Tuesday 6 October 2009

Absolute knowledge of God's existence

Would it not be possible for an omnipotent God to implant into someone's mind the certain knowledge that he exists?

If that were possible, and if it has happened, then there is - or was - at least one person who at some point in time has known with absolute certainty that God exists. I'm not talking about faith here; by absolute certainty I mean certainty of God's existence, plus the additional certainty that such knowledge is true. This is knowledge that doesn't require proof, or even evidence. It just is.

Would such knowledge qualify as "properly basic belief"? If so, and you come across someone who claims as much, and additionally claims to possess such knowledge, then there's absolutely no point in engaging them in debate about the truth or otherwise of their belief, because they know what they know, and rational argument will be futile. This person knows that God exists, and nothing will shake that knowledge because it is true knowledge.

To anyone else, however, such "knowledge" - whether true knowledge or not - is indistinguishable from delusion.


  1. Good and humorous take on it... in my experience rational argument largely fails even when they only think they have certain knowledge, and yet still I persist in banging my head against that wall...
    Ah well, good luck!


    Reason Must Triumph

  2. It may still be worth engaging them in debate for the benefit of interested third parties who might not have heard your arguments before. You'll have next to no chance of persuading your opposite out of his or her position, but teetering agnostics who witness the debate might be pushed over the edge.