The Instigator
phantom
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
MouthWash
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

The paradox of the stone refutes an omnipotent God[2]

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
phantom
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,605 times Debate No: 24223
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (48)
Votes (5)

 

phantom

Con

Only accept if you have won 15 or more debates.

To be clear, I am con the resolution.

Resolution: The paradox of the stone refutes an omnipotent God

The paradox of the stone goes as follows:

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

Omnipotence: the quality or state of possessing unlimited power [a few changes change] [2]

Definition of omnipotence may be disputed but my opponent must defend the argument as presented above.

One forfeit results in the loss of the debate.
First round acceptance
No arguments last round


Please refrain from semantics.

[1] http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
MouthWash

Pro

I accept. I would like to clarify the definition of omnipotence as maximal omnipotence. This form is characterized by an omnipotence that has absolutely no limitations, even in regards to logic.

I also ask what the last round will be about if there are no arguments or (I assume) rebuttals allowed.
Debate Round No. 1
phantom

Con

I would like to thank mouthwash for accepting the debate.



First I would like to apologize for the confusion. The last round there will be no new arguments introduced.



What is omnipotence?


The POTS(paradox of the stone) posits a certain kind of omnipotence only accepted by some. Generally there are two different types of omnipotence. I will differentiate between the two.


I will presume my opponent will argue the most commonly presented view of omnipotence associated with the POTS that God can do literally anything. The second and more common view of omnipotence is that God can do anything within the realm of logic. In other words, God can make potential reality into reality but he cannot make impossibility reality. The two most common meanings can be summed up as absolute omnipotence and common omnipotence. Absolute omnipotence would posit the ability to do literally everything. Common omnipotence posits the ability to do only but everything that corresponds with the laws of logic. With absolute omnipotence God could make one plus one equal three. Those who hold the view of common omnipotence would deny such a view as it would go against the laws of logic. Absolute omnipotence would entail that God is above logic and can manipulate it while common omnipotence posits that God can only do what is logical and thus logic is above God. I gather from my opponents opening statements that he will be arguing absolute omnipotence which I have no issue over. The paradox of the stone completely fails to refute an omnipotent God whichever definition you take.



Here is my basic argument put in a syllogism.



P.1 If God can do literally anything, then God is above logic.

P.2 If God is above logic, God can do anything seemingly illogical.

P.3 If God can make anything logical then God can create a stone so heavy he can't lift it while still being able to lift it.

P.4 Thus the paradox of the stone fails in its attempt to refute an omnipotent God.


The logic of the paradox of the stone poses that omnipotence entails the ability to do everything. Thus there exists nothing an omnipotent God could not do. Thus if God can create a stone so heavy he cannot lift it than God cannot do something(lifting this stone) and is not omnipotent. And if God cannot create a stone so heavy he can't lift it, than God is not omnipotent. However we find that the paradox of the stone is a self-refuting argument. It necessitates a God that is above logic and uses that factor to disprove God. But assuming the position that God is above logic it completely refutes itself. If God possesses the trait of absolute omnipotence than it necessarily follows that logic has no baring on God. If God is above logic than God could over-come literally any logical feat for God could shift logic to meet his purpose. Assuming this concept of omnipotence God could make square circles, a clearly illogical fact. This demonstrates that God would be above logic. It again follows that God could make a stone so heavy that he can't lift it while still retaining his omnipotence.


The argument my opponent is defending challenges Gods omnipotence by presenting a paradox. However if God is above logic God can overcome any paradox. God would have the ability to shift logic according to his will thus could make any illogical statement logical. Any statement would include that God could make a stone so heavy he can't lift it while still being able to lift it. That seems like a deeply flawed and non-sensical statement but if God can shift logic he can turn it into a completely logical statement. Therefore the "paradox of the stone" is not a sound argument and the resolution has been negated.


Re-cap


From the very concepts assumed by the paradox of the stone, the argument can be safely refuted. The paradox of the stone attempts refute God by posing a seemingly impossible logical feat. However it also necessarily poses that God is above logic. But if God is above logic than all logical feats are irrelevant for God could shift logic according to his will.


I hand it over to the pro.
MouthWash

Pro

For all his detailed and lengthy explanations, Con's argument is very simplistic and is essentially a fallacy. I'm disappointed, but I really wasn't expecting anything better that could be made in favor of this resolution. I shall summarize his opening argument.

1. An omnipotent God can do anything, even things that are logically impossible.


2. Therefore God can create a stone even he cannot lift and still lift it, defying logic.


My opponent's case rests upon a wording fallacy. Logic is something very special when it comes to defining specific things or acts. You can't treat it in a syllogism the same way you treat words like "color," "shape," or "size." What he is trying to insinuate is that God defied all logic and lifted his unliftable stone, which essentially proves that God failed to create a stone he truly cannot lift. An omnipotent God would have the power to lift any stone, which would therefore not allow any stone to be defined as unliftable.

My opponent will argue that since God can defy logic, he can do anything, including the paradox of the stone (this seems to be the crux of his actual argument so far). However, this assertion is dependent on circular reasoning, since any overcoming of logic would have to be presupposed upon his logic-defying powers in the first place. Could God remove his own logic-defying powers and still be capable of defying logic?

Conclusion

Since God cannot create an unliftable stone, he therefore cannot perform any act (which was the definition of omnipotence agreed upon). This refutes an omnipotent God. I also demonstrated that being able to defy logic and being capable of doing "any act" are two separate things and should not be used interchangeably. If my opponent thinks he can use "God can defy logic, therefore he can do ANYTHING," as an unbeatable trump card, he is sorely mistaken. Do not confuse the ability to defy logic with the ability to ignore definitions.
Debate Round No. 2
phantom

Con

I thank pro for his response.


The first and foremost point I would like to highlight this round is that pro has exhibited failure to refute the fact that God can overcome any paradox. For this reason alone the resolution has not been affirmed and can be viewed as negated.


I would also like to remind pro that the burden of proof is on him to prove the resolution, therefore he might not want to spend all his time refuting me.



I will quote what I think is the general summery of pros contention. "What he is trying to insinuate is that God defied all logic and lifted his unliftable stone, which essentially proves that God failed to create a stone he truly cannot lift" In other words, since God was able to lift the stone that means he failed to create a stone he couldn't lift. While pro accuses me of committing a fallacy, I can't help but notice pros fallacious and inconsistent reasoning. The statement clearly implies that God created a stone he couldn't lift. It does not matter that he could lift it. It was still an unliftable stone. My my, that sounds contradictory doesn't it? How could I possibly say God created an unliftable stone and at the same time assert he can lift it!? Well that's easy. Here is where my opponents flawed reasoning comes in. He makes his argument based on the fact that current logic refutes it. However it has already been established, and essentialy agreed upon by pro, that current logic is irrelevant because God can shift logic according to his will. Thus God could shift logic such so that he could create a stone so heavy he can't lift it and still be able to lift it. My opponent may argue all day long that the latter implies he failed to do the former, but absolute omnipotence, or maximal as my opponent calls it, would entail that God could achieve both outcomes. Essentially what my opponent argues is that in order for God to do x it is impossible for him to accomplish y. Or; if God is able to create an unliftable stone it is impossible for him to be able to lift it because than it wouldn't be unliftable. However by my opponents own affirmations, God should be able to accomplish both x and y even if our current logic code would posit it an impossibility. Therefore my opponent has not raised any sound objection to my case.


From the essence of pros rebuttal I find it fitting to make a revised statement of premise three of my last round. If God can shift logic than God can create a stone so heavy he can't lift it while still not committing any act contrary to omnipotent character. This is airtight and irrefutable. Pro has already stated that God can do anything even in regards to logic. If God can do anything than God can commit acts seemingly contrary to his nature while still not contradicting his character.


Furthermore I would like to state I am not sure exactly what my opponents view on omnipotence is for he sometimes seems to imply that God cannot change logic, though I could just be misunderstanding him. This however is inconsistent with the definition he purposed which states that God "has absolutely no limitations, even in regards to logic."


My opponent also asks "Could God remove his own logic-defying powers and still be capable of defying logic?" The answer to that question is yes. God could remove his ability to defy logic while still retaining his ability to defy logic. That can be a coherent statement if God wishes it to be. All he has to do is change the logical code.


Ironically we could name the fallacy my opponent is committing an appeal to logic. While logic usually is the essence of any debate, we have to realize that with a God that fits the purposed definition of omnipotence, logic would be entirely relative and therefore not objective. Perhaps a more fitting fallacy would be to call it an appeal to current logic. Current logic would not apply if God changed the logical code to something entirely different, such as that square circles existed. Therefore my opponent can only base his arguments off what current logic is when current logic would not exist if an omnipotent being did not want it to.
MouthWash

Pro

My opponent has decided to ignore all of my arguments and return to his previous contention, namely being his unspoken assumption that God's ability to defy logic would automatically cancel out all of my arguments. I have aptly demonstrated why this is not so. In this round, I shall attempt to make it harder for him to avoid direct argument.

Rebuttal

"I would also like to remind pro that the burden of proof is on him to prove the resolution, therefore he might not want to spend all his time refuting me."

In this case, he attempted to prove that the paradox of the stone did not disprove a maximally omnipotent God. If I refute him and prove the paradox to be valid, it essentially affirms the resolution.

"I will quote what I think is the general summery of pros contention. "What he is trying to insinuate is that God defied all logic and lifted his unliftable stone, which essentially proves that God failed to create a stone you he truly cannot lift"

What Con may have 'thought' was incorrect. I quote the true contention of importance: "An omnipotent God would have the power to lift any stone, which would therefore not allow any stone to be defined as unliftable."

Recall that in the conclusion of my argument I asserted that being able to perform any act and being able to defy logic were two different things. Con's definition assumed that God could do "literally anything," not merely defy logic.

My point I tried to make was that God would be able to defy logic (e.g. 1+1=3), but not falsify true definitions, since they aren't dependent on the 'logic' from God's perspective. I clearly stated this, but he has not responded to it or, indeed, even acknowledged it in any way. When he replied, "The statement clearly implies that God created a stone he couldn't lift," he is playing his blind trump card again, ignoring the fact that no rock could be defined as unliftable, DESPITE God's ability to overcome logic. This also refutes the possibility of making square circles, since such an act would not merely be illogical but would have to invalidate either the definition of "square" or "circle."

I further demonstrated God's impossibility by asserting- and I quote myself- any overcoming of logic would have to be presupposed upon his logic-defying powers in the first place. The example I used was again rebutted by his "God can do anything" fall-back. I simply ask him further if God could still exercise his logic-defying abilities if he had never existed, as his power is dependent upon his ability to use it. While refuting an omnipotent God using a different paradox is irrelevant to this debate, I simply use it to prove that his wild card of making logic irrelevant fails.

I await Con's response.
Debate Round No. 3
phantom

Con

I thank pro for the enjoyable debate.


My opponent is flying to America tonight so if he does happen to forfeit I ask the voters to not judge the debate based on the forfeit but all the arguments that have been presented.

Also, just to put out a disclaimer, my personal belief in God does not at all match the concept agreed upon in this debate.

Despite pro's claims that I have not been directly responding to his points I don't find his arguments particularly adequate in response to my contentions. I would also note my opponents furthered inconsistencies in this round.



Now, I would like to remind the viewers that it has always been agreed upon that God can do anything. Therefore if my opponent says God can't do something his objections are irrelevant. It is a little difficult to infer exactly what my opponent is arguing but he throws around allot of talk about how God cannot change definitions. However that is saying God cannot do something. As we've already agreed, God can perform any act thus he can perform the act of changing definitions. Logic also directly ties into definitions thus pro can't treat them as two entirely different things when really they are of the same category. Also even if pro does make a perfectly valid argument that definitions can't be changed, all God would need to do is shift logic so that definitions can indeed be changed. Or God could shift logic so that definitions would not need to even be changed. Thus either way, pros objections are refuted. If God can shift logic it follows that he can shift it in such a way so that the changing of definitions becomes irrelevant. Pro claims that no stones could be defined as unliftable since God would have the power to lift any stone, but as I have said from the beginning God could just change logic so that the coherency of an unliftable stone remained.


Moreover my opponent assumes that the definition of unliftable or whatever would have to be changed for God to defy logic. He acts like this is self-evident and has not actually defended his assertion. Why assume that God could not act in such a way so as that the concepts retained their exact definitions? I would also like to ask pro, what is the definition of unliftable? And why exactly are God's logic defying abilities so irrelevant? If God can shift logic surely he can in some way make it so that the definition objection is completely irrelevant.


It has been established that any time we ask the question, can God do __________, the answer is always yes. Thus if we ask the question, can God create a stone so heavy he can't lift it while still not committing any act contrary to his omnipotent character, the answer always has to be yes. I already stated this last round and my opponent has failed to respond to it. I will present the basic argument in a syllogism. I ask my opponent to this time respond.


P.1 God either can or cannot create a stone so heavy he can't lift it while still not committing any act contrary to his omnipotent character.

P.2 If God can't than that that is inconsistent with the definition of omnipotence.

C1: Therefore God can.

C2: Therefore the paradox of the stone has been refuted.


I request that pro answer premise 1. It indicates the true dichotomy that God either can or cannot perform an act. Thus pro must either answer yes he can or no he can't. Either answer that pro gives would affirm my case. If he answers yes than he is conceding that the paradox of the stone fails, for it states that if God can create a stone so heavy he can't lift it than God is not omnipotent. But answering yes would say such an action does not alleviate his omnipotence. If he answers no than he is going against the already agreed upon concept of omnipotence that God can do anything.



"I simply ask him further if God could still exercise his logic-defying abilities if he had never existed"


I don't find how this is relevant. A being cannot do something if he does not exist. We are assuming this type of God does exist. Therefore hypothetically God could perform any action. And no I am not in any way insinuating that God couldn't do something. Pro statement is assuming the non-existence of God, thus essentially a non-omnipotent state. An omnipotent God could do anything if he exists. If he doesn't exist than of course he could not do anything, because obviously non-existent things can't act, and things that don't exist cannot even possess the state of omnipotence.


Re-cap

Pro bases his argument off the premise that God can't change definitions. This however obviously asserts that God cannot do something when it has been agreed that God can do everything. Moreover pro very casually tosses aside the God changing logic argument. There is not a single objection my opponent can raise in which God could not just shift logic in such a way so as those objections are irrelevant.
MouthWash

Pro

Con's argument is deeply flawed and fails to refute absolutely anything. I shall now explain why in detail.

"My opponent is flying to America tonight so if he does happen to forfeit I ask the voters to not judge the debate based on the forfeit but all the arguments that have been presented."

Well, thanks. I don't think it'll be necessary, I'm posting this a few hours before boarding time.


Rebuttal

"It is a little difficult to infer exactly what my opponent is arguing but he throws around allot of talk about how God cannot change definitions. However that is saying God cannot do something. As we've already agreed, God can perform any act thus he can perform the act of changing definitions."

We've agreed upon that? Excuse me, wasn't that the God I was trying to disprove? I am attempting to refute the fact that he could perform any act. I have no idea why my opponent said this.


"Logic also directly ties into definitions thus pro can't treat them as two entirely different things when really they are of the same category."

This is where me and Con have to disagree. While definitions may be our human "logic," they are nothing more representations of sensory phenomena in a form we can understand. Changing our understanding of the words wouldn't work either in God's case, because the representations, while invented by humans, would still exist (in the same way that 'math' would still exist even though math is a concept invented by humans to explain the order of the universe- it would still exist as a concept).


"Why assume that God could not act in such a way so as that the concepts retained their exact definitions?"

Because he can't. We've been over this before, I've explained it to you numerous times.


"I would also like to ask pro, what is the definition of unliftable?"

An adjective describing something that cannot be lifted by any possible means.


"It has been established that any time we ask the question, can God do __________, the answer is always yes."


Again, that is the definition I am attempting to disprove. I never agreed to any such thing.



"P.1 God either can or cannot create a stone so heavy he can't lift it while still not committing any act contrary to his omnipotent character.

P.2 If God can't than that that is inconsistent with the definition of omnipotence.

C1: Therefore God can."

I agree with the first two. My burden of proof is to demonstrate that God could not be consistent with this definition. It seems my opponent is doing what I warned him not to, which is presupposing the validity of God's omnipotence.


"[Premise 1] indicates the true dichotomy that God either can or cannot perform an act. Thus pro must either answer yes he can or no he can't."

If I prove that "no he can't," I win. YOU ARE AGAIN CONFUSING YOURSELF. THAT IS WHAT I WAS ARGUING FOR AND HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET YOU TO UNDERSTAND. YOU ARE PRESUPPOSING GOD'S OMNIPOTENCE AND PRETENDING THAT I AGREED WITH YOU. I CANNOT ARGUE WITH YOU AT ALL BECAUSE YOU HAVE MADE NO REAL ARGUMENTS TO REFUTE!


"We are assuming this type of God does exist."

My point was that God's logic defying powers (and thus his omnipotence) could not be presupposed. I refuse to answer this at all. See my answer to your previous contention.


"Pro's statement is assuming the non-existence of God, thus essentially a non-omnipotent state."

I am not assuming anything. I am trying to prove the non-existence of God.


"This however obviously asserts that God cannot do something when it has been agreed that God can do everything."

Again, and for what seems to finally be the last time, I only agreed that that is the definition of omnipotence I was trying to refute.


Conclusion

Con has ignored the bulk of my arguments and provided no real evidence against the resolution. He has continually dropped important arguments that were made, repeated his claim the God could do anything and that it canceled out all of my arguments, and finally tried to confuse me by twisting the definition that was agreed upon into me agreeing with the resolution and presupposing the existence of God. Since he has utterly failed to refute the paradox of the stone, please vote Pro.


I fail to see why he should have spelling or grammar as well, seeing as he misspelled some basic words (bearing) and left out a number of commas and apostrophes.
Debate Round No. 4
48 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
Since none of us can seem to give up the last word, I allow you to have it. OK. HAVE THE LAST WORD. I WILL WITHHOLD MY URGES TO RESPOND.

Also: [http://www.debate.org...]
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
No, I don't think so. You're mixing it up with other points I made and using the same rebuttal you used for those points. But since we're both sick of this, no reason to continue.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
No I'm not. Despite what you may believe, I understand your argument perfectly. I just feel that this discussion will take us nowhere. Go post your arguments on a philosophy site if you're still curious. I'm really just sick to death of this.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
I don't like this conversation either but you're still misinterpreting my argument...
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
As I said, definitions are not axioms, so he couldn't "shift your logical reasons into being illogical." By the way, I think that this is getting us nowhere. Whether justly or not, you won, so there isn't any point in continuing this discussion almost a week after the actual debate has ended.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
"Logic also directly ties into definitions thus pro can't treat them as two entirely different things when really they are of the same category." and "As I already stated, even if God could not falsify definitions he could just shift logic in such a way so as that definitions were irrelevant", are two completely different points. I'm not sure you fully grasp the power of the defined God. You naturally use logic to state that God couldn't change definitions. God could shift your logical reasons into being illogical.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
This is what you said: "Logic also directly ties into definitions thus pro can't treat them as two entirely different things when really they are of the same category."

This is what I responded with: "While definitions may be our human "logic," they are nothing more representations of sensory phenomena in a form we can understand. Changing our understanding of the words wouldn't work either in God's case, because the representations, while invented by humans, would still exist (in the same way that 'math' would still exist even though math is a concept invented by humans to explain the order of the universe- it would still exist as a concept)."

My point was that definitions weren't axioms [http://en.wikipedia.org...].
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
What's the point of quoting what I said earlier?

"As I already stated, even if God could not falsify definitions he could just shift logic in such a way so as that definitions were irrelevant."

That's what you never responded to.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
Also, can you calm down a bit? It would be better to just discuss these things instead of all this anger and hostility.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
"On what grounds do you believe you won? I'm just curious because with any of your varying views on omnipotence displayed in this debate the POTS would still fail."
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by tulle 4 years ago
tulle
phantomMouthWashTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by The_Fool_on_the_hill 4 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
phantomMouthWashTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Some people don't even notice the limits of the reasoning it self. For even when we say God can do anything. We are saying anything. To say that he can contradict logic, is to say that we can do anything and Nothting. But nothing doen't exist for would it if he did it. He can't even do the impossible, for him doing it would proof its possibility. But you can't proof something non-logically. For Logic=proof.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
phantomMouthWashTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was able to prove that omnipotencedoes not mean that you can do the impossible, and so the POTS does not actually give enough proof that god does not exist. I've heard this summarized in another "debate" (hosted by AliG) where he said "you're asking God to make square circles" but I wasn't able to connect it untill now.
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 4 years ago
frozen_eclipse
phantomMouthWashTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Seeing as pro proposed maximal omnipotence witch god can do anything, That means god can indeed make a stone in witch he cannot lift. If he was all powerful this could'nt be possible. This was a very hard debate to vote on, it seems positions were either switched or confused quite often witch was very confusing.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
phantomMouthWashTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: The crux of Pro's case was in either the rejection of the definition of omnipotence (both) or the misapplication of strong omnipotence to the paradox. Con successfully showed that if we take strong omnipotence as our starting point, Pro must admit that logic lies within the domain of God's power. If he doesn't then he is simply shifting the goal posts (definition of omnipotence) or misapplying the definition.