The Instigator
Mr.Infidel
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
ReformedArsenal
Con (against)
Winning
26 Points

The Stone Paradox is a Valid Paradox against the Biblical God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
ReformedArsenal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/23/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,987 times Debate No: 18945
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (9)

 

Mr.Infidel

Pro

The topic of the debate.

"Is the Stone Paradox Valid?"

The opponents of the debate, and what positions they will argue.

Mr.Infidel is possitive, my opponent is negative.

The scope of the debate.

"Can God Create a Rock To Heavy For Him To Lift?"

The length of the debate, in number of rounds.

Arguments begin in round 2

There are a total of 4 rounds.

The maximum length of each statement.

8,000 characters.

The time limit between statements.


72 hours.

______________________________

The rock paradox says the following:

(1) God either can or cannot create a rock that is so heavy that he cannot lift it.
(2) If God can create a rock that is so heavy that he cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.
(3) If God cannot create a rock that is so heavy that he cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.
Therefore:
(4) God is not omnipotent.
(5) If God exists then he is omnipotent.
Therefore:
(6) God does not exist. [1]


By "God" I am referring to the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible. I believe that this paradox is perfectly valid.

Source

[1] http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...;

ReformedArsenal

Con

I look forward to this debate and hope that we all learn something from it.
Debate Round No. 1
Mr.Infidel

Pro

Thank you, ReformedArsenal, for accepting this debate. I have seen your debates many times and hope that this becomes interesting. I wish to remind everyone that we are talking about the Judeo-Christian God.

The Argument Formulated

(1) God either can or cannot create a rock that is so heavy that he cannot lift it.
(2) If God can create a rock that is so heavy that he cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.
(3) If God cannot create a rock that is so heavy that he cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.
Therefore:
(4) God is not omnipotent.
(5) If God exists then he is omnipotent.
Therefore:
(6) God does not exist.


The question I wish to propose to my opponent is, "Can God create a stone so heavy even he cannot lift it?"

What is Omnipotence?

I think that a question we need to ask ourselves is, "What is omnipotence?" Since we are discussing the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible, I feel that it is important to consult the scriptures:

Jeremiah 32:17 says, "Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you." (ESV)

Luke 1:37, "For nothing will be impossible with God.”


What can we glean?

From these two passages we know that nothing is impossible with God and nothing is too hard for God. Therefore, "can God make a rock to heavy for him to lift?" is a valid argument. Hence, I will re-forumlate the stone paradox in my own words:
  1. Nothing is impossible with God.
  2. Therefore, God should be able to create a stone too heavy for him to lift.
  3. However, if premise 2 is correct, then not all things are possible with God.
  4. Therefore, the Judeo-Christian God does not exist.

Thank you.
ReformedArsenal

Con

I would like to thank Mr.Infidel for his well contribution to this debate, and look forward to an enjoyable exchange. I agree with his statement that the definition of omnipotence must be rooted squarely in the Scripture and applaud the passages chosen.

What is Omnipotence? (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
When asked this question, most people willl answer "the ability to do anything." Now, if you ask a more philosophically inclined person, they may say something along the lines of "being maximally great" or "having maximal power." If you get even more granular in the definition, most philosopers (and especially Christian Theologians) will define it as "God's power to do all things that are logically possible." They include the phrase "logically possible" in order to rule out nonsensical thinsg like creating four sided triangles, or married bachelors. This kind of omnipotence is sometimes called "Common Omnipotence,"

However, if we observe Mr.Infidel's argument, it does not include this limitation. In Mr.Infidel's definition, God can do not only allthings that are logically possible, but can do all things that are logically impossible as well. This kind of omnipotence is sometimes called "Utter Omnipotence" or "Absolute Omnipotence."

This is further bolstered when we observe the implications of the so-called "Stone Paradox" (SP). By the very definition of "omnipotence" a stone that is too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift is nonsensical. The very definition of omnipotence, a rock that is to large for an omnipotent being to lift is a nonsensical concept, just like a square triangle or a married bachelor. This paradox assumes that God can do something nonsensical by making a stone so heavy that an omnipotent being cannot lift it. So we see that the stoen paradox assumes omnipotence.

Lifting a Rock That Is Too Heavy To Lift
Now, if we observe the logic of the SP, we see that it relies on the law of Non-Contradiction (http://en.wikipedia.org...) for its base. It asserts that something cannot be A (Liftable) and Non-A (Non-Liftable). Either God makes it A, or he makes it Non-A. If he makes it A (because he cannot make it Non-A) he is not omnipotent because he cannot do something. If he makes it Non-A then he is not omnipotent because he cannot lift it. However, since we are talking about a God who is not bound by the laws of logic, the law of Non-Contradiction does not apply to God. God indeed can make it so heavy that he cannot lift it, and then proceed to lift the rock that is genuinely so heavy that he cannot lift it. If that doesn't seem logical... it is because it is not. But you must remember that we are working with a God who is not bound by logic, as defined by my opponent and implied by the SP.

In terms of dismantling my opponent's syllogism, I have shown that premise 3 is not accurate. That is to say that premise 2 being correct does not exclude the existence of God by limiting his abilities.

Closing Syllogism
I shall close with a syllogism that will help clear things up.

1) Nothing is impossible for God
2) Illogical things are something
3) Lifting a stone so heavy he can't lift it is an illogical thing
4) Therefore, lifting a stone so heavy he can't lift is possible for God
5) Therefore, God can create a stone so heavy he can't lift it, yet still lift it
6) Therefore, the SP fails in its attempt to disprove the existence of an Omnipotent God.

Thank you
Debate Round No. 2
Mr.Infidel

Pro

Thank you, ReformedArsenal, for your quick reply. Allow me to begin with this illustration, if you do not mind:



(please forgive me if this offends anyone).

Now, onto the debate. My opponent's arguments boils down to the following:

1) Nothing is impossible for God
2) Illogical things are something
3) Lifting a stone so heavy he can't lift it is an illogical thing
4) Therefore, lifting a stone so heavy he can't lift is possible for God
5) Therefore, God can create a stone so heavy he can't lift it, yet still lift it
6) Therefore, the SP fails in its attempt to disprove the existence of an Omnipotent God.

==REFUTATIONS==

If I were to accept the standard definition of "omnipotent" as being able to complete all tasks that are possible, it will be valid as it is perfectly logical to create a stone so heavy that you cannot lift it. Illustraton: We do this all the time when it comes to buildings and construction. The constructed object is so heavy, no one person can lift the object; hence it is logical for god to create something too heavy for him to lift.

If I were to accept the syllogism above, point 5 fails. The question becomes whether or not the stone was too heavy to begin with. The paradox asks if God is able to lift a rock too heavy to lift no matter how hard he tries and how much he comprimises.

==ILLUSTRATIONS==

Imagine if I were to give you a sword & shield and say "the sword can destroy any object while the shield can defend you from any object." What is the first question you would ask me? The question would be "What would happen if the sword struck the shield?" Hence, an undestructable shield and a sword that is able to destroy anything is impossible. Likewise, it is impossible for God to create a stone so heavy he cannot lift it.


Thanks.
ReformedArsenal

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for continuing this debate.

Response

My opponent points out that if we limit God's omnipotence to logical actions, that creating an object that is so heavy that he cannot lift it is logical. However, this is not the case. By definition, an object that is so heavy that an omnipotent being cannot lift it cannot exist. This violates the deffinition of omnipotent. Therefore, an object that is too heavy that an omnipotent being cannot lift it is just as illogical as a four sided triangle or a married bachelor. My opponent then compares this to humans creating objects to heavy to lift, however this analogy is false as humans do not have omnipotence as part of their attributes.

Illustration

If God is not bound by logic, as your original definition dictates as well as implied by the SP, then destroying the indestructible shield or blocking the unblockable sword is not a problem. These are only contradictions if the law of non-contradiction is in force. However, if God is not bound by logic, he is also not bound by the law of non-contradiction (as this is a logical law). Likewise, lifting a stone that he cannot lift is not impossible for God, as it would only be impossible if the law of non-contradiction applies.

Summary

My opponent writes "The question becomes whether or not the stone was too heavy to begin with. The paradox asks if God is able to lift a rock too heavy to lift no matter how hard he tries and how much he comprimises." This is true, however if the paradox assumes that God can violate the laws of logic... he can lift the rock that he cannot lift. If it does not assume that God can violate the laws of logic, then it becomes a nonsensical question as the definition of omnipotence contradicts the attribute of "non-lifting" in the stone... such a stone cannot exist according to the laws of logic.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
Mr.Infidel

Pro

Thank you for showing superb conduct throughout this debate. I have enjoyed this debate greatly and, in fact, changed some of my views as a result of the debate.

To close, I have argued that the paradox of the stone is a valid paradox as it forces God to admit that there is something that he cannot do. As a result of this paradox, there are only two replies that are valid: (1) God is bound by the laws of logic; or (2) God is not bound by the laws of logic and thus can do both.

The simple rebuttal, which I believe works, says that God can do both (i.e., create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it; and thus do the impossible and lift it).

I thank my opponent for a great debate, and I hope to continue to learn from you in the future. You always so great conduct and I thank you for that.

Thanks, please vote con.
ReformedArsenal

Con

Again, I thank my opponent for his contributions and appreciate the humility and integrity it takes to admit defeat.

As such, please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
JCMT... that is exactly the same argument that I did put forward...
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 5 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
I would have put forward a different argument, though one prong identical...

Either:

1) God is not bound by logic and can in fact do both; OR
2) God is bound by logic and the question is meaningless because a "stone so heavy god cannot lift it" is no more sensical than a "three-sided square."
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
You're exactly right... but omnipotence is in the picture. The paradox presupposes that an omnipotent being who can make rocks is supposed to exist. Creating a rock that an omnipotent being cannot lift is contra-logic... just like a four sided triangle or a married bachelor.
Posted by darris321 5 years ago
darris321
I disagree that I am misunderstanding.
It is omnipotence that is shown to be illogical in this case, not the situation.
The situation is only illogical if omnipotence is in the picture.
If I had the power to make rocks, I could make a rock so big that I could not lift it. I am not omnipotent so it makes perfect sense.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Darris,

You are misunderstanding the argument if you are voting for pro. The Stone Paradox itself presupposes an illogical situation (a stone that an omnipotent being cannot lift). Even Con recognizes this.
Posted by darris321 5 years ago
darris321
Logic must bind all things or logic is irrelevant. You cannot believe in a god that has powers outside of logic or your belief, which is based on logic, is flawed.
The idea of logic requires that all things fall under it's shadow. Therefore, if God invented logic, God bound Himself by logic.
I disagree that the stone paradox is against the BIBLICAL god, because I don't think the Bible ever says He's omnipotent. Christians seem to believe he is, however, so my vote goes to pro.

I just can't vote yet.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by happy-bread 5 years ago
happy-bread
Mr.InfidelReformedArsenalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: He had the courage to submit therefore he deserves a point
Vote Placed by nickthengineer 5 years ago
nickthengineer
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Reasons for voting decision: This is the only logical vote.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: Omnipotence, as con argued, does not include the ability to accomplish a logical contradiction. Pro incorrectly claims that the ability to do anything is the standard definition. This has been long argued and resolved.
Vote Placed by Kethen 5 years ago
Kethen
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Reasons for voting decision: I was getting confused there for a second on who was for what. Also just saying.....can God lift weights? Just saying he could create a rock he couldn't lift, take some roids and then lift it.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
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Reasons for voting decision: Con brilliantly pointed out how the stone paradox not only touched to the kinds of omnipotence but contradicted Absolute omnipotence...(and making it a fallacy...thus if God is truly omnipotent, he may even lift the un-liftable stone, a phenomenon nicely accounted by the law Reformed provided. Good job.
Vote Placed by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
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Reasons for voting decision: This is a basic problem for god, which i tend to actually agree with retardedarsenal that god wouldn't be able to do the completely logically impossible.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro considered Con's arguments, and changed his views. That's rare enough to be worth a good conduct point. :)
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Nicely done to the two. But I'll give this one to CON for making an outstanding argument which changed PRO's views and decided to concede.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I thought Pro would have an easy win here but Con did bring up how God may not be bound by the laws of logic deined by Humans and that made a lot of sense. I gave arguments to con but i did give conduct to pro because i thought the picture was funny as hell and he did say how he did not mean to offend anyone by it. Pretty good debate guys, bravo