Evaluate the claim that Omniscience is an incoherent concept (B+ Grade)

  • Created by: Saraaahh
  • Created on: 29-09-13 19:33

Evaluate the claim that Omniscience is an incoherent concept


In order to evaluate where omniscience is coherent, I am going to focus on Antony Kenny, Schleiermacher, Boethius and Aquinas.


An attribute of God is for him to be eternal, for God to be eternal he has to exist outside of time and space and can therefore view the whole of time in one go, God can see all of history's events simultaneously. For God there is no future or past for they co-exist! Boethius agreed with this and put forward the argument that God is transcendent. Nevertheless, because God sees the whole of history at one glance, he is unable to know the decisions we will make in the future, as he does not know of the future. This is due to his inability to indicate the future, past and present.

Furthermore, it can be said that our actions cannot be pre-determined and the choices we make are made freely without God, but at the same time, God is able to see what actions we choose. With regard to this, Aquinas supports this with the belief that just because God knows what we are going to do, does not necessarily mean that he is making us do it! In stating this Aquinas is proving omniscience to be a coherent concept of God.

Antony Kenny assumed it to be meaningful to talk about all events being ‘simultaneously present to God’ as Boethius stated – simultaneous meaning two or more events occurring at the same time. However, if all of history was to be simultaneous to God, Kenny believed, this meant all of history is happening at the same time: WW1, The great fire of Rome, Jesus’ crucifixion etc.


It can thus be said


No comments have yet been made

Similar Philosophy resources:

See all Philosophy resources »See all Attributes of God resources »