Jesse Mazer writes:

Can we talk about knowledge or intelligence in a similar way? A rock is completely stupid and ignorant. A human has some knowledge and some intelligence (the Goldilocks case). God is said to be omniscient: infinitely knowlegeable, infinitely intelligent. Doesn't this mean that God is the equivalent of the blackboard covered in chalk, or the rock?

Stathis Papaioannou

Hmm...but isn't it relevant that an omniscient being is only supposed to know all *true* information, while the blackboard covered in chalk or Borges' library would contain all sentences, both true and false? It's like the difference between the set of all possible grammatical statements about arithmetic, and the set of all grammatical statements about arithmetic that are actually true (1+1=2 but not 1+1=3).


OK, so information = all information, true or false; but knowledge = only the true information. In that case, we could say that intelligence in an omniscient being is superfluous, since intelligence could be defined as that ability which allows one to sort out the true propositions from the false using certain rules.

On the other hand, this could be too narrow a view of knowledge and intelligence, restricted to scientific and logical thinking. If we include artistic creativity, the amount of "knowledge" increases, including abstract art, abstract literature, every possible musical composition... the blackboard and the library begin to fill again. It seems that God has to be a hard-headed scientist who eschews all that artistic nonsense for his omniscience to be meaningful.

Stathis Papaioannou

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