God’s Cognitive Abilities
Posted by Jerry on August 28, 2007
Assume that God exists. Assume that God is omniscient, i.e., he knows all things at all times.
Then, God would not be able to have any kind of language that bears any resemblance to any currently known or imagined language in the universe.
Concepts are used by a consciousness to think, create abstractions, convey ideas, and facilitate communication. Concepts are abtractions that refer to a wide range of concretes. The particular purpose of creating concepts is to provide non-omniscient minds with unit-economy.
An omniscient mind does not need to unit-economize, since at any given moment, it can actually hold all the possible particular concretes of information in existence simultaneously. Therefore, an omniscient mind would not need to think in conceptual terms, which are the basis of cognition and language. In other words, an omniscient being would not have any kind of language at all, since a language requires the use of concepts.
For example, God would not be able to speak of a “table,” since the concept “table” refers not to a particular concrete table but to a wide range of entities whose differences in measurement have been omitted and similarities have been distilled upon a conceptual common denominator, i.e., concept “table” = a flat surface with supports. Since God can hold any infinite number of concretes at the same time, he does not need to use the concept “table.”
Moreover, since language is a tool of cognition, God would not be able to even imagine the concept “table”; appropriate to his kind of consciousness, God would always imagine the exact, particular, specific, concrete table that he needs to refer to (albeit quite easily for him), not to the general conceptual category of “tables.”
Basically, since God is not a conceptual being, he cannot think conceptually nor speak conceptually, but can only function on the level of particulars, concretes, specifics. In other words, God’s consciousness functions at the intellectual level equivalent to that of an infant who is just newly discovering the world around it.
(P.S. Yes, one could argue that conceptual abilities can be subsumed under an omniscient consciousness, but only to the extent that it will be rendered useless and superfluous.)
Update: The most simple proof against the existence of god is this: Because we exist, because existence exists, God cannot possibly exist.