If an entity with knowledge and power that approached infinite existed, what would they live for? What purpose could they satisfy to exist?

If such an entity existed, would the universe not bore them? I would imagine even the things we consider wonderful to be of no interest to them, for they would know absolutely everything about everything.

I imagine the thinking capabilities of such an entity would allow them to simulate constant realities and universes leaving no room for discovery or surprise. Almost instantaneously they would know the outcomes of all universes and all things. They essentially would live outside of time and the magic of life would approach insignificance in contrast to their immense knowledge and power.

I always made the assumption that if you gave a person god like powers, their willingness to live would approach zero as their capabilities approached infinite. I make this assumption because I can't imagine any possibly reason to live when you have already lived all possible lives in an instant.

I know discussion is prohibited on this site, so my question really is about furthering my knowledge in this area. Has any other philosopher/person dealt with this issue so I can further my reading?

(At the moment I cannot find any material that relates to this exact scenario, most Gods in literature are unrealistic and somehow have human tendencies whilst remaining all powerful and all knowing.)

  • There is an extensive literature on the nature of God. I'd be interested if the argument you make is proposed there - I expect not simply because its reads to me as though you're envisaging God as having a human psychology. – Mozibur Ullah Jun 12 '13 at 10:36
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    Do God-unlike beings, do we, have any purpose? Does anything? – commando Jun 12 '13 at 18:10
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    @MoziburUllah, do not most Gods in literature take on human personalities? I would think that if a all powerful being was interested in humanity, that itself is a human like feature isn't it? I think a being of absolute power would end up having no interest in humanity or even the universe. – Joseph Jun 13 '13 at 1:38
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    @commando - Our purpose is to find out our purpose. That keeps us very occupied. An all-powerful God by definition already knows its purpose and can (also by definition) quite easily fulfill it. Therefore, God is very bored. ;) – stoicfury Jun 13 '13 at 4:38
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    Perhaps boredom / apathy is the goal of all life :P – stoicfury Jun 14 '13 at 1:10

I don't know why this did not immediately come to mind, but Isaac Asimov's The Last Answer deals with precisely what you are talking about. It's a short story that you should be able to read in five minutes, but I will summarize it in brief:

A physicist dies of a heart attack, and finds that his consciousness has survived this event. He is then visited by the voice of some Entity which is apparently eternal and omnipotent. The physicist has been chosen out of a select few sentient beings by the Entity to think for all eternity. The point of this is that though the Entity can know everything, it chooses to surprise itself by keeping certain knowledge from itself and creating this "research team," the members of which, once every eon, discover some novel piece of knowledge and thus give pleasure to the Entity.

Here we have a God-like being that makes a purpose for itself which specifically concerns the human race. This being, though not "blissful", is certainly not too bored.

  • Interesting, would a solution for a God then be to limit its own knowledge so that it can experience life? – Joseph Jun 13 '13 at 4:12
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    @Joseph Asimov seems to think so. – commando Jun 13 '13 at 14:30

Yes, to abide with the Tree of Life, perpetually pulling all towards the center. Having established a loyal set of followers, it can sit back and rest in the Eternal.

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