The Instigator
xXCryptoXx
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
dairygirl4u2c
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

The Omnipotence Paradox of God is Flawed

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Post Voting Period
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after 5 votes the winner is...
xXCryptoXx
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/25/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,047 times Debate No: 57151
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (5)

 

xXCryptoXx

Pro

The Omnipotence Paradox

Can an Omnipotent God create a stone he cannot lift?


The question is formed in order to disprove God as an omnipotent being or to show that omnipotence itself is illogical or impossible. 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.

I will argue that this notion is flawed, while my opponent will defend that it is not.


Rules

1. First rounds is for acceptance.
2. Pro has the BOP.
3. Standard conduct applies (no plagiarism, swearing, insults, ect.).
dairygirl4u2c

Con

If god can do anything, he should be able to make a man. he should be able to make a man who can lift anything.

if god can do anything, he should be able to make something that can that no one can lift.

what happens when you put the man who can lift anything with the rock that cannot be lifted?

what happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object?

pro will probably argue that God has logical restrictions that he cannot do, based on reality. but, each of the above points are not of themselves against reality. when you put them together, you have a paradox that God cannot solve.
Debate Round No. 1
xXCryptoXx

Pro


Conduct Violation


Contradictory to my round 1 rules, my opponent decided not to treat the first round as a round of acceptance and instead posted her argument. This will cost my opponent conduct points. I will ignore these arguments as if my opponent abided by my rules and continue with the debate.


Omnipotence


Omnipotence can be defined in two ways, with certain subset definitions of omnipotence existing within them.


Maximal Omnipotence: Omnipotence without any limitation. 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.”[1]


A subset of Maximal Omnipotence is Situational Omnipotence: The ability to make oneself omnipotent in certain circumstances and not omnipotent in other circumstances.


Common Omnipotence: Omnipotence with limitation, specifically, not being able to do actions that are logically impossible. “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.”[1]



The Paradox


The situation presents two possibilities; either God creates a rock he cannot lift and because he cannot lift it he is therefore not omnipotent, or that God does not create a rock he cannot lift and therefore is not omnipotent because he couldn’t create it. The purpose of the paradox is to show that omnipotence is either impossible or illogical.


The entire situation implies the following:


P1. God should be able to create any possible situation. (Create a rock he cannot lift)


C1. If God cannot create any possible situation then he therefore is not omnipotent.


However, the entire situation begs what form of omnipotence is being implied.


It is logical that Maximal Omnipotence is being implied considering that premise one states that God should be able to create any possible situation, which directly corresponds with the definition of maximal omnipotence. This is not true for the other definitions, Common Omnipotence for example, considering that common omnipotence states that God should only be able to create any logically possible situation.



Flaws in the Paradox


The paradox assumes that God is maximally omnipotent, as shown by the construction of the premise and conclusion. By definition of being maximally omnipotent though, God can bring about any state of affairs. The paradox attempts to create a state that God cannot create, however because being maximally omnipotent means God could create such a state, then God can defy logic and create a stone that he cannot lift even if that cannot be comprehended by agents that exist within the laws of logic.


The paradox creates a logically impossible situation, but because maximal omnipotence entails that God can create logically impossible situations then the stone paradox is defeated.


“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.”[1]


Alternatives


The paradox itself implies maximal omnipotence, but what about common omnipotence or situational omnipotence?


Even if we replaced maximal omnipotence with common omnipotence, the paradox still fails in that it is a logically possible situation, and as per definition of common omnipotence God cannot bring about a state of affairs that is logically impossible. Even more so, if somehow my opponent showed that it was not logically possible, then that would entail situational omnipotence whereas God can create a stone which he cannot lift in a non-omnipotent state and then lift the stone in his omnipotent state. This is an example of situational omnipotence. 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!”[1] Since God is no longer in an omnipotent state when such an affair happens, omnipotence cannot be proven logically impossible.



[1] Matt Conniry on the Stone Paradox


dairygirl4u2c

Con

"The paradox creates a logically impossible situation, but because maximal omnipotence entails that God can create logically impossible situations then the stone paradox is defeated. '

the paradox isn't defeated. the paradox is upheld.... that is, God an do the illogical, but by doing so, has shown that he has limits. either he can make the stone he can't lift proving his lack of unlimited power, or he can't make the stone, again showing his lack of unlimited power

""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!"[1]Since God is no longer in an omnipotent state when such an affair happens, omnipotence cannot be proven logically impossible. "

if God is found to be not in an omnipotent state, then omnipotence is proven impossible. i don't see how your reasoning prior to this quoted statement has changed any of this? this statement alone is self evidently contadicxtory. if God is shown to be not omnipotent, then he is not omnipotent.

i see your point, God can choose to be or choose not to be omnipotent, and there is something to be said about his ability to choose. but in the end, he's not omnipotent if he chooses not to be able to lift the rock, and by all power after that decision cannot undo it and lift the rock.
Debate Round No. 2
xXCryptoXx

Pro


My opponent conceded and dropped a pretty large crux of my argument including my entire argument regarding common omnipotence, and chose to attack certain increments of my argument.


Misunderstandings


“God an do the illogical, but by doing so, has shown that he has limits. either he can make the stone he can't lift proving his lack of unlimited power, or he can't make the stone, again showing his lack of unlimited power”


My opponent does not quite understand what I am asserting. My opponent is arguing under the sense that God is commonly omnipotent, that is he can only do what is logical, therefore if he attempted to do this illogical action his omnipotence would fail. However, maximal omnipotence entails that God can do this action without making his omnipotence impossible. That is, God can defy logic, which in turn implies that we as rational beings cannot understand what exactly that entails.


As I already said, maximal omnipotence by definition states that God can bring about any affair, which includes illogical or even seemingly impossible affairs.


Non Sequitur


“if God is found to be not in an omnipotent state, then omnipotence is proven impossible.”


This simply does not follow. If God is maximally omnipotent then by definition God could bring out a state of affairs where he is no longer omnipotent, this does not prove omnipotence at all, and I have no idea where my opponent could get such an idea. God could simultaneously not be able to lift a rock he created in a non-omnipotent state and also be able to lift the rock in an omnipotent state.


“he's not omnipotent if he chooses not to be able to lift the rock”


As per definition of situational omnipotence, God can create a state of affairs where he is no longer omnipotent. In no way does this contradict his omnipotence, especially if as per definition of maximal omnipotence God can bring about any state of affairs.


“by all power after that decision cannot undo it and lift the rock.”


This statement is unsupported, and there is no reason to believe it to be true as per the definitions of omnipotence.


dairygirl4u2c

Con

pro argues that we cant measure God against logic if he is able to act against logic. perhaps in some sense. but we have no other way to measure him. and, if we do use logic, we see that whether he makes the rock, or doesn't shows that he is not omnipotent one way or the other. he can't both make the rock and not make the rock.
pro is basically arguing, "yes it doesn't make sense. but it doesn't have to, cause it's God". it's a self supporting rule of thumb that cannot be argued against. but if we actually do use reason, again the only standard we have, God is shown to be not omnipotent.

pro tries to argue that it is i that has the non sequitur. actually, it is him. afterall, it was he who said that an omnipotent being can be in a non omnipotent state. i can follow con's attempted logic here, as it might make sense to be able to 'turn off' his omnipotence. but if he does so, he is not truly omnipotent. an unlimited being who has limitations is not an unlimited being. pro is trying to act as if i'm arguing fallacies when he's the one making those kinds of statements.

at best pro later goes on to say "by definition God is not contradicting his own omnipotence if....." he is trying to win 'by definition'. but if we probe these definitions, as in the last paragraph, we see that trying to say the unlimited can be limited is not a state of affairs that is consistent, or makes much sense.

pro says my statement is unsupported, that God must not be omnipotent if he can't lift a rock he created to not be able to lift. how is it unsupported, though, if we are both stating in agreement that God "can't" lift the rock? a lack of omnipotence is supported by teh very fact that he can't lift it.

pro is merely trying to win 'by defintion', but his definitions do not hold up under scrutiny.
Debate Round No. 3
xXCryptoXx

Pro


Can God be Measured by Logic?


It depends on how we define omnipotence. Since the stone paradox implied the use of maximal omnipotence, then it is therefore logical that we use maximal omnipotence when referring to the stone paradox. By definition of maximal omnipotence, God can do what is illogical. My opponent does not seem to truly understand this considering she continues to argue that God either can’t create the stone or can’t lift the rock, but this ignores maximal omnipotence as a whole. Under maximal omnipotence which is implied by the stone paradox, God can create a rock he cannot lift without contradicting his omnipotence. As already explained, we can’t wrap our minds around such a notion because we must think within logic, whereas God can act outside of it.


My opponent cannot argue that the use of maximal omnipotence is unfair because the stone paradox implies that the definition of maximal omnipotence is being used.


To reiterate:


P1. God should be able to create any possible situation (Create a rock he cannot lift).


C1. If God cannot create any possible situation then he therefore is not omnipotent.



Non-Sequitur


My opponent drops my argument that her statements were non-sequiturs and instead tries to turn it on me.


My opponent however, misuses the term non-sequitur considering she applies it to my statement that a maximally omnipotent God could create a state of being where he is no longer omnipotent. This makes sense since even though at first glance it may appear contradictory; it logically follows via definition of maximal omnipotence. In fact, I could argue that if God could not create a state where he was no longer omnipotent, then God could therefore not being about any state of affairs, and therefore God would not be maximally omnipotent. Therefore via maximal omnipotence, God can create a state where he is no longer omnipotent.


The definitions I provided for omnipotence were relevant to the debate, especially maximal omnipotence which is directly begged for in the stone paradox. To use my opponent’s “unlimited” analogy: A truly infinite being can limit himself; otherwise he would not be truly infinite. Even though this defies logic, a truly unlimited being must necessarily be able to do it, lest he contradict his state of being unlimited.


Under common omnipotence, it would be argued that God, and unlimited being cannot limit himself because that would be logically contradictory, and a God with common omnipotence cannot do what is logically absurd. The same applies to the stone paradox.


Conclusion


My opponent dropped numerous points and conceded many also. She failed to understand what exactly maximal omnipotence entailed, conceded that the stone paradox implied maximal omnipotence, and continued to argue as if common omnipotence applied to the stone paradox. However, I had already explained that God cannot do what is illogical under common omnipotence.


When voting, please keep in mind my opponent’s conduct violation, poor spelling and grammar, and the numerous points she dropped and conceded.


Thank you for this debate. It was a pleasure.


dairygirl4u2c

Con

here are some final arguments i made in comments, well before pro posted.
i can respect if he wants to abide by formality, but he should have responded to it if he could, but explicitly chose not to.

----------------

here is something i will add in the last round. i'd like to give pro a chance to respond to it, so as maximize our search for truth, while perhaps limiting my ability to win.
i do generally side with pro, but not for the reasons he is arguing.

if God decides to make the rock, then he cannot lift it. this follows the laws of logic in that he can create an immovable rock, or act as an ustoppable force, but he can't do both at the same time.

where we might disagree, is whether God can then lift the rock he created to not be able to lift. it might seem that pro is arguing that God can't lift the rock. i would argue that he could, but that he won't.

the main issue is a matter of time and God's own internal consistency. consider if have a ball in my hand. if i say i will not drop the ball, then i won't drop it,... but i could drop the ball. God could create the rock and he almost suely would abide by his own standards, but he could switch gears and lift the rock if he wanted to. the only real limitation i'd set on him is that he can't create both the immovable rock, and act as an unstoppable force, at the same time.

-------------

as to con's other points. we simply disagree. again, con is trying to argue that God can act contrary to logic, so by definition nothing we could say could fix what God appears to be contradicting about. this is probably moreso a 'catchall' for pro to win, than a real argument, perhaps i shouldn't be so cynical about it. the only rule and way we have to measure God against is logic. if he can't abide by it, then it's all contradictory... what else can we expect?

con tries to argue that the unlimited should, if it's unlimited, be able to limit itself. this is a contradictory state of affairs. again, con had to restort in this section of arguments, to the "God can act contrary to logic" argument. again his scape goat argument. even looking at his argument for its own worth, i would have to again get into my above comments. maybe God would abide by his own rules.... but he doesn't have to. and really i dont need to resort to the above comments, cause he should be able to do what he wants, as i've argued all along, if he is truly unlimited. if he's truly unlimited, he should be able to go against his own standards. if i were to use a cheap argument like con's, it might appear inconsistent for God to do it, but we can't measure him by logic, and so he could. really, though, i don't have to resort to that. as a matter of substance in of of itself, God could lift the rock if eh wanted to, as he is unlimited. it would be to wrongly place a limitation on him to say otherwise.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
@T_parkour That's the point. That's called a paradox.

@LikeSheIsLeftEye The question is not fallacious.
The question is to know if some being A could be omnipotent.
A married bachelor is not possible right?
But if you ask subject A if he is married, then depending on the answer you know if he is bachelor or not.
Just like asking a person if he is a man or woman you would be able to know if he or she is male or female.

He you ask anybody the question of this debate, you will always have answer where omnipotence is not possible.
If you ask me, although that I'm not able to create things using magic, I can find a rock so heavy I'm not able to lift. So the question is not illogical or fallacious. When you add omnipotence, the illogical appears, it becomes weird and contradictory.

That's not a problem for the question but for the attribute called "omnipotence".
The paradox just shows that it is not logical as presented by Pro.
Posted by LikeSheIsLeftEye 2 years ago
LikeSheIsLeftEye
That is a fallacious question. In philosophy, one of the first things all good students should learn is that there truly is such a thing as a nonsensical question. And that it should not be asked if you expect a rational answer. If a woman is not a female, what is she? If a man is a woman, is he a man? If a fruit is a vegetable, which is it?

It is falsely understanding the definition of the former to contradict with the latter. An omnipotent being exists outside the finite definitions of human minds.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 2 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Don't add any new arguments in the last round.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
here is something i will add in the last round. i'd like to give pro a chance to respond to it, so as maximize our search for truth, while perhaps limiting my ability to win.
i do generally side with pro, but not for the reasons he is arguing.

if God decides to make the rock, then he cannot lift it. this follows the laws of logic in that he can create an immovable rock, or act as an ustoppable force, but he can't do both at the same time.

where we might disagree, is whether God can then lift the rock he created to not be able to lift. it might seem that pro is arguing that God can't lift the rock. i would argue that he could, but that he won't.

the main issue is a matter of time and God's own internal consistency. consider if have a ball in my hand. if i say i will not drop the ball, then i won't drop it,... but i could drop the ball. God could create the rock and he almost suely would abide by his own standards, but he could switch gears and lift the rock if he wanted to. the only real limitation i'd set on him is that he can't create both the immovable rock, and act as an unstoppable force, at the same time.
Posted by subjectname 2 years ago
subjectname
I've never really liked the formulation of this question, because in order to be said to "lift" something in any normal sense, you have to be standing on something significantly more massive than the object itself.

Actually come to think of it, if the planet he is standing on is sufficiently massive, the object to be lifted doesn't need to be all that heavy at all. When put like this, I'd say in a physics sense, the mass of the thing/planet God is standing on is the most important factor in this whole question (as we know, a black hole will not even let a seemingly weightless light photon out of it's gravitational grasp). So the question should be "Can God create a planet so dense and massive that he could not lift a single boulder (or even a rock) on said planet?" Or you could simply say "could God create two objects that are so massive that he could not separate their mutual gravitational pull?"

Which is all just different ways of asking "Can God do what he can't do" or "Can God cause a paradox that makes him not-omnipotent? If YES, then his powers are only unlimited as long as he doesn't do this (therefore not-omnipotent), and if NO, then his powers are limited in that he is not able to cause this paradox, therefore also not-omnipotent) All paradox.

All that being said, my problem with this question is that it seems to operate on a questionable premise. If we say: God's omnipotence = true, therefore paradox ...I feel you must conclude that X must not be true, or is not precisely true. So then the focus should return to back to asking whether X (omnipotence) is true. If God has FINITE power that is 100 trillion times more powerful than all powers and forces in the universe combined, this paradox collapses, still leaving him with ridiculous levels of power. So my question is, how is it demonstrated that God MUST be infinitely powerful when ridiculously high finite power would be plenty, and would be subjectively no different to our experience.
Posted by imbehind 2 years ago
imbehind
Well, to create a stone which could not be lifted, God would have to create at least a stone with infinite mass. Even that stone could be lifted with infinite force acting upon the rock via the lever of infinite length. :)

If we consider the fact that our universe is not infinite - there is a finite amount of matter and finite volume of space available, then we can safely say that there is not enough mass in this universe to create the stone with infinite mass and not enough volume to create the infinite lever.

Simply said, omnipotent gods do not create finite universes to begin with.

However, there is one possibility for omnipotence yet:

Consider one more time our finite universe. If you first ask a truly omnipotent God to create a stone that could not be lifted even by himself, the God would simply create a stone that is exactly the size of the universe and fits so perfectly within it, so there is no direction to lift it or move it. If you then ask the omnipotent God to try to lift the stone and prove his omnipotence, the omnipotent God would smile just as a parent smiles to his naive child before he enlarges the universe just a little so he can apply just enough force to move the stone. :D

So, there is really no paradox after all.

Cheers!
Posted by T_parkour 2 years ago
T_parkour
The question itself is fallacious; it is a loaded question. So yes, the question is flawed.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 2 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Thank you for obeying my rules -_-
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
xXCryptoXxdairygirl4u2c
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argues the paradox assumes God has maximal omnipotence, which Con doesn't really refute. If God is maximally omnipotent, illogical situations don't defeat his omnipotence since, by definition, he can actualize any state of affairs, logical or not. Pro admits that humans can't understand this but says that doesn't matter because we cannot think outside of logic. All we need to understand is that, according to maximal omnipotence, God could transcend logic, so paradoxes can?t refute his omnipotence. The paradox tried to defeat an omnipotent God with a logical paradox while at the same time implying by definition that God can transcend logic. Thus, it's obviously flawed.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
xXCryptoXxdairygirl4u2c
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I simply never see sufficient (or, really, any) response to Pro's case. Con essentially iterates and reiterates the same argument, which Pro outlined in his own case and proceeded to show the faults in. As he did this, it is then necessary for Con to respond to that line of reasoning, and without seeing that response, the round convincingly goes to Pro.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
xXCryptoXxdairygirl4u2c
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Normative resolution, equal burden. PRO more sufficiently met it than CON because CON dropped numerous points, conceded many, failed to understand what exactly this debate was about, conceded that the stone paradox implied maximal omnipotence, and continued to argue as if common omnipotence applied to the stone paradox. Overwhelming victory for PRO.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
xXCryptoXxdairygirl4u2c
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: pro used reasoning and proved God to be forced within the boundaries of human logic, thus unable to be omnipotent
Vote Placed by neutral 2 years ago
neutral
xXCryptoXxdairygirl4u2c
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Both make fine points, but in the end Con make stye stronger argument. I will say there is one flaw, both sides are arguing God, when what is argued is omnipotence. Omnipotence, but its very definition, is not logic. Its ANYTHING - its not bounded by logic (God, in contrast may be). And omnipotent being can by definition do anything. That would include making a object so heavy he could not lift it - and then turn around and lift it anyway. Why? Because BOTH are possible, and omnipotence can do ANYTHING - including violate the rules of logic. In fact, maximal omnipotence, and this were it gets really screwy, as pointed out by Pro, an omnipotent being can both lift and not lift the rock at the same time. It may tear the fabric of space time apart and create alternate dimensions ... etc. But by its very definition, an omnipotent being can do ANYTHING. The problem arises when we attempt to limit the unlimited.