The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ArcTImes
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points

Can God create a rock so big he can't lift it, or can he not create the rock? the answer is yes...

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
ArcTImes
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/26/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,490 times Debate No: 58220
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (1)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

Can an Omnipotent God create a rock he cannot lift? it is said that If one answers yes to the question, then God is therefore not omnipotent because he cannot lift the rock, but if one answers no to the question, God is no longer omnipotent because he cannot create the rock.

my position is that he can do one or the other, at different times, but he can't do both at the same time. and, that he can't do both at the same time doesn't disprove God as omnipotent.

the question is basically another way of saying the following...
"can the unlimited limit itself? if not, it is not unlimited. is so, it is not unlimited."

does the fact that we can ask those questions show that the unlimited is possible only in theory, but when examined, is not actually possible? a mere human construct that has been shown to not hold up against scrutiny?

not necessarily. it moreso shows the absurdity of the question. no matter how we approach it, the unlimited is then limited. calling the unlimited, limited, for the above stated reasons, is an absurd notion itself.
the only way to approach it is to say, if the unlimited is truly unlimited, then it cannot limit itself. that would be illogical. we must say that the unlimited cannot limit itself. this is true at the abstract level, but has troubling consequences in application. cause what gives, can he make the rock or can't he? does the inability of the unlimited being unable to limit itself translate into "no God cannot create the rock ie limit himself, he who is unlimited?" or does it translate into 'no he can create the rock cause he is unlimited, but he can't lift it?"

the solution lies in stepping back from the abstract, in the real world. for example, in the real world, a circle cannot at the same time be a square. if the inability for a square to at the same time be a circle shows that the unlimited is not possible, then yes, the unlimited does not exist. but in the real world, the unlimited can be said to exist, if it follows the laws of logic. this all translates into God by replacing "unlimited" with "God". the unlimited ultimately transaltes into God's abilities. so, God in the world of imagation where circles and be squares, God is not unlimited. but in the real world, God is limited by logic. perhaps it is better not to say that God is unlimited, but that God is reality, which includes logic. or at least to recognize that the unlimited can only be so in the real world where logic restricts what it really mean to be unlimited.

so we've examined the unlimited when it comes to the square circle, what about back to the issue of God and the rock?

to answer this, we need to ask another question. what happens when an immovable rock meets the unstoppable force of God?

the issue-- the paradox arises because it rests on two premises"that there exist such things as immovable rocks and unstoppable forces"which cannot both be true at once. If there exists an unstoppable force, it follows logically that there cannot be any such thing as an immovable rock, and vice versa.

so the key then is "at once". to ask if God can create both scenarios at once is a logical impossibility. God cannot do the logically impossible.

if God creates the immovable rock, he cannot be an unstoppable force. and if God acts as the unstoppable force, he cannot create an immovable rock. he must choose which scenario exists at any given time. and, in fact, the fact that he would be able to choose the scenario, highlights the underlying omnipotence of God to begin with.
so, as some have intuitively argued, God can create the rock, but then he can also choose to lift it. but he can't create both scenarios at once. that would be illogical.
so.. yes, in some sense, God as the unlimited has been shown to not exist... he is restricted. but.... he's merely restricted from the world of imagination, due to logic. God cannot be illogical.

so, ultimately... the notion of unlimited that follows logic hasn't been shown to not exist.... it and the following notion of God, has been shown to be possible..... as long as it's consistent, and logical.
ArcTImes

Con

Introduction:

I thank Pro for creating this debate about this long time discussion about the characteristics of god and if they are possible.
Answers and rebuttals were proposed over the years, and here Pro is showing what it looks like 2 answers to me.

I have to remind everyone that the burden of proof is on Pro because she is instigating and affirming the resolution. I only have to disprove her arguments to win.

Rebuttals:

It looks like Pro is giving to answer to the paradox. I will rebut both.

Answer 1:
"my position is that he can do one or the other, at different times, but he can't do both at the same time. and, that he can't do both at the same time doesn't disprove God as omnipotent."

The first one is a direct answer to the question. it tries to give an scenario where the answer is given but omnipotence is possible.
Sadly, without a definition of omnipotence, this is difficult to address.
If omnipotence is "being able to do anything", then this doesn't solve the problem because:

"but he can't do both at the same time"

would be against the definition.
I will wait for Pro's definition on what he wants to defend.

Answer 2:

This is a rebuttal for the paradox. Here, Pro claims that the question is an absurd because:

"no matter how we approach it, the unlimited is then limited. calling the unlimited, limited, for the above stated reasons, is an absurd notion itself."
"if the unlimited is truly unlimited, then it cannot limit itself. that would be illogical."
"but in the real world, the unlimited can be said to exist, if it follows the laws of logic."

This is a variation of "Omnipotence means being capable of doing anything logically possible" argument.

There are a lot of problems with this answer. I'm going to give the best rebuttals to this rebuttal.

Rebuttal 1:
"Creating a heavy rock" is logically possible.

If we ask the question "Would you be able to create a rock so heavy you can't lift?" to a non omnipotent being, we would not find any logical impossibility. Why? because the question is not illogical.

Yes, I would be able to create a rock I'm not able to lift.

Pro is misunderstanding the problem. The paradox is challenging logic, not because of the question being illogical, but because omnipotence is illogical.

The paradox was created to challenge the possibility of omnipotence. We ask this question related to a being we want to know if it's omnipotent.

I will give an example where this is clear.
Married bachelor.
Bachelor is defined as "an unmarried man." [1]

Asking "Is the bachelor married?" would not make sense, but the paradox is not like this.
The paradox question is like this:

1. We want to know if person A is a bachelor.
2. Is person A married?
3. If the answer is yes, then he is not a bachelor. If the answer is no, then he is a bachelor.

Here, there is no paradox. So the paradox is not in the question, but in the characteristic of god called "omnipotence".
The reason Pro is creating a paradox on his own to make the question invalid is because he is IMPLYING god is omnipotent.

Rebuttal 2:

God is obeying laws external to him/her/it

Is god obeying the laws of logic? What is the explanation of those laws if it's not god?
This are simple question that challenge the definition of omnipotence.

A possible solution would be god being able to do the impossible. But that would be outside of the paradox intention and Pro's position.
Pro's position is that god is still logical but the paradox isn't. This is false.


This is not logically possible.
Credits to "Chaospet" for the comic. [2]

Final Notes:


The paradox doesn't try to disprove god's existence. It just challenges the definition of omnipotence or the fact that omnipotence as it is commonly defined is not logically possible.

Thank for the debate. Vote Con.

Sources:

1. http://dictionary.reference.com...
2. http://chaospet.com...
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

""but he can't do both at the same time"
would be against the definition.
I will wait for Pro's definition on what he wants to defend."

i don't think i need to provide a precise definition as i've what ive given supplies definitive details as standards. were i to define it i might need to define it as something like 'unlimited potential that accords with the laws of logic'. various reasons ive already given explain why i might frame it that way.
but i dont want this to be 'is the definition good enough' when ive given so many details to hold me against as a standard.

when i say he cant do both at the same time, create the rock and be someone who can lift it, i am only acnowledging the logical restraints God has to abide by.

"Pro is misunderstanding the problem. The paradox is challenging logic, not because of the question being illogical, but because omnipotence is illogical."

having a hard time following you.

con gave an example that a non omnipotent being can find rocks he can't lift. some how he is trying to say that omnipotence is illogical, but doesn't explain how.

"Here, there is no paradox. So the paradox is not in the question, but in the characteristic of god called "omnipotence".
The reason Pro is creating a paradox on his own to make the question invalid is because he is IMPLYING god is omnipotent."

still having a hard time following you.

yes, that bachelor example is not like the omnipotent issue. but, God is omnipotent, within the laws of logic. when i show things that are illogical, a rock that can't be lift, and a unstopptable force of God, i am merely pointing out that logically both cannot exist at the same time.

that cartoon actually says it well. God can create the rock, then he can decide to lift it. there might be effective constraints on what God will do, but there's not on what he can do. like i can say i wont drop a ball.... but i always have the ability to. if i were consistent, i wouldn't, but that doesn't mean i cant.

to your first rebuttal two point, yes God is obeying the laws of logic. that's the way i described it, and began to define it. you even later seemed to acknowledge that that defintiion seemed optimal, as you made the definition yourself.

"The paradox doesn't try to disprove god's existence. It just challenges the definition of omnipotence or the fact that omnipotence as it is commonly defined is not logically possible."

yes i conceded so much in the opening argument. logic dictates that the unlimited, if it exists, can't make a square circle. it can't have an immovable object and an unstoppable force existing at the same time. the issues of time and discretions of God and the restrictions of God that have been placed, help ameliorate the perceived paradox and the perceived idea that the unlimited cannot exist at all.
ArcTImes

Con

Introduction:

Thanks Pro for your arguments.
I apologize for being hard to follow. I will try to improve my arguments and explain them better.
Here are my rebuttals.

Rebuttals:

It looks like, after all, Pro was giving only one response to the paradox.

He is using a variant of the logical omnipotence where omnipotence is defined as "being able to do the logically possible". His exact definition is "unlimited potential that accords with the laws of logic" which is pretty much the same. The "unlimited" potential is actually not necessary because it is not actually unlimited. It is limited by the "laws of logic".

Pro claims that the question for the paradox is absurd because an omnipotent being should not be able to create something that the being cannot do because that is illogical. And an omnipotent being can only do logical things.

Then he states that calling an unlimited being limited is an absurd notion itself.

Pro then proposes a solution. God CAN do both things, but not a the same time, because it is not logical that he would be able to do both at the same time, like it is not logical that a square circle exists.

But this IS NOT LOGICAL and doesn't solve the problem at all, because God is NEVER able to create such a rock.
Why? Because from Pro's point of view, God is able to lift it ALWAYS, if he wants.

The paradox is in the nature of both things. It is not illogical to ask a being to create a rock that he can't lift. It is a question that you and me can answer easily.
The reason it gets difficult when talking about an omnipotent being is because the absurdity is on the "omnipotent" part.

"con gave an example that a non omnipotent being can find rocks he can't lift. some how he is trying to say that omnipotence is illogical, but doesn't explain how."

A non omnipotent being can find rocks he can't lift, like you and me. You and me can find rocks that we are not able to lift.
Here I proved that the question is totally logical with a logical answer. Yes, I can find a rock too heavy I'm not able to lift.

Then you add omnipotent to the mix and everything gets contradictory, hence the paradox. But why? The reason is "omnipotence is about infinities". It is going to get really bad when you talk about infinities. It is going to get contradictory.
Omnipotence is illogical. Pro already said. It is impossible to create such rock and at the same time that rock no being able to be lifted by an omnipotent being. You are just describing the paradox.

The reason I constantly mention that the question is not what is illogical about the paradox is because the question needs to be logical for a omnipotent being to be able to answer it. It is logical so the omnipotent being should be able to answer, but it can't, so omnipotence is illogical.

I did explained in my last round. I hope it's easier to understand it now.

"yes, that bachelor example is not like the omnipotent issue. but, God is omnipotent, within the laws of logic. when i show things that are illogical, a rock that can't be lift, and a unstoppable force of God, i am merely pointing out that logically both cannot exist at the same time."

No. Both question are similar enough. Can person A be married?
Can a person (or being) create a rock so heavy he cannot lift/

Both questions are easy to answer and are logical. They don't defy logic.
What I really want Pro to understand is that she should not reference god's characteristics in the question.
I showed what happens when you reference characteristics in the question:

Can person A (a bachelor) be married?
Implying he is a bachelor before making the question is wrong.

God can't be omnipotent and omnipotent is not logically possible.

"that cartoon actually says it well. God can create the rock, then he can decide to lift it. there might be effective constraints on what God will do, but there's not on what he can do."

The comic actually makes it really easy to understand.
In the comic, the (only) rock that is there, is not "a rock that he is not able to lift" because he ends lifting it. So this can't be an answer to the paradox. God didn't create such a rock. He created a simple rock that he is able to lift at the end.

If Pro continues arguing that the rock is in fact a rock that he is not able to lift, the it would not be logical, which would be against the definition of Pro.

"yes God is obeying the laws of logic. that's the way i described it, and began to define it. you even later seemed to acknowledge that that defintiion seemed optimal, as you made the definition yourself."

This is a problem. The laws of logic are outside god. Then what's the explanation of those logics? Who "created" them?

Thanks for the debate. Vote CON,

Sources:

1 http://dictionary.reference.com...


Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

"But this IS NOT LOGICAL and doesn't solve the problem at all, because God is NEVER able to create such a rock.
Why? Because from Pro's point of view, God is able to lift it ALWAYS, if he wants."

god can create that rock. as long as he is not acting as the unstoppabe force when said rock exists. so it couldn't be exactly accurate to say God an 'always' lift it. but yes, he can always change his mind, allow time to pass, and then lift it. but they cannot be instanteously existing at the same time.

" It is not illogical to ask a being to create a rock that he can't lift. ......
The reason it gets difficult when talking about an omnipotent being is because the absurdity is on the "omnipotent" part.'

so it's not illogical to ask a nonomipotent being to create the rock, but illogical to ask an omnipotent? just making sure i undertand correct what you are saying.
again, i dont see why God can't create the rock, as long as he is staying within the laws of logic while doing so, not acting as an unstoppable force at the same time as the rock exists.

perhaps what my fellow supporter i had debated, his postiion might be better. God can limit himself by virtue of being unlimited, and cannot lift the rock if he chooses to create it. i see flaws with this approach, but it's an alterantive.
this way, if GOd make the rock for ten days, according to that debater, he cannot lift the rock at all for ten days. according to me, he could, it's just that he probably wouldnt. he could according to me, because the rock would cease to be unliftable, and then God can switch to being unstoppable.

"Pro already said. It is impossible to create such rock and at the same time that rock no being able to be lifted by an omnipotent being. You are just describing the paradox."

all i said was that GOd can create the rock. but then he can decide to lift it. as long as he doesn't do both at the same time, he is acting consistently.

con i wont deny is doing a decent job trying to argue why the paradox shows omnipotence to be impossible. this is probably easier for him given he is an atheist and does't like the connotations of God. but then we would also have to say that the 'unlimited even within the laws of logic' is impossible. can we really be ready to make that assertion?

i would like to see con argue the 'pro' i argued against in the other debate i recently had. they were both good debaters, but i was better able to detect the 'illogic' in his arguments than in my own, if i even conceded it exists.

having a hard time following your bachelor examples, but from what i can gather it's not applicable to the God paradox. i can gather that we shouldn't assume that God is unlimited without establishing first that he is?
ArcTImes

Con

Introduction:

This is the last round, so I hope I make my position clear to Pro and to everyone that reads/vote.

Rebuttals:

"god can create that rock. as long as he is not acting as the unstoppabe force when said rock exists. so it couldn't be exactly accurate to say God an 'always' lift it. but yes, he can always change his mind, allow time to pass, and then lift it. but they cannot be simultaneously existing at the same time."

Pro contradicts herself here. It doesn't matter if it isn't simultaneous. The rock was never a "rock that he can't lift" because he was always able to change his mind, so he can always able to lift it.

Remember, "able to change his mind' = "able to lift it", according to Pro's logic. Therefore, paradox.

"so it's not illogical to ask a nonomipotent being to create the rock, but illogical to ask an omnipotent? "

Exactly, the reason? Omnipotence is not logical. You will always have logical problems with the unlimited.

"again, i dont see why God can't create the rock, as long as he is staying within the laws of logic while doing so, not acting as an unstoppable force at the same time as the rock exists."

The problem is that "staying within the laws of logic" is what's causing the problems. God can't stay within the laws of logic while making something illogical.

"he cannot lift the rock at all for ten days. according to me, he could, it's just that he probably wouldnt"

Both have the same problem. It doesn't matter if it is not simultaneous.

"all i said was that GOd can create the rock. but then he can decide to lift it. as long as he doesn't do both at the same time, he is acting consistently."

But that's not logical. If you want to fix the logic, or you say he never create such a rock, but created a rock that he can lift, or that he is not able to lift it, but not both. What I mean is that he never created an immovable object, even if he was not an unstoppable force at the time. Why? Because he was able to move it afterwards.

"his is probably easier for him given he is an atheist and does't like the connotations of God"

It's easier for me because I'm not trying to fix a paradox using logic. I mean, technically you could, like the grandfather paradox and Hawking solution, which to me is pretty smart and simple, but it's definitely not an easy task.
And it's not like I don't like the connotations of god. God really needs better definitions for his characteristics, so he is not impossible just in the start.

"'unlimited even within the laws of logic' is impossible. can we really be ready to make that assertion?"

No. But this is not the topic of the debate. Unlimited is not logical. When you start using infinities for the attributes of god, you will always find paradoxes. Omnipotence is illogical, even when trying to do things "within logic".
You solution doesn't fix it, because it is not logical.

"having a hard time following your bachelor examples, but from what i can gather it's not applicable to the God paradox. i can gather that we shouldn't assume that God is unlimited without establishing first that he is?"

Exactly, you god it. You can't reference god's attributes in the question. That's like asking a bachelor if it's married.
That's not how it works. You should ask if it's married first to know if it's a bachelor. Sadly, no one can answer the question of the paradox correctly and then being omnipotent. It is simply not logical. I tried, it was a yes, so no omnipotent.

Thanks for the debate. Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
"The rest of the debate is a tie since the answer must be yes/no or no/yes."

No. The question can't be answer logically. And that's the point, both answer lead to illogical outcomes.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
The problem here is that it doesn't matter the time between the rock is created and when he lift it,
And it doesn't matter if he wants to do it or not in that time.

Look at the comic again. Think about any amount of time between the rock is created and the rock is lifted.
The rock was never a rock that he was not able to lift because he ended up lifting it.
That's a problem with logic. If it is following logic, then the rock is not a "rock that he can't lift".
Hence the omnipotence paradox.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
i am toying with the debate illustrating the omnipotence in more proper terms of God.

if God were to create a rock that can't be lifted for ten days, but then chooses to lift it, we could fault him for being inconsistent, but not for being unable to lift it. not that GOd would lift it, just that he could.

at that point though, we are looking at attributes of sentience. consistency, 'choice'. etc. this is a step further back from mroe generic concepts of 'unlimited', as in more generic terms we don't attribute setient attributes to them.

but if we did have an unlimited with sentient attributes, which is possible given it is unlimited after all, can we just ay it's a matter of consistency and not of being abe to lift o not lift?

maybe, but we still have to struggle with teh idea.... "can God make a rock that can't be lifted for ten days?". it CANT be lift. if we say GOd can switch gears then it CAN be lifted. 'if he's able to change his mind, he's able to lift the rock'. still want to revert to saying his mind is set that hte rock can't be lifted while it's immovable, and anything else is him changing his mind and then being able to.

this would all rely on 'changing his mind', again things relating to omnipotence. if he can change his mind, then the rule that says ten days can't lift is no longer the rule. we no longer live in a reality that has a ten day unable to lift rock.
i'm getting into dicey territory, but, it's some stuff worth considering
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
i can sympathize when con wants to say omnipotence isn't possible, as it's a loaded religious term.

but when he says unlimited in no sense exists, i am very hesitant. can't make good arguments for and against, but hesitant.
i looks like he is heistant too "i want to say i don't know".
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
con's argument is actually strengthened if we look at it in terms of time. i was looking at it in terms of 'the rock exists' and then it doesn't exist, due to time passage.

can God create a rock that can't be lifted for ten days? this is harder for me to answer. i would tend to say he can create the rock, but then switch gears and then lift the rock within that ten day period. as long as he's not the unstoppable force at the same time of the immovable object. and i would say the only thin you can fault him for is personal inconsistncy, more a personality trait than a rule of logic.
but con could turn around and say 'so then a ten day unliftable rock can't be created...' to which i dont have a good response, really.
i think i want to stand by my above argument, but i admit i'm pushing it and on the edge about it.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
"but then the rock that couldn't be lifted ceased to exist."

This is the problem with your argument. If that's not he same rock, then he is not solving the paradox.
He is just cheating. It's like if I say that I'm omnipotent, then "create" 2 rock, one I can lift, and other I cannot lift.

Then I say, look I created this really heavy rock I can't lift. Then I even make the demonstration with the pretty assistant, and the lights...
Then I lift it!!!

That's not how it works.
The rock was never a rock that he is not able to lift. Remember that "rock that he is not able to lift" is not focused to a certain time. If he is able to lift it tomorrow, then that's not a rock that he can't lift, specially if the only thing that changes the scenario is his decision to do it.

Maybe if he uses a TCG's card to add +5 to his power!! but that would be a lame argument lol.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
Yes, you got it.
The both "unlimited" are illogical.
The first one is not possible, because it needs illogical action to be possible, and by definitions it should not be illogical.
The second one is possible, but it is also illogical, by definition. But the last one is not part of the paradox.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
it's a cheap argument by me, i guess but.

God sets his mind to not be able to lift the rock. he can't lift it. then he changes his mind and lifts the rock. so he can lift it. con was arguing that if God is able to change his mind, he's able to lift the rock. i would quibble that if God had his mind set on not lifting it while simeoltaneously not being able to lift it, then it's permissible. only when he changed his mind was he able to lift it, but then the rock that couldn't be lifted ceased to exist.
so long as he's not the unstoppable force while at the same time having an immovable object, God can do wahtever he wants.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
i was not clear.

there are concepts such as unlimited within the realms of logic. then there is unlimited not within the realms of logic. are both of these scenarios of the unlimited possible or impossible to you?

i think i gather that you think unlimited things could only exist if they allow for illogical outcomes. but then it looks like you say "i can answer yes" and then said "then i would say no", so i'm not sure your position.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
This one? http://www.debate.org...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
dairygirl4u2cArcTImesTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: The rest of the debate is a tie since the answer must be yes/no or no/yes.