Omniscience and Incoherence

  • Michael Martin
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 288)


There are two basic ways to justify disbelief in God. The first is by means of the argument from evil. One argues that evil is either inconsistent with the existence of a being who is all powerful, all knowing and all good or else that evil makes the existence of such a being unlikely. The second is to show that the concept of God is incoherent or in some other respect is conceptually impossible. For example, one argues that one attribute of God is inconsistent with another and, thus, that God cannot exist. Or one might maintain that some attribute that is essential to God is not one that God could possess. Consequently, God could not exist. It is this second way that I will explore in this paper. Elsewhere I have argued that there are at least three conceptual difficulties with the concept of God: one connected with God’s omniscience, another with His freedom, and still another with His omnipotence.1 Here I will only have time to consider some of those problems connected with omniscience.


Moral Ideal Religious Experience True Proposition Propositional Knowledge Mathematical Entity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Martin

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