The Instigator
mecap
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Marauder
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Resolved: An omnipotent and andomniscient god cannot logically exist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Marauder
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,377 times Debate No: 22850
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)

 

mecap

Pro

Resolved: An omnipotent and and omniscient god cannot logically exist.

Definitions
Dictionary definition of Omnipotent:
om·nip·o·tent
   [om-nip-uh-tuhnt]
adjective
1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
2. having very great or unlimited authority or power.

The apologists often define omnipotence as the maximum power logically possible (i.e. god does not have the power to create a square circle, since a square circle is not logical).

Dictionary definition of Omniscience:
om·nis·cient
   [om-nish-uhnt]
adjective
1. having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.

Argument
"The omnipotence and omniscience paradox can be summed up as 'Does God know what he's going to do tomorrow? If so, could he do something else?' If God knows what will happen, and does something else, he's not omniscient. If he knows and can't change it, he's not omnipotent."

Source: http://wiki.ironchariots.org...

Conclusion
It's logically impossible for god to know what he's going to do in the future (omniscient) and have the power to change it (omnipotent); therefore, an omnipotent and omnisciet god cannot logically exist.
Marauder

Con

I thank my opponent for starting this debate, and I will be holding us to the use of the definition for omnipotence “maximum power logical” which does not include the ability to create square circles, rocks so big he move them, ect…

Time is not Static
Space is generally agreed to not be a static thing, its always expanding or even shrinking they say these days. Because Time is also considered to be a part of space (space-time continuum) its not rational to think of Time is static terms either.

Knowing about a Time in Flux
Let us say God knows it’s going to rain tomorrow. Because of his power he can control weather or not it will rain, but as of right now its going to rain. But the flow of events in the timeline being something that is not static and subject to change, means God could very well change that fact that it will rain tomorrow. It does not change the fact that he knew it was going to rain even though he ensured with his power that it wouldn’t after I prayed ‘rain rain go away so I can cut the hay today’ to him.

So really when you think about it this highlights the fact that he knows everything, it doesn’t bring it into question. I say this because it means while we only can know that it did not rain today, God is able to know with certainty about the rain that never happened….but could have. God does not only know about the ‘what is’s but he knows about the ‘what if’s in detail.

Conclusion:
1) The logic impossibility relies on the assumption that time is static.
2) We generally take Time and Space to be in Flux

I await my opponent’s response
Debate Round No. 1
mecap

Pro

Opponent S1: "But the flow of events in the timeline being something that is not static and subject to change, means God could very well change that fact that it will rain tomorrow. It does not change the fact that he knew it was going to rain even though he ensured with his power that it wouldn’t after I prayed ‘rain rain go away so I can cut the hay today’ to him."

Response: I'm not sure I agree with my opponent's definition of time, i.e. time being in "flux", which my opponent bases on a common misunderstanding that time is expanding. For a scientific explanation as to why space is expanding but time is constant see this article: http://usersguidetotheuniverse.com... .

Perhaps my opponent means that time is relative [1] (to the observers); however, that does not have a bearing on the paradox. God would in fact know that you would pray for the rain to go away, he would also know that he was going to make it rain tomorrow. If god does fulfill your prayer, then we're back at the paradox: god has just exercised his omnipotence and thus negated his omniscience.

This also brings up another issue: if god is omnipotent then he can make a person with free will. If the person has free will, but god knows everything that the given person going to do in the future then it's not really free will. Either god is omnipotent and can make a person with free will or god is not omniscient. The paradox remains!

Opponent S2: "I say this because it means while we only can know that it did not rain today, God is able to know with certainty about the rain that never happened…but could have."

Response: That only addresses god's omniscience, the moment that god enacts his omnipotence then the paradox occurs. In order for god not to contradict his omniscience, god would have to enact ALL of the "what if's" at the same time and arguably there are an infinite number of "what if's". This goes into yet another paradox and that is the paradox of infinity (Hilbert's Hotel) [2]. Again, making yet another contradiction.

Conclusion:
The expansion of time and space has led my opponent to a common misunderstanding that time is expanding along with space [3], so my opponent's conclusion has succumbed to this common error. My opponent has only shown that god's omniscience allows god to know about all of the possible "what if's," but this only makes the problem worse since god would have to fulfill an infinite number of what if's to maintain omnipotentence. That results in yet another paradox, the paradox of Hilbert's Hotel, which makes an omnipotent and omniscient god logically impossible.

[1] http://csep10.phys.utk.edu...
[2] http://www.suitcaseofdreams.net...
[3] http://usersguidetotheuniverse.com...
Marauder

Con

Time has to be Static
The only problem the link presented was it was a problem because in “commoving time” the stop watch would appear to be ticking faster as the universe expands. But this is not a problem because to our perception and the perception of our watches which exist within….well reality as we know it in time at its current ….ticking speed I guess, we would not notice the change in the ticking of any clock unless we watched it from outside of the Universe. Let me explain, consider you are watching Kid Flash speed read through a Library every single book. But he is reading, at a faster speed of time, cause well he’s special like that. To Him He can see every book move and all the food he has left lying around in his study, he can see himself and he can see you standing there like a statue. You cant see him though. He’s moving so fast because he runs on a different rate of time that even light stuck going at your rate of time does not show you him or the food and books he cleaned up and put back on the shelf faster than your time could register them. So in short even if the clock would tick faster as space expands you would perceive it faster, like when you’re staring at a fan and your eyes try following the fan blades.
Free will and Omni paradox.
I’ve heard this argument and it can lead to some pretty absurd statements. For example lets say I tell you to jump off a roof and flap your wings you will fly. You say you don’t believe and are not going to do it. I knew you would say that of course cause there’s not way your that gullible and stupid. Does this show because I had the foreknowledge of what your choice would be that had control over it the whole time, that I made your decision for you? Of course not, my knowledge over your actions does not affect the fact that you independently make them apart from me.
God would have to fulfill all ‘what if’s’ to maintain Omnipotence
Why would he? In order to logically have power it has to be used? That is absurd and if you take a minute to consider what that means on a non-omni level of power you would see this if you just use common sense. For example is it safe to say that Chuck Norris can kick my butt? Pretty safe I think we would agree, however he is not kicking my but (obviously I would not be able to type if he did) and he is not roundhouse kicking your right now is he? Has he ever done so. The man is a wealthy celebrity and has no need of turning his attention to your or I and has no causes that would make him show off his fighting prowess by attacking us. So he is not, but clearly you cant say that he CANT kick our butts if you know push came to shove for Mr. Norris.
Thing is with an Omnipotent God by definition ‘push’ cannot possibly come to shove. And even if he did have too there is still know problem. There’s no logical reason to say that god has not fulfilled all ‘what-ifs’ and created Hilbert’s Hotel in the form of infinite realities.
Debate Round No. 2
mecap

Pro

Static Time


There are two points to the link I provided:



  1. We perceive time to be constant because we’re in space/time so as it’s expanding so is our perception of it (to put it in simple terms).

  2. True time would in fact be constant, only our perception of it would be changing because space is expanding.


We haven’t discussed this, but I would presume that god would be ticking in true time, so to him time would be truly constant.


Free Will


Being able to make correct predictions is different from knowing the actual outcome. In your example, you made a correct prediction but you never really knew with 100% certainty that I would not jump. If I was crazy and I jumped, your prediction would have been wrong. Your prediction had a degree of uncertainty, while god’s knowledge would have no uncertainty which is why we label it as omniscience. We wouldn’t label anybody omniscient simply because they can make correct predictions with a high degree of certainty.


I think it makes sense to also understand the term free will:


“’Free Will’ is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives.”[1]


If an omniscient being created another being that has free will, then the being would have to have various alternatives to choose from. However, given that the omniscient being knows what the actual outcome happens to be, it makes those alternatives nothing more than an illusion.


Having Power vs Exercising Power


Note that the colloquial definition of power is somewhat weak and inconclusive: it doesn’t address ability or opportunity. So I would suggest a stronger definition, provided by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:


Power should be distinguished from ability. Power is ability plus opportunity: a being which has maximal ability but which is prevented by circumstances from exercising those abilities would not be omnipotent. Nothing could prevent an omnipotent agent from exercising its powers, if it were to endeavor to do so.” [2]


So having the power also implies that the being has the opportunity and the ability to exercise it, by definition! Having omniscience eliminates the opportunity to exercise the power: if I know what I will do in every moment in the future, then where is my opportunity to do something else?


Conclusion


Omnipotence is defined as the maximum power logically possible and based on the definition in SEP: power is the ability plus the opportunity. An omniscient being would know, not merely predict with a high degree of certainty, what it would do every moment in the future, thus eliminating the opportunity to exercise its power. If the opportunity is eliminated, then the power is also eliminated. This is why a being that is both omniscient and omnipotent is a paradox, therefore such a being cannot logically exist.


[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...


[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...

Marauder

Con


Exercising Power


A: you did not actual address my specific charge. It was not about questioning if God had to have opportunity in order to say he has power, it was he has to flat out use the power to say he has power. You suggested God ‘had’ to do something (create all versions of Schrodinger cat) to have power. He does not. Just because he can do it by opportunity and ability does not mean he has too. I have the ability and opportunity to forfeit this debate but I obviously have not does that mean that I never could have? Of course not.


B: You did not address my point that God may in fact already made all the what-ifs so the voters should consider this point dropped. Just because you do not exist in the universe where I am dating Britt Nicole does not mean that universe does not exist. You can’t logically say god did not make it apart and separate from our own reality and so you can’t logically hold against god what you logically cannot say if he did or did not do it.


Free Will


Exercise in Character over Power


Existence of Free Will does not mean God ‘lacks opportunity’ to make us do his will as Gods restraint in power reflects his character not his opportunity.


100% certainty


So it’s just a matter of degree of certainty? Fine then let’s just say I do know 100% does that now mean that it was really I who made your choice for you? No it’s not the degree of certainty that keeps us from labeling me Omnipotent when I make a prediction on your choices. It’s the common sense that’s there’s a disconnect between my good understanding of people and situations from the people and the situations themselves.


Choices are an illusion if God knows…


Let’s consider a choice without Gods foreknowledge in the equation for a moment. I have to pick between 2 jobs. Job A is closer than B and so I pick it. Add Foreknowledge back to the equation; is my choice any less my own? No because all the same causes are still in place


True Time


You and your link have made a backwards conclusions. True Time would be what changes and our perception of it would remain the same so since we are constrained by time. To keep the speed equation the same True Time has to change with True Space to keep the ratio the same or our ability to calculate speed falls apart.


Conclusion


Though I have refuted your every argument; lets say they were not quite good enough and we give more weight to every point you have tried to make. If we take your case at its face value at the end of the day all you have done is made a slightly more elaborate ‘stone so big…’ argument which is ruled out by your own round one definition. Omnipotence thus been proven to logically have to mean a more Calvinistic view of God but not ‘no such god can logically exist’.


Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DragonX 5 years ago
DragonX
There is also recent proof that we didn,t evolve from the monkey & that humans were around the same time as dinosaurs. Both can be proved in this documentary Dragons or Dinosaurs. The bible does explain about dinosaurs. You can search up www.cloudtenpicture.com if you don't believe me. In Genesis 3:21 Genisis 1:29-30 Romans 5:12,14 & 1 Corinthians 15:21-22. You might not think so because the word dinosaur didn't exist until 1841. But the hebrew word was Tanniyn which's sometimes mean serpent Sea monster but mostly dragon. If you read those verses it'll tell ou the exact description of the dinosaurs. If you check th documentary Dragons or dinosaurs they'll show you in different countries that in ancient times that people have made numerous pictures of dinosaurs. Once again you can search up the website www.cloudtenpicture.com/dragons or dinosaurs. In that documentary it shows that Humans were around at the same time dinosaurs were meaning that it would be impossible that we would evolve from the monkeys. Once again please feel free to search up www.cloudtenpictures.com/dragons or dinosaurs. In that documentary it shows a ancient carvings of people making drawing & stone carvings of dinosaurs. These pictures are shown in several countries. i know I'm sounding annoying but once again you can search up this website www.cloudtenpicture.com/Dragons or dinosaurs.
Posted by mecap 5 years ago
mecap
NP, take your time... btw, I'm sorry for the 3k limit, but it's much easier for people to read a 3k argument than to read an 8k argument. I actually wanted to have a 4k limit, but debate.org is so buggy that when I selected 4k it showed 5k and then I selected 4k, which must have caused it to become 3k.
Posted by Marauder 5 years ago
Marauder
I have my final round made, I just have figure out how to edit out like....a little over 1,000 characters from it. I think I take a little too long to paint 'thought experiment' type analogies.
Posted by mecap 5 years ago
mecap
"'it is true that given x, z, y I will do F"
-- OR G, H, I, J, K... the propositions x, y, z do not bind you to do F, you're just deciding to do F. You can just as well decide to do G or H (omnipotence). This means that there are an infinite number of propositions which you know and you have an infinite number of actions which you can take for each unique permutation of those infinite number of propositions. However, you will only act action on one and you already know which one is it, you therefore do not have the opportunity to enact any of the other ones (unless you do them all at the same time). The fact that you do not have the opportunity to enact any of the other ones prevents you from being omnipotent.
Posted by WxGeo 5 years ago
WxGeo
"If god is only omnipotent it does not necessarily donate a paradox, but if god is BOTH omnipotent and omniscient, then the paradox occurs."

--How so with the definitions I offered? You're just repeating the meaningless question. It's clear you don't understand my definitions. By actualizing any states of affairs God can bring it about that he does something different. Then his middle knowledge holds, "it is true that given x, z, y I will do F" and,"if it is not true that given x, z, y I will do T" ....

Where x, z, & y are counterfactuals in the subjunctive mood and F or T are logical states of affairs.

Within such a case, [knowing all true propositions] and [having the ability to bring about any logical states of affirs is preserved].

The paradox holds to weight; you're using an outdated set of arguments.
Posted by Marauder 5 years ago
Marauder
I dont know why people forget the proper pattern of cause and effect just because your dealing with knowledge of the future. you know because it was done, not you did it because you knew you would.
Posted by mecap 5 years ago
mecap
"Omnipotence shouldn't be understood of as unlimited power in terms of variety & quantity; just the ability to actualize any state of affairs which are broadly logical..."
-- If god is only omnipotent it does not necessarily donate a paradox, but if god is BOTH omnipotent and omniscient, then the paradox occurs.

"Personally the former definition of omnipotence it seems is incoherent. Can an all powerful thing make itself less powerful?"
-- Again, the paradox does not stem from being omnipotent alone and in the beginning of the debate I clearly stated that definition of omnipotence which I'm using in this debate is the theistic one: omnipotence is the maximum power logically possible. I don't know why you keep addressing a definition which I'm not a proponent of. I also accept the theistic definition of omniscience: the knowledge of all true propositions.

Given that I accept both definitions, you have not answered this question: can god do something else tomorrow (i.e. omnipotence), given that he already knows what he's going to do tomorrow (i.e. omniscience)?

If he has omnipotence alone, then he can do something else tomorrow. If he's omniscient alone, then he is just following a script of a nearly infinite number of true propositions, without being able to deviate from that script whatsoever.
Posted by WxGeo 5 years ago
WxGeo
Personally the former definition of omnipotence it seems is incoherent. Can an all powerful thing make itself less powerful?
Posted by WxGeo 5 years ago
WxGeo
Omnipotence shouldn't be understood of as unlimited power in terms of variety & quantity; just the ability to actualize any state of affairs which are broadly logical...

Theists find that anti-theistic critiques of certain conceptions of God can actually be quite helpful in formulating a more adequate conception.
Posted by mecap 5 years ago
mecap
"Of course it does: a true proposition doesn't include an incoherent answer."
-- So can god do something else tomorrow (i.e. omnipotence), given that he already knows what he's going to do tomorrow (i.e. omniscience)?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
frozen_eclipse
mecapMarauderTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made a much more logical apeal to me and proved that the possibility is logical for god to fit under both definitions. I have to give sources points to pro because con didnt use any