The Instigator
mongeese
Con (against)
Winning
119 Points
The Contender
KidateK
Pro (for)
Losing
113 Points

The paradox of the stone successfully disproves the Christian God.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/26/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 12,435 times Debate No: 10574
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (88)
Votes (43)

 

mongeese

Con

Full resolution: Because of the scenario introduced by the paradox of the stone, the God discussed in the Christian Bible (Yahweh) absolutely cannot exist in reality.

The paradox of the stone is outlined here: http://en.wikipedia.org...

My opponent will explain why this paradox disproves the existence of the Christian God. Naturally, PRO will have the burden of proof.

Good luck to my opponent.
KidateK

Pro

Thanks for posting such an interesting topic for an argument. I look forward to a good and enjoyable debate and wish all the luck to my opponent.

Now to start off I would like to give simple definitions for some of the terms in the Stone Paradox and Resolution:
1. Omnipotent-almighty or infinite in power. According to the Random House Dictionary on Dictionary.com
2. The Christian God-The Christian God is defined as the creator of the universe (as mentioned in Genesis Chapters 1 & 2), who is pure and good (as in the books of Romans, Chapter 3 and Ephesians, Chapter 4) and who happens to also be all-powerful (as found in Matthew Chapter 19 and in the Book of Mark).

Now onto my argument, the Paradox of the Stone leads to one of two scenarios:
1. The first scenario is that God cannot create a stone which he cannot lift. This scenario informs us that God is restricted to what he can and cannot do by his own power. Since he cannot create a stone which he cannot lift.
2. The second scenario is that God can create a stone which he cannot lift. This scenario informs us that God can create anything, including items that have power or some attribute that exceeds his own. This would then disprove idea that God is all-powerful, since there is something that can exceed his powerful.

Being that the Christian God is defined as all-powerful and omnipotent, he should, in theory, be able to do anything. However, since the Christian God cannot create a stone which he cannot lift or he can create a stone which he cannot lift, it becomes apparent that the Christian God is not the all-powerful being that the Bible and Christian religion make him out to be. This means that either in either scenario there is something that God cannot do. Therefore, by simple reasoning and logic it becomes apparent that there is no way that there is no way for the God that is defined by the Christian Faith to exist.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Con

I would like to thank my opponent, KidateK, for accepting this debate.

Now, my opponent's argument is entirely valid, short of one flaw. The Christian God is declared omnipotent in the Bible, but one cannot assume that the definition of "omnipotent" in the Bible matches the definition of "omnipotent" required for the paradox of the stone to work. There are many different definitions of "omnipotent," and due to the fact that God is mentioned to be unable to lie ("In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" —Titus 1:2) or be around sin ("Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong" - Habakkuk 1:13), the most obvious definition of "omnipotent" to describe the Christian God would be: "A deity is able to do anything that is in accord with its own nature (thus, for instance, if it is a logical consequence of a deity's nature that what it speaks is truth, then it is not able to lie)" [1].

Dictionary.com also defines "omnipotent" to have either almighty or infinite power. Almighty power, however, only includes having more power than any other thing, not even matching our conception of "omnipotence" [2]. This is yet another explanation as to why the paradox of the stone is irrelevant.

Now, if we are assuming that anything that is logically impossible is absolutely impossible, then everybody's nature must be logical, and therefore, it is a logical consequence of God that he can only do what is logical.
If we assume that things that are logically impossible might be possible, then God is not disproved.

Now, there is yet another way to show that we absolutely cannot assume "omnipotent" to mean the ability to do the logically impossible. If we were to do so, the very word "omnipotent" would lose all value, only being able to describe things that cannot exist, and therefore would not be discussed. We would need yet another word to describe something that can do all things logically possible. The simplest solution is for omnipotent to actually have use in the world in being able to describe abilities of logical omnipotence.

In conclusion, if God creates a stone that He declares too heavy for Him to lift, then He cannot lift it, and yet He would still be omnipotent.

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

Pro

My opponent makes an excellent point that the meaning of omnipotent has have different definitions and that these differences may cause the Paradox of the Stone to fail. However, his argument that the concept of omnipotent is limited to "a deity that is able to do anything that is in accord with its own nature" is incorrect. "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty' " as quoted from Genesis 17:1 and again in Genesis 35:11 "And God said to him, "I am God Almighty.' " God does this in Exodus 6:3 "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty." In each of these bible verses and in many others, God introduces himself as God the Almighty. Now, as my opponent has set forth the definition and meaning of almighty as "includes having more power than any other thing." This means that God himself is proclaiming that he has unrivaled or at least much more power than anything other thing. When this is the case, it seems to me that a truly Almighty God would have little trouble with a simple rock.

However, even if you do not believe this concept, my opponent's concept is flawed as well. As evidenced in Genesis, the first book of the bible, the Christian God is a God of Creation. The Paradox of the Stone asks nothing that would go against the nature of God. In fact, it only asks that he do as he often does and create a stone. He is not being asked to sin or perform an action, which he has not done before.

Therefore, my opponent's concept of what God is holds little if any value to this debate. Since, this paradox does nothing to force God against his nature and being that God introduces and proclaims himself as being almighty. With that in mind, my opponent has already agreed that something that is almighty has more power than anything else including a rock. Therefore, if the Christian God does not have all the power he claims to have, he is not the God portrayed by the Bible and Christian Faith and thusly this version of God cannot exist.

My opponent also mentioned that if we assume that things that are logically impossible might be possible, then God is not disproved. However, by following this point of view logic and reasoning become pointless. By throwing out logic, we allow any random idea to make since. For example, if we dismiss logic then a person could easily say that because he or she gets up every morning to greet the sun, that his or her greeting causes the sun to rise and without that person getting up every morning the sun would never rise. This statement, seems to me at least, to be utterly ridiculous, however without logic a person could not tell the difference. Furthermore, since, debate is based on this same logic, by throwing the logic out we defeat the purpose of debate. That seems to me to be just as pointless as this idea would make logic.

Lastly my opponent stated in his second to last paragraph that there is yet another way to show that we absolutely cannot assume "omnipotent" to mean the ability to do the logically impossible. However, my opponent fails to state what this way or method of reasoning is. He only proceeds to say what the impacts of making this assumption would be and how they are beneficial towards his side of the case. Therefore, I would like my opponent to at least state what this alternative way is. Otherwise, my opponent is just saying that there is another way, and expect everyone to blindly agree with him
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Con

1. Almighty

My opponent has clearly evidenced that the Christian God is Almighty, meaning, "having more power than any other thing." However, my opponent claims that this means that he should be able to lift a "simple" rock. This is true. With so much power, God would easily lift any rock imaginable. However, what He cannot do is create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, because such a thing cannot exist, and the ability to create what cannot exist is not an aspect of Almightiness.

2. God's Nature

My opponent says that God creating a logically impossible rock would not violate His nature. However, as we are operating under the premise that all things must be logical, God's nature must also be logical. (This is a conceded point, unattacked since last round.) Therefore, creating the logically impossible violate God's logical nature, and therefore cannot be done. Additionally, creating a rock so heavy that He could not lift it would violate God's own Almightiness, and would therefore go against His nature of Almightiness.

Now, God has only claimed to have created all that is. He never claimed the ability to create a logically impossible rock, which is unsurprising.

3. Logic

My opponent claims that God absolutely must follow logic, because we tend to follow logic. However, logic might only exist in this human dimension. There is no guarantee that there is another dimension, the supernatural dimension, in which logic holds no bearing.

4. Definitions

My opponent asks why we cannot assume "omnipotent" to include the ability to perform logical impossibilities. The most basic reason is that there is no evidence that "omnipotent" would include such ability, and there isn't even any reason to think such a thing, as other definitions of "omnipotent" clearly fit God much better. Ultimately, there is no reason to assume "omnipotent" to include the ability to perform logical impossibilities, and therefore, one should not assume "omnipotent" to include such ability. Why assume something without reason? The alternative is to use the context clues provided by the Bible ("God cannot lie") to realize the intended definition.

In conclusion, God cannot create a stone that he cannot lift because:
1. Such an action would be illogical, violating God's logical nature.
2. Such an action would create something greater than God, violating His Almightiness.
Both of these reasons are compatible with the discerned definition of "omnipotence" or "Almightiness" used to describe God.
Therefore, because God can be omnipotent while being unable to create a stone that He cannot lift, the paradox of the stone does not disprove the Christian God. The resolution is negated. Vote CON.

With that, I would like to thank KidateK for his first debate here. Good luck in future debates!
KidateK

Pro

My opponent started this argument, which is, whether or not the Paradox of the Stone disproves the Christian version of God. Being that I on the Pro side, this means that I must show The Paradox of the Stones only disproves the Christian version of God. Therefore, it becomes my opponent's burden to uphold the Christian God, no matter what. Furthermore, while my opponent has claimed the burden of evidence lies with the Pro, he should also be remember the Con will need some evidence to validate his claims. Therefore, he cannot just say what he would like about the Christian God and expect it to always work, especially if what my opponent claims contradicts how the Bible and Christian Faith portray God.

My opponent's first point was that God cannot create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it. According to my opponent it just cannot happen, never ever, its impossible and not an aspect of Almightiness. He does not give any reasons, reasoning, evidence, or proof otherwise of why this event cannot happen. According to him, it just can't, it's impossible. According to Matthew 19:26 "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible," again in Mark 10:27 "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God," and finally in Luke 1:37 & in 18:27 "For nothing is impossible with God." With this in mind, I found this first point very ironic and somewhat funny. Since, the God is able to do anything and yet my opponent is there saying that he simply cannot do something. My opponent, once again, gives no Biblical text or any other analysis of why God couldn't create this stone. My opponent just says that he can't. Now, as I stated before, I was under the impression that it was my opponent's burden to uphold the Christian God, not completely distort how the Bible represents him.
.
My opponent's next point was that God must have a logical nature and therefore creating the logically impossible is impossible. I find this argument also incredibly funny, since it appears that my opponent is arguing against God which he is supposed to be upholding in this round. He specifically writes "creating the logically impossible violate God's logical nature, and therefore cannot be done." A major part of the Christian Religion is for God to be able to do the logically impossible, however in the bible we just call these events by a different name. We call them miracles. The bible and Christian faith are full of these occurrences. Here are a couple specifically:
1. The Burning Bush-"The LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." (Exodus 3:2-3) Now, logically a bush that is set on fire should burn until there is little left and yet here is an account of where a bush is set ablaze and is left unharmed. According to logic this should be impossible and therefore according my opponent God shouldn't be able to do it.
2. God opens the Mouth of Balaam's Donkey-"And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? 29 And Balaam said unto the donkey, Because thou hast mocked me" (Number 22:28-29) I do not think that I have ever heard of a time when a donkey turned around and asked a person why he or she was hitting that animal. In fact, logic and reason say that such an even should be impossible.
These are only a couple of the many events that are logically impossible and my opponent has said God couldn't do. Therefore, it seems to me that he is doing a much better job at saying why God shouldn't exist.

Furthermore, my opponent proved earlier in the debate that the Christian God couldn't lie. ""With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." (Mark 10:27) This is a quotation directly from Jesus, who was God and his Word made human. Since we have determined that, God can't lie and God says that all things are possible for him, this would include creating a stone that even God couldn't lift, my opponent's argument fails

My opponent's third point is that God must follow logic, but what if logic only exists in this dimension. There's no guarantee that logic is useless elsewhere. I find this argument to be extremely contradictory to my opponent's last agreement it is God's very nature to be logical. In his last argument, my opponent didn't say that God's nature changes in different dimensions, my opponent made it out to seem as if God's nature is always logical, and this obviously contradicts this point. On top of that, my opponent argument is based entirely upon a what if scenario. He expects us to believe that there another dimension because there is no guarantee that there isn't one. Unfortunately for my opponent, there is no guarantee that there is another dimension, where logic plays no role. Since my opponent didn't give any, reasonable proof, evidence, or method to show that there is this other dimension, or at least a very good possibility of its existence, I see no reason at all for this argument to be taken seriously.

My opponent's last point is about definitions, and says we can't assume that God can do the logically impossible. He says this is because there is no evidence to support God doing the logically impossible and so we shouldn't look to my def. No, instead we should use clues provided by the Bible to realize what omnipotent means. He gives the example of how the Bible says that God cannot lie. Once again, I find it every ironic that my opponent would take such a stance, when he is supposed to be supporting and upholding the Christian God. As I quoted before from the Bible, God and Jesus say for God anything is possible, and as my opponent says God cannot lie, this means that God can do anything, which would include creating a rock that he cannot lift. This is in addition to all of the logical impossibilities that God preformed in the Bible. Along with the ones listed above there are bringing the dead back to life, parting the Red Sea, and causing mana (a type of bread) to fall from the sky on a daily basis. All of these logical impossibilities are listed in the Bible and are attributed to God, however, my opponent says that he couldn't have done any of these because according to the Bible the definition of God's Omnipotence should be something else.

Conclusion
As I stated, it's the Pros burden to try and disprove the Christian God, however after my opponent's last post I feel I spent a great deal more time defending God. My opponent's only viable arguments against the Paradox of the Stone is that God can't perform what is logically impossible because of his nature and the fact there is no reason to assume that God's Omnipotence would allow him to perform the logically impossible, and that creating a Stone this heavy would violate God's Almightiness. The first argument is absolutely flawed according to the Bible and the Christian Faith, since God's speciality is the logically impossible miracles he performs and the fact he said that nothing is impossible for him. The second argument is the very reason for this debate, either God can (or can't) create a stone so heavy that he couldn't lift it. If God can't create this stone, then God can't do anything as the Christian Faith claims, and thus this version of God would be disproved. Or God can create such a stone in which case he can't lift it and so still can't do anything like He claims. In either case the Christian version of God is unable to be upheld and since my opponent's last post seemed to be only discrediting or misrepresenting the Christian God, I can only see a Pro vote.

Thanks, Mongeese for debate. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. :)
Debate Round No. 3
88 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by deputy 6 years ago
deputy
the argument that because God cannot create a stone he cannot lift doesn't mean he's not omnipotent is a good one. I liked Mongeese's argument that such a stone cannot exist, and therefore, God cannot create something that cannot exist.
Posted by LD_Freak 6 years ago
LD_Freak
This 'paradox of the stone' is simply a sick play on words to disprove God's omnipotence. Only the stark ignorance of man could be enough to create a 'philosophical' test of this nature.
Posted by mongeese 6 years ago
mongeese
Actually, I take introductory physics next year, but I do know how electrons are somewhat both waves and particles, and I am familiar with Schrodinger's Cat: the randomness of something as small as a particle magnifies itself into determining the life or death of a relatively large, complex being, if I am summarizing Wikipedia's points accurately.
Posted by Digamma 6 years ago
Digamma
@mongeese: My sincerest apologies! In my prior comment I have confused Schrödinger's Cat with Pavlov's dog! Mixing my physics and my psychology, I am. The thought experiment I wish you to read "Schrödinger's Cat."
Posted by Digamma 6 years ago
Digamma
@mongeese: Also, a good thought experiment to read is that of Pavlov's Cat. This, too, relates to my theory. Unfortunately, I am in the middle of finals right now, but if you wish to hear it I would be happy to write my theory out for you in a week or so.
Posted by Digamma 6 years ago
Digamma
@mongeese: Are you familiar with the properties of waves and particles, in relation to Young's Double Slit Experiment? It sounds complicated, but if you've taken basic physics it isn't too hard to follow. This is an important jumping-off point to the quantum mechanics relating to my argument.
Posted by Kane-W 6 years ago
Kane-W
Clarification: When I said "the last two" I was referring two the two I left out:

"Unnatural Laws would exist, laws that govern an existence transcendent to our own (conceptual -Mathematics confirms this)
-Metaphysical concepts would exist - common ground between creator and the created (rational thinking confirms this)."
Posted by Kane-W 6 years ago
Kane-W
What evidence do you have to connect any of those things to a designer? You have zero evidence he even exists but somehow you are familiar with his design style? Do you guys hang out on weekends and talk about fabrics(of the cosmos)?

I am every bit as justified in saying: If the universe were created by an Intelligent Designer then we would expect to see;
Candy coated turds that bloom into giant rose bushes
Planets that make funny faces
3 million mile high volcanoes that rotate at 6 billion RPM
you get the point.

I can also say just as justifiably If the universe were NOT created by an Intelligent Designer then we would expect to see;

-Cosmos Beginning (science has confirmed this)
-Stable Universal Laws (empiricism confirms this)
-Patterns to everything (empiricism confirms this)

The last twos existence are arguable in and of themselves, lets stick to what we know.
Science has only confirmed events back to a point very early in the universes expansion, but the universe and everything that makes it up already existed before that KNOWN beginning. The big bang theory describes the beginning of the KNOWN universe not the beginning of matter/energy itself.
Posted by Galiban 6 years ago
Galiban
I feel the need to interect my few cents worth.

God's existence has the benefit of assumption;
If the universe were created by an Intelligent Designer then we would expect to see;
-Cosmos Beginning (science has confirmed this)
-Stable Universal Laws (empiricism confirms this)
-Patterns to everything (empiricism confirms this)
-Unnatural Laws would exist, laws that govern an existence transcendent to our own (conceptual -Mathematics confirms this)
-Metaphysical concepts would exist - common ground between creator and the created (rational thinking confirms this).

From these things an intelligent designer gains the benefit of assumption.

Naturalism purports these things:
Millions of years
latent dormant gene structures
Geological timeline
tranistional evolutionary forms
Natural selection (empiricism confirms this).
Random Mutation gaining information

Even if Naturalism is true in all points these in no way negate any of the Design arguments.

The only thing that Naturalism in the form of evolution might negate is the Biblical record of creation and early History.

Hence God has the benefit of assumption and all athiestic or agnostic viewpoints have the burden of proof.

Feedback?
Posted by Kane-W 6 years ago
Kane-W
How am I committing a probability fallacy when all I am attempting to demonstrate PROBABILITY? I never said anything was true. My contention is that something that you most likely find absurd is more likely than something you believe is true, I never made any claim that it was true itself. I don't know if you are talking about my brain here or the crocodile, but like I said I have provided evidence of my brain it has the benefit of assumption(it did before I even provided evidence), unlike the existence of God as you have provided no evidence of his existence.

You have zero evidence any of those attributes are even possible let alone exist. Like I said mathematically and logically nonexistent is the default, without evidence either way nonexistence has the benefit of assumption. There are an infinite number of things that one could conceive to exist but only a finite number of things actually do exist therefore without evidence of somethings existence it is overwhelmingly unlikely.

What evidence do you have that connects God to the creation of the universe? What evidence do you have that it was even created?

I can provide evidence of crocodiles urinating while you can provide no evidence of ANYTHING that is infinite, eternal, omnipotent, or shapeless.
43 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
mongeeseKidateKTied
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Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: C.V.B. According to my tally, there are 2 (or 3) more that require countering. mongeese come back
Vote Placed by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
mongeeseKidateKTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Looking through the votes, pro received a large majority of 7-pointers, so I'm giving con 7 as well. >>>>RFD: The argument utterly fails whatever definition of omnipotence you take, but mongeese was correct in his arguments for 'common omnipotence.' Omnipotence has restrictions in regards to logic. The POTS follows the same lines as saying God can't create square circles, which is irrelevant.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
mongeeseKidateKTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I just happened to see this ancient debate. Back in those days it was fairly common to vote all points for one side, because voting was secret then and if you didn't do it you figured the other side would. Anyway, Con had the correct argument "omnipotent" does not mean "able to perform a logical contradiction." t would make no sense in any context to have the ability to perform a logical contradiction included.
Vote Placed by deputy 6 years ago
deputy
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