Talk:Omnipotence paradox

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Perhaps the issue of God's character could be addressed more clearly.  Things God cannot do and things God will not do are easily confused.  An example is that God cannot do evil.  It could be said that God is capable of commiting an evil act, but that it goes against his character.  He "cannot" do something evil in the way that one might say the aren't capable of murder.  I think "God's Nature" would be more properly defined as "the things God's capable ''and willing'' to do."  This however would cause something of a large overhaul on the section.--[[User:ChristOnIce|ChristOnIce]] 06:42, 2 August 2006 (MST)
 
Perhaps the issue of God's character could be addressed more clearly.  Things God cannot do and things God will not do are easily confused.  An example is that God cannot do evil.  It could be said that God is capable of commiting an evil act, but that it goes against his character.  He "cannot" do something evil in the way that one might say the aren't capable of murder.  I think "God's Nature" would be more properly defined as "the things God's capable ''and willing'' to do."  This however would cause something of a large overhaul on the section.--[[User:ChristOnIce|ChristOnIce]] 06:42, 2 August 2006 (MST)
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It seems to me that self-imposed limitations don't really relate to the omniscience paradox (except that claims of limitations are an ad hoc way of explaining away difficult objections). If, for example, God is capable of eliminating evil, but chooses not to (whether this is a character-driven limitation or an act of will) that condition (and the objections and questions we have concerning it) belongs in the main "God" article, as a claim or avoidance of a claim, about the nature of god. What we're really talking about is the ill-defined nature of god, which varies from person to person and, perhaps, situation to situation.[[User:Sans Deity|Sans Deity]] 08:40, 2 August 2006 (MST)
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== Paradox? ==
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What about 'biting the bullet', so to speak, in the manner of Occam, and simply allowing that God's omnipotence extends over the laws of logic like non-contradiction?  That would eliminate the paradox, albeit with some violence... is that ever raised as a counter?
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[[User:Vico's G|Vico's G]] 02:14, 6 December 2007 (CST)
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It is raised as a counter but it is extremely weak. First it creates another claim and secondly it devalues logic, which is used as a common device in the stories put forward in the Bible, Quran etc etc. If logic is not an appropriate, convincing method for analysis then why is it used in these spiritual texts? --[[User:Vagon|Vagon]] 22:23, 11 May 2008 (CDT)
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== Bad Commentary? ==
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I don't agree with the following sentence from the article: "If God is omnipotent then it's not possible for a rock to be too heavy for him to lift. If a rock is too heavy for God to lift then he's not omnipotent. Thus, the omnipotence paradox is absurd and, therefore, it doesn't make much sense to use it in an argument."  The question of the paradox is about '''creation''' of the rock, not just the lifting, and because of that it does work as an argument.  The argument that proves the concept of omnipotence absurd. --[[User:Elcapitanp|Elcapitanp]] 00:32, 17 August 2008 (CDT)
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Agreed, and removed, for the reasons you stated. God cannot create a situation that demonstrates an impossibility. This lack of capability demonstrates his lack of omnipotence. [[User:Rivalarrival|Rivalarrival]] 12:11, 14 September 2008 (CDT)
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== Flawed reasoning. ==
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''One could say that god is unable to do the logically impossible and is, therefore, not omnipotent but saying that someone could do the logically impossible is inherently absurd and shouldn't be used in an argument.''
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This claim of absurdity is, itself, absurd, since if god is constrained by logic, then god is not the highest authority on what is possible, and therefore god is not omnipotent. This requires god to worship at the altar of logic, and for god to be powerless to modify logic so that he could do whatever he wants. If logic is the highest authority, then god is not. If logic constrains god, then god and logic are not the same entity.--[[User:Yeahsurewhatever|Yeahsurewhatever]] 10:03, 15 March 2009 (CDT)
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: Your use of the word "worship" here makes me think that you're a concern troll.
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: Having said this, I think you're defining omnipotence as "capable of doing everything that can be expressed in words", which is unreasonable, since it leads to paradoxes. It's reasonable to restrict omnipotence to "capable of doing everything that is possible". That is, a being who can speak universes into existence can be considered omnipotent, even without requiring that that being be able to make 2+2=4 and 2+2≠4 at the same time. I'm sure a search would turn up a few respected Christian [[apologist]]s who agree.
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: And who ever said that [[God]] and [[logic]] are the same thing? This seems to be a silly objection. --[[User:Arensb|Arensb]] 22:24, 15 March 2009 (CDT)
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== Commits the 'Loaded Question' fallacy ==
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When it comes to counter-arguments on the "omnipotence paradox," I do not see any that identify it as the informal fallacy of Loaded Question, a rhetorical sophistry used to limit the respondent's options so that he is forced to accept propositions he is not otherwise committed to, and would disavow if given a reasonable chance to do so. The common example used in philosophy texts is, "Have you stopped beating your spouse?" Both that question and the "omnipotence paradox" question contain a question-begging presupposition. Consider the answers to the question:
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* '''"Yes, God can create a rock which he cannot lift"'''—entails that God cannot lift some rock (not omnipotent).
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* '''"No, God cannot create a rock which he cannot lift"'''—entails that God cannot create some rock (not omnipotent).
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Since either answer concludes that God is unable to do something, this reveals that the question is the informal fallacy of Loaded Question containing a presupposition that begs the question. -- [[User:Ryft|Ryft]] 19:41, 23 August 2009 (CDT)
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: I think you're confusing "loaded question" and "paradox". "Have you stopped beating your wife?" presupposes that you are beating your wife. I fail to see what the paradox of the rock presupposes. And in fact, you didn't list any presuppositions in your rebuttal, only conclusions. --[[User:Arensb|Arensb]] 08:34, 24 August 2009 (CDT)
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It presupposes that God is not omnipotent, which is indicated (as I said) by the fact that either answer, whether yes or no, leads to that single result. I showed this by exploring both answers above. "This fallacy is often used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to those that serve the questioner's agenda." -- [[User:Ryft|Ryft]] 07:28, 25 August 2009 (CDT)
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== "Accidental Omnipotence" vs. "Essential Omnipotence" ==
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When contrasted with 'essential' omnipotence, 'accidental' does not imply an extrinsic definition of power (i.e., that God's power is determined by its relation to what it is applied to). It is a reference to articulations in the Thomistic tradition, wherein 'accident' is a synonym of 'property'. In other words, it contrasts omnipotence as (i) a property God possesses, versus (ii) an attribute identical to his being (q.v. divine simplicity). -- [[User:Ryft|Ryft]] 19:52, 23 August 2009 (CDT)

Latest revision as of 06:29, 25 August 2009

Perhaps the issue of God's character could be addressed more clearly. Things God cannot do and things God will not do are easily confused. An example is that God cannot do evil. It could be said that God is capable of commiting an evil act, but that it goes against his character. He "cannot" do something evil in the way that one might say the aren't capable of murder. I think "God's Nature" would be more properly defined as "the things God's capable and willing to do." This however would cause something of a large overhaul on the section.--ChristOnIce 06:42, 2 August 2006 (MST)

It seems to me that self-imposed limitations don't really relate to the omniscience paradox (except that claims of limitations are an ad hoc way of explaining away difficult objections). If, for example, God is capable of eliminating evil, but chooses not to (whether this is a character-driven limitation or an act of will) that condition (and the objections and questions we have concerning it) belongs in the main "God" article, as a claim or avoidance of a claim, about the nature of god. What we're really talking about is the ill-defined nature of god, which varies from person to person and, perhaps, situation to situation.Sans Deity 08:40, 2 August 2006 (MST)

Contents

Paradox?

What about 'biting the bullet', so to speak, in the manner of Occam, and simply allowing that God's omnipotence extends over the laws of logic like non-contradiction? That would eliminate the paradox, albeit with some violence... is that ever raised as a counter? Vico's G 02:14, 6 December 2007 (CST)

It is raised as a counter but it is extremely weak. First it creates another claim and secondly it devalues logic, which is used as a common device in the stories put forward in the Bible, Quran etc etc. If logic is not an appropriate, convincing method for analysis then why is it used in these spiritual texts? --Vagon 22:23, 11 May 2008 (CDT)

Bad Commentary?

I don't agree with the following sentence from the article: "If God is omnipotent then it's not possible for a rock to be too heavy for him to lift. If a rock is too heavy for God to lift then he's not omnipotent. Thus, the omnipotence paradox is absurd and, therefore, it doesn't make much sense to use it in an argument." The question of the paradox is about creation of the rock, not just the lifting, and because of that it does work as an argument. The argument that proves the concept of omnipotence absurd. --Elcapitanp 00:32, 17 August 2008 (CDT)

Agreed, and removed, for the reasons you stated. God cannot create a situation that demonstrates an impossibility. This lack of capability demonstrates his lack of omnipotence. Rivalarrival 12:11, 14 September 2008 (CDT)

Flawed reasoning.

One could say that god is unable to do the logically impossible and is, therefore, not omnipotent but saying that someone could do the logically impossible is inherently absurd and shouldn't be used in an argument.

This claim of absurdity is, itself, absurd, since if god is constrained by logic, then god is not the highest authority on what is possible, and therefore god is not omnipotent. This requires god to worship at the altar of logic, and for god to be powerless to modify logic so that he could do whatever he wants. If logic is the highest authority, then god is not. If logic constrains god, then god and logic are not the same entity.--Yeahsurewhatever 10:03, 15 March 2009 (CDT)

Your use of the word "worship" here makes me think that you're a concern troll.
Having said this, I think you're defining omnipotence as "capable of doing everything that can be expressed in words", which is unreasonable, since it leads to paradoxes. It's reasonable to restrict omnipotence to "capable of doing everything that is possible". That is, a being who can speak universes into existence can be considered omnipotent, even without requiring that that being be able to make 2+2=4 and 2+2≠4 at the same time. I'm sure a search would turn up a few respected Christian apologists who agree.
And who ever said that God and logic are the same thing? This seems to be a silly objection. --Arensb 22:24, 15 March 2009 (CDT)

Commits the 'Loaded Question' fallacy

When it comes to counter-arguments on the "omnipotence paradox," I do not see any that identify it as the informal fallacy of Loaded Question, a rhetorical sophistry used to limit the respondent's options so that he is forced to accept propositions he is not otherwise committed to, and would disavow if given a reasonable chance to do so. The common example used in philosophy texts is, "Have you stopped beating your spouse?" Both that question and the "omnipotence paradox" question contain a question-begging presupposition. Consider the answers to the question:

  • "Yes, God can create a rock which he cannot lift"—entails that God cannot lift some rock (not omnipotent).
  • "No, God cannot create a rock which he cannot lift"—entails that God cannot create some rock (not omnipotent).

Since either answer concludes that God is unable to do something, this reveals that the question is the informal fallacy of Loaded Question containing a presupposition that begs the question. -- Ryft 19:41, 23 August 2009 (CDT)

I think you're confusing "loaded question" and "paradox". "Have you stopped beating your wife?" presupposes that you are beating your wife. I fail to see what the paradox of the rock presupposes. And in fact, you didn't list any presuppositions in your rebuttal, only conclusions. --Arensb 08:34, 24 August 2009 (CDT)

It presupposes that God is not omnipotent, which is indicated (as I said) by the fact that either answer, whether yes or no, leads to that single result. I showed this by exploring both answers above. "This fallacy is often used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to those that serve the questioner's agenda." -- Ryft 07:28, 25 August 2009 (CDT)

"Accidental Omnipotence" vs. "Essential Omnipotence"

When contrasted with 'essential' omnipotence, 'accidental' does not imply an extrinsic definition of power (i.e., that God's power is determined by its relation to what it is applied to). It is a reference to articulations in the Thomistic tradition, wherein 'accident' is a synonym of 'property'. In other words, it contrasts omnipotence as (i) a property God possesses, versus (ii) an attribute identical to his being (q.v. divine simplicity). -- Ryft 19:52, 23 August 2009 (CDT)

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