Talk:Omnipotence

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Why does this entry contain a random anecdote/aside about a rock? It feels out of place. This entry would be better served focusing on the objective viewpoint on omnipotence, and not a random story. --WOVcenter 18:21, 10 March 2007 (EST)

"The problem with the argument is that it is a nonsense request, akin to asking if God can create a green smile or a fast tree. There simply is no such thing."

Couldn't God, in his unlimited power, create such a thing? That was always my understanding... Wandering 01:40, 15 May 2008 (EDT)

Create what "such a thing". The point you are responding to says that there simply is no such thing. So you're claiming that God, in his unlimited power, could create such a non-thing! Huh? Philip J. Rayment 02:53, 15 May 2008 (EDT)
Well, wielding unlimited power, he most certainly could create such a thing or "non-thing", don't you agree? Wandering 05:56, 15 May 2008 (EDT)
No. When you create, you create something. When you create a "non-thing", you are creating nothing. That is, you are not creating. So you're basically saying that a Being with unlimited power is capable of creating nothing. Well sure, we are all capable of creating nothing!
To put it another way, to create a house requires a certain amount of power (and other things). To create a skyscraper requires more. To create a universe requires almost unlimited power. But creating a green smile doesn't require more power, it requires suspension of meaning of words. So it doesn't matter how much power a being has, because power is not what is required to create a green smile.
Philip J. Rayment 07:17, 15 May 2008 (EDT)
Ah, I see. I misunderstood your usage of "non-thing". I still believe it is quite possible for God to create a green smile or a fast tree, insofar as he has infinite power. They also most certainly are things, insofar as they are recognizable nouns described by adjectives. Just because we could not conceive them in imagination or reality doesn't mean that God could not create them. To say otherwise would imply a limit to God's power. Wandering 23:15, 15 May 2008 (EDT)
Being "recognizable nouns described by adjectives" doesn't mean that they are things. That is, if the adjectives are not applicable to those nouns, then the combination is nonsense, not something. It's nothing to do with a limited imagination; it's to do with the meaning of words. Philip J. Rayment 23:31, 15 May 2008 (EDT)
They are not things yet, but they could be things, unless you are going to argue that is not within God's power, which considering where we are, I heavily doubt. God could make those adjectives applicable to those nouns. He could also alter the meaning of words if He so chose to. Wandering 23:44, 15 May 2008 (EDT)
I've already argued that power is not the issue. Yes, God could alter the meaning of words, but then so can we. Just suppose that we alter the meaning of "green smile" to refer to a "40-page book" (if you are going to alter the meaning of words, they don't have to bear any resemblance to the original meanings). Then yes, God could create a 40-page book, which we've decided to label a "green smile". But again, we could also do that: it's not something that requires power, all it requires is changing the meaning of words. So He hasn't really created a "green smile" at all. Rather, He's created a "40-page book", which He or we have decided to label a "green smile". In other words, we've not just changed the meaning of words, we've change the original claim. So we could also change the meaning of "rock so large he could not lift it" to mean "pizza", and therefore ask "Can God create a pizza"? In the case the answer is yes, but we've completely discarded the point of the original question. That is, we haven't answered the question, we've changed the question by changing the meaning of words. The problem with the original question is that it is nonsense. You can't deny that it's nonsense by changing it to something that is not nonsense. If anything, by doing so you've implicitly confirmed that the original question was nonsense. Philip J. Rayment 10:29, 16 May 2008 (EDT)
So the only way God could create a "green smile" is if he changes the meaning of the words? That seems a bit odd and limiting for an omnipotent being. Wandering 13:47, 16 May 2008 (EDT)
Your response is an "argument from incredulity", and not an answer, which it seems that you don't have. Philip J. Rayment 23:53, 16 May 2008 (EDT)
Oh, the answer is quite simple. God could create a rock so heavy He could not lift it, and He could still lift it. This is part of the wonder of God, that His power and His capability extend far beyond anything we can assign logic to or even comprehend. I'm surprised the article doesn't observe the same. Wandering 23:59, 16 May 2008 (EDT)
So it's "part of the wonder of God" that he is illogical and self-contradictory? Sorry, I don't accept that, and contrary to biblical teaching that God is consistent. Philip J. Rayment 02:48, 17 May 2008 (EDT)
I never said he was either of those things. You're putting words in my mouth, and they taste quite poorly. Wandering 15:15, 17 May 2008 (EDT)
You didn't say it explicitly, but that is the consequence of what you said. If God can create a rock that is too heavy for Him to lift, but He can lift it—that's self-contradictory. The "solution" is not to blindly argue that God can do anything so therefore He must be able to do it. The solution is to point out that the proposal is nonsense masquerading as a serious proposal. I'll change the subject a little and ask you some questions: Can God lie? Can God do evil? Can God contradict Himself? If you answer "no" to any of these questions, you are being inconsistent with your earlier comments. Philip J. Rayment 23:10, 17 May 2008 (EDT)
If God has omnipotent power, He most certainly has the ability to contradict Himself - after all, we do it all the time. And yes, if God has omnipotent power, He certainly can lie, do evil or contradict Himself. Obviously, He said He will not, but to claim He has omnipotence yet cannot do those things is rather ridiculous. I hope you aren't making said claim. Wandering 23:23, 17 May 2008 (EDT)
Again, it is not power that allows one to contradict oneself. Yes, I am making that claim, if for no other reason than the Bible makes it! See also here and a lengthy discussion on this topic here. Philip J. Rayment 00:48, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
So how does a being who does not have the power to lie, do evil or contradict itself have omnipotent power? That's a pretty gaping flaw in your argument, even if you created the point of your argument through interpretation of the Bible. Additionally, since contradiction is an action, I'm not really sure how you can say that power has nothing to do with it? All beings are defined at least in part by their power to take certain actions. Wandering 16:20, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
That reply seems to indicate that you didn't actually read the links, because at least some of that is answered there. Philip J. Rayment 22:47, 18 May 2008 (EDT)

If God is omnipotent, then he should be able to create another omnipotent being. If God and his creation were to have an arm-wrestle, each trying to win, who would? JimAB 19:18, 27 May 2011 (EDT)

In physics, biology, math, logic, epistemology, etc., the only way for a primary to result in another primary is if there is no such thing as a primary: anything mistaken as 'primary' can result in another 'primary'. But, if, in epistemology there is no primary, then there is nothing, not even a primary object of knowledge (i.e., God) PatternOfPersona 22:40, 30 June 2011 (EDT)
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