Logic and Agency: problems in identifying omnipotence and rational consistency


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ABSTRACT Given the complexity of the Cosmos, and of the contingent observer, it is axiomatic that the obverse of the law of identity includes a complex reverse: a thing not only is only what it is, it also is not all those things which it is not. But, given the possible combinations of knowledge and ignorance regarding a given topic, any number of various conflations of the two sides of this axiom is possible regarding that topic. Further, given the extent of ignorance possible regarding a topic, the extent of this conflation can be so deep that a person may have a virtually unlimited body of 'logic' upon which to seem to confirm the sense that a favored position is sound. Moreover, given the demands and rewards of the practical epistemological algorithms in which we continually are engaged, much of the a priori knowledge on which such algorithms are based is obscured. As one of the most a priori conceptions, omnipotence, divine or otherwise, is especially opaque. Abraham Lincoln said if you want to test a person’s character, you can’t do so simply by making him suffer, but by giving him power. Logic is a power to know or prove things; but, what a person is in the habit of most valuing informs all his logic. Divine omnipotence is defined as essentially primary, creative, and immediately coherent. But, a more-or-less pressing concern for cognitive efficiency, combined with a psychologically adversarial response to a world of disharmony and progressive entropy, impels us to re-conceptualize omnipotence in terms of a notion which, by being logically indifferent to the relations of effects to their causes, is 'epistemologically adverse' to any positive concept of power.
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