If god is omniscient, then he can see into everyone's future, including his own. If god is omnipotent, then he could in theory end his own existence at any moment. Would his omniscience include knowing what would happen after he ceases to exist(after he loses his omniscience)?

If his omniscience doesn't include knowing what it's like to cease to exist, then wouldn't god be inclined to end his own existence (in order to attempt to explore the unknown)? I would think a god who has already achieved/learned everything - except for a complete lack of existence - would be inclined to explore this uncharted territory.

I also want to say that a nonexistent being who was once omnipotent cannot come back to life, because the fact that he is nonexistent is too great limiting factor(things that don't exist cant do much).

  • This question(s) is partly derived from the book "gods Debris"(pages 41-44) by Scott Adams

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mr. Kennedy, Nick R, Philip Klöcking Oct 23 at 9:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I made some edits which you may roll back or continue editing. Would you have the page numbers where this is located in Adams' book? – Frank Hubeny Oct 22 at 22:33
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    This is tagged as a paradox, but I don’t see how it is one. It’s perfectly plausible that god knows what happens after they die, and there’s no particular reason to assume that god isn’t omniscient post-death (in fact, in some religions gods become more powerful after they die). If god experience some kind of afterlife (not implausible, if humans do) then god would still be omniscient post death unless they were to experience amnesia (not typically something associated with death in religions with an afterlife). Can you elaborate and explain what the paradox is? – Stella Biderman Oct 23 at 0:00
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    "If god is omnipotent, then he could in theory end his own existence at any moment" is false. You are trying to use the naive unrestricted notion of omnipotence, which is incoherent. Since (traditional monotheist) god is logically incompatible with dying he can not end his existence for the same reason he can not create a round square. – Conifold Oct 23 at 0:38
  • Okay, I suppose instead of listing it as a paradox, I should have perhaps used "dilemma" instead. A dilemma is a situation in which your forced to choose between two options, both of which lead to unpleasant results. If god knows what its like to cease to exist, then he knows what its like to not be omniscient. In which case, he knows it is possible for him to know nothing(because he wouldn't exist). If god doesn't know what it is like to cease to exist, then he would, naturally, be inclined to end his existence in pursuit of further knowledge. – Tobias Ethercroft Oct 23 at 0:45
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    "I would think a god who has already achieved/learned everything - except for a complete lack of existence - would be inclined to explore this uncharted territory." You thinking that god would be inclined to explore this uncharted territory doesn't mandate god being inclined to explore this uncharted territory. – RonJohn Oct 23 at 3:05
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think that killing oneself is contrary to the goodness of God, so I don't mind saying that "God could not do that". Here's how William Lane Craig addresses this thought:

...omnipotence should not be defined in terms of ability to do certain tasks. This is the presupposition of your question. Rather omnipotence should be defined in terms of ability to actualize states of affairs. Under this conception, your question then becomes whether omnipotence entails the ability to actualize the state of affairs God’s doing an evil act.

Obviously, because of God’s essential goodness such a state of affairs is broadly logically impossible. Therefore, inability to bring about such a state of affairs is no infringement of omnipotence.

https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/omnipotence-and-the-ability-to-do-evil/

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    OP never said that his God was good. – IMil Oct 23 at 4:16
  • As I read it the question isn't "Would God kill themself" it is "Could they know, now, what would happen if they died" – Lio Elbammalf Oct 23 at 9:14

I'm... not only not seeing a problem here, but barely anything of interest.

If god is omniscient, then he can see into everyone's future, including his own.

Okay. That's consistent with a reasonable definition of "omniscient".

If god is omnipotent, then he could in theory end his own existence at any moment.

Okay. An omnipotent being can do any thing, and that's a thing, so, check.

Would his omniscience include knowing what would happen after he dies (after he loses his omniscience)?

  1. There's no reason "dies" means "loses omniscience". But, we can change the thing to "If god is omnipotent, then [he] could in theory end [his] omniscience".

  2. But anyway, that doesn't matter, because the answer is "yes", because otherwise you haven't got omniscience.

And if his omniscience doesn't include knowing what it's like to cease to exist, then wouldn't god be inclined to end his own existence (in order to attempt to explore the unknown)?

  1. No, because it does include knowing that, because it by definition includes knowing all things; and

  2. Why are you presupposing the inclination of a god? Why would a god have any inclination? Why would a god have that inclination?

  3. And also, even if so, so what? Again, omnipotent; this theoretically curious god could end its existence and then, being omnipotent, un-end it.

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    You've got a whole host of unstated assumptions, I think. What use does a god have for incarnation, let alone reincarnation? What do "past abilities" mean to an omnipotent being? Are you presuming a god tied to some linear notion of time? How would such a god be omnipotent? – mattdm Oct 23 at 1:07

There's many solutions to your dilemma, but I don't think there's any reason to pick one over another. I'll just post some to give you something to think about:

  • Omnipotence doesn't mean you can do literally anything; it means you can do anything that's logically consistent. So in this sense, no matter how potent, a god couldn't make 1 + 1 equal 3.
    • The universe might not be possible without the god, so removing the god would stop the universe from existing; this would mean there's no time after a god dies, so thinking about what happens after is silly.
    • The universe might be the god. This is a pretty common naturalistic view - not that there's some higher power that controls everything in the universe, but that all the things we see around us are what god is. Yes, controlling everything and seeing all the futures, but not really having any agency. The god is responsible for everything that happens (omnipotent in the sense of "all-mover"), but cannot choose what happens. It just does what it does.
    • The god can choose to "die", but there's no reason why his omniscience would end with his death (unless god is the universe). Indeed, there's no reason why a sufficiently omnipotent ( :) ) god couldn't stop existing for some time and then came back into existence later - so he could even observe himself not existing for a time, both seeing into the future and the past.
  • Omniscience has some physical sense that:
    • God can only see what his existence covers; the reason it's omniscient is because he's omnipresent, and any time that the god wouldn't exist would also be inaccessible to his omniscience. If it's possible for a god to stop existing for a time and come back later, it wouldn't directly know about anything that happened during that time.
    • God is something that exists outside of our own spacetime. It can pop in and out of existence in our universe at will, and observe any events at any time and place. To us, it will appear both omniscient and omnipotent, but only because it can either see or directly affect how time will play out to the future. If time is pre-existent, the god only needs to look - if it isn't immutable, god can keep retrying until he achieves whatever goals it has in mind. In this case, death would be no limit to its omniscience or omnipotence (e.g. it could have restored itself sometime in its subjective past at a time in "our" subjective time that's after it has died).
    • The universe is actually a multi-verse where all logically consistent things actually happen, with each "real universe" corresponding to all the logically consistent possible histories. God might simply be something that is always aware of the history of the world it is in; this allows it to see what's going to happen next, but not necessarily avoid it (individual "god realities" allow god to stop existing, but it always exists in some realities).

That's just a few quick examples (and I'm not claiming any of them are original - they're just obvious logical possibilities). If you want something more specific, you need to be more specific about the exact kind of god you're talking about - the possibilities are endless.

  • The value of you answer would be greatly enhanced if you could provide some references. For example which philosophers held any of the positions. - Welcome to Philosophy. – christo183 Oct 23 at 8:29

In my opinion, God being omnipotent, he CAN commit suicide, but the whole universe would return to the chaos at the same time. And by the way, God is a very improbable being. If he exists, that means that the universe buts be larger than the big bang and eternal, which make unavoidable that God will appear again. It's a bit like rebooting an old computer with no hard disk. You loose everything and start over.

Edit: The idea is that we have a good idea that life is due to the fact that our universe favors continued complexification. On one side, we have natural selection which will favor everything that takes the place without killing its own sustaining environment. We usually consider this for living organisms, but it is also true for atoms : if energy creates particles, those which stable will survive and those which are not wont.

Now, about God, it's true that it's reputed eternal, but mathematics shows with the concept of ordinal numbers, that you can conceive numbers separated by infinity - and so, two point in time separated by eternity (which may sound strange - and I believe it's one limitation of modern physics : it implicitly excludes that kind of idea). This means that you could conceive God being eternal, but having a beginning which is infinitely far in time.

The problem with god, is that it should be a very complex being, and that, it is impossible (on a probabilistic point of view) that it would be there for no reason. however, if you have an infinite time, it would appear by complexification , and then have been there for an eternity - and for this reason, if he "killed" himself, it would necessarily appear again for the same reaons, in an infinite time.

Now, for this to be true, it would need that the universe is older that big bang, but this is not really a problem, because we cannot know if the big-bang didn't happen inside a larger universe.

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    Would you have any reference to others who take a similar view. That would give the reader a place to go to get more information and it would strengthen your answer. Welcome to this SE! – Frank Hubeny Oct 23 at 4:14
  • Nope, As said, it is my own original opinion and I don't know if no others ever published anything similar, but I can give more explanation. – Camion Oct 23 at 21:49

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