Is God omniscient?

So here’s the thing; god drowned everyone on Earth for being a big ol’ bunch of sinners. He saved Noah and a few animals but laid waste to every other lifeform on the planet. What a complete and total dick. Regardless of the dickishness of this maneuver, there’s something that just doesn’t make sense to me about all this (and it’s more than “how the hell do people believe this rubbish?”). The following comes from Genesis (emphasis mine, not god’s).

And Yahweh said, “I will wipe man from the face of the earth, man, my own creation and also the animals of the field, and the creatures that crawl on the ground, and the birds of the air; for I regret having made them.”

Before I start ranting, what’s the deal with killing all the animals? I didn’t know animals could sin. What a dick.

Anyway …

God is supposed to be omniscient. God allegedly knows everything. If god knows everything, couldn’t he have foreseen that mankind would sin? How can an omniscient being regret taking an action? If he was going to regret it so much that he had to kill everybody, why create man in the first place? If god knew what mankind would do and created mankind anyway are the sins really man’s responsibility? If you create man, giving him free will but you know what he’s going to do with that free will is it really free will at all? The only exercise of true free will was the act of creation. Once god created man and had foreseen the future, man was placed on the path foreseen by god. Unless of course, god is fallible and not omniscient. Maybe god just doesn’t know everything?

The same question applies to the Adam and Eve myth. If god knows everything, then wouldn’t he have known that the sins in the Garden of Eden were destined to happen? Wouldn’t he have known, at the time of creation, that his creation was not perfect and was destined to sin? So why am I reading about regrets and mistakes?

Someone tried the argument that god is omniscient exclusively about the present state of affairs but not about the future. This can’t be true. If god wasn’t omniscient about the future then he couldn’t have predicted that Jesus would be sacrificed for our sins on the cross. If god couldn’t predict that, then Jesus just got randomly killed and his death wasn’t foretold by god.

So something doesn’t make sense. Either god knew, at the time man was created, that man would sin (heinously) in the future or he couldn’t have known that Jesus would be crucified to atone for our sins. Either he knows what man will do or he doesn’t.

Now, obviously, I don’t expect any sensible answers to this. I expect weird new caveats that I’ve never head before. The hoops people will jump through to try and maintain a coherent belief system are amazing.

I’m still trying to deal with the shock I felt when I realized that bible stories just don’t make any sense.

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One Response to “Is God omniscient?”

  1. Infidelity rears its ugly head « Cathartic Relief Says:

    […] posed a dilemma a little while back regarding god’s omniscience. I thought it was a fair question and it […]

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