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Omnipotent beings are self-contradictory?

  1. Mar 5, 2005 #1

    honestrosewater

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    I just read an old riddle: What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?
    Answer: The description involves a contradiction. For an irresistible force to meet an immovable object, both must exist. But if an irresistible force exists, there exists no immovable object and vice versa.
    Wouldn't an omnipotent being be both an irresistible force and an immovable object?
     
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  3. Mar 5, 2005 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Or more simplistic: if God can do anything, can He create a rock so heavy even He can't lift it?
     
  4. Mar 5, 2005 #3

    Janitor

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    And does omnipotence require the ability to overrule logic? Can God make a circular square? When this sort of question is asked to Believers, a common response is, "Yes He could do that, but He loves logic and wants His creation to be logical, so He voluntarily restrains Himself from doing things that violate logic."
     
  5. Mar 5, 2005 #4

    saltydog

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    Thanks, that's helpful. Lots of ideas seem to involve contradictions like that. You know, like "what's north of the north pole?". As Jacob Bronowski said, "it's precisely the ambiguity of language that makes for rich discovery". Something like that anyway.
     
  6. Mar 5, 2005 #5

    honestrosewater

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    Does anyone think an omnipotent being (OB) wouldn't have the properties of being an immovable object and an irresistible force? Could it somehow avoid the contraditiction? I'm inclined to think even an OB has no power at all unless it exists. So if it's impossible for an OB to exist, it's impossible for an OB to exist, and even an OB can't do anything to change that. Does anyone disagree?
     
  7. Mar 5, 2005 #6
    That makes sense to me but i would think it is a matter of which one comes first. This probably is because of my programming background but I kinda have gotten used to chewing through things in a chronological order. 1st command,2nd....So if the first ruled out the 2nd, then the 2nd wouldn't compile/exist.
    ------------------------------------------
    Universe.ruleOutOmnipotentBeings();
    OmnipotentBeings.ignoreUniverse'sRules();

    --or--

    OmnipotentBeings.ignoreUniverse'sRules();
    Universe.ruleOutOmnipotentBeings();
    -----------------------------------------

    But you could probably argue about this for hours and not get anywhere.That is just my way of seeing it. Hope you understand what I wrote above...
    I think that an omnipotent being could/does do whateverthehell it/she/he wants to, maybe we just can't experience it all...Or maybe it wants logic... If i was an OB I would want some type of logic for the people who worship me.
     
  8. Mar 5, 2005 #7
    When an irresistable force meets an unmoveable object, you are met with a roadfork where you must choose one or the other, although both will still EXIST, just not simultaneously. Like f(x) = sqrt(x)

    For SOME reason, this makes me think of Schodinger's Cat.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2005 #8

    Math Is Hard

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    Wouldn't assigning these properties essentially be assigning physical properties to an omnipotent being? I would think that an OB could not exist physically because of the contradiction you mentioned. Of course, when I think of an all-powerful being, I think of the concept of God (an 'OOO' Creator in my case), and I don't envision God as having a physical form.
     
  10. Mar 7, 2005 #9

    honestrosewater

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    I don't know, but assume it does. If an OB could exist in any form, it could exist in a physical form- otherwise it wouldn't be omnipotent. What do you think?
    I don't understand. If they both exist, they do exist simultaneously. Do you mean they both possibly exist? Once one of them exists, the other doesn't even possibly exist.

    Sure, once it exists. But can it exist? I don't follow the code.
     
  11. Mar 7, 2005 #10

    AKG

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    An omnipotent being is a being that has the potential or power to do anything. So it could be an immovable object or an irresistable force, but that doesn't entail that it always is both. An omnipotent being could take physical form and beat each person in a race, but that doesn't mean that it always is beating people in races. An omnipotent being could destroy the planet Earth, but that doesn't mean that it always is, or that it ever will, just that it can. However, the ability to do anything does not imply the ability to do something contradictory, just as omniscience, possessing all knowledge, does not imply knowing falsehoods. So if being an irresistable force and an immovable object at the same time is contradictory, then it doesn't detract from the power of an omnipotent being if he can't be both at the same time, since it just means that he can't do anything contradictory, which is obvious, because it doesn't make sense to do something that is contradictory.
     
  12. Mar 7, 2005 #11

    honestrosewater

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    Oh, right. Heh.
     
  13. Mar 7, 2005 #12
    OR, the OB is an energy/consciousness gestalt wherein all knowlege, power, etc resides. If we want the immoveable object we go to it's point of existence or go to the irresitible object's point. Assuming both are continuously expanding it would be necessary to select the power point of each to determine which would survive or succeed the collision.

    love&peace,
    olde drunk


    "heaven was created so that your clergy could charge admission"
     
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