The Instigator
JustCallMeTarzan
Con (against)
Winning
125 Points
The Contender
DATCMOTO
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Word "Omnipotent" Can Be Shown To Be Oxymoronic

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 19 votes the winner is...
JustCallMeTarzan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/4/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,634 times Debate No: 9128
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (27)
Votes (19)

 

JustCallMeTarzan

Con

The proposition on offer is that the word omnipotent can be shown to be oxymoronic.

Relevant definitions:

Omnipotent: Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful. [1]
Oxymoron: A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist. [1]

1 - The American Heritage´┐Ż Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

*********************************************************

My opponent has claimed that the word "omnipotent" contains within itself an oxymoron because of the omnipotence paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org...), which follows as such, for example:

God is omnipotent.
God cannot create a stone so heavy he cannot lift it.
Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

However, there is no implicit contradiction within the term omnipotent. What is required to understand the notion of unlimited power/force/etc... is the understanding that omnipotence incorporates the power to do anything. However, in the case at hand concerning the rock, a rock so heavy God cannot lift it is not a thing in the very same way that a three-sided square is not a thing.

The flawed reasoning in describing omnipotence as a contradictory term is in supposing that the term is inclusive of things that are logically incoherent.

I suggest that my opponent deliberately engages in this faulty reasoning as part of the fallacy of begging the question to attempt to import some mystery into God's existence, when in fact, his argument is simply flawed.

*****************************************************

A brief list of things an omnipotent being cannot do:

Make a three-sided square
Make a square circle
Make a four-sided pentagon
Make a five-sided hexagon
(etc...)
Make it the case that I have/never existed/will exist
Make a rock so heavy it cannot lift

****************************************************

I await rebuttal.

NEGATED.
DATCMOTO

Pro

A careful reading of my opponents opening round proves MY point: I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 1
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Even the most plebeian reading of my opponent's argument proves that he does not understand the concept.

****************************************************

Omnipotence is the power to do anything. The omnipotence paradox is a flawed argument. A "solution" to the omnipotence argument (like the rock too heavy for God to lift) is not a thing.

Think of it like this:

Omnipotence = power to do X.
If what you propose X consists of cannot exist, then there is no X to place into our above understanding.

So in the case of the rock too heavy for God to lift, the proposition is meaningless - it's exactly the same as if I said that God cannot create a square circle. It's not because he lacks the power or because the term omnipotence is contradictory - it's because square circles simply aren't things. They don't exist.

************************************************

My opponent has made no argument, instead relying on a poorly constructed pseudo-intellectual interpretation of something he doesn't understand in the first place. It's all very sad, but I encourage him to actually make an argument.

NEGATED.
DATCMOTO

Pro

A careful reading of my opponents opening round proves MY point: I HAVE rested my case.
Debate Round No. 2
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Well, since DAT is either incapable or unwilling of responding to my arguments, I'll just outline the two points that give me the easy win.

1) The contradictions arising around omnipotence have nothing to do with the term.

Using the example of the rock too heavy for God to life, the contradiction that arises which my opponent takes to be oxymoronic is NOT something wrong with the terminology, but rather is contained in the logicality of what the two notions ARE.

For example, given that "All rocks are green" is true, it cannot be the case that there exists a brown rock, because we have already assumed "all rocks are green" is true, and to entertain the notion of a brown rock negates what we have already taken to be true.

Likewise, if we are given that "God is omnipotent" and assume it is true, then it cannot be the case that there exists a rock too heavy for him to lift.

It's very simple really.

2) Omnipotent cannot be oxymoronic without a contrast.

The fact of the matter is that without a contrast like "deafening silence" or "mournful optimist," the term omnipotent cannot be an oxymoron because it does not contain two opposite statements. To be an oxymoron, my opponent must show an implicit opposition in "all powerful" or "universal authority."

*************************************************************************

Throughout the debate, my opponent has relied on the reader misunderstanding my argument instead of making one of his own. Readers, my argument is crystal clear. The problem with omnipotence is with the introduction of logically incoherent propositions like "square circles," "four-sided triangles," or "rocks so heavy God cannot lift" - NOT with the term "omnipotent."

I'd await a rebuttal, but we all know my opponent is both unwilling and incapable of delivering one. He's more interested in trying to secure some kind of theological mystery, even if he has to deliberately misuse language to do so.

NEGATED.
DATCMOTO

Pro

A careful reading of my opponents opening round proves MY point: I HAVE rested my case.
Debate Round No. 3
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DATCMOTO 6 years ago
DATCMOTO
No, the second was not part 2 of 2 BUT you trying the same questions and hoping for a similar result; which you spectacularly failed to do.

You were, and remain, comprehensively beaten.

You are exposed as singularly clueless in the field of Christian apologetics and Biblical theology.

You are exposed as a vindictive, small minded and, a VERY poor loser.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 6 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
And of course, in true Christian fashion, DAT tells only half the truth in an attempt to glorify himself... you can try this one too - http://www.debate.org... - and you will see the TRUE score on that topic is 81-67 JCMT.
Posted by DATCMOTO 6 years ago
DATCMOTO
Don't like this one? try THIS: http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Atheism 6 years ago
Atheism
WOW. This debate was pathetic. Pro, you failed hard.
Posted by Alex 7 years ago
Alex
That wasn't a good analogy nor did it convey the effect i had in mind. What i was meaning is when the shape changed it would be called something else, however he is still doing it.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
You've got the basic right idea, but the reason they cannot be done is because they are logical contradictions - such an object does not exist - they're equivalent to a "three-sided-four-sided figure" which is simply nonsense. The rock so heavy God can't lift it has the same problem.

If God molded a cube and then a pyramid, this is not one of the above things - he did two different actions...
Posted by Alex 7 years ago
Alex
"Make a three-sided square
Make a square circle
Make a four-sided pentagon
Make a five-sided hexagon"

Maybe because if you did make a three sided square it would not be a square but a triangle?

Figuratively speaking if God were to have clay, and he molded a cube, then decided he would mold it into a pyramid, he he still doing the above things, the names we put on them are irrelevant.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
This debate gives me lulz.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
An omnipotent being also could not make sense of DATCMOTO.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
>> "Perhaps by "Oxymoronic", DAT meant "self-contradictory"."

You want to try it? Send me a challenge....
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