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Ltryptophan's avatar

How can God know what it is to be me without being me?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10277points) February 24th, 2010

Since I am limited in so many ways, and God by definition is limitless; how then can He know exactly what my existence is like. Would that not require being me at every moment of my life? If that is the case then at any moment is God limited to my existence like I am? If not, how can He be limited to knowing what it is to be me, and yet remain all powerful?

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35 Answers

Ltryptophan's avatar

As a Christian, this is hard for me to wrestle.

SeventhSense's avatar

Well, there’s inherent omniscience, total omniscience omnipresence and omnipotence.
He/she isn’t human nor anything conceptual that one’s mind could fathom.

BoBo1946's avatar

the number of your hairs on your head are known….He knows when a sparrow falls. Can provide Bible verses if needed.

phoenyx's avatar

In Christianity: Jesus came to earth and lived a human existence, including human emotion, human suffering, etc.

BoBo1946's avatar

@phoenyx ditto, ditto, and ditto!

Lightlyseared's avatar

This is one of those thought experiments designed to upset religious people by demonstrating God can’t be.

It’s flaw is in suggesting that in order to understand what it feels like to be a limited human that God would need to be limited. God is all knowing and has limitless powers, he can know what it is like to be you and to be everybody else at the same time.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@lightlyseared I agree, but I propose that only God exists. I don’t know, but I propose that we are fractions of Him, or autonomous regions of Him like taiwan. He is letting these regions do their own thing but he remains in total control, and they remain 100% dependent.

SeventhSense's avatar

We are God’s dreams.

susanc's avatar

God is innocent of this kind of sophistry. S/he can do anything if s/he feels like it.

Fyrius's avatar

Jesus never knew what it’s like to drive a car, use the internet, have children or get a divorce. If Jesus’ life is all god has by which to know what it’s like to be human, it’s a pretty poor frame of reference. Obviously that can only tell him what it was like to be Jesus.

It’s certainly an upside to atheism that you don’t have to bother with theology.

CMaz's avatar


He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

Ltryptophan's avatar

@Fyrius I agree, Jesus life is not the reference point for God’s view of mine. That said, He most certainly does have some sort of reference point that I struggle to comprehend.

SeventhSense's avatar

No since Jesus in Christianity is no less than the living God then Jesus has known all that was and all that will be in all ages and has the same attributes of omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence with Jehovah and the Holy Spirit.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@SeventhSense, right, but Jesus’ knowing that, and having Jesus’ life as the reference point for that information is not the same.

SeventhSense's avatar

I don’t know what you’re asking.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I am limited, and God is not at all. For Him to know what it is to be me, a limited individual, would He not have to be limited to my frame of reference? Maybe you could say it is like seeing your five year old, and knowing nearly all of what is evident to the child. For God of course this would be completely evident. Knowing me inside and out, and exactly how things occur to me is maybe exactly the same as being me? Does that help?

Blackberry's avatar

There is no god. Problem solved. :)

SeventhSense's avatar

No because you are God. As much as the cells are the body and have a memory of the whole in each and every one no matter their placement.
In Him we live and breathe and have our Being” ”

If ONE was all that was and all that could be and all that ever will be how could ONE experience the wonder of their magnificence? Only in creating an infinite divided expression could ONE be able to reflect back their glory. How can a person see their reflection without a mirror? Can an eye observe itself?
We are the mirror.

The bible is clear that the manifest purpose of the creation is to give glory to God. Jesus on his way to Jerusalem said even the rocks would cry out “Hosanna”.
So how could an undivided perfect omniscient and omnipresence accomplish this without forgetfulness? We are the forgetfulness and in “reawakening”, “enlightenment”, “spiritual rebirth” we experience the wonder of all we are which is perfect bliss. Of course this is no more an awakening than discovering our head is still firmly attached to our neck. Yet without the “amnesia” could never truly experience this aspect of wonder. How can one know perfect reunion without separation? How can there be separation for THAT WHICH IS ALL except for forgetfulness?

The relative nature of “this here” and “that there” are all things of this realm. The Yin/Yang, the male female, the love/hate, hot/cold, ad infinitum. Essentially there is no God there and us here. That is a collective illusion. There is only the One. It is like two fish who swim up to each other and one asks the other, “Pssst…where’s the water?” We operate from relative illusions in order to have experience. This would not be possible from our original indivisible state.
So we have forgotten and in remembering we experience once again our nature and this process infinitely expands and contracts as does the universe.

trailsillustrated's avatar

but you are god. we all are

stump's avatar

God is more than we can possibly understand, so I have to accept that I can’t possibly understand how God does what God does. Not understanding God should never be a stumbling block to faith.

Cruiser's avatar

According the Catholic religion I was raised by God is the supreme “being”, God is almighty, God is all encompassing and we are God’s creation. Limits included, how could he not know of you?!!

Pseudonym's avatar

I believe that God understands us, in a way I believe that God understands us more than we understand ourselves. As it says in Genesis (in the Torah ברשת), God created man in the image of God. Therefore, I believe that we have a part of God’s essence in all of us. That is what I believe to be the soul. A connection to an other-worldly level of existence. I believe that this is our channel to God and possibly God’s channel to us.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

God knows everything about you, because he created you, he knows your begging to your end.

CMaz's avatar

“God created man in the image of God”

That explains Colonel Sanders.

fathippo's avatar

Obviously lots of people think or and feel or whatever ‘God’ in lots of ways, but when I’ve read about near death experiences, people spoke a lot about going to or into some light thing, and they knew that it was them, and it was them, even though they were not God… kind of thing, I don’t understand exactly what that feels like =P So I guess then, you would ‘both’ have a complete understanding of eachother (?)

For me I feel like I’ve come from somewhere, and all of the ‘things’ back there are watching me, and might leave one day themselves, maybe we do this once or a whole ton of times (i don’t know). But it’s like, after Earth you go back and it is like where you really exist, kind of thing, as whatever we really are.

And then when you read about higher consciousness awakening and consciousness with quantum mechanics, it conflicts and agrees in weird ways i guess—- with these things, but I don’t know—=P.

I’m rambling about things I don’t understand =/

CMaz's avatar

“when I’ve read about near death experiences”
NDEs, are an attempt by the brain to create a mental overview of the situation and the surrounding world. The brain then transforms the input from sense organs and stored experience (knowledge) into a dream-like idea about oneself and the surrounding area.

Or to simply put it… Hallucinatory.

fathippo's avatar

@ChazMaz yeah, most things tell you it’s just from a massive load of dmt you get when you die… and even though some people, even blind people have given such accurate descriptions of what was going on around them, wasn’t there was some theory that consciousness is created in microtubeals (or something… (!) =/)? At a quantum level in your brain, and because at that level atoms would exist between dimensions, or strings would vibrate across more than 1 dimension, consciousness could exist in more than one place at once as well? Kind of like leaking from these microtubeal things… (?) But I probably got the wrong idea… I can only be interested in this stuff, not understand properly… =P

CMaz's avatar

“or strings would vibrate across more than 1 dimension”

Got to luv that Sci-Fi.

candide's avatar

Perhaps you have answered your own conundrum; if God is limitless, there are therefore an unlimited amount of things God can experience, what is more, the Creator is omniscient, so that, I think, would have to be taken into account as well as limitlessness, not the one by itself… try that

Jeruba's avatar

It seems to me that if we could explain how God does things, he wouldn’t be much of a god. I don’t believe in a supreme being, but if you do, don’t you have to think of it/him as something/someone that can do things you don’t understand? including knowing the meaning of limitations?

If he couldn’t do that, wouldn’t he be limited?

Shuttle128's avatar

@Ltryptophan has a very good point. To know everything about someone is equivalent to knowing about all physical elements of a person’s composition as well as experiencing everything the person experiences. Experience is something that can only be obtained through experience. In order for God to be omniscient he has to have already experienced everything that you have done or thought or ever will do or think.

If this is the case, why create anything at all if He has already experienced everything? Would it not be computationally equivalent for God to experience the universe or create an entire universe which unfolds in exactly the same way? I would have to say that there are two solutions to this problem.

1) God is the universe or is computationally equivalent to what we perceive as the universe

2) God does not exist

Both solutions posit the exact same actions to the universe; however, one makes an assumption that a god exists. This assumption brings up many questions about this god’s nature and necessity.

ChaosCross's avatar

It is a rather hard to grasp at first, but God created us with limited minds, and as such, our thoughts to him are like those of a child. Though he has not personally experienced the exact state you are in, he made you so he knows how your mind works and thus, understands us better than we do.

SeventhSense's avatar

He/she is you. You is he/she. You ask, forgetting that you already know.

mattbrowne's avatar

He got a whole universe to run. Gotta be patient till it’s your turn.

BoBo1946's avatar

@mattbrowne lmao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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