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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Could You Make an Argument So Simple Even AiG Couldn't Mess It Up?

Behold, the longest entry title ever for this blog. Before heading out on my walk tonight, I checked some of AiG's recent articles while my mp3 player was sync'ing. One immediately caught my attention:
Can God create a rock so big that He can’t lift it? Bodie Hodge, AiG–U.S., shows how to respond to this sort of argument.
I thought ahhh. I wonder how they will respond to this one? Will it be a "God is impossible to comprehend" or perhaps "God is not bound by the laws of logic" or maybe even "God can do anything logically possible." The argument they chose will stun you...

For this to be a valid question, God would need to be bound by the laws of gravity. Obviously, God is not bound by His creation (i.e., gravity), as it is part of the universe He created. [...] In other words, this question first assumes that gravity is greater than God.

I don't usually laugh out loud reading blogs, but I made an exception in this case. So, could you make an argument so simple that even Answers In Genesis couldn't mess it up? Obviously, no.

The heavy rock paradox is just a silly little conundrum to show that omnipotence -- understood in the traditional since as all-powerful or able to do anything -- is logically impossible and therefore meaningless. Perhaps when phrasing questions to AiG you should take into consideration this elementary school-level understanding. Perhaps you should take care to phrase it as "can God do something that he can't undo" or "can God create something he can't destroy" or "can God create something more powerful than himself" or "can God microwave a burrito so hot that not even he can eat it?" And let's not even get into the omniscience aspect of it.

But the silliness of this short entry goes even further:
This is like asking on what page of Shakespeare’s Hamlet can we find Shakespeare? It is an illogical question.
Yeah, that is an illogical question. Perhaps if we were asking where in the universe we can find God that would be a good analogy.

But the real gem of this article is at the end where they discuss the God of the Bible. If you take the Bible literally then God is definitely not omnipotent. Take the lying aspect:

Along a similar line, a coworker relayed this conversation to me that she had with her ten-year-old daughter:

She asked “Can God lie?” to which I said “No.” Then she asked, “Can't He do anything?” and I said “Yes, but He wouldn't want to lie.” Then she asked, “Well, could He if He wanted to?” to which I replied, “He wouldn't want to.” But she kept asking, “But what if He wanted to.” So I answered “According to the biblical account of His character, He wouldn't want to and He wouldn't. Whether or not He could is a question that misses the point. The answer is He wouldn't want to and so He would not, and that’s the end of it.”
Additional to the general biblical account of God’s character indicating He would not lie is Hebrews 6:18, which says it is impossible for God to lie.
Are you rolling on the floor yet? Apparently the entire article is not a refutation of arguments against God's omnipotence, it's just a refutation of God literally creating a rock so heavy he can't lift it. They have no problem with God being unable to do certain things (therefore he is not omnipotent), they just have a problem with him creating heavy rocks.


MrFreeThinker said...

AIG is dumb.
But the omnipotence paradox is based on a faulty definition of omnipotence.
I would like to point out to you that asking god to create a rock he cannot lift is like asking god to create an invisible man people can see.
It would violate the basic law of non-contradiction. Thus this rock is a non-thing... it cannot exist.

AIGBusted said...

This is too funny. : )

I think the right answer to this question is that God could make a rock so big he could not lift it, by limiting his "powers", but after that he would no longer be omnipotent. So he is omnipotent now but would lose omnipotence if he chose to create the rock.