Includes omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience
See also at EislerandKirchner
Table of Contents
Attempt at a logically coherent description of the term "omniscience"
Under omniscience generally will that "Knowledge of everything" understood what in detail can actually only mean that a hypothetically assumed "Omniscient being" everything must be able to know what in the past what happened instantly happens and what future happen if it is that want. This of course also includes that one omniscient being everyone thoughts must be able to know in every single (human) being that it has ever thought (earlier, in the past), that it is thinking just now (in the present, at this moment) and possibly will think once in the future (in the future).
It is evident that in that omniscient beings a Can (Ability, ability) must be present in which this Detect realized become canprovided this wanted becomes .
The emphasis is on Canand Want: The omniscient beingsgot to recognize everything can, but it got to this Can by no means in every single case applybecause otherwise be Freedom of movement would be restricted to an unreasonable, long-term hardly bearable degree.
This is the only way to avoid insoluble conflicts (contradictions) with omnipotence, perfection, providence and human freedom of will etc.
An essential requirement for the omniscience is the possibility omnipresent to be able to be.
Boethius (480 – 524)
Divine knowledge has only one simple presence
But since every judgment only recognizes the things to which it is directed according to the own nature of the person who judges, and since God is eternal and omnipresent according to his nature, the divine knowledge also goes beyond all temporal movement and has only one , simple present. So it also includes that infinite spaces of the past and the future and in his simple knowledge looks at everything as if it were straight happen now. If you want to understand correctly this presentness in which God knows everything at the same time, then you must not understand it as a foreknowledge of future things, but only as a knowledge of the always present. Likewise one should accordingly also Not of a looking ahead, but only from one "Watch" to speak simply, that is powerfully exalted above all lower things, as if from a high vantage point overlooks the universe!
Can you still claim that what is seen by the eye of the Godhead must therefore necessarily happen, since people do not thereby make what they see necessary? Or do you believe that the thing that you recognize as present can be attributed to any necessity by your gaze? "
“Certainly not!” - “So if we compare the divine and the human presence with one another, insofar as such a comparison is at all permissible, then it must be said that, as you humans perceive certain certain things in your temporal presence, so God looks at the totality of all things in his eternal omnipresence. Hence the divine foresight, or rather looking, does not change the nature and the peculiarity of things, but rather simply sees them as present in front of it as they will happen in time as future. Infallibly and without any error in judgment he recognizes in a single spiritual apprehension both what is necessary and what will come about freely and arbitrarily. It is just like when you see a person strolling on earth and the sun rise in the sky at the same time: although you see both at the same time, you still make a difference and recognize one as a voluntary movement, the other as a necessary process.
Likewise, God, who sees everything at the same time, very well keeps the various things apart which appear to him to be present, but will only happen in the future from the standpoint of the passage of time. That is why God does not have a mere opinion or a premonition, but a knowledge based on the most perfect truth, since with the things whose existence he perceives, he also knows very well when he was necessary for them to arise.
If you then say after all that it is impossible that that whose future appearance God sees does not happen, but that that whose non-occurrence is impossible must necessarily happen, and if you give me the word necessity absolutely want to impose, I will reply something that is undeniably true, but that only a faithful explorer of the divine essence will understand. For I answer you that the same future event is necessary in view of the knowledge that God has of him, but by its own nature it happens completely freely and at ease.
There are two kinds of necessity, the simple one, for example in the sentence: "All human beings must necessarily die", and one conditional, according to which it is necessary, for example, that a person whom you are certain to be walking also really goes for a walk. Because what someone really knows cannot be otherwise than he knows, of course, but this condition still does not cause that other simple necessity.
The second kind of necessity does not lie in the inherent nature of the process in question; it is only brought about by the addition of a condition. Surely there is no compelling need to drive the voluntary walker to walk, although, of course, when he is strolling about he must necessarily walk. Likewise, what Providence sees as present must necessarily happen, even if in its own nature there is no need for it. But now those future things are also present to the divine spirit, which arise from full freedom of will. These are therefore necessary with regard to divine seeing, because being conditioned by the knowledge that God has of them is added; but viewed in and of themselves they retain the full freedom of their nature. It is therefore undoubted that all things that God recognizes as future actually happen, but some of them occur precisely on the basis of free will and do not lose their peculiar character with their realization, by virtue of which they also just as well before their occurrence could have remained undone.
But what is the point of not-being-necessary, even if unnecessary things by virtue of being conditioned by divine knowledge just as if they were necessary, had to happen? It is here as well as with the things mentioned briefly before, the walking of the human being and the rising of the sun. The moment these things happen, there is no way they could not happen, and one of them had to happen before it was realized, while the other did not. In the same way, the realization of things seen by God as present is above all doubt and yet some of them are objectively necessary, while the others, on the other hand, depend on the arbitrariness of people acting. We can therefore rightly say of these latter that they are necessary with regard to divine omniscience, but considered by themselves free from all compulsion of necessity, like objects that can be recognized by the senses, conceived from the standpoint of the understanding, certain general concepts embody, but viewed in themselves they are only individual things.
Now you will perhaps still say: if it is really in my power to change my resolutions at will, then I can shame Providence by simply arbitrarily giving others what it believes to be foreseen. To this I reply: It is true that you can change your resolutions, but since the omnipresent, unmistakable gaze of Providence also recognizes that you can do this and also whether you really do it and in which direction your change of will is turning , in spite of all this, you cannot escape divine foreknowledge, just as you cannot escape the gaze of a present eye, whatever actions you may undertake of your own free will.
What will you say to all of this now? Do you still believe that divine knowledge is changed by your determinations of will, in such a way that with the changes of your will the divine knowledge must also change every time? -
No, I see it, you don't believe it anymore! Rather, seeing, the deity, hurries ahead of all future happenings: and puts it into the one present that fully embraces its knowledge. It changes: not, as you think, because it has to know soon this, now that, but always unchanged, it anticipates all changes with a single glance and embraces them all at the same time and with one another!
God does not have this presence of grasping and seeing all things because of the one-day realization of the future, but only by virtue of his own simple nature. This also resolves the doubts you expressed earlier when you declared it unworthy to designate our future fate as the cause of divine omniscience. After all, this power of omniscience, which recognizes and embraces everything as present, has itself determined the way in which all things appear,
but is in no way dependent on future events.
Thus, the uninhibited freedom of his decisions is preserved for the mortal and there are no unreasonable laws that promise rewards and punishments for the will freed from any coercion. The deity also remains in full force and significance, who overlooks everything from above and knows everything in advance; there also remains the eternal omnipresence of the divine vision, to which our future actions and activities will always be present and by virtue of them always just Good rewards, but punishments for the wicked. The hopes directed to God and the prayers that ascend to him are not in vain, which cannot remain unfulfilled if they implore what is just and are sincerely meant! So resist vice, always practice virtue, lift up the soul in righteous hope and direct humble prayers to heaven!
If you do not want to deliberately close yourself off against it, you must recognize that there is indeed an imperative for you to turn to what is good, because you live and you act before the eyes of an all-seeing judge! "
[Boethius: The Consolations of Philosophy, p. 206 ff. Digital Library Volume 2: Philosophy, p. 8499 (cf. Boethius-Trost, p. 152 ff.)]
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz(1646 - 1716)
Omniscience includes everything that can be an object of knowledge
13. So much of the power of God; now we speak of his wisdom, which of its immeasurability the omniscience is called. Since this itself is the most perfect (just like omnipotence) it includes everything imagining and all truth, i.e. everything simple and connected, which can be an object of knowledge and it deals with both the possible and the real.
14. It concerns the possible, where it is called the knowledge of simple insight, and it includes both things and their connections; both are either necessary or accidental.
15. The accidental possible can be known, partly as separate, partly ordered into whole possible innumerable worlds, each of which is completely known to God, even if only one of them is converted into being. Because to assume several real worlds has no meaning, since the one includes the whole community of creatures in all times and places and the word world is used here in this sense.
16. The knowledge of the real, or of the world transformed into existence, and everything past, present and coming in it is called seeing knowledge and is no more different from the knowledge of the simple insight of this world, conceived as a possible one, than that In addition, there is a back-to-back knowledge, whereby God knows his decision to bring the world into existence. There is also no need for any other basis for divine foreknowledge.
17. The knowledge which is usually called the middle is contained under the knowledge of simple insight in the sense here given. If, however, someone wants to hold onto a middle knowledge between the knowledge of simple insight and the seeing knowledge, he can grasp the seeing and the middle knowledge differently than usually happens, namely that the middle knowledge not only of the future conditioned things, but also of general things the possible accidental is understood. Then the knowledge of simple insight is more narrowly defined, namely that it deals only with the possible and thereby necessary truths, and the middle knowledge with the possible and thereby accidental truths and the looking knowledge with the accidental and thereby real truths. The middle knowledge will then have in common with the first that it deals with the possible truths and with the last that it deals with the accidental truths.
[Leibniz: Die Theodicee, p. 795. Digital Library Volume 2: Philosophy, p. 18112 (cf. Leibniz-Theod., P. 505)]
Emanuel of Swedenborg (1688 - 1772)
God's omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence
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