If I were God, I'd know the entire history of the universe forever, future as well as past, I'd also know in advance every one of my own acts.

Oh, but wait, there's a dilemma there, isn't there?

Either God is bound by his future acts and has no free will, or he isn't omniscient at all because he doesn't know the future.

I call this The Problem of Omniscience.

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God must be bored to death with nothing to do, since when he created the universe it was perfect (because, well, he's God!), so everything has been anticipated and handled, presumably, due to his omniscience. That would point toward a form of deism, you'd think.

Maybe we are god's TV channel, the soap opera of entertainment that helps alleviate the eternal tedium of omnipresence.

A broken 24-hour based clock is indeed correct once a day.

Whereas if it's just a tiny bit slow, losing a minute a day, it's right only once in 1440 days.

Yeah, but if you're a Christian, all seeming contradictions are resolved in God. 

I've noticed that some of the most profound concepts of the divine in all major religions according to some of the greatest philosophers, theologians, and even physicists has always been defined as a philosophical Absolute. I'll try and briefly define this...

A philosophical Absolute, to be succinct, is a kind of transcendental reality or source that is all-encompassing, that contains all possibilities which make our everyday conditional reality possible. So, this view of the divine does not see God as an entity of any sort, God is therefore not a ball, or a cube, or a body, but instead as Alan Watts would say, "God as the ultimate ultimate, then which there is no whicher, outside which there is nothing, which has no edges."

So, how would omniscience come into play here? Alan Watts spoke about how omniscience is viewed in eastern philosophy where it's not seen as a characteristic of a supernatural deity. He makes the point that we will sometimes humor a person who's under the delusion that they're God by asking them technical questions. This is because in our popular image of God, God is the supreme technocrat. He knows all the answers, and he understands everything in detail, and could tell you all about it. Hindus do not think of God that way. There is no fundamental division between the universe and God in the eastern philosophical point-of-view, but I would not equate this to pantheism, but rather panentheism, and I'll explain why.

Do you have to understand in words how you breathe? Do you have to understand in words how to grow your bones? How to close your hand? That is why you often see Hindu Gods such as Shiva with ten arms or the Buddhist depiction Avalokiteśvara with one thousand arms. And that is because their image of the divine is a sort of centipede. A centipede can move a hundred legs without having to think about it. So, Shiva can move ten arms very dexterously without having to think about it. And you know what happened to the centipede when it stopped to think how to move a hundred legs? It got all balled up.

So, in this way, the Hindus do not think of God as a technician in having a verbal or mathematical understanding of how the world was created. It's done in a simpler way, just like that. Only if we had to describe this simple way in words, it would be very complicated, but God in their idea doesn't need to do so. However, the remarkable difference is as I've pointed out is that there is no fundamental division between God and the universe, and this is depicted in the images of Gods which, as Carl Jung has pointed out, are expressions of archetypes rather than a polytheism. Aldous Huxley beautifully describes the archetypes depicted within the image of the Shiva which I'll link below.

Aldous Huxley - The Dancing Shiva

I've mentioned this before somewhere on the forum, but I've never been able to articulate it quite as well as I'd like to, but I've been getting a little better. I want to start by using a metaphor to attempt to explain why physicists often compare eastern philosophy to modern physics and how this relates to "omniscience." If you can imagine a three-dimensional cone, and then you make a horizontal conic section through the cone, what you'll end up with is a two-dimensional circle. Now, take this example, but go one spatial dimension higher. Our reality then could be seen as a three-dimensional slice through hyperspace. Neil deGrass Tyson has used a similar metaphor, but his is better, because he has a visual aid, so I want to post that.

Neil deGrass Tyson

So, as in the Hindu view, the universe is the divine play, the dance of Shiva. This three-dimensional slice of the moving image of eternity is a cross-sectioning of the Absolute so that the Absolute is being interpenetrated by the relative ongoingly. The Absolute in Hinduism is referred to as "Brahman," which is the transcendental source that casts Maya, the illusion, the universe or the lower dimensional slice, if you will. Recall that the Big Bang was a Bang that occurred in hyperspace.

This is precisely why physicists compare eastern philosophy to modern physics, because Brahman is an example of a philosophical Absolute, and it's quite akin to what "11-dimensional hyperspace" is in M-theory. You see, the 11-dimensional hyperspace is the all-encompassing source, the source of all possibilities that can happen in the manifested universe or any manifested universe, if you consider the multiverse. To quote Kaku, "So, the subatomic particles we see in nature are nothing but musical notes on a tiny vibrating string. What is physics? Physics is nothing but the laws of harmony that you could write on vibrating strings. What is chemistry? Chemistry is nothing but the melodies that you can play on interacting vibrating strings. What is the universe? The universe is a symphony of vibrating strings. And then what is the mind of God that Albert Einstein eloquently wrote about for the last thirty years of his life? We now for the first time in history have a candidate for the mind of God. It is cosmic music resonating through 11-dimensional hyperspace."

Einstein also adopted this view of the God of Spinoza, as Michio Kaku puts it, the God of order, simplicity, elegance, beauty and harmony. Of course, everyone knows here that Einstein was a hard determinist. It is like a computer program that plays out itself, it already "knows," and not in an intellectual sense of knowing that humans are used to. Anyway, I could go on about this stuff, but this post has run long enough, and in fear of it being too long that people won't read it, I'll end with a quote from Neil deGrass Tyson.

"I'm left wondering, and I'm not alone in this state of mind, whether so much of what we see as quantum mechanics that defies our common sense that is just crazy, loopy, weird is actually some sensible thing going on in a higher dimension that happens to be passing through our lower dimensionality. I stay awake at nights wondering that." -Neil deGrass Tyson

The paradox only exists in a clockwork universe. If a omnipotent being incorporates any element of randomness into its realm* then, through causality and chaos theory, the being is immediately not omniscient of the future. Even if the being is omniscient at a single point in time (ie completely knows the state of the universe), any introduction of randomness renders the future indeterminate. In other words it's possible to be both omniscient and yet not to know the future.

* being omnipotent introducing randomness would not be a problem. If the being is not omnipotent, then events must happen outside the control of the being, but these then would be indistinguishable from randomness.

Saul, the phenomena described by chaos theory involve no randomness. They take place IN the gross (above the quanta level) world in obedience to the deterministic laws of physics. 

Randomness—or rather "unexpectedness" (a neologism I just now coined)—can happen when subatomic events bleed into the gross level and momentarily interrupt and divert the chains of deterministic events. However, the way Newtonian/Einsteinian physics responds to such events is completely deterministic.

Having a mathematician's view of chaos theory, the problem is in the mathematical description in that infinitesimally small variations in starting parameters completely change the output values of the function. So if I introduce the tiniest piece of randomness, it has the potential to completely rewrite the outputs of a deterministic function that has a chaotic output - chaos acts as an amplifier.

Randomness in quantum mechanics aggregates mostly in ways that are deterministic due to laws of large numbers, but that doesn't make it deterministic. That means the forward history of a particle becomes unknowable. For instance you can no longer predict which particle will trigger the cascade that sets off a nuclear corona on the sun and so what timing is involved. For our omniscient being an such element of randomness (and lets stick to scientific/mathematical views) means their view of the future is incomplete and so the future becomes steadily more unpredictable even at the gross or aggregate level.

You're not telling me anything I don't know. Chaos is completely compatible with determinism due to the simple fact that it is the product of the deterministic physics that rules all on the gross level. No physical laws are broken. What happens is simply counterintuitive. That's all.

Randomness in quantum mechanics aggregates mostly in ways that are deterministic due to laws of large numbers, but that doesn't make it deterministic. That means the forward history of a particle becomes unknowable. For instance you can no longer predict which particle will trigger the cascade that sets off a nuclear corona on the sun and so what timing is involved. For our omniscient being an such element of randomness (and lets stick to scientific/mathematical views) means their view of the future is incomplete and so the future becomes steadily more unpredictable even at the gross or aggregate level.

You forget that we are talking about an omniscient deity. He already knows the future. All of it and everything about it. The unpredictability you have described only applies to mortals.

You've slightly changed the scenario. If you make the being fully cognisant of past, present and future then almost by definition the being cannot do anything because if the future is fully known, nothing can be done to change it. Space-time becomes 'static' like a postcard - a clockwork universe ticking towards oblivion with no role for God (and therefore quite boring for this type of omniscience).

However, a being can be entirely omniscient about now and the past yet, as I've explained, with the presence of randomness not know the future. Chaos, though fully determined, is so sensitive to input parameters, that even the tiniest amount of randomness has the potential to make the future unpredictable. The merest sprinkle of randomness destroys determinism and would be easily introduced by an omnipotent being, for its amusement if nothing else.

I haven't changed the scenario. If you actually read the original post, then I guess you've forgotten the first paragraph:

"If I were God, I'd know the entire history of the universe forever, future as well as past, I'd also know in advance every one of my own acts."

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