God’s Omnipotent Nature is Not Contradictory: A Belated Followup pt. II

This is the third post related to God’s omnipotence and contradiction. The previous post can be found here, God’s Omnipotent Nature is Not Contradictory: A Belated Followup. The first post can be found here, God’s Omnipotent Nature is Not Contradictory.

Should God’s omnipotence allow Him to also do the logically impossible?

Jam’s response was that it should, by virtue of the meaning of omnipotence (no lack in power).

Let’s go with that, then. Yes, God can do the logically impossible.

Then the argument becomes:

Can God create a rock that He cannot lift? Answer: Yes

God creates the rock that He cannot lift, and then attempts to lift it. He cannot.

Jam says, “Aha! God is not omnipotent, and therefore not God.”

I say, “What do you mean? Of course God can lift it.”

God then lifts the rock.

You protest that God could’t then create a rock He cannot lift.

“What do you mean? Of course He cannot lift it”, I say. And then God cannot lift the rock.

“Well, that is a contradiction! He cannot both be able and unable to lift the rock!”, you declare.

But you said that God’s omnipotence should allow Him to do the logically impossible.

You cannot protest against God for doing the logically impossible if you assert that He should be able to! If you ride the “God’s omnipotence should allow Him to do the logically impossible” taxi, then you have to pay the fair at the other end! Otherwise you commit the taxicab fallacy whereby you only hold to certain premises throughout the parts of your argument that are convenient for you. But logic doesn’t allow this.

So, either God can or cannot do the logically impossible. If He cannot, then I must explain why that does not conflict with God’s omnipotence, as much as it appears that it would.

So:

Should God’s omnipotence allow Him to also do the logically impossible?

I said, no.

Let’s go with that, then. God cannot do the logically impossible.

Then the argument becomes:

Can God create a rock that He cannot lift? Answer: No.

Jam says, “Why not? He should be able to if He is omnipotent.”

Let’s experiment:

God creates a rock. He can lift it.

God creates a bigger rock. He can lift it.

God creates bigger and bigger rocks, but can always lift them.

Where does this stop? Or, better: How could this stop?

It could only stop with God creating something more powerful than omnipotence. But here is the problem of definitions again. It isn’t in any way a lack of power of God to form bigger and bigger rocks. God can always make bigger rocks, and God can always lift them. Forever and ever and ever and ever . . . So, even if we say “No” in answer to the question, it doesn’t limit God’s power.

Can God create a rock He cannot lift? No.

Does the inability of God to create a rock He cannot lift limit His power? No.

At any rate, the bigger problem is the question itself. Again, it is really asking if something can be better than perfect. It is, by definition, a nonsensical question.

So then: Is it possible for there to be anything greater than perfection? No.

If Perfection cannot create something greater than itself, does It cease to be Perfection? No.

Is it even reasonable, then, to ask Perfection to be better than Itself? No.

The Conclusion of the Matter

Should an omnipotent being be able to do the logically impossible?

Jam says, “Yes”. (Though he consistently refused to directly answer this, it is implied in the dilemma proposed and the only position possible to be taken that would propose to do damage to the coherence of the idea of God’s omnipotence.)

But if he says yes, then he has no argument.

If an omnipotent being should be able to do the logically impossible, then the cat is out of the bag I’m afraid. God both can and cannot create a rock He cannot lift. He both can and cannot lift any rock He creates, for God’s omnipotence, according to Jam, allows Him to do the logically impossible. Therefore when he says “yes”, he loses the argument, for he has nothing left to argue.

If Jam would like to change his answer to “no”, then we are in agreement and he loses his argument.

The original challenge was: Can God create a rock that He cannot lift? But that implies that an omnipotent being should be able to do the logically impossible, i.e., create something better than the best, or something more powerful than the most powerful, or something more omnipotent than simply omnipotent, which is all clearly nonsense.

But, if we just grant, for the sake of argument, that omnipotence should include the ability to actually do the logically impossible, then we have no basis left to accuse God of not being omnipotent because He can do the logically impossible, i.e., create a rock that He is both able and not able to lift.

You say, “But it’s a contradiction that God is both able and unable to create a rock that He cannot lift.”

I say, “Well, yes, it is a contradiction, but we’ve already allowed Him that because of His omnipotence.”

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