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Thread: Argument against omnipotence

  1. #1 Argument against omnipotence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Can an omnipotent God create a rock which he cannot lift?
    By christian theology yes he can. God in three parts is the trinity. One God three parts. There are some examples i can give but I won't bog us down with that now. If you want an explanation of the trinity ask in a new thread as our islamic friend would not appreciate the derail.

    Father, Son, Holy spirit. all one God God the Father is omnipotent as are the other 2 parts of God. When Jesus (if you believe he existed again please don't derail) allowed himself to be born a human he had human limitations (even if they were self imposed). He could be hot or cold or tired or anything a normal human could be. He could only lift what his muscles would allow. Hence, God the father who is omnipotent created many rocks that were too heavy for God the son to lift.

    Only a truly omnipotent God can can still do whatever he wants by not allowing himself to do something. More simply put... would he still be omnipotent if he couldn't limit himself if he wanted to?

    Same answer for the could God microwave a burrito so hot he couldn't eat it.
    If an omnipotent God creates a rock which he cannot lift, then he's not omnipotent when he fails to lift it. We're not talking about the will of God, we're talking about his omnipotence. So even if he made himself human and couldn't lift the rock, nothing's changed. He is omnipotent, and if he can't lift the rock, he cannot be omnipotent. This argument logically explains why omnipotence is impossible. No matter how you "merry go around" or "tip toe" around it, it still proves that omnipotence is impossible. If he wants to lift the rock that he cannot lift and succeeds, then he's still not omnipotent. Because he failed to create a rock which he couldn't lift.


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  3. #2 Re: Argument against omnipotence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Can an omnipotent God create a rock which he cannot lift?
    By christian theology yes he can. God in three parts is the trinity. One God three parts. There are some examples i can give but I won't bog us down with that now. If you want an explanation of the trinity ask in a new thread as our islamic friend would not appreciate the derail.

    Father, Son, Holy spirit. all one God God the Father is omnipotent as are the other 2 parts of God. When Jesus (if you believe he existed again please don't derail) allowed himself to be born a human he had human limitations (even if they were self imposed). He could be hot or cold or tired or anything a normal human could be. He could only lift what his muscles would allow. Hence, God the father who is omnipotent created many rocks that were too heavy for God the son to lift.

    Only a truly omnipotent God can can still do whatever he wants by not allowing himself to do something. More simply put... would he still be omnipotent if he couldn't limit himself if he wanted to?

    Same answer for the could God microwave a burrito so hot he couldn't eat it.
    If an omnipotent God creates a rock which he cannot lift, then he's not omnipotent when he fails to lift it. We're not talking about the will of God, we're talking about his omnipotence. So even if he made himself human and couldn't lift the rock, nothing's changed. He is omnipotent, and if he can't lift the rock, he cannot be omnipotent. This argument logically explains why omnipotence is impossible. No matter how you "merry go around" or "tip toe" around it, it still proves that omnipotence is impossible. If he wants to lift the rock that he cannot lift and succeeds, then he's still not omnipotent. Because he failed to create a rock which he couldn't lift.
    2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    God does not deny or contradict Himself. The bible defines God. Your argument is at fault, making false assumptions about God.
    God can do whatever He wants to do. That is omnipotence.
    He does not want to deny Himself.


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  4. #3 Re: Argument against omnipotence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost7584
    2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    God does not deny or contradict Himself. The bible defines God. Your argument is at fault, making false assumptions about God.
    God can do whatever He wants to do. That is omnipotence.
    He does not want to deny Himself.
    I doubt omnipotence is "doing whatever you want to do". The common understanding of the term is "being able to do anything whatsoever".

    A rock, by most judgements, doesn't 'want' to do anything; therefore is it achieving omnipotence?

    Of course, this could just become another duelling definitions thread, to the utter boredom of others, so I'll offer one more thouoght.

    If your definition holds good, ie "God can do whatever He wants to do. That is omnipotence.", then the standards by which we have been judging the allegedly omnipotent god will change - the question will become then, what does this omnipotence mean to us? Effectively it becomes irrelevant unless we have some empirical evidence of the desires of this putative god. By my definition, on the other hand, which is what, I believe, Obviously is using, you seem to be led to a logical contradiction.

    So either nothing can be omnipotent (our usage), or it is irrelevant until you know the mind of god - else you cannot tell what this alleged capability is to be used for.

    Your thoughts?
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  5. #4  
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    Omnipotence (literally, "all power") is power with no limits i.e. unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence only to God.
    Glad we got that out of the way :wink:

    Quote Originally Posted by ghost7584
    2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    God does not deny or contradict Himself. The bible defines God. Your argument is at fault, making false assumptions about God.
    God can do whatever He wants to do. That is omnipotence.
    He does not want to deny Himself.
    You just tried to tip toe around the problem by invoking the will of God. The argument remains valid because he can't be omnipotent. If he cannot contradict himself then he's also not omnipotent (thanks for that one).

    So if he can't contradict himself, he isn't omnipotent. But if he does contradict himself (he manages to create a rock he cannot lift) he's still contradicting himself. The fallacy of God's omnipotence has become stronger
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    Does everyone agree that omnipotence is impossible now?
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  7. #6 Re: Argument against omnipotence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost7584
    God can do whatever He wants to do. That is omnipotence.
    As far as I can tell God cannot make a man that doesn't sin.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  8. #7 Re: Argument against omnipotence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost7584
    God can do whatever He wants to do. That is omnipotence.
    As far as I can tell God cannot make a man that doesn't sin.
    you probably have such a view due to your lack of potency
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    theres so many things god cannot do, it would take a billion years to list them all.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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    Sorry I overlooked this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously

    If an omnipotent God creates a rock which he cannot lift, then he's not omnipotent when he fails to lift it. We're not talking about the will of God, we're talking about his omnipotence. So even if he made himself human and couldn't lift the rock, nothing's changed. He is omnipotent, and if he can't lift the rock, he cannot be omnipotent. This argument logically explains why omnipotence is impossible. No matter how you "merry go around" or "tip toe" around it, it still proves that omnipotence is impossible. If he wants to lift the rock that he cannot lift and succeeds, then he's still not omnipotent. Because he failed to create a rock which he couldn't lift.
    Only an omnipotent God could do that. Becuase he is capable of limiting himself at his own discression he is able to do whatever he wishes. By either being able to lift or to not lift the rock is proof of his ability to do anything. This sounds like a circular arguement becasue your trying to fit the power of God into your logic. You cannot balance the equation of God with math, science or logic. God is beyond our intellect and is not bound by it.

    If God exists don't you think it would be beyond our abilty to truly understand him?

    Just because he can do anything doesn't mean he will.

    Edit:

    Also if the trinity is true doctrine. then the father son and holy spirit coexist at all times. One God 3 parts. God the father could always lift it when God the Son physically could not.
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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  11. #10  
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    Me say omnipotence = unlimited power = impossible

    If God can't do something against his will in order to contradict himself, he can't have unlimited power :wink:
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    OK.. I still love ya : P we just agree to disagree.

    Why does he have to contradict himself? If he's alpowerful he could do and reverse anything infinately. No contradiction needed
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    OK.. I still love ya : P we just agree to disagree.

    Why does he have to contradict himself? If he's alpowerful he could do and reverse anything infinately. No contradiction needed
    We can sure agree to disagree But...

    I'm not fighting the need or will, I'm fighting the word itself. It's impossible! God can't be omnipotent because it's impossible. :wink:
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  14. #13 Re: Argument against omnipotence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost7584
    God can do whatever He wants to do. That is omnipotence.
    As far as I can tell God cannot make a man that doesn't sin.
    you probably have such a view due to your lack of potency
    Sigh...... the only thing impotent is your rebuttal.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    If he is willing but unable,
    then he is not omnipotent.

    If he is able but not willing,
    then he is malevolent.

    If he is both willing and able,
    then whence cometh evil?

    If he is neither willing nor able,
    then why call him God?

    Epicurus

    I like this argument against the logical existence of god.
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  16. #15 Re: Argument against omnipotence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    If an omnipotent God creates a rock which he cannot lift, then he's not omnipotent when he fails to lift it. We're not talking about the will of God, we're talking about his omnipotence. So even if he made himself human and couldn't lift the rock, nothing's changed. He is omnipotent, and if he can't lift the rock, he cannot be omnipotent. This argument logically explains why omnipotence is impossible. No matter how you "merry go around" or "tip toe" around it, it still proves that omnipotence is impossible. If he wants to lift the rock that he cannot lift and succeeds, then he's still not omnipotent. Because he failed to create a rock which he couldn't lift.
    All this proves is that it is easy to define a concept in a logically inconsistent manner. It should be pointed out that the ability of God in the above question is a self-referential one (about the ability of God itself), and consistency requires either that we reject the notion of such self-referential abilities or we consider whether omnipotence must include a power over oneself. Furthermore we must distinguish between being able to do anything and being able to anything by whatever means we dictate. Omnipotence cannot be defined to include the latter since it is easy to dictate a means which contradicts the result, and clearly it is meaningless to say that God cannot do a thing which is a contradiction.

    Human beings often loose control and find themselves in very undesirable circumstances because of it, and this is among the greatest experiences of helplessness that human beings experience. So does omnipotence include the ability to rule oneself? This is the heart of the paradox of omnipotence, for if God rules Himself then does He not make Himself both the subject which exerts power and the object upon which power is exerted?

    I do not believe this question of whether God can create a rock which He cannot lift, is either frivolous or about a logical contradiction. Instead I think it is about whether God is capable of things like risk, sacrifice and self-limitation. I not only believe that God is capable of these things but that these things are an essential part of the ability to love. So the God that I believe must indeed have an omnipotence that include the power to rule over Himself. And thus I say that God can create a rock so heavy that even He cannot lift it.

    When God creates things, His decisions about the thing He creates are part of the nature of thing He creates. The law of gravity works because that is how God decided it should be. Likewise, when God creates a rock, deciding that He shall never lift it, and making it a rock that He cannot ever lift, are one and the same thing. Having created such a rock does not contradict His omnipotence but is a consistent expression of his omnipotence.




    Quote Originally Posted by ghost7584
    2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    God does not deny or contradict Himself. The bible defines God. Your argument is at fault, making false assumptions about God.
    God can do whatever He wants to do. That is omnipotence.
    He does not want to deny Himself.
    No God does not contradict Himself but He is fully capable of contradicting human definitions of God. The only consistent understanding of the omnipotence of God must be that God is ruled by His will alone and not by human definitions of God, so it would be senseless to argue that God cannot do something because it contradicts His omnipotence.


    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    I doubt omnipotence is "doing whatever you want to do". The common understanding of the term is "being able to do anything whatsoever".
    No it is pretty obvious that this was meant to apply to a being with a will, and refers not just to the capacity to accomplish what He does will but the ability to accomplish anything that He or any other being with a will could will (within the limits of logical consistency).


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost7584
    God can do whatever He wants to do. That is omnipotence.
    As far as I can tell God cannot make a man that doesn't sin.
    God made a man that did not sin by becoming that man, Jesus. We sin of our own free will, and so it quite possible that Adam could have chosen not to sin. Furthermore, God promises a day when law of God will be written in men's hearts and then they will not sin either.

    Or do you mean that God cannot make men not sin, or create a man that cannot sin? Well that would on whether we define a man as a being with free will, in which case God could not make a man not sin without making him less than a man, and a man that cannot sin would be a contradiction in terms. But as I already said such examples must be excluded in a consistent and meaningful definition of omnipotence.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  17. #16  
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    And again...

    Me say omnipotence = unlimited power = impossible
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    Like I always say, omnipotence is ability, not authority. So it's most definitely not a paradox.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

    http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php

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  19. #18  
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    It is a paradox because it's unlimited. And if it's unlimited, it means God can contradict himself, even though he doesn't want to.

    It would be better to describe his powers as "Unlimited Power Within His Will" or something like that, because unlimited power itself is impossible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    It is a paradox because it's unlimited. And if it's unlimited, it means God can contradict himself, even though he doesn't want to.

    It would be better to describe his powers as "Unlimited Power Within His Will" or something like that, because unlimited power itself is impossible.
    Omnipotence = All possibility
    Possibility => logical.

    It follows, then, that
    omnipotence => logical

    Omnipotence is bounded by logic; if an event is not logical, it's not possible.
    You can't, for example, create yourself.

    God is omnipotent, not above logic. They're different things.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Your logic is also circular:

    An omnipotent being is impossible.

    Why? Because it can do the impossible, which is impossible.

    So in essence you're saying the omnipotent being is impossible because it's impossible. You're presupposing that the omnipotent being is supposed to be able to perform an impossible task (i.e. it's impossible).
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  22. #21  
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    It all depends on the definition of the word And as I said earlier, I'm fighting the word/the definition. Unlimited power implies that the impossible should be possible, which it is not. I have no problem with other definitions of the word which implies that the powers are limited within his will. That's also why I kinda have a 50/50 stance where I partially agree with omnipotence being possible, but where I also find the words definition wrong.
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    Your still trying to fit the power of God into a shoebox. If God exists isn't it reasonable to expect that he is beyond our understanding? If he created the universe and laws therein doesn't it make sense that he could have done it differently had he wanted to and hense is not subject to the laws which he created unless he chooses to be? If he created us and gave us the ability to think and reason doesn't is also make sense that he is above that same logic and reason?

    As far as impossibility goes:
    There are lots of things today that are done and are even commonplace that used to be deemed impossible. As our learning grew and technology grew we discovered ways to do things that were beyond amazing.

    Some people have no problems believing an alien race could hover effortlessly in our gavity/atmosphere etc. But say you beleive the Son of God walked on water and your considered a loony.

    Wether you believe in God or not, no arguement can make God fit into the logic of men. That logic is confining. If we successfully confine God to our finite understanding we limit an infinite God.
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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  24. #23  
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    Fine, fine I give up :wink:

    But as stated, I wasn't fighting God, I was fighting the word itself.
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    But wait a second... Unlimited/infinite power means God should be able to do everything and nothing at the same time. He should be contradicting himself all the time and vica versa. He should defy his own will all the time and never. Infinite power goes beyond even God's comprehension. By definition, the word, or the power, should have power over itself. Infinite power means anything possible and impossible, all mixed togheter and not mixed togheter. The word is all wrong Because the power itself isn't limited by God's will, need or whatever. The power would "own" God.
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    if god is omnipotent, he'd be capable of being the laws of physics, and breaking them at the same time.
    he could have always been the laws of physics, and never.
    he could be the expansion of the universe, and simultaneously never have been it. he could BE 14.8 billion years, or -40 billion years.
    he could be science, or not.

    if you believe god to be omnipotent, tiy should also believe that
    he coulda made earth in 6 days, 6000 years ago, and simultaneously made it 4.8 billion years ago.
    he could have made the sin flood, and he could have made a meteorite strike earth 65 million years ago, killing off all the dinosaurs.
    he could be evolution and creationism. simultaneously and never.

    an omnipotent god IS the devil, simultaneously as he's not.

    an omnipotent is good, evil, and neither.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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    Exacly! Everything and nothing at the same time. The word is contradicting itself with infinite impossibilities!
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    What he can do and what he does are two different things. He could have done all those things but only did a few according to our very limited knowledge. Omnipotence doesnt' mean he "has" to do anything or everything. It simply means that he could. And when our logic says there is something he cannot do it is the fault of our logic not the power of God. God is bigger, wiser, stronger, smarter, etc.

    We are incapable of changing God. God existed before us and his existence and power are not dependent on us.
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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    You're saying his powers are limited to his will, but they are not. They are unlimited/infinite which means that the power itself has power over God. The powers doesn't act to will as they are unlimited, that's why omnipotence is impossible.
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    God's power is not over him. Omnipotence is not its own entity and does not have its own will.

    Just as our opinions are not over God and cannot control who or what he is.

    What you and I think is irrelevant to the true identity of God and His power.

    If God exists he is above us,
    If God is the creator of everything he is more powerful than us,
    If God designed the universe that we know so little about he is smarter than us.

    The only limits an omnipotent God can experience are those he imposes on Himself. Being omnipotent means he can do that.

    " The powers doesn't act to will as they are unlimited"

    The "powers" are subject to God as is everything else becuase of his omnipotence.

    If God makes the sky blue one day and green the next its not a contradiction. It's the changing of his will for the sky on that day. The key to understanding God is to not complicate our idea of who He is.

    God does not impose his will on everything. He does not enact His omnipotence in every situation. Don't confuse non action of God in a situation with impotence, or nonexistence. Being omnipotent God can choose not to force His will on us. That is how we have free will.
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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    We can agree to disagree

    Because I don't see how infinite power can be controlled by will. If it is controlled by will it is limited by will thus it is not unlimited, in my opinion. I'm sorry if I seem a bit stubborn/ignorant here, but I think that the definition "unlimited power" should be recognized as unlimited, and not limited by will. Even though this is a property applied to God, it is still defined unlimited, thus it isn't limited by anything.
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    So how are you with the idea of an Unlimited God?
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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    Probably equally the same as to an God with unlimited power But I'm not sure. It sounds maybe a bit more logical. What would an unlimited God imply?
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    Perhaps a concious entity with the ability to impose his will as he wishes, And is able to do anything that he concieves even though he may choose not to.
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    Perhaps a concious entity with the ability to impose his will as he wishes, And is able to do anything that he concieves even though he may choose not to.
    Yes, but he is unlimited, so would that make him unstable?
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    if god is limited in his potence, we could reach the power of god.
    if god is to be unlimited in his omnipotence, and therefore unreachable by human standards, he would also be beyond his own powers, in keeping with his omnipotence, for if he's not able to do what he cannot do, then he's not omnipotent.
    basically, if god is to be god, he needs to be impossible.

    additionally an omnipotent god MUST be able to create evil, and sin.
    if god did not want sin to enter the world, he'd simply not given man free will.
    or because god is omnipotent, he'd be able to create a
    man without sin, that still would have free will.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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    Very well argued. Does this perhaps prove God's nonexistence? Because if he's not omnipotent, he can't be God and couldn't create the universe. God's existence becomes meaningless and fallacious. Right?
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    "if god is limited in his potence, we could reach the power of god. "

    This is a faulty conclusion. Every person is not capable of achieving the same goals. Let alone a person next to God. Just because God can do something doesn't mean that we are able to as well.
    --------------------
    "if god is to be unlimited in his omnipotence, and therefore unreachable by human standards, he would also be beyond his own powers"

    How do you conclude this?
    -------------
    Obviously siad, "Yes, but he is unlimited, so would that make him unstable?"

    How would that make him unstable? I don't understand the reasoning behind the question can you rephrase please.


    The power God posesses is not a power he had to harness. Nor is it a power He has to control. It's a power he posesses simply because of who He is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    if god is limited in his potence, we could reach the power of god.
    if god is to be unlimited in his omnipotence, and therefore unreachable by human standards, he would also be beyond his own powers, in keeping with his omnipotence, for if he's not able to do what he cannot do, then he's not omnipotent.
    basically, if god is to be god, he needs to be impossible.

    additionally an omnipotent god MUST be able to create evil, and sin.
    if god did not want sin to enter the world, he'd simply not given man free will.
    or because god is omnipotent, he'd be able to create a
    man without sin, that still would have free will.
    Bah... this is an old, washed out, illogical argument.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Can God make Himself human in every respect? If He ever decided to do so then say goodbye to God status. So would He do it? I'm not asking if He can but would He? or why would He? There's no way around it. God in the way He's portrayed can do anything but there are things I suggest He would never do. I'm a God basher myself but I don't think God in His infinite wisdom would do certain things although He could. Not that I believe God exists, but something all powerful could do whatever it wants even if it may not wish to.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    In christian theology there is one God in 3 persons. one person became human. the others , the father and the spirit remained as they were before. God didn't sacrifice his power or his authority. He humbled himself because he loved us. In christian theology anyway...
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    In christian theology there is one God in 3 persons. one person became human. the others , the father and the spirit remained as they were before. God didn't sacrifice his power or his authority. He humbled himself because he loved us. In christian theology anyway...
    I said human in every respect. No ghosts or spirits, just a plain human being. Since we are not God, then God becoming human in every respect, would have to relinquish the Title. If there is an all powerful God then I think it is entirely possible that He could become a human but that means no more God. So would He try it? Is He omnistupid too?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Can God make Himself human in every respect? If He ever decided to do so then say goodbye to God status. So would He do it? I'm not asking if He can but would He? or why would He? There's no way around it. God in the way He's portrayed can do anything but there are things I suggest He would never do. I'm a God basher myself but I don't think God in His infinite wisdom would do certain things although He could. Not that I believe God exists, but something all powerful could do whatever it wants even if it may not wish to.
    If God became human in all respects, then, obviously, it is no longer God.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Can God make Himself human in every respect? If He ever decided to do so then say goodbye to God status. So would He do it? I'm not asking if He can but would He? or why would He? There's no way around it. God in the way He's portrayed can do anything but there are things I suggest He would never do. I'm a God basher myself but I don't think God in His infinite wisdom would do certain things although He could. Not that I believe God exists, but something all powerful could do whatever it wants even if it may not wish to.
    If God became human in all respects, then, obviously, it is no longer God.
    Bingo! It's not whether He can do it but would He do it?

    Tough to talk about an unproven entity like its real but my point is God would have to be omnistupid to attempt such a thing. Then again, if you're omni-everything then stupid is right there along with a litany of other uncomplimentary attributes.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Can God make Himself human in every respect? If He ever decided to do so then say goodbye to God status. So would He do it? I'm not asking if He can but would He? or why would He? There's no way around it. God in the way He's portrayed can do anything but there are things I suggest He would never do. I'm a God basher myself but I don't think God in His infinite wisdom would do certain things although He could. Not that I believe God exists, but something all powerful could do whatever it wants even if it may not wish to.
    Well there are some contradictions here in this idea of becoming that zinjathropos is representing.

    Imagine that there was human wizard with the ability to cast a spell that makes himself become a cat in every respect. What does this mean exactly? Is there any difference between this spell and a spell that simultaneously destroys himself and creates a cat? The word becoming implies both continuity and change, and that for the wizard to become a cat, the cat he becomes must somehow still be the wizard. So I would say that the two spells cannot be the same. It does not suffice to say that the substance or energy of the wizard was used to make the cat because the wizard is certainly more than the substance or energy of which he is composed. Indeed if the wizard wants to become a cat in that sense all he needs to do is feed himself to a cat, and his energy and substance will become the energy and substance of a cat.

    So when we say the wizard has a spell that makes himself become a cat in every respect, this only make sense if we add the explanation that it makes himself become a cat in every respect except for the fact that this cat retains the identity of the wizard. The question then becomes, what does the identity of the wizard consist of? Well I think that most would consider this to be the mind or awareness of the wizard. But in that case what can it mean to become a cat in every respect? It seems to me that we have two possible interpretations. The first possiblility is that in becoming a cat, in addition to the body and mind of the cat, the cat/wizard also has the mind of the wizard as well. The second possibility is that the cat/wizard has only the mind and body of a cat, but that some time in the future, the cat/wizard returns to his original form but retains memories of his experience as a cat.



    I would however caution that this is not to be considered applicable to to the Christian idea of Jesus because in their conception Jesus was fully man and fully God. But I shall leave a discussion of that to later post.
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    The question isn't even would he do it. The question is why would he do it. Christian theology answer: love for His creation.

    If you take away a part of God then you are speaking of only a portioin of Him. You can't have the Father without the Son, or the Son without the Holy Spirit. A portion of God became fully man the other portions of God remains fully divine.

    The idea that we can't understand God it totally understandable.

    God isn't omni-everything. (but he could be if he wanted)
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    The question isn't even would he do it. The question is why would he do it. Christian theology answer: love for His creation.

    If you take away a part of God then you are speaking of only a portioin of Him. You can't have the Father without the Son, or the Son without the Holy Spirit. A portion of God became fully man the other portions of God remains fully divine.

    The idea that we can't understand God it totally understandable.

    God isn't omni-everything. (but he could be if he wanted)
    But due to his unlimited powers, he would be doing it even if it contradicts his will.
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    why would it have to be against His will?
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    why would it have to be against His will?
    It's unlimited -so it goes beyond any limit- meaning that it can't be limited to his will.
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    omnipotence describes the power OF God.

    It is not a random entity controlled by God
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    omnipotence describes the power OF God.

    It is not a random entity controlled by God
    Neither have I said otherwise. But the absurdity of it being controlled whilst being unlimited is humorous.
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    What is it? It is the power of a being. Why is it laughable to think that a bieng could do anything within its power?
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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    Mitch... If God became human in every respect then He would not be God. He may retain the mind of the former God but He would be powerless as far as doing the things He could do as God. Once human He would be advised not to go around telling everyone He meets that He is God.

    Then again He could solve a lot of our problems, become a great inventor and do a lot of good. In fact I'd wager God would do more good as a human than if He remained God. He sure as hell isn't doing much good these days. Or He could go eat and live in a dumpster somewhere and bemoan the fact that He was stupid enough to become a human in every respect.

    But I suppose if He wanted to give up His godly powers then by all means go ahead.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    All of God did not become human. An equal portion of Him did. The other portions remained God. I know and openly admit its difficult to comprehend and doens't make immediate sense. I would be hesitant to worhip any god I fully understood. The son became human and yet remained God. He chose not to respond with divine force when he lived on earth. He made us, He made the law. We broke the law. He paid the penalty for the breaking of the law. Now Jesus the son (still humana and still God) sits at the right hand of the father waiting to bring Gods children home to the place he is preparing for us.

    For an all powerful being.. this is simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Mitch... If God became human in every respect then He would not be God. He may retain the mind of the former God but He would be powerless as far as doing the things He could do as God. Once human He would be advised not to go around telling everyone He meets that He is God.
    That depends on what makes God, God. Is He God only by virtue of power and knowledge. I think not. I have said numerous time that I would like Sisyphus defy a god or gods, whose only claim to this status was power and knowledge, no matter what the cost to myself. Furthermore, people loose all kinds of power and knowledge and do not cease either to be human or to be who they are. A man does not cease to be human or who he is simply because he has lost a leg and thus has lost the power to walk and run.

    Although this is not enough for me, God has a greater claim to divine status by virtue of being the creator of the universe and that is a fact that cannot be erased by any personal transformation. But it is in His moral perfection and in His attributes of goodness and love that the worthiness of God of our utter devotion is truly to be found. And it is in this most essential of attributes that the categories of human and divine are not mutually exclusive. It is not human nature to do evil, it is always our personal choice to do evil. Now it is true that we were never meant or able to navigate the moral landscape of our lives without the guidance of God. And in this Jesus differed from all the decendents of Adam who, forsook the guidance of God and severed the relationship he had with God for all of his descendants. Jesus came as the new Adam to live in obedience and responsibility to God as Adam did not.



    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Then again He could solve a lot of our problems, become a great inventor and do a lot of good. In fact I'd wager God would do more good as a human than if He remained God.
    Inventions do not solve any of our problems. Not really. Oh but what about penicillin? It is only a matter of time before resistant strains of these diseases evolve. And what is a few more years added to our lives anyway? Our earliest ancestors lived 5-10 times longer than we did and all they accomplished was a greater descent into degradation and evil, locking human society into the iron grip of the powerful so that it would never change. Human beings will always complain demanding more food, more entertainment and other comforts, but these things profit nothing.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    He sure as hell isn't doing much good these days.
    Well I am quite sure that His presence in your life would do far more harm than good and that is why He is staying far away from you. It is better that you do not believe in Him or think about Him, but forget about God altogether and be responsible for your own life.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Or He could go eat and live in a dumpster somewhere and bemoan the fact that He was stupid enough to become a human in every respect.

    But I suppose if He wanted to give up His godly powers then by all means go ahead.
    Only someone morally impoverished and foolish enough to think that power solves anything would think like this. God did become human in every respect and He did not waste a single second like this but lived a life that the rest of mankind will never forget and did more good for mankind than any invention or work of power could ever accomplish.



    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    All of God did not become human. An equal portion of Him did. The other portions remained God. I know and openly admit its difficult to comprehend and doens't make immediate sense. I would be hesitant to worhip any god I fully understood. The son became human and yet remained God. He chose not to respond with divine force when he lived on earth. He made us, He made the law. We broke the law. He paid the penalty for the breaking of the law. Now Jesus the son (still humana and still God) sits at the right hand of the father waiting to bring Gods children home to the place he is preparing for us.

    For an all powerful being.. this is simple.
    This is of course quite correct. An infinite God is quite capable of being more than one person and our God is more than one person. Thus it is quite correct that God remained infinite, all-powerful and all knowing even though one person of God becomes fully human in every respect, retaining the identity of God regardless of the fact that He became a man with finite human form, finite human powers and finite human knowledge. But that helpless infant in the manger was still the creator of the universe and worthy of all our love and praise.
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    Again, human in every respect means no god attributes, only human. As far as I know no one can do divine business, whatever it is. Power or no power, we as humans, are not god. Jesus, if He was God as some claim, could not have been human in every respect, and then become God. You as followers are forced to believe that Jesus was both because there is no rational explanation available to you in your Bible. Its like everything else that's in there, accept it or not, there is no middle ground.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Again, human in every respect means no god attributes, only human. As far as I know no one can do divine business, whatever it is. Power or no power, we as humans, are not god. Jesus, if He was God as some claim, could not have been human in every respect, and then become God. You as followers are forced to believe that Jesus was both because there is no rational explanation available to you in your Bible. Its like everything else that's in there, accept it or not, there is no middle ground.
    There is no middle ground between logically consistent and logically inconsistent. When the theist uses terms like all-powerful and all-knowing, he presumes that this is restricted to what is logically consistent, for otherwise his words would have no meaning. When the atheist uses terms likes all-powerful and all-knowing, it is only self-serving that he will not conform them to the limitations of what is logically consistent because it is his desire to show that the existence of God is not logical, but the result is that his arguments are begging the question.

    The question is whether the theist's talk about God is meaningful. The honest atheist would simply not waste his time with a discussion on something that is not meaningful, but it is a very strange creature that would participate in a discussion with someone whose words he insists has no meaning. Is such a person merely talking to himself?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Again, human in every respect means no god attributes, only human. As far as I know no one can do divine business, whatever it is. Power or no power, we as humans, are not god. Jesus, if He was God as some claim, could not have been human in every respect, and then become God. You as followers are forced to believe that Jesus was both because there is no rational explanation available to you in your Bible. Its like everything else that's in there, accept it or not, there is no middle ground.
    There is no middle ground between logically consistent and logically inconsistent. When the theist uses terms like all-powerful and all-knowing, he presumes that this is restricted to what is logically consistent, for otherwise his words would have no meaning. When the atheist uses terms likes all-powerful and all-knowing, it is only self-serving that he will not conform them to the limitations of what is logically consistent because it is his desire to show that the existence of God is not logical, but the result is that his arguments are begging the question.

    The question is whether the theist's talk about God is meaningful. The honest atheist would simply not waste his time with a discussion on something that is not meaningful, but it is a very strange creature that would participate in a discussion with someone whose words insists has no meaning. Is such a person merely talking to himself?
    I'm not the one who defines it "unlimited." The discussion would be meaningless if us atheists "wanted" it that way.
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    When my pastor at Emerging Vinyard said he was going to speak on the topic of Omnipotence next week, I mentioned this discussion here and he asked me if I could give him a synopsis of some of the points made. Well I thought the atheists here would appreciate hearing about what I am reporting back to him, particularly since I found that some of the arguments made by the atheists could be greatly improved upon in what is listed as number 1 below.

    Atheist Objections to Omnipotence

    1. Omnipotence is a meaningless concept because it contradicts itself. The very fact of being all powerful limits ones power. “Can God create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it?” More than this, omnipotence implies things like unstoppable forces and unbreakable walls, but then what happens when these things meet?

    2. “God cannot make a man that doesn’t sin.” There are observations similar to this like, “God cannot make a world without evil.”

    3. If God cannot do something against His will, then He is not all-powerful.

    4. “If He is willing but unable, then He is not omnipotent. If He is able but not willing, then He is malevolent. If He is both willing and able, then whence cometh evil? If He is neither willing nor able, then why call Him God?” Epicurus 307 BC.


    You will notice that my conclusions below are not a direct refutation of the objections made, though the principles here are easy to apply in refuting some of them (some are more about the problem of evil which is a much bigger issue). Ultimately however, since meaning is necessarily a subjective thing, each of us must make our own decisions about whether this concept of "omnipotence" is a meaningful one.

    My Conclusions about Omnipotence

    1. Omnipotence cannot include logical contradictions, which are meaningless anyway. Another kind of logical problem to be wary of are self-referential things like the statement: “This statement is false.” For the concept of omnipotence, that would include abilities which are self-referential like the old “rock so heavy” question in #1 above. BUT only the fullness of knowledge can reveal what is truly logically consistent, and that means that ONLY God knows what is logically possible.

    2. Power and knowledge are NOT independent, so omnipotence and omniscience are not separable. Not only does power require knowledge, but knowledge requires power. God’s omnipotence does not refer to a power which is magical (usually an appeal to some higher power & knowledge), but is based on a knowledge of how things can be accomplished.

    3. Omnipotence is not the power to accomplish anything by whatever means we might care to dictate.

    4. Omnipotence must include power over oneself and that may be the most important part of it. Thus God’s omnipotence must include self-control, integrity, commitment, and self-limitation.

    5. Omnipotence only makes sense if the power involved serves the will. God is defined by love and goodness NOT by power and knowledge, because God’s will is a will to love and goodness and not a will to power and knowledge.

    6. God’s omnipotence must include abilities which are natural to His creatures like taking risks, having hope, granting trust, making sacrifices, giving privacy, and being sorry; some of these things actually seem to be a necessary part of the fullness of love according to our best understanding of it.

    7. God being more than one person also suggests that many thing which would be a logically impossibility for us would be logical possible for God.
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    Mitch, this isn't meant to offend so if I have then all I can say is sorry.....I think what we are witnessing is the slow but steady erosion of God. I don't want to say Mitchell is making excuses for God's unwillingness to perform certain feats but that God's power, once unquestionable, is now subject to careful scrutiny even by His followers. Has reason & logic begun to creep in? When did it start?

    Has it become necessary to change God's image to more suit us? I would wager that God has more human qualities than ever before and if that isn't eroding then I don't know what is. Is God taking man's image?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Mitch, this isn't meant to offend so if I have then all I can say is sorry.....I think what we are witnessing is the slow but steady erosion of God. I don't want to say Mitchell is making excuses for God's unwillingness to perform certain feats but that God's power, once unquestionable, is now subject to careful scrutiny even by His followers. Has reason & logic begun to creep in? When did it start?

    Has it become necessary to change God's image to more suit us? I would wager that God has more human qualities than ever before and if that isn't eroding then I don't know what is. Is God taking man's image?
    In the words of Alister McGrath,

    "Why is such a book ["The God Delusion"] still necessary? Religion was meant to have disappeared hundreds of years ago. For more than a century, leading sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists have declared that their children would see the dawn of a new era in which the 'God delusion' would be left behind for good. Back in the 1960s..."

    -Alister McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion?
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    In the words of Alister McGrath,

    "Why is such a book ["The God Delusion"] still necessary? Religion was meant to have disappeared hundreds of years ago. For more than a century, leading sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists have declared that their children would see the dawn of a new era in which the 'God delusion' would be left behind for good. Back in the 1960s..."

    -Alister McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion?
    LOL No one has greater delusions than those who think that those other people are deluded. LOL

    You know there are still people who set up tables at American Universities promoting the socialist worker's party. Delusions never die. Perhaps it is better to face reality and ask the question, who has the better delusion? This is the question of the pragmatist, because it is what works best that truly has the best grasp on reality.

    But then, of course, the answers are going to be as varied as people are, depending on how they judge what works and what it is they want to accomplish.
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