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Can your god make a boulder so big that he can't move it?

 
 
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 05:44 pm
This is a common low blow directed at theists. It challenges the notions of omnipotence by pitting the omnipotent against itself.

But it poses interesting religious and philosophical questions.

For example, does the saying "you are your own worst enemy" ring true to God? The Biblical God had moments of impulsive pettiness that he was talked out of (only once was did he change his mind, but impulsive and petty punishment was his style in the OT).

So do you think God made mistakes? Can he hurt himself?

----

The other issue is whether omnipotence exists. If one can be an enemy to oneself then it stands to reason that one is not omnipotent.

Then again, one could argue that true omnipotence would require the ability to avoid internal conflict...

Blah blah blah.

Anywho, can your god make a boulder so big that he can't move it? Try to answer the question before playing circle thought with me.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 05:52 pm
I cannot imagine that a god would so waste its time! However - if one is omnipotent, presumably one can move ANYTHING - even a thing made so big by oneself that it ought not be moveable.

Omnipotence seems to imply by the logic of its definition that one can do ANYTHING - even make a thing one cannot move ...hmmmm...such a boulder would, since this god is posited to be the maker and mover of the universe, presumably take up the whole universe and then some, causing god to destroy the very creations/he had made - hmmmmmmm..... 'twould be foolish to do such a thing - therefore a god WOULDN't do it!

How is that?

Not that good, is it?

sigh. I shall think on the other stuff...
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 05:55 pm
Really!
In the stars His handi-work I see

Ain't no mountain high
Ain't no valley low
Ain't no river wide enough


All rocks are movable.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:00 pm
I say no. IMO, God is insulated from real damage, and inability. The insulation= His particular form of existence is just not affected by the material of every other thing in existence. I think your question wants to know which way God would fail-- in the inability to make the too big boulder-- or the inability to move it.

I say God could make whatever He pleased-- In the absence of someone trying to tempt God to show His power, I don't think God has goals of making really big stuff He can't move.

Believing God (in some fashion) walked the earth and was crucified-- I believe God can endure everything, and can never really be challenged or diminished, though to the observer, it may seem damage or loss of omnipotence has occurred.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:01 pm
Then how did he make the boulder in the first place? since the term assumes a rock unit that is separated from its place of petrologic origin..

Case by case C'man. omnipotent means all powrful in all things , all the time. If You can debunk one point of the "omni" its "sub-omni" or "Penult-omni"
Its sort of like the Mel Brooks line where he says wed never remember Ivan the Terrible, if he were only Ivan the-not-so -terrible.

Ming the _mostly-merciless
Chrissakes, you pretend to be a conservative for one week and now your studying Evangelism. Are you gonna become another Hollis Ray?
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:04 pm
Quote:
Chrissakes, you pretend to be a conservative for one week and now your studying Evangelism. Are you gonna become another Hollis Ray?

Freek'n !! Now I don't know what to think about that.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:07 pm
In terms of being omnipotent, it seems logical that you would be your own worst enemy. Who else would be? Methinks Craven has been watching too many Star Trek: TNG reruns featuring John DeLancie as 'Q'...or is that me?

Regarding the boulder....I don't have a god of my own, but I will give it a whirl. If you accept the fact that a. there is a god, and b. he is indeed all-powerful, then I think god could indeed make an object they could not move. Philosophically speaking, again accepting that there is a god, perhaps earth and what gods children are doing to it is evidence enough that god can indeed make unmmoveable boulders...
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husker
 
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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:07 pm
I was thinking maybe a couple of you guys could give some thought to:
the OT being of Hebrew
the NT being of Greek

You all think that means anything as far as perspective?


Then who said we gotta be able to understand "ALL" of God??
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:28 pm
Sofia wrote:
I think your question wants to know which way God would fail-- in the inability to make the too big boulder-- or the inability to move it.


Precisely, that is why I said it was unfair. It's a famous one.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:30 pm
Me thinks you all play amateur shrink too much.

:: I am not "studying Evangelism"

:: I do not watch TV

-----

Husker, I could, but it would have little to do with the topic.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:33 pm
Sofia wrote:
I believe God can endure everything, and can never really be challenged or diminished, though to the observer, it may seem damage or loss of omnipotence has occurred.


If you are talking about the God of the Bible it would not be true. The God of the bible was challenged by men. The God of the Bible wasconvinced to jump through loops to convice one man once ("wet fleece dry ground" "no, better make that wet ground dry fleece big guy").
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dlowan
 
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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:40 pm
All? I am a PROFESSIONAL shrink, thankee VERY much!
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:43 pm
Those be the worst. All the shrinks i ever knew were horrible about that, they'd apply their mis-diagnosis on everyone.

But come to think of it they were all young and they'd probably learn to keep their psycobabble to themselves after a few years.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:44 pm
Mistakes and hurt him/herself?

Hmmmmmm - hebrew god appeared to have made a major mistake with humans - pretty much wiped 'em off the face of the earth - not to mention all the presumably innocent hanimalcules - then appeared to regret THIS! Sent the rainbow and such to say s/he wouldn't do it again. Presumably, if god regretted wiping 'em out, god was hurt by its actions?
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:44 pm
(giveth wiv one hand and taketh away with the other, sneaky smeggin' de Kere!)
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:45 pm
and that would be psychobabble - =; >-p
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husker
 
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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:48 pm
God's self-limitation when it comes to the ability to do contradictory things is not, in and of itself, destructive of God's omnipotence. Rather, it reflects God's desire to establish a universe that obeys rational laws within which humans have the freedom to respond to the offer of a relationship with Jesus Christ. God so prized this relationship with us that Jesus died to make it possible in yet another example of self-giving, self-limiting love.
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:51 pm
Can God make a rock so big that even God can't move it?

Think about that for a moment; it's a tricky question. If you answer "yes, God can make such a rock," then you're going to have to explain why God's inability to move the rock doesn't constitute a lack of omnipotence. If, on the other hand, you're going to say "no, God can't make a rock so big that even God can't move it," then you're again forced into explaining why God's inability to make such a rock doesn't constitute a lack of omnipotence. Ouch!

Yes, this is a tricky question ... it is tricky because it is a trick question. The question is designed to pit God's omnipotence against itself in a contradictory framework of creation and manipulation. It is specifically designed to try and invalidate omnipotence altogether by forcing God to work at least two contradictory and competing actions at the same time. In this way it is precisely like asking:

"Can God make triangles that are round?"

or

"Can God make circles that have 4 equal sides

at 90 degree angles to each other?"

or

"Can God kill Godself?"

Some people take great joy in saying that, if God lacks the ability to do any of these things, then God isn't omnipotent. They believe that a lack of power in any of these areas constitutes an invalidation of God's omnipotence. If this were as far as their argument ran, it would be ridiculous enough, but they don't leave it here. In an example of arrogance that leaves even me speechless, they frequently go on to assert that: "Since the Christian God is universally described as being omnipotent, that God cannot exist!"
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:51 pm
groooooaaaan
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:52 pm
groan was to husker's first post with his stuff about love, Jesus etc.
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