If God is defined as the True Knowledge, a collection of unknowns, I wonder about the extent of human understanding of God. Can human understanding ever reach, or even surpass, God's understanding? Suppose God himself is the limit of human understanding? This is the traditional view of the faithful: Humans can approach God over time, but only asymptotically, because our understanding is limited. Since God knows all—past, present, and future—He knows the progress humanity will make on every front. If God foresees that humanity will match His own understanding, then He will always be one step ahead. Now, suppose our knowledge eventually matches, and then exceeds, that of God. We know we have acquired all knowledge when nothing is unexplainable. Such is the case in the party game Mafia: The villagers only know they have killed off all the mafia members when there are no more nighttime murders. But if humans do reach an understanding so perfect that nothing is unexplainable, will humanity be happy? Will there be pride-filled experiments of the unknown? I think not. The pursuit of things unknown pushes humanity forward. My life would not hold an ounce of awe-inspiring mystery if I knew all things. I am constantly searching for knowledge, and I certainly do not wish to challenge that paradigm. Thus, I believe that God, as a symbol for the unknown, is unattainable. Even if humans conquer all knowledge in the physical and natural world, we still lack the "ultimate" knowledge because ultimate, by definition, has no limit. If humans accept that the universe is infinite, then God's knowledge must constantly grow as well. Truly, the quest for knowledge is a never-ending journey.
Human Knowledge of God
December 20, 2009