The Instigator
JBpixie
Pro (for)
Tied
9 Points
The Contender
Geekis_Khan
Con (against)
Tied
9 Points

It is possible for an all knowing all powerful god to make him or herself not exist.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/10/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 840 times Debate No: 3974
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (6)

 

JBpixie

Pro

First I would like to define an all knowing all powerful god as an omnipotent being of supernatural origin who can do anything he or she wishes.

I contend that such a being can in fact make his or her self not exist and will leave it to my opponent to show otherwise
Geekis_Khan

Con

Alright. Thanks for starting the debate. This should be a challenge.

Now, by your definition, this being would be able to do anything it wants.

I accept all parts of this definition and ask that you stick to it throughout the debate.

Now, let's look at what having such a deity would mean, and what we could deduce from it. The existence of this deity would mean the existence of some sort of teleology and some osrt of purpose. This god would have some sort of purpose behind controlling what it does.

Given that, since this deity is all-knowing, it undoubtedly knows about the purpose and the teleology. So, this purpose exists to this being. This being would also know the importance of this purpose.

Since this all-important purpose exists to this being, the being has personal reason. With the existence of this reason, of this teleology, there is no desire in the being to commit suicide, as you are arguing. Since this being would not WISH to make itself not exist, then, by your definition, it could not do this, as it can only do whatever it WISHES, not what it doesn't want.

Furthermore, there is a second argument against your case if my first one is not accepted. Since the being is all-powerful, then it could not destory itself, as it could not destroy an all-powerful being. Now, of course, this creates a paradox. Since true paradoxes are impossible, then this scenario could not exist. So, you must negate this resolution.
Debate Round No. 1
JBpixie

Pro

Thank you for accepting the challenge.

First I will agree that the god would have a sense of purpose to exist.

Secondly I will refute the following:

"Since this all-important purpose exists to this being, the being has personal reason. With the existence of this reason, of this teleology, there is no desire in the being to commit suicide, as you are arguing. Since this being would not WISH to make itself not exist, then, by your definition, it could not do this, as it can only do whatever it WISHES, not what it doesn't want."

The definition of an all powerful…being was "an omnipotent being of supernatural origin who can do anything he or she wishes." The most important part of the definition being "anything he or she wishes". Note is does not say "what he or she wishes". To say "what" would be to limit the beings ability to only its desires. However to say "anything" (when placed in context) is to say that the being can do whatever it may potentially desire that is, it has the ability to do something if not the desire.

As for the final argument, as stated it is a paradox which could be argued against however seeing that there is no apparent need, I will not address at this time.
Geekis_Khan

Con

"The definition of an all powerful…being was "an omnipotent being of supernatural origin who can do anything he or she wishes." The most important part of the definition being "anything he or she wishes". Note is does not say "what he or she wishes". To say "what" would be to limit the beings ability to only its desires. However to say "anything" (when placed in context) is to say that the being can do whatever it may potentially desire that is, it has the ability to do something if not the desire."

I don't think the semantical difference matters much. In order for your side to carryt hrough under your definition, you have to present a scenario in which the being WOULD desire to make itself not exist. Even potentially desire to make itself not exist, I'll even accept that. But I contend that there is no such scenario.

In fact, I don't see how any such scenario is possible. An all-knowing being that knows of this teleology and its importance would never have a reason to destroy itself. Therefore, destroying itself is not ANYTHING that this being would ever desire.

"As for the final argument, as stated it is a paradox which could be argued against however seeing that there is no apparent need, I will not address at this time."

I'm confused as to how there is no apparent need to argue against this point. Since an affirming this resolution would be recognizing a paradox. But, the catch is, a true paradox, outside of mathematical manipulation, is an impossibility. Since the PRO creates an impossibility, it is NOT possible for an all-powerful being to destroy itself. I will continue to extend this argument until you offer a refutation.

Your turn.
Debate Round No. 2
JBpixie

Pro

It is not necessary to present a scenario in which a god would want to terminate its existence. It is necessary to show only ability. Can the god do so if it pleases? A desire to exist does not negate the ability to not exist. It merely means that such ability would not be exercised. Although this can be argued to be lack of ability, such an argument invalid since its equating desire with ability two things which aren't codependent.
For example if someone was in a room with nothing but a pencil and a paper. That person would have the ability to use the pencil to write and/or draw on the paper. However if that person has no interest in doing that it doesn't mean that the person lacks the ability to do so it only means the person has no desire to do so. Likewise just because the god has no desire to destroy itself does not mean it hasn't the ability. It only means its sense of purpose (to exist) is stronger than any potential to not exist. Certainly such a being may never chose to kill itself but that doesn't make such an occurrence impossible only unlikely.

I state that there was no need to argue a paradox because there is no way to prove to any logical ends either side. A paradox is by its nature self-contradictory. There is no way to prove or disprove its point with available knowledge. Hence should I provide an answer to the paradox there would be an equally logical and plausible way to show the opposite of my statement. Therefore I believe it best to argue the first point which if true (and I maintain it is) would effectively neutralize any argument of an all powerful being not being able to destroy an all powerful being.
With that said I will explain why the paradox would not hold through. The being is all powerful. There isn't a thing more powerful. It has no boundaries but those imposed by itself. It can effectively do what it pleases, therefore there is nothing stopping it from destroying it by its desire to exist. Also since there is only one the argument that an all powerful being cannot destroy an all powerful being is invalid since it isn't a case of one being destroying another. It is a case of one being destroying itself, and to say that, that is impossible is to ascribe a fundamental limit to the god's ability thereby making it less powerful than another force which can not be since it is all powerful.
Geekis_Khan

Con

"It is not necessary to present a scenario in which a god would want to terminate its existence. It is necessary to show only ability. Can the god do so if it pleases? A desire to exist does not negate the ability to not exist. It merely means that such ability would not be exercised. Although this can be argued to be lack of ability, such an argument invalid since its equating desire with ability two things which aren't codependent."

It is necessary, and I'll show you why. Since you defined this being as having the ability to do anything it wishes, then you have to show that it is possible for this being to wish this. I contend that this scenario is impossible. It is impossible for this being to ever want to destroy itself.

"Likewise just because the god has no desire to destroy itself does not mean it hasn't the ability. It only means its sense of purpose (to exist) is stronger than any potential to not exist. Certainly such a being may never chose to kill itself but that doesn't make such an occurrence impossible only unlikely."

You're forgetting your definition.

If the scenario where this being would want to destroy itself is impossible, then this resolution is negated.

"I state that there was no need to argue a paradox because there is no way to prove to any logical ends either side. A paradox is by its nature self-contradictory. There is no way to prove or disprove its point with available knowledge. Hence should I provide an answer to the paradox there would be an equally logical and plausible way to show the opposite of my statement. Therefore I believe it best to argue the first point which if true (and I maintain it is) would effectively neutralize any argument of an all powerful being not being able to destroy an all powerful being."

I'm really not sure what you're saying.

"With that said I will explain why the paradox would not hold through. The being is all powerful. There isn't a thing more powerful. It has no boundaries but those imposed by itself. It can effectively do what it pleases, therefore there is nothing stopping it from destroying it by its desire to exist. Also since there is only one the argument that an all powerful being cannot destroy an all powerful being is invalid since it isn't a case of one being destroying another. It is a case of one being destroying itself, and to say that, that is impossible is to ascribe a fundamental limit to the god's ability thereby making it less powerful than another force which can not be since it is all powerful."

No, the paradox still holds through with it being a singular being. The being is all-powerful. In this vein, it is impossible to destroy this being. However, on the flip side, this being, being all-powerful, would have the ability to destroy anything it wants. So, the paradox lies in the idea that this being cannot be killed, yet it could kill anything it wants. For example, if I am immortal, would I be able to kill myself?
Debate Round No. 3
JBpixie

Pro

I still contend that an all knowing all powerful being can destroy itself however seeing that my opponent's account has been closed I see no need to provide an argument this round.
Geekis_Khan

Con

Geekis_Khan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by bizzer10 9 years ago
bizzer10
this is a pointless argument not to mention unrealistic and childish
Posted by tremendoustie 9 years ago
tremendoustie
I think the concept of a being for whom the statement, "this being can do X" is true for any X, is self contradictory, as shown by the traditional question, "can the being make a rock so big he couldn't move it", for example.

I believe in God by the way, I just don't think he fits this rather shallow definition. And self distruction would fall into this catagory. It would not effectively limit the power of a being to be incapable of self destruction -- it's really just an argument over semantics, And, as has been pointed out, if you're really using the definition of omnipotent I gave above, then "destroy itself" definitely fits the sentence, so it's really a tautology.

If you wanted to make it a theological discussion, you should have framed the question like, "Can God destroy himself?", although I think the discussion would be pretty pointless.
Posted by JBpixie 9 years ago
JBpixie
Actually in a theological sense it's not necessarily redundant.
Posted by Oddlogic 9 years ago
Oddlogic
This is plain stupid. You're stating that a being that can do anything it wishes can do something it wishes. Please submit this to the department of redundancy department, and move on.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by JBpixie 9 years ago
JBpixie
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Vote Placed by careless-smith 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by paul_tigger 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Mazzic 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Spiral 9 years ago
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