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An omniscient God and consciousness

  1. Jul 21, 2007 #1
    When humans think about things, can they think about more than one thing at once? At the exact same moment?
    Can a human even think that an apple is round AND green at the exact same time? Or does the sensation of green and round happen so tightly together in time that the connection is made very strongly?

    Has there been any scientific study of this?

    Because in my mind this brings some implications to Omnipotence/science.
    The way I see it, we can apply this to everything.
    When I look with my eyes, I notice I'm really only focusing on one thing at a time as well, I notice I can't really notice every object on this website at the same time, but rather I see for instance a smiley, then I see the white square I'm typing text in, remember those in short memory, then I see the text and so forth, but most importantly I notice that I sort of am not aware of the text, while being aware of the smiley.
    I cannot hold them both in my head consistently at the same time.

    You might call me crazy, or you might agree with me, but if I sit down and watch the blue smiley underneath this white text area, I can feel/consciously think about the sequence my brain goes though to process the shapes and colors and symbolism of the smiley, but never at the same time it seems.

    So in regards to a creator/god, what would be the necessities in place for his consciousness to be able to process everything at once?

    This is very difficult for me to express I feel, because thoughts of determinism, infinity, and infinite digress enters my mind, so I will just put up this thread and see what people say and maybe I'll get a coherent picture of what I'm trying to convey.

    Have fun

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2007 #2

    I'm not sure.. but it's a good question... I immediately began to think of chewing gum and rubbing my head at the same time !:) Perhaps we may not assertively and consciously place our thoughts on both.... but we subconsciously are aware?

    ummm..... our minds are controlling internal bodily systems, isn't that right? While we go about our day consciously mentally engaged.... they are both occurring simultaneously... There is not a linear or prerequisite thought that must occur....

    Does that make sense?

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2007
  4. Jul 22, 2007 #3
    I believe everything happens concurrently, not linearly. I observe things happening concurrently around me so I see no reason to believe it is any different inside my brain. Our brains consist of living cells that all continue to function in parallel, not just one neuron at a time. Watch a concert: you simultaneously perceive the facial expression as well as the voice of the singer, so you must be analyzing both at the same time. It is only when comes time to put your memories and reasonings into words (either spoken or written) that you are forced into linearity. Spoken and written forms of communication are linear processes by nature, so these probably give the illusion that thought is also a linear process. I don't believe it is. As evidence, we do gesticulate or make faces while we speak; we convey multiple messages simultaneously because our brain works that way and tries to maximize output.

    I can't comment on God by lack of evidence that there is such a thing. But as far as processing everything at once, it's seems that the universe is already doing that. Again, everything seems to happen concurrently, not linearly.
  5. Jul 25, 2007 #4
    Well, I can say something about this, but it is up to you to believe in my authority to speak about this theme, because most things about God is matter of faith.

    I know that God is conscious of everything. I could have said "I believe", but if you experiment a little with Him, you could confirm that it is so. Don´t go trying to "use" Him, just ask Him, because He is a person and He is so nice...

    Well, His omniscience is like this:
    We can perceive somethings, I don´t know if linearly (sequencially) or all toghether (paralel). I think mainly sequencially. It is a very difficult matter.
    The point is, God can perceive what we perceive, not only you, or me, but we ALL. AND He can do it in paralel. This means He can perceive what we all perceive, all at the same time.

    As you see, we could never reach His state of conscience, because we are forever parts and parcels of Him, not Himself.

    I hope this helps to elevate your conscience.

    If you like my way of thinking, you can visit my blog: deleted

    I´m not posting religion there, but more "philosophical" matters.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2007
  6. Jul 31, 2007 #5


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    According to my electronics proph, there have been studies done that disprove or at least discredit the idea of humans "multitasking". The study shows that people who believe themselves to be excellent at multitasking are just as effected by distraction as everyone else. The conclusion reached by the researchers was that humans multiplex, devoting parts of their mind to one process at a time, then switching to the next process, and so on.
    There has yet to be found one human on Earth who can perform two cognative functions truly "at the same time".
    I would say that this is not correct, strictly speeking. Our autonomic nervous system performs those functions (and even they multiplex).
    Regarding what this has to do with God; probably nothing at all. I mean, if He exists all, then He can't be reduced to a mere extension of our own properties, but something wholely "other".
  7. Aug 1, 2007 #6
    I think there might be some flaws in the examples, but I'll try to give my best crack at it.

    In the example of the thought of an apple being round and green at the same time, we don't really think of them being independent of each other, nor do the thoughts occur right after the other (giving the illusion of simultaneous experience.) Images and pictures are associated with words, but we don't recall an image one feature at a time. When you tell me of a green apple, I immediately think of a green apple. It is somewhat round, a little shiny, green and slightly spotted, and I can even almost taste it. A verbal or written description has to be given in a particular order or sequence, but the actual thought of an apple is a whole.

    Your other example is a little more tricky. When we look at words, smilies on forums, or anything else in the world, all of our focus and attention is on that one thing. Everything else is "blurry" or lacks the fine detail of immediate and direct observation. I believe this is a byproduct, if not an immediate consequence, of evolution. When we are walking, running, hunting/gathering, or doing anything else that involves vision, it would certainly be helpful to focus on something. Our peripheral vision helps give us a sense of what is around us so that we have some balance and so we don't run into things, but it wouldn't make sense to shift our eyes to the left and keep them there while walking forward. Our peripheral vision isn't accurate enough to keep us from tripping over curbs, stairs, or anything else that might be in our way.

    In terms of a deity, if he/she/it exists, it would be difficult if not impossible to imagine one being able to "see" everything with any acuity. It wouldn't be an issue of consciousness, but all the physical or non-physical (if such a thing even exists) faculties of a higher power that would allow it to be omniscient. Anything outside of the physical or observable universe would be pure speculation.

    Those are my thoughts.
  8. Aug 1, 2007 #7


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    This is an especially interesting observation. It points out that an image is actually a large number of features, not a single event, which sheds a new light on this statement:
    How do we define "thing"? The visual appearence of an apple can be broken down into an arbitrary number of arbitrarily small polygons. If one has to look at each polygon seperately, it would take an infinite amount of time to look at the apple.
    But then again, this being a discussion of the mind, I suppose the way the mind devides things up (like considering an apple to be a single "thing", rather than a multitude of things) is a valid consideration.
  9. Aug 1, 2007 #8
    When we remember images, we aren't aware that we remember it as a whole. However, when we are actually looking, we can only focus on one thing at a time. This has more to do with the design and capability of the eyes, whereas the recollection of the image is part of the mind and memory.
  10. Aug 6, 2007 #9


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    I recall a study that indicated humans are capable of holding 5 to 7 concepts at once. If accurate then grren and round is only two.
    Unfortunately, I don't remember the reference data.
  11. Aug 7, 2007 #10
    any form of conscious intelligence with a direct interface with a powerful enough universal computer is 'omniscient'

    consciousness is essentially an information processing scheme in which new information received by sensory systems is constantly being compared in real-time to several forms of stored information to analyze/identify/classify it-

    if the stored sets of information is provided by a powerful computer it could compute the total Hilbert space of the universe- or even the total phase space of computable/formal/mathematical structures- then any intelligent system connected with that information would be able to calculate any possible physical state or causal structure with total precision-

    such an intelligence would also be 'omnipotent' as some of the states in the Hilbert space include those in which the intelligence 'uploads' itself into a new causal history of the observed reality in which whatever it desires is physically manifest: a search for a state which matches the desired state and then entering into that state virtually- since the store contains the entire Hilbert space then it also contains all possible histories so entering a 'virtual' reality is equivalent to 'actual' reality and both terms are rendered meaningless-

    for us the computational power necessary to achieve godhood would be any form of hypercomputer that can process the amount of information of local space up to the Beckenstein Bound and interface the gross output with the 10^15 or so bits of our neural connections in real-time- the computational power as well as the nanotechnology for a per-synapse interface should be available within a few decades- so you have a good chance of soon experiencing omniscience/omnipotence for yourself
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2007
  12. Aug 8, 2007 #11
    Dear setAI. Your post is very interesting.
    ABout the last paragraph, I think our consciousness can evolve, but never be equal to "God" (omniscient) because of this:
    I think "God" as the sum of all of our minds (and other functions), including all living entities (animals, etc.). It is true that, if you evolve, then "God" evolves, but He is forever more extensive than you.
  13. Aug 8, 2007 #12

    well- this is a case of 'becoming is returning'- consider that my scheme for 'upgrading into godhood' is a process where the mind is directly interconnected with a computation of all computable universes/states- this phase space already 'exists' platonically [and is expressed into physical reality as the Multiverse]- it is not invoked by the computer- the computer is a method of searching/processing all possible universes/states in that computation space- so actually the mind would be 'merging with god' or returning to god not becoming a god- as you interface it an intelligent universal computer would 'remember' you like you recall a past event- your mind's structure and memories would already necessarily be stored in the matrix of possible quantum states of the universe- as well as the mind/memories of every version of you [or anyone else] that could exist in every possible world- god's memory would be more you than you because it could also access precise memories from your past that have dimmed in your limited biological brain- in fact to god your process of upgrading would be redundant
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
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