• TheMadFool
    2.7k
    The stone paradox (TSP):

    x = stone so heavy that God can't lift it

    1. Either God can create x or God can't create x
    2. If God can't create x then God is not omnipotent
    3. If God can create x then God is not ommipotent
    Therefore
    4. God is not omnipotent

    My ''solution'' to the paradox is:

    1. Either God can create x or God can't create x
    2. If God can create x then God defeats himself
    3. If God can't create x then God can't defeat himself.
    4. Either God can defeat himself or God can't defeat himself
    5. If God defeats himself then God is omnipotent
    6. If God can't defeat himself then God is omnipotent
    Therefore
    7. God is omnipotent

    My ''solution'' is based on the claims that God is the only omnipotent being which seems to be in accordance with the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God of monotheism.

    Your comments...
  • tim wood
    1.6k
    Hi Madfool. Do some looking into scholastic realism v. nominalism. The folks who did the heavy thinking thought about an omnipotent God and realized that such a "being" while conceivable, wasn't tenable. Which is a real problem. One source recounts Luther's solution as having God as omnipotent, but separate from human concerns - we need not be scared about His omnipotence - and Jesus Christ his agent ("agent" my word, for lack of a better) on earth, he being better for us.

    Or, think through just what omnipotence means and you may come to the same place that a thousand years of Christian theological thinking arrived at, viz, that an omnipotent God is a very problematic idea of God.
  • tim wood
    1.6k
    Really? I thought you had said all that you had to say, with truly admirable restraint and succinctness.
  • BrianW
    640


    By 'lift' do you mean against gravity or what?
    And what do you mean by create, it sounds like compiling material to add to their collective weight.

    My question is, "how can God bring anything to existence without manifesting absolute control over it?" There seems to be some conflation between human's relative potency and God's supposed omnipotency.
  • Rank Amateur
    907
    Or, think through just what omnipotence means and you may come to the same place that a thousand years of Christian theological thinking arrived at, viz, that an omnipotent God is a very problematic idea of God.tim wood

    or our completely human understanding of what we call "omnipotence" and how we define it, has absolutely nothing at all to do with the nature of such a thing as "God".

    And most anything we say about the nature of God has little of it based on reason, and a whole bunch of it based on faith.
  • Andrew4Handel
    938
    I don't think omnipotence makes sense without context. I think some omnipotence paradoxes only exist because of the flexibility of language.

    So for example we can say "A Square Circle" even though that is contradictory based on definitions. So should Gods be able to do anything we can state in language or should their omnipotence exist in the external world of physical constraints?

    I think God could make a large rock and then weaken his muscles so he was unable to lift the rock (assuming he has muscles and a body). But I think the main problem for omnipotence is why God doesn't intervene in suffering and who created suffering.
  • Michael
    7.5k
    3. If God can create [a stone so heavy that God can't lift it] then God is not ommipotentTheMadFool

    Why?

    Maybe if he actually creates the stone then he isn't omnipotent because there's a stone he cannot lift, but that's not what your premise says.

    What if he can create the stone but doesn't?
  • tim wood
    1.6k
    or our completely human understanding of what we call "omnipotence" and how we define it, has absolutely nothing at all to do with the nature of such a thing as "God".Rank Amateur

    So, "God is omnipotent" to you, means nothing, but is rather nonsense, or confusion. Fine with me. But what language, what words, can you suggest that do have something to do with God?
  • Rank Amateur
    907
    One can say whatever one wants about the nature of God, as long as they acknowledge that those ideas are outside reason - and are based on some faith based belief.

    until someone can make be a valid argument, with propositions I can believe as true that support the conclusion " therefor I know this about the nature of God" . I will continue to believe such declarations about the nature of God to be outside reason.
  • MindForged
    702
    This never seemed like a real argument to me and none of those solutions seemed quite right to me. The obvious answer always seemed to me to be that the whole premise is faulty. If God is defined as omnipotent, and omnipotence is understood as the ability to do anything, we should recognize that there's an implicit assumption there: This only regards things that can be done. Why would Christians define God as a being who can do things that can't be done in principle? In this case, that impossible thing is having a being that can succeed at any possible thing failing to create a scenario where he fails to do something. That screams contradiction to me.

    There might be an interesting discussion with regards to God failing to do things we are capable of but at the very least the rock thing always feels a bit silly to me. It'd be like saying "If God can't checkmate from both sides of the board in the same game he's not omnipotent."
  • Andrew4Handel
    938
    I think the definition of Omnipotence entails God can do anything. If God is omnipotent then by definition he can do anything however crazy. Even if we cannot imagine that that happening.

    I think Omnipotence is hypothetically possible if someone know about every aspect of reality and reality is like a computer program they can manipulate.
  • hachit
    23
    The answer is came up with is yes he can create a rock he can't lift. Why, well to refrase the question. Is God so powerful that he can create something strong than himself. There is one example of this I have found, hell. God created everything and by definition hell is a place we're God has no power.
  • Walter Pound
    122
    God's omnipotence entails him being able to do anything logically possible.
    So if you ask, "can God do X," then you must first examine whether X is logically coherent.
    If X is logically coherent, then God should be able to do it.
    If X is not logically coherent, then God should not be able to do it.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    575
    So logic is prior to God in your view. I don’t want to argue that, but a similar question is: Is something right because God says so (never mind figuring out what God “says” as this gets to religion), or does God say it is right because it is right (prior to Him saying so)?
  • Walter Pound
    122
    Isn't stated that God's nature is logical?
  • Noah Te Stroete
    575
    I don’t understand your question
  • Walter Pound
    122
    Did I define omnipotence incorrectly?
  • Noah Te Stroete
    575
    No, you did fine. I didn’t want to argue that but wanted to ask out of curiosity a related question.
  • Walter Pound
    122
    You asked,
    So logic is prior to God in your view.Noah Te Stroete
    and I think that theists reply that God's nature is logical.
  • Wallows
    6.8k
    The only solution is that God must be a solipsist.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    575
    Okay. I agree with that, but I will answer my own question to get to something else that is interesting to me. I believe we have reason and driving emotions that give our reason purpose because we are capable of discerning right from wrong without a decree from God. However, I believe that reason and empathy are gifts endowed to us by our Creator. So, right and wrong are inherent in the human condition, and we can know them without God saying so. Our reason and God’s reason are applied to ethics, discerning right from wrong because they are universal principles prior to God saying so. We all intuitively know that cold-blooded murder of innocent children is wrong, for example.
  • Walter Pound
    122
    Is something right because God says so (never mind figuring out what God “says” as this gets to religion), or does God say it is right because it is right (prior to Him saying so)?Noah Te Stroete

    The answer I hear from theists is that God is identical to Goodness.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    575
    I agree to that. Do you think my explanation makes sense?
  • Walter Pound
    122
    I am not familiar with all theistic moral theories, but I think that Richard Swinburne has argued that some moral statements - such as genocide is wrong - are necessary moral truths.

    Don't quote me on that though because I am just going by memory.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    575
    Okay, but what are your feelings about this?
  • Walter Pound
    122
    I am a moral skeptic so I don't know. I think that most theists will argue that since humanity was bequeathed with a rational mind (made in God's image?) that they can think about morality without God, but that God is necessary for morality realism. They could argue that the grounding of morality rest's on God.

    Here are some videos that you might enjoy, regarding this topic.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEcqB9wW2Lw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VptVYd7zENs
  • Noah Te Stroete
    575
    What do you mean by “morality realism”? Is it just the stance that there are objective moral truths?
  • Walter Pound
    122
    Moral realism is the position that morality is real. So yes.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    575
    And a moral skeptic believes what exactly? Are they agnostic about morality having objective truth, or do they deny that morality is objective?
  • Walter Pound
    122
    Moral skeptics deny that anyone has moral knowledge, but we are not moral nihilists so we do not deny that morality exists. We simply are agnostic.
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