There is a famous logical paradox of uncertain origin, which seems to prove that omnipotent beings cannot possibly exist. This paradox threatens the credibility of such eternal verities as God, Heaven, religion and -yes- even Mr. Mxyzptlk. This paradox, which may have originated in the mystical orient, the sands of ancient Egypt, or the marble pavillions of Greece, runs as follows:
"Can an omnipotent being create a rock so heavy that he himself cannot lift it?
If you answer yes, then it cannot lift that rock once it has created it, and there is something which it cannot do.
Therefore, the being is not omnipotent, and this contradicts the initial assumptions.
If you answer no, then it cannot create that rock, and there is something which it cannot do. Therfore, the being is
not omnipotent and this contradicts the initial assumptions.
This leads all intelligent men and women inexorably and inevitably to the conclusion that belief in omnipotence leads to contradictions of Gordian proportions, and thus, the very concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing Deity is impossible, irrational, and inherently absurd. Quod erat demonstratum."
This paradox has caused a sensation in the philosophical and theological communities whenever and whenever it has been propounded. Its import cannot be overestimated; it transforms the bedrock upon which our holiest religious institutions are founded into unsteady and shifting sands of conjecture and reduces the most holy and timeless traditions to an empty mockery and their practitioners to superstitious, irrational gulls.
It also disproves the blasphemous pap of innumerable dunderpated heathens in sundry foreign regions of the globe, but most would agree that the loss is greater than the gain.
For this reason, many of history's greatest sages and thinkers have toiled for long hours, even minutes, to unlock this theosophical conundrum and thereby redeem the hallowed halls of organised religion. The French mathematician Renee Descartes stated that a perfect Deity could not act in an illogical, and thus imperfect, manner, and to thus deny its potency based upon a failur to engage in a paradoxical behaviour is to expose a pitiable ignorance of the nature of omnipotence and perfection. Soren Kierkegaard, father of the existentialists, propounded the intractability of this paradox, its inevitability as part and parcel of the leap of faith. The choleric and contankerous American Evangelist Billy Graham has opined "When scholarship says one thing and the word of God says another, scholarship can go hang." Countless wiseacre schoolchildren have independently hit upon the solution of answering "Maybe."
But only I, Q*bert, the thinker of the age, have discovered the true solution! Where all other nominal luminaries and barstool philosophers have met ignominious failure, the Goddess Wisdom has removed her veil only to me, humbling me with what may well be the discovery of destiny, the postulate of fate!
Behold, then the Ultimate Answer, of greater significance than any mere numeral:
"You say that an omnipotent being must be capable of creating the titular heavy rock?
And that said being must also be capable of lifting a rock of this weight, whatever that weight must be?
And to qualify as omnipotent, said being must be capable of performing both of the above tasks, despite the impaling fact that they are irreconcilable within the bounds of logic?
Then the path is clear: an omnipotent being can create a rock so heavy that it cannot lift the stone, AND THEN LIFT IT. For, if an omnipotent cannot perform the impossible, then there is something which it cannot do. Therefore, the being is not omnipotent, and this contradicts the initial assumptions. The paradox arises from the unspoken assumption that even omnipotence must be subject to the laws of mortal reason, and then claiming that anything subject to mortal reason is not omnipotent. The initial assumptions contradict each other. QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRATUM."
Does this solution not have the almost anticlimactic elegance of genius?
And lest the gentle reader believe that I have solved only ONE of the mysteries of religion, I cry "NAY- I have solved them ALL!!!" For once it is shown that the Deity is beyond the sphere of reason, ALL OTHER PARADOXES COLLAPSE LIKE A HOUSE OF CHEAP BRIDGE-SIZE CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As A can no longer be reasonably expected to equal A, then it is futile to question why an omnibenevolent God allows Evil to exist -- God can commit evil and yet still be all-good! Perhaps God is rational, after all -- but he can illogically continue to be illogical!! God truly is a woman -- and a man, and a platypus, and Life, the Universe, and Everything -- yet pantheism might still be a heresy (or not, who knows)! An omnipotent being CAN destroy another omnipotent being against its will, but strangely enough, the dead Deity could continue just as before, and be fully and genuinely destroyed AGAIN!!! Even atheists may take comfort in this, for such a God might not even exist -- and continue to love you anyway!!! IT'S ALL UP FOR GRABS!!! YOU POOR PITIFUL FOOL!!!!!!!!!
(Jumping German Jesus, did you read the whole thing? I promise, my next entry will be short and use small words.)