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Is it possible for a sufficiently clever human being to somehow mislead/trick/fool God? If so, how could they do it? It seems like God's omniscience/omnipotence would preclude that, but perhaps there is a loophole somewhere. (We'll assume a scenario where the God that exists closely resembles the one described by the Christian faith)

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closed as primarily opinion-based by JDługosz, Cort Ammon, Aify, Separatrix, Hohmannfan Jul 14 '16 at 8:27

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ It would really depend on the level of omniscience of your God. An all knowing god knows all, even that you are trying to trick him. $\endgroup$ – Keltari Jul 14 '16 at 3:17
  • $\begingroup$ This would be better suited for Christianity.SE. There is a long history of trying to set up paradoxes revolving around the Christian God's omniscience and omnipotence. Christianity.SE may be able to point you to specific chapters and verses to help you answer the question. You may even need to go back to the Hebrew and Greek original texts to catch nuances of the wordings. After all, when dealing with absolutes, the devil is in the details. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jul 14 '16 at 3:25
  • $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon, and it's usually the devil who gets tricked, because he's fair game. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Jul 14 '16 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ God can see all time- everything is 'now' to Him because He is independent of His creation (time being part of that). Also, the Muslim idea of God can actually change His mind and He is not bound even by his own words: He can punish innocent and reward sinners if He feels like it. Even in the Quran, He abrogates earlier statements with contradictory ones. The Christian/Jewish concept has God issuing promises (covenants) to which He is binds Himself; and the Christian understanding includes the Logos (greek for 'Word/Reason/Wisdom/Logic') Perhaps he could trick God into making a promise..? $\endgroup$ – shiningcartoonist Jul 14 '16 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ While Christian deities vary a bit from denomination to denomination I believe there is an answer that is clear and supported by documented belief structures. Vote to re-open. $\endgroup$ – James Jul 14 '16 at 13:35
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My child walks into the room and asks me, "why did the chicken cross the road?". Recognizing my child's age and the fact that this is the first jaywalking chicken question that he has ever asked me, I'm pretty sure that I know which answer he is going for; but I play along.

"I don't know. Why?"

A few moments later, my child runs off, overjoyed that he "tricked" Dad. Meanwhile, I sit back and quietly laugh, finding far more joy in my child's joy than I could ever have gotten by defending the omniscience which he still believes that I have.

So, yes. From the viewpoint of one of the created, trapped inside of creation, we can apparently trick God and prosper from His loving response. Just don't fall into the trap of believing that you've actually pulled one over on creation. ...and never try the same joke twice. Omniscience means that God knows an almost infinite number of ways to turn a punch line against you.

In one of my stories, Magic is real and nearly infinitely powerful; capable of overpowering almost any physical law. The secret of that magic lies in making God laugh. If you can write a really funny joke, and then set up all the props and players just right within the real world, and if you are lucky enough to catch God in a particularly playful mood, then all of creation will bend to your will, pulling off the punch line, no matter how many improbable or impossible things have to happen to make it all come true.

God's Laughter! Now that's Magic!

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  • $\begingroup$ Taylor that sounds like a real interesting magic system. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Jul 14 '16 at 12:22
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    $\begingroup$ @HenryTaylor There is a Japanese riddle: Q: "How do you make God laugh? A: Tell him your plans for the future." $\endgroup$ – a4android Jul 14 '16 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android That one actually made me laugh. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Jul 14 '16 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanMcClure Heavens above! That means -- You must be God!!! $\endgroup$ – a4android Jul 15 '16 at 6:28
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That depends on what you mean by "trick". If you mean mislead then no you can not, unless you find a way to block his omniscience, Im not sure how this would be possible but it your world so I am sure you could come up with something. (maybe some kind of spell, or some kind of super machine)

If by trick you mean keep him from doing something then that might be possible (very unlikely but maybe) If your thinking of Christian, Jewish and Muslim God then not only is he omniscience but he can't lie, or take back his words and promises. You could get him to agree to something that would hinder his actions sometime in the future. Of course since he can see the future you can't trick him this way without him allowing you too. Perhaps he would do it if in the long run your trick served a high purpose or if he was so impressed by your audacity to try and trick the almighty that he just decide to let you get away with it. Of course if that is the cause then may He is secretary tricking you.

Also if you could some how convince God put aside his powers and knowledge to enter some type of competition with you (Kind of like the time Israel/Jacobe wrestled with God) . Then on a more equal playing field you might be able to trick him and win the competition.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is omniscience also being able to see the future? I thought it was just knowing everything about the present. $\endgroup$ – Brian McClure Jul 14 '16 at 3:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Brian McClure I'm not sure but since the question seems to be asking for a god similar to type with me in Christian Jewish and Muslim religions. And that God definitely can see the future, so I would assume that at least in this case omniscience includes seeing the future. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Jul 14 '16 at 3:46
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Consider instead the concept of "knowing God's true name". I'm not sure about the Christian (Jewish) God suffering from this in any apocryphal stories or even hypothetical literature, but in many stories dealing with spirits and demons, knowing the creature's true name gives you power over it.

I don't have time now to fully expand this answer here, but it would basically be a repeat of this answer I wrote on Christianity.SE.

So in your story your character could learn God's name, then trick him. Though it may be more fun if he tricks God into revealing his name himself, but then we're back to square one. How would he trick an omniscient God?

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