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Omnipotence.

Statik
Posts: 4
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7/5/2013 5:56:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I recently got into a debate with someone in regards to Omnipotence who stated that Atheist's understanding of it was terribly flawed and that by no means did the inability to transcend Logic mean a being was not omnipotent.

He pretty much called me an idiot the whole time (Ad hominem me to death, why don't you? I'm just trying to learn!), told me to pick up a Philosophy book and mentioned this website.

So my first question to these forums is this.. What is your stance on this subject?
Does a being require the ability to transcend the limitations of reality (as we know it) to be Omnipotent?
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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7/5/2013 5:57:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
No. In fact, most philosophers accept a very constrained version of omnipotence.
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Statik
Posts: 4
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7/5/2013 6:04:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 5:57:32 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
No. In fact, most philosophers accept a very constrained version of omnipotence.

I am of the opinion that Omnipotence requires the ability to transcend logical truths. Being constrained by the definition/laws/universal constants of reality denotes a much more powerful force than the being who claims "omnipotence". Apparently I'm an idiot for regarding it this way. /:
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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7/5/2013 6:11:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 6:04:15 PM, Statik wrote:
At 7/5/2013 5:57:32 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
No. In fact, most philosophers accept a very constrained version of omnipotence.

I am of the opinion that Omnipotence requires the ability to transcend logical truths.

It doesn't.

Being constrained by the definition/laws/universal constants of reality denotes a much more powerful force than the being who claims "omnipotence". Apparently I'm an idiot for regarding it this way. /:

You're not an idiot for it, but it's still wrong.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Statik
Posts: 4
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7/5/2013 6:12:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 6:11:01 PM, phantom wrote:
At 7/5/2013 6:04:15 PM, Statik wrote:
At 7/5/2013 5:57:32 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
No. In fact, most philosophers accept a very constrained version of omnipotence.

I am of the opinion that Omnipotence requires the ability to transcend logical truths.

It doesn't.

Being constrained by the definition/laws/universal constants of reality denotes a much more powerful force than the being who claims "omnipotence". Apparently I'm an idiot for regarding it this way. /:

You're not an idiot for it, but it's still wrong.

Care to offer a better explanation?
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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7/5/2013 6:31:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 6:12:28 PM, Statik wrote:
At 7/5/2013 6:11:01 PM, phantom wrote:
At 7/5/2013 6:04:15 PM, Statik wrote:
At 7/5/2013 5:57:32 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
No. In fact, most philosophers accept a very constrained version of omnipotence.

I am of the opinion that Omnipotence requires the ability to transcend logical truths.

It doesn't.

Being constrained by the definition/laws/universal constants of reality denotes a much more powerful force than the being who claims "omnipotence". Apparently I'm an idiot for regarding it this way. /:

You're not an idiot for it, but it's still wrong.

Care to offer a better explanation?

There are different conceptions of omnipotence. A god who transcends logic and could do absolutely anything would be omnipotent but god's who didn't transcend logic could still be omnipotent as well. A god who is able to do anything within the realm of logic and laws of the universe is considered omnipotent. That god is maximally powerful because he can do anything that is conceivable. He's thus omnipotent even though he has limitations. Furthermore, some would still say that God's ability is limited by his character, rather than just laws and logic, but he's still omnipotent.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/5/2013 6:35:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Omnipotence is a meaningless word. I'm noticing a pattern. Flawed philosophy tends to employ meaningless, unspecific words such that their cogency is entirely dependent on the ambiguity of their vocabulary.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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7/5/2013 6:40:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
1) God can do anything, including the logically impossible
2) God can do anything that is logically possible
3) God can do anything that is absolutely possible (Aquinas' definition)
4) God has all the [powers/ability to do all] that it is possible for God to have (Anthony Kenny's definition)
5) God is Almighty (Ian Ramsay's definition)
6) God is ineffible, and therefore to explain omnipotence is nonsensical (Pseudo-Dionysius, for example)
7) There is no limit to what God can do (Maimonides)
8) God's love is irresistable (Process Theologians)
9) God's will cannot be thwarted (Augustine, Geach)
10) God can do anything except alter his own powers (Mackie to an extent, but I've been lazy in this one for thinking of some others)

There's ten.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Statik
Posts: 4
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7/5/2013 7:06:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There are different conceptions of omnipotence. A god who transcends logic and could do absolutely anything would be omnipotent but god's who didn't transcend logic could still be omnipotent as well. A god who is able to do anything within the realm of logic and laws of the universe is considered omnipotent. That god is maximally powerful because he can do anything that is conceivable. He's thus omnipotent even though he has limitations. Furthermore, some would still say that God's ability is limited by his character, rather than just laws and logic, but he's still omnipotent.

I guess this is where I differ from others.
I would regard nothing but absolute control over all aspects of reality, including constants, to be Omnipotence. Even if someone had the ability to do everything, except altering known truths, I would not regard him to be omnipotent or "God". Limitations do not exist for such a being, in my own estimation. He would be powerful but not "all powerful"..

I'm nihilistic though.
Sounds like a terrible cop out to me.
CanWeKnow
Posts: 217
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7/5/2013 11:21:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Yeah, i'm not sure I can agree with this either.

Where is the distinction omnipotent makes between infinitely powerful and maximally powerful?

In my mind omnipotent has always meant infinitely powerful.

I find it much easier to believe that a maximally or close to maximal being exists because it implies a feasible end that can not be transcended.

These two are not the same.
Correct?
So what do people really mean when they say omnipotence and do they know they mean that?
CanWeKnow
Posts: 217
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7/5/2013 11:26:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 11:21:35 PM, CanWeKnow wrote:
Yeah, i'm not sure I can agree with this either.

Where is the distinction omnipotent makes between infinitely powerful and maximally powerful?

In my mind omnipotent has always meant infinitely powerful.

I find it much easier to believe that a maximally or close to maximal being exists because it implies a feasible end that can not be transcended.

These two are not the same.
Correct?
So what do people really mean when they say omnipotence and do they know they mean that?


SCRATCH THAT


I just want to know if the religious believers think omnipotence means what you say it means.

Because I'm sick of hearing "God is omnipotent, we can't comprehend his reasons for doing things, therefore it must be somehow right."

I need to know how often I need to ask them what they think omnipotence means.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/5/2013 11:33:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 5:56:00 PM, Statik wrote:
I recently got into a debate with someone in regards to Omnipotence who stated that Atheist's understanding of it was terribly flawed and that by no means did the inability to transcend Logic mean a being was not omnipotent.

He pretty much called me an idiot the whole time (Ad hominem me to death, why don't you? I'm just trying to learn!), told me to pick up a Philosophy book and mentioned this website.

So my first question to these forums is this.. What is your stance on this subject?
Does a being require the ability to transcend the limitations of reality (as we know it) to be Omnipotent?

I am sorry to hear about your experience, that is a sad reality of the internet and we do try to be better than that.

There are two common schools of thought on this.

1) Omnipotence means able to do anything imaginable.
2) Omnipotence means able to do anything possible.

You can see where these two schools may conflict and butt heads over definition semantics. I would recommend that if you ever plan on debating Omnipotence, to define it fully in the opening round.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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7/6/2013 12:36:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 7:06:01 PM, Statik wrote:
There are different conceptions of omnipotence. A god who transcends logic and could do absolutely anything would be omnipotent but god's who didn't transcend logic could still be omnipotent as well. A god who is able to do anything within the realm of logic and laws of the universe is considered omnipotent. That god is maximally powerful because he can do anything that is conceivable. He's thus omnipotent even though he has limitations. Furthermore, some would still say that God's ability is limited by his character, rather than just laws and logic, but he's still omnipotent.

I guess this is where I differ from others.
I would regard nothing but absolute control over all aspects of reality, including constants, to be Omnipotence. Even if someone had the ability to do everything, except altering known truths, I would not regard him to be omnipotent or "God". Limitations do not exist for such a being, in my own estimation. He would be powerful but not "all powerful"..

I'm nihilistic though.
Sounds like a terrible cop out to me.

Consider things how you want. Just know you're in contrast to almost any professional philosopher or theologian. Definitions are based upon agreement. You can't really deny different versions of omnipotence when everyone agrees to them.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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7/6/2013 2:29:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 6:35:31 PM, 000ike wrote:
Omnipotence is a meaningless word. I'm noticing a pattern. Flawed philosophy tends to employ meaningless, unspecific words such that their cogency is entirely dependent on the ambiguity of their vocabulary.
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