupposes knowledge and therefore those transcendentals; but, that doesn't mean it is a "non-argument."  It is just an indirect one.   
Will

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funnieguy

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 08:54:23 pm »
@Will

This argument doesn't work with the Christian God, and it actually is used to disprove Triune views of reality just the same as your singular one.  Since God is ultimately Three persons, Christian ontology is ultimately "Three."  Thus, it falls prey to the problem of ultimate Threeness (it cannot account for co-ultimacy in one and many).

Even if you could create a Christian version that was coherent, then your view is still false.  Either way, you cannot account for knowledge on your worldview, therefore you cannot critique any other worldview (Islam) with knowledge.  Or, you cannot construct your own view of knowledge (even if it is incoherent) and then equivocate that definition into the Muslim definition to disprove the Muslim God -- that would be begging the question. 

It is not falsifiable.  But that is only natural.  One cannot falsify the transcendental preconditions for knowledge, for falsification presupposes knowledge and therefore those transcendentals; but, that doesn't mean it is a "non-argument."  It is just an indirect one.   

Anything that is not falsifiable is not an argument. It's a delusion. There are infinite number of claims that can be made that are not falsifiable. Are all of them indirect arguments?

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Will

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 05:10:35 am »
@Will

This argument doesn't work with the Christian God, and it actually is used to disprove Triune views of reality just the same as your singular one.  Since God is ultimately Three persons, Christian ontology is ultimately "Three."  Thus, it falls prey to the problem of ultimate Threeness (it cannot account for co-ultimacy in one and many).

Even if you could create a Christian version that was coherent, then your view is still false.  Either way, you cannot account for knowledge on your worldview, therefore you cannot critique any other worldview (Islam) with knowledge.  Or, you cannot construct your own view of knowledge (even if it is incoherent) and then equivocate that definition into the Muslim definition to disprove the Muslim God -- that would be begging the question. 

It is not falsifiable.  But that is only natural.  One cannot falsify the transcendental preconditions for knowledge, for falsification presupposes knowledge and therefore those transcendentals; but, that doesn't mean it is a "non-argument."  It is just an indirect one.   

And...straw man #2 just got torched; you are on fire!  lol

You may not agree with, or apparently understand, the Christian teaching on the trinity, but it is uninteresting as an argument for you to redefine it to suit your purposes.  The trinity is a tri-unity.  The Christian God has revealed himself as both ultimately One and Many.


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Anything that is not falsifiable is not an argument. It's a delusion. There are infinite number of claims that can be made that are not falsifiable. Are all of them indirect arguments?

Anything that is not falsifiable is a delusion?  You mean, something like the laws of logic are a delusion, since you cannot falsify them?  I am not sure what you mean by an infinite number of claims, I am talking about transcendentals; all of which can only be proven indirectly. 
Will

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funnieguy

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2012, 12:20:35 pm »
@Will

I think you didn't understand what I was doing. I was doing exactly what you did. Asserting claims without proof. I know what the words mean separately, I don't know what you're talking about when you say knowledge presupposes unity of diversity. Either it's something to be understood or you're spouting incoherent nonsense. Do you understand what falsifiable? It means the conclusion was based on an observation that would be wrong if there was some observation.

It is irrational to think that the logic we know will always be the same. Logic is falsifiable. If we observe that our logic does not work anymore than we have to change our rules of logic. I could say the last second seemed to behave according to logic. But if it is observed that the same apple can be at two different places at the same time, logic has to change. That was precisely done in Quantum Mechanics, where quantum logic is different from classical logic. We do not have enough knowledge to be certain that logic will always be like that. But in calculations we assume that it will be. That is to say, if x, then necessarily y. We do not say that x is necessary. This is not based on faith or certainty. This is based on assumptions. What I believe about reality does not alter reality. I can believe that the Big Bang Theory or Theory of Evolution is accurate, but I won't be surprise if it turned out to be wrong. It just means that some assumptions or observations were inaccurate. Our calculations will always falsifiable.

I was brought up a Christian and I understand the Trinity. Let me re-post your paragraph and try to explain what I mean by a non-argument.

"This argument doesn't work with the Muslim God, and it actually is used to disprove monistic views of reality just the same as your pluralistic one. Since Allah is ultimately one, Muslim ontology is ultimately "one."  Thus, it falls prey to the problem of ultimate oneness (it cannot account for co-ultimacy in one and many)."

Why is ultimate oneness a problem? Is your God also not ultimately one? Apparently Christians call themselves Monotheists and it is likely you are a Monotheist too.

"Secondly, even if you could create a Muslim version that was coherent, then your view is still false."

Assertion. Not worth discussing.

"Either way, you cannot account for knowledge on your worldview, therefore you cannot critique any other worldview with knowledge."

Even if I cannot account for knowledge, what makes you think you can account for knowledge? Maybe I haven't define what is knowledge. Knowledge is a set of propositions that a sentient being knows. Do you know that your left hand can touch your right hand? Just do it and you'll know. By that I mean by knowledge. The definition of knowledge does not change with a different 'worldview'. I could easily assert that even if you attempt to account for knowledge, you have been mistaken. Which is as nonsensical as everything you have asserted.

"Or, you cannot construct your own view of knowledge (even if it is incoherent) and then equivocate that definition into the Christian definition to disprove God's omniscience -- that would be begging the question."

Yes I am using what we commonly define as knowledge to proof that omniscience is a paradox. You can escape the question by defining knowledge your way. Then when you tell me that God is 'omniscient', you are implying something else than what is commonly understood to be 'omniscient'. It'll be a play of semantics. Yes you can define knowledge your Christian way then you do not need to think about this argument in the first since the definition of 'knowledge' used in this argument is different from yours. But then again presumably you'll use the same definition of knowledge to explain that God is omniscient.

"And I agree, it is not falsifiable.  But that is only natural.  One cannot falsify the transcendental preconditions for knowledge, for falsification presupposes knowledge and therefore those transcendentals; but, that doesn't mean it is a "non-argument."  It is just an indirect one."

One also cannot falsify the assertion that the Holy and Great Bunny or the Holy and Magnificent Rat or Krishna or Zeus or Barnie or Elvis Presley is a precondition for knowledge. There seems to be no preconditions for knowledge, other than a memory and computation device like a brain, which is made up of atoms. Even if we do not know how knowledge comes about, saying that a precondition is God would just be an unwarranted assertion since you cannot show how if God does not exist knowledge would not exist.

Unwarranted assertions or claims that are not falsifiable are not arguments. There is an infinite amount of assertions you can come up with that are unfalsifiable. Examples:

1. After we die, we'll see a bunny.
2. After we die, we'll first see a bunny, then a dinosaur.
3. After we die, we'll drink and be merry
4. In the afterlife everybody plays bowling
5. People are randomly selected to go to hell
6. Hell is full of alcohol
7. I am God
8. God doesn't love us anymore
9. God forgot about us
10. God forgot he was created
11. Knowledge is grounded in a Biune God (2)
12. Knowledge is grounded in a Quadune God  (4)
13. Knowledge is grounded in Allah
14. Knowledge is grounded in Zeus
15. Knowledge is grounded in Hitler
16. Knowledge is grounded in potato
17. Knowledge is grounded in Krishna
18. Knowledge is grounded in a Hexune God (6)
19. Knowledge is grounded in a Triune God (3)
20. Knowledge is grounded in a Decune God (10)
21. Knowledge is grounded in Will (You)
22. Knowledge is grounded in the divine ground
23. Knowledge is grounded in the divine snail
24. Knowledge is grounded in the garden
25. Knowledge is grounded at home
26. Knowledge presupposes that Holy Bunny exists (Transcendent)
27. Knowledge presupposes that Holy Rabbit exists (More Transcendent)
28. Knowledge presupposes that Holy Smokes exists (Mystery)
29. Knowledge presupposes that Will is wrong
30. Knowledge presupposes that Will is right
31. Knowledge presupposes that the Transcendent does not exist

You can have a few nouns and adjectives and permutate them to make conditions that are unfalsifiable. Nothing unfalsifiable is in anyway an argument, let alone an 'indirect argument', whatever that may mean.

So what if God revealed himself as both ultimately one and many? How has knowledge got to do with unity of diversity? You can explain what you mean by that and the implications of 'unity of diversity' on knowledge. Really interested to see how the statement "Truth and knowledge presupposes a unity of diversity" can be explained or proven. It's a sentence that does not make sense and has no meaning.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 12:38:59 pm by funnieguy »

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Will

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2012, 05:13:27 pm »
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I think you didn't understand what I was doing. I was doing exactly what you did. Asserting claims without proof. I know what the words mean separately, I don't know what you're talking about when you say knowledge presupposes unity of diversity. Either it's something to be understood or you're spouting incoherent nonsense. Do you understand what falsifiable? It means the conclusion was based on an observation that would be wrong if there was some observation.

That you don’t know why “knowledge presupposes unity of diversity” explains why you think I was “asserting claims without proof.”  Granted, I was not providing a fully argued point, but was giving a general summary of how Christian theism solves the problem of the one and the many, assuming you were at least generally familiar with this problem.  Philosophers since Plato have been trying to solve it.  I didn’t think the “problem” itself would be controversial.

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It is irrational to think that the logic we know will always be the same. Logic is falsifiable.  If we observe that our logic does not work anymore than we have to change our rules of logic. I could say the last second seemed to behave according to logic. But if it is observed that the same apple can be at two different places at the same time, logic has to change. That was precisely done in Quantum Mechanics, where quantum logic is different from classical logic. We do not have enough knowledge to be certain that logic will always be like that. But in calculations we assume that it will be. That is to say, if x, then necessarily y. We do not say that x is necessary. This is not based on faith or certainty. This is based on assumptions. What I believe about reality does not alter reality. I can believe that the Big Bang Theory or Theory of Evolution is accurate, but I won't be surprise if it turned out to be wrong. It just means that some assumptions or observations were inaccurate. Our calculations will always falsifiable.

To argue against classical logic, because there is a minority view on other logics, isn’t really convincing.  You have to appeal to classical logic to argue the point, so it is self-defeating, if true, from my vantage point. 

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Why is ultimate oneness a problem?

Read up on the problem of the one and the many; or on universals and particulars (in light of realism, nominalism, and idealism).  But, simplistically put, knowledge assumes predication, and you cannot predicate anything about anything unless there is a diversity of particulars; but if you have ultimate diversity, you can’t predicate anything about the particulars, because that assumes they are actually related to the universals, unified in some way. 

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Is your God also not ultimately one? Apparently Christians call themselves Monotheists and it is likely you are a Monotheist too.

Yes, we believe there is one God, and this one God exists as three persons.  One and Three.  Call it a paradox, or even a contradiction (that would be a separate debate), but what you cannot say is that Christians believe in an ultimate oneness or an ultimate plurality of reality.  Christians believe in a co-ultimacy of unity and diversity in reality – the godhead.  If there was ultimate oneness, there would be no distinction between the Son, Father, and Spirit, therefore there could be no “trinity.”  But, if there is ultimate diversity, then we have three distinct gods, and there would be no monotheism. 

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Even if I cannot account for knowledge, what makes you think you can account for knowledge?

Revelation. 

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Maybe I haven't define what is knowledge. Knowledge is a set of propositions that a sentient being knows. Do you know that your left hand can touch your right hand? Just do it and you'll know. By that I mean by knowledge. The definition of knowledge does not change with a different 'worldview'. I could easily assert that even if you attempt to account for knowledge, you have been mistaken. Which is as nonsensical as everything you have asserted.


That definition of knowledge seems quite lacking.  Do the propositions have to be true?  What is truth?  Since truth is contingent upon propositions, and propositions upon a mind, is anything true before you think it?  Do you create truth?  Can I hold these beliefs accidentally, or is there a proper way to form beliefs in order for it to constitute knowledge? 

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One also cannot falsify the assertion that the Holy and Great Bunny or the Holy and Magnificent Rat or Krishna or Zeus or Barnie or Elvis Presley is a precondition for knowledge.

Sure we can, they are self-falsifying.  Take Zeus.  He lacks authority to describe reality.  He cannot hold all things together (Col. 1:17).  He may be a powerful god, but he is just a god among many.  He is one competing authority claim against the others; truth is all relative on poly-theism.  Secondly, since knowledge is grounded in necessary truths, such as the laws of logic, any finite creature you present lacks the ontological equipment to ground knowledge.  .   

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How has knowledge got to do with unity of diversity? You can explain what you mean by that and the implications of 'unity of diversity' on knowledge. Really interested to see how the statement "Truth and knowledge presupposes a unity of diversity" can be explained or proven. It's a sentence that does not make sense and has no meaning.

No analogy is perfect, but consider a written work, like a book.  This consists of a collection of letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, and chapters.  On one level, we could say that it consists of a diversity of letters.  If the letters were an ultimate diversity, the book would be unintelligible.  However, if the letters were viewed as unified (and actually were unified by an author), forming words and sentences, there would be a potential for intelligibility (we would get subjects and predicates, i.e. propositions).  On a larger scale, we can think of sentences as the particulars and the paragraphs as the unifications of those particulars.  We have to assume each paragraph relates to the prior, and will relate to those yet to come, in some fashion. 

Conversely, if the book had no diversity, it would likewise be unintelligible.  If every letter and word meant “cat,” all you would know is “cat.”  There must be a diversity of meanings, and universals, by which we can predicate things, otherwise there would be nothing to know or think. 

This analogy can be stretched to any area of knowledge.  We can say the universe is intelligible only because it is a uni-verse (unity of diversity).  Or, think about something as simple as a syllogism, which presupposes the unity of various diverse premises.  That all men are mortal can lead intelligibly to the conclusion that Socrates is mortal, only because Socrates was already contained in the subject of premise one “all men.”  In fact, all knowledge boils down and can be contained in one premise (according to the Bible, Christ (Col. 2:2-3).  You cannot provide a single argument that doesn’t beg the question.  Some just beg the question in less obvious ways (because we are ignorant of some facts embedded in some other facts).  But, the “one” is only intelligible by stretching it out into diversity in light of its unity. 
Will

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funnieguy

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2012, 10:00:58 pm »
I think I know what you are trying to get at. But knowledge does not presuppose a unity in diversity. We recognize and know things by detecting a pattern, or a set of attributes. It does not matter what I see a book as. If I cannot understand it, describing it in terms of a specific combination and arrangement of atoms would still be accurate.

Again, if we do not use classical logic to define knowledge, then what do we mean when you say God has all knowledge? I am using classical logic for knowledge because knowledge adheres to classical logic. If we say some attribute of God is quantum in nature then we will use quantum logic to evaluate that attribute. If we say God is of n length we will use the logic that we use to measure length to evaluate the statement.

Revelation does not account for knowledge. There are people who have don't know about 'revelations'. When we are babies we see that an apple is red and in that particular shape, that information is stored in our brain. Knowledge is information. We don't need revelation to classify and recognize what we see.

"Sure we can, they are self-falsifying.  Take Zeus.  He lacks authority to describe reality.  He cannot hold all things together (Col. 1:17).  He may be a powerful god, but he is just a god among many.  He is one competing authority claim against the others; truth is all relative on poly-theism.  Secondly, since knowledge is grounded in necessary truths, such as the laws of logic, any finite creature you present lacks the ontological equipment to ground knowledge."

Then again how do you know your God is not finite? Knowledge is not grounded in necessary truths and laws of logic are not a necessity. They are necessary to describe what we observe. If logic changes according to our observations then our laws have to change.

And you use the Bible to support your claim. Remember that if you are a Calvinist there are Lutherans, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Unitarians, Seventh-day Adventists, Anglican. Just look at this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations. You belong to any one of them. All those who are not in the same group as you uses the same Bible. Yet every denomination claims to be right. You use the Bible to support your claim that Zeus is finite, yet you claim that I am begging the question. The argument is pretty simple. Given n amount of things that one knows how can he know that there are no n+1 things? In the scenario where God tries to prove to himself that he knows everything, he'll go: x is true. y is true. z is true. He can keep doing it, if he stops he won't know if there is more. "According to the Bible, Christ". According to the Muslims, Allah. According to the Jews, not Jesus. According to the Hindus Brahma. If you have a premise that is unwarranted just say so. Why is it that knowledge presupposes a unity in diversity? Knowledge presupposes that there is a sentient being. That's all. Whether what the being knows is true or false does not matter. Unity and diversity is relative and is perception. What is diversity? Every atom is unique in space-time. Every book is unique in space-time. Every letter in a book is a different letter. Though put together we may recognize it to have meaning. It can be seen as diversity and unity at the same time. I recognize that it is a book (unity), or a set of unique atoms (diversity). Whether it is diverse or one does not have any implications on knowledge. That itself would constitute knowledge.

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Will

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2012, 08:30:01 am »
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I think I know what you are trying to get at. But knowledge does not presuppose a unity in diversity.

This simply isn’t true, and it isn’t even controversial.  Science proceeds upon the same basis.  Even on naturalism, physics seeks to have a comprehensive system by which it can relate all facts; it is through this relation that scientific intelligibility emerges.

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We recognize and know things by detecting a pattern, or a set of attributes.

The patterns here are either not really patterns, or they are how diverse elements are unified (brought into a pattern that is intelligible and communicates information).  Your two claims are conflicting.   

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Revelation does not account for knowledge. There are people who have don't know about 'revelations'. When we are babies we see that an apple is red and in that particular shape, that information is stored in our brain. Knowledge is information. We don't need revelation to classify and recognize what we see.

Revelation comes in natural and special ways.  Everyone knows God innately through their own constitution and nature in the image of God.  I believe in the uniformity of nature, for example, because God has revealed and implanted this innate belief into my very nature.  He has given you this information as well.  I cannot observe uniformity without presupposing uniformity (Hume’s problem of induction).   If I doubted the uniformity of nature, I could not have any rational knowledge, as uniformity is a necessary condition for knowledge.  To form the belief that I am now drinking my 2nd cup of coffee, I would have to trust that my memory uniformly categorizes my historical beliefs in a linear and non-random fashion.  Either my belief in the uniformity of nature has rational grounds, implanted by a rational God, or it is completely arbitrary and all knowledge shatters.  So, on this account, you do need this revelation…you may say it isn’t from God, but either way it is a belief about reality that our innate being reveals to our minds, and we trust it.  It is then through special revelation that we are given the grounds why this innate belief is not irrational or arbitrarily held.     

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Then again how do you know your God is not finite? Knowledge is not grounded in necessary truths and laws of logic are not a necessity. They are necessary to describe what we observe. If logic changes according to our observations then our laws have to change.

I know God is infinite because he has revealed himself as such, and he has revealed himself in such a way that we can know for certain.  Indirectly, I know through the impossibility of the contrary.  If you deny it, you deny all possibility of knowledge, and deny the denial.  When you say “knowledge is not grounded in necessary truths and laws of logic,” you are relying on a necessary truth: namely, “it is necessarily true that “knowledge is not grounded in necessary truths…””  The laws of logic cannot change according to our observations; we may just have a rational misstep in our thinking that needs to be corrected.  But, the notion of “correction” presupposes a standard that itself isn’t in constant flux.         

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And you use the Bible to support your claim. Remember that if you are a Calvinist there are Lutherans, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Unitarians, Seventh-day Adventists, Anglican. Just look at this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations. You belong to any one of them. All those who are not in the same group as you uses the same Bible. Yet every denomination claims to be right.

This is one giant informal fallacy, which you are probably aware; but I understand what you are getting at.  However, even entertaining the denomination argument, I am not sure what your point is.  There are significant commonalities among the majority of the denominations you listed, that it doesn’t change the discussion at hand.  The Unitarians would be one glaring exception, and I would use this same argument against them.  For example, on Unitarianism, God cannot be love, for God cannot be other centered in his essential being -- there is no “other” to love, such as the Son through the Spirit.  This, in turn, makes God’s attributes contingent upon his creation; making him finite and not “I AM that I AM.”  Either way, just because there are counterfeit dollar bills, it doesn’t follow that there are not real ones and the banks can’t detect the difference. 

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You use the Bible to support your claim that Zeus is finite, yet you claim that I am begging the question.

No, remember I said that Zeus was self-falsifying.  Zeus exists in the realm of poly-theism, where different gods have different jurisdiction over various elements of the world (the god of sea, the god of war, etc.).  On Zeus’ own terms (if we use Greek literature as his revelation to man), he is finite.  He does not reveal himself as a necessary being that controls and authors all reality; he is the son of Cronus (he is a contingent being). 

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Given n amount of things that one knows how can he know that there are no n+1 things? In the scenario where God tries to prove to himself that he knows everything, he'll go: x is true. y is true. z is true.

We can’t, that’s why we cannot know anything unless there is an omniscient being that tells us and structures our noetic faculties to come to true beliefs in light of all possible knowledge.  There could always be one piece of knowledge that renders every other piece of knowledge we have false.  Hence, knowledge is contingent upon omniscience.  Returning to my original point, your argument is self-defeating.  Knowledge can only exist if there is an omniscient God, so in your disproof of an omniscient being, you disprove knowledge, and therefore your argument at the same time.  If I have time, maybe I will try and articulate the ins and outs of why I think this is the case in new thread.  You have a very non-standard working definition of knowledge (even on secular grounds), that this discussion would have to start from scratch defining basic terms. 
When God says “x is true,” he is either saying x is true like a human, or he is saying x is true simply because that’s what he thinks.  You are again failing to make the creator and creation distinction on your critique of a Christian view of knowledge.  I say x is true because it is true (objectively of my thought of it).  However, since truth is contingent upon propositions, and propositions upon mind, my statement that x is objectively true means that x is a thought of God.  However, when God says “x is true,” he is not appealing to an objective truth outside of himself, for that would presuppose a being greater than himself that defines x as true.  You are arguing against a finite version of the Christian God in your supposed dilemma.     
Will

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funnieguy

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Re: The Paradox of the Omniscient
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2012, 11:52:38 am »
Gish Galloping. Not going to answer. I was wrong you are right.