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

 
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:53 pm
Husker,

Please cite where you copied that from. I know it's not your writing ebcause I ahve read it before.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:53 pm
Maybe dlowan = Miss Diagnosis, lol! Okay, not the get the wabbit thread....I digress....

Anyway, make of this what you will:

Paradoxes of Omnipotence

Can God create an indestructible object? There seem to be two equally good, but opposing, answers.

(A) God can destroy any possible created object.
(B) An indestructible object is logically impossible.
(C) God cannot create an indestructible object.

We could say: (B), because (A), and therefore, (C).
Or, we could say: not-(B), because not-(C), and therefore, not-(A).

I believe that the key to resolving these paradoxes is to distinguish between two kinds of situation-types: intrinsic and non-intrinsic. A situation-type is intrinsic if it concerns only the internal qualities and constitution of a situation-token. A situation-type is non-intrinsic if it concerns the causal or historical antecedents or effects of a situation-token.

Here are som examples of non-intrinsic types:

an uncreated object
a created object
an object God did not create
an object God did create
an indestructible object
a destructible object
a portrait by Rob Koons
a portrait by da Vinci
a universe not specially created
a tree not specially created

If we distinguish intrinsic from non-intrinsic types, we have a principled reason for preferring the first answer to the paradox of the indestructible object, that is, a reason for thinking that God cannot create an indestructible object. Being an indestructible object is a non-intrinsic type, and God's omnipotence should be defined exclusively in terms of intrinsic types.

Definition of Omnipotence

x is omnipotent iff, for all Z, if Z is a possibly-instantiated, intrinsic situation-type, then x can actualize a token of type Z.

Here again are som examples of non-intrinsic types: a rock too heavy for God to lift, a rock that God did not create, an action freely chosen by a human creature. It is no lack of omnipotence that God cannot actualize a token of any of these types.

To show that God can instantiate a non-intrinsic type T, we must do the following:

Find an intrinsic type T', and actual circumstances C, such that if God were actualize a token x of type T' in C, we can prove that x would also be of type T.

This is a non-trivial task. Merely invoking omnipotence is not enough.

So yes, it ain't a fair question.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:54 pm
I may still lose the point, but I wanted to clarify...

We are talking of two different definitions of 'challenged.'

Sure, people can put forth a challenge...

But, IMO, God is never 'challenged', as if He may not meet the challenge. (The spelling test was not challenging; she knew all the words.)

Possibly, I have selected the wrong word. I mean He cannot be bested.

Craven, can you give general directions to the fleece story? How did this one get by me?
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:55 pm
And once we all get past the fact that the question is unfair (something I stated in the first post) can we get back to the existence of omnipotence?

Twas the original intent.
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satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:55 pm
This kind of question is not answerable with logic of a linear thinking.

An answer is contained in the reply to the following:

"Why a man with the greatest power cannot lift his feet (by hands)?"
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:57 pm
The existence of omnipotence is another unanswerable question, seeing as none of us are omnipitent. We cannot possibly know for sure.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:57 pm
Sofia wrote:

Craven, can you give general directions to the fleece story? How did this one get by me?


Judges 6:37 and thereabouts.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:59 pm
satt_focusable wrote:
This kind of question is not answerable with logic of a linear thinking.

An answer is contained in the reply to the following:

"Why a man with the greatest power cannot lift his feet (by hands)?"


So does your definition of omnipotence exist? And how does it compare to the definitions of others.

That the question was a loaded one is obvious and a given. I'm taking the reaso that it was a complex (loaded) question and wondering what the implications for omnipotence are.
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husker
 
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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 06:59 pm
I was coming to cite the site but, I just wanted you to read it first.
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:02 pm
Honestly hope you give it a read, know how you dislike C&P, I went back and forth for a minute or two to decide.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:02 pm
Thanks, I'd lost the link long ago.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:05 pm
I call you on that groan, Craven - and raise you a grrrrrrr.

You are asking theists - most of whom, on this site, will be christians - to debate re omnipotence and such - and you want a rigidly logical debate.

However, many christians believe their god to be a god of love and such, known and revealed through mystery - and that this is the essence of their god - to then task them on admitting into the discussion the essence of their beliefs about their god is, in my view, illogical
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:06 pm
I just read it. It was interesting.

I have no qualm with C&P, I have a qualm for it as a substitute for discussion.

Anyway, the fairness of the question is a non-issue. Anyone care to define omipotence in a way that it can endure these loaded questions?
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dlowan
 
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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:08 pm
Hmmm - the ability to do anything within the limits of the laws one has created?
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:09 pm
dlowan wrote:
I call you on that groan, Craven - and raise you a grrrrrrr.

You are asking theists - most of whom, on this site, will be christians - to debate re omnipotence and such - and you want a rigidly logical debate.

However, many christians believe their god to be a god of love and such, known and revealed through mystery - and that this is the essence of their god - to then task them on admitting into the discussion the essence of their beliefs about their god is, in my view, illogical


Deb,

Thesists are not forced to do anything, I'm really not asking them to debate theit God, the question I used to start the discussion is an unfair one.

I'm more interested in the conflict in some definitions of omnipotence.

They have no need to defend him to me. I groaned because the comment made me wish to groan, much in the way Roger groans at puns. It did not indicate that I accused any logic of being faulty. Twas a groan from the gut, tis all.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:10 pm
BTW, you should aheard the groan your post elicited. :-)
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:12 pm
The noun "omnipotence" is not found in the English Bible, nor any noun exactly corresponding to it in the original Hebrew or Greek

The adjective "omnipotent" occurs in Revelation 19:6 the King James Version; the Greek for this, pantokrator, occurs also in 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7,14; 19:15; 21:22 (in all of which the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) render "almighty"). It is also found frequently in the Septuagint, especially in the rendering of the divine names Yahweh tsebha'oth and 'El Shadday. In pantokrator, the element of "authority," "sovereignty," side by side with that of "power," makes itself more distinctly felt than it does to the modern ear in "omnipotent," although it is meant to be included in the latter also. Compare further ho dunatos, in Luke 1:49.

Now this says to me that "omnipotence" really doesn't mean more than "powerful ruler."
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:20 pm
Interesting, Cav.

Didn't know as you was such a groaner, Craven.....; )
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:32 pm
I thought so d-...I thought El Shadday was a rapper....Smile
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 07:37 pm
Quote:
Anyone care to define omipotence in a way that it can endure these loaded questions?


not really
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