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Thread: Omniscience, Intelligence & God

  1. #1 Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Does an omniscient being have no capacity for learning? This capacity I will call intelligence. If omniscience is the knowledge of all things, then there is nothing more to be learned for whomever possesses it. It appears as if the omniscient factor sets a limit on knowledge but does it do the same for intelligence?

    If God for instance, had no capacity for learning, then by my definition He wouldn't have intelligence. But that doesn't make sense because if there isn't anything left to learn then I can't presume He has no more room for extra knowledge. An omniscient God then, should have a capacity to learn more.

    Is it safe to say God's intelligence is infinite? Probably, but it doesn't need to be. Unless of course there is infinite knowledge to be gained. Intelligence must stay one step ahead of knowledge. Still omniscience implies that there is only so much to know. Does this mean that if God is omniscient then He can either be infinitely intelligent or just intelligent enough to know everything?

    Is there a good reason for omniscient God to be infinitely intelligent?


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  3. #2  
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    i wouldn't say that omniscience implies there is only so much to know. it means by definition that you know all that is. but more could come into being. an all powerful god can just will more stuff into being, know that, and thus have learned. the limit to a "god's" ability to know is the same as the limit of its ability to create and change.

    to say that there is only so much such a being can know is to say that there is only so much that can possibly exist. i think that there is much more that can exist than what does currently. and i dare say that the number of ways to make a universe is infinite.

    edit: i really like your post, it could be a good basis for a long and thought out discussion, but it strikes me as more of a philosophical concern than a religious one... unless you posted it because your line of thinking contradicts the bible.


    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
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  4. #3  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    i wouldn't say that omniscience implies there is only so much to know. it means by definition that you know all that is. but more could come into being. an all powerful god can just will more stuff into being, know that, and thus have learned. the limit to a "god's" ability to know is the same as the limit of its ability to create and change.
    I'm going to disagree with you there. Let's face it, if you know everything then there's really nothing left to know. God could will anything He wants but He will learn nothing from it. How can He learn from that which He already knows?

    Has God learned at all, at any point during His existence? If He did then He hasn't always been omniscient and if He didn't then He managed to know everything without learning. On the first point, if your omniscient then you can't learn anything more but at one time you might have had a capacity for learning. Two, if you knew everything without having to learn it then you'd have no need for intelligence (capacity for learning). I think that leaves us with two choices for God, either He was a good learner (like a child) or he is incapable of learning. If omniscient God ever learned just one thing then it would be the first time, that plus His omniscience would be under review.

    your post, it could be a good basis for a long and thought out discussion, but it strikes me as more of a philosophical concern than a religious one... unless you posted it because your line of thinking contradicts the bible
    My friend, I am a well known atheist in some circles. I'm also an if/then kind of guy. I think you have a right to believe in God but no justifiable reason to add more beliefs to that belief. I'd much rather say I do or I don't and leave it at that when it comes to belief. Philosophy is fun but I'd rather have facts. I have seen no proof of anything from the religious perspective.

    I was thinking Philosophy sub-forum when I wrote OP but is it really religious philosophy? anti-religious philosophy? I'm hoping to discern from the membership whether or not we can at least use thought to expose God belief as something less than rock solid.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I'm hoping to discern from the membership whether or not we can at least use thought to expose God belief as something less than rock solid.
    What else would you use? Further, pretty much every single domain of knowledge and experience falls easily under the broad umbrella of "thought."
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I'm hoping to discern from the membership whether or not we can at least use thought to expose God belief as something less than rock solid.
    What else would you use? Further, pretty much every single domain of knowledge and experience falls easily under the broad umbrella of "thought."
    I should have said expose omniscient God belief, wasn't thinking. Or I was but of poor quality if you get my drift.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I should have said expose omniscient God belief, wasn't thinking. Or I was but of poor quality if you get my drift.
    I'm guessing you mean you're high or drunk, which is fine, but I still don't follow your overall point. That's probably my fault, not yours.

    If I were to guess, I would presume that you want to use "thought" to expose belief in god to be "less than rock solid."

    If that's accurate, then I really have nothing to add, except... Uhhmmm... Okay. That's what I use to show the "god belief to be less than rock solid" also.


    Maybe I'm being unnecessarily snarky here. Let me suggest that your OP raises some interesting points, but requires an a priori assumption that god actually exists. One must take as given that god exists and has certain specific qualities before they can logically explore your proposals. I'm not really willing to take that as given a priori.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Maybe I'm being unnecessarily snarky here. Let me suggest that your OP raises some interesting points, but requires an a priori assumption that god actually exists. One must take as given that god exists and has certain specific qualities before they can logically explore your proposals. I'm not really willing to take that as given a priori.
    OK....fine with me.

    Whatever you want to throw at me. I'm not offended.


    You have me wondering now if Omniscience leaves much to think about, for the omniscient one that is. Simple daily thoughts like what 's in store for me today at work or even finding time to take a shit. I would know all that already. What do the omniscient think about, really? Create a universe? Flood the Earth? Disappear for a while? How do you think about anything when you already know?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    i wouldn't say that omniscience implies there is only so much to know. it means by definition that you know all that is. but more could come into being. an all powerful god can just will more stuff into being, know that, and thus have learned. the limit to a "god's" ability to know is the same as the limit of its ability to create and change.

    to say that there is only so much such a being can know is to say that there is only so much that can possibly exist. i think that there is much more that can exist than what does currently. and i dare say that the number of ways to make a universe is infinite.

    edit: i really like your post, it could be a good basis for a long and thought out discussion, but it strikes me as more of a philosophical concern than a religious one... unless you posted it because your line of thinking contradicts the bible.

    So if he knows everything, wouldn't that include knowing the future?

    If he knows the whole future, then he's already familiar with everything that ever will come into existence. He already knows all the choices he is ever going to make (omniscience must include knowing his whole self too, right?). His life must just be incredibly boring.
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  10. #9 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Does an omniscient being have no capacity for learning?
    I believe this is correct. Learning implies the acquisition of NEW knowledge, whereas an omniscient being (by definition) already possesses ALL knowledge, including forethought. Ergo, there is ZERO new information for this being to acquire, and it cannot logically be said to "learn." An omniscient being, by definition, lacks the capacity to learn.

    However, the true issue here (from what I can tell) is the importance you place on learning. Learning is an amazing attribute for those beings who are not already in possession of infinite knowledge. I totally agree with that, especially as a human with many existing gaps in my own knowledge.

    However, for a proposed being which "has all knowledge of all things, including foreknowledge," or which "is in possession of all knowledge," and which "actually [knows] everything that can be known," the concept of "learning" does not seem able to apply. To learn is to acquire new knowledge and new information and/or to synthesize new data, and if the infinite is known already (if the being is omniscient) then there is logically no knowledge or information left to acquire... it's not possible to learn.




    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    If God for instance, had no capacity for learning, then by my definition He wouldn't have intelligence.
    I think this is where your chain of thought breaks down. You are conflating the ability to learn with intelligence, and the concepts (despite a lot of overlap) are, in fact, quite different. Learning is rather simple to define. "Learning is acquiring new knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information." Intelligence, though? Much like the concept of "consciousness," the concept of "intelligence" is (to borrow from Sagan) profoundly resistant to simple definition. You would need to put forth a very precise definition of "intelligence" before moving too far along this path, and that definition you share would be subject to significant challenge.

    My point is that learning is not equivalent to intelligence, so that is a weakness in your presentation. It's not fatal, but definitely important to "shore up."






    What I've always found much more damning is what has become known as "the problem of evil." From wiki, "the problem of evil is the question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity that is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient." I first heard the idea through a quote from Epicurus, a Greek philosopher from around 300 BC, who put it forth this way:
    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?


    Below are available very thorough explorations of the "problem with evil" concept:


    http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...eism/evil.html
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evil/

    1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
    2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
    3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
    4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
    5. Evil exists.
    6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.
    7. Therefore, God doesn't exist.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    So if he knows everything, wouldn't that include knowing the future?

    If he knows the whole future, then he's already familiar with everything that ever will come into existence. He already knows all the choices he is ever going to make (omniscience must include knowing his whole self too, right?). His life must just be incredibly boring.
    I think you are on the right track here. A being who is all knowing, all powerful and all ways was and all ways will be, would be infinitely bored and very prone to an infinite insanity. How would an insane God behave? Judging from all the religions we have, I'd say we don't have to do much guessing.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    As interesting as this topic is, it's more one of philosophy than the scientific study of religion.

    Please PM me if anyone has a question or concern about the move.
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  13. #12 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    If God for instance, had no capacity for learning, then by my definition He wouldn't have intelligence.
    I think this is where your chain of thought breaks down. You are conflating the ability to learn with intelligence, and the concepts (despite a lot of overlap) are, in fact, quite different. Learning is rather simple to define. "
    I did define intelligence as a capacity for learning and added ...
    I can't presume He has no more room for extra knowledge. An omniscient God then, should have a capacity to learn more.
    IOW's He would have the learning capacity with room to spare.

    Lance.. .
    A being who is all knowing, all powerful and all ways was and all ways will be, would be infinitely bored and very prone to an infinite insanity.
    Maybe God goes insane thinking about what knowledge could possibly go with His extra capacity. But if He did think about it then He'd forfeit His omniscience.

    Omniscient God Is kind of like Asimov's Multivac. Everything that is knowable is downloaded as an omniscience program, then set to run.
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    Whatever, the last argument any religious person makes is that he doesn't care what you say, because God can do anything he wants and by any definition of God that would be true. So that leaves you to discredit God or easier discredit the guy that speaks for God and the guy that speaks for God quotes and interprets from the Bible which the religious person thinks is the inspired word of God.

    Maybe it's just me, but not once in my entire life have I ever been able to convince anyone that their belief in God was wrong.
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  15. #14 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Does an omniscient being have no capacity for learning? [...]
    Is there a good reason for omniscient God to be infinitely intelligent?
    In order to know everything about the universe, it would take an information storage-retrieval system that is equal to or larger than the universe itself. This would be possible if this storage-retrieval system were stored in another, perhaps larger universe.

    But a god wouldn't be able to exist in this universe and be "all-knowing." Think of it like a map. The better the map, the larger the map. A small, pocket-sized map of the earth -one that fits on an A4 size sheet of paper that can be folded up wouldn't be able to contain the details another world map that fills a wall would.

    The same would be true for such an information storage-retrieval system. To be all-knowing, it would need a particle-for-particle analog within it for every bit and byte of information in the universe past, present, and future. Even if some particles could be used as analogs for multiple points in reality, the result would be larger than the universe when you introduce time, space, and the method of retrieval.

    If an agent (a god) had a one-for-one analog of the universe in it's mind, how would such information be accessed? Real-time? Would there be an index to speed up the process? Wouldn't an all-knowing index by itself be as large as the universe?

    The omniscient characteristic of a god invalidates the god.

    Particularly when other alleged characteristics are introduced such as omni-benevolence. If a god knew everything, why wouldn't it warn the victims of the 2004 tsunami? Surely some where innocent. Unless the god isn't omni-benevolent. Or perhaps it is omni-benevolent and omniscient but not all-powerful -or even powerful enough to provide an effective, understandable warning much less to prevent the tsunami. Such a god would be omniscient but impotent.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Whatever, the last argument any religious person makes is that he doesn't care what you say, because God can do anything he wants and by any definition of God that would be true. So that leaves you to discredit God or easier discredit the guy that speaks for God and the guy that speaks for God quotes and interprets from the Bible which the religious person thinks is the inspired word of God.

    Maybe it's just me, but not once in my entire life have I ever been able to convince anyone that their belief in God was wrong.
    You've overlooked another main reason theists don't care about uncomplimentary remarks directed towards their God. It isn't because He can do anything he wants but it's because He is incomprehensible to us, existing beyond time & space etc. Despite that mystical quality, theists still manage to add secondary beliefs to the primary. God is never going to be proved or disproved but the secondary beliefs, the real mythology, are not so untouchable.

    Just think, if God is incomprehensible then the theists might as well say that they too don't know a thing about God, but that is not the case. Also, if God is incomprehensible then theists don't even have a legitimately good reason to say that He is. Just how is that a known fact?

    Omniscience, omnipotence, incomprehensibility and the like are all secondary beliefs. The omniscience tag does not hold up, even during average human discourse. Such secondary beliefs are the theist's soft underbelly.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    You've overlooked another main reason theists don't care about uncomplimentary remarks directed towards their God. It isn't because He can do anything he wants but it's because He is incomprehensible to us, existing beyond time & space etc. Despite that mystical quality, theists still manage to add secondary beliefs to the primary. God is never going to be proved or disproved but the secondary beliefs, the real mythology, are not so untouchable.

    Just think, if God is incomprehensible then the theists might as well say that they too don't know a thing about God, but that is not the case. Also, if God is incomprehensible then theists don't even have a legitimately good reason to say that He is. Just how is that a known fact?

    Omniscience, omnipotence, incomprehensibility and the like are all secondary beliefs. The omniscience tag does not hold up, even during average human discourse. Such secondary beliefs are the theist's soft underbelly.
    Soft underbelly, not quite as strong as exposed jugular, but I like it. It implies that you can really dig in and make a mess that will hurt the theist more than you.

    That's a tip I will remember.
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  18. #17 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    In order to know everything about the universe, it would take an information storage-retrieval system that is equal to or larger than the universe itself. This would be possible if this storage-retrieval system were stored in another, perhaps larger universe.

    To be all-knowing, it would need a particle-for-particle analog within it for every bit and byte of information in the universe past, present, and future. Even if some particles could be used as analogs for multiple points in reality, the result would be larger than the universe when you introduce time, space, and the method of retrieval.

    If an agent (a god) had a one-for-one analog of the universe in it's mind, how would such information be accessed? Real-time? Would there be an index to speed up the process? Wouldn't an all-knowing index by itself be as large as the universe?

    The omniscient characteristic of a god invalidates the god.
    Maybe the creationist view would have it that multiverses & infinity are creations designed for just this purpose, an information storage-retrieval system :wink: A lot goes into being omniscient, perhaps as you say more than our universe or ten thousands of universes can provide. That's just for us, God also has to know about all ethereal, spiritual, & mystical realms He manages or wanders into.

    If I were to snare a subatomic particle somehow, present it to God and ask Him to provide a second by second account of its history then just how much information is required to achieve this task? Not only that, He wouldn't even have to process the data to spit out the required answer. I wonder how He does it if I asked for the history of every particle in this universe?

    If God is omniscient then this quality has accompanied Him during His existence. I don't know how this was accomplished because it seems on the surface that God didn't actually learn anything. If I take my PC and download a program into it and it performs, does the computer learn anything? I don't know how to say this other than God's total knowledge resembles originating from an external source.

    How does God's intelligence fit into the picture? If I was given all knowledge then do I have to be intelligent also? I'd say probably yes, because I obviously had the capacity to learn it. If I always was omniscient and knowledge wasn't given to me then do I need to learn? Not really when I think of my own PC. If God didn't need to learn then what's that say about His capacity for learning? Wouldn't He need intelligence to learn? If He has to learn then is He omniscient? The theists of the world, by labeling God omniscient, are declaring their primary belief to possess a quality that leaves Him to be no more than a library stocked with information. The answers are there but does a library learn?
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  19. #18 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Maybe the creationist view would have it that multiverses & infinity are creations designed for just this purpose, an information storage-retrieval system :wink: A lot goes into being omniscient, perhaps as you say more than our universe or ten thousands of universes can provide. That's just for us, God also has to know about all ethereal, spiritual, & mystical realms He manages or wanders into.
    I don't want to be thought of as defending God, but have you considered he would be able to add storage universes as needed like we might add a hard drive when storage space gets low, and don't forget about compressed data? Any God worth his salt ought to be able to compress data on an order we can't even comprehend.

    If I were to snare a subatomic particle somehow, present it to God and ask Him to provide a second by second account of its history then just how much information is required to achieve this task? Not only that, He wouldn't even have to process the data to spit out the required answer. I wonder how He does it if I asked for the history of every particle in this universe?
    Before he could answer that question, he would have to know you could comprehend it, and I can't see any human being able to comprehending the complete history of every particle in the universe.

    If God is omniscient then this quality has accompanied Him during His existence. I don't know how this was accomplished because it seems on the surface that God didn't actually learn anything. If I take my PC and download a program into it and it performs, does the computer learn anything? I don't know how to say this other than God's total knowledge resembles originating from an external source.
    God would have to live in all dimensions some of which will be outside of time and those parts outside of time would be able to know and comprehend all of time at any given moment.

    How does God's intelligence fit into the picture? If I was given all knowledge then do I have to be intelligent also? I'd say probably yes, because I obviously had the capacity to learn it. If I always was omniscient and knowledge wasn't given to me then do I need to learn? Not really when I think of my own PC. If God didn't need to learn then what's that say about His capacity for learning? Wouldn't He need intelligence to learn? If He has to learn then is He omniscient? The theists of the world, by labeling God omniscient, are declaring their primary belief to possess a quality that leaves Him to be no more than a library stocked with information. The answers are there but does a library learn?
    Consider all possible parallel worlds as already having happened from an outside of time point of view. That would mean all possible realities would have already happened, therefore no possible new information can exist and God will never have anything new to learn. But keeping track of all that data and presenting answers to questions would seem to indicate some level of intelligence. it's that selfaware part that's got me concerned for Gods sanity.
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  20. #19 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    don't want to be thought of as defending God, but have you considered he would be able to add storage universes as needed like we might add a hard drive when storage space gets low, and don't forget about compressed data? Any God worth his salt ought to be able to compress data on an order we can't even comprehend.
    That's what I was intimating. With every universe you create, another one is needed to store the information from the previous.

    Before he could answer that question, he would have to know you could comprehend it, and I can't see any human being able to comprehending the complete history of every particle in the universe.
    Now you're giving me the standard "God is incomprehensible" theist cop out answer. Why would I need to comprehend it anyways, I'm just looking for an answer. I ask lots of questions I never understand the answer to.

    God would have to live in all dimensions some of which will be outside of time and those parts outside of time would be able to know and comprehend all of time at any given moment.
    The other standard theist answer. Theists don't comprehend God but they know He is incomprehensible and existing outside space and time. Somebody must have asked.

    keeping track of all that data and presenting answers to questions would seem to indicate some level of intelligence. it's that selfaware part that's got me concerned for Gods sanity.
    God is a primary belief, divine self-awareness is secondary. Who says God keeps track? There is no way anyone can know this. God is a belief. Is the government's online income tax return program self aware when it calculates how much I owe?
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  21. #20 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Does an omniscient being have no capacity for learning? This capacity I will call intelligence. If omniscience is the knowledge of all things, then there is nothing more to be learned for whomever possesses it. It appears as if the omniscient factor sets a limit on knowledge but does it do the same for intelligence?

    If God for instance, had no capacity for learning, then by my definition He wouldn't have intelligence. But that doesn't make sense because if there isn't anything left to learn then I can't presume He has no more room for extra knowledge. An omniscient God then, should have a capacity to learn more.

    Is it safe to say God's intelligence is infinite? Probably, but it doesn't need to be. Unless of course there is infinite knowledge to be gained. Intelligence must stay one step ahead of knowledge. Still omniscience implies that there is only so much to know. Does this mean that if God is omniscient then He can either be infinitely intelligent or just intelligent enough to know everything?

    Is there a good reason for omniscient God to be infinitely intelligent?
    I don't think one can attribute not having anything left to learn as a lack of a capacity to learn.

    Problems are solved by algorithms. Discovering these algorithms requires a combination of intelligence and work of varying degree. By minimizing on time, IQ tests do not allow an individual to compensate for a lack of intelligence via work. Therefore, IQ tests measure mostly general intelligence, often defined as g.

    If God knows everything, as you suggest, than he would similarily have the answer to any problem in an any IQ test, and therefore hit the ceiling on any test, making him infinitely intelligent.
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  22. #21 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha
    If God knows everything, as you suggest, than he would similarily have the answer to any problem in an any IQ test, and therefore hit the ceiling on any test, making him infinitely intelligent.
    There is only so much knowledge if God possesses all of it. Therefore He is not infinitely intelligent as the highest attainable IQ score will attest to.
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  23. #22 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha
    If God knows everything, as you suggest, than he would similarily have the answer to any problem in an any IQ test, and therefore hit the ceiling on any test, making him infinitely intelligent.
    There is only so much knowledge if God possesses all of it. Therefore He is not infinitely intelligent as the highest attainable IQ score will attest to.
    Let the expression represent how much you know relative to how much you don't know. In the statement "there is only so much knowledge if God possesses all of it," you suggest that x is finite. However, you agree with me that y is zero (that is, there is nothing God does not know). Therefore God knows infinitley more than he does not know, given . Of course, whether god is omniscient is largely a matter of debate and here I'm making the assumption that the original premise holds true.
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  24. #23 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha
    Therefore God knows infinitley more than he does not know
    If you are talking omniscient God then I like the paradoxical nature of your equation's quotient.

    Is knowledge infinite? Always one more thing to be learned. If so then no entity can know everything. Maybe all the religious leaders in the world should get together and remove the omniscient tag from God forever.
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  25. #24 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha
    Therefore God knows infinitley more than he does not know
    If you are talking omniscient God then I like the paradoxical nature of your equation's quotient.

    Is knowledge infinite? Always one more thing to be learned. If so then no entity can know everything. Maybe all the religious leaders in the world should get together and remove the omniscient tag from God forever.
    Knowledge refers to possessing the answer to questions. Individual answers to questions make up knowledge, and as increments of the same whole they are essentially discrete, i.e., not infinite. My equation doesn't refer to the amount of knowledge, but the amount of knowledge known relative to that which is not known. Of course, since you used the adjective "nature" than you were not implying that it what a paradox, but rather of such nature.
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  26. #25 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha
    Knowledge refers to possessing the answer to questions.
    What about instinctive knowledge? Does God also possess instinctive knowledge or is all of God`s knowledge instinctive? Theists, can you imagine everything that is being the result of some divine instinct?

    Maybe it`s not right to consider instinctive knowledge as genuine knowledge. But if it is a type of knowledge then omniscient God must have it.

    Why would omniscient God need time to think about doing anything? Shouldn`t every decision, and I use that word lightly, require no time for processing since omniscient God would know it beforehand? How much time does a newly hatched sea turtle require to know it must run for the sea? Does the little turtle possess instinctive knowledge or does it pause to consider alternatives before racing off? If you decide something without any time elapsing, are you acting instinctively without thinking or thinking & considering all options?
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  27. #26 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    What about instinctive knowledge? Does God also possess instinctive knowledge or is all of God`s knowledge instinctive? Theists, can you imagine everything that is being the result of some divine instinct?

    Maybe it`s not right to consider instinctive knowledge as genuine knowledge. But if it is a type of knowledge then omniscient God must have it.

    Why would omniscient God need time to think about doing anything? Shouldn`t every decision, and I use that word lightly, require no time for processing since omniscient God would know it beforehand? How much time does a newly hatched sea turtle require to know it must run for the sea? Does the little turtle possess instinctive knowledge or does it pause to consider alternatives before racing off? If you decide something without any time elapsing, are you acting instinctively without thinking or thinking & considering all options?
    Instinctive knowledge can be classified as genetic answers to questions that do not need to be posed for the organism with those "instincts." They can still be classified as questions, so if we consider the conventional omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good God, than God still has the answers.
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  28. #27 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha
    Instinctive knowledge can be classified as genetic answers to questions that do not need to be posed for the organism with those "instincts." They can still be classified as questions, so if we consider the conventional omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good God, than God still has the answers.
    If God always was, omniscient without ever having to learn then I think it is safe to say all of God's knowledge would be instinctive.
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  29. #28 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha
    Instinctive knowledge can be classified as genetic answers to questions that do not need to be posed for the organism with those "instincts." They can still be classified as questions, so if we consider the conventional omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good God, than God still has the answers.
    If God always was, omniscient without ever having to learn then I think it is safe to say all of God's knowledge would be instinctive.
    Sort of, except that God is aware of the questions (rather than instinctive knowledge, which only knows the answers consciously). That is to say, if God is omniscient, than he has all of the questions and answers (as opposed to instinctive knowledge, which only recognizes answers to pre-programmed [genetic] questions). For example, a member of the genus Panthera (that is, the tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar) do not need to pose the question of where the best spot to target there prey animal is relative to their morphology (that is, they instinctively know that it is the neck).
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  30. #29 Re: Omniscience, Intelligence & God 
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    [quote="Ellatha"]
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Sort of, except that God is aware of the questions (rather than instinctive knowledge, which only knows the answers consciously). That is to say, if God is omniscient, than he has all of the questions and answers
    Yes there are only so many questions and answers. Sort of brings this discussion back to the beginning..... knowledge is finite for an omniscient god.
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    ___zinjanthropos.
    Does an omniscient being have no capacity for learning?
    ___At the level of ‘god’ I believe you are discussing, It would have the capacity for learning, but as it has the belief that It does know everything, why would It utilize it. And, it is a belief for any individual that calculates/thinks It is omniscient. The key to why it is a belief is due to nonexistence having a existence, even though it doesn’t exist and from that there arises the possibility of the concept of doubt or the, “I don’t know.” factor.
    Does this mean that if God is omniscient then He can either be infinitely intelligent or just intelligent enough to know everything?
    ___Since omniscience arises from a belief, both concepts are to be, as the saying goes; six of one and a half dozen of the other.
    Unless of course there is infinite knowledge to be gained.
    ___In regard to the limits of knowledge: well, logically there is a finite amount of information or patterns of energy to learn. And not because existence is finite, but because it will be found that the only limits to existence are nonexistent/nonexistence. It may sound like a play on words, but it isn’t. For if there is any limit to any thing it acquires a finite aspect to its existence.
    ___In regards to kojax and Lance mentioning that Its life must be incredibly boring due to It knowing what will happen: at that point/level of existence there are only three possible futures for that being, 1) acceptance of what Its existence is and be content to stay unchanging, 2)going insane and letting control of Its ‘mind’ go, so as to not be able to predict what will happen or what It will do (becoming contrary or evil to Its normal state of existence), and 3) cease existing.
    The world is the way it is, because we like it this way.
    Otherwise, we would change it.
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by futrethink
    ___In regards to kojax and Lance mentioning that Its life must be incredibly boring due to It knowing what will happen: at that point/level of existence there are only three possible futures for that being, 1) acceptance of what Its existence is and be content to stay unchanging, 2)going insane and letting control of Its ‘mind’ go, so as to not be able to predict what will happen or what It will do (becoming contrary or evil to Its normal state of existence), and 3) cease existing.
    I've been doing some more thinking on that subject. God is only omniscient by mankind’s definition. Is that definition universal for all religions? If not, does anyone reading this know which religions don't, and if there are any, how do they view their God?
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by futrethink
    It knowing what will happen: at that point/level of existence there are only three possible futures for that being, 1) acceptance of what Its existence is and be content to stay unchanging, 2)going insane and letting control of Its ‘mind’ go, so as to not be able to predict what will happen or what It will do (becoming contrary or evil to Its normal state of existence), and 3) cease existing.
    Acceptance, going insane, or ceasing to exist are all within omniscient God's knowledge bank. He knows the answers to all three choices.

    I think we all have to accept there is nothing left for God to do. He is finished, whatever He set in motion is not going to change. What purpose does omniscient God have now? He did His best, so like a good theist I sit back and wait for His plan to unfold.
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I think we all have to accept there is nothing left for God to do. He is finished, whatever He set in motion is not going to change. What purpose does omniscient God have now? He did His best, so like a good theist I sit back and wait for His plan to unfold.
    A good theist would not require a proof for the existence of God. Believing that God exists based on evidence that supports it is no different from believing that God doesn't exist based on evidence that supports it; namely, proving that God exists requires that one give up their faith, and a theist's belief in God should be based on faith alone (according to biblical accounts on the word of Abrahamic God).
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    ___zinjanthropos.
    Acceptance, going insane, or ceasing to exist are all within omniscient God's knowledge bank. He knows the answers to all three choices.
    ___Acceptance is the easiest to predict and It will know what will happen, due to there being nothing to change. Insanity could include blocking off some of Its knowledge and choosing to become less than what It is, in the possibility that it might be wrong about what It knows should happen. But.
    ___The big thing is if It should choose to cease to exist or become nonexistent. If It is supposedly everything, could It be sure when It stops existing at EVERY point in time and space, what will happen? Think about it? It might have an idea about what will happen and might have tried experiments to find out what happens when a duplicate/part of Itself dies or what happens when something like Itself dies, but how can It predict or know what will actually happen when It becomes fully nonexistent? Its omniscience pertains to everything, correct?
    ___But nonexistence isn’t a thing, as far as we can determine with science and without playing words, correct?
    The world is the way it is, because we like it this way.
    Otherwise, we would change it.
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha
    A good theist would not require a proof for the existence of God. Believing that God exists based on evidence that supports it is no different from believing that God doesn't exist based on evidence that supports it; namely, proving that God exists requires that one give up their faith, and a theist's belief in God should be based on faith alone (according to biblical accounts on the word of Abrahamic God).
    Faith and belief are pretty synonymous with one another. If God exists then I'd much rather not have to believe in Him. But I guess today God doesn't want us to know if He is real as His personal appearances would attest to.

    Do you think omniscient God believes we all should believe in Him? Should the O-God believe in anything? It sure seems like He does. What's the use of threatening us unless He believes we won't obey His commands without some form of prodding?
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    'Faith' is but a belief in the invisible unknown, and so there you have it, an unsubstantial word code that is taken to mean something like a reason, yet it isn't.

    'God' has retreated, further and farther away, a vanishing act.
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by futrethink
    [The big thing is If it should choose to cease to exist or become nonexistent.

    If God has done all there is to do, known all there is to know, then is the last thing in either case non existence? Must omniscient God become non existent in order to be truly omniscient? I think it reasonable to say God has not experienced dying or non existence.
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    I don't understand the difference between an omniscient everywhere-at-once God that knows the past and future of every particle in the universe, and the universe itself. I don't think it is logical to put this theoretical being on a plane of existence separate of the system it governs (or "knows" everything about), and the definitions are so similar I feel it is one and the same thing.

    If this theoretical being separate from our physical universe has to store all this information. well, in order to do that it would be as well having a copy of the universe as a brain. The whole concept is just so ridiculous as to be laughable. So then they might say, "ah, but who said His method of existence is a physical one?". So now I have to accept that we can allow these people to present to us new theories of reality that are incomprehensible to us.
    I still remember a quote from the Reapers in mass effect:
    "Our existence is beyond your comprehension"

    Tell me why the claim that the universe is an omniscient being is any different from saying there is an Omniscient God?

    Also the words "knowing" and "choice" lose their definition when you are trying to use them in the context of omniscience. How can you have a free will when you have lived your life all at once at every instant?!

    The only fact here is that the concept of omniscience minces human brains because it is does not make any sense whatsoever. Any attempt to point this out gets met with "It is beyond our comprehension, that is why it seems illogical to us". That is why we will never win, and religion will always exist in the minds of some people. They are quite happy to write off paradoxes for no reason whatsoever.
    'Aint no thing like a chicken wing'
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    Quote Originally Posted by harvestein
    They are quite happy to write off paradoxes for no reason whatsoever.
    Yes, for no reason, with 'happy' as a kind of a key, for emotions can stain the brain, totally bypassing the logical and the rational.


    A God which was one and the same with the universe would be quite limited and restricted to only what the universe could do, and so is reduced to being merely a synonym, which is no more than another name for the same thing. A rose is stil a rose, even by another name.
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    A God which was one and the same with the universe would be quite limited and restricted to only what the universe could do, and so is reduced to being merely a synonym, which is no more than another name for the same thing. A rose is stil a rose, even by another name.
    I agree, that is exactly what I was getting at. But I was specifically referring to omniscience and omnipresence, rather than omnipotence (which throws a spanner in the works, unless the laws of physics are subject to change without cause)

    But if you throw into the mix that the probabilities of QM are the omnipotent "God" "deciding" to randomly decay a kilogram of plutonium in an instant, or destroy a macroscopic object instantly and without cause into a shower of sub-atomic particles (both of these things are possible, but the probability is so low, the universe would have to exist for many trillions time longer for it even to have had a reasonable chance to have occurred) then the claim the word "God" is just a synonym for the Universe is not illogical. It is just the same thing but with a non-physical, un-testable "sentience" thrown in for good measure. As if the universe is acting with some kind of intent. Every time I take my casino chip off my favourite number on roulette it seems to roll in the next spin, and I curse the universe for mocking me. I know the "intent" is an illusion created by myself though, religious people do not (you wouldn't catch many of them in a casino though).

    I am referring to a God in it's purest definition here, as omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. Cutting out all the other bells and whistles added in by the worlds religions.
    'Aint no thing like a chicken wing'
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    An all-knowing God or universe would seem to hint of mind, not just stuff of the universe, but there is another way.

    All is or was in a quantum superposition, all paths being gone down at once, the longer lasting ones, then dominating, leading to what we have, the unsuccessful paths going nowhere, dying out, fading, and falling flat, as less probable states or as inert, junkyard universes. This is a kind of brute force method that 'tries' everything; no mind required.

    Others have it that the appearance of consciousness on one of the paths caused the collapse of the wave function, actualizing everything into the real, it then continuing on as such, but I don't think so, as probably just mere interaction of any kind would collapse the wave function.

    It could also be that we are have been merely fine-tuned to the Earth by evolution, not any other way around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    "junkyard universes"
    If I ever see the term "junkyard universes" again, I'll be able to say to myself I knew the guy that coined that term.

    I really do enjoy it when someone says something that makes an impression on me.
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    …And no junkyard dog(ma), for it was run over by the karma.
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    ___zinjanthropos.
    Must omniscient God become non existent in order to be truly omniscient?
    ___It can only remove the doubt of Its omniscience/omnipresence/omnipotence by proving that there is nothing more outside of what it knows, and the only way to confirm this is to go from theory to practice and experience something that it has never touched, smelt, heard and etc.
    I think it reasonable to say God has not experienced dying or non existence.
    ___It is not a question of whether it has died or become nonexistent. What I am wondering about is the reason(s) it chooses to accept/use for following through on that choice. There are a few reasons why, but I wonder if it simply chooses to think that it will be a generalized ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to do so. The end result of it never existing at any point in time and space is the same, but the why is still a curiosity to me.
    ___Because, It is dead/nonexistent and existence and reality continues on infinitely, with only the limitations of nonexistence.
    The world is the way it is, because we like it this way.
    Otherwise, we would change it.
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    ___harvestein.
    I don't understand the difference between an omniscient everywhere-at-once God that knows the past and future of every particle in the universe, and the universe itself.
    ___There isn’t any difference.
    If this theoretical being separate from our physical universe has to store all this information. well, in order to do that it would be as well having a copy of the universe as a brain.
    ___It doesn’t need to. All information related to everything can be found in a singular point of energy (whichever is the smallest point of energy you prefer to use). For that matter (snicker) the evidence is there for anyone to see to show this hypothesis’ truth.
    ___Start with ‘memory’. Go with what it is, how it is recorded and onto what it allows individuals to do. Don’t limit yourself to organic individuals, because (as an obvious example) the individual computer you are on has a memory, which is recorded in energy and allows the computer to do what?
    Tell me why the claim that the universe is an omniscient being is any different from saying there is an Omniscient God?
    I am referring to a God in it's purest definition here, as omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
    ___There isn’t any difference.
    How can you have a free will when you have lived your life all at once at every instant?!
    ___It would make you feel rather impotent and powerless wouldn’t it? That there might be something, which you can’t perceive, controlling you like a puppet. So how would you go about proving it wrong? Or could you? Can’t think yourself ALL or the ALPHA TO OMEGA with that doubt over your head.
    The only fact here is that the concept of omniscience minces human brains because it is does not make any sense whatsoever.
    ___An individual having omniscience makes sense in a logical manner, but just involves an abnormal/fuzzy/multi-valued logic, which is contrary to bi or tri-valued logic.
    They are quite happy to write off paradoxes for no reason whatsoever.
    ___Hey, come on. The religious community doesn’t have to write them off, because their belief (at that level) allows them to just accept.
    ___And, you know that the scientific community has no respect for anyone who accepts that there are existing paradoxes. Or someone who logically attempts to show that there is existing paradoxes.
    The world is the way it is, because we like it this way.
    Otherwise, we would change it.
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    ___questor.
    All is or was in a quantum superposition, all paths being gone down at once, the longer lasting ones, then dominating, leading to what we have, the unsuccessful paths going nowhere, dying out, fading, and falling flat, as less probable states or as inert, junkyard universes. This is a kind of brute force method that 'tries' everything; no mind required.
    It could also be that we are have been merely fine-tuned to the Earth by evolution, not any other way around.
    ___My question is, “Upon what base did the rules, for the energy (quantum or otherwise) to follow such paths and states of existence, arise from?”
    ___I am not arguing for or against a ‘god’, just asking.
    The world is the way it is, because we like it this way.
    Otherwise, we would change it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by futrethink
    My question is, “Upon what base did the rules, for the energy (quantum or otherwise) to follow such paths and states of existence, arise from?”
    ___I am not arguing for or against a ‘god’, just asking.
    We don't know, but we finally see some of this kind of thing happening. For example, using fermo-lasers, they actually saw electrons in superposition finding and 'choosing' the best path for photosynthesis in green sulfur bacteria, achieving 95% efficiency.

    Some, like Hawking, think the whole universe is still in a state of superposition.

    However, to hedge my bets, the other half of the time I try to find ways around these immaterial, mystical kind of happenings.
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    ___questor.
    We don't know, but we finally see some of this kind of thing happening. For example, using fermo-lasers, they actually saw electrons in superposition finding and 'choosing' the best path for photosynthesis in green sulfur bacteria, achieving 95% efficiency.
    ___ So, these experiments show the possibilities of the rules? Especially that ‘choices’ occur. To save me time searching for such information, could you show a link to such experiments? The evidence of such experiments would be quite useful, because it would add to the weight of my hypothesis.
    Some, like Hawking, think the whole universe is still in a state of superposition.
    ___That is a good way to describe that level of existence. It also has intertwined levels of perceived existence and separated (by states of nonexistence) levels of perceived existence. And more, but...anyway, leave it at that.
    This is a kind of brute force method that 'tries' everything; no mind required.
    ___I know that I am quoting this again, but, hmm, how shall I describe this or perhaps a simile.?. Nevermind. It requires too much time/typing to explain. A simplest connection I can think of is that, at that almost final level of perceived existence, it involves the concept of the immovable object requiring the concept of the unstoppable force (and visa-versa) to work and for each to be what each is. Actually, nevermind. I wanted to simply voice this proven aspect of our perceived existence, even if it probably makes no sense to anyone reading it. Just me being slightly maudlin.
    The world is the way it is, because we like it this way.
    Otherwise, we would change it.
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