• Cidat
    104
    This is a paradox one might come across if they consider God's omnipotence. If the answer is yes, then there is one thing he can't do (lift a heavy enough rock), which contradicts the definition of omnipotence (being able to do anything). The same applies if the answer is no. How would you solve this paradox?
  • SpaceDweller
    417
    This is old philosophical question which cannot be answered philosophically, and the reason why not is because philosophical definition of a God lacks certain properties of a God.

    In theology there is an answer, all wisdom comes from God and people cannot fathom the wisdom higher than that of God.
    I could quote some verses about this wisdom to back up this, but basically the answer is that we cannot fathom the wisdom of God.
  • spirit-salamander
    214


    I never took that as a serious concrete example. I don't think it's meant to be taken literally. It is rather a mere illustration, a figuration or symbol, that there might be limitations to God's omnipotence.

    Because how should this example look more accurate? One needs a spatio-temporal world, gravity, a planet and stones on this planet. Should God now be outside or inside the universe? If inside, he also needs a corresponding physical design or manifestation.
    If God increases the gravity between stone and planet more and more, then he destroys both at some point and the demonstration fails and is over.
    The example assumes somehow that God can have resistances. But if He cancels the gravitation from the transcendence and then says it is infinite for the human being, then He cheats.
  • Tom Storm
    4k
    This old paradox comes up a lot here. I have a few conceptual issues with it. How exactly do you imagine the Abrahamic god lifts anything? (There's the initial problem here of which god/s you are referring to.) Does god have a body with arms and is he six feet tall? Does it even mean anything to say that transcendent god lifts something up? Probably not unless you think god is corporeal in some way. I think the limitations in paradoxes are ones of language and conceptual clarity rather than god/s. And I say this as an atheist.

    A slightly more intriguing one is - if god is omnipotent can he make a square circle? Again - you could argue god can't do what is logically impossible, so this is also a meaningless question. Can god make a married bachelor would be another... Some might argue that god can do it because he is omnipotent and of course we are left to imagine just how this could be done for eternity, given god isn't rushing to demonstrate anything to anyone...
  • Angelo Cannata
    152
    In theology there is an answer, all wisdom comes from God and people cannot fathom the wisdom higher than that of God.SpaceDweller

    This changes the paradox this way: does God have the power to make an explanation of his mysteries easy to understand for us? Ultimately, the paradox can be reduced to the fundamental problem of theodicy: does God have the power to destroy all evil now, immediately?
  • SpaceDweller
    417
    if god is omnipotent can he make a square circle? Again - you could argue god can't do what is logically impossible, so this is also a meaningless question.Tom Storm

    Nice, therefore God making stone so heavy it cannot be lifted again is logically impossible because similar question is:
    can God limit himself? (limit his power)

    And I think the answer to both questions is, what would be the reason for God to do it? ...

    Ultimately, the paradox can be reduced to the fundamental problem of theodicy: does God have the power to destroy all evil now, immediately?Angelo Cannata

    ... Therefore yes, it can but there is a reason why it doesn't, but we don't the reason because we can't fathom God's wisdom.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    This is a paradox one might come across if they consider God's omnipotence. If the answer is yes, then there is one thing he can't do (lift a heavy enough rock), which contradicts the definition of omnipotence (being able to do anything). The same applies if the answer is no. How would you solve this paradox?Cidat

    It's not a paradòx. A paradox can be solved. A paradox seems contra intuitive at first met, and at closer inspection there's nothing wrong. The stone example can't be solved.
  • Angelo Cannata
    152
    because we can't fathom God's wisdomSpaceDweller

    Being unable to fathom God's wisdom is evil, so it leaves us with the same question: why doesn't he delete the evil of our inability to fathom his will?
  • Michael
    10.4k
    This is a paradox one might come across if they consider God's omnipotence. If the answer is yes, then there is one thing he can't do (lift a heavy enough rock), which contradicts the definition of omnipotence (being able to do anything). The same applies if the answer is no. How would you solve this paradox?Cidat

    The emphasised part is a non sequitur. That he can create such a rock isn't that he does create such a rock.

    You might as well ask "can a two-armed man cut off one arm?" and answer with "if he can then he'll only have one arm and so therefore isn't a two-armed man which is a contradiction" and so conclude that a two-armed man can't cut off one arm, which is of course false; I have two arms and am quite capable of cutting one off.

    So an answer to your question is; yes, he can create such a rock, but because he doesn't there's nothing he can't do.
  • ArmChairPhilosopher
    75
    In theology there is an answer, all wisdom comes from God and people cannot fathom the wisdom higher than that of God.SpaceDweller

    Or, in other words, my god isn't limited by logic.
    That, for me, is the ultimate conversation stopper. Because, if you don't accept reason, why should I reason with you?
  • emancipate
    415
    Is this question an example of dialetheism?
  • Hillary
    1.9k


    Dialetheism (from Greek δι- di- 'twice' and ἀλήθεια alḗtheia 'truth') is the view that there are statements which are both true and false. More precisely, it is the belief that there can be a true statement whose negation is also true.

    Draw your conclusions...
  • Hanover
    8.1k
    The emphasised part is a non sequitur. That he can create such a rock isn't that he does create such a rock.

    You might as well ask "can a two-armed man cut off one arm?" and answer with "if he can then he'll only have one arm and so therefore isn't a two-armed man which is a contradiction" and so conclude that a two-armed man can't cut off one arm, which is of course false; I have two arms and am quite capable of cutting one off.

    So an answer to your question is; yes, he can create such a rock, but because he doesn't there's nothing he can't do.
    Michael

    I just see it as a category mistake. Category A are physical objects and Category B are theoretical concepts. Within A, you have actual tangible things that can be measured, using words like 100 feet, 5,065 pounds, and 345 ounces. In B, you have theoretical intangible entities, that are described using words like biggest, strongest, and highest.

    Rocks are within A. God is within B.

    Can God create a rock he cannot lift? Because he's within B, we don't suggest God can lift a specific number of pounds. We just say he's the strongest and there is nothing within A he can't lift. If we suggest there is a rock he cannot lift, we'd need to know the weight of that rock and ask why that weight is more the most, which makes no sense (such is the category mistake).

    This is to say rocks are real things that can be put on scales and weighed. Asking if God can create a rock he can't lift is to apply the B standard (the heaviest) to the A standard (an actual weight). You can't what is higher than infinity.
  • unenlightened
    6.5k
    A paradox shows the limit of language, not the limit of being. If as a matter of fact particles turn out to be wavy and waves turn out to be particular, then so much the worse for the convenience of philosophers; there's no arguing that it is impossible because {words and arguments}. Likewise, if God is omnipotent, just put up with it and sort your logic out as best you can. Obviously he can make a rock that takes up the whole of space so that there is nowhere to move it to, and then squash it into a long stick and use it to get the fluff out of His belly button. In fact looking around, it would explain a lot if that's what He already did, because the devil was teasing Him about how He couldn't be omnipotent because {words and arguments}.
  • Clarky
    9.1k
    Can God construct a rock so heavy that he can't lift it?Cidat

    Here's some more meaningless questions to go with yours:

    • Can God cause itself to cease to exist?
    • Can God violate the laws of the excluded middle or non-contradiction?
    • Can God make 1 + 1 = 47?
    • Can God count to infinity?
    • Can God end evil?
    • If there's a God, what's with William Shatner?
  • Clarky
    9.1k
    I think the limitations in paradoxes are ones of language and conceptual clarity rather than god/s.Tom Storm

    A paradox shows the limit of language, not the limit of being.unenlightened

    I agree. This is an example of what is so annoying about a lot of the discussions here on the forum. People build boxes with words and then can't get out.
  • Hanover
    8.1k
    Can God end evil?T Clark

    I don't follow why this question is meaningless.

    The question is often asked if God is all powerful and good, then why is there is evil in the world. That seems a reasonable question.
  • Clarky
    9.1k
    I don't follow why this question is meaningless.

    The question is often asked if God is all powerful and good, then why is there is evil in the world. That seems a reasonable question.
    Hanover

    Good point. I went back and forth about whether to include that.
  • unenlightened
    6.5k
    God had to make shit smell, to prevent folks disappearing up their own arses like the Ouroboros.
  • chiknsld
    195
    Yea, why not? If that's what God wants to do.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    God had to make shit smell, to prevent folks disappearing up their own arses like the Ouroboros.unenlightened

    Good gracious lord....
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    It's easy for an omnipotent God to create such a stone he can't lift. That's why He's omnipotent. After He created it He can just make Himself strong enough again to lift it. It's fun to be omnipotent. Though being omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent are equivalent to omni-impotent, omnistupid, omni-absent, and omnimalevolent.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    category mistakeHanover

    I suspect so too. Furthermore, we defy logic on a daily basis, even toddlers (re solvitur ambulando).
  • Alkis Piskas
    918

    This is a paradox one might come across if they consider God's omnipotence. If the answer is yes, then there is one thing he can't do (lift a heavy enough rock), which contradicts the definition of omnipotence (being able to do anything). The same applies if the answer is no. How would you solve this paradox?Cidat
    I can't solve it as a paradox, but I can as a sophism! :smile:
    Because it is not a real paradox, but a "pseudo-paradox" as I call these sophisms. Here's why: They are based on false and/or arbitrary assumptions/premises, which are then refuted in a logical and acceptable way, and this is how people are misled! There are indeed a lot of them about God. Guess why. Exactly, they are based on an arbitrary assumption/premise that God exists. Then, they continue with more arbitrary assumptions/premises regarding e.g. God's qualities, such as omnipotence.

    There are some that introduce several of them in the same "paradox", such as "omniscience" and "omnibenevolence", like the so-called "Epicurus God Paradox" in which the "sophist" refutes them one after the other!

    See what's happening here? I introduce arbitrary, imaginary inexistent elements as given and then I refute them one by one as inexistent! How more lame that could be? :smile:
  • SpaceDweller
    417
    Being unable to fathom God's wisdom is evil, so it leaves us with the same question: why doesn't he delete the evil of our inability to fathom his will?Angelo Cannata


    if we fathom God, that is, God's wisdom, it would make us gods because we would have all the knowledge God has, making us omniscient.

    Therefore why do you consider evil to fathom God? because it would not make us Gods or something else?

    Or, in other words, my god isn't limited by logic.
    That, for me, is the ultimate conversation stopper. Because, if you don't accept reason, why should I reason with you?
    ArmChairPhilosopher

    I accept reason but do you know logic can be wrong?
    https://thebestschools.org/magazine/15-logical-fallacies-know/
  • Paulm12
    67

    It’s an interesting question. Here are some ways I’ve thought about it. When the question was traditionally asked, I think it was implied that the question was “can God create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it.” Obviously, this would be a strange statement, because if you believe God is omnipotent, then there is no limit to his strength; I.e. by his omnipotence it is impossible for there to be a rock that is so heavy that someone omnipotent cannot lift. Furthermore, since God is assumed to be outside of the physical world, maybe anything he creates in the physical world cannot contradict his omnipotence.

    However, I’d we change the question a bit, we end up with some interesting formulations. Can God create something that he cannot move? Can God create something that contradicts his omnipotence? Can God create something that can destroy him?

    Here’s an interesting analogy. Say I am a programmer, and I program a game engine for a video game. As a programmer, can I create an object I cannot move? Sure; I could create an object and “lock” it so I can’t move it. But then I also have the ability to “unlock” or “delete” the object if I choose. Can I create an object that can’t be deleted? Not necessarily, because I can always reset the simulation or delete the entire program. Even though I am omnipotent in the simulation, this omnipotence has its own constraints as to what I “cannot” do. Can I create something in the game that can kill me in real life? No.

    Omnipotence has some interesting definitions, but many of the contradictions come down to “if you can do anything, can you do something that keeps you from being able to do anything.” In this way, if you are all-powerful, I think there are indeed a few things you *cannot* do, namely, things that would contradict your omnipotence.
  • ArmChairPhilosopher
    75
    I accept reason but do you know logic can be wrong?SpaceDweller

    Logic isn't wrong, but you can make errors when trying to apply it. But dismissing an argument without explaining the fault in the logic is not a logical error, it is simply dismissing logic. And that is what you do when you dismiss the argument of the stone. An omnipotent entity can not logically exist. Some theists, like Aquinas have realized that. His god is not omnipotent but only maximally potent, thus avoiding an illogical god. Others are stomping their foot and insist on an illogical god but no-one with a working brain takes them serious.
  • SpaceDweller
    417
    And that is what you do when you dismiss the argument of the
    stone
    ArmChairPhilosopher
    I think T Clark gave perfect example of what this argument of stone is:
    Can God make 1 + 1 = 47?T Clark

    In other words, it's an illogical question, nonsense question which forces illogical answer.
  • ArmChairPhilosopher
    75
    In other words, it's an illogical question, nonsense question which forces illogical answer.SpaceDweller

    Where exactly do you see the fault in the logic? I don't see it.
  • Angelo Cannata
    152
    if we fathom God, that is, God's wisdom, it would make us gods because we would have all the knowledge God has, making us omniscient.

    Therefore why do you consider evil to fathom God? because it would not make us Gods or something else?
    SpaceDweller

    What’s the problem with making us Gods? After all, at least according to the Christian doctrine, they are already three persons in the Trinity, and they all love each other; what’s the problem with making everybody God? We would be all happy, all loving each other, maybe even all being one God, like the Trinity is considered. So the paradox becomes: has God the power to make all of us Gods as well? Or, in terms of theodicy: if making all of us Gods would make a perfect world, with all people loving each other, in absolute perfection, no evil, no suffering, where is the problem?
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    What’s the problem with making us Gods?Angelo Cannata

    The problem is the fact that we are no gods. We, the creatures of the universe, and the universe itself, are a material reflection of the life as it is in heaven. That's why we are able to investigate about the gods and the heaven they life in.
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