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,

Maggie

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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.
And while all the dunderheads argue about the number of universes and how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, the North Pacific gyre just gets bigger. The greatest scientific minds constuct scenarios involving the construction of habitable colonies on distant planets in other galaxies we can retreat to once we have rendered the one habitat we have evolved in uninhabitable. Go figure.
Both questions have been postulated.  No more evidence for them than there is for a creator.

"Modern physics suggests theories which include other universes beside our own."

 

Where are they? Where is your evidence? BTW, what is your definition of "theory?"

 

"As for the Big Bang, there was a research I read about"

 

hmm...you read something somewhere, did you? Can you remember where you read it so I can read it too? If you found it on the internet please provide the URL. If was in print please provide the citation.


"certain kind of radiation which could be interpreted as being caused by 'earlier' Big Bangs" Really? Could be interpreted, huh? By Whom? What kind of radiation specifically?


"which permits the possibility that OUR universe goes through endless cycles of expansion and contraction."

 

You do understand that this is speculation and can in no way be considered a "theory." Not the scientific definition of the word "theory."

"Where are they? Where is your evidence? BTW, what is your definition of "theory?""

I like the multiverse theory, it's fun to play with in philosophical ways, mostly because it's one of those theories with little evidence and noone has any real clue. deGrasse Tyson said that multiverses may explain some of the dark energy in ours, essentially it being the gravity of other universes "tugging" on ours creating false readings.

There's quite a bit of references on Wiki, though I like the encyclopedic way of dealing with religious criticisms by just stating pretty much "Who would ever..?". :)

Non-scientific claims

A theory is a set of axioms through which certain empirical data can be interpreted and be used to better understand the world. A theory without data is pure speculation, but data without a theory is just raw material. Every theory is speculation, but a good theory will enlarge our knowledge about the world and can be used to make precise predictions. When you say that speculation cannot be considered a theory you are mixing the terms. In layman`s terms, a scientific theory can be called falsifiable speculation, while speculation in general is used about things which we usually cannot know. I see there is a prejudice here about scientific theories being infallible. However plausible and verified they may be, there is no ultimate verification of any scientific theory and the history of the development of scientific theories shows that many theories have been discarded as false, replaced by better theories or assimilated into larger theories which give a broader or more detailed explanation of certain phenomena. Therefore there is nothing wrong with me using the term "theory" for labeling speculation about what caused certain phenomena if we have empirical data about that phenomena.

Here is the link you asked for. I didn`t want to post the link because it would be wrong of me to say that I understood the paper, but I do understand the possible implications of it.

 

http://www.economist.com/node/17626874

I know the Bible says God is The Creator of the universe.  But it took him six days.  That seems a little less than all-powerful.  Unimaginably powerful, perhaps, but it leaves room for a God who could name that tune in fewer notes (and not need a day of rest afterwards).

You can't define something by what it's not.  Equally incoherent is defining something as everything.  Omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent . . . these are all easy to prove impossible.  By defining God in incoherent terms, the only way to believe in him is through faith -- the suspension of disbelief and absence of logic.

 

God is a meme that seduces by denial.

I never thought about that ! Six days ! What a goldbrick !
The God-gets-stoned argument comes from the middle ages. It destroys the concept of “God” as “Pantocrator” = ‘all ruling (divinity)’.

More importantly, the simple looking dilemma destroys the xian (jewish, moslem) claim that a <i>negative existential statement</i> about “God” cannot be proven. The answer is “God does not exist” can be proven -- assuming that the xian (jew or moslem) claims that “God” has absolute attributes or is a necessary being. Just follow the logic:

<b>Can the statement ‘God does not exist’ be proven? Sure. Sometimes.</b>

First, dear xian what is your concept of “God”. Are this alleged divinity’s powers unlimited?

1.  First the word 'God' has too many (dictionary) meanings to be used without a context with specifies which is being discussed. The vicious ambiguity of the word 'God' allows apologists to slide from one meaning to another without acknowledging it. Basically, believers indulge in the fallacy of ambiguity. The anti-supernaturalist must close that loophole.

2. Second there are different concepts of an alleged God. Obviously, the meanings of the word 'God' and the concept of a God can be related but they are not identical.

2.1 Religious philosophers and theologians have proposed concepts of God in which it appears as some sort of necessary being -- the God of Anselm of Canterbury (12th century CE) for example. Of course this being which can not not-exist goes back to Plato (5th-4th century BCE) from whom it was expropriated by early xians among whom is Origen (early 3rd century CE).

God = concept (that being which can not not-exist) assumes a status somewhat like an entity defined in geometry (and in mathematics generally). For example the alleged concept of a 'square-circle' is incoherent. No such entity can exist. This alleged God can be proven not to exist.

2.2 God = concept (that being which is claimed to be ‘Pantocrator’ -- all ruling being) -- which usually is alleged to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-benevolent can not exist. There are two ways to show that the panto-being fails conceptually.

2.2.1 Phrases which purport to be absolutely absolute-adjectives appear to be proper members of rational discourse but they are impermissible. All absolute adjectives are such only within a specified context -- the brightest person I’ve ever met, the largest galaxy in the visible universe -- this limitation was known even by medieval theologians.

Now to their pointed question (a veiled dilemma): ‘Can God -- the all-powerful in this case -- create a stone too heavy for him to lift?

If God can do so; then he is not all-powerful. If God can not do so; then, likewise he is not all-powerful. Thus , God can not be all-powerful. Or, an adjective-phrase ‘is too heavy to lift’ cannot be used meaningfully in the absolute -- it must be limited to a definite context. In which case, once again God can not be all-powerful, not as a matter of fact. But as a matter of conceptual coherence.

Amusingly, if you imagine that the phrase ‘all-powerful’ can be used absolutely without a context, you run up against the very same brick wall. The phrase ‘all-powerful’ is incoherent; it too must be contextually limited. The phrase ‘God-the-Almighty’ crosses the border into linguistic coherence. No matter how theologians wiggle, such this God-concept ends up being incoherent.

Can the existence of “God” be disproved -- that is, can a claim that ‘God exists’ be shown to be logically incoherent -- not just false, but necessarily false? Yes, it can. What concept of God will the true believer try to defend -- once known, it can be attacked. Sometimes “God” simply can not exist.

the anti_supernaturalist
Wow!  That was quite a treatment.

Hi Rick. Your breath taking discourse hangs on the lexical cliff if ignominality.  How do these philosophers deal with non symbolic (words) conscious thought/beliefs? 

 

the confirmed ignorant----- 

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