Monday, June 18, 2007

Can God create a rock so big, that even He can't lift it?

I have to admit that is a clever line. It supposedly puts theists in a philosophical box. If you answer no, then the atheist can say "see God has limits - he is not all-powerful." And, if you say yes, then the atheist can say "If He can't lift it, then God has limits - he is not all-powerful.

The rebuttal to this is very simple. God can choose to do both. That's right. He can choose to create a rock so heavy that He can't lift it and then turn around and choose to lift it. You see - He's God.

True omnipotence is the ability to choose your own limitations - At any chosen time and any chosen place.

But the real answer is that the question is born of faulty logic. It presupposes that God is subject to man's limitations. God transcends his creation. Weight has no bearing on God's ability to manipulate matter. He created it. He is not restricted by it.


Mike Duran said...

Dayle, I've always thought the question was senseless -- like asking if God can make a square circle. The fact that God can "make" anything suggests He exists, in relation to His creation, much differently than we do to ours. We are forcing the question into a framework that, alas, does not apply to God.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Exactly Mike,

I think the atheist wants us to conclude that if it is proven that God has limits, then he is not omnipotent. Thus, the Christian idea does not hold up to scrutiny.

The next logical step would be for Christians to abandon the idea of a all-powerful creator and search for a different system of beliefs.

Kinda like the "who created God argument?" Your comment is the right approach to dealing with all of these square circles.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

One more thing, Mike.

You're right that on the surface, these kind of hollow philosophical potholes don't merit our attention.

But, I have seen Christians stumped by these before. Thus, it might be in our best interest to cast the light of logic on them.