5

They exist outside of linear time and have access to past, present, and future knowledge. What is the extent of this knowledge? Do they literally know everything (this seems doubtful), or merely everything that they consider relevant (the goings-on of Bajor, etc.)?

(I find it unlikely that they are aware of what is occurring, for example, on the Cytherian homeworld, as a member of the Q presumably would be.)

  • Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/1598/… – user58 Jan 7 '17 at 18:10
  • Omniscience implies complete self-knowledge and I think Gödel ruled that out back in 1931. – Kyle Jones Jan 7 '17 at 18:12
  • 2
    @KyleJones That's up to interpretation. If the underlying physical laws of the real world happen to correspond in some fundamental way to, say, second-order predicate calculus, and the only form of "knowledge" is formal proofs in that calculus, then Godel ruled it out. But that's a pretty big if. – Ixrec Jan 7 '17 at 18:55
  • @Ixrec The system only needs to be complex enough to contain Peano's axioms and then diagonalization of Gödel's result covers every proof system that's more powerful. As long as God is smart enough to add and subtract without using his fingers and toes I think he must succumb to the epistemological might of Gödel. :) – Kyle Jones Jan 7 '17 at 22:51
6

No. The wormhole aliens exist in a non-linear fashion but that doesn't imply omniscience. Note in particular that there are concepts that they don't understand or seem to have forgotten.

SISKO: I was ready to die with her...

TACTICAL OFFICER ALIEN: "Die" - what is this?

And it is Jennifer Alien who answers... as understanding begins to grow...

JENNIFER ALIEN: The termination of their linear existence.

DS9: Emissary

Obviously they could be lying, or playing dumb for effect but that strains credulity.

-4

Since the Prophets see to exist out of linear time presumably they experience their entire lives simultaneously.

So how long do their lives seem to be to them subjectively? If the Prophets don't experience linear time that question seems meaningless.

So how long are the lives of the Prophets in linear time? When, in linear time experienced by everyone else did they come into existence and when will they stop existing? Nobody knows.

Do the Prophets, like many other intelligent beings, have any way of knowing what happened before they existed, and calculating the probabilities of events after they stop existing? Nobody knows.

How far have the Prophets traveled, and do they have, like many other intelligent beings, knowledge about events in places they never travel to? Nobody knows.

Do the Prophets know anything about events in the galaxy M87 at the center of the Virgo Cluster 55 million light years from Earth? Do the Prophets know anything about events in galaxies three hundred million light years beyond the Great Attractor? Nobody knows.

So nobody knows the limits, if any, of the knowledge of the Prophets in time and space.

Are the Prophets able to correctly utilize what knowledge they have to make decisions and give correct answers? Not all intelligent beings always use their information correctly and logically. Nobody knows.

Thus the answer to: "Are the Prophets omniscient?" can only be nobody knows.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.