RE: Goldilocks world

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 12:06:31 +1100

Jesse Mazer writes:

>>Can we talk about knowledge or intelligence in a similar way? A rock is
>>completely stupid and ignorant. A human has some knowledge and some
>>intelligence (the Goldilocks case). God is said to be omniscient:
>>infinitely knowlegeable, infinitely intelligent. Doesn't this mean that
>>God is the equivalent of the blackboard covered in chalk, or the rock?
>>Stathis Papaioannou
>Hmm...but isn't it relevant that an omniscient being is only supposed to
>know all *true* information, while the blackboard covered in chalk or
>Borges' library would contain all sentences, both true and false? It's like
>the difference between the set of all possible grammatical statements about
>arithmetic, and the set of all grammatical statements about arithmetic that
>are actually true (1+1=2 but not 1+1=3).

OK, so information = all information, true or false; but knowledge = only
the true information. In that case, we could say that intelligence in an
omniscient being is superfluous, since intelligence could be defined as that
ability which allows one to sort out the true propositions from the false
using certain rules.

On the other hand, this could be too narrow a view of knowledge and
intelligence, restricted to scientific and logical thinking. If we include
artistic creativity, the amount of "knowledge" increases, including abstract
art, abstract literature, every possible musical composition... the
blackboard and the library begin to fill again. It seems that God has to be
a hard-headed scientist who eschews all that artistic nonsense for his
omniscience to be meaningful.

Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Wed Nov 23 2005 - 20:14:45 PST

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