Exactly from this, as it seems, undecideable for believers and loved by atheists question I’d like to begin my blog.
May they blame me for immodesty, but God himself gave me the answer, because I am not clever enough to find such an answer. It happened once in one dispute with an unbeliever who abused God boldly in the social network. As this God-fighter thought exactly this question should stymie all believers. And for these arguments I had my own philosophical thoughts that are analogical to the thoughts of other Christians – apologists. You can search this question in the data search and you will see a variety of answers. But my variant of the answer I have never and nowhere found. Maybe I searched not so thoroughly and God has already opened it to somebody else. I do not want to say that those answers are wrong, but my variant is really worthy reading and deserves your attention. So when I sat down to write an answer it happened so that I suddenly wrote not the answer that I was going to write and I really was astonished when I finally realized the sense of the written.
Let’s go to the main point
The omnipotence paradox is a family of semantic paradoxes that explores what is meant by ‘omnipotence’. If an omnipotent being is able to perform any action, then it should be able to create a task that it is unable to perform. (Wikipedia).
The family of paradoxes can be stretched for ever and ever and here are only some of them.
– Can God create such a large sea that He won’t be able to drink it?
– Can God fall asleep so strongly that He won’t be able to wake up?
– Can God create such a difficult task that He won’t solve it?
– Can God create such a little part that He won’t discern it?
– Can God create such a wide precipice that He will not be able to jump over it?
– Can God create something that can destroy Him?
– And so on…
It seems that this question has to put any believer into a stupor. Atheists on the contrary love this question very much, because as they make a conclusion from this question there is no omnipotence and can’t be. As it seems any answer excepts the omnipotence. It is for sure that God is not almighty and there is something that He can not do, that is impossible for Him. It doesn’t matter that He can not lift up the stone, it means He is not Omnipotent or He can not create such a stone that He would not lift up – so it means He is not Omnipotent.
If to take this paradox to essence, then it goes out such a thing: Can an absolute omnipotence be not all-powerful? It means that for proving the omnipotence the omnipotence itself should be sometimes omnipotent and sometimes not.
It seems impossible, it seems that such omnipotence can not be existing!
But I think that we missed a very important moment! How should we understand the meaning «Omnipotence»? What is omnipotence? In fact omnipotence can everything if to take into consideration the meaning of the word. And what does it mean everything? Everything means everything!!!
It means that all-powerful, omnipotent creature can also be not all-powerful, and remain at the same time all-powerful, because not omnipotence is included in omnipotence!
Not omnipotence is included into the multitude “everything”, isn’t it? Omnipotence in its content does not eliminate not omnipotence.
Lets take an analogy for an example: children can behave as children and can not behave as adults, simply because they are not able, they don’t know how, they don’t have enough knowledge and experience. Adults can behave as adults because they have knowledge and experience, but if they want they also can behave as children because they were children and know how to be children. So adults can do everything in this analogy: they can be either adults or children.
The same with omnipotence. It can be all- powerful and not all-powerful as it wants.
That is what distinguishes Almighty God from other gods invented by people. Yes, the true God is absolutely omnipotent and can do everything and it includes that He can be even not omnipotent. Exactly such God is showed for us in the Bible. God who combines different paradoxes. God who is Trinity. God became limited human in Jesus Christ and He remained God.
Jesus Christ as a person can not lift up a stone more that 100 kg (220 lb). But Jesus Christ as Creator created every stone and can lift up any stone.
That’s why we can answer all questions-paradoxes like we answer on a question about the stone.
Yes, Jesus Christ can not drink the sea as a human, but as a Creator He created all seas and oceans and He can “drink” them.
Once Jesus Christ fall asleep in the boat so strongly that even the storm couldn’t wake Him up and He didn’t wake up Himself, so His disciples being in panic shoke and awakened Him.
When Jesus Christ was a baby, He could not do even elementary sums.
Jesus Christ as a man had the same sight as most of normal healthy people, that’s why He like others could not detect not only the molecules and atoms but also bacteria and cells. But as God He created them all, He saw them and knows each of them.
The Son of Man hardly could jump in length more than few metres. And as God He is everything in everything.
Yes He created such creatures who are called people. They crucified Him on the cross, i.e. killed Him a terrible death.
Moreover the topic of combination in God the paradoxes can be continued, as God is one and at the same time He is in the multitude. He is one in three persons. So Bible says. Here is one more paradox that characterizes God. God can be in one and can be in multitude at the same time – that is one more manifestation of only God’s Omnipotence.
I think if to meditate a little, to read the Bible – we will find a lot of similar paradoxes that are in all – powerful God. So think a little for your own intellectual development what non-combined things are combined in our Heavenly Father.
And when I say that God can do everything I mean that God can do everything.
And here such questions appear:
Can God sin? – God can do everything, it means He can sin, because He has such a possibility thanks to His abilities, but it doesn’t mean that God will sometimes sin! No, in His holy will God will never sin! If we say that God can’t sin because He has no such ability, then it means that we limit God and call Him not Omnipotent. But God is Omnipotent! Moreover creation is not greater than Creator, that is why creation can not do more than Creator. If we can sin, the same ability has God, because He created us. If He could not sin we also had no such ability, we even couldn’t imagine such ability, and even that it exists in the Universe! This idea can be proved by the Bible – in fact The Holy Spirit led Jesus Christ in the desert to testify Him and the devil came to tempt Him. And if that’s not truth what is the sense in that?
So even He has an opportunity to sin according to His abilities. But it doesn’t mean that He wants to do this and that He will do this. He can, but He doesn’t want.
Can God stop His existence? – He can, but doesn’t want! Because it is equal to a suicide and to a sin. And about His ability to do a sin I wrote before.
Can God stop being God? – He has done it already in Jesus Christ, He has become a man. And man is not God.
Can God create other God? – Father God bore a Son God.
Can God make a mistake, do something wrong? – Jesus Christ as a baby and child was an ordinary, He was studying like other people, and He also made mistakes and acted not optimally. And working as a carpenter He injured His hands of course.
These questions can be continued forever, but in fact they can be divided into three basic categories: not-omnipotence, nonsense and sin.
God can be not omnipotent, it is included in omnipotence and it was proved when He became a man, a human flesh. Can God do a sin or nonsense? – Yes, He can but He doesn’t want.
Really a true God is absolutely all-powerful and can do everything, even be not all-powerful. And God is exactly such – He is a Trinity. God of the Bible. Jesus Christ is the God-man. That’s why this loved by atheists tricky question which as it seems excludes the being of absolutely omnipotent creation God becomes the question which allows to differ the true God from other false gods.
The true God is Trinity: Father, God-man Son and Holy Spirit.
Disregarding the logical and philosophical shortcomings of this account, it is bad Christology. There is no sense in which God exercised an ability to stop being God or be not-omnipotent in the Incarnation. He simply added to Himself a nature which lacked deity and omnipotence. This nature’s limitations do not in any way constitute an example of the divine powers becoming non-powers.
On, as far as I understand, you are a Christian. What do you think about the incarnation of the Son of God?
But he made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Why did Jesus call himself the Son of Man?
How could He be human being God? Is this logically compatible?
I believe that I have completely stayed within the framework of Christian doctrines of the God-Man Jesus Christ. And also the Trinity.
How can there be 3 and 1 at the same time?
This only shows one thing, that omnipotence is not limited by laws, including laws of logic.
That God is the Creator of all and the laws of logic, including. And God shows us this through His incarnation, through the fact that He can be limited when He wants.
As a Messianic and possibly somewhat prophetic title hearkening back to Daniel 7 and Ezekiel.
There is no logical incompatibility between a person being both human and God. It would be logically incompatible if, say, we claimed that Jesus’ humanity was divine, or that His deity was somehow identical to His humanity. But neither of those would be orthodox. Jesus, as a single person, possesses two natures and their respective powers and properties. The two natures are unconfused, and thus there is no grounds for claiming a contradiction.
By being three in a difference sense than in which He is one. To say God is three in the same exact sense in which He is one would be a logical contradiction as well as a heresy. God is one being in three persons, one ousia and three hypostases. To be a logical contradiction, God would have to be either one ousia and three ousia, or He would have to be one hypostasisand three hypostases.
A logical contradiction means A and not-A. But the claims A (God is one being) and B (God is three persons) do not amount to A and not-A unless it can be shown logically that three persons somehow necessitate three beings. But in that case we would be dealing with the heresy of tritheism anyway.
This is extremely false, for it would mean God does not exist. The so-called “laws of logic” are not creations of God. They are simply ways of understanding what it means for reality to be reality, God included. If God could suspend all the laws of logic and do the logically contradictory, He would not exist, and He would exist. He would be both perfectly evil and perfectly good, both moronic and wise, both just and unjust. If the laws of logic do not apply to God, then anything we say about Him can be simultaneously true and false and anything in between. Moreover, anything about creation would be in the same state. We could say that the universe is both billions of years old and five years old, or that Satan is righteous as well as wicked, or that this conversation we are having is also not happening.
When all is properly understood and defined, there are never logical contradictions in Christian theism. Anything which involves a logical contradiction is by definition false, for logic is nothing other than a mode of discerning the difference between true and false connections statements and connections.
There is also a moral element here. If God can override the laws of logic, this means overriding the law of non-contradiction. God can contradict Himself. But if God can contradict Himself, He is not faithful or trustworthy, and we have no assurance that He is or will be what He promises or claims.