I just came across this on Wikipedia, and I am still reeling in astonishment. It's called the 'Omnipotence Paradox.' Just thought I'd throw it on here to give you guys some quick and easy ammo against theists. I'll give you the scientific idea, then the example (aka 'Paradox of the Stone').
If a being can perform such actions, then it can limit it's own ability to perform such actions. By this arguement, it cannot perform all actions, yet, on the other hand if it cannot limit it's own actions, then that is something it cannot do, and therefore, is not omnipotent.
And now for the easy version:

Could god create a stone so heavy that even he could not lift it? If so, he would then cease to be omnipotent. If not, he was not omnipotent to begin with.

Thank you for your time and patience. Another win for the Rationalists brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Atheist,


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I think "The Wizard of Oz" has more clarity and believability than any notion of a god or 'what-if' scenarios
Sounds logical to me.  :-) Omniscient is also 'shaky'

What bearing does any of this have on a debate with a christian? Is the christian supposed to think "OMG I can't figure out if God can move the rock or not, therefore christianity = fail!".  From what angle would you even use this argument? A christian would just say "God is God", and that people who present such logical arguments are "professing themselves to be wise, but become fools". 

I just don't see this achieving anything with my fundamental friends.


The point is to kick-start their brain. If you get them to start thinking, cracks eventually start appearing in that seemingly impenetrable wall that guards their belief from reason.

Not being a professional philosopher I thoroughly appreciated this little morsel, without feeling the need to mount a rebuttal or a defense. But I'm astounded at the amount of energy that has been expended arguing about a fictional character with fictional superpowers. I mean, outside of theological constructs and debates is there any factual proof (dna, blood sample) of an "omnipotent being"? I'm being facetious, but really outside of mental constructs there is no proof.

Of course I'm an atheist. However, I doubt that any rational argument will sway a true believer.  It was my own gradual pursuit of truth and never a single argument that finally convinced me that I could no longer believe in my imaginary friend.

Homer : "Could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?"
Ned : "Well sir, of course, he could, but then again... wow, as melon-scratchers go that's a honey-doodle." 

Ahh the Simpsons, is there anything they don't apply to? 

Sorry but no. In this argument God is the equivalent of the First Cause, the Unmoved Mover, etc. The problem with the argument is not that it presupposes a belief in God, but that you acknowledge that there must be a first cause. If you accept that there is a first cause, then the believers will tell you that that is God. However, this is problematic because it is very controversial today to talk about a first cause because there exists a possibility that the universe has existed since forever. That is one problem. The other problem is that the reason we know that every consequence has a cause is because we observe it in space. One thing is moved and causes the other to move in a certain way. But to claim that the space as a whole has a cause is not so evident to be true, because you would need to confirm it by observing the thing outside space that is the cause. Which is, of course, impossible. So the implausibility of this argument (which is a very old philosophical argument) comes from the implausibility that space has to have a cause, which it obviously doesn`t

"there exists a possibility that the universe has existed since forever."

Wait, what? Please explain what you mean by existed since forever. I'm not a professional physicist but I'm reasonably sure there is overwhelming evidence that the verifiable universe is nearly fourteen billion years old. This may seem like a long time but it is certainly not "forever."

Plush screen, A couple questions.  1  Was that the first 'Big Bang' ?   2   Is ours the only universe ?
I apologise for answering a question with a question, but:
"Was that the first 'Big Bang' ?"
What evidence is there for more than one Big Bang?
Is ours the only universe ?
What evidence is there for another universe?

This problem arises if you do not take the universe to be everything that exists. Modern physics suggests theories which include other universes beside our own. But I did not intend to discuss physics so I am using the word universe as a synonym for everything that exists. As for the Big Bang, there was a research I read about certain kind of radiation which could be interpreted as being caused by "earlier" Big Bangs which permits the possibility that OUR universe goes through endless cycles of expansion and contraction. The theories about other universes and other Big Bangs are just that - theories. However, they aren`t made up simply because "we need some kind of meaning" but because scientists have arrived at certain data which needs to be interpreted through the prism of a new theory because the old ones cannot make sense of it.

The date you mention is actually the earliest possible time which can be measured. It does not mean that the universe didn`t exist before that, it means that since the physical laws which we know weren`t in play before that time, we cannot know what happened before that time, nor can we really talk about time before that time because time as we know it did not exist. But that is far from claiming that the Big Bang was the beginning of our universe. It is, however, the beginning of our universe "as we know it"

Many thanks, Luka, you said it much better than I could.


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