An interesting idea to contemplate, is whether the divine trait of omniscience supports the Christian concept of the Trinity.
Consider that God, by definition, is the greatest conceivable/possible being. As such, God should be all-knowing, in the sense of possessing all types and pieces of knowledge. So, all other things being equal, if some being—let’s call him Yahweh—had more knowledge, in whatever way, then God, then Yahweh would be more knowledgeable, and thus greater, than God. And this, in turn, would mean that it was actually Yahweh who was truly God. Therefore, for God to be God, He must have all the knowledge that it is possible to have, thereby being the greatest being that it is possible to be.
But now consider this intuitive point. Imagine that Yahweh knows God, both from the inside and from the outside. So, on the one hand, this means that Yahweh is God, and therefore He knows Himself introspectively from the inside. But, at the same time, it also means that Yahweh, as God, knows God as a separate person from the outside. Now, if this was the case, and if Yahweh had both these types of knowledge, then Yahweh would, in some way, possess more knowledge of God than a being who only knew God either from the inside or the outside, but not both. And this would mean that, all other things being equal, Yahweh would be greater than this other type of being.
Note as well that we intuitively understand this point because we understand that by interacting with another being, we come to know things via that social experience that we would not know from introspection or from theoretical knowledge alone. For example, via social interaction, we come to know things like the following: what it is like to communicate with someone, to share ideas with someone, to receive ideas from someone, to come to a conclusion together, and so on. Consequently, conscious beings, even beings like God, gain knowledge from experiences like social interactions, and this knowledge could only be gained by actually having the social interactions in question. It could not be gained from abstract theorizing or introspection alone.
However, if God is only a singular being, then He can only know Himself from the inside. He could never have knowledge of God from the outside, because there is no other God to gain such knowledge from. By contrast, if God is a Trinity—meaning one God in three persons, where each person is a separate individual and yet is still wholly and fully God—then, within the Trinity, God can know God both from the inside and from the outside. So, for instance, God the Father can know Himself perfectly, thereby knowing God from the inside perfectly, while also perfectly knowing God, either the Son or the Spirit, from the outside. Thus, God the Father would know God perfectly both from the inside and the outside. The same would also be true for God the Son and God the Spirit. And again, upon reflection, it clearly appears that a God who had such knowledge—the knowledge of knowing God both from the inside and the outside—would be more knowledgeable in some way, and thus greater, than a God who did not have this knowledge.
Of course, such an idea does not necessitate a divine trinity, for it could be achieved with merely two Gods. But this idea does undermine unitarianism, while supporting a doctrine like the Trinity.
Moreover, note that it could even be claimed that the same sort of argument could be extended to the idea that a God who interacted with a group of Gods, rather than just one other God, would also have greater knowledge, via experience, than a God that did not. But then notice that a Trinity is precisely the number of beings necessary for a God to know Himself from the inside, and to know one other God from the outside, and to also know a group of Gods from the outside as well. Thus, if the above reasoning is correct, the Trinity would be the simplest grouping that God could take while still possessing all the traits necessary to be the greatest possible being. And so, God would have to be no less than a Trinity in order to be the greatest possible being. Furthermore, if simplicity is a guide to truth, or at least a guide to what is most rational to believe in, then the most rational form of the greatest possible being to believe in, is a Trinity.
And so, the concept of omniscience, in conjunction with the idea that God is the greatest possible being, arguably supports the Trinity.
Non Nobis Christus, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam
Written: 06 April 2019
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