A Conversation for How to Be a Philosopher

Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 81

Lord Job Boron. That's Lord Job Boron To You!

God isnt omnipotent. Theres something we can do which he cant...

Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 82


the problem here is that the definition of omnipotent is relative to our universe and our physical laws. God is omnipotent therfore he can change these physical laws. Therefore he could create a set of laws which meant that, relative to them, he is not omnipotent. therefore he could create something that he couldn't lift, but only by making himself non-omnipotent by changing the laws of reality. He can do this because, relative to our laws, he is omnipotent. Therefore, he could create a rock that was subject to different physical laws, relative to which he is not omnipotent.
If we accept this, then it is possible for god to make a stone he cannot lift and still be omnipotent in the way that we assume it to be, ie relative to our physical laws.The definition of omnipotent is the assumption that needs to be considered here


aged 14

p.s, if anyone can think of a reason why this is complete rubbish, don't be shy, tell me!

Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 83


pps. really sorry to post here again, but i only just registered and it looked interesting

Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 84


ppss. what i'm really saying is that, seeing as god is omnipotent in relation to our physical laws, he can do anything that obeys them. He can also change them so that he can do anything, for example if he wanted to make 2 mountains without a valley between them, he could simply make a law allowing the use of a 4th dimension, thereby having the valley in the 4th dimension, defining the 2 mountains, whilst there still being no valley in between the mountains in the three dimensions to which we are limited. Again, illogical to us only because we have to obey the rules without having the benifit of being able to change them. god still has to obey the rules, he can just twist, bend and change them in any way he wants. This is, of course, if he exists, but that is another arguement altogether


Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 85

Lord Job Boron. That's Lord Job Boron To You!

My god, you're a genius! I'd never thought of that. And don't be afraid to post, where else are you going to get your opinion heard in year 9... 10?

But God could only do what was logical anyway, he could not create himself ex nihilo for example. So there must be a set of logical laws which even God must follow, though he could change the vast majority of them should he so wish. For example, Thomas Aquinas said that there cannot be an infinite regress of events because they'd need an unmoved first mover i.e God. So then we assume that God cannot start an infinite regress because then there would be a first cause. Or something.

Of course we also assume that God would WANT to create a stone he can't lift.

Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 86


True. The only way God could be first mover is to create a paradox within the laws that govern him by creating himself. There must be laws that even god must obey, and not be able to change, which simply aren't apparent to us.

ps. yr 10

Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 87


If God din't have to obey any rules that he couldn't change, then he wouldn't have to obey the ones he can change, meaning that the the whole paradox begins again. If he didn't have to obey the rules, he couln't create a stone he coudn't lift because the rules that governed the stone wouldn't govern him, so he couldn't be omnipotence. He can only retain his omnipotence, therefore, if he has to obey some inflexible rules that aren't apparent to us. They give him his omnipotence.

And yeah, you're right, we do assume he'd even want to create a stone he couldn't lift.

p.s I was just thinking about why the rules aren't apparent to us, maybe it's because the rules that we are governed by mean that the rules God is governed by make no sense becaue the situations and things that they apply to make no sense within our rules, which would mean that God COULD escape those rules, but only by making them irrelavant beacuse of other rules that prohibit the existance of those rules.

Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 88


The question is flawed, if you have accepted that god exists

(which you have done by asking a question, it is a closed question if you are asking about the charecteristics of somthing that does not exist)

then you have excepted his omnipotence, he can create any stone, including one of infinite proportion that their would not be 'space' for it to be lifted. In short, if the occasion arose god could lift it, but to make the stone perfectly large to outstrip his perfect capacity for lifting the occasion cannot occur.

I'm being symantic, but thats cos question is flawedsmiley - cheerup

Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 89

Tyler Sky Black

The stone-creating ability of God is infinite.
The lifting ability of god is infinite.
God could both create an infinitely large stone, and lift an infinitely large stone.

Infinity, being as it is the boundary of his power, can not be measured by our logic to ask this question. How can we logically prove or disprove that two contradictory infinite propositions exist at once? We can't.


Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 90

wonko the sane

i don't know if this has been mentioned before as i didn't read every single entry but could it not be possible for god not to be able to create a stone he couldn't lift because it isn't possible for him to conceive such a stone? or does this just create another argument about god's omnipotence?

i know god is supposed to know everything but what if knowing everything meant knowing something which could theoretically disprove your existence or at least something which is a pre-requisite to your existence as the omnipotence of god seems to be.

that may be going a little off the point.

i think as god is a perfect being that he would be bound by the laws of logic as logic is perfect isn't it? someone who is perfect should then be perfect in every way including being perfectly logical.

aslo on another point there is this thing called schroedingers cat. it says that if you put a cat in a box it has to be at once alive and dead because you can't be sure that it is either. if we don't know if god could create a stone which he can't lift or he can't create the stone then he must be able to do both because we don't know which one it is.

a number of possibly contradictory thoughts there as i don't know exactly what i'm trying to argue and am merely writing down what occurred to me while i was reading.

thanks anyway for the food for thought
wonkosmiley - smiley

Can God create a stone he can't lift?

Post 91

Phoenician Trader

The problem for Schrodinger had with his cat was to do with the nature of atomic events. Essentially, with an atomic event, all possible outcomes happen simultaneuously. So if you have an atomic event that may and may not trigger the release a vial of poison in a closed system (with a cat in it), then both events will happen. That is, the vial with be both opened and not opened at the same time and hence the cat will be both dead and not dead at the same time.

As it happens, when you enter into the system, the events 'collapse' into a single outcome. So when you open the box, you will know what happened to the cat. However people outside the room won't know - you would have both seen a dead cat and an alive cat at the same time as far they are concerned. When you shout out to the people waiting they join your system too.

BTW the problem with infinitely large rocks is, where would you put them in a finite Universe? Moving something requires a frame of reference and we have no frame of reference outside of space/time. At some point it is easier to completely move the frame of reference than the rock. Who would know? You can only measure from within your frame of refernce anyway. Any lifting requires one to be within space/time (otherwise it is instant teleportation) and any lifter within space/time isn't omnipotent.

A quick review of the Capodacian theologians (including Gregory, Basil, Gregory and Macrina in the 5th century) gives a good perspective on the complexities of applying space/time logic to describe theological problems - what they would consider confusing the economy and the theology of God.

smiley - lighthouse

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