The Instigator
InquireTruth
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
larztheloser
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The Omnipotence Paradox is Self-Refuting

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
InquireTruth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/3/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,376 times Debate No: 17753
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (57)
Votes (8)

 

InquireTruth

Pro

Introduction


Greetings to my competitor and all those interested in the topic. In this debate, the proposition in dispute will be whether or not the supposed omnipotence paradox is self-refuting. That is to say, whether or not any number of the central premises involved in the forming of the paradox surreptitiously, yet necessarily, undermine its conclusion.


The omnipotence paradox is typically formed like the following:


Can an omnipotent God create a stone so heavy that she (he or it if you prefer) cannot lift it?


The argument attempts to create a dilemma wherein either answer proves that omnipotence is logically impossible and therefore illusory. A yes answer shows that God can cease to be omnipotent wherein she can create a task that she is unable to perform and a no answer shows that God was never really omnipotent in the first place.


My burden in this debate is to give strong reasons for believing that the abovementioned paradox is self-defeating, inasmuch as its own premises refute its conclusion.


I look forward to debating this topic with whomever it may be. If you do not understand my position fully or are concerned with some semantic rendering, please clarify with me before accepting.


InquireTruth

For more information on the omnipotence paradox, please refer to the following link:

http://rationalwiki.org...


larztheloser

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for the opportunity to defend the omnipotence paradox. My burden in this debate is to give logical reasons why my opponent's logic isn't logical. I'm very much looking forward to hearing my opponent's argument and wish him the best of luck for the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
InquireTruth

Pro

Introduction

Thank you to my opponent for his acceptance of this debate and his willingness to defend the Omnipotence Paradox. I would like to highlight one thing that CON said in his brief and respectable first round:

"My burden in this debate is to give logical reasons why my opponent's logic isn't logical."

I highlight this phrase for its irony, as this debate will be centered mostly about the irrelevancy of logic given the premises inherent in the omnipotence paradox. This will become more clear as we move forward. So let's begin.


What is Omnipotence?

There are a few different ways that we could define omnipotence.

Maximal Omnipotence: This first one we will call maximal omnipotence. This form is characterized by an omnipotence that has absolutely no limitations. Whatever can be phrased as an action is necessarily possible for God to do, even that which is logically impossible.

Common Omnipotence: Many philosophers and Christian thinkers avoid maximal omnipotence in favor of a more limited and epistemically accessible alternative, henceforth known has common omnipotence. This form insists omnipotence is characterized by having the ability to bring about any logically possible state of affairs. So any entity "E" is omnipotent if the action "A" is logically possible. That is, if "E performing A" is a logically possible state of affairs.


The Premises of the Omnipotence Paradox

Using the stone example of the paradox stated in my round one, I will highlight the relevant premises in the paradox.

The dilemma presents us with two options, either an omnipotent God can create a rock too heavy for himself to carry or he cannot. If God does in fact realize a state of affairs where there exists a rock too heavy, he would no longer be omnipotent (and, perhaps, call into question whether or not he was actually omnipotent in the first place). If, however, he cannot realize a state of affairs where a rock is too heavy, then there is something that he cannot do, meaning he is not omnipotent. This line of reasoning supposedly shows that omnipotence is logically impossible or at best incoherent.

One of the underlining premises, then, is: God should be able to realize any state (e.g. a rock too heavy for himself to carry).

The conclusion then being: If God cannot realize a certain state (e.g. a rock too heavy for himself to carry), then he is not omnipotent.

But how exactly would an omnipotent God create a rock too heavy for himself to carry? What form of omnipotence is inferred by this dilemma. It would make sense if maximal omnipotence is being inferred, as it would be true that such a God should be able to realize any state of affairs. It is not, however, similarly true that a God with common omnipotence could realize any state of affairs, specifically states of affairs that are logically impossible.

So it seems only fair to say that the omnipotence paradox operates under the unstated assumption of maximal omnipotence.


How is this Self-Refuting?

If a God with maximal omnipotence brought about a state of affairs where there was such a thing as a rock too heavy for himself to carry, he would be bringing about a logically impossible state, inasmuch as it is not possible for there to be any impossible state for a God with maximal omnipotence.

But the only reason such a God could not lift a rock too heavy for himself to carry would be because it is logically impossible. But that is irrelevant, because inherent in the definition of maximal omnipotence is the ability to do the logically impossible. So the statement, "God can lift a rock too heavy for himself to carry" may very well be logically impossible, but it would, per the definition of maximal omnipotence, be perfectly within God's power to do so. So the paradox fails because its own inference of maximal omnipotence makes its application of logic irrelevant! The paradox assumes that God ought to be able to bring about logically impossible states of affairs. So it is an application of consistency to believe that a God who can realize the logically impossible state of a stone too heavy to carry can also realize the logically impossible state of his carrying that same heavy stone.

What's so powerful about this refutation of the Omnipotence Paradox is that it cannot be defeated! Any defeater would require applying logical principles (e.g. the law of non contradiction) to a God that is inferred by the paradox to exist outside of its application. It would not matter how logical any denial of my refutation is, because logic is irrelevant to a God with maximal omnipotence.


What is the Alternative?

So far as I can see, a remaining option for a proponent of the omnipotent paradox is to replace maximal omnipotence with common omnipotence. But this renders the omnipotence paradox a nonstarter, insofar as there is nothing inherently contradictory about a God with common omnipotence not being able to bring about certain states of affairs (namely logically impossible states like the one in question).

Or, one could attempt to show that it is somehow not logically impossible for a God with common omnipotence to realize a state where there exists a stone too heavy for himself to carry - which seems an unlikely task and heavy burden. But even if it were to somehow prove successful, we are still left with a non sequitur. That is to say, a God with common omnipotence may very well bring about a state that makes him no longer omnipotent, but the conclusion that omnipotence is therefore logically impossible or incoherent simply does not follow! It simply means that a God with common omnipotence can cease to be omnipotent if he chooses to realize such a state. Of course, there are no good reasons for believing that an omnipotent God would ever find need to realize such a state - it's possibility notwithstanding.


Conclusion

It should now be clear that the omnipotence paradox is self-refuting - insofar as one needn't look beyond the paradox's own premises in order to prove that it is false.


Inquire


larztheloser

Con

This is going to be (again) short and sweet. For all of pro's detailed and erudite explanations, his argument is very simple and very false. I'm a little disappointed.

Summary of the pro case

1. The omnipotence paradox assumes God can do absolutely anything, even things we consider logically impossible
2. Therefore God can create a stone too big to lift
3. Also therefore God can lift a stone he (or she or it - I'll use the male pronoun) can't lift (logically impossible)
4. Therefore God can create such a stone without ceasing to be omnipotent

What's the problem?
In my opponent's logic, God tries to create an unliftable stone, but even when he thinks he has succeeded, he defies all logic and lifts the stone anyway. In other words, God fails to create a stone he truly cannot lift. God tries again, creates an even bigger stone, and still he cannot help but be able to lift it. Annoyed, God tries a third time, but still cannot help but be able to lift his stone. God does not have the power to create a stone which is not only logically impossible to lift, but furthermore unable to be lifted by entities (such as himself) which defy logical possibility.

Remember the original construction of the problem - can God create a stone so big even he cannot lift it? If the premise of this argument is that God can defy logic, then to be unliftable by God the stone need be unable to be lifted even if logic is defied. The answer to this problem, according to my opponent's logic, is necessarily no, because in step 3 we read that God is able to lift the stone by defying logic. If this is so, then as my opponent pointed out in round one, God was never really omnipotent in the first place, as he couldn't create a stone even unliftable to his logic-defying powers. Even if God could create such a stone, then as my opponent also pointed out, God has ceased to be omnipotent.

The argument that "God can do what God can't" is as absurd as it sounds. Pro has attempted to make it sound plausible by changing it to "God can do what God logically can't." Not good enough. Just because God can defy logic does not give you the license to defeat the paradox on an illogical basis, by inserting the qualifier of "logically" before "able to lift". In point 2 you didn't really create a stone too big to lift, but rather a stone so big that God couldn't logically lift it. Given that God can defy logic, it's illogical to claim a stone God cannot logically lift is in fact something God can't do.

But I thought logic was irrelevant!?
Why, then I guess you'd be wrong again. Again, just because God can defy logic does not mean that your argument can stand up to logical attack, as you assert when you say your argument cannot be defeated. Unless voters are absolutely convinced that your counter-argument to the omnipotence paradox is in fact the deity, I encourage voters to recognise this point for what it is - a non-sequiter. It does not follow that an illogical God makes all illogical arguments concerning him logical. Even if it does, then I'll just quickly refute you with no logic whatsoever: you're wrong.

Conclusion
I want to remind voters that this isn't about your views on God or the omnipotence paradox. This is about this specific refutation. This specific refutation isn't actually a refutation, it's an example of God failing to create an unliftable stone.

The refutation is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
InquireTruth

Pro

Introduction

You will remember in my second round that I said my refutation cannot be defeated by virtue of its existing outside of all principles of logic. It seemed that CON had at least a working grasp of this point as he seemed to summarize the corpus of my argument in a relatively succinct and correct manner. How he was led so quickly astray in his immediate responses thereafter is somewhat of a mystery to me. But I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was because of some wanting clarity in my bygone round.


What's the Problem?

In this section my opponent gives us this confused response:

In my opponent's logic, God tries to create an unliftable stone, but even when he thinks he has succeeded, he defies all logic and lifts the stone anyway. In other words, God fails to create a stone he truly cannot lift.

But this quandary is so far off base from what I asserted that I am baffled he could make it. A God who can, by definition, do anything that can be phrased as an action, can truly create a stone that he cannot lift. The stone will REMAIN a stone that he truly cannot lift, however, the phrase God can lift a stone that he truly cannot lift-- though totally illogical and self-contradictory-- remains perfectly within his power to do so by virtue of his existing outside of logical principles.

In other words, my opponent does not understand the true profundity of this argument as he continues to grab and cling to principles of logic that have no bearing on God's actions. Since the omnipotence paradox assumes maximal omnipotence in order to phrase its dilemma, it fails even if all its premises are true. What does the omnipotence paradox set out to do? You'll remember in my round 1 that I stated the omnipotence paradox seeks to show God cannot exist because omnipotence is logically impossible. But since the paradox itself assumes a God that can do logically impossible things, it is not enough to show that omnipotence is beyond God's power to do - even if it is logically impossible! So even if we grant all the premises inherent in the omnipotence paradox it fails by virtue of defining God as a being with maximal omnipotence. In essence, if God can do the logically impossible, how in the world is showing that omnipotence is logically impossible of any force?

Here is another portion of my opponent's last round:

- can God create a stone so big even he cannot lift it? If the premise of this argument is that God can defy logic, then to be unliftable by God the stone need be unable to be lifted even if logic is defied. The answer to this problem, according to my opponent's logic, is necessarily no, because in step 3 we read that God is able to lift the stone by defying logic.

He has anticipated an answer of mine that is simply not true. My answer to the problem would necessarily be "yes." The moment logic is defied, there is nothing at all that is contradictory! Therefore there is nothing at all wrong with the phrase God can lift a rock that is absolutely, positively impossible for him to lift. In fact, there is nothing contradictory with the stone remaining too heavy for God to lift even while he lifts it.


But I thought logic was irrelevant!?

This section is as egregiously confused as the previous, and I hope my added clarity will prevent any future mishaps. My opponent near the end this portion gives us this tidbit:

It does not follow that an illogical God makes all illogical arguments concerning him logical.

Let's think together. What DOES follow from a God that is not bound by any logic whatsoever? It seems only fair to say that all arguments against God that rely upon any form of logic are without merit. Let's phrase this syllogistically:

P1. God is not bound by any principles of logic per maximal omnipotence.

P2. Arguments that seek to disprove God via principles of logic fail (see P1).

P3. The omnipotence paradox seek to disprove an omnipotent God via principles of logic.

C: The omnipotence paradox fails (per P2 and P3).


Questions for my Opponent

The following questions may aid in the elimination of future misunderstandings.

1. Do you understand what maximal omnipotence is?

2. If God has maximal omnipotence, why is it that he cannot create a stone that he truly cannot lift?

3. Why is it that a stone cannot remain a stone that God truly cannot lift while God simultaneously may lift it at his leisure? Is it because this may violate certain logical principles?

4. How does the absurdity of "God can do what God can't" matter at all if maximal omnipotence is assumed?

5. If all the premises of the Omnipotence Paradox are true, what does it prove and is this enough?

6. If logic is defied, does an answer to any given quandary still need to be "yes" or "no?"


Conclusion

I am hoping we will have made more progress in these latter rounds.


InquireTruth


larztheloser

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for his insightful reply.

Answers to questions:

1. Yes.
2. Because in doing so he loses his maximal omnipotence, as he cannot lift a stone he cannot lift.
3. No, rather the semantic truism that a "lifted" rock is "liftable"
4. Because the phrase "God can't" makes no sense if maximal omnipotence is assumed.
5. That God cannot be maximally omnipotent. Whether it is enough has nothing to do with your argument.
6. Yes in this case, because the paradox sets up a binary test. It only gives God the option of either being able or unable to lift the stone.

My Counter-Argument

There are only two alternatives upon creating a stone - either God is able to lift the stone, or God is not able to lift the stone. It is still my opponent's belief that God is unable to lift the stone. Despite being unable to lift the stone, he still lifts it because he can do the logically impossible. I contended that God should have created a stone unable to be lifted by beings which defy logical possibility. By being able to defy logic, he is able to lift objects that my opponent classifies as "unliftable," and therefore to God they are liftable. It should be possible to create a stone, however, that cannot be lifted, even by defying logic. My opponent offered absolutely no response to this argument, other than to reaffirm that God can do the impossible. I've already gone over this, but if this is the case, then obviously it is impossible for God to be unable to lift the stone. However, the presumption of maximum omnipotence is that nothing is impossible for God. God can try all he wants, but the stone will be liftable so long as he can lift it, and he can lift it so long as he is maximally omnipotent

What my opponent is in fact asserting is that since the presumption is incompatible with the premise (that God creates an unliftable stone), the presumption must be correct and the premise can't be wrong, therefore both are right. This is exactly the point. Both logical steps cannot be correct and therefore there is a paradox. The only way pro can weasel his way out of this is by his self-contradictory logic that logic isn't relevant (which I deal with later). From a logical perspective, pro has simply restated the paradox and considered the "no" alternative.

At the very end, my opponent breifly states that there is nothing wrong with being able to lift an unliftable stone if one can defy logic. It is, of course, possible for God to do things that defy logic. Therefore the observation that the stone is unliftable is false - it must be "unliftable except by defying logic." That wasn't the challenge though, and that's why last round I said my opponent added an extra qualifier of logic. The stone had to be unliftable even (not except) by defying logic. Inputting this observation gives us: there is nothing wrong with being able to lift an unliftable-except-by-defying-logic stone if one can defy logic. This is completely true and correct, but not what the paradox asked for.

The reason why my opponent only spent four sentances defending his actual argument was because I have already proven all of the above. The rest of my opponent's case did not defend his particular argument, but rather defended his claim that logic is irrelevant. Let's look at that one more closely.

Logical Irrelevance

P2. Arguments that seek to disprove God via principles of logic fail (see P1).
Just because God can defy logic doesn't mean that one cannot apply logic to God. The omnipotence paradox (unlike, say, the free will paradox) does not say an attribute of God is wrong or inconsistant, but rather it sets a test for God. It isn't the fact that God is maximally omnipotent that is the problem - it is the observed outcome of this. Let me give you an example.

No seriously, read this example. I'm pretty proud of it.

Suppose I had an object that could not be moved, and a force that could not be stopped. When they collide, one of two things will be observed: the object may move, or it may not. If it does the object was not immovable, if it does not then the force did not act on the object and thus was stopped, thus I claim nothing has such power. My opponent's argument is like saying that the object will move due to the force, but not have moved because it's immovable. If it moved it has moved. To say that it would not have moved because it's immovable is pointing out the paradox - it is inconsistant with what you said earlier. To now state I'm wrong because I'm applying principles of motion to something immovable or unstoppable is silly. I'm not applying principles of motion, I'm observing the result and making a conclusion based on this observation.

In the same way to say I'm wrong because I'm trying to constrain God by logic is silly. I'm using logic to defeat your argument, not God. The onmipotence paradox, also, leaves God alone and rather makes a comment based upon what God is able to do, not tell God what he must be.

If this argument sounds strangely familiar, it's because I've made it before. This time I'm only giving it more attention because my opponent gave this point more attention.

Conclusion

My opponent's argument is still not an argument. Look back to our agreed-upon summary. Such a God is covered under the omnipotence paradox as one unable to create a such a stone that the next premise reads "God cannot lift this stone no matter what he does."

Next look at his new formulation at the end of last round. I have shown that this is a non-sequiter, and that it doesn't actually relate to the omnipotence paradox at all, for the omnipotence paradox does not seek to disprove God via principles of logic. It does not relate to God, but to observations of God's omnipotence. It proves that the observations are impossible to reconcile with omnipotence and that therefore God is not maximally omnipotent. That's what it proves. My opponent hasn't disproved it.


Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
57 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 9 months ago
GarretKadeDupre
Holy sht, that was awesome! I never thought about it that way. I totally agree with the winner
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 2 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
InquireTruth, you are brilliant. I am sending you a friend request. That was amazing.
Posted by InquireTruth 3 years ago
InquireTruth
Sure. Send me a challenge with your proposal.
Posted by tarkovsky 3 years ago
tarkovsky
Honestly, I understand, precisely, your problem. If you feel up to it, I'd be happy to address it in a second formal debate on this issue.
Posted by InquireTruth 3 years ago
InquireTruth
" I assert this cannot be possible; paradox cannot seek to prove or disprove anything precisely because paradoxes are undecidable. "

That's not true at all. A paradox that presents two options, both of which lead to a contradiction, can successfully show some certain quality (q) is not logically possible. This is better known as a dilemma -- wherein both options are bad for the proposition.

Quite frankly, I don't know what your saying or intending to say. First you say that you do not think that the omnipotent paradox fails. Then you say that the paradox cannot do what it is, in fact, intended to do. Then you say that all its inherent premises are meaningless anyways.

Either way, thanks for reading and I hope to see you debate here in the future.
Posted by tarkovsky 3 years ago
tarkovsky
I'm going to go ahead and put this one to bed. Though I insist that we must be talking past each other to have reached such an impasse.

Your third proposition states that the omnipotence paradox seeks to disprove the existence of an omnipotent God. I assert this cannot be possible; paradox cannot seek to prove or disprove anything precisely because paradoxes are undecidable. They make it impossible to say anything whatsoever about the proposition, this is precisely what makes it a paradox. With a paradox, disproving the existence an omnipotent God is as equally impossible as proving the existence of an omnipotent God.

"Being able to demonstrate the self-contradiction of a concept that has been defined to exist outside of the application of logic is itself meaningless."

Yes, the statement "it is not the case that flipflapawapwap" is just as meaningless as "It is the case that flipflapawapwap". This is because flipflapawapwap is not a substantive, and refers to nothing whatsoever;it is meaningless and to negate it is just as meaningless. I don't understand, I assert that the argument is explaining this, thus making it meaningless. It's like using infinity as a number in order to reach absurd conclusions.

"Moreover, your argument is one of personal incredulity. Because it does not make sense to you, it must be wrong. Something does not need to be MEANINGFUL to you in order to be correct..."

My argument suggests that the word 'omnipotent' cannot have a meaning to anyone whatsoever that isn't infinitely arbitrary, which is still tantamount to meaninglessness.

I still can't decide whether your actually talking about an argument which invokes omnipotence's paradoxical properties as means of refutation of God's omnipotence, or the paradox itself. If the former I have yet to see that argument properly delineated, if the latter, I have already demonstrated how this is patently false.
Posted by InquireTruth 3 years ago
InquireTruth
Then we do disagree. I was under the impression that we agreed that the argument fails.

"My point is that omnipotence becomes, demonstrably, self-contradictory and hence meaningless (I wish I could put this is italics)."

Being able to demonstrate the self-contradiction of a concept that has been defined to exist outside of the application of logic is itself meaningless (how you are using meaning I am not entirely sure, as it seems more a form of obscurantism than it does substantive criticism).

"Tell me what does it mean to say:' It is an apple that is not an apple'? What are you actually referring to? Omnipotence is a non-quality, and refers to absolutely nothing and is therefore, unequivocally, gibberish"

Even if this were true, then the paradox fails because, per your argument, a too-heavy stone is a non-action, such that asking God to realize a state where one exists is meaningless. Omnipotence refers only the ability to realize all actions. So the paradox is a nonstarter because it doesn't actually ask God to do anything.

Moreover, your argument is one of personal incredulity. Because it does not make sense to you, it must be wrong. Something does not need to be MEANINGFUL to you in order to be correct. By virtue of assuming that omnipotence is a quality with the ability to realize logically impossible states, there are virtually no logical dilemmas one can use against it.

Even worse, if your argument is successful, it has only shown that maximal omnipotence is a non quality. Since the paradox QUALIFIES God as omnipotent, and maximal omnipotence is a non quality, it must be qualifying God with common omnipotence, in which case the paradox fails because it is not true that a God with common omnipotence can realize any state.
Posted by tarkovsky 3 years ago
tarkovsky
Actually, yes, disagreeing with your concluding argument, viz., the one in which you enumerate, with brevity, all of your most relevant points is tantamount to disagreeing with you. "Specifically, what is of concern to me..." can be read: "This is what is tripping you up, which is leading you to make a false conclusion." I do not agree that the omnipotence paradox fails.

I suspect this all comes down to your misapplication, in a strict sense, of the word paradox. Perhaps this signals some sort of misunderstanding, or maybe just a slightly too liberal rhetoric. Anyway, strictly speaking this is not a paradox because paradoxes are defined by those arguments which lead to undecidability. In other words, no matter what you say, it is neither true nor false; undecidable.

Take for example the liar paradox, a true paradox if there ever was one. A Cretan says: "All Cretans are liars." Suppose this is true, then by necessity, it is false. Suppose it is false, then, by necessity, it is true; hence you cannot say it is true or false because just as soon as you do it slips away and becomes the other; undecidable. On the other hand, assume God isn't omnipotent and the problem whisks itself away in the same instant. "God isn't omnipotent." "Alright then, then it doesn't matter if he can or can't create a rock he cannot lift."

You simply assume the contrary and arrive at the problem of self contradiction. You assert it doesn't matter because omnipotence is categorically 'alogical' (subtle difference from illogical.) My point is that omnipotence becomes, demonstrably, self-contradictory and hence meaningless (I wish I could put this is italics).

Tell me what does it mean to say:" It is an apple that is not an apple"? What are you actually referring to? Omnipotence is a non-quality, and refers to absolutely nothing and is therefore, unequivocally, gibberish. The force and function of the argument is to demonstrate that it makes no difference whether or not God is omnip
Posted by InquireTruth 3 years ago
InquireTruth
Disagreeing with one of my arguments is not tantamount to disagreeing with me. While you disagree with premise 3, I disagree with premise 1. The syllogism is the consequence of taking the premises of the paradox seriously, however. The omnipotence paradox fails, for you, because it does not refer to an action, though it is semantically rendered as one. This means that the paradox fails to create a dilemma. So we agree inasmuch as we both think the paradox fails. Your argument relies upon the additional premises regarding semantics and meaning. My argument relies on granting all the premises of the argument in question and including none of my own.

As for your criticism of 3, the paradox deals with the question of whether or not an omnipotent entity is logically possible. But even if we were to move the goal posts, as you would prefer, the paradox is STILL self-defeating, in that it defines omnipotence as a property that need not operate within principles of logic.
Posted by tarkovsky 3 years ago
tarkovsky
Hmm, perhaps I'm having a bit of a senior moment here. Or, perhaps we're talking past each other. I very seriously doubt I have misjudged my own opinion and, in fact, agree with you because I vehemently oppose your concluding argument:
P1. God is not bound by any principles of logic per maximal omnipotence.
P2. Arguments that seek to disprove God via principles of logic fail (see P1).
P3. The omnipotence paradox seek to disprove an omnipotent God via principles of logic.
C: The omnipotence paradox fails (per P2 and P3).

Specifically, what is of concern to me is proposition three. From my own understanding, the omnipotence argument doesn't stand to disprove an omnipotent God or any existence thereof. That would be, as you correctly pointed out, a non sequitur. The true point of the argument is to show that "omnipotence" itself is meaningless; it doesn't really refer to anything. The argument is not self-defeating in that it doesn't seek to demonstrate the facticity of any of God's ontological properties, but rather, that those properties, in and of themselves, are meaningless.

As for special pleading, I think not. Making a rock that is too heavy for an omnipotent God to lift isn't consistent in that it shares conjunction with omnipotence; a three sided sphere isn't a mathematical object, quite frankly, it isn't even a shape, it is nonsense. It's like trying to speak French in English: in some cases, yes the words of English make perfect sense, when spoken vicariously for French ones, they don't. Simple as that.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by randolph7 3 years ago
randolph7
InquireTruthlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Very well fought by Pro ultimately defended the resolution effectively.
Vote Placed by kohai 3 years ago
kohai
InquireTruthlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I feel pro sucessfuly shot the omnipotence paradox out of the water. It's an argument I never use, but it was a fun debate!
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 3 years ago
ReformedArsenal
InquireTruthlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Excellent argument. Drawing the distinction between Maximal Omnipotence and Common Omnipotence was brilliant.
Vote Placed by VocMusTcrMaloy 3 years ago
VocMusTcrMaloy
InquireTruthlarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Larz is a brilliant debator and did a wonderful job with this debate; but, he lost it before it began. Iquire irrefutably proved his resolution in the first round. There was nothing else to be said. If maximal omnipotence allows for doing the illogical, then the illogical feat of creating a stone too big to lift is certainly possible to One who can do the illogical. I agree with other comments that this was a brilliant debate!
Vote Placed by Cerebral_Narcissist 3 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
InquireTruthlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I had to re-read sections of this several times, it is quite a headache of a debate. Pro's argument with regard maximal omnipotence is brilliant. It sadly leaves no room for Con to counter.
Vote Placed by OMGJustinBieber 3 years ago
OMGJustinBieber
InquireTruthlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This must have been frustrating for Con. In the end, even the most convincing rhetoric does not evade necessity. You just can't win when it's "heads I win, tails you lose" regardless of grandiose claims of absolute omnipotence.
Vote Placed by mongeese 3 years ago
mongeese
InquireTruthlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: InquireTruth pointed out how applying logic to a being to whom logic did not apply was pointless, yet larz attempted to anyway.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 3 years ago
KRFournier
InquireTruthlarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I had to read the last round twice to really isolate where I think Con lost the win in my view. Con says, "The onmipotence paradox, also, leaves God alone and rather makes a comment based upon what God is able to do, not tell God what he must be." To me, this is a red herring, as it doesn't comport at all with the agreed upon intent of the paradox in round 1. Also, I had a much more difficult time discerning Con's counter argument, which is why I gave spelling/grammar to Pro.