"True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
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04-10-2013, 08:41 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(04-10-2013 07:44 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  This is true; however, often, when these questions are brought up, the believer will posit that God can do anything, including violate logic as we know it. Whether or not that even makes any sense is beside the point, because once they accept that, they invalidate any attempt at theodicy that involves God having limitations. I simply think that a lot of believers really don't know the logical consequences of picturing a god with literally no limits. That's the purpose of the OP in this thread.

Which theistic philosophers promote theodicean arguments that limit God's power? I can't find any:

Swinburne: free will based theodicy
Plantinga: free will based theodicy
Van Inwagen: free will based theodicy
Hick: "soul-making" theodicy
Stump: redemptive suffering based theodicy
McHarry: "inferior/positively valuable world" based theodicy
...
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04-10-2013, 08:43 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(04-10-2013 08:41 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Which theistic philosophers promote theodicean arguments that limit God's power?
...

Do I count? Tongue

Both Tao and Buddhism are limited by the capacity of theologian, as it should be. Smartass

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04-10-2013, 09:13 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(04-10-2013 08:41 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(04-10-2013 07:44 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  This is true; however, often, when these questions are brought up, the believer will posit that God can do anything, including violate logic as we know it. Whether or not that even makes any sense is beside the point, because once they accept that, they invalidate any attempt at theodicy that involves God having limitations. I simply think that a lot of believers really don't know the logical consequences of picturing a god with literally no limits. That's the purpose of the OP in this thread.

Which theistic philosophers promote theodicean arguments that limit God's power? I can't find any:

Swinburne: free will based theodicy
Plantinga: free will based theodicy
Van Inwagen: free will based theodicy
Hick: "soul-making" theodicy
Stump: redemptive suffering based theodicy
McHarry: "inferior/positively valuable world" based theodicy
...
All of the above, I guess. I already hit on the main ones in my OP. I guess I'll repost them:


Free will: The idea here is that having free will is more important than living in a world without evil or suffering. Thus, we're beholden to our own decisions, as well as the decisions of others, but this is super important because of [mysterious ways]. The problem is, if God can satisfy A and !A, then he can give us free will in such a way that we always make Good decisions, and the problem would resolve itself, yet he doesn't. Thus, he allows us to do evil for no good reason. Epicurus hit this nail on the head 2,300 years ago.

You have to know light to know dark: The idea here is that in order to appreciate heaven, we have to be allowed to know something worse than it first. If God were "truly" omnipotent, this would be unnecessary, ergo, we suffer simply because he wants us to.

Best of all possible worlds: The idea is that God is somehow limited by [something], and he's doing the best he can. So, we have Tay Sachs in this world, because somehow, the world would be a worse place without it; it's just we can't understand why this is because we're simple mortals, and it doesn't make sense. Now, this entire premise relies on an assumption that God isn't all powerful, and we're rejecting that notion under "true" omnipotence, so this means that stuff like Tay Sachs exists because God wants it to, and no other reason.


As far as free will goes, if we are assuming God has no limitations (and we are, because that's the point of the thread: theists who claim God has no limitations), then he can resolve logical contradictions because the theists say so. This discussion is for people who literally believe God can satisfy A and !A at the same time and not have that be a big deal. If he can do that, then he can give us free will and have us always make a good decisions and have that not be a contradiction.

Granted, accepting the above is crazy, but it is the basic assumption a lot of theists make. It's to that world view that I was responding to when creating this thread.
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04-10-2013, 03:23 PM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(04-10-2013 07:44 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  This is true; however, often, when these questions are brought up, the believer will posit that God can do anything, including violate logic as we know it. Whether or not that even makes any sense is beside the point, because once they accept that, they invalidate any attempt at theodicy that involves God having limitations. I simply think that a lot of believers really don't know the logical consequences of picturing a god with literally no limits. That's the purpose of the OP in this thread.

You can have one, you can have the other, but you can't have both. Most believers believe in a god who is really powerful, but not all powerful. They just like to call him "all powerful", because it sounds better.

My religions believe omnipotence means the ability to do all that is logically possible. Here is a link to a Catholic encyclopdia definition on Omnipotence as an example. A question like "Can God make 2+2=5" is not nonsensical unlike the "heavy rock" question. A nonsensical question doesn't have an answer because it is nonsense while the arithmetic question has the answer "no"......at least according to Catholics.
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