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The Horror of Omniscience -- Why is Omniscience Not a Virtue

Updated: Jun 5

A giant robot observing a motorcycle rider.

Knowledge is one of the most functional and contributing resources to a conscious entity, next to food and water. When it is stored, it becomes memory, and we build our lives around it, and operate in life using memory. However, just as food can make you morbidly obese and water can poison you, being able to know everything and everyone who has ever existed, exists, and will exist is a counterproductive trait of its own. It's known as omniscience.

And yet, a very knowledgeable person, also known as a "know-it-all" (a term used sarcastically), will either be recognized for their great intellect or be ridiculed by it by certain people. Still, a "know-it-all" is far from literal, since being one is still light years away from the hidden psychological horror that is omniscience.

What is omniscience? Omniscience is a state where you know everything. predictions, memories, and being aware of everything that is going on in the universe. By "universe" I mean: from countless private areas of all the houses and apartments in every block and country, to the movement of countless atoms and germs, to every single event, from the dull to the grand, of every millimeter of every planet, asteroid, and solar system, in every galaxy to exist and to-be-existing.

By the generalizing logic of the form of "omni", if you are to not know what is going on, even in a single atom, then it means that even if you are aware and knowledgeable about everything else, then you're not truly an omniscient being. When there are exceptions to the rule, "omni" can never be applied reasonably. Even one exception can suffice to prove how a generalization is realistically illogical.

American poet Emily Dickinson has said otherwise, that the brain is wider than the sky, even though the sky, also known as the void of space, is infinite. How can something be greater than infinity?While I am aware her quote was intended to praise the power of the mind, overcoming infinity is logically impossible, since infinity contains all of existence, without any end, for eternity. In other words, even if you are to commit omnicide, you cannot destroy the void of infinity. Therefore, there is no thing or being that is infinite, other than the void.

The psychological ramifications of being able to know everything, regardless of choice or consent, can be quite severe. Imagine knowing everything, including everything that is yet to exist, but will, or things that could've existed, and didn't.

Potential exists as well, and if it ran out, then it exists as a memory as well. As an omniscient being, you will know the outcome of every choice, you will know what everyone and everything are capable of. You will know truths about people that they themselves might not know, due to denial. The same can apply not only to other people or animals, but also aliens. All the blessings of the universe and its hidden gems, but also all the horrors it contains.

Can your mind be able to contain all of this information without having its mentality broken?

For those who have yet to fully understand my argument, imagine being forced to eat every dish that will ever be made until the end of time, including dishes you dislike, and dishes you like, but were poorly made. That also includes dishes you are disgusted from, like human flesh. The omniscient also have to know all sensory information, otherwise they are not omniscient.

They will have to know how's it like to be tortured by anyone around him. They will have to know how anyone can kill them, and how they could've died in every moment of their lives. They will have to know every disgust they either can or could experience, and they have to know how anyone can break their hearts. Should they fail to know a single way, they cannot be omniscient.

Being omniscient is like r***. You are forced by your own extraordinary merit to receive every information altogether, including all traumas known and unknown to humankind. People are haunted by their past traumas; imagine knowing them all. Can a human being contain it all?

Hence why the human mind is far thinner -- and weaker -- than the skies. It can only hold so much, just like food and water. It can only hold so much until it breaks. Time and time again. Remember: the word OMNI is probably one of the most underrated words of horror, simply because we do not, usually, grasp the terrible infinity, included with the word "every".

From all of this, although by exaggeration, another insight can be attained. We do not have to experience everything life has to offer, as the horror behind the word "every", which is, technically, extremely hard to attain. "Every" in this case is indefinite, just like infinity is. Can infinity be measured? No. It is immeasurable, just like living life "fully".

Enjoy what life has to offer to you that's beneficial to you. Remember that it is okay to miss out on things. Would you prefer to not miss on the horrors of human existence? That is, of course, your own prerogative.

Either way, OMNI, EVERY, and any other of their synonyms, are the greatest horrors to our fragile minds. We just don't take them literally, as we use them mostly as slang. Even if you refer to them seriously, you are likely to not fully grasp their destructive meanings. As the belly is for food and water, the mind is for knowledge. It can only hold so much.

And I'm not talking about storage space. I'm talking about pain. Knowledge can be painful, and pain can teach us a lot. After all, the truth is painful.

239 views2 comments


This is a good question I have no answer to, Mr. Roland. All I have to say is that logically, if there was or is ever a person who did, which can be evident beyond personal feelings only, then the answer would be positive. Problem is, there were so many unknown people since the dawn of humankind, one of them could've transcended that much, and we would never know.


Roland Leblanc
Roland Leblanc
Aug 28, 2020

I wonder if some of us have ever experienced reaching beyond the physical boundaries of seing time go by and taking space?

Maybe, this is a possibility of reaching the All There Is without being in the horrible state of Horror?


Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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