Is omnipotence intrinsically paradoxical?

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  • #26
hypnagogue
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loseyourname said:
I looked up the meaning of the Hebrew word Shaddai. It is the plural form of the word Shad, which simply means "powerful one." Apparently when the term is used in the old testament, it literally means "powerful ones" and is used as one of the names of God (implying that early Hebrews were actually polytheistic?).
There could be any number of historical or semantic contexts within which the reference to God as "Shaddai" wouldn't imply polytheism. The pluralization is interesting, but I wouldn't take much from it without a deeper accompanying knowledge of the Hebrew language and perhaps also the historical facts (if they are even available) about how the Old Testament was written and studied.
 
  • #27
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hypnagogue said:
It's not the same thing at all. There is no extant claim that humans are omnipotent, as there are obviously things that are beyond our powers. (This holds even if we look at simple cases that don't involve paradoxes, such as the ability to fly unaided by aircraft). You're right in a sense to point out a sort of ambiguity in the word "omnipotent," which might be the cause of the apparent paradoxes being discussed in this thread. But it's safe to say that no remotely reasonable sense of the word "omnipotent" could be attributed to humans.

Now I think you're onto something. You don't see humans as omnipotent from your POV, but to a lower lifeform- say a pig, wouldn't we appear to be omnipotent? I"m not comfortable with calling something omnipotent. Just because it has powers and abilities beyond our comprehension doesn't make it omnipotent. It makes it beyond our ability to fully understand. And in a universe of infinity, I'm not comfortable designating one being as "the top of the food chain" when there may not be a top. Only an infinite series of levels.
Maybe the omnipotent being actually does have limits, but we are unable to understand what those limits are.

It's something like saying "bahh... we calculated PI to the 10 billionth decimal place, and I'm tired to trying, so will just say this is as far as it goes"

Well, that's exactly the sort of question the paradoxes turn on. If God is omnipotent, shouldn't he/it be able to create such a rock? Does not the inability to create such a rock imply that God's creative powers are limited, and doesn't this imply in turn that God is not truly omnipotent?
Then if God cannot create such a rock then he must not be omnipotent, right? And if you apply such logic further you have to conclude that there is no such thing as omnipotence. Only levels of understanding.
 
  • #28
Hector
Zantra said:
Then if God cannot create such a rock then he must not be omnipotent, right? And if you apply such logic further you have to conclude that there is no such thing as omnipotence. Only levels of understanding.
If you're really serious about logic, it's not difficult to conclude that the world does not exist, that we do not know anything, that other people are creations of our mind, and so on and on all the way to the madhouse.

I think many people fail to understand what theology is, and why dogmas are necessary. It's easy enough to think the Church is filled with evil idiots who have no basic understanding of logic, and like to manipulate concepts to satisfy their selfish, materialistic needs. That might well be the case, although I doubt it. I prefer to think of Christian theology as the result of 2,000 years of serious thinking about ideas so complex they need a lifetime of devotion to understand. The fact that some very bright people, such as Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and countless others, have contributed to the establishment of that theology makes me think there must be something to it.

That said, I think there are only two valid approaches to the question of omnipotence or any other Christian dogma. The first approach is simple: trust that the people who came up with the idea knew what they were talking about, and just accept the concept without understanding it. Most people follow that route, which is why (in my opinion) the Church needs dogmas. Dogmas are not a way of forcing an idea into someone's mind - that is not possible in any case. Dogmas are needed because people want to be assured that the ideas they choose to trust are the result of careful thinking and therefore dabbling with them is a waste of time.

Of course some people don't like that approach, in which case only one sensible alternative remains: try to understand why you cannot understand a concept most people have no problem with. "They're all fools" is not, in my opinion, a satisfying answer. You won't learn about modern physics by reading the myriad crackpot websites found on the internet; likewise, you won't learn anything about theology by reading its critics, since none of them are familiar with the subject in the first place. If you're serious about the subject, you may start with some of the excellent texts on Christian apologetics, most of them just a Google search away and available for free.

One can, obviously, ignore the whole subject, which is also perfectly fine. There are far more important things in life than to know whether it's right to ask if God can create a rock he cannot lift. Only I think one should refrain from making arguments out of ignorance.

The above said, all I have to say on the subject is that if one believes in God one must necessarily believe in his omnipotence. And omnipotence has nothing to do with the ability of creating rocks too heavy to lift, or creating other gods to engage in contests with. Those are, in my opinion, silly questions which divert from the more interesting pursuit of understanding what a belief in God necessarily entails. What omnipotence means, in my limited understanding, is that God is capable of doing things we consider possible in principle but impossible in practice, such as create a universe out of nothing, ressurect a person after death, knows the thoughts of every single living being, bring universal justice to all. If you believe God can do those things, would you really care whether God can do things that are impossible even in principle?
 
  • #29
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I think we first need to define god..

For example, the creator of the universe cannot be made up of particles or atoms or energy or strings, why? Because then he woulkd hbave to create himself, and he would also be a slave to the system he created. Both options are logically impossible.
So what are we left with?
A god outside the system. Something who is not attached to the universe at all, but rather an external entity that can or cannot interfere with the ongoings inside the universe.

Regardless, this god would be omnipotent, but only to all the levels underneath him.
He would himself exist in a universe with logical happenings just like our universe, so it would be infinitely recursive.

Simply put, I don't believe in a god or creator. Unless the universe is infinite in nature.
 
  • #30
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Hector said:
If you're really serious about logic, it's not difficult to conclude that the world does not exist, that we do not know anything, that other people are creations of our mind, and so on and on all the way to the madhouse.

I think many people fail to understand what theology is, and why dogmas are necessary. It's easy enough to think the Church is filled with evil idiots who have no basic understanding of logic, and like to manipulate concepts to satisfy their selfish, materialistic needs. That might well be the case, although I doubt it. I prefer to think of Christian theology as the result of 2,000 years of serious thinking about ideas so complex they need a lifetime of devotion to understand. The fact that some very bright people, such as Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and countless others, have contributed to the establishment of that theology makes me think there must be something to it.

That said, I think there are only two valid approaches to the question of omnipotence or any other Christian dogma. The first approach is simple: trust that the people who came up with the idea knew what they were talking about, and just accept the concept without understanding it. Most people follow that route, which is why (in my opinion) the Church needs dogmas. Dogmas are not a way of forcing an idea into someone's mind - that is not possible in any case. Dogmas are needed because people want to be assured that the ideas they choose to trust are the result of careful thinking and therefore dabbling with them is a waste of time.

Of course some people don't like that approach, in which case only one sensible alternative remains: try to understand why you cannot understand a concept most people have no problem with. "They're all fools" is not, in my opinion, a satisfying answer. You won't learn about modern physics by reading the myriad crackpot websites found on the internet; likewise, you won't learn anything about theology by reading its critics, since none of them are familiar with the subject in the first place. If you're serious about the subject, you may start with some of the excellent texts on Christian apologetics, most of them just a Google search away and available for free.

One can, obviously, ignore the whole subject, which is also perfectly fine. There are far more important things in life than to know whether it's right to ask if God can create a rock he cannot lift. Only I think one should refrain from making arguments out of ignorance.

The above said, all I have to say on the subject is that if one believes in God one must necessarily believe in his omnipotence. And omnipotence has nothing to do with the ability of creating rocks too heavy to lift, or creating other gods to engage in contests with. Those are, in my opinion, silly questions which divert from the more interesting pursuit of understanding what a belief in God necessarily entails. What omnipotence means, in my limited understanding, is that God is capable of doing things we consider possible in principle but impossible in practice, such as create a universe out of nothing, ressurect a person after death, knows the thoughts of every single living being, bring universal justice to all. If you believe God can do those things, would you really care whether God can do things that are impossible even in principle?

You lost me in about the 3rd paragraph. When you said that I have to trust that the people knew what they were talking about and don't expect proof. Most people have a hard time programming the vcr. I was the person who took apart the vcr to see what made it run. Accepting an explanation without exploring all possibilities isn't something I can personally do. While I'm not prepared to go so far as to say that everything around us isn't real, I'm most definitely not accepting an explanation of life without proof. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to swiss cheese the omnipotence theory. But just accepting that god can create a rock that he cannot lift is like jumping off a bridge because a bunch of people swear I won't die, but instead float away on the breeze. I'd rather throw someone else off first, and see what happens. I'm looking for answers, but I'm patient enough to look at a deeper meaning.
 
  • #31
Les Sleeth
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loseyourname said:
This gets interesting. I looked up the meaning of the Hebrew word Shaddai. It is the plural form of the word Shad, which simply means "powerful one." Apparently when the term is used in the old testament, it literally means "powerful ones" and is used as one of the names of God (implying that early Hebrews were actually polytheistic?).
If we ignore modern attempts by religionists to spin history in favor of their dogma and beliefs, it seems likely early Hebrews were polytheists, and most certainly were paganists (why else did Moses have to kick butt on finding them worshipping a golden calf?).

It is a great advantage for any modern person who can envision what life was like over three millennia ago. Except for a couple of places around the Mediterranean, it was primitive tribal life. Fortunately, today there still exists such primitive tribal circumstances, and we can study how things are. And virtually without exception, when it comes to metaphysics, primitives are superstitious and lacking any real insight into the nature of the universe. Why should we believe ancient Hebrew tribes were any different when even their own records indicate they understood little before Moses?

Consider the belief in Yahweh as “almighty.” You have to understand that back then nomadic tribes were constantly competing with other tribes, and sometimes were in danger of being taken into slavery by incipient civilizations (which happened twice to the Hebrews). When it came time to fight for something, your “god” was your assistant. If you won, then your god was more powerful than the competitor’s god . . . OR, as some early Hebrew theists suggested, if you lost your god was displeased with you for some reason and so didn’t help out.

Before Moses, there is absolutely no sign of any understanding of monotheism. The Hebrew god was just their god, and they likely saw the other tribes as having their own god. Moses was the guy who really realized something unique meditating up on the mountain.
 
  • #32
Les Sleeth
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I am going to take issue with most of your post . . . I hope you don’t take it too personally. Just so you know, I pretty much think there is some greater consciousness behind creation, so we might have something in common there. But after that, your way of reasoning I don’t care for much.

Hector said:
If you're really serious about logic, it's not difficult to conclude that the world does not exist, that we do not know anything, that other people are creations of our mind, and so on and on all the way to the madhouse.
Your statement above seems contradictory. How can one be serious about logic and conclude the world does not exist? Or, that people are creations of our minds? All that has been dumped long ago as the silliness of idealists.

Hector said:
I think many people fail to understand . . . why dogmas are necessary.
I agree with the "many people." Dogmas aren’t necessary, they are 100% stupidity.

Hector said:
I prefer to think of Christian theology as the result of 2,000 years of serious thinking about ideas so complex they need a lifetime of devotion to understand. The fact that some very bright people, such as Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and countless others, have contributed to the establishment of that theology makes me think there must be something to it.
Would you like me to create a list for you of 2000 year old thinking on subjects that are just as dim-witted today as they were way back then? 2000 years of thinking doesn’t make something profound if the thinking is primarily attempts to justify beliefs.

Let’s say you believe in alchemy. So you collect all the writers on the subject for the last 2000 years. All of them, because they believe in it, have developed a great many arguments. Given 2000 years to practice, later writers expand on what earlier writers said, and so the arguments get evermore sophisticated. Yes, you with only decades to live, will require a lifetime to understand all the points made. But that’s just because of the quantity of thoughts, and not the quality of thoughts.

Being “bright” doesn’t make right. Lots of wrong thinking people are quite brilliant.

Hector said:
That said, I think there are only two valid approaches to the question of omnipotence or any other Christian dogma. The first approach is simple: trust that the people who came up with the idea knew what they were talking about . . .
If you were in church, you might get away with that. But you are here in a philosophy forum. Why should we trust that somebody knows what they are talking about just because it was said “way back then”? Does the age of an idea make it valid?

Hector said:
. . . and just accept the concept without understanding it.
Boy are you at the wrong site if you think anyone is going to buy that here.

Hector said:
Most people follow that route, which is why (in my opinion) the Church needs dogmas. Dogmas are not a way of forcing an idea into someone's mind - that is not possible in any case. Dogmas are needed because people want to be assured that the ideas they choose to trust are the result of careful thinking and therefore dabbling with them is a waste of time.
What does needing to be assured have to do with the truth, or how each individual should decide what is true? If you were a manager I was hired to consult on good management practices, I’d accuse you of paternalism. With a pat on the head you say, “don’t worry your little brain about it, we’ve got it all figured out for you. Do what I say and you will be taken care of.”

It is a failed theory that others can understand for others. EACH individual must understand for himself, and paternalistic reassurances in this age are everyday (thankfully) being recognized as ignorance.

Hector said:
of course some people don't like that approach, in which case only one sensible alternative remains: try to understand why you cannot understand a concept most people have no problem with.
Boy do I hate this sentence. To me it seems the most despicable sort of sophistry. “Most people” isn’t a test for truth. If Jesus had acquiesced to what “most people” had no problem accepting, then there would be no Christianity would there? Are you a seeker of truth or an advocate for dogmatic idiocy?

Hector said:
. . . you won't learn anything about theology by reading its critics, since none of them are familiar with the subject in the first place. If you're serious about the subject, you may start with some of the excellent texts on Christian apologetics, most of them just a Google search away and available for free.
The more you reason, the more you reveal how little you are interested in objectivity. Do you really think “none” of the critics are unfamiliar with the subject? Well, I challenge you right here and now. Let’s hear you make your case for Church dogma, and defend the old apologists with logic and facts. I’ll take you on.

Hector said:
The above said, all I have to say on the subject is that if one believes in God one must necessarily believe in his omnipotence.
That statement there is just ridiculous, and why the vast majority of thinking people are turned off to the idea of God. Why should one have to believe ANYTHING to have faith? Do you think there is any irony in the fact that those most responsible for turning off intelligent people to God are the same ones calling themselves believers?

Hector said:
If you believe God can do those things, would you really care whether God can do things that are impossible even in principle?
I agree with this. But here you have expressed something you feel and not tainted it with your attempts to get people to buy religion. That bit of sincerity impresses me a zillion percent more than all that theological junk you fed us above.
 
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  • #33
Hector
Zantra said:
You lost me in about the 3rd paragraph.
I suspect that is because you didn't read the 4th paragraph. Which is fine, I usually stop reading when the BS flag goes off, which the 3rd paragraph may have done for you. And, as always, there's the possibility I didn't make myself clear enough; if that is the case, I apologize.

When you said that I have to trust that the people knew what they were talking about and don't expect proof.
That is not what I said at all. I said that is one possibility out of two.

Most people have a hard time programming the vcr. I was the person who took apart the vcr to see what made it run. Accepting an explanation without exploring all possibilities isn't something I can personally do.
The analogy doesn't hold. Most people can't program a VCR because they never read the manual, or never take the thing apart, as you said.

I can't explain the concept of omnipotence to you, it's not as simple as learning to program a VCR. All I can say is that, if God exists, he must be omnipotent, otherwise he is not a God. That is the central issue, the only issue that matters.

I do get the feeling that you are not concerned with God's supposed omnipotence as much as you are about God's existence. You may be thinking that if God cannot be omnipotent, then he cannot exist, which is in fact very close to what I just said above. In other words, if that is your argument, then yes, you are absolutely right. But if you are trying to argue that God can exist and not be omnipotent, I can warn you that countless people tried to follow that path of reasoning before, and they were all proved wrong.
 
  • #34
hypnagogue
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Les Sleeth said:
Let’s hear you make your case for Church dogma, and defend the old apologists with logic and facts. I’ll take you on.
Actually, let's not. Abstract philosophical discussion of omnipotent beings and the like is acceptable, but when we begin to broach dogmas of specific religious traditions, we begin to approach a discussion that is not religion-neutral but rather religion-laden. And of course, such discussions are not permitted here, per PF policy. It's a fine line to walk, but let's please try to err on the side of caution here.

To repeat, discussion should be limited to purely philosophical arguments and considerations, and references to specific religious belief systems and the like should be avoided. If this thread cannot continue on such a path, it will have to be closed.
 
  • #35
Hector
Les Sleeth said:
Let’s hear you make your case for Church dogma, and defend the old apologists with logic and facts. I’ll take you on
Sorry but you're talking to the wrong guy. I'm not interested in arguing religion, I just wanted to explain why omnipotence is a necessary concept in Christian theology, nothing more than that.

I pretty much think there is some greater consciousness behind creation
That is irrelevant. The existence of some greater consciousness behind creation can only be asserted through dogma. And in Christian theology, the assertion of that dogma requires the assertion of other dogmas. That's all I said.

You probably believe you are justified in thinking there is some greater consciousness behind creation, but if that is the case I'm quite sure you are mistaken. But, again, this would be a religious discussion, and not only I'm not interested, the forum rules do not allow it.

Now take a deep breath and calm down. You are overreacting.
 
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  • #36
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Hector said:
I suspect that is because you didn't read the 4th paragraph. Which is fine, I usually stop reading when the BS flag goes off, which the 3rd paragraph may have done for you. And, as always, there's the possibility I didn't make myself clear enough; if that is the case, I apologize.
Ok I said you "lost me", meaning philosophically, but not that I lost interest or didn't read the entire post. I think response Les gave summed up my general feelings. When you ask me to just accept somethign based on your premise that since they (we haven't yet established exactly who "they" are) studied the topic so thouroughly, they must know what they are talking about. I'm sorry but present me with some proof.

The analogy doesn't hold. Most people can't program a VCR because they never read the manual, or never take the thing apart, as you said.

I can't explain the concept of omnipotence to you, it's not as simple as learning to program a VCR. All I can say is that, if God exists, he must be omnipotent, otherwise he is not a God. That is the central issue, the only issue that matters.
My point is that I don't accept things at face value, I look deeper. As you pointed out, most people just accept what's in front of them because it's easier. That's why subliminal advertising works.

as far as the central issue, you've got it right. It's a contradiction in terms. If God is omnipotent he can do anything. If he can create a rock he cannot lift, that negates his omnipotence because he should be able to lift it- which implies limits. So If God were to make this rock it would prove him fallible. It almsot makes one wonder about putting such an absolute value to "omnipotence". That or you have to concede that God is not omnipotent.

I do get the feeling that you are not concerned with God's supposed omnipotence as much as you are about God's existence. You may be thinking that if God cannot be omnipotent, then he cannot exist, which is in fact very close to what I just said above. In other words, if that is your argument, then yes, you are absolutely right. But if you are trying to argue that God can exist and not be omnipotent, I can warn you that countless people tried to follow that path of reasoning before, and they were all proved wrong.
I won't argue for or against his existence. That's a seperate topic i won't delve into. However his omnipotence or lack thereof has implications on the other topic. For purposes here I'm only concerned with omnipotence. I say he cannot posesss it because that rock cannot exist.
 
  • #37
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One thing I always notice is the assumption that if he can, he necessarily will do whatever can be done. Why does that have to be the case? Perhaps God could very well create a rock too heavy to lift or destroy himself/itself but simply chooses not to.

In the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, God is also morally perfect. Coming from that perspective, God would understand that his existence is the best possible state of affairs and never choose to do such things even though they may be possible.

You could actually reverse the problem back to the skeptic by asking why a god of perfect knowledge and morality would choose to will himself out of existence.
That seems to be a paradox on the other side of the coin.

That’s the simple answer. Another would that God himself is the source of all concepts or universals. Concepts like “heavy”, “too”, etc. So if God created a rock too heavy for him to lift then what would really be happening are just various concepts being expressed by God. That fallacy of the question is that it assumes that God is also subject to concepts and relations/interactions with those concepts. If that were the case then there would be a source above God where those concepts originated and we wouldn’t really be talking about God but some other being.
In other words, if God willed himself out of existence, it would be described as "God became God" because non-existence is just another subjective concept.
I know that's a controversial statement but in this context it would be subjective. God's sudden non-exsitence could only be understood if he previously existed and God was there to percieve both the existence and non-existence. So God could cease to exist and still exist* at the same time.
*I say "exist" because of a need to speak of it but in reality it would transcend existence somehow because existence itself is a product of God.
Personally I prefer to think of God as the "something" that universals originate from and refer back to when they relate to each other.

Sorry, I know that's a huge rambling paragraph but I've been up all night. :zzz:
 
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  • #38
Hector
Zantra said:
Ok I said you "lost me", meaning philosophically, but not that I lost interest or didn't read the entire post. I think response Les gave summed up my general feelings. When you ask me to just accept somethign based on your premise that since they (we haven't yet established exactly who "they" are) studied the topic so thouroughly, they must know what they are talking about. I'm sorry but present me with some proof.
I have not asked you to accept it without thinking. Please re-read my post carefully and you will see it.

To be fair, no one reads anything with much attention on computer screens. Most discussions on this, or any other forum, centers around misunderstanding.

My point is that I don't accept things at face value, I look deeper. As you pointed out, most people just accept what's in front of them because it's easier
That's exactly what I said. People accept dogma because they don't want to think about things. And that's perfectly fine, because if we are to think about every single piece of knowleldge we're given, we'd get nowhere. We have to accept that the people we trust have done the best they can.

Notice that one doesn't have to accept Church dogma if one doesn't trust the Church. And at no point I said the Church must be trusted, all I said was, if you trust it, then you must accept its dogmas.

as far as the central issue, you've got it right. It's a contradiction in terms. If God is omnipotent he can do anything. If he can create a rock he cannot lift, that negates his omnipotence because he should be able to lift it- which implies limits. So If God were to make this rock it would prove him fallible. It almsot makes one wonder about putting such an absolute value to "omnipotence". That or you have to concede that God is not omnipotent.
I don't know if God exists, so it would not make sense for me to argue if he is or is not omnipotent. I was just talking about Christian theology as an independent subject, interesting in its own way. And all I said was that omnipotence is a fundamental concept in Christian theology. I didn't say it was a necessary attribute of God. I could just as well have said that unicorns must have one horn on top of their head, otherwise they are not unicorns.

This is where both you and Les lost me. You think I'm proselytizing but I'm not, I'm just trying to make a point about Christian theology apart from Christian faith, which to me is perfectly possible.

The problem you don't realize is that you are also talking about Christian theology without realizing it. You are not talking about "the great spirit in the sky", or "some form of consciousness behind creation", you are talking about "God", which is a Christian concept. Had you been born in Alaska or India, I doubt you would be worrying about omnipotence.

I won't argue for or against his existence. That's a seperate topic i won't delve into. However his omnipotence or lack thereof has implications on the other topic. For purposes here I'm only concerned with omnipotence. I say he cannot posesss it because that rock cannot exist.
All you are saying is that Christian theology is logically inconsistent. Which is no news to anyone, including Christians themselves. Exactly what is your point?
 
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  • #39
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Icebreaker said:
Is omnipotence intrinsically paradoxical?
The example used before is imprecise and inefficient because 'lifting' implies a corporeal body, while omnipotence implies that one does not require a corporeal body (otherwise your note omnipotent are you?). So this can be answered by stating that 'God' can create a stone his corporeal body is incapable of lifting, but this corporeal body is simply an extension of God it's 'self', so 'God' is still omnipotent.

We have to assume that an omnipotent being can transcend the physical reality to apply this paradox to a context. This example does not do that.

Also, I hate examples and prefer to work in pure logical terms.
Also 2, the idea god is just too confusing for a philosophical discussion.

--

The paradox states that something which is unlimited in power, cannot be limited in power, and is therefor not unlimited in power. This implies that in order for an omnipotent being to be omnipotent it must also be limited at the same time (and I use 'time' loosely, let's not get into that). This is faulty reasoning, asking "What if omnipotence isn't omnipotent" is like asking "What if black was white" (yes I know they're not precise 'opposites'). Something can't be two opposites at the same time, this is not a rule of existance, but a rule of logic and reasoning.

It is not a paradox at all, but a fallacy and rhetoric.
 
  • #40
Icebreaker
What?

Ever heard of "proof by contradiction"?


Hector said:
I prefer to think of Christian theology as the result of 2,000 years of serious thinking
"People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." -- Asimov
 
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  • #41
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This question vividly reminds me of Godel's sentence G. Would it be fruitful to apply the same method to omnipotence?

Call the act X 'the act which cannot be performed by God'. God either can or cannot perform this act. If he can't perform act X, then he's not all powerful. If he can then logic seems to break down. Perhaps there is no actual act X.
 
  • #42
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Hector said:
All you are saying is that Christian theology is logically inconsistent. Which is no news to anyone, including Christians themselves. Exactly what is your point?
By which it follows that Christians are doing a grave injustice to their intellect by clinging to their irrational beliefs.
 
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  • #43
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Icebreaker said:
What?

Ever heard of "proof by contradiction"?
Yes, I don't see how it applies.
 
  • #44
Tom Mattson
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OK folks, I've just pruned this thread a little. Let's stick to addressing statements, and not personalities.
 
  • #45
Icebreaker
Smurf said:
Yes, I don't see how it applies.
Assume something to be omnipotent and you will run into a contradiction, therefore the assumption is false.
 
  • #46
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ah. My point was that the contradiction was false, so the assumption is not necessarily untrue... i think.
 
  • #47
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If God is the guy who creates the software which runs the computer, then yes, it is possible to remain omnipotent and logically consistent at the same time.
 
  • #48
selfAdjoint
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Iacchus32 said:
If God is the guy who creates the software which runs the computer, then yes, it is possible to remain omnipotent and logically consistent at the same time.

I thought it was the computer that runs the software?
 
  • #49
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selfAdjoint said:
I thought it was the computer that runs the software?
Perhaps. But what is a computer simulation without the software which generates it? This is closer to my point. If, in fact we live in some sort of Matrix, why should the guy who created that Matrix be bound by the same rules?
 
  • #50
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I like a lot of the discussion in this thread, but what bothers me the most is when people make their point, and then say they are not interested in anyone else's. It's just not worth their time. The whole mentality of "I'm right and I'll tell you how it is" just doesn't seem productive.

I find omnipotence impossible to fully understand for myself because I just cannot grasp the infinte natures of it. I feel that it falls into the category of faith, as I believe it is beyond human comprehension. What do you guys think? Can we fully grasp the concept of omnipotence?
 

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