The Instigator
phantom
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Microsuck
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The paradox of the stone refutes an omnipotent God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
phantom
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/1/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,437 times Debate No: 23991
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

phantom

Con

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]

First round acceptance
No arguments last round

Please refrain from semantics.

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

Pro

Although I agree with my opponent, I will be playing Devil's advocate. Because my opponent did not define 'omnipotent", I will do so:

om·nip·o·tent (ŏm-nĭp’ə-tənt)

"It is the quality of having all power (Psalm 115:3). He can do all things that do not conflict with his holy nature. God has the power to do anything he wants to do. However, God cannot do that which is contrary to his nature. For example, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2)."

http://carm.org...;
Debate Round No. 1
phantom

Con

I would like to extend my thanks to microsuck for accepting this debate.


What is omnipotence?


I will first off be stating that I did not define omnipotence because I predicted there would be a disagreement on the definition. The POTS(paradox of the stone) posits a certain kind of omnipotence only accepted by some. I will differentiate between the two in a little bit, but I must admit I was initially going to defend one view of omnipotence as well as showing that the paradox fails taking into account either view. But now I don't think it necessary to argue the definition of omnipotence as the POTS cannot be proved sound whichever way you look at omnipotence.



My opponent provides his own definition which states that God can do anything other than that which contradicts his character (a morally perfect God cannot sin). I will presume my opponent will argue the most commonly presented view of omnipotence associated with the POTS, that (other than the restrictions my opponent has stated), 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. I notice my opponent cites the scripture to provide his definition for omnipotence. I don't view that as credible criteria for defining this attribute as using scripture would entail the Christian God which was never assumed. Thus scripture is not a valid source for defining omnipotence. As of yet though, I will not waist time arguing the definition as it does not contradict my case in any way that I can see.



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. My opponent seems to be taking a mixed view; that God possesses absolute omnipotence except for when an action would contradict his own nature.





I would like to present two statements.



1. Assuming the view of absolute omnipotence, the paradox of the stone completely fails.



2. Assuming the view of common omnipotence, the paradox of the stone completely fails.




I assume my opponent agrees with number two as common omnipotence does not posit the ability to do illogical things and making a stone too heavy to lift is certainly illogical, but I predict he will find issue with number one.



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 it follows that God can make the action of him making a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it while still retaining his omnipotence, logical.

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 is that omnipotence entails the ability to do everything. Thus there exists nothing an omnipotent God cannot do. Thus if God can create a stone so heavy he cannot lift 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 that position it completely reftues itself. If God possesses the trait of absolute omnipotence than it necessarily follows that God is above logic. 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. Thus God could still doing anything for logic would have no baring on his actions. Therefore the "paradox of the stone" is not a sound argument and the resolution has been negated.


Good luck to my opponent and I hope the readers, as well as both I and my opponent, retain an open mind on this issue.

Microsuck

Pro

Thank you con. Here is the argument in a nutshell:




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.

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

The problem is that no Christian Theists believes that God can do literally everything as God cannot do anything that is contradictory to his nature.

P1. God can do anything and everything that is not contradictory to his holy nature.
P2. Creating a stone so heavy that even he cannot lift it is not contradictory.
P3. Therefore, God can create a stone that he cannot lift.
P4. However, this limits his omnipotence.
C. Therefore, God is not all powerful.

This is a problem because this is contradictory to what the Bible says.

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.”

<!-- Sidebar note: This also contradicts itself for if God can do anything, it is logically possible for God to sin; which is impossible according to other passages in the Bible -->

Conclusion

I took this debate playing the devil's advocate. I would never use this argument in a real debate on the existence of God. The conclusion is that it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to create a stone so heavy that he cannot lift. Hence, he not all powerful. If my opponent argues that God can do the logically impossible, then my opponent must also admit that it is possible for God to go against his nature, which the Bible says is impossible! The conclusion is that the Christian God cannot exist via the stone paradox.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
phantom

Con

I thank microsuck for his response.



The first thing I notice is that pros assertions support my case. He says " God can do anything and everything that is not contradictory to his holy nature." If God can do anything and everything that is not contradictory to his nature, than God can create a stone to heavy he can't lift while still being able to lift it, which is what the paradox of the stone is about. This was my basic argument for the last round and pro has done very little to refute it. I have charitably assumed absolute omnipotence even though that is not the most common view of omnipotence (the POTS would not work on the common view). However with absolute omnipotence God could do literally anything, thus all paradox's are irrelevant because he could overcome them. Having absolute omnipotence would entail that God is above logic. In other words God could change logic. Thus God could make literally any 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. Pro has again not done much to refute this.


Pro takes a different but irrelevant avenue to refute Gods omnipotence. He seems to be arguing that the fact that God can't go against his nature disproves his omnipotence. That is nothing but a strawman which I will not bother to refute. His burden is to defend the paradox of the stone argument. That argument mentions nothing about God not being able to go against his nature, thus I would ask the viewers to also ignore it. It's like using the moral argument to prove God when the debate is about the ontological argument. My opponent is using his own argument to refute Gods omnipotence when the debate is about the paradox of the stone. It is nothing but a strawman. This debate is about the paradox of the stone, not any argument you can think of that refutes God's omnipotence.



Moreover pro also continues to assume we are arguing the Christian God when I pointed out in the last round no such thing was included in the first round. I would ask again that my opponent stop arguing with scripture for it has no baring. So even if pros contentions were relevant his argument still has no backing as he has yet to show why we should accept his definition of omnipotence.



Re-cap


We are arguing the paradox of the stone but pros sole argument is about God not being able to contradict his nature which the paradox of the stone doesn't even mention. Thus pro is not even affirming the resolution which is his burden. To further demonstrate, pro has the burden to show that b disproves a. That is his sole burden. However what he tries to do is show that c disproves a. Even if c disproved a it does not show that b disproves a. This debate is about whether the paradox of the stone refutes an omnipotent God. It is about a specific argument but pro uses a different argument which the debate is not about.
Microsuck

Pro

Microsuck forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
phantom

Con

For whatever reason, Con has not been able to post his response.

Extend arguments.
Microsuck

Pro

Sorry, con. My internet was down yesterday. I always hated this argument to begin with. Vote con!
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
Yes he did.
Posted by johnnyboy54 4 years ago
johnnyboy54
Didn't InquireTruth already destroy this argument?

Anyways a good debate. My vote will be up shortly.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
@Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching, I am con so if you think it is sound you can accept it as pro.

@dcdriver, yes I am negating the resolution.
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
I would have taken this debate if I could be the con, just for the challenge :) It looks like a fund debate.
Posted by dcdriver 4 years ago
dcdriver
I'm confused. You're arguing the con, which means that you do not agree the paradox refutes an omnipotent God. If someone were to argue the pro, would they have to be in favor of the paradox refuting an omnipotent God?
Posted by Kinesis 4 years ago
Kinesis
I remember stumping my evangelical seventh day adventist friend with this. I knew the paradox wasn't sound, but it sure was fun watching him struggle to refute it.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Poor argunment for pro
Posted by Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching 4 years ago
Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching
I know what you mean, this was the first thing which came into my mind as soon as I heard of there being nothing that God couldn't do, back when I was in primary school. I'll be interested to see what someone else thinks.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by johnnyboy54 4 years ago
johnnyboy54
phantomMicrosuckTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con gets conduct for the forfeit. Arguments go to con. If we assume that logic in no way affect or limits God, then using logic to disprove God is irrelevant from the beginning.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
phantomMicrosuckTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit and concession on Pro's part.