Omniscience And Pantheism

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Abstract

This article argues that theism entails a species of pantheism on the grounds that there is simply no discernible difference between the God's knowledge of the world and the world that God knows. The case against this thesis begins with the traditional theory of distinctions. But since God is necessarily omniscient there is not even the possibility that these might be considered apart and thus distinguished in that way. But neither is it possible to do this by means of Leibnitz's law, that is, by finding some feature possessed by the one but not the other. Three potential areas of difference are considered but rejected, first, that knowledge unlike the world is representational, and second, that knowledge unlike the world is phenomenal – there is something that it is like to have. Both of these features, though able to distinguish ordinary knowledge from its objects, cease to provide the difference we require when extended to the case of divine knowledge. A final area of potential difference lies in the transcendent nature of God over the world, especially with respect to time, finitude and possibility. But this, in the end, is found no more able to distinguish God's knowledge from its object than the previous two suggestions.

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