The Instigator
JustCallMeTarzan
Pro (for)
Winning
52 Points
The Contender
resolutionsmasher
Con (against)
Losing
47 Points

God is/was Either Imperfect or Not Omnipotent

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,408 times Debate No: 7356
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (26)
Votes (16)

 

JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

The proposition on offer is that God is either imperfect or not omnipotent. The proof for this follows fairly easily:

If God is perfect, then any change in him would be a change for the worse - it is impossible for a perfect being to change for the better. Furthermore, if God is to remain perfect, then he cannot change, as any change would necessarily be for the worse. An omnipotent being would always be capable of change.

The difference in God's character between the Old and New Testament represents a change.

If God cannot change because he is always perfect, God is not omnipotent.
If God changes, the change is necessarily towards imperfection.
If God changes for the better, he must have been imperfect at some point in time.

AFFIRMED.
resolutionsmasher

Con

My debate shall be short and sweet as my opponent's was. I will negate the resolution by affirming the following: God in both unchanging and all powerful (or omnipotent).

My opponent states that the God cannot change in order to preserve his perfection.
My opponent also states that due to God's inability to change he is thus not omnipotent.

I will negate this using a small observation of my own. God is perfectly capable of changing, but chooses not to to preserve his perfection. By choosing God preserves both his perfection and his omnipotence.
I have two examples to show that I am correct.
1. God is also known as omnipresent. This is commonly thought to mean in every place at every time, but if you look at both the Greek and Hebrew (the two original languages of the bible) it is actually defined as God being where he wants to be and not where he doesn't want to be. This application of the word omni can be applied to all of the 'omni' attributes of God including omnipotence.
2. When a person chooses not to kill another person, this doesn't mean that they can't kill another person. Likewise, if a person is capable of killing another doesn't mean that he will. Thus when applied to God this means that just because God is capable of changing doesn't mean he will. Also this means that just because God doesn't choose to change doesn't mean he is not omnipotent.

My opponent also refers to changes in God's attitude between the old and new testaments. I cannot refute his 'observations' until he presents them. So I must ask that he further on that subject.

Other than that, I have no more to say.

()__()
(='.'=)
(")_(")
Debate Round No. 1
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

Responses:

>> "God is perfectly capable of changing, but chooses not to to preserve his perfection. By choosing God preserves both his perfection and his omnipotence."

How is God capable of changing in a way that preserves his perfection? Obviously, he is not.

>>"...defined as God being where he wants to be and not where he doesn't want to be. This application of the word omni can be applied to all of the 'omni' attributes of God including omnipotence."

That is a silly kind of omnipotence - being able to do "what he wants to do and not what he doesn't want to do" - that's more than just a silly kind... that's NOT omnipotence. And since you already affirmed God's omnipotence, your argument on this point is contradictory.

>> "Thus when applied to God this means that just because God is capable of changing doesn't mean he will. Also this means that just because God doesn't choose to change doesn't mean he is not omnipotent."

This "God" seems to be infected with a case of sour grapes... he can't change, so you posit that he simply chooses not to. A perfect god isn't CAPABLE of changing without ruining his element of perfection. An omnipotent being would be able to change if he so wished.

Since God cannot both be perfect and change, he is either imperfect, or not omnipotent.

*********************************

As far as the change between the testaments, it's fairly obvious that God has changed from a vengeful, wrathful god into one who is willing to forgive, and even give up his own son for our sins. If that's not a change, I dunno what is....

AFFIRMED.
resolutionsmasher

Con

How is God capable of changing in a way that preserves his perfection? Obviously, he is not."

My opponent has not even addressed my examples of possibility. I will go back over them for the voter's sake. I showed how being capable of change does not take away the perfection of God. If he were to change then he would be imperfect. But just as a person who is capable of killing isn't necessarily a killer, God is not imperfect just because he's capable of imperfection.

>>"That is a silly kind of omnipotence - being able to do "what he wants to do and not what he doesn't want to do" - that's more than just a silly kind... that's NOT omnipotence. And since you already affirmed God's omnipotence, your argument on this point is contradictory."

My opponent attempts to discredit my definition of omni and omnipotence by calling it 'silly'. What he fails to see is that it is in fact the actual Greek and Hebrew translations of the word, thus my point is unrefutable. He provides no counter definition, much less one that can over ride a direct translation of ancient texts.

>>"This "God" seems to be infected with a case of sour grapes... he can't change, so you posit that he simply chooses not to. A perfect god isn't CAPABLE of changing without ruining his element of perfection. An omnipotent being would be able to change if he so wished."

First of all, my opponent provides no evidence that God is incapable of change. No scripture that says that (the only way to make his point). Second, I didn't pose the idea that he simply chooses not to. I PROVED IT in my definition of omni and omnipotence which he failed to sufficiently refute. Third, he makes the statement that "A perfect god isn't CAPABLE of changing without ruining his element of perfection." This is your own personal guess and cannot be used as proof in this debate. You must combat my SOLID proof with more SOLID proof, not this BIAS opinion from yourself.

>>"As far as the change between the testaments, it's fairly obvious that God has changed from a vengeful, wrathful god into one who is willing to forgive, and even give up his own son for our sins. If that's not a change, I dunno what is...."

My opponent obviously doesn't know his bible. If you look at the new testament you can see perfect examples of God's righteous wrath (the story of Annanias and Saphira, and the Book of Revelation) as opposed to those of the old testament (destruction of Israel in their time of sin, the flood). Also we can see examples of God's grace and forgiveness in the old testament (promise of a savior, and he did wait 400 some odd years of patience before punishing Israel) as opposed to that of the new testament (the coming of the savior, and the promise of heaven).

Thus I have shown how God hasn't changed and is thus perfect even though he is capable of change. And I have proven that through all this he still retains his omnipotence.

FIRMLY NEGATED.

PS I will most likely not be able to post the next round due to the sad fact that I am being dragged off to a spring break trip with no computers. If you can post in the next twelve hours then I might be able to repond (keyword might). If not I ask your forgiveness and also ask that you not present any new arguments but only further on the current ones.

Thank you for this debate. It was fun.
Debate Round No. 2
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

JustCallMeTarzan forfeited this round.
resolutionsmasher

Con

Thank you for your cooperation. I am back unexpectedly early but I will still comply with my earlier stipulations and forfeit this round.

Thank you for the good debate.
Debate Round No. 3
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Winged 5 years ago
Winged
wow, a year and a half later, and there are still people reading this debate through. I am impressed. By the way, i am resolutionsmasher, i simply reopened a new profile and got rid of the old one.
On the last comment, i must agree with JCMT, in that God need not be above logic. He created the system of the universe including logic, and typically need not mess with it to prove himself. He has occasionally chosen to negate certain laws of nature to perform miracles and such (i.e. the virgin birth).
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 6 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
None of what you just said makes any sense at all.

You mistake the poor argument of the omnipotence paradox for a contention that God is illogical. The omnipotence paradox is not a challenge to God because the situations or objects the paradox concerns are logical impossibilities. God cannot make a 4-sided triangle, or microwave a burrito so hot he can't touch it because those things don't (and can't) exist, not because God is limited in some way.

God is still constrained by logical rules - i.e. God cannot be both the supremely good being and the supremely evil being. Logic still applies - you've just been sucked in by the idiot Christian argument, "MAH God is abuuuuv teh LOGIKZ!!!"
Posted by kdude 6 years ago
kdude
I wanna throw in my two cents, but before i do, let me say that im an atheist, or at least i dont believe in religion. Anyway, the definition of God is that he is omnipotent, right? So then in addition to physical omnipotence he also has logical omnipotence. Meaning that God is not bound by the limits of logic. So then God can behave in ways that are beyond our comprehension, he does not need to make logical sense. Its like we're run on PCs and he runs on MAC, we just cannot understand him. So God can both be Onmipotent and Perfect and any logical arguement against that does not apply to God. Thats why arguements like "can God microwave a burritto so hot that not even God can touch it" does not apply, because God has logical omnipotence. Its sucks, right? Christianity does not need to be logical, whereas atheist arguements have to be.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
WHOOPEE!!
no caps
Posted by snelld7 8 years ago
snelld7
Nice debate on both sides..
RFD:

"My opponent has not even addressed my examples of possibility. I will go back over them for the voter's sake. I showed how being capable of change does not take away the perfection of God. If he were to change then he would be imperfect. But just as a person who is capable of killing isn't necessarily a killer, God is not imperfect just because he's capable of imperfection."
Points to resolutionsmasher
Posted by DiablosChaosBroker 8 years ago
DiablosChaosBroker
With this resolution.
Posted by DiablosChaosBroker 8 years ago
DiablosChaosBroker
Hey, JustCallMeTarzan, challenge me to this debate, okay?
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
You are trying to put a finite limit on an infinite God. You cannot understand him no matter how hard you try. What he says, is, and always will be. Even if it violates the laws of nature reality. Thus God can be omnipotent and perfect at the same time.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Great... Godsands has arrived...

DCB - I'm just saying that a perfect being can't change... an omnipotent one can. Something can't be both:

(P -> ~C)
(O -> C)
C
--------------
:. {[(P & ~O) v (O & ~P)] v [~O v ~P]}
Posted by DiablosChaosBroker 8 years ago
DiablosChaosBroker
The "Christian" God conceived by the Bible was either imperfect or not omnipotent because of...
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by warlord2080 7 years ago
warlord2080
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by alwaz4dam 7 years ago
alwaz4dam
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by beamer1 7 years ago
beamer1
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by comoncents 7 years ago
comoncents
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by tribefan011 7 years ago
tribefan011
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by snelld7 8 years ago
snelld7
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by kevsext 8 years ago
kevsext
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Metz 8 years ago
Metz
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by RacH3ll3 8 years ago
RacH3ll3
JustCallMeTarzanresolutionsmasherTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07