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Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
1st February 2011, 12:27 (This post was last modified: 7th February 2011 12:42 by annatar.)
Post: #21
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
DoubtVsFaith Wrote:Everything is logically possible. Nothing is logically impossible. A logically impossible thing is not a thing, it's nothing. So for omnipotence to be able to do everything is identical to it being able to do everything possible.

You can have illogical statements but that is a different definition of the word 'illogical'. That is illogical in the sense of 'logically contradictory' and not illogical in the sense of 'not logical'. Nothing that is truly non-logical can exist. A logical contradiction can exist because it's a logical contradiction and not an illogical contradiction. We must not equivocate the definition of illogical to mean 'logically contradictory' with the definition of illogical to mean 'not logical'. Something that is wholly not logical is something that is ultimately not tautological either and thereby contradicts its own definition and can't exist. A statement that is 'illogical' in the sense of 'logically contradictory' can exist because the statement isn't impossible it is merely what it refers to that is impossible.

Nothing can truly be non-illogical and exist. That's why we speak of logical contradictions and not illogical contradictions.
I agree with your points. And my conclusion to that is no one can be omnipotent even if it has unlimited power. Because omnipotence means being able to do everything with no exception..
Lets take casting spells for example, normally it has no explaination, its just magic. therefor its illogical. But if there was an explaination of magic( rules etc,) then it would be logically possible but it would require knowledge and power to do it. That means there must be explanations of the actions of a so called omniponent being. And it contradicts with being omnipotent, for it can't do anything that can't be explained... So one can't never be omnipotent even if it has limitless power.
Quote:Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.

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1st February 2011, 12:45
Post: #22
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
I remember this everytime i see this topic.

V.I. Lenin Wrote:The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class shall represent and repress them in parliament.
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1st February 2011, 12:47 (This post was last modified: 1st February 2011 12:47 by EvidenceVersusFaith.)
Post: #23
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
Everything must be logically possible, a logical impossibility is nothing.
Omnipotence is the power to do everything.

Therefore omnipotence is the power to everything logically possible.
Feeling authentically humbled rather than underminingly humiliated: just the way I like it.

I feel that *I* am nothing special, but that feeling itself feels very special indeed.

Dan Dennett Wrote:There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.

(19th August 2013 06:00)Cthulhu Dreaming Wrote:  Don't be so afraid of death that you forget to live.

It actually is the thought(s) that counts after all.
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5th February 2011, 01:18
Post: #24
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
The problem is that theists hold God as an entity beyond the bounds of reason and logic. Basically reality itself is supposed to be weaker than him. And as such even the logically impossible is opened to him.

In other words, he sets the rules, and as such can ignore the rules.
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5th February 2011, 12:16 (This post was last modified: 5th February 2011 12:17 by EvidenceVersusFaith.)
Post: #25
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
It is impossible for anything to defeat logic. There can be no square circles. God may exist but a god that can defeat logic must not.
Feeling authentically humbled rather than underminingly humiliated: just the way I like it.

I feel that *I* am nothing special, but that feeling itself feels very special indeed.

Dan Dennett Wrote:There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.

(19th August 2013 06:00)Cthulhu Dreaming Wrote:  Don't be so afraid of death that you forget to live.

It actually is the thought(s) that counts after all.
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6th February 2011, 04:30
Post: #26
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
(5th February 2011 01:18)Rwandrall Wrote:  The problem is that theists hold God as an entity beyond the bounds of reason and logic.

Some theists are illogical, sure. The question of relevance to Christianity is whether or not that is what biblical Christianity teaches—i.e., does it teach that God is "beyond the bounds of reason and logic," that he "set the rules" of logic and as such can "ignore" them? If not, then carry on. But if so, then please substantiate that with evidence showing that.
Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when
called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.
(Oscar Wilde)
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7th February 2011, 08:36
Post: #27
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
(5th February 2011 12:16)DoubtVsFaith Wrote:  It is impossible for anything to defeat logic. There can be no square circles. God may exist but a god that can defeat logic must not.

I also believe that God cannot do the logically impossible things.

There's a paradox which goes like this: "Can God make a stone so heavy that He can't lift it Himself?" The answer is no, because that's not logically possible. The question paradoxically makes the idea of God's omnipotence turn back on itself just to make it contradict itself. So, that's why this is an example of something which is not logically possible (assuming that God exists and that He is omnipotent).
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7th February 2011, 15:56
Post: #28
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
(31st January 2011 20:58)DoubtVsFaith Wrote:  The so-called Paradox of Omnipotence commits the loaded question fallacy. It asks both "Can God create a rock?" and "Can he lift it?" in one go. It's like asking "When did you stop beating your wife?" rather than "Have you ever had a wife and beated her?...If so have you stopped beating her?"
Feeling authentically humbled rather than underminingly humiliated: just the way I like it.

I feel that *I* am nothing special, but that feeling itself feels very special indeed.

Dan Dennett Wrote:There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.

(19th August 2013 06:00)Cthulhu Dreaming Wrote:  Don't be so afraid of death that you forget to live.

It actually is the thought(s) that counts after all.
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8th February 2011, 08:00
Post: #29
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
(7th February 2011 08:36)Rayaan Wrote:  I also believe that God cannot do the logically impossible things.

I disagree with Rayaan here, and for an important reason. Taking my cue from his statement, I should like to point out that under Christianity it is not the case that God is unable to actualize a self-contradicting state of affairs. Rather, it is that a self-contradicting state of affairs is incapable of actualization—as DvF astutely observed. The former is a statement about God (and incompatible with omnipotence). The latter is a statement about self-contradicting states of affairs (and says nothing about omnipotence). This is why Thomas Aquinas notes, "It is more exact to say that the intrinsically impossible is incapable of production, than to say that God cannot produce it."

Omnipotence describes the ability of God to perform every member of the universal set of tasks. But a self-contradiction is an intrinsically impossible non-entity—it cannot be analytically conceived in itself without contradiction—which means that it is neither a task to be performed nor an obstacle against the accomplishment of one. I shall borrow from an argument presented roughly ten years ago by Chuck Johnson (an atheist from the newsgroup talk.atheism) to underscore this distinction.

Let U stand for "the universal set of tasks" and let T stand for "some proposed task."

  1. Omnipotence is the ability to perform every member of U.
  2. If T is logically possible, then T is a member of U.
  3. If T is logically impossible, then T is not a member of U.
  4. If T is not a member of U, then T is a non-task nT.
  5. All nT form a null set Ø.


So it is immediately obvious that to ask if an omnipotent being can perform any members of a null set Ø is very absurd. It would be incorrect to say that he cannot; rather, it is that there is nothing there to perform. Aquinas again: "It is more exact to say that the intrinsically impossible is incapable of production, than to say that God cannot produce it."

Intrinsic impossibilities do not limit omnipotence at all. Self-contradictions, by virtue of being two mutually exclusive properties, carry their impossibility within themselves; i.e., it is intrinsically impossible for them to have occupancy in the same universe at the same time—under all conditions and in all worlds and for all agents. "All agents" here includes God himself, Lewis notes in his book The Problem of Pain (HarperCollins, 2001), explaining further that God's omnipotence (p. 18, emphasis mine)

Quote:means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to his power. If you choose to say "God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it," you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix them [with] the two other words "God can." It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but non-entities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of his creations to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because his power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.

Herein lies the key concept: omnipotence regards power, but self-contradictions have nothing to do with power. If the impossible could become possible or actual simply by applying sufficient power to it, then it was never impossible to begin with, but merely difficult. That which is impossible remains impossible regardless of any power applied.

Think about what the paradox question implies. To suggest that nothing is impossible given sufficient power (omnipotence) is to suggest that the law of non-contradiction is false—that is, given sufficient power the impossible is capable of actualization, which thus means it is possible (albeit difficult). But to toss logic out the window just to prop up an irrational definition of omnipotence is to toss out the baby with the bathwater. Thus the person who proposes such a thing accidentally proves too much: if logic and its law of non-contradiction is false, well then, the very objection he started out with vanishes!

What does omnipotence actually mean? "God can do all things the accomplishment of which is a manifestation of power," said twelfth-century philosopher and theologian Hugh de St. Victor. "Omnipotence is maximal power," cites the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Omnipotence regards the power of God to accomplish all things which are subject to power. In all dictionaries, encyclopedias, and systematic theologies I have encountered, omnipotence is defined as: having unlimited or universal power; all-powerful; the state or quality of being all-powerful; the state of having unlimited power.

Omnipotence does not mean—and has never meant—the ability to bring about a self-contradiction.
Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when
called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.
(Oscar Wilde)
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9th February 2011, 00:18 (This post was last modified: 9th February 2011 00:20 by TheDarkestOfAngels.)
Post: #30
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RE: Musings about omnipotence and perfection.
(18th January 2011 11:22)DoubtVsFaith Wrote:  Thoughts?

Discuss.

Clearly there can only be one truely perfect being in the universe:
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ2PK21vIEbd35oY4qoLHV...8kfPiya1Qf]


IN all seriousness though, perfection as a attribute to a being is so vaguely defined that the term is meaningless when used that way. Which is to say, how can a being be perfect?

Omniopotence is defined by its ability to give a being that is omnipotent perfect freedom - which is to say that everything that that person desires happens instantly. There are no boundaries to the will of an omnipotent being. The very definition implies limitless power and freedom of will.

However, as any good physicist will tell you, infinities are ruled out of the mathmatics used to represent reality because there are no infinities in reality. The universe we live in is quite finite in every measureable detail. As such, beings with any attributes defined as such cannot exist.

As such, I can't really say much else about this topic given that omnipotent beings cannot exist and perfection is... rather arbitrary/subjective and ill-defined when used in the sense to describe the overall traits of a being. Thus, I believe the discussion to be meaningless.

Also, I found this and thought it amusing:
The perfect morbidly obese person.
[Image: Ultimate+Perfection+4.JPG]
If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools and next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers...
Ignorance and fanaticism are ever busy and need feeding. Always feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers; tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers and the lecturers, the magazines, the books, the newspapers. After a while, Your Honor, it is the setting of man against man and creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth centry when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind. ~Clarence Darrow, at the Scopes Monkey Trial, 1925

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