If the universe is fundamentally indeterministic, and by Bell’s theorem, some hidden variable theories cannot exist, does this also mean that an omniscient god cannot exist?

If one cannot predict where a certain photon will land for example despite knowing everything that there is to know about prior conditions, does this also mean that god cannot?

And if god can, then presumably He would be able to do this through some mechanism or through some special power. But if that power exists, wouldn’t this contradict indeterminacy?

  • Bell’s theorem does not rule out hidden variable theories, Bohmian mechanics is one and equivalent to standard QM. Only local non-contextual theories are ruled out, and God should hardly be so constrained. And if God's omniscience is interpreted as a timeless act of comprehension a la Boethius and Aquinas then determinism/indeterminism is altogether irrelevant since time stamps do not attach to God's knowledge, see SEP.
    – Conifold
    Aug 23 at 23:31
  • How does one have knowledge of something “timelessly”? One needs to show that one’s statement is meaningful or coherent before taking a position on anything. If one can’t, it an arguably be dismissed. Be right back, I’m about to have sex timelessly. Aug 24 at 0:38
  • @thinkingman luckily, in terms of the physics-flavored hypothesis of 4-dimensionalism, we can say that God's perception of our time is like the difference between 2D and 3D perception: since a 3D perceiver can see all sides of a 2D shape "at once," a 2D time perceiver can perceive whole lines of time "at once." Or then God, if outside a 4D-spacetime, can see all the time-slices "at once." For God, all quantum observations would have "already" happened, so there is no sense of a "before God measured..." but God is supposed to "have measured" everything. Aug 24 at 4:10
  • It is far from clear to me what it means to say that the universe is "indeterministic". I expect that this word is very difficult or impossible to define clearly. Aug 24 at 5:39
  • @KristianBerry The fact of the matter is that “time slices” aren’t the same as spatial dimensions. One needs to demonstrate how one could be able to see everything at once in time, not merely articulate or invent its possibility. Aug 24 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


TL/DR: it depends how one defines "omniscient".

The properties of the tri-omni God (omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent) have given rise to many paradoxes that have been addressed by theologians and apologists. OP's problem is akin to the famous "Can God create a rock so big He can't lift it ?" paradox about God's omnipotence. The classical response is to redefine "omnipotent" as "can do everything that is logically possible".

The same response can be applied to OP's "can God know the result of a single quantic experiment?" and has indeed been applied to similar questions like the problem of free will: "if we have free will how can God know what we are going to do ?". The answer would be "God knows everything that is logically possible to know", and if one insists that God must know things that are impossible to known then the objection formally makes no sense and is not receivable as an argument.

If we go this way, in the case of physics God might not know the result of a singular quantic experiment but can make predictions at the macro level, in the same way we do (except God knows the exact model to apply and the initial conditions with perfect precision). In the same way, God would be able to know our state of mind better than us but be unable to know our next decision because we have free will. If we consider that even I, mere human, can predict with very high certainty my kid is not going to answer "no" if i say "do you want to have cake?", God who knows everything there is to know about psychology and our state of mind at any time could still be able to make very accurate predictions of our behavior without violating free will.

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