The Argument from Experiential Knowledge

The Argument from Experiential Knowledge October 26, 2020

I love discussing all things OmniGod, that is the ramifications of a god that has omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenevolence. This God is the one of “classical theism”. I have written a book compiling my musings on the matter (the reasonably priced ebook The Problem with “God”: Classical Theism under the Spotlight [UK]).

One of the biggest issues with OmniGod is divine foreknowledge – the idea that, before creating, God has indubitable knowledge – knowledge of everything that will come to pass. The problems with divine foreknowledge are legion and I won’t go into the many issues here and now.

Non-God Objects and Creating

What I do want to talk about is a form of divine foreknowledge that I think invalidates the creation of anything. In my piece “The Problem of Non-God Objects”, I state the following.

P1: If the Christian God exists, then GodWorld is the unique best possible world.

P2: If Godworld is the unique best possible world, then the Christian God would maintain GodWorld.

P3: GodWorld is false because the Universe (or any non-God object) exists.

Conclusion: Therefore, the Christian God, as so defined, does not exist.

An omniscient being would be aware of the fact that himself existing alone for eternity as GodWorld is the unique best possible world that could ever exist, and because God is essentially morally perfect, he couldn’t have a motivating reason to intentionally alter the overall maximal purity and, therefore, the quality of the unique best possible world – because any alteration in overall purity by the introduction of a universe or any Non-God object, would, by necessity, be a degradation of overall purity and, therefore, overall quality. God wouldn’t introduce limited entities each with their own unimpressive set of degraded great-making properties like the creation myth of Genesis records. While Adam and Eve clearly do have great-making properties (knowledge, power), they have them to an unimpressive degree and so introducing such beings would result in a degradation of overall ontological purity and, therefore, a degradation of overall ontological quality. To suggest God is in the degrading business is to suggest he wasn’t maximally great in the first place.

Problem of Evil

So there is suffering in the world. Theists have to admit that this is necessary for some reason – it serves (through consequentialism, it appears) some function otherwise that suffering, whether stubbing a toe or 240,000 tsunami deaths, is gratuitous.

The issue here is explaining all of the suffering on Earth given God’s supposed omni-characteristics. Not only this, but in creating at all, God has some kind of need (as incoherent as this is with a perfect being who has no needs) or some kind of superfluity of love such that creation overflows out of this.

Experiential knowledge

Here’s the thing. If God really is perfect, the greatest being that can be conceived, then I think God would have experiential knowledge, which is to say God would have knowledge of all future events experientially without having to create those events. God should be able to feel and experience counterfactuals and future events.

Does this make sense? Is this a viable form of knowledge, even if only conceptually (since OmniGod can do anything conceivable, within logical bounds, right)?

If God can experience “creation” without creating, then it seems he is duty-bound not to create because then God is creating suffering – real and actual suffering – needlessly. God could imagine the world – and get any pleasure or experiential feedback that he might need or want from creating – without actually creating.

And if this argument holds, this is another argument to disprove the existence of OmniGod.

Like this? Grab my aforementioned book. Please…

 


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