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What is Omnipotence?

Hayd
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6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Ever since my debate with Apokiliptik, I have been pondering what the true meaning of omnipotence is. In this exam, I intend to explore the most promising possibilities, and the most problematic paradox"s, and discover the true meaning.

The definition of omnipotence that most dictionaries support is of ultimate power.

Dictionary.com
1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
2. having very great or unlimited authority or power.

Merriam-Webster
1. having complete or unlimited power.

Webster"s New World Dictionary (Second College Edition)
1. having unlimited power or authority; all powerful

Cambridge Dictionaries
1. having the power to do anything

Yet this meaning of omnipotent poses a problem; it is simply impossible to undego certain actions (e.g. squared circles, married bachelors, etc.) So it follows that since omnipotence is the ability to do all things, and it is impossible to do all things, we conclude that omnipotence is contradictory is nature, and therefore impossible.

The first definition can be refuted through this logic as well. It is not possible for an agent to bring about an impossible state of affairs (e.g., married bachelor), because if it was; it would be possible for an impossible state of affairs to occur.

Among many other paradoxes, the best known is the paradox of the stone.

If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.

This paradox, as well as the like stated previously, attempts to prove that omnipotence is in itself contradictory.

Yet all dilemmas that attacked the first definition are subsided by the second.

maximally powerful in relation to ability (having only the limits of nature and the inability do things which are by definition impossible)

According to the second definition; the concept of omnipotence is not refuted by the paradox of the stone because God creating a rock that he cannot lift iis outside his limits of nature. Therefore the inability to perform this task does not negate this concept of omnipotence.

Yet we can throw more and more paradoxes at both the definitions,
Can an omnipotent being create an all-penetrating spear and an impenetrable shield at the same time?
Can two omnipotent beings coexist?

All of these paradoxes trump the first, yet pass by the second. Curious, I took another look at this definition not proposed by dictionaries.

maximally powerful in relation to ability (having only the limits of nature and the inability do things which are by definition impossible)

Upon further examination, I notice a major fault. Stick with me, for this will be a difficult subject to explain.

According to the second definition; everyone is omnipotent. This is because possibility is relative. For example; it is impossible for a person without legs to walk, yet since I possess legs I can walk. What is possible for me is impossible for another being. Every being can undertake every possible action that is not impossible; if I want to walk to the gas station I can since it is within my ability and my limits of nature. I can do anything that isn"t impossible for me to do.

Therefore I"m maximally powerful in relation to ability because I have to the maximum power to undergo anything within the limits of my ability.

I can perform any task that I wish that is within my own limits of nature, and I can undergo all possibilities that in themselves aren't within the realm of impossibility.

So I am omnipotent, and you are, and so is every other being in the universe.

Yet because omnipotence must remain in true nature to itself; a specified characteristic, it cannot become normality.

Yet the well-educated reader might ask, "Wait! But you already proved that the first definition is contradictory because of the various paradoxes that defeat it! You cant say that both possibilities are false!"

Why yes my friend, I can. The first definition of omnipotence cannot be applied in reality because it contradicts the laws of nature. It can, and only will be applied and used in theory. Much like laws, or human rights. Laws don"t exist in reality; they are a concept that we utilize to keep society together. This is much the same in regards to omnipotence; omnipotence does not exist in reality, it is a concept that we use.

Conclusion:

Out of the two supposed definitions proposed to explain the term omnipotence, only one definition is found to maintain purity. As a philosopher, I am more than happy to be proven wrong so please feel free to question my reasoning, examine my logic, point out my faults. Make sure to Pm me if you have any questions or want a discussion.

"This thread is an official Topic of the Week. If you are interested in learning more about the Topics of the Week, or wish to write your own Topic of the Week, more information can be found here: http://www.debate.org...;
Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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6/19/2015 7:54:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
As an edit, the thead about topics of the week can be found here, since the link didn't work correctly:

http://www.debate.org...
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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6/19/2015 8:25:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Since logical contradictions are not meaningful concepts (as they describe nothing specific) God cannot create them, because there is nothing to create. You cannot create a circular square because that is literally not anything. It's like asking "Can God create an X that is not an X? Such an entity is meaningless because it contains zero information about what the thing actually is. Any definition of omnipotence which incorporates the ability to create paradoxes is itself meaningless for the same reason.
dylancatlow
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6/20/2015 2:52:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.


Asking "Can God create a rock so heavy even God cannot lift it" amounts to asking "Can God do what God cannot do". Obviously, he cannot. But since God can do everything by definition, there is nothing which satisfies the condition "God cannot do it". Therefore, "a stone so heavy even God cannot lift it" amounts to "an object that cannot exist", which is of course not really a definition.

You can't use God's omnipotence to define the greatness of a rock if you later assert that God's omnipotence is nonsensical, because in the course of doing so you have destroyed the means by which you have defeated God.
VietTurtle
Posts: 88
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6/20/2015 8:22:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Ever since my debate with Apokiliptik, I have been pondering what the true meaning of omnipotence is. In this exam, I intend to explore the most promising possibilities, and the most problematic paradox"s, and discover the true meaning.

Long Story short this is the meaning of Life Stuff. Dont Worry about it.. No1 knows the meaning of Life. We haven't evolved far enough as Humanity or Learned enough Techno wize about the Outside world To answer this question... .. If u really wanted to know this answer u would litterly have to evolve
Harper
Posts: 374
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6/21/2015 3:49:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
The definition of omnipotence that most dictionaries support is of ultimate power.
Well, yes, that is generally what it is used to mean.

Yet this meaning of omnipotent poses a problem; it is simply impossible to undego certain actions (e.g. squared circles, married bachelors, etc.) So it follows that since omnipotence is the ability to do all things, and it is impossible to do all things, we conclude that omnipotence is contradictory is nature, and therefore impossible.
This argument is only correct if our logical rules apply not only in our universe, but even in places other than our universe. All this argument really proves is that true omnipotence within our universe is logically impossible.

That is my issue with discussion for or against the existence of god-- it assumes that even beyond our universe, the logical rules humans evolved while living in this universe apply. I think that it is useless to speak of the existence of any non-personal gods, because 1. there is no evidence that can definitively prove/disprove them and 2. our system of logic (the only other way to evaluate a truth) can only be used on the assumption I spoke of before.

According to the second definition; everyone is omnipotent. This is because possibility is relative.
Yes, interesting point. It defeats the paradox, but brings to question another absurdity: if god is defined by omnipotence and we are all omnipotent given the last definition, does that make us all gods? If so, then the distinction of one being as "god" becomes entirely meaningless.

Conclusion:

Out of the two supposed definitions proposed to explain the term omnipotence, only one definition is found to maintain purity.
And I'm assuming that the one maintaining purity is the one claiming that all people are omnipotent, even though it renders the quality meaningless?

As a philosopher, I am more than happy to be proven wrong so please feel free to question my reasoning, examine my logic, point out my faults. Make sure to Pm me if you have any questions or want a discussion.
Actively inviting dissidence is a noble quality, I applaud you for that.

"This thread is an official Topic of the Week. If you are interested in learning more about the Topics of the Week, or wish to write your own Topic of the Week, more information can be found here: http://www.debate.org...;
I truly appreciate these.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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6/21/2015 4:26:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Can an omnipotent being create an all-penetrating spear and an impenetrable shield at the same time?

Neither of these are meaningful concepts, because nothing inherent within a spear or shield could guarantee absolutely that reality would recognize such attributes. All-penetrating and impenetrable would require the backing of an omnipotent being who could ensure that reality would organize itself in a way that is consistent with such attributes (since the attributes require the participation of other aspects of reality). Obviously, in supporting one God could not support the other, because they are mutually exclusive by definition. Attacking omnipotence on the grounds that it is unable to create impossible scenarios is ludicrous.

Can two omnipotent beings coexist?

No, because their freedom would be restricted by the actions of the other, and thus they wouldn't be omnipotent.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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6/22/2015 5:18:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
"His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to his power. If you choose to say 'God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,' you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'... It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of his creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because his power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God." - C.S. Lewis
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
xXCryptoXx
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6/22/2015 4:36:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
A being that is omnipotent is pure actuality, without any potentiality. Only one such being can exist, and we call this being God. Everything else existed only potentially and was actualized by a being who is pure actuality (God). Omnipotence is not refuted by the stone paradox because impossible things posess no potentiality and therefore cannot be actualized into existence. The second definition is wrong because all things except God existed only potentially, and since an omnipotent being is pure actuality, all other beings cannot be omnipotent.

This post is heavy in aristotelian metaphysics and thomism, so if this was confusing then feel free to ask me to clarify.
Nolite Timere
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/22/2015 4:44:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/20/2015 2:52:19 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.


Asking "Can God create a rock so heavy even God cannot lift it" amounts to asking "Can God do what God cannot do". Obviously, he cannot. But since God can do everything by definition, there is nothing which satisfies the condition "God cannot do it". Therefore, "a stone so heavy even God cannot lift it" amounts to "an object that cannot exist", which is of course not really a definition.

You can't use God's omnipotence to define the greatness of a rock if you later assert that God's omnipotence is nonsensical, because in the course of doing so you have destroyed the means by which you have defeated God.

This pretty much states my own position on the omnipotence paradox.

It is less obvious with step-by-step examples though. Such as the sword and spear paradox. Can God create either, and can God create both.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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6/22/2015 4:56:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/21/2015 4:26:05 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Can an omnipotent being create an all-penetrating spear and an impenetrable shield at the same time?


My previous reply was needlessly complex (although I still believe it to be accurate).

Quite simply, a reality cannot at once contain an all-penetrating spear and an impenetrable shield, because each undermines the other. So while you can talk about one at a time, you can't talk about a world in which both of them exist at once, because at that point such attributes cease to be meaningful. So God cannot create such a world, since such a world is meaningless.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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6/22/2015 4:57:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/22/2015 5:18:24 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
"His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to his power. If you choose to say 'God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,' you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'... It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of his creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because his power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God." - C.S. Lewis

I love this.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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6/22/2015 5:07:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
In other words, God cannot create an all-penetrating spear and an impenetrable shield at the same time, because if they were both to exist at the same time, they couldn't properly be called all-penetrating and impenetrable to begin with. "A state in which they both exist at the same time" does not, in fact, describe a real situation.
Orangatang
Posts: 442
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6/22/2015 5:54:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Ever since my debate with Apokiliptik, I have been pondering what the true meaning of omnipotence is. In this exam, I intend to explore the most promising possibilities, and the most problematic paradox"s, and discover the true meaning.

The definition of omnipotence that most dictionaries support is of ultimate power.

Dictionary.com
1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
2. having very great or unlimited authority or power.

Merriam-Webster
1. having complete or unlimited power.

Webster"s New World Dictionary (Second College Edition)
1. having unlimited power or authority; all powerful

Cambridge Dictionaries
1. having the power to do anything

Yet this meaning of omnipotent poses a problem; it is simply impossible to undego certain actions (e.g. squared circles, married bachelors, etc.) So it follows that since omnipotence is the ability to do all things, and it is impossible to do all things, we conclude that omnipotence is contradictory is nature, and therefore impossible.

The first definition can be refuted through this logic as well. It is not possible for an agent to bring about an impossible state of affairs (e.g., married bachelor), because if it was; it would be possible for an impossible state of affairs to occur.

Among many other paradoxes, the best known is the paradox of the stone.

If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.

This paradox, as well as the like stated previously, attempts to prove that omnipotence is in itself contradictory.

Yet all dilemmas that attacked the first definition are subsided by the second.

maximally powerful in relation to ability (having only the limits of nature and the inability do things which are by definition impossible)

According to the second definition; the concept of omnipotence is not refuted by the paradox of the stone because God creating a rock that he cannot lift iis outside his limits of nature. Therefore the inability to perform this task does not negate this concept of omnipotence.

Yet we can throw more and more paradoxes at both the definitions,
Can an omnipotent being create an all-penetrating spear and an impenetrable shield at the same time?
Can two omnipotent beings coexist?

All of these paradoxes trump the first, yet pass by the second. Curious, I took another look at this definition not proposed by dictionaries.

maximally powerful in relation to ability (having only the limits of nature and the inability do things which are by definition impossible)

Upon further examination, I notice a major fault. Stick with me, for this will be a difficult subject to explain.

According to the second definition; everyone is omnipotent. This is because possibility is relative. For example; it is impossible for a person without legs to walk, yet since I possess legs I can walk. What is possible for me is impossible for another being. Every being can undertake every possible action that is not impossible; if I want to walk to the gas station I can since it is within my ability and my limits of nature. I can do anything that isn"t impossible for me to do.

Therefore I"m maximally powerful in relation to ability because I have to the maximum power to undergo anything within the limits of my ability.

I can perform any task that I wish that is within my own limits of nature, and I can undergo all possibilities that in themselves aren't within the realm of impossibility.

So I am omnipotent, and you are, and so is every other being in the universe.

Yet because omnipotence must remain in true nature to itself; a specified characteristic, it cannot become normality.

Yet the well-educated reader might ask, "Wait! But you already proved that the first definition is contradictory because of the various paradoxes that defeat it! You cant say that both possibilities are false!"

Why yes my friend, I can. The first definition of omnipotence cannot be applied in reality because it contradicts the laws of nature. It can, and only will be applied and used in theory. Much like laws, or human rights. Laws don"t exist in reality; they are a concept that we utilize to keep society together. This is much the same in regards to omnipotence; omnipotence does not exist in reality, it is a concept that we use.

Conclusion:

Out of the two supposed definitions proposed to explain the term omnipotence, only one definition is found to maintain purity. As a philosopher, I am more than happy to be proven wrong so please feel free to question my reasoning, examine my logic, point out my faults. Make sure to Pm me if you have any questions or want a discussion.


"This thread is an official Topic of the Week. If you are interested in learning more about the Topics of the Week, or wish to write your own Topic of the Week, more information can be found here: http://www.debate.org...;

I've heard from apologetics that the omnipotence of god should be understood as the power to do anything that isn't logically contradictory (or paradoxical). This is something very different from saying omnipotence is all powerful as it avoids the paradoxical inquiries yet it reveals that God is subservient to laws of logic.
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WAM
Posts: 139
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6/24/2015 1:12:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Ever since my debate with Apokiliptik, I have been pondering what the true meaning of omnipotence is. In this exam, I intend to explore the most promising possibilities, and the most problematic paradox"s, and discover the true meaning.

The definition of omnipotence that most dictionaries support is of ultimate power.

Dictionary.com
1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
2. having very great or unlimited authority or power.

Merriam-Webster
1. having complete or unlimited power.

Webster"s New World Dictionary (Second College Edition)
1. having unlimited power or authority; all powerful

Cambridge Dictionaries
1. having the power to do anything

Yet this meaning of omnipotent poses a problem; it is simply impossible to undego certain actions (e.g. squared circles, married bachelors, etc.) So it follows that since omnipotence is the ability to do all things, and it is impossible to do all things, we conclude that omnipotence is contradictory is nature, and therefore impossible.


The issue here is not the definition of omnipotence, but that you are trying to define omnipotence, defined by having 'great' power, yet have not defined power. The definition of power is where the key is.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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6/24/2015 1:21:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/24/2015 1:12:36 AM, WAM wrote:
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Ever since my debate with Apokiliptik, I have been pondering what the true meaning of omnipotence is. In this exam, I intend to explore the most promising possibilities, and the most problematic paradox"s, and discover the true meaning.

The definition of omnipotence that most dictionaries support is of ultimate power.

Dictionary.com
1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
2. having very great or unlimited authority or power.

Merriam-Webster
1. having complete or unlimited power.

Webster"s New World Dictionary (Second College Edition)
1. having unlimited power or authority; all powerful

Cambridge Dictionaries
1. having the power to do anything

Yet this meaning of omnipotent poses a problem; it is simply impossible to undego certain actions (e.g. squared circles, married bachelors, etc.) So it follows that since omnipotence is the ability to do all things, and it is impossible to do all things, we conclude that omnipotence is contradictory is nature, and therefore impossible.


The issue here is not the definition of omnipotence, but that you are trying to define omnipotence, defined by having 'great' power, yet have not defined power. The definition of power is where the key is.

Power is the ability to define and remove constraint.
WAM
Posts: 139
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6/24/2015 1:48:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/24/2015 1:21:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

Power is the ability to define and remove constraint.

We are just going deeper into the (philosophical) problem. Does power include creation as well or just alteration? Also, how far does this constraint go and as what can it be defined?

As for the spear and shield, absolutes should not be the answer to this.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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6/24/2015 1:52:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/24/2015 1:48:11 PM, WAM wrote:
At 6/24/2015 1:21:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

Power is the ability to define and remove constraint.

We are just going deeper into the (philosophical) problem. Does power include creation as well or just alteration? Also, how far does this constraint go and as what can it be defined?

Constraint applies to both creation as well as alternation, so I've already answered your question.
As for how far this constraint goes, that depends on the extent of the power. Obviously, where this power is unlimited (as in the case of omnipotence), the ability to define and remove constraint is not limited by anything and therefore can go wherever it wants to.


As for the spear and shield, absolutes should not be the answer to this.
desertdawg
Posts: 73
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6/28/2015 9:57:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Ever since my debate with Apokiliptik, I have been pondering what the true meaning of omnipotence is. In this exam, I intend to explore the most promising possibilities, and the most problematic paradox"s, and discover the true meaning.

The definition of omnipotence that most dictionaries support is of ultimate power.

Dictionary.com
1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
2. having very great or unlimited authority or power.

Merriam-Webster
1. having complete or unlimited power.

Webster"s New World Dictionary (Second College Edition)
1. having unlimited power or authority; all powerful

Cambridge Dictionaries
1. having the power to do anything

Yet this meaning of omnipotent poses a problem; it is simply impossible to undego certain actions (e.g. squared circles, married bachelors, etc.) So it follows that since omnipotence is the ability to do all things, and it is impossible to do all things, we conclude that omnipotence is contradictory is nature, and therefore impossible.

The first definition can be refuted through this logic as well. It is not possible for an agent to bring about an impossible state of affairs (e.g., married bachelor), because if it was; it would be possible for an impossible state of affairs to occur.

Among many other paradoxes, the best known is the paradox of the stone.

If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.

This paradox, as well as the like stated previously, attempts to prove that omnipotence is in itself contradictory.

Yet all dilemmas that attacked the first definition are subsided by the second.

maximally powerful in relation to ability (having only the limits of nature and the inability do things which are by definition impossible)

According to the second definition; the concept of omnipotence is not refuted by the paradox of the stone because God creating a rock that he cannot lift iis outside his limits of nature. Therefore the inability to perform this task does not negate this concept of omnipotence.

Yet we can throw more and more paradoxes at both the definitions,
Can an omnipotent being create an all-penetrating spear and an impenetrable shield at the same time?
Can two omnipotent beings coexist?

All of these paradoxes trump the first, yet pass by the second. Curious, I took another look at this definition not proposed by dictionaries.

maximally powerful in relation to ability (having only the limits of nature and the inability do things which are by definition impossible)

Upon further examination, I notice a major fault. Stick with me, for this will be a difficult subject to explain.

According to the second definition; everyone is omnipotent. This is because possibility is relative. For example; it is impossible for a person without legs to walk, yet since I possess legs I can walk. What is possible for me is impossible for another being. Every being can undertake every possible action that is not impossible; if I want to walk to the gas station I can since it is within my ability and my limits of nature. I can do anything that isn"t impossible for me to do.

Therefore I"m maximally powerful in relation to ability because I have to the maximum power to undergo anything within the limits of my ability.

I can perform any task that I wish that is within my own limits of nature, and I can undergo all possibilities that in themselves aren't within the realm of impossibility.

So I am omnipotent, and you are, and so is every other being in the universe.

Yet because omnipotence must remain in true nature to itself; a specified characteristic, it cannot become normality.

Yet the well-educated reader might ask, "Wait! But you already proved that the first definition is contradictory because of the various paradoxes that defeat it! You cant say that both possibilities are false!"

Why yes my friend, I can. The first definition of omnipotence cannot be applied in reality because it contradicts the laws of nature. It can, and only will be applied and used in theory. Much like laws, or human rights. Laws don"t exist in reality; they are a concept that we utilize to keep society together. This is much the same in regards to omnipotence; omnipotence does not exist in reality, it is a concept that we use.

Conclusion:

Out of the two supposed definitions proposed to explain the term omnipotence, only one definition is found to maintain purity. As a philosopher, I am more than happy to be proven wrong so please feel free to question my reasoning, examine my logic, point out my faults. Make sure to Pm me if you have any questions or want a discussion.


"This thread is an official Topic of the Week. If you are interested in learning more about the Topics of the Week, or wish to write your own Topic of the Week, more information can be found here: http://www.debate.org...;

Omnipotence - All powerful, or power that trumps all other power. Can God create a rock that he cannot lift? He doesn"t have to just create a rock that no one else can lift then lift it. I think another problem is we are trying to understand infinite power with a finite mind.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix-
Kyle_the_Heretic
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6/28/2015 10:32:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
When have we determined that omnipotence means being able to do even that which cannot be done, as opposed to being able to do all that can be done?

If we applied the same rule to omniscience, then one would be required to know more than there is to know.
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
Mhykiel
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6/28/2015 1:41:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/22/2015 4:44:31 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 6/20/2015 2:52:19 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.


Asking "Can God create a rock so heavy even God cannot lift it" amounts to asking "Can God do what God cannot do". Obviously, he cannot. But since God can do everything by definition, there is nothing which satisfies the condition "God cannot do it". Therefore, "a stone so heavy even God cannot lift it" amounts to "an object that cannot exist", which is of course not really a definition.

You can't use God's omnipotence to define the greatness of a rock if you later assert that God's omnipotence is nonsensical, because in the course of doing so you have destroyed the means by which you have defeated God.

This pretty much states my own position on the omnipotence paradox.

It is less obvious with step-by-step examples though. Such as the sword and spear paradox. Can God create either, and can God create both.

God can create both. just not in the same logically consistent universe. (because the definition of the spear or shield are contradictory).

Of course God being omnipotent, can create a logically inconsistent universe and then create both spear and shield. If the spear is thrown at the shield, an audience of 100 spectators 50 will see the spear pass through the shield. And 50 will see the shield stop the spear.

omnipotence is still boss, God still amazing.
Dragonfang
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6/28/2015 3:54:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
A maximized understanding is more coherent than an infinite one. For instance: "The ability to actualize every affair", hence the description would make it impossible to gain the ability to actualize one more affair.

A square circle cannot be an event. And even if we assume God is capable of bringing them, rationality would be an intentional entity that is a product of God's mind, hence God wouldn't contradict His nature.

As for the stone paradox, it is really a word-play of putting two contradictory entities in one sentence, and thus an incoherent question that doesn't even need an answer:
Can that who can lift every stone lift a stone that is unliftable?
You see it? If God exists, that stone is impossible to exist. If that stone exists, then God is impossible to exist. If God exists, He would be able to lift every stone regardless of its properties.
FaustianJustice
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7/3/2015 4:53:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Ever since my debate with Apokiliptik, I have been pondering what the true meaning of omnipotence is. In this exam, I intend to explore the most promising possibilities, and the most problematic paradox"s, and discover the true meaning.

The definition of omnipotence that most dictionaries support is of ultimate power.

Dictionary.com
1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
2. having very great or unlimited authority or power.

Merriam-Webster
1. having complete or unlimited power.

Webster"s New World Dictionary (Second College Edition)
1. having unlimited power or authority; all powerful

Cambridge Dictionaries
1. having the power to do anything

Yet this meaning of omnipotent poses a problem; it is simply impossible to undego certain actions (e.g. squared circles, married bachelors, etc.) So it follows that since omnipotence is the ability to do all things, and it is impossible to do all things, we conclude that omnipotence is contradictory is nature, and therefore impossible.

Yes. Omnipotence can be irrational. Omnipotence is the same variety of ability that conjure matter and energy from void. Heck, by definition, omnipotence can -create- void. If that that doesn't bake your noodle... Omnipotence's execution of an ability doesn't mean that you or I can comprehend it, though.

The first definition can be refuted through this logic as well. It is not possible for an agent to bring about an impossible state of affairs (e.g., married bachelor), because if it was; it would be possible for an impossible state of affairs to occur.

But it can create something from nothing? All we are doing is debating what we think is rational via our own creative process.

Among many other paradoxes, the best known is the paradox of the stone.

If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent.

So God creates an alternate reality and shares a consciousness with a simulacra of himself that cannot lift the stone in that reality. He could then both lift and not lift it at the same time.

This paradox, as well as the like stated previously, attempts to prove that omnipotence is in itself contradictory.

Mmmmmmmhmm. Irrational states of being are like that.

Yet all dilemmas that attacked the first definition are subsided by the second.

maximally powerful in relation to ability (having only the limits of nature and the inability do things which are by definition impossible)

According to the second definition; the concept of omnipotence is not refuted by the paradox of the stone because God creating a rock that he cannot lift iis outside his limits of nature. Therefore the inability to perform this task does not negate this concept of omnipotence.

Yet we can throw more and more paradoxes at both the definitions,
Can an omnipotent being create an all-penetrating spear and an impenetrable shield at the same time?

Sure. One goes to another reality. Or the 2 can never share proximity. Or any other such "curse" or "hex" one finds in a garden variety dime store fantasy novel.

Can two omnipotent beings coexist?

Good question, here. I would say yes, but only through communal understand of eachother.

All of these paradoxes trump the first, yet pass by the second. Curious, I took another look at this definition not proposed by dictionaries.

maximally powerful in relation to ability (having only the limits of nature and the inability do things which are by definition impossible)

Upon further examination, I notice a major fault. Stick with me, for this will be a difficult subject to explain.

According to the second definition; everyone is omnipotent. This is because possibility is relative.

Because we gave a rational equation to power in that definition: it comports with nature.


I can perform any task that I wish that is within my own limits of nature, and I can undergo all possibilities that in themselves aren't within the realm of impossibility.

So I am omnipotent, and you are, and so is every other being in the universe.

Yet because omnipotence must remain in true nature to itself; a specified characteristic, it cannot become normality.

Yet the well-educated reader might ask, "Wait! But you already proved that the first definition is contradictory because of the various paradoxes that defeat it! You cant say that both possibilities are false!"

Why yes my friend, I can. The first definition of omnipotence cannot be applied in reality because it contradicts the laws of nature.

If a God created the laws of nature, it stands to reason it could suspend them.

It can, and only will be applied and used in theory. Much like laws, or human rights. Laws don"t exist in reality; they are a concept that we utilize to keep society together. This is much the same in regards to omnipotence; omnipotence does not exist in reality, it is a concept that we use.

Conclusion:

Out of the two supposed definitions proposed to explain the term omnipotence, only one definition is found to maintain purity. As a philosopher, I am more than happy to be proven wrong so please feel free to question my reasoning, examine my logic, point out my faults. Make sure to Pm me if you have any questions or want a discussion.


"This thread is an official Topic of the Week. If you are interested in learning more about the Topics of the Week, or wish to write your own Topic of the Week, more information can be found here: http://www.debate.org...;
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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sadolite
Posts: 8,838
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7/3/2015 12:30:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/20/2015 8:22:11 PM, VietTurtle wrote:
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Ever since my debate with Apokiliptik, I have been pondering what the true meaning of omnipotence is. In this exam, I intend to explore the most promising possibilities, and the most problematic paradox"s, and discover the true meaning.

Long Story short this is the meaning of Life Stuff. Dont Worry about it.. No1 knows the meaning of Life. We haven't evolved far enough as Humanity or Learned enough Techno wize about the Outside world To answer this question... .. If u really wanted to know this answer u would litterly have to evolve

I have been saying this for decades. The human race is to ignorant to answer these questions. The human race can't even balance it's own check book let alone answer questions about the universe and the meaning of life.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
sadolite
Posts: 8,838
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7/3/2015 12:51:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 12:30:32 PM, sadolite wrote:
At 6/20/2015 8:22:11 PM, VietTurtle wrote:
At 6/19/2015 7:51:41 PM, Hayd wrote:
Ever since my debate with Apokiliptik, I have been pondering what the true meaning of omnipotence is. In this exam, I intend to explore the most promising possibilities, and the most problematic paradox"s, and discover the true meaning.

Long Story short this is the meaning of Life Stuff. Dont Worry about it.. No1 knows the meaning of Life. We haven't evolved far enough as Humanity or Learned enough Techno wize about the Outside world To answer this question... .. If u really wanted to know this answer u would litterly have to evolve

I have been saying this for decades. The human race is to ignorant to answer these questions. The human race can't even balance it's own check book let alone answer questions about the universe and the meaning of life.

But with that said I'll give my ignorant opinion on the meaning of life. To suffer. For you and everyone around you to suffer the consequences of your bad decisions. Then learn from them and know joy and happiness. You can not experience one without the other. Pain, pleasure all of the human experiences and emotions have their opposites. None can be felt without experiencing both. That's about as complicated as I think the purpose of life is. To just experience it then learn from it. But we have a long way to go as far as learning is concerned. The human race in my opinion has learned nothing as it continues to repeat everything that causes pain and sorrow to everyone around them rather than to themselves.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%