Enter your name and e-mail address to quickly register to comment and be notified of new articles.
Quick Reg!

one moment please...

Check out the Academy of Reason. Online Courses for the Free Thinking Community!
Blog Home Tags: Print

Does Omnipotence Require Omniscience?

image loading... by Bo Bennett, PhD, Social Scientist, Business Consutlant
posted Saturday Feb 25, 2012 12:00 AM

image loading...

Bo Bennett, PhD

Social Scientist, Business Consutlant

About Bo Bennett, PhD

You can read my full bio at http://www.BoBennett.com.

People throughout history have left the confines of Christian dogma after honestly thinking about the problem of evil.  In short, the problem of evil is a result of the idea that there is a God who is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient), and perfectly good, yet allows Satan to exist and influence people, allows children to die of cancer, baby fawns to burn to death in forest fires started by lightening, and allows about 80% of the all humanity to suffer in eternity in Hell.  Over the centuries, there have been many attempts to justify the "evil" in the world.  One such method is to deny that the Christian God of the Bible is actually omnipotent and/or omniscient.  While the Bible clearly contains verses and stories that both confirm and deny omnipotence and omniscience as part of God's nature, and one can use the Bible to support virtually any position, philosophically speaking, if one is to accept that God is omnipotent, one must accept that he is also omniscient.

First we need to set some ground rules.  For unbelievers, we are talking about imaginary concepts that have no real existence outside of our imaginations -- omnipotence, omniscience, and God.  For believers, we must assume that the Christian Bible, especially the New Testament, provides us with truthful information about God.  Therefore, when the Bible says, "With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27), we must accept that God's omnipotence is unlimited power, not just power that is in line with a being's "nature" or the laws of logic.  Limitations have been suggested by theologians and those who try to get God of out of one or more philosophical pickles.  If God wants to lie, we must accept that it is possible for God.  If God wants to make a square circle, we must not be so arrogant in thinking that just because we can conceive of how that can be done, that it can't be done.  Even today, quantum physics is showing us that what we interpret as the laws of logic don't always appear to apply in the quantum world.  Omnipotence is unlimited power.

Ok, so what is power?  In terms of a being, it is the ability to act.  It does not matter if the being chooses to exercise its power or not; what does matter is the being's ability to exercise its power.  A God who can smite, is just as powerful as a God who does smite.

Now onto omniscience, which is unlimited knowledge.  We are talking about knowing everything -- past, present, and future.  This is a requirement of omnipotence, and here is why: omnipotence is the ability to do (take some kind of action) anything, which includes the ability to share information.  Sharing information requires prior knowledge of that information to be shared.  In order to have the ability to share everything, you must know everything. To put it another way, for every piece of information you do not know, there is another thing you cannot do -- share that information.

Private, Anonymous Comment On This Post (no login required)Your comment below will be anonymously sent to the post owner, it will not be posted, and you will not get a response. To make a public comment, post below (login required).

Send Comment sending comment...

Registered User Comments

Get the Book.

"A delightful combination of straight talk, friendly challenge and a singular absence of bitter ax-grinding... he shows in plain-spoken, engaging prose how his view (and mine!) just makes better common sense.  I just love the section on heaven!  This book is quite and achievement.  Read it!" - Dr. Robert M. Price, Professor of Theology and Scriptural Studies, Host of "The Bible Geek"

Get the book, The Concept by Bo Bennett, by selecting one of the following options:

Check Out Our Secular Online University: AcademyofReason.com

If you spent your life assuming "God" was the answer to all of life's biggest questions, but can no longer believe, you might have many questions that begin with the phrase, "If there is no God..." If there is no God, how did we get here? If there is no God, what's the point of life? If there is no God, where does our morality come from"? If there is no God, won't the world collapse in anarchy with murdering, coveting thy neighbor's wife, and eating shellfish? These are just some of the common questions to which there are good answers. These courses will help you build a strong foundational secular worldview based in science and reason.

Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.

About Archieboy Holdings, LLC. Privacy Policy Other Books Written by Bo Contact
 Website Design and Software Copyright 2018, Archieboy Holdings, LLC. 

Component Viewer

A component is the HTML code for a section of a webpage that can be combined with other components to make a complete webpage. Click the component to insert the component code at the bottom of your current page, then customize it.