Omniscience (from Middle Latin omniscientia ) denotes the property or ability to actually know all facts that can be known at all. It is a traditional quality of God that has occasionally been ascribed to other perfect beings.
Omniscience and omnipotence
Omniscience is often held to be a logical consequence of omnipotence . Writes Gerhard Streminger : "The property of the omniscience of the Almighty should be included in the term, because a being which lacks knowledge, also lack power. If, on the other hand, a being is omnipotent, it is also omniscient. "
On the other hand, there is the view that the omniscience and omnipotence of a god are mutually exclusive - at least if omniscience is understood as including complete knowledge of the future. Richard Dawkins argues that “it has not escaped the attention of logicians that omniscience and omnipotence are incompatible. If God is omniscient, he must already know how he will intervene with his omnipotence and change the course of history. But that means that he can no longer change his mind about the intervention, and therefore he is not omnipotent. "
What speaks against this view of omnipotence, however, is that it is illogical to demand everything from an omnipotent being and at the same time its opposite. If God, as a supernatural being, in his perfect knowledge of the whole of creation and himself, decides to take an action, he does not have to "rethink" it. That would be a lack of knowledge and power over oneself, which in its perfection does not belong to it. Nor could one argue that God is not omnipotent because he cannot miscalculate.
- ON THE GOODNESS OF GOD AND THE SUFFERINGS OF THE WORLD. AN OVERVIEW OF THE THEODICE PROBLEM . In: Enlightenment and Criticism. 1/2003, p. 11 ff.
- Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion. Ullstein, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-548-37232-7 , p. 109.