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  1. #1
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    Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    The age-old paradox:

    If God is all-powerful, then He could make a rock that even He can't lift. But if He can't lift it, then He is not all-powerful.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    I think it's an illogical question. You may as well ask, "Could God create something He can't create?"
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  3. #3
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Myth View Post
    The age-old paradox:

    If God is all-powerful, then He could make a rock that even He can't lift. But if He can't lift it, then He is not all-powerful.

    What do you think?
    That's probably why God didn't create a rock that he couldn't lift. I don't see the paradox. If God could smoke a cigarette, why doesn't he? See what I mean?
    While laughing at others stupidity, you may want to contemplate your own comedic talents. (link)
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  4. #4
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop View Post
    That's probably why God didn't create a rock that he couldn't lift. I don't see the paradox. If God could smoke a cigarette, why doesn't he? See what I mean?
    No, I don't see what you mean. Is God capable of creating a rock so big and heavy that He can't lift it?


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I think it's an illogical question. You may as well ask, "Could God create something He can't create?"
    But, if He has created the heavy rock, then He obviously is capable of creating it. Your logic does not follow the argument. The question is can He create a rock so heavy that He can't lift it? Not "can He create something He can't create?" I would never ask that.
    Last edited by Wolf Myth; June 24th, 2008 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  5. #5
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Myth View Post
    No, I don't see what you mean. Is God capable of creating a rock so big and heavy that He can't lift it?
    Yes, yes he can. All he has to do is snap his fingers and it's done. There - are you happy now?

    Some things need a purpose to happen and some don't. In God's world I would imagine that EVERYTHING has a purpose.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    I repost an old OP I made on the subject:

    God is believed to be the perfect being; a being with infinite abilities. He can do anything, He knows everything, He is all-good, etc. But these infinities occasionally create contradictions.

    The best-known example is the perennial question: "Can God create a rock He can't lift?" Theists tend to deride this as a foolish, meaningless question, and perhaps they are right. But it does serve to make a point, and it's that point that this thread will concentrate on.

    So then, what is the question really asking? It's not really about rocks. It's about a conflict between God's power to create things and His power to lift things. Which is greater, the question asks.

    The theist ocasionally insists that the question is simply contradictory, and cannot be answered. But this is no answer at all. For to declare the question contradictory, one must declare God contradictory, as He's the only element in the question that could be such.

    Another response is a simple "no". God cannot create things that are unliftable. His power to create is bound by His power to lift. Here's where the hierarchy stuff comes in, then. In the hierarchy of God's powers, lifting comes in higher than creating.

    For, as we shall see, the answer can also be "yes". God can create the rock, and then He can't lift it. God's creating powers are greater than His lifting powers: He can create something with the property of being unliftable. This is not the traditional answer, but it works just as well; it merely sets up a different hierarchy, one where creating comes before lifting.

    And then, of course, there's that other "yes". The one where God creates the rock, and then lifts it. A contradiction? Yes...so? Here we see the smuggled premise of the question, that God is logical, and a challenging of that premise. But non-logic makes our heads hurt, so we'll just flee from that one as fast as we can and pretend it doesn't exist. Before we do, though, we'll note that this sets up yet another hierarchy: one where logic is not king, where, indeed, creating and lifting come before it.

    So, then, the question now becomes: what is God's hierarchy of abilities? For example, which wins: justice or mercy? How do you know? And: could it be something else? For example, why doesn't the first (or even the second) "yes" answer work?
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  7. #7
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    The paradox merely reduces us into a paradigm of God whereby he is not entirely omnipotent. With most theists, who believe that God is restricted by his own nature anyway, this isn't an enormous problem.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I think it's an illogical question. You may as well ask, "Could God create something He can't create?"
    Then you're implicitly responding "no" to his question, by presuming that a rock so big God cannot lift it is something God cannot create. The question isn't illogical; the whole debate centres around justifications for God being able (or not being able) to create a rock he cannot lift.
    Last edited by starcreator; June 24th, 2008 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    [CENTER]-=] Starcreator [=-

  8. #8
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    omnipotency does have bounds. He cannot make a contradiction, he cannot make 2+2=7. 2+2=4 is a concept that is logically correct and cannot be changed. This does not, however, challenge his omnipotency because omnipotency does not grant the ability to make conceptual impossibilities true.

  9. #9
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator
    Then you're implicitly responding "no" to his question, by presuming that a rock so big God cannot lift it is something God cannot create. The question isn't illogical; the whole debate centres around justifications for God being able (or not being able) to create a rock he cannot lift.
    It centers around the possibility of God being unable to lift a sufficiently large rock, which is illogical. God can lift any rock. So the question is "Can God do something He cannot do?" It's a tautology: God can do what He can do, and can't do what He can't do. The illogical nature of the question comes from the notion that God's ability to lift a rock is somehow limited by the size of the rock.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

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  10. #10
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    God can lift any rock.
    How did you reach this conclusion?

  11. #11
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Myth
    How did you reach this conclusion?
    Well, supposing God to be omnipotent, he has the power to lift a rock of any size, since it doesn't involve a category mistake (like drawing a square circle) or a contradiction of His nature (since lifting a rock isn't a sin ipso facto).
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

    HOLY CRAP MY BLOG IS AWESOME

  12. #12
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    God is theoretically the creator of everything, so doesn't that mean he would have had to have created logic? And since he is supposed to be omnipotent, he could change anything, right? So why couldn't he just change logic so that he could create a rock that he couldn't lift, yet still be able to lift it?

  13. #13
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whistlepig
    God is theoretically the creator of everything, so doesn't that mean he would have had to have created logic? And since he is supposed to be omnipotent, he could change anything, right? So why couldn't he just change logic so that he could create a rock that he couldn't lift, yet still be able to lift it?
    That would contradict His character--God is immutable. He doesn't just arbitrarily change things.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

    HOLY CRAP MY BLOG IS AWESOME

  14. #14
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    The question is not if he does, but if he is capable. Of course, it's hard to be capable of much when you don't exist.

  15. #15
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whistle
    The question is not if he does, but if he is capable. Of course, it's hard to be capable of much when you don't exist.
    Are we capable of doing things we won't do? Thus, you are capable of murder, or rape?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

    HOLY CRAP MY BLOG IS AWESOME

  16. #16
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Are we capable of doing things we won't do? Thus, you are capable of murder, or rape?
    Yes. I wouldn't rape anyone, but that doesn't mean I couldn't do it if I wanted to.

  17. #17
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    This topic is one that has been debated to death in the past, not only by us, but also by professional philosophers. The general conclusion that is now agreed upon is simple. Omnipotence does not extend to the logically impossible. The issue here results in a logically impossible scenario, hence it doesn't apply. Its the equivalent of demanding that God make a square circle, logically it just doesn't work.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    If an omnipotent being cannot do something, then it is not omnipotent.

  19. #19
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    You're using a definition of omnipotence that is not generally accepted, Whistlepig, again, from Chad's post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad
    Omnipotence does not extend to the logically impossible
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  20. #20
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    Re: Could God Make A Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?

    I don't care about what is or is not "generally accepted", I just care about the truth. It was once generally accepted that the world is flat.

    Like I said, since God supposedly created everything, that would include logic, and since logic is his creation, he should be able to bend it to his will like everything else.

 

 
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