By Stephen T Davis
The booklet '... could be guaranteed of the eye of the numerous on either side of the Atlantic who're occupied with this subject.' John Hick
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Extra resources for Logic and the Nature of God
Roland Puccetti argues as follows: let X be an omniscient being, and let Y be the totality of facts (which X must know fully in order to be omniscient). e. Z, which is the truth of the statement 'There are no facts unknown to me'. But it turns out that X logically cannot know Z and thus cannot be omniscient. g. 'There are no elephants in this room'. But, says Puccetti, Z 'makes an existential claim which is completely uncircumscribed, spatially and temporally. Knowing Z, then, would be like knowing it is true no centaurs exist anywhere, at any time'.
But, he says, 'I am not acquainted with any way in which it may be shown that the object of knowledge in any of them is a state of affairs or a (true) proposi tion' 0. 7]. Second, Lachs argues that even if omniscience can be defined in terms of propositions, the notion of omniscience is incoherent, for no beings can ever know all the true propositions. Surely there are certain things that can only be known if they've been experienced. If you've never tasted watermelon (this is not Lachs's example), you cannot know what watermelon tastes like no matter how hard the rest of us try to tell you how it tastes.
Is this true? Well, in general how do we go about deciding whether two different sentences report the same fact or facts? I think everyone will agree that the two sentences (3) Jones is taller than Smith and (4) Smith is shorter than Jones report the same fact. Likewise, everyone will agree that the two sentences (5) Sontag seldom stutters and (6) Kucheman's smallest dog bites report different facts. But what about (1) and (2) - do they report the same fact, or not? e. e. e. the fact or facts it reports.
Logic and the Nature of God by Stephen T Davis