My question is based on what I know from this link where the question is

Are omniscience and omnipotence mutually inconsistent?

And in the link there is The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, where in short :

If God is omniscient then He is not omnipotent.

To be honest I agree with Richard's conclusion above IF I use the understanding of omniscience and omnipotent like this :

  • A. Omniscience = know all things happen absolutely
  • B. Omnipotent = a power to do anything if desired

Since (to me) if the understanding is like A and B then A and B cannot go side by side ....so, how to understand Omniscience and Omnipotent (which is not like A and B) in order Omniscience and Omnipotent can go side by side ?

Thank you.

  • You are assuming that omnipotence = "changing the story". But that's a fallacy.
    – Bread
    Nov 17, 2019 at 2:25
  • Infinity + Eternity = Being
    – Bread
    Nov 17, 2019 at 2:30
  • @Conifold, thank you for the link. It's almost similar question of mine. Where in my own conclusion, the answer of the question from the link is : "yes, omniscience and omnipotence mutually inconsistent IF (point A and B in my question)"
    – karma
    Nov 17, 2019 at 5:15
  • Your A and B are too vague to say anything definitive. But they are compatible when stated less naively.
    – Conifold
    Nov 17, 2019 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


It depends on how you understand 'omniscience' and 'omnipotence':

'God is omniscient.' I shall take this to mean that God knows everything which logically can be known.

'God is omnipotent.' I shall take this to mean that God can produce, alter, or destroy everything that is logically capable of being produced, altered, or destroyed. This amounts to saying that God can create any world that is logically capable of being created. (R. W. K. Paterson, 'Evil, Omniscience and Omnipotence', Religious Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Mar., 1979), pp. 1-23: 2.)

There is plainly no prima facie incompatibility between omniscience and omnipotence if this is what we take the concepts to mean. How might incompatibility arise ? If God knows that X will happen at time t1 by virtue of Godself's omniscience, then God has no power to prevent X from happening at t1 despite Godself's omnipotence. That generates a conflict between omniscience and omnipotence.

But there is a way round this. Omnipotence is limited to the logically possible. If God knows that X will happen at t1, then in the following sense it is logically impossible for X not to happen: it is logically impossible for God to know what is false but if by virtue of Godself's omnipotence, X could be prevented from happening at t1, God's knowledge that X will happen at t1 would be false: and false knowledge is logically impossible.

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