There are many characteristics that human beings have attributed to God throughout history; some of which actually contradict his nature or what we believe to be is his nature, while others make believing in him way too hard to do. For example, the existence of evil is incompatible with the claims that God is an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful god because then one must wonder why would such a being allow evil to exist if he knew in advance that it would cause pain and suffering to untold billions of his own creations and do nothing to stop it? You can see where this is going.
These kinds of questions made me wonder about these so-called attributes of God and got me to reconsider them. When I examined the claims that God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and eternal more closely, I came to realize that some of these attributes are not even possible for God to have, or any god for that matter; especially the God of Deism which I believe is a god of logic and reason whose power is equal to his will. By the way, the phrase “power is equal to his will” should not be misconstrued to as, “He can do anything he wants,” because I am arguing that there are somethings that are actually impossible for him to do which would make him the opposite of what some claim him to be. However, regardless of what god you may or may not believe in, the claims that he is omnipotent and omniscient, I believe, are not logically possible at all.
If we take a closer look at the claim that God is omnipotent (all-powerful), we can see that it is logically not possible for it to be true. To be absolutely omnipotent God would have to be able to do anything, and if he was unable to do even one task, then he would not be considered omnipotent at all.
Enter The Paradox of the Stone which asks, “Could god create a stone large enough that he could not lift?” If he couldn’t create a stone that he could not lift, then he couldn’t be considered omnipotent because he could not complete that task. Likewise, if he could create the stone but couldn’t lift it, then that too would strip him of his omnipotence because he would not be able to do that specific task either.
Earlier I stated that I believe that God has a power equal to his will, but I believe that the Paradox of the Stone proves that omnipotence is impossible. However, God is not the god of impossibilities, but rather, the god of all possibilities. The fact that he cannot do impossible things doesn’t make him any less powerful because impotence is not measured by the inability to something impossible but rather by the inability to do something that is possible. In other words, God still remains the most potent being ever and the only reason why he cannot be omnipotent is because omnipotence itself is logically impossible. Again, God can do anything that is possible, but cannot do things that are impossible because that would defy his nature and our logical reality itself. So the argument here against God’s omnipotence is won by a technicality, but the only thing that truly matters is that he be the most powerful being in all existence which I believe he is and that is the closest thing to omnipotence that anyone can get to without violating the laws of logic.
Another claim about God is that he is omniscient (all-knowing), but this too I believe is impossible for a similar reason that omnipotence is. Because we are dealing with knowledge, which is acquired by direct experiences or observations of things in our reality which exists in a space-time continuum, we have to realize that the only “time” that truly exists is the present moment. The past and the future actually do not exist at all; the past has gone by and is only real in our minds, while the future has yet to come and only exists in the realm of imagination.
One could argue that God has the greatest memory in existence which would make him able to know all things that have occurred; that he is omnipresent (everywhere simultaneously) so he could observe everything that is occurring right now in a live-stream fashion, allowing him to know everything that is transpiring in the present moment in all places; but I think it would be impossible for him to know future because it is something that doesn’t exist. And since nonexistence in of itself is nothingness, and there is nothing to know about nothingness other than it is void of anything, it would be totally illogical to believe that God could ever know something that hasn’t happened because nothing can be known unless it is happening now or has already happened before.
Some argue that if we could know every position of each atom in the universe then we could predict anything. But I find this to be impossible with the Measurement Problem, which is when an atom is everywhere until it is observed. We would have to also know every single force at play in the universe in order to predict the movements of all atoms towards some point in the future.
Now for arguments sake let’s say we could know the positions of every atom in the universe and map out their movement, but even so, knowing all this would only be able to predict the movement of unconscious matter whose motion is directly controlled by physics. Since consciousness is immaterial and not physical, it would be impossible to predict the actions of living things that have the ability to make decisions; especially us human beings who have freewill. By adding freewill to the mix you have absolutely no way of knowing for sure what would happen and you could only make predictions based on probability which is never absolute. We humans can choose to act how we wish; even against our own interests and our own nature, and there seems to be no forces that influence our thinking i.e., gravity seems to have no effect our mental faculties nor does the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Thus, I argue, that if there is any degree of uncertainty in a system, then no one, not even God, could know all outcomes because it would be impossible.
I think we can safely assume that if God exists, then he too must have some sort of experience; thus, there must be things that God cannot experience because of his nature. For example, if God is eternal and indestructible, then he can never know what’s it like to be nonexistent or what it’s like to be destroyed. Furthermore, if God knew all things then that would mean that he would have finite knowledge that could not expand any further which would contradict his infinite nature. The only way God could have an infinite mind is if there was an infinite flow of possibility; new information from somewhere which could be accessible to an infinite mind that is unknown at this current time. This would mean that he would have to be ignorant of the future and have room left to receive new information in order to continue to expand his mind. The only new information that God could receive would be what is occurring and is observed in the present moment in real time. Moreover, he could not know all things unless he is observing a closed system that was finite in nature and is predictable that lacks freewill, has zero randomness, and adheres to strict physical laws which can help make predictions. The universe is not a closed system, nor is life, thus both fall into the category of being not fully knowable.
If God knew all laws, which he probably does, then he could predict certain outcomes of the events that would occur in non-living material systems, but I argue that he would still be unable to know all outcomes of any systems that include beings which have freewill; especially how those being would act even in an environment whose physical changes could be predicted. For example, Person A in a funhouse will not act exactly as Person B in the funhouse; even if the observer knew all the traps, tricks, and surprises that were designed to be have a specific effect on them.
To conclude this segment on omniscience, God may be able to know everything that is happening now and has happened in the past, but he cannot know the future because it does not exist and it involves the total sum of all decisions that would be made by beings with freewill. Because freewill is immaterial it cannot be observed or measured, therefore it can never be known until an action had already been taken. This ignorance does not make him any less of a supreme being because it’s not required for him to know what’s impossible to know just like it’s not required of him to be able to do things that are impossible to do. However, omniscience, just like omnipotence, is also an impossibility and thus cannot be an attribute of a logical god.
The claim that God is omnipresent could very well be possible if he is literally everything that exists or if he was able to observe everything that exists simultaneously as it all develops. Pandeism is a form Deism which believes that God sacrificed himself and ceased to exist as the ruler of reality by blowing himself up (his death was the Big Bang) and essentially becoming the universe. This idea satisfies the definition of omnipresent in the sense that God would be what everything consists of and found everywhere. However, in this context he would not be omnipresent in a conscious way so he would not be able to observe everything because he ceased to exist as whole entity when he destroyed himself.
The other possibility, that God is omnipresent in a conscious sense because he can observe everything happening right now, could only be logically accepted if he existed outside our reality and was able to literally see everything as if he were a giant camera collecting information from every possible angle. But then this raises many questions: Where is he seeing it all from? If he has a location how can be infinite? How is this information being collected and stored if he has an infinite mind? Along with a myriad of other mind-numbing questions one could think of.
But the one characteristic that I see no flaw with is the claim that God is eternal. In fact, I argue this must be the case if he is the Supreme Being and the creator of all reality. If our universe was created by the Big Bang, which evidence strongly suggests is the case, then it must have been created by something that is not bound to the Laws of Physics.
Now one could argue that that something was not God and was something else; this could be true, but then the question becomes: What caused that something to happen? You can keep asking this question ad infinitum (forever) but then you would realize that it would be impossible to have infinite causes because if you kept going back forever then nothing could have ever happened. Therefore, in order to end the infinite regressions of causes you must conclude that there had to be an uncaused, first cause which always existed before time and initiated all causes. Since space-time was created at the Big Bang, then it is only logical to conclude that whatever caused the Big Bang existed prior to space-time and is not bound to it. Thus, whatever created our universe must be eternal and supernatural in the sense that it exists above and beyond our natural, material universe.
My arguments that I presented here are based on my logic and reasoning, however, it may be possible that God does have all these traits that I believe are impossible, in some way shape or form which our minds could not comprehend. However, as I have stated previously, I believe that God is a logical being and could not violate his own nature. Thus, rejecting the beliefs that he is omnipotent or omniscient actually makes him easier to be believed in because it removes the contradicting claims about his nature which do cause people to reject the idea of God altogether and turn to atheism.