What does it mean to be all-knowing? Can an Omniscient Being know what it’s like to feel sick? Can such an entity know what it’s like to feel lust? These would be examples of knowledge by experience.
In my experience, theologians say that God’s knowledge is merely propositional. In other words, God doesn’t have experiential knowledge or knowledge through the senses.
Let’s grant for the sake of argument that God’s knowledge is limited to just propositional knowledge. That is, God does not believe any false propositions, and God knows all true propositions (knowledge=well-justified true belief).
But, why would God make creatures (like ourselves) who have experiential knowledge and/or knowledge through the senses? Because, once again, God doesn’t have such knowledge. So, on theism, we already have reasons to expect there not to be experiential knowledge or knowledge through the senses. And, on theism, God can create creatures who gain knowledge solely apart from experience (e.g. angels). However, that’s not what we observe. Humans primarily gain knowledge through experience. In fact, arguably, the only things that can be known apart from experience are propositions that are true/false by definition.
On naturalism, however, we would expect some of our knowledge to come through the senses. On naturalism, human beings would be physical beings with physical minds. In addition, there is no God to personally plant ideas in our minds.
Formal Statement of the Argument
Let’s call this argument against God’s existence, “The Argument from Sensory Knowledge“.
The argument is as follows:
1. It is a known fact that some human knowledge comes through sensory perception
2. The fact that (at least) some human knowledge comes through sensory perception is more likely on the hypothesis of naturalism than on the hypothesis of classical theism
3. The hypothesis of naturalism has an intrinsic probability equal to that of classical theism
4. Therefore, other evidence held equal, it is probable that classical theism is false
The fundamental point is that God could have easily created a world where, from start to finish, all of our knowledge comes without the senses. We’d also expect such a world because all of God’s knowledge comes apart from experience. It’s not as if God, on classical theism, has sensory organs!
Even if most of our knowledge wasn’t by experience, the fact that some of our knowledge is through the senses is somewhat surprising on theism, but not very surprising on naturalism.
“Maybe one day all knowledge will be implanted into our minds through technology.”
Even if this were possible, God could have made it the case that we have non-experiential knowledge from the very start. We have sensory organs, which isn’t surprising on naturalism. With sensory organs, we have the potential to gain new knowledge. If God created only spiritual entities apart from bodies, these beings can’t gain new information through sensory organs. Having sensory organs entails the real potential to have sensory knowledge, but being an incorporeal self doesn’t entail this potential. Even if spirits could affect physical bodies, this is only true if physical bodies exist. But, physical bodies don’t have to exist on theism.
“Maybe God has a good reason to have human knowledge be the way it is”
Maybe, but maybe not. For all we know, God doesn’t have a good reason.
I don’t claim that this argument is some kind of knockdown argument. Rather, this argument just started out as an idea in my head, and I wanted to test and see whether there was anything further to explore.