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Self-referential paradoxes

Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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1/11/2015 5:24:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Been doing some armchair mental masturbation on the concept of omnipotence. I am normally on the side of incoherent of the posited 'action' rather than omnipotence itself.

For example the question of "Can God create a square circle?" Isn't a problem with omnipotence, it's a problem with a square circle, since it's an incoherent concept. It's not a 'thing', thus doesn't refer to anything that can or cannot exist.

The same applies to the paradox os the stone, where the stone is defined according to God. Thus the question becomes "Can God create a stone that cannot be lifted by what can lift it" the concept is self-contradictory, incoherent and thus the "stone" is not a coherent concept. Thus not something that can or cannot exist.

However it becomes less clear when we separate them. For example if we use the chinese sword & shield paradox:

"Can God create an impenetrable shield?"
"Can God create an all-piercing spear?"
"If yes to both, then what happens when one is thrown at the other?"

I suspect that neither of the impenetrable shield nor the spear are coherent in the context of God, but it's much less obvious how. Meh.
YassineB
Posts: 1,003
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1/11/2015 6:24:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/11/2015 5:24:45 PM, Envisage wrote:
Been doing some armchair mental masturbation on the concept of omnipotence. I am normally on the side of incoherent of the posited 'action' rather than omnipotence itself.

For example the question of "Can God create a square circle?" Isn't a problem with omnipotence, it's a problem with a square circle, since it's an incoherent concept. It's not a 'thing', thus doesn't refer to anything that can or cannot exist.

The same applies to the paradox os the stone, where the stone is defined according to God. Thus the question becomes "Can God create a stone that cannot be lifted by what can lift it" the concept is self-contradictory, incoherent and thus the "stone" is not a coherent concept. Thus not something that can or cannot exist.

However it becomes less clear when we separate them. For example if we use the chinese sword & shield paradox:

"Can God create an impenetrable shield?"
"Can God create an all-piercing spear?"
"If yes to both, then what happens when one is thrown at the other?"

I suspect that neither of the impenetrable shield nor the spear are coherent in the context of God, but it's much less obvious how. Meh.

Damn finally a good post on this Forum!

- I think the incoherence is obvious because both an impenetrable shield & an all-piercing spear don't admit an opposite, & so they can not be the object of power since only God would not admit an opposite, for He alone exists in his own plane of 'existence'.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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1/11/2015 6:32:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/11/2015 5:24:45 PM, Envisage wrote:
Been doing some armchair mental masturbation on the concept of omnipotence. I am normally on the side of incoherent of the posited 'action' rather than omnipotence itself.

For example the question of "Can God create a square circle?" Isn't a problem with omnipotence, it's a problem with a square circle, since it's an incoherent concept. It's not a 'thing', thus doesn't refer to anything that can or cannot exist.

The same applies to the paradox os the stone, where the stone is defined according to God. Thus the question becomes "Can God create a stone that cannot be lifted by what can lift it" the concept is self-contradictory, incoherent and thus the "stone" is not a coherent concept. Thus not something that can or cannot exist.

However it becomes less clear when we separate them. For example if we use the chinese sword & shield paradox:

"Can God create an impenetrable shield?"
"Can God create an all-piercing spear?"
"If yes to both, then what happens when one is thrown at the other?"

I suspect that neither of the impenetrable shield nor the spear are coherent in the context of God, but it's much less obvious how. Meh.

There is no infinity in reality.

Anything limitless (adjective) would be an impossibility in reality.

Even God's omnipotence seems logically acceptable only when there is a limit to what it can do.
YassineB
Posts: 1,003
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1/11/2015 6:54:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/11/2015 6:32:13 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
There is no infinity in reality.

- I don't think that infinity is inherently impossible, we can imagine an infinite number of shields coexisting with an infinite number of spears in pairs & that would not be incoherent.

Anything limitless (adjective) would be an impossibility in reality.

- Depends on what you mean by 'limitless'.

Even God's omnipotence seems logically acceptable only when there is a limit to what it can do.

- Well, it's more a question of does God precede Logic or is God Logical? in the former the object of omnipotence is unquestionable, in the latter case the question becomes: if God is logical what is the object of His Power? & the answer in that case can only pertain to what is logically possible, as Envisage pointed out a 'square circle' for example would simply not be an object of Power.
- In both cases I don't think there is any real limitation, for the problem is with the question not with the answer.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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1/11/2015 7:00:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/11/2015 6:54:47 PM, YassineB wrote:
At 1/11/2015 6:32:13 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
There is no infinity in reality.

- I don't think that infinity is inherently impossible, we can imagine an infinite number of shields coexisting with an infinite number of spears in pairs & that would not be incoherent.

I don't think you can imagine an infinite anything. I think you can hold the term or representation of infinite, in mind.. but honestly you do not have the mental capacity of enough information to simulate an infinite number of any item.


Anything limitless (adjective) would be an impossibility in reality.

- Depends on what you mean by 'limitless'.

Anything without some limiting conditions.


Even God's omnipotence seems logically acceptable only when there is a limit to what it can do.

- Well, it's more a question of does God precede Logic or is God Logical? in the former the object of omnipotence is unquestionable, in the latter case the question becomes: if God is logical what is the object of His Power? & the answer in that case can only pertain to what is logically possible, as Envisage pointed out a 'square circle' for example would simply not be an object of Power.
- In both cases I don't think there is any real limitation, for the problem is with the question not with the answer.

Your saying omnipotence is only logically coherent when there are conditions the act must follow to be doable by God.
YassineB
Posts: 1,003
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1/11/2015 7:08:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/11/2015 7:00:33 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
I don't think you can imagine an infinite anything. I think you can hold the term or representation of infinite, in mind.. but honestly you do not have the mental capacity of enough information to simulate an infinite number of any item.

- Well, true. I meant thinking of infinite sets of actual things in some possible world is not logically inconsistent.

Anything without some limiting conditions.

- Well, in that case, limitless may be identified with God, & thus all that is not God isn't limitless either, for it is already limited by God.

Your saying omnipotence is only logically coherent when there are conditions the act must follow to be doable by God.

- Well, by definition, the act is conditioned by the action of God, wether God is logical or not.
- In the sense that, Omnipotence itself is absolute but the object of it must be conditioned.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
ethang5
Posts: 4,088
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1/20/2015 11:08:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/11/2015 5:24:45 PM, Envisage wrote:
Been doing some armchair mental masturbation on the concept of omnipotence. I am normally on the side of incoherent of the posited 'action' rather than omnipotence itself.

For example the question of "Can God create a square circle?" Isn't a problem with omnipotence, it's a problem with a square circle, since it's an incoherent concept. It's not a 'thing', thus doesn't refer to anything that can or cannot exist.

The same applies to the paradox os the stone, where the stone is defined according to God. Thus the question becomes "Can God create a stone that cannot be lifted by what can lift it" the concept is self-contradictory, incoherent and thus the "stone" is not a coherent concept. Thus not something that can or cannot exist.

However it becomes less clear when we separate them. For example if we use the chinese sword & shield paradox:

"Can God create an impenetrable shield?"
"Can God create an all-piercing spear?"
"If yes to both, then what happens when one is thrown at the other?"

I suspect that neither of the impenetrable shield nor the spear are coherent in the context of God, but it's much less obvious how. Meh.

I think in the case of the impenetrable shield and the all-piercing spear, they are mutually exclusive. That is, their meaning excludes the existence of the other. An impenetrable shield means that an all-piercing spear cannot exist.

The confusion comes in when you force both to exist in the same universe. Incoherent, exactly like a square circle.