The Instigator
mongeese
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
vmpire321
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points

The paradox of the stone is a valid refutation of God.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
mongeese
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/11/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,088 times Debate No: 24669
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (5)

 

mongeese

Con

This debate is part of phantom's 99th percentile tournament.

The paradox of the stone - http://en.wikipedia.org...

is a valid refutation of - proves nonexistence of

God - http://en.wikipedia.org...

My opponent shall argue first in favor of the resolution, and I shall start my refutation in Round 2. In Round 5, I will give my final round of counter-argument, and my opponent may not argue, having already received the first word.

Because I will be on vacation from the 17th to the 23rd of this month, one of these rounds will be artificial. Either my opponent or I, depending on the timing, will try to post one argument as close to the 17th as possible; we will then each forfeit one round after that, allowing us to resume the debate six days later.

Good luck, vmpire321.
vmpire321

Pro

Well, this is my first debate concerning religion :D

==My Case==

The paradox of the stone basically states that if an omnipotent entity (God) existed, could he create a stone so heavy that he could not lift it?

Omnipotence is basically the power to do anything, or unlimited power [2].

God is referring to the Christian supernatural all-powerful creator of the universe.

The argument, taken from Duke University [1], says:

(1) Either God can create a stone which He cannot lift, or He cannot create a stone which He cannot lift.
(2) If God can create a stone which He cannot lift, then He is not omnipotent (since He cannot lift the stone in question).
(3) If God cannot create a stone which He cannot lift, then He is not omnipotent (since He cannot create the stone in question)
(4) Therefore, God is not omnipotent.


(1) Either God can create a stone which He cannot lift, or He cannot create a stone which He cannot lift.

This statement is rather simple. God's omnipotence means that he can do whatever he wishes to do [2].

(2) If God can create a stone which He cannot lift, then He is not omnipotent (since He cannot lift the stone in question).

If a stone that couldn't be lifted by God was created, then God would thus lose its omnipotence, due to the fact that it can no longer accomplish whatever it wishes to.

(3) If God cannot create a stone which He cannot lift, then He is not omnipotent (since He cannot create the stone in question)

Omnipotence requires God to be able to do anything it wishes and in this case God is unable to create the stone. Hence, he cannot be omnipotent since he cannot do anything.

(4) Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

Both is ability and inability to accomplish the task of creating the rock prove that God is not omnipotent. If God is not omnipotence, then by definition God does not exist.


Sources:
[1] http://www.jstor.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Con

Thank you, vmpire321, for your argument.

I have three main objections to my opponent's argument:

1. Definition of Omnipotence

My opponent, citing Wikipedia, claims that "God's omnipotence means that he can do whatever he wishes to do." However, if we look at the Wikipedia page in question, there are actually five offered definitions of omnipotence [1], although I believe that the list under "Omnipotence paradox" [2] is clearer and more useful to this debate. The different levels of omnipotence vary greatly, from the ability to perform even the logically impossible to the ability to do that which is logically possible, even down to the ability to achieve inconceivable feats. My opponent's argument assumes the first definition without any substantiation, and it is her burden to explain why only her chosen definition can be accepted as valid.

2. Application of Logic to God

My opponent attempts to apply logic to God without substantiation. There are available situations in which, if logic is perfectly consistently, logic basically explodes, my favorite example being this:
"If this sentence is true, then this sentence is false." [3]
Therefore, logic isn't an end-all solution.

Additionally, a stone too heavy for God to lift makes as much sense as a stone too blue for God to lift. God does not try to lift something; he lifts it. There is no check on the weight to determine whether or not the force God exerted was sufficient.

3. Relevance of Omnipotence

My opponent claims that "if God is not omnipoten[t], then by definition God does not exist," but fails to establish a definition of God by which it is true, so even if all of her points are accepted, she still has yet to affirm the resolution.

In conclusion, my opponent still has some work to do. Good luck, vmpire321.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
A = "If this sentence is true, then this sentence is false" = "If B, then C"
B = "A is true"
C = "A is false"
If A is true, then A. (Law of Identity)
If B, then if B, then C. (Substitution)
If B, then C. (Combination of Conditionals)
A. (Substitution) /and/ If A is true, then A is false. (Substitution).
A is true. (Given) /and/ A is false. (Syllogism)
vmpire321

Pro

1. Definition of Omnipotence

My opponent presents a different definition of Omnipotence. However, in Psalm 115:3, it states "Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him" [1].
In Job 23:13, ""But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases" [2].

It is repeated that God can do anything that he wishes to.

2. Application of Logic to God

Next, my opponent attacks logic in general, claiming that paradoxes in some instances should mean that logic is totally invalid. This can't really be applied to the presented paradox, since the depth and complexity is different. Logic states that jumping off a building will likely result in pain. I haven't tested it, but I trust it because of simple logic.

On the other hand, the paradox that my opponent provided (Curry's Paradox) doesn't seem to challenge the paradox of the stone.
This paradox is formed when certain conditions are met [3]:
1. The language must contain an apparatus which lets it refer to, and talk about, its own sentences (such as quotation marks, names, or expressions like "this sentence");
2. The language must contain its own truth-predicate: that is, the language, call it "L", must contain a predicate meaning "true-in-L", and the ability to ascribe this predicate to any sentences;
3. The language must admit the rule of contraction, which roughly speaking means that a relevant hypothesis may be reused as many times as necessary; and
4. The language must admit the rules of identity (if A, then A) and modus ponens (from A, and if A then B, conclude B).


My opponent also continues to misunderstand the point of the paradox. The true question is different from what is presented (lifting a stone). In the end, the question can be rephrased to "Can God move a rock from one location in space to another that is larger than possible?" or "Is God capable of being incapable?"[4].


3. Relevance of Omnipotence

Apparently, my opponent doesn't believe that God has to be omnipotent. However, in the Biblical references that I've given, God is portrayed having the qualities of omnipotence. Furthermore, the definition provided in the beginning by the Con was a link to the wikipedia of God.

It states "The most common among these include omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence."


Sources:
[1] http://bible.cc...;
[2] http://bible.cc...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Con

Thank you, vmpire321, for your response.

1. Definition of Omnipotence

The first problem here is that my opponent introduces the Bible as an authoritative source, even though it has not been established that we are debating only about the Christian God.

Secondly, the Bible verses provided don't support my opponent's assumption that an omnipotent God must have the ability to break logic. It only establishes that, as my opponent accurately summarized, "can do anything that he wishes to," but there is quite simply no conceivable situation in which he would ever wish to create a stone that he could not lift, making the entire paradox irrelevant. For example, God does not wish to lie, and is thus incapable of lying [1]. He is also immutable [2], not able to change himself because he doees not wish to change himself. Therefore, God is, as Stanford put it, "essentially omnipotent," in that he cannot make himself non-omnipotent [3].

Additionally, my opponent might point to some other verses of the Bible that claim something along the lines of, "Anything is possible with God," and claim that this includes the logically impossible. However, I argue that there is an implied addendum of "as dictated by logic" with any such sentence, much in the same way that when I say, "I will be attending Rice this fall," I actually mean, "I will be attending Rice this fall, unless Rice explodes, I die, I enter a coma, I get arrested, I have a religious epiphany after which higher learning is unacceptable, I have a great business idea that requires me to drop out, I get kidnapped, I get amnesia, I get deserted on an island, I decide to stay in Jamaica forever, I become way too obsessed with StarCraft, I discover that I'm a mutant and attend Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, or any of an incredibly large number of alternative yet on the whole unlikely scenarios." After all, what would be the point of the term "omnipotent" if it could only describe something that absolutely cannot exist, not even in fiction?

2. Application of Logic to God

Sure, the paradox is different, but if humans can present a situation that brings logic to its knees, even if it requires particular conditions (half of which are laws of logic), what chance does it stand against an omniscient God?

My opponent's reasoning regarding jumping off a cliff is purely inductive reasoning, which is actually logically fallacious if ever used to make an absolute statement [4].

My opponent accurately restates the omnipotence paradox as, "Is God capable of being incapable?" However, as God would not wish to be incapable, he needn't have the power to make himself incapable.

3. Relevance of Omnipotence

The verses my opponent provided are not scientifically proven, nor do they establish the level of omnipotence (specifically, the ability to defy logic) that my opponent requires God to have the slightest chance of affirming the resolution. Wikipedia lists common attributes of God, including omnipotence, but these attributes aren't necessary, nor must they be defined as my opponent wishes them to be defined. After all, even having the ability to defeat anything in combat can fulfill some definitions of omnipotence.

To conclude, while my opponent makes some accurate points, she is still no closer to affirming the resolution than before. Back to you, vmpire321. Good luck.

1. http://bible.cc...
Hebrews 6:18: "God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged."
2. http://bible.org...
Malachi 3:6: "For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed."
Psalms 119:89: "God is immutable in His attributes."
3. http://plato.stanford.edu...
4. http://onegoodmove.org...
vmpire321

Pro

vmpire321 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Con

mongeese forfeited this round.
vmpire321

Pro

1. Omnipotence

I don't see much problem with using Biblical passages as sources, since the Christian God is rather similar to the other Gods in different monotheistic religions.

Con also argues that God can only do things that he desires to do so. This ultimately doesn't make sense, as God wishes for many things out of men (such as worship, love, etc), but these things do not occur. It seems to make more sense for the statement "wishes" to refer to a order. Hence, it becomes plausible for God to try and order a stone into existance.

"Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." [1]
This seems to require God to be able to bring about an impossible state of affairs, which would inclue making himself non-omnipotent.

My opponent also continues to state how God is bound to logic and cannot defeat it.
Wikipedia describes omnipotence as "a deity is able to do absolutely anything, even the logically impossible, i.e., pure agency." [2] Also, by definition, omnipotence means unlimited power. My opponent is stating that God's power is in fact limited by logic.

2. Application of Logic to God

....My opponent argues that God is bound by logic, but then states that God can defeat logic?

My opponent also hasn't really attacked the argument itself and pointed out any fallacious parts. If anything, the logic within the argument seems fine.

Once again, God's "wanting" of something is a description of how he can order something. The omnipotence paradox becomes "Can God order himself to become incapable?" or something along those lines.

3. Relevance of Omnipotence

My opponent critizes the lack of scientific support for the Biblical verses I provided, which is quite funny. I don't recall any scientific evidence that states God hasn't ever lied; God hasn't changed, or any supporting my Con's verses.

In the passages I provided, it clearly portrays God as being able to accomplish anything. I have yet to see any verses contradicting what I've said.



Sources:
[1] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
mongeese

Con

Thank you, vmpire321, for posting your final argument.

1. Omnipotence

While the Christian God is fairly representative, he is not proven, nor are all of his attributes, especially the unlimited omnipotence that my opponent claims, present in the central deities of all major religions. Therefore, my opponent cannot assume that God must have every attribute mentioned in the Bible.

My opponent points out that the Christian God wishes for worship. This is true, but he wishes not for forced worship, but voluntary worship, and thus takes steps to bring that about instead of forcing them out of people. He wishes not to use his omnipotence for such a task, and there is no requirement of omnipotence against that.

She again points to a quote from Jesus, but as I already explained last round, sentence have implied parts. "All things" was not necessarily meant to include such inconceivabilities as a rock that God cannot lift, due to the inherent contradiction. My opponent did not respond to this argument in any capacity, thus dropping it and conceding one of her most vital points.

She then instead quotes a definition of omnipotence from Wikipedia, but conveniently fails to mention that it is actually one of five offered definitions [1], and even Wikipedia acknowledges that there are more accepted definitions. She makes one final attempt to claim that "omnipotence means unlimited power," but again, there are other definitions, and even that definition is open to ambiguity (does having the power to destroy absolutely anything, including oneself, qualify as unlimited?).

To conclude this point, my opponent has not proven in any capacity that omnipotence requires the ability to break logic, given that God is not proven to be omnipotent, and the definition of omnipotence is too variable to assume the need to defy logic.

2. Application of Logic to God

My opponent seems to be confused by my agnostic approach. If it is indeed possible for a deity to defy logic, then the omnipotence paradox fails outright, applying logic where it cannot be applied. If it is not possible, then to assume that a deity must be able to defy logic to claim the status of omnipotence would be ridiculous and irrational, and would eliminate any possible use of the term where many applications are available.

I have absolutely no idea what she means by "the argument itself," as numerous arguments regarding logic have been made in this debate, and none of them at all fit her description.

3. Relevance of Omnipotence

My opponent attempts to explain away her lack of scientific evidence by pointing out that my verses rely on just as much faith as those that she cited. However, she forgets that she is arguing that a particular paradox proves that a being of a rather vague description (that does not necessitate omnipotence) absolutely cannot exist, and therefore she must have the burden of proof. I only provided verses as a counter. Had my opponent produced any evidence validating the Bible as an authoritative source in this debate, then my verses would have to be accepted along with her own to clarify the Bible's true intent. She claims that our verses to not contradict, but her verses claim that God can do anything while my verses list some limitations, clearly showing that the issue is much more complicated than she would like, with far too many factors for the omnipotence paradox to properly apply. However, in the absence of such evidence, all discussion relying at any point on biblical evidence can be discarded completely.

In conclusion, there isn't really much of a debate left. My opponent has not proven that God must be omnipotent, has not proven that such omnipotence must include the ability to defy logic, and has not proven that it is impossible to defy logic. Therefore, the omnipotence paradox is not at all validated, and the resolution cannot in any way be affirmed, and instead defaults to negation. Vote Con.

Thank you, vmpire321, for this debate.

1.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

vmpire321

Pro

Vamgeese.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
==RFD==

The POTS assumes an omnipotent God, so I don't think cons third contention was valid. Moreover, omnipotence is one of the most common attributes of God and the wiki page also states it. It may not be a neccessary attribute, but I don't think con was justified in his arguing it.

I however believe con won the debate elsewhere. Pro provided no valid source for the definition of omnipotence. The Bible itself was very poor sourcing and he pointed to one of wikipedia's definition, ignoring the other four. Pros continual use of poor sources as well as not adequately using the wikipedia sources, makes me give con one point for sources. (I think two points for sources is somewhat outrageous.)

Pro also dropped cons point about the logic implications certain sentances found in the Bible.

Overall, it was like asking God to make square circles, when Gods attributes don't entail any such ability.

Con furthermore demonstrated that pushing logic off over the edge isn't really an argument against omnipotence.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
Fvck. Forgot to read it again. Vote will be up shortly.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
First off, due to the forfeit, I am giving a conduct point to vmpire321. I know the two agreed together in the comment to forfeit equally, however never feel that is neccesary particularly because the con offered up this debate. That means, that the con to some extent was ready and willing to accept the time restraints. Thus I am only counting the forfeit of the con.

On to the actual debate. Paradox debates are really complicated because it's really hard to make a determination on whether one party individually is right over the other party, and in the definition of paradox, there is not supposed to be a right or wrong answer.

So I am judging this purely off of how I felt the debaters argued.

I don't see the any bearing of change in the definition of omnipotence in the debate, as overall the same thing is accomplished in the debate, thus I ignore the definition debate.

The definition of Omnipotence, no matter how it is stated, still goes to support the Pro's case, as well as works with the Con's case in this scenario.

I am giving the arguments to vmpire in this, though recognize this was extremely hard decision.

Con's argument is that God "does" not that he "Tries" given his flavor of omnipotence.

However in the Duke argument made my Pro, he states that God made the stone too heavy for god himself to lift.

In the scenario of this paradox, God created the stone with the intent of him not being able to lift the stone, thus it is probably to believe that lifting the stone exceeds his burden and capability.

If god put the stone there, He won't just "do" it. His omnipotence and power is what proffered the aforementioned "Try" unavailable, BECAUSE of the omnipotent power of god used against himself.

Thus I give convincing arguments to vmpire321 as well.

I think both debaters did a fantastic job in this debate, and wish them luck in the remainder of the voting period! This was a very intriguing philosophical proposition.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
First off, due to the forfeit, I am giving a conduct point to vmpire321. I know the two agreed together in the comment to forfeit equally, however never feel that is neccesary particularly because the con offered up this debate. That means, that the con to some extent was ready and willing to accept the time restraints. Thus I am only counting the forfeit of the con.

On to the actual debate. Paradox debates are really complicated because it's really hard to make a determination on whether one party individually is right over the other party, and in the definition of paradox, there is not supposed to be a right or wrong answer.

So I am judging this purely off of how I felt the debaters argued.

I don't see the any bearing of change in the definition of omnipotence in the debate, as overall the same thing is accomplished in the debate, thus I ignore the definition debate.

The definition of Omnipotence, no matter how it is stated, still goes to support the Pro's case, as well as works with the Con's case in this scenario.

I am giving the arguments to vmpire in this, though recognize this was extremely hard decision.

Con's argument is that God "does" not that he "Tries" given his flavor of omnipotence.

However in the Duke argument made my Pro, he states that God made the stone too heavy for god himself to lift.

In the scenario of this paradox, God created the stone with the intent of him not being able to lift the stone, thus it is probably to believe that lifting the stone exceeds his burden and capability.

If god put the stone there, He won't just "do" it. His omnipotence and power is what proffered the aforementioned "Try" unavailable, BECAUSE of the omnipotent power of god used against himself.

Thus I give convincing arguments to vmpire321 as well.

I think both debaters did a fantastic job in this debate, and wish them luck in the remainder of the voting period! This was a very intriguing philosophical proposition.
Posted by vmpire321 4 years ago
vmpire321
tsk i forgot that i was going to forfeit the last round
Posted by mongeese 4 years ago
mongeese
Back! Thank you!
Posted by vmpire321 4 years ago
vmpire321
Are you back yet?
Posted by Kinesis 4 years ago
Kinesis
This argument hasn't just been beaten to death, it's some kind of necromantic shade that haunts the discourse of religion from the underworld.
Posted by vmpire321 4 years ago
vmpire321
I forfeit first? Okay
Posted by mongeese 4 years ago
mongeese
At this point, we each forfeit one round to advance six days into the future, and I'll be back next Tuesday.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
mongeesevmpire321Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comment 11
Vote Placed by CiRrK 4 years ago
CiRrK
mongeesevmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I agree with the analysis of Roy, that Pro failed to establish that the definition of omnipotence is one that precludes logical constraint. Since Pro was not able to prove his definition as the only definition then he loses a critical link to the resolution. On the application of the Biblical God I buy Con's argument that those statements have implied logical constraints.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
mongeesevmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Cloe, and tough to judge. I think this debate hinged on the definition of "God," argued in Con's third contention. Could a definition of God be valid and reasonable if the claimed God could not perform a logical contradiction? It seems so. The God of the Bible seems open to interpretation, but Con argued well enough that wasn't the only God conceivable in any case. Both sides had one forfeit, so the conduct violations cancel, never mind the agreement on forfeiting.
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
mongeesevmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
mongeesevmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I feel like this could have gone better on both sides. Con offers the conundrum that the paradox fails if God can defy logic and is inapplicable if he cannot, but he didn't clarify it until the last round. Pro quoted the Bible to show that God could do anything but failed to substantiate how she knows that would include doing the logically impossible. In the end, I just couldn't vote for either debater.