The Omniscience Paradox of Creating Information and Knowledge
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The Omniscience Paradox can be defined by these questions,
- "Can an omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, timeless, boundless, limitless, and uncontained Entity create that which it doesn't already know?"
- "If information is the substance, causation, necessity, and base foundation to all that exists, would an omniscient entity not literally be everything and anything in, or of existence?"
Well if such an entity is boundless and limitless to which is uncontained, its omniscience would thus need to be literally and entirely infinite without bounds or limits to its knowledge. It would have to know the infinite past, present, future, and the infinite totality of existence itself. So in the simplest terms before getting deep into the matter at hand, the paradox exposes this base inherent problem:
- If an omniscient entity could always "know" how to create new information it doesn't already know, its never "omniscient", and never will be or could be.. This becomes a problem of infinite egress that invalidates the premise of being "omniscient". It even invalidates "omnipotence" because it could never make itself "omniscient" if it could infinitely create new information it doesn't already know. Thus the premises by their nature self collapse, and are regarded in such a paradox as impossible concepts.
This would be to the point where Omniscience, by definition and relation to the other attributes, would make it impossible to create new information in which this hypothesized entity doesn't already know, or make it impossible for this entity to have the ability to create anything at all. And even to the point where its supposed omnipotence would make it impossible to be omniscient, to which in turn, makes it impossible to be omnipotent due to due to the problem of infinite egress. Thus saying it could create that which it doesn't already know makes absolutely no sense as there is nothing that such an argued for being would not already know. This paradox defies the given attributes to where the attributes given are self-refutations by consequence. A consequence to which also introduces another paradox showing how creation would thus be an impossible action to where an omniscient entity could only infinitely know everything with the inability to create or alter anything in or of existence. In this sense, the infinite past, present, and future are infinitely already existent and known. Thus the past, present, future, and anything in and of, would simply exists without possible creation of, or deviation from. This would also destroy free will entirely, make the act of creation impossible, defy its omnipotence, and make existence itself entirely and infinitely determined to where even this theorized entity's own past, present, and future would entirely be determined. Some might argue the paradox is easily resolved when one considers that such a being would be personal. In this respect, the omniscient being would freely choose what to create and instantiate in reality. However such an argument doesn't resolve or answer the paradox to which can even be extended further into the following questions:
- How does one "know" how to create existence, or reality itself into existence if one's self requires it?
- How does one "know" how to create that which one's self requires to exist and function into existence?
Thus the paradox of creating new information, information itself, or creating existence itself and an information system such as a cognitive system into existence from a position of infinitely knowing, becomes a self-refuting argument and defies the listed "omni" attributes. Just saying it can create new information is seen as admitting that the being in question is not, or was not ever omniscient without boundaries or limits. Worse yet, if information science and theory are correct, the inertia of information itself(energy) would likely be required to be first cause to which could then support a cognitive system capable of supporting the existence of a mind, or a conscious state. Thus making a conscious entity impossible to exist without cause, and a conscious entity impossible to represent first cause, or solve infinite regress. This is especially true when such an entity is claimed to have created "everything". So the paradox rests in how does one's self create, and know how to create into existence that which one's self requires to exist, function, or even know itself exists? This to which brings up the paradoxical question:
- What is X object, place, substance, thing, or entity without Existence?
Hence, What is GOD without existence? This question is interesting when you consider other religious beliefs or GOD concepts such as Pantheism, or metaphysical naturalism to where essentially existence itself and its rules and laws in their totality are considered GOD, or a belief over having a personal GOD to which would be slave to require existence and its rules just as much as anything else in and of existence would be. It is here where it can be argued that it's impossible to get a higher or maximum concept of God since existence, as an entity itself, would be the totality of causality, every force to cause, every effect from cause, everything in and of existence, every governing rule or law, every property and attribute, and the very necessity and essence value of all there is, was, could be, or ever will be. Existence itself would thus be the sum infinite total of information and expression of. Under this context, it's understood that conscious entities can not exist without cause, or represent first cause (see also ).
This also brings us right back to the question of how one can "know" how to create the following into existence without requiring them itself; consciousness, cognitive systems, sensory systems, information, or even existence itself. These to which also seem to be the base foundation, necessity, and cause to our own conscious existence. That is, how can an entity design and bring all the following listed objects or concepts into existence if they are so central to our, or any conscious entity's existence? Some might try to argue that the answer to this question lies in the fact that such a creative being (i.e. omnipotence) isn't in need of any of those supposed necessities. Or that they would be argued false as the very being is argued as the actualization of the "information" comprised in the quality of omniscience. However, this would make no sense giving omniscience requires "knowing", and knowing requires information.., and an awareness requires a source of informational inquiry with a means to access, intake, and process such information. Worse yet, if the being is limitless and boundless in its omniscience, it begs to question how it can "know" how to actualize new information to which it does not already know? Thus again becoming a self-refutation once again. It becomes a paradox within a paradox that seems to simply self-nullify a boundless and limitless omniscient being. Others might state that without the being actualizing such information as an intrinsic aspect of its very nature, there would be no information to begin with.. But yet again a cognitive system would require it to even function much-less support a conscious state that would require information to be conscious and aware. See also: cognitive architecture, information science, systems theory, and an interesting and intuitive ABC's argument based on information science and theory :
- A: There can be no choice, or decision made without information
- B: There can be no consciousness or awareness without information
- C: One can not have knowledge without information
- D: One can not do anything without information
- E: One can not exist without informational value
- F: One can not think without information
- G: One can not even know one's self exists without information
- H: One can not reply, respond, or react without information
- I: There can be no "I" without the information that gives I an Identity.
- J: There can be no morals, ethics, or laws without information
- K: One can not have or express emotions, or feelings without information
- L: One can not have experiences, or experience anything at all without information
- M: One can not have a place to exist in order to be existent without informational structure, system, or value.
- N: One can not Create, or Design anything without information
- O: One can not have the ability to process things without information
- P: Intelligence can not exist without information to apply
- Q: No system, or process can exist without information
- R: Cause and effect can not exist without information
- S: Logic can not exist without information
- T: Reason can not exist or things can not have a reason / purpose without information
- U: There can be no meaning without information
- V: There can be no value without information
- W: There can be no capacity without informational value
- Y: There can be no complexity without informational structure
- Z: One can not convey, send, or express a message without information
Though some points above may be arguable, but some key points seemingly aren't giving that it would require one to abide by many of the premises to even make an argument to begin with. However, certain religious documents as evidenced in theological literature address attributes such as omniscience. We can explore these ideas in religious ideologies such as Christianity (as an example amongst others). In Orthodox Christianity there is a set of specific attributes, some to which are noted above, are used to describe their God with. Among these attributes are as follows:
St John of Damascus, The Fount of Knowledge:
"The uncreate, the unoriginate, the immortal, the boundless, the eternal, the immaterial, the good, the creative, the just, the enlightening, the unchangeable, the passionless, the uncircumscribed, the uncontained, the unlimited, the indefinable, the invisible, the inconceivable, the wanting nothing, the having absolute power and authority, the life-giving, the almighty, the infinitely powerful, the sanctifying and communicating, the containing and sustaining all things, and the providing for all all these and the like He possesses by His nature. They are not received from any other source; on the contrary, it is His nature that communicates all good to His own creatures in accordance with the capacity of each."
"And yet again, there is His knowing of all things by a simple act of knowing. And there is His distinctly seeing with His divine, all-seeing, and immaterial eye all things at once"
- The containing and sustaining of all things
These eight attributes have been defended by many theologians and philosophers such as Richard Swinburn, William Craig and Donald Wacome Though as defended by those above, it's often questioned by others
- A boundless GOD? Can a boundless GOD be boundless if you are to claim all of us to be separate individuals? What boundaries lie between GOD being me, and not being me?
- If he is uncontained, then what separates him from me? This to which begs the question: Is this God even in existence?
- If he's without limits, what limits define GOD apart from who I am?..
- If he is omnipresent, where do I exist?
- If he contains and sustains all things, would he not be existence itself? Thus am I, and everyone else here not the conscious representations of god, or GOD himself?
- If he is Omniscient and knows infinitely everything to which is knowable, would he not know me in every infinitely knowable way to where he himself would literally be I, me, or who I am in every infinitely knowable way?
- If he is immaterial, would he not be made of nothing? Thus how does nothing exist as a person, place, or thing? How does nothing as a substance be the property value of something? How does nothing contain and sustain informational value?
- If this God is timeless, does this God exist now?
These very questions seem to show a deeper paradox, and defy the very attributes given to such a concept of a GOD.
Omniscient Solipsism from a designer's perspective (This as if you are the Omniscient Entity about to design and create something into existence, such as a human being.)
I =: reference to the designer, and to all the information that gives "I" an Identity, or things existence, and value.
- I'm omniscient
- I have an idea of something I want to build, construct, or make existent
- I know infinitely everything about this thing, person, or place infinitely before, and infinitely after I have constructed it, or even thought of it.
- I would know in my design everything it will infinitely ever do.
- I would know everything about my design's essence or being to the point of actually, and literally being that of my design (object, entity, thing, or place) in every infinitely literal way. (and we must pay close attention to the term infinite)
- I would know all the above infinitely in the past, present, and future.
- This thing I designed would only be able to do what it was designed to do, and what I already infinitely know it will do.
- Even if I wanted to state that I am only omniscient to which is knowable, 5, 6 (past, and present), and 7 would all be knowable. Omniscience would make said entity to be the totality of existence itself in the best case possible. This in which everything else would be the by-product of the entity (existence) itself.
In this regard, we see can see how one might try and argue how such an omniscient entity's creative actions might be argued as actualizing its omniscience to instantiate a reality that is distinct from this entity's self as generated properties. Or in Panentheism terms, as projected or imagined entities within its own mind. In this case, all possibly created entities are said to be literally a part of the omniscient being's own mind, and thus making all things argued to be other than itself as self-imagined and projected non-entities. Thus this being's creative action and self-limitation makes reality and individualism impossible as the very act of creation is the action of itself, or just of its own imagination. This again however would defy omniscience, and would again claim the creation of new information, even if imagined, from a position of boundless and limitless omniscience, or a position of already infinitely knowing everything there could ever be known. Thus again the Paradox shows omniscience to be a self-refuting argument as an attribute or property of such a proposed omniscient entity. It's seemingly impossible to reconcile omniscience as an attribute of a being without becoming a self-defying victim to its own attribute(s).
Famous quotes containing the words knowledge, information, omniscience, paradox and/or creating:
“I hate this shallow Americanism which hopes to get rich by credit, to get knowledge by raps on midnight tables, to learn the economy of the mind by phrenology, or skill without study, or mastery without apprenticeship, or the sale of goods through pretending that they sell, or power through making believe you are powerful, or through a packed jury or caucus, bribery and repeating votes, or wealth by fraud.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.”
—Margaret Mead (19011978)
“The matrix is God?
In a manner of speaking, although it would be more accurate ... to say that the matrix has a God, since this beings omniscience and omnipotence are assumed to be limited to the matrix.
If it has limits, it isnt omnipotent.
Exactly.... Cyberspace exists, insofar as it can be said to exist, by virtue of human agency.”
—William Gibson (b. 1948)
“... it is the deserts grimness, its stillness and isolation, that bring us back to love. Here we discover the paradox of the contemplative life, that the desert of solitude can be the school where we learn to love others.”
—Kathleen Norris (b. 1947)
“The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.”
—Jean Piaget (18961980)