"True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
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03-10-2013, 12:13 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 03:01 PM)Chas Wrote:  Just to clarify, we are arguing the attributes of a being for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, right?

I just want to be clear on that.

Yes. We are concerned with whether the omnimax god is logically possible, whether the every idea is logically coherent. We all agree that there is no evidence for such a being. It is worthwhile discussing because a few philosophers of religion argue do about this point.

Quote:Next on the program we will discuss Bigfoot's shoe size. Drinking Beverage

If you want to find the equivalent of Bigfoot's show size then look at Bucky Balls argument that Allah is not Yahweh. I've tried to explain to him that is akin to debating whether some new superhero properly belongs in the Marvel Universe but he will brook no criticism.
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03-10-2013, 12:20 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 12:28 PM)DeavonReye Wrote:  Or, . . . isn't it far more likely that the idea of "an omni________ god" is a human construct, giving something [a god figure] "the absolute ultimate" in characteristics? Perhaps as a way to say "my god is better than your god"? I would hope you can admit this as a very real possibility. I happen to see it as the obvious explanation to this topic and why it can be quite paradoxical.

Yes but that is besides the point. Even if you can convincingly show that the omnimax deity emerges from human aspirations you haven't also demonstrated that it is an incoherent concept. Also the origin of a concept can't cause it to be paradoxical. If a concept is paradoxical it is because of its intrinsic logical properties not because of its origin. The genealogy of an idea is only coincidentally related to its possible paradocicality.
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03-10-2013, 01:40 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 01:34 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  There's your problem. You've opted to solve the paradox by simply defining your way out of it. Okay, so according to you only contra-causal freewill can work because by it's definition it can circumvent the contradictions. Now, is there any reason to believe or any evidence to support that it can actually work or exist in our apparently deterministic/probabilistic reality? Or must you posit it simply by fiat? It might fix the problem, but is there any reason to think it's true?

I don't think it is fair to say that I have defined the problem away. Omnipotence is inconsistent with any other conception of agency that I am aware of. By elimination of determinism and compatbilism all we have left is contra-causal freewill, we can't preserve the concept of omnipotence otherwise.

Is it a given that reality is deterministic/probabilistic? That is a hotly debated topic. Even amongst the public exponents of atheism there is division. Dennet argues for compatbilism. Harris argues for determinism. Also there is no reason to generalise human agency--whatever it may actually be--to this hypothetical omnimax person.

There need be no reasons beyond those that I--as devil's advocate on behalf of the the theist--have expressed. Your contention is that the omnimax person is logically incoherent, the task then was to show that the concept can be rendered coherent. The issue of whether there is evidence for this person is another matter.

Quote:Without time, there is no temporal field in which it can 'do' anything, including creating time itself. Positing that it exists outside of time is great in that it fixes the problem, but once again, is there any reason to think it's true? Or is it simply a definitional word game?

Time isn't a "thing", time is the process/pace of change of physical things. If there were complete physical stasis the notion of time would become meaningless. Time isn't a self-sufficient concept, it is a relational concept, it is a particular description of physical things. The omnimax god is immaterial hence changeless hence timeless.

Bear in mind what you proposed. You contended that the notion of an omnimax person is logically incoherent. I'm disputing that contention not trying to construct a deductive proof for the existence of god. If I can define my key terms such that there is no contradiction then I have succeeded in that task. That is all.

Quote:It's a pity their word games are built around creating definitional exceptions to sidestep the paradoxes their own assertions create. Assertions built upon assertions prove less than nothing, and it's why the theistic worldview is so vacuous.

I don't agree that is what they doing. All of the premises that I employed are entirely consistent with deity as it is understood in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. If the argument was predicated on some purpose-built god then your rebuff would have merit. But the conception of God that I have employed is the one of Yahweh found in the Torah and elucidated in the Talmud and that hasn't been altered in response to the type of crticisms that you have raised.

You are shifting the goal posts. Its not "assertions built upon assertions", I'm not trying to provide you a deductive or inductive argument for the existence of god all I'm seeking to do is demonstrate that the notion of an an omnimax god is logically coherent.

Quote:And only a minority of New Testament scholars advocate the Jesus Myth theory proposed by Richard Carrier; that doesn't mean his argument is any weaker than those who choose to side with the 'traditional' view of Jesus' historicity.

To make contended matters justiciable courts rely on expert consensus. Expert consensus was relied upon in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt and is routinely used in more mundane cases. Expert consensus is also invoked in response to deniers of anthropogenic climate change. Consensus is not constitutive of truth but it is indicative of it. There is a reason why the Jesus Myth theory is not widely supported and that is because subject experts deem it weaker than its alternatives. That consensus doesn't make Carrier's theory weaker but it suggests that it is weaker and for the non-expert the expert consensus is a safe bet. The subject experts that don't side with Carrier didn't arrive at their position by tossing a coin--they presumably have good reasons and are just as earnest as Carrier in trying to determine the truth. I have no expertise in New Testament studies so I rely on the the consensus view of subject experts and so reject Carrier's view. Thus if the idea that the omnimax god is not coherent is not popular that is because many philosophers have found it wanting.

Quote:But here's a fun one for you. How can an omniscient being know it's omniscient?

It will know by virtue of its omniscience.

Quote:The claim is unfalsifiable,

Unfalsifiable to whom?

Quote:and so the only thing it would have to go on would be to rely on it's own omniscience.

And that would be sufficient.

Quote:If the being is omniscient, or mistaken/deceived into thinking it's omniscient, it will still think it's omniscient if it were to attempt to verify it's own omniscience.

In the Universe of Yahweh who or what will deceive Him? You are inventing your own purpose-built theology to make your argument work. Given that Yahweh is proposed as the creator of everything other than himself what can deceive him?

Quote:Herein lies the problem, the reasoning is circular.

No, there is no circular reasoning and you haven't demonstrated any.

Quote:Not only that, but anything even remotely close to being omniscient would recognize this fatal flaw in logic, and upon realize that it is not able to absolutely trust in it's own omniscience and being unable to test it, it must therefore doubt it's own omniscience and is therefore not-omniscient by default. Therein is the paradox of omniscience. It is unfalsifiable and unverifiable, no matter whatever type of freewill or omnipotence you try to throw at it. The only way you can get 'true' omniscience is by definitional fiat, a simple declaration that somehow your version of omniscient is 'true' omniscience and doesn't trip the paradox. Such definitional word games however are specious.

Yes but you are conflating two separate concerns:
--the coherenecy of the concept of an omnimax deity
--the evidence for the existence of an omnimax deity

Here we are only concerned with the first. If our concern is to present a concept that is free from paradox and contradiction then we will of course define our terms in a manner is that consistent with that goal. That is perfectly legitimate.

I've demonstrated that your contention that the notion of an omnimax deity is is logically incoherent is false but now you are asking for evidence that such a being exists. You are shifting the goal posts. There is no evidence that such a being exists and I never set out to demonstrate that there was. My aim was to demonstrate the coherency of the concept and that I have done. Yes it is by "definitional fiat" in the sense that this is an a priori argument and that is precisely the point, namely that there is a conception of an omnimax deity that is free of paradox and contradiction. Moreover it is the traditional conception of monotheistic deity is logically coherent.
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03-10-2013, 02:49 AM (This post was last modified: 03-10-2013 03:01 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(03-10-2013 01:40 AM)Chippy Wrote:  I don't think it is fair to say that I have defined the problem away. Omnipotence is inconsistent with any other conception of agency that I am aware of. By elimination of determinism and compatbilism all we have left is contra-causal freewill, we can't preserve the concept of omnipotence otherwise.

Is it a given that reality is deterministic/probabilistic? That is a hotly debated topic. Even amongst the public exponents of atheism there is division. Dennet argues for compatbilism. Harris argues for determinism. Also there is no reason to generalise human agency--whatever it may actually be--to this hypothetical omnimax person.

There need be no reasons beyond those that I--as devil's advocate on behalf of the the theist--have expressed. Your contention is that the omnimax person is logically incoherent, the task then was to show that the concept can be rendered coherent. The issue of whether there is evidence for this person is another matter.

Fair enough. As a purely thought experiment, I get were you are coming from. Sometimes I go into 'attack mode' too quickly...



(03-10-2013 01:40 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Time isn't a "thing", time is the process/pace of change of physical things. If there were complete physical stasis the notion of time would become meaningless. Time isn't a self-sufficient concept, it is a relational concept, it is a particular description of physical things. The omnimax god is immaterial hence changeless hence timeless.

Bear in mind what you proposed. You contended that the notion of an omnimax person is logically incoherent. I'm disputing that contention not trying to construct a deductive proof for the existence of god. If I can define my key terms such that there is no contradiction then I have succeeded in that task. That is all.

Once again, fair enough, and it was I who did start to take things out of the hypothetical sense. I concede to your point, in a totally hypothetical thought exercise sort of way.



(03-10-2013 01:40 AM)Chippy Wrote:  I don't agree that is what they doing. All of the premises that I employed are entirely consistent with deity as it is understood in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. If the argument was predicated on some purpose-built god then your rebuff would have merit. But the conception of God that I have employed is the one of Yahweh found in the Torah and elucidated in the Talmud and that hasn't been altered in response to the type of crticisms that you have raised.

You are shifting the goal posts. Its not "assertions built upon assertions", I'm not trying to provide you a deductive or inductive argument for the existence of god all I'm seeking to do is demonstrate that the notion of an an omnimax god is logically coherent.

My bad. Blush




(03-10-2013 01:40 AM)Chippy Wrote:  To make contended matters justiciable courts rely on expert consensus. Expert consensus was relied upon in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt and is routinely used in more mundane cases. Expert consensus is also invoked in response to deniers of anthropogenic climate change. Consensus is not constitutive of truth but it is indicative of it. There is a reason why the Jesus Myth theory is not widely supported and that is because subject experts deem it weaker than its alternatives. That consensus doesn't make Carrier's theory weaker but it suggests that it is weaker and for the non-expert the expert consensus is a safe bet. The subject experts that don't side with Carrier didn't arrive at their position by tossing a coin--they presumably have good reasons and are just as earnest as Carrier in trying to determine the truth. I have no expertise in New Testament studies so I rely on the the consensus view of subject experts and so reject Carrier's view. Thus if the idea that the omnimax god is not coherent is not popular that is because many philosophers have found it wanting.


All fair points, but if you'll let me indulge in a little tangent. Richard Carrier at one time also agreed with the majority opinion and spent time debunking crack-pot mythologists because their arguments were terrible and mostly founded in conspiracy theory woowoo. It wasn't until he was presented with a very sound case (that required some polish) did he start to take it seriously. But he didn't just run off, he first checked to see if there was a good reason to doubt the consensus.

After studying the critiques of the methods of biblical scholars and historians and finding they came to a near universal conclusion (that current historical methods are fallacious or fallaciously applied), he started upon trying to develop a better method. He made a case for this separately in 'Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus', wherein he makes a case for his method using Bayes' Theorem to determine specific ranges of probability given what evidence we have. He then later applies this to the evidence for the historicity of Jesus, and finds the current state of the evidence lacking. Being the most generous he can with the numbers, Carrier says the chance of there actually being a historical Jesus is 1-3 (a terrible game of Russian roulette), but with more realistic estimation the number falls to 1-12,000.

Now on a wider scale, who makes up the vast majority of New Testament scholars? Christians. Who funds the vast majority of them and the work being done by New Testament scholars? Christians and Christian backed organizations. There is a massive vested interest in there being a historical Jesus, however much the divine god-man image may waffle between liberal and conservative scholars. I imagine that there is far more academic push-back against this than the scholars that proposed that the Jewish Patriarchs were mythical back in the 60-70's. Of course now the mythicism of the patriarchs is the majority consensus. So in regards to the historicity of Jesus; there is a good reason to doubt the consensus because it is built upon fallacious reasoning and the field has a vested interest in maintaining the current status quo.




(03-10-2013 01:40 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Yes but you are conflating two separate concerns:
--the coherenecy of the concept of an omnimax deity
--the evidence for the existence of an omnimax deity

Here we are only concerned with the first. If our concern is to present a concept that is free from paradox and contradiction then we will of course define our terms in a manner is that consistent with that goal. That is perfectly legitimate.

I've demonstrated that your contention that the notion of an omnimax deity is is logically incoherent is false but now you are asking for evidence that such a being exists. You are shifting the goal posts. There is no evidence that such a being exists and I never set out to demonstrate that there was. My aim was to demonstrate the coherency of the concept and that I have done. Yes it is by "definitional fiat" in the sense that this is an a priori argument and that is precisely the point, namely that there is a conception of an omnimax deity that is free of paradox and contradiction. Moreover it is the traditional conception of monotheistic deity is logically coherent.


Yep, I agree. I still think that my point would still stand, if you were to take the concept of omniscience out of the theoretical thought experiment and tried placing it in reality. Once it started to interact with the world, a supposedly omniscient being would appear to trip my proposed paradox. Once you actually try to verify omniscience and no longer just assume that it is true, you run into the problem. A being who thought it was omniscient would be unaware of anything outside of it's knowledge, and thinking it was omniscient, would simply not be aware of what existed outside of it's knowledge until it intruded upon it.

Imagine a being created to believe it is omniscient, created by another being that has the power to hid it's presence and knowledge from the being it created. That created being would think it's omniscient, and might not ever be able to know or detect those things outside of it's knowledge (like it's creator), until those things intrudes upon it's knowledge and showed that it was unaware of something. Still, this only would only appear to apply in once the concept was dropped into our reality. As a pure concept, by definition an omniscient being would know it's omniscient.


But in continuing playing Devil's Advocate, I have another thought experiment for you. Taking the omni-max being you've proposed, would it be capable of creating an intelligent moral agent capable of deceiving it? Why or why not? I'm not trying to be a dick, I just think it's a more interesting question that the simple 'can he make a rock so heavy he can't lift' paradoxes. Consider

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03-10-2013, 05:17 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(03-10-2013 12:13 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(02-10-2013 03:01 PM)Chas Wrote:  Just to clarify, we are arguing the attributes of a being for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, right?

I just want to be clear on that.

Yes. We are concerned with whether the omnimax god is logically possible, whether the every idea is logically coherent. We all agree that there is no evidence for such a being. It is worthwhile discussing because a few philosophers of religion argue do about this point.

I don't see that as making it in any way important. Theology is a subject devoid of content.

Quote:
Quote:Next on the program we will discuss Bigfoot's shoe size. Drinking Beverage

If you want to find the equivalent of Bigfoot's show size then look at Bucky Balls argument that Allah is not Yahweh. I've tried to explain to him that is akin to debating whether some new superhero properly belongs in the Marvel Universe but he will brook no criticism.

His argument is logical and supported by evidence. It may not be convincing, but it is interesting.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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03-10-2013, 08:41 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 12:20 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  How is it we know what hypothetical omnipotent beings "MUST" do since they CAN do anything including things you say they musn't?

And I'll ask again--how omnipotent (I have infinite power) means I cannot share power or give humans some power on a free will basis. I have nuclear weapons and diplomats, I send diplomats to ask for you to come to a decision before I send the nukes.
Well, he can. It's not that it's impossible for an all powerful being to exist (well, within logical boundaries, but still); it's that people try to reconcile that, and the existence of evil and suffering when the all-powerful being is also all-loving.

I mean, sure, there could exist a god that is all powerful that passively allows (or even directly causes) evil and suffering, but you don't get to describe that as "all loving" in any meaningful sense. These same people will declare their god to be the superlative of every good adjective yet that he takes actions that could be best described as depraved indifference.


Now, the actual purpose of the thread wasn't to posit whether or not an all powerful god could even exist, but rather, to point out that if you believe in a god that has no limitations, then you tautologically cannot believe in any approach to theodicy that is based on God having limitations. This seems painfully obvious, but I cannot count the number of times I've talked to theists that both posit:
  • God has no limitations, and
  • The problem of evil is solved based on me assuming God has some limitations.
Huh
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04-10-2013, 02:00 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(03-10-2013 02:49 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  After studying the critiques of the methods of biblical scholars and historians and finding they came to a near universal conclusion (that current historical methods are fallacious or fallaciously applied), he started upon trying to develop a better method. He made a case for this separately in 'Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus', wherein he makes a case for his method using Bayes' Theorem to determine specific ranges of probability given what evidence we have. He then later applies this to the evidence for the historicity of Jesus, and finds the current state of the evidence lacking. Being the most generous he can with the numbers, Carrier says the chance of there actually being a historical Jesus is 1-3 (a terrible game of Russian roulette), but with more realistic estimation the number falls to 1-12,000.

Bayes' Theorem is only as good as the probabilities you plug in and for these sorts of matters the values turn out to be rather arbitrary. Swinburne uses Bayes' Theorem to produce an inductive argument for the existence of god and IIRC the probability for the existence of the monotheistic god of is some rather high value well above .5. The probabilites--A and B--that Carrier and Swinburne are employing aren't objective values such as the number of cards in a deck, or the sides of a die they are their subjective measures of the strength of their beliefs expressed numerically. If you already accept their conclusion the values look reasonable; if you already reject it they look inflated and contrived.

Quote:Now on a wider scale, who makes up the vast majority of New Testament scholars? Christians. Who funds the vast majority of them and the work being done by New Testament scholars? Christians and Christian backed organizations. There is a massive vested interest in there being a historical Jesus, however much the divine god-man image may waffle between liberal and conservative scholars. I imagine that there is far more academic push-back against this than the scholars that proposed that the Jewish Patriarchs were mythical back in the 60-70's. Of course now the mythicism of the patriarchs is the majority consensus. So in regards to the historicity of Jesus; there is a good reason to doubt the consensus because it is built upon fallacious reasoning and the field has a vested interest in maintaining the current status quo.

Their is some merit to this idea but the major (secular) universities of the world are independent of religious influence and their various humanities departments are staffed on the basis of merit rather than religious affiliation. If it could be shown that the majority of scholars from religious or religiously-affiliated/financed organisation propose P but those from similar fields in secular universities mainly propose ~P then that would provide good inductive evidence of a systematic bias. But as far as I know no such evidence exists and consequently we may just be committing a genetic fallacy.

Quote:But in continuing playing Devil's Advocate, I have another thought experiment for you. Taking the omni-max being you've proposed, would it be capable of creating an intelligent moral agent capable of deceiving it? Why or why not? I'm not trying to be a dick, I just think it's a more interesting question that the simple 'can he make a rock so heavy he can't lift' paradoxes. Consider

The notion of a belief (as opposed to knowledge) is materialistic. The notion of belief exists because we generally--outside of maths and logic--lack certitude. We say we believe we locked the backdoor before leaving the house because we don't know so with certainty. Similarly the possibility of deceit is predicated on this absence of certitude. Our finitude--by virtue of our materiality--condemns us to a world of uncertainty and provisional knowledge (excluding maths and formal logic) hence the notion of a belief is meaningful and useful. Certitude renders the notion of belief redundant. The notion of deceiving an omni-max being is incoherent because it has a veridical relaltionship with all of its (supposed) creation--it knows everything it has no beliefs as such. There is no paradox here it is simply an incoherence that derives from imposing a (human) finitude upon a hypothetically immaterial and transcendent being.

I'm not certain that the rock paradox is a genuine paradox. I haven't given this much thought but I think the hypothetical omni-max god would be able to create an object with infinite extension and also create a finite space between that object and another object, i.e. "lift" that object. I am imagining an obelisk type rock that extended infinitely in one dimension (lengthwise/z-axis) but originates atop some finite object (eg. a planet) from which it will be separated to effect the "lift". Huh
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04-10-2013, 02:11 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(03-10-2013 05:17 AM)Chas Wrote:  I don't see that as making it in any way important. Theology is a subject devoid of content.
[quote]

It has content in the way the Marvel Universe has content.

[q/uote]
His argument is logical and supported by evidence. It may not be convincing, but it is interesting.

It's not convincing and it's not his argument, it's his and he--Morey--has good reasons to make it. Bucky Balls has no such reason.
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04-10-2013, 03:02 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(04-10-2013 02:00 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Bayes' Theorem is only as good as the probabilities you plug in and for these sorts of matters the values turn out to be rather arbitrary. Swinburne uses Bayes' Theorem to produce an inductive argument for the existence of god and IIRC the probability for the existence of the monotheistic god of is some rather high value well above .5. The probabilites--A and B--that Carrier and Swinburne are employing aren't objective values such as the number of cards in a deck, or the sides of a die they are their subjective measures of the strength of their beliefs expressed numerically. If you already accept their conclusion the values look reasonable; if you already reject it they look inflated and contrived.

Of course, and Carrier acknowledges that as well. The key point of putting it into the theorem is that it cuts out the obfuscation. You can now break the probability down to it's key components, and then you can debate those key components and the evidence and logic they're built upon. This is why Carrier's own numbers stretch from the most credulous (1-3) to his argued for probability (1-12,000). But once it's all laid out, you can get to the core pieces of what they mean when someone says 'that's highly improbable'.


(04-10-2013 02:00 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Their is some merit to this idea but the major (secular) universities of the world are independent of religious influence and their various humanities departments are staffed on the basis of merit rather than religious affiliation. If it could be shown that the majority of scholars from religious or religiously-affiliated/financed organisation propose P but those from similar fields in secular universities mainly propose ~P then that would provide good inductive evidence of a systematic bias. But as far as I know no such evidence exists and consequently we may just be committing a genetic fallacy.

I'm not saying that is has happened, but that I could see it happening. Carrier and a handful of other professional scholars (such as Robert M. Price) have only just started trying to make their case before the wider academic community. It's just that in light of the academic inertia that had to be overcome in the widespread acceptance of the mythicism of the Biblical patriarchs, I don't see why this couldn't happen again in regards to the historicity of Jesus. It also took how many years for the rest of the academic community to come around on the patriarchs? Decades? It's early proponents were threatened and had their professional careers stymied for their stance on this. That's not very intellectually honest, especially in the world of academia where we should expect better. Will things go smoother this time? Who knows.



(04-10-2013 02:00 AM)Chippy Wrote:  The notion of a belief (as opposed to knowledge) is materialistic. The notion of belief exists because we generally--outside of maths and logic--lack certitude. We say we believe we locked the backdoor before leaving the house because we don't know so with certainty. Similarly the possibility of deceit is predicated on this absence of certitude. Our finitude--by virtue of our materiality--condemns us to a world of uncertainty and provisional knowledge (excluding maths and formal logic) hence the notion of a belief is meaningful and useful. Certitude renders the notion of belief redundant. The notion of deceiving an omni-max being is incoherent because it has a veridical relaltionship with all of its (supposed) creation--it knows everything it has no beliefs as such. There is no paradox here it is simply an incoherence that derives from imposing a (human) finitude upon a hypothetically immaterial and transcendent being.

I'm not certain that the rock paradox is a genuine paradox. I haven't given this much thought but I think the hypothetical omni-max god would be able to create an object with infinite extension and also create a finite space between that object and another object, i.e. "lift" that object. I am imagining an obelisk type rock that extended infinitely in one dimension (lengthwise/z-axis) but originates atop some finite object (eg. a planet) from which it will be separated to effect the "lift". Huh


Interesting. Infinities are weird... Consider

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04-10-2013, 03:50 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(01-10-2013 07:36 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
OtherPoster Wrote:This statement intrigues me. Assuming a being who invented and thus can circumvent the laws of physics and logic, what makes omnipotence impossible? Are you talking about old, "can God create a rock he can't lift" trick? If so, that one's easy to get around. The answer is yes, but it has no implication for omnipotence. Create a universe which is entirely filled with a rock. In such a universe, the word "lift" has no meaning. Or create a universe without gravity. Or create a large universe that contains only one object, It can't be lifted, since it's the only thing producing gravity. Of course, when you're the being giving meaning to the words "physics," "gravity" and "lift," you can redefine them at will.
Well, it is true that you can simply posit something that can make contradictions that aren't contradictions because of [insert reason we can't possible understand]. So, the idea is he can have his cake and eat it too, without resorting to simply cloning his cake. This makes no sense to us, but it would be possible under "true" omnipotence*. Thus, God can satisfy A and !A at the same time and everything is fine. This would be enough to get around the "rock so heavy he can't lift" problem (or the unbreakable promise problem, or any other similar idea); however, it also completely and utterly invalidates all apologetics pertaining to theodicy and the problem of evil, so there's that to consider**. Most Christians would rather have their god be really powerful, yet limited in minor ways, than to have him be a malicious monster.

Most questions, like could an all powerful God create a rock so heavy that even he could not move it, when examined closely turn out to be nonsensical. In the case of the rock, the question basically boils down to, "can God create a movable/unmovable rock" and such a question is nonsense. Nonsense questions are always nonsense questions even if preceded by the words "Can God".
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