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Thread: My Answer to the Omnipotence Paradox

  1. #1 My Answer to the Omnipotence Paradox 
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    I have come up with an answer of my own to the omnipotence paradox that I believe to be a fact that almost everyone with logic will agree with. My answer is that God can create a stone He can't lift, but at the same time the stone can never be greater than His own power. I will now explain why.


    Infinity can not be greater than infinity. In the case of God's infinite power vs the infinite weight of a stone, infinity is infinity (it's the same). Therefore, if both God and the stone have infinite power, then it would actually be impossible for Him to create a stone that is greater than His power. Nothing can be greater than infinity. Now as for not having "enough" power to lift the stone, the word "enough" implies a limit. And since there is no limit when it comes to God's infinite power, that word does not apply. Even the word "greater" does not apply (when it comes to both God and the stone having infinite power) as that also implies that there was something limited in comparison as the only way to say something is greater is to have something that is of limited value and to have something else greater than that set limit (and again, just like I stated before, the infinite weight of the stone cannot be greater than God's infinite power or vice versa). Finally, if it is a stone that is less than His power, He would be able to lift it. And, of course, if it's greater than His power, then it would mean He can't lift it. But if it's equal (in this case of infinity vs infinity), He still wouldn't be able to lift it because the only way to lift something is to exert greater power than the weight of the stone in order to lift it.


    Now that I have given my answer, feel free to object to it. If it can't be objected against, then go ahead and tell me if it's indeed a worthy answer that practically everyone with logic can agree with.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMVS7 View Post
    I have come up with an answer of my own to the omnipotence paradox that I believe to be a fact that almost everyone with logic will agree with. My answer is that God can create a stone He can't lift, but at the same time the stone can never be greater than His own power.
    That is not the paradox.

    This is the paradox:
    "Could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even he could not lift it?" If he could lift the rock, then it seems that the being would not have been omnipotent to begin with in that he would have been incapable of creating a heavy enough stone; if he could not lift the stone, then it seems that the being either would never have been omnipotent to begin with or would have ceased to be omnipotent upon his creation of the stone."

    Quote Originally Posted by MattMVS7 View Post
    But if it's equal (in this case of infinity vs infinity), He still wouldn't be able to lift it because the only way to lift something is to exert greater power than the weight of the stone in order to lift it.
    ...and if god can't lift it then he is not omnipotent.


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    If we're talking paradoxes then we're talking semantics, logic and philosophy and the like, all the way back to Aquinas.

    I'll shift this discussion there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    if he could not lift the stone, then it seems that the being either would never have been omnipotent to begin with or would have ceased to be omnipotent upon his creation of the stone."...and if god can't lift it then he is not omnipotent.
    But in this case, Him not being able to lift the stone does not make it seem that way at all because of the fact that, again, infinity is the same and His omnipotence (infinite power) would be the same as the infinite power of the stone (meaning, again, He can't lift it). So Him not being able to lift the stone still means He is omnipotent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    "Could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even he could not lift it?" If he could lift the rock, then it seems that the being would not have been omnipotent to begin with in that he would have been incapable of creating a heavy enough stone; if he could not lift the stone, then it seems that the being either would never have been omnipotent to begin with or would have ceased to be omnipotent upon his creation of the stone."
    This so-called paradox has a very simple resolution...but not wanting to step on anyone's tails, I'll leave it up to yourself to figure it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMVS7 View Post
    But in this case, Him not being able to lift the stone does not make it seem that way at all because of the fact that, again, infinity is the same and His omnipotence (infinite power) would be the same as the infinite power of the stone (meaning, again, He can't lift it).
    TBH, I am having trouble parsing that sentence. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattMVS7 View Post
    So Him not being able to lift the stone still means He is omnipotent.
    So, god not being able to do something doesn't mean he is not able to do something?
    Not being able to do something completely undermines any claims of god-like omnipotence.

    Looking at your OP again, I think what you are saying is that god has unlimited power - but not unlimited ability.
    Are you saying that god has unlimited power (like the way a battery has power) but he doesn't have unlimited capabilities?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    This so-called paradox has a very simple resolution...but not wanting to step on anyone's tails, I'll leave it up to yourself to figure it out.
    I can think of a few solutions, but I don't think they would be acceptable to many religious people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Looking at your OP again, I think what you are saying is that god has unlimited power - but not unlimited ability.
    Are you saying that god has unlimited power (like the way a battery has power) but he doesn't have unlimited capabilities?
    Yes, that is what I'm saying. But in order to have ability, you have to have power in the first place. Therefore, wouldn't there be no logic in saying that God has unlimited power, but not unlimited ability?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMVS7 View Post
    Therefore, wouldn't there be no logic in saying that God has unlimited power, but not unlimited ability?
    Power (in the sense of "like a battery") is not connected to ability.
    Our Sun has massive amounts of power but limited abilities.

    Or maybe I am misunderstanding what you mean by "power".
    Perhaps it would help if you could state what you mean when you say "power"? (- just to ensure that we are singing from the same page.)
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    What I'm saying is that wouldn't ability be expression of power or that having an ability means being able to express a power in a certain way? The sun, like you said, has massive power, but has limited abilities (an example being that it cannot express its power in a way that allows it to teleport or anything else like that). So if you have unlimited ability, you have unlimited ways of expressing that power. Now this would also apply to being able to express power on a specific task (in this case, creating a stone). If God does have unlimited power, you would be right in saying that it does not say that he also has unlimited expression of that power when expressing His power to create a stone. So I guess the answer that I made only applies to His unlimited power, but not His ability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMVS7 View Post
    What I'm saying is that wouldn't ability be expression of power or that having an ability means being able to express a power in a certain way?
    The following should be relevant reading if you are interested.

    Omnipotence (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMVS7 View Post
    So I guess the answer that I made only applies to His unlimited power, but not His ability.
    So, would your suggested solution be: "A god with unlimited power but not unlimited ability could create a rock they couldn't lift."?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    This so-called paradox has a very simple resolution...but not wanting to step on anyone's tails, I'll leave it up to yourself to figure it out.
    I can think of a few solutions, but I don't think they would be acceptable to many religious people.

    Another solution: omnipotence includes the ability to violate the laws of logic, thereby erasing the paradox altogether.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    omnipotence includes the ability to violate the laws of logic, thereby erasing the paradox altogether.
    There's just one thing that an agent imbued with omnipotence isn't able to achieve; omni-impotence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    omnipotence includes the ability to violate the laws of logic, thereby erasing the paradox altogether.
    There's just one thing that an agent imbued with omnipotence isn't able to achieve; omni-impotence.

    An agent with omnipotence as defined in post #13, is able to violate the law of noncontradiction and can be omnipotent and omni-impotent.
    Besides, the notion of an omni-impotent entity raises the question how it can exist in the first place.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    An agent with omnipotence as defined in post #13, is able to violate the law of noncontradiction and can be omnipotent and omni-impotent.
    Besides, the notion of an omni-impotent entity raises the question how it can exist in the first place.
    Omnipotence suggest ability, and omni-impotence suggests inability. Once struck by omni-impotence, an omnipotent agent no longer possess the ability to affect anything; in effect isn't able to revert to its former status of potency, thus it isn't a contradiction because with inability, it looses the ability to violate anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    An agent with omnipotence as defined in post #13, is able to violate the law of noncontradiction and can be omnipotent and omni-impotent.
    Besides, the notion of an omni-impotent entity raises the question how it can exist in the first place.
    Omnipotence suggest ability, and omni-impotence suggests inability. Once struck by omni-impotence, an omnipotent agent no longer possess the ability to affect anything; in effect isn't able to revert to its former status of potency, thus it isn't a contradiction because with inability, it looses the ability to violate anything.

    In other words, an omnipotent entity according to my standard must also be omni-impotent, and therefore it will nullify its own omnipotence?
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    There are an infinite amount of numbers, from 1 to infinity.

    There are also an infinite amout of even numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8... although that infinity is only half of the infinity of total numbers.

    With this in mind, can infinity be greater than infinity, after all?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    There are an infinite amount of numbers, from 1 to infinity.

    There are also an infinite amout of even numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8... although that infinity is only half of the infinity of total numbers.
    Actually, those two infinities are the same. This is easy to show because you can count the even numbers (1, 2, 3, ...) and hence map one set on to the other.

    However, there are an inifinite number of real numbers; and this infinity is infinitely greater than the number of integers. (See Cantor's Diagonal Argument.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    There are an infinite amount of numbers, from 1 to infinity.

    There are also an infinite amout of even numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8... although that infinity is only half of the infinity of total numbers.
    Actually, those two infinities are the same. This is easy to show because you can count the even numbers (1, 2, 3, ...) and hence map one set on to the other.

    However, there are an inifinite number of real numbers; and this infinity is infinitely greater than the number of integers. (See Cantor's Diagonal Argument.)
    ...and in between every real number is an infinitude of infinitesimals
    Stroyan, K. D.; Luxemburg, W. A. J. Introduction to the theory of infinitesimals. Pure and Applied Mathematics, No. 72. Academic Press [Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers], New York-London, 1976.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    In other words, an omnipotent entity according to my standard must also be omni-impotent, and therefore it will nullify its own omnipotence?
    If an omnipotent agent is both able and capable of achieving anything and everything, even the state of omni-impotency; it will in effect nullify it's (omni)potency. So, the direct answer to your question is, Yes.

    Once afflicted even for an instant with a state of omni-impotency, the agent looses any and all means of affection on all levels and scales, even if contingency measures were set in place before it's pre-afflicted state. And the reason for this is, if persistence of state is a variable within omnipotence, it is also a variable within omni-impotence. All-powerful and all-reaching on every level, scale and scope pre-affliction, and all inaffective on every level, scale and scope post affliction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    And the reason for this is, if persistence of state is a variable within omnipotence, it is also a variable within omni-impotence. All-powerful and all-reaching on every level, scale and scope pre-affliction, and all inaffective on every level, scale and scope post affliction.

    I do not understand this piece of your answer. Could you rephrase it?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    And the reason for this is, if persistence of state is a variable within omnipotence, it is also a variable within omni-impotence. All-powerful and all-reaching on every level, scale and scope pre-affliction, and all inaffective on every level, scale and scope post affliction.
    I do not understand this piece of your answer. Could you rephrase it?
    Persistence of state is an ongoing continuation any given state. Persistence of potency (potency as a state) is an ongoing continuation of that potency. Change or more specifically changes to the state of omnipotency qualifies as a variable within the scope of omnipotency. If change is possible, even to the state of omnipotency, it is a state that isn't constant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    And the reason for this is, if persistence of state is a variable within omnipotence, it is also a variable within omni-impotence. All-powerful and all-reaching on every level, scale and scope pre-affliction, and all inaffective on every level, scale and scope post affliction.
    I do not understand this piece of your answer. Could you rephrase it?
    Persistence of state is an ongoing continuation any given state. Persistence of potency (potency as a state) is an ongoing continuation of that potency. Change or more specifically changes to the state of omnipotency qualifies as a variable within the scope of omnipotency. If change is possible, even to the state of omnipotency, it is a state that isn't constant.

    Yes, I see. Thank you for the clarification.
    I cannot but discard my standard of omnipotence as stated earlier.

    Anyhow, I wonder what member MattMVS7 has to say about all this.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    God is apparently, Omnipotent and Omnipresent....do you think he might have been an Omnivore too?
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    God is apparently, ...
    Can you clarify which deity are you referring to specifically, and how anything about the specific deity or deities you have mind is "apparent"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    God is apparently, ...
    Can you clarify which deity are you referring to specifically, and how anything about the specific deity or deities you have mind is "apparent"?
    I'm speaking (in this particular post) of the 'God' that I was taught of.

    Although, the latter part was of course a joke but I guess it might be wasted....
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    I think it's futile to try to understand God's omnipotence without first providing evidence for a God.

    Ancient peoples built megaliths in the Neolithic era, and they possessed something some kind of knowledge that we don't fully understand. I can't find a source that provides a logical explanation.
    Last edited by Clair D.; May 7th, 2014 at 11:14 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clair D. View Post
    I think it's futile to try to understand God's omnipotence without first providing evidence for a God.
    But it is interesting! Much like debating whether dragons can talk can be interesting.
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    Most religious people believes that God is omnipotent and unfathomable to human minds. In this case it would be silly (to say the least) to try to measure the ability of God while acknowledging human inability of comprehending the God. It like acknowledging that numbers are infinite and at the same time attempting to count it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Most religious people believes that God is omnipotent and unfathomable to human minds.
    You ought to be aware that "most" religious people do not believe in the same deity, and a sizable amount of them do not believe in singular deity (opposed to deities; plural). In any case, this topic appears to be an attempt to tackle the issue of omnipotence and not the deities that are assigned that attribute.
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    If I were omnipotent I would make a rock so big that I couldn't lift it unless I really wanted to. Then I'd change the rock back so that I could lift it again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Most religious people believes that God is omnipotent and unfathomable to human minds.
    You ought to be aware that "most" religious people do not believe in the same deity, and a sizable amount of them do not believe in singular deity (opposed to deities; plural). In any case, this topic appears to be an attempt to tackle the issue of omnipotence and not the deities that are assigned that attribute.
    I had seen the attempt in this thread that you pointed towards. That's exactly why I mentioned that this attempt is similar to an attempt of counting the set of infinite numbers. Trying to tackle the issue of omnipotence of God while ignoring His other attributes such as He being unfathomable to human' mind is as if attempting to count the infinite number of objects while ignoring their infinity, is what I was trying to say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Trying to tackle the issue of omnipotence of God while ignoring His other attributes such as He being unfathomable to human' mind is as if attempting to count the infinite number of objects while ignoring their infinity, is what I was trying to say.
    Just one deity? And it's a he?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Trying to tackle the issue of omnipotence of God while ignoring His other attributes such as He being unfathomable to human' mind is as if attempting to count the infinite number of objects while ignoring their infinity, is what I was trying to say.
    Just one deity? And it's a he?
    Topic?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    If I were omnipotent I would make a rock so big that I couldn't lift it unless I really wanted to. Then I'd change the rock back so that I could lift it again.

    You have a very limited imagination if the first and foremost thing you will do with unlimited power is making rocks.
    Daecon likes this.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    You have a very limited imagination if the first and foremost thing you will do with unlimited power is making rocks.
    First item on my list is a butt, and a comfy sofa.


    Edits: Perhaps the most nitpicking butt that would never ever be satisfied no matter how comfy a seat can be, and the most comfortable sofa that can satisfy any butt!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    If I were omnipotent I would make a rock so big that I couldn't lift it unless I really wanted to. Then I'd change the rock back so that I could lift it again.

    You have a very limited imagination if the first and foremost thing you will do with unlimited power is making rocks.
    Not if those rocks eventually evolves into living beings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    If I were omnipotent I would make a rock so big that I couldn't lift it unless I really wanted to. Then I'd change the rock back so that I could lift it again.

    You have a very limited imagination if the first and foremost thing you will do with unlimited power is making rocks.
    Not if those rocks eventually evolves into living beings
    But they don't.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    If I were omnipotent I would make a rock so big that I couldn't lift it unless I really wanted to. Then I'd change the rock back so that I could lift it again.

    You have a very limited imagination if the first and foremost thing you will do with unlimited power is making rocks.
    I'd kill time if I were omnipotent.
    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    If I were omnipotent I would make a rock so big that I couldn't lift it unless I really wanted to. Then I'd change the rock back so that I could lift it again.

    You have a very limited imagination if the first and foremost thing you will do with unlimited power is making rocks.
    Not if those rocks eventually evolves into living beings
    But they don't.
    Okay!!! Now I know
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    The omnipotence paradox to me is a theorem proving that omnipotence is impossible.
    UNIVERSAL TRUTHS:
    1) There are no universal truths, other than this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticorncob28 View Post
    The omnipotence paradox to me is a theorem proving that omnipotence is impossible.
    This "omnipotence paradox" exist only if it were possible for a human mind to count the infinite set of numbers in their entirety. Making such an attempt, then failing, does not mean there is a paradox.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    If I were omnipotent I would make a rock so big that I couldn't lift it unless I really wanted to. Then I'd change the rock back so that I could lift it again.

    You have a very limited imagination if the first and foremost thing you will do with unlimited power is making rocks.
    But MY rocks would be in the shape of anatomically accurate male genitalia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    If I were omnipotent I would make a rock so big that I couldn't lift it unless I really wanted to. Then I'd change the rock back so that I could lift it again.

    You have a very limited imagination if the first and foremost thing you will do with unlimited power is making rocks.
    But MY rocks would be in the shape of anatomically accurate male genitalia.
    Not great for teabagging!
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Trying to tackle the issue of omnipotence of God while ignoring His other attributes such as He being unfathomable to human' mind is as if attempting to count the infinite number of objects while ignoring their infinity, is what I was trying to say.
    Just one deity? And it's a he?
    Always the mens fault. Blame the men!
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