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Debate Info

59
45
No. Yes.
Debate Score:104
Arguments:44
Total Votes:143
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Argument Ratio

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 No. (21)
 
 Yes. (23)

Debate Creator

Litchfield(54) pic



Can god be omniscient and omnipotent? Someone lied

All knowing and all powerfull?

No.

Side Score: 59
VS.

Yes.

Side Score: 45
7 points

The Answer is obviously No, but how can logic combat faith?

How can an omniscient god find the omnipotence to change that which he already knows?

Can God create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it? If he can, then the rock is now unliftable, limiting God's power. But if he cannot, then he is still not omnipotent.

All knowing? where does free will come in?

"Power corrupts; Absolute power corrupts absolutely; God is all-powerful? Draw your own conclusions."

Side: No.
7 points

Logically, pretty spot on to be honest. The obvious answer is, of course, no.

If he knows all (which means he knows the future) he is powerless to change it. If he can change the future, then he didn't know about it fully.

Side: No.
Orgone(3) Disputed
3 points

Unfortunately your logic is flawed.

Omnipotence does not grant the power to do anything logically impossible, like 'make a square circle', or 'bake a red decade'. Things like this are examples of meaningless statements.

The statement 'God create a rock so heavy that God cannot lift it' is equally meaningless.

Part of the definition of God, due to his omnipotence, is that there is no possible physical thing that he could not lift. If we take this as true, then by logical equivalence, part of the definition of every possible physical object is that it is liftable by God. Therefore, 'a rock so heavy that God cannot lift it' is like 'a square circle', it's just a meaningless, self-contradictory idea.

P.S. I don't believe in God myself, this is just an argument about possibilities.

Side: Yes.
2 points

You are spot on. The paradox works on the principle of assuming power to do everything comes with the power to do illogical and stupid things. An all knowing and all powerful being can't do that which makes no sense. Plain and simple. If he has all the power he can never do that which makes him powerless.

Side: Yes.
2 points

Indeed, if one were to state that God is incapable of executing actions that were logically impossible, then that's an implicit admission that something is more powerful than God. Namely Logic, so if God is bounded by Logic, how can it possibly be Omnipotent?

Side: Yes.
Nikobelia(104) Disputed
2 points

Are you saying he can't be both because of paradoxes like the "can god make a stone he can't move" one? You can find a paradox and use it to defend an argument infinitely, but then the debate doesn't ever move on to more interesting issues. There are other arguments like "why does he let us suffer when he's benevolent and omnipotent" to address, which are more interesting.

You can argue against the paradox by saying he created the Earth/Universe/whatever but isn't part of that system, so he's omniscient and omnipotent within it.

Side: Yes.
phuqster(123) Disputed
6 points

You can argue against the paradox by saying he created the Earth/Universe/whatever but isn't part of that system, so he's omniscient and omnipotent within it.

Even if it is omniscient and omnipotent only within that system, that still leaves you with the problem it would be rendered powerless to change anything within that system. The two are logically incompatible.

Side: No.
Orgone(3) Disputed
2 points

The argument can't move on to discussing the consequences of the existence of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being if you don't first settle the argument about whether an omnipotent being is even possible. I.e. You don't waste time arguing over the properties of unicorn horns if you don't think unicorns exist.

"Omni" is a superlative prefix, like "est" is a superlative suffix (e.g. 'tallest', 'biggest' etc). I've argued elsewhere in this debate that the omniscience and omnipotence of God are compatible in their own terms, without having to limit the domain of God's omni properties and powers, which creates it's own problems. 'Tallest' and 'tallest in the room' mean very different things.

Side: No.
eileen(1) Disputed
-1 points

If he cannot lift that rock, he will destroy it. And when he can destroy it, he is still omnipotent and omniscient. And you just said that IF HE CAN LIFT THE ROCK,THEN THE ROCK IS NOW UNLIFTABLE. Why would the rock be unliftable? God has already lifted it. It will just make him more omnipotent and omniscient if he can lift an unliftable rock, wouldn't he?

Side: Yes.
Orgone(3) Disputed
1 point

Firstly, "the liftable unliftable rock" is an empty concept. A label which points to nothing. A noise with no meaning. It signifies no possible thing. The properties of 'liftable' and 'unliftable' cancel each other out, leaving an impossible rock. If God can lift it, it's not unliftable. You might as well talk about "the soiqwjndoiuqiuwdncjdwjryr rock".

Secondly, God can't become 'more' omnipotent or omniscient, these are superlative qualities (like 'tallest' or 'oldest', and you cant be 'more tallest'). Not only this, but God, being eternal, cannot 'become' anything at all, though any process of change, comparison or action, being perfectly omnipotent/omniscient from the very moment it exists (i.e. since forever).

Side: No.
4 points

Nope. They logically contradict one another. If god is all-knowing, or knows the future and the past (i.e. is has a "plan for everybody"), then if he cannot change the future or the past, as it is set. Thus he can't be omnipotent. If he does change the flow of history, then he didn't know the future or the past, meaning he was not omniscient.

Furthermore, omnipotence even contradicts itself. Can god make a rock so heavy he can't lift it himself? This may sounds childish, but it holds a great truth.

Side: No.
4 points

Omniscience is fundamentally incompatible with free will. Someone with true free will can exercise their judgement in making choices in their life. If God is truly omniscient, then he already knows the results of those choices before they are made. Logically, this implies that there was only one possible choice to begin with - the choice God knows about. All other choices were illusory because you were for-ordained to choose the option God knew you would choose. If he does NOT know and learns as you make those choices, then he is no longer omniscient.

Omnipotence is inherently contradictory because it pits creative ability against performance. If you can create anything, then you can create a puzzle no one can solve, an unliftable object, an intangible force ... and yet having no limits to your performance, you can solve that puzzle, lift that object and perceive or sense that force. The two sides of omnipotence cancel each other out in a logical conundrum.

Side: No.
4 points

I recently read a poem that I think sums up the paradox pretty well.

Can ominscient God who,

Knows the future find,

The ominpotence to

Change his future mind?

Basically if God knows everything that is and will be, this includes how he/she will use his/her omnipotence in the future. However this means one of either two things;

1. God isn't omnipotent, because he/she doesnt have the power to change his/her mind about the future that he/she already knows, or

2. God isn't omniscient, because if he/she does change his/her mind about the future it means he/she didn't know everything that would happen in the future

The obvious rebuttal to this paradox is that God does have the power to change his/her mind but has never execised it. However can a power that you can't use be classified as a power at all?

Side: No.
PaulH(2) Disputed
1 point

This is just another example of the 'square circle' mistake. There is no reason why an omnipotent and omniscient God would need to change His/Her/It's mind, and nothing that could cause this to happen. It's not a paradox, just another "rock so heavy He can't lift it" verbal game.

Side: Yes.
3 points

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able, nor willing? Then why call him God?" -Epicurus

Side: No.
2 points

God cannot be omniscient and omnipotent because there is no god.

Side: No.
2 points

It's fairly simple.

Most Christians say God can do anything (omnipotence) and knows everything (omniscience).

It is inherently self-contradictory for something to be both omniscient and omnipotent.

If God knows everything, then he'll know what choices he'll make tomorrow. (example, he knows he's going to choose A instead of B)

If God can do anything, then he can choose either A or B, meaning he could choose B even though his knowledge of the previous day said he would choose A.

Therefore, if God cannot choose B because his foreknowledge told him he would choose A, then he cannot do anything or lacks omnipotence.

And if God does choose B, as an all-powerful being could, then his prior knowledge that he would choose A was wrong, in which case he is not all-knowing or lacks omniscience.

Side: No.
2 points

God cannot both do anything AND know everything. There is either a limit to the number of things God can do or he doesn't know all of the things he can do.

If he knows all of the potential things he can do, there are a finite amount of potential things he can do. (not omnipotent)

If there is no limit to the potential things he can do, he cannot know all of them. (not omniscient)

Side: No.
1 point

I say no with a caveat. You can not be both omniscient and omnipotent without being omnipresent. To know all and do all, you must be all. There we go with that Trinity thing again. How can you know all without being every where?

In mathematical terms, a subset is always a part of the master set. Can God be all powerful and create an immovable object? The object would be immovable for all but He who created it. Is it truly immovable, yes to all who encounter it be He who created it. Being omnipresent would mean that the rock is apart of Him.

As a man, you can build a house that you yourself can not move under your own power. If you employ other methods to assist, you can then move the house. All powerful, all knowing and all present means you have all the power needed to do anything, including exceeding limitations, imagination and boundaries.

Side: Consider This
1 point

No. For a god to be all powerful as well as all knowing, he would have to have knowledge of the future including his own choices. If he knows what choices he will make, then he cannot make another choice, therefore he is not all powerful. If he is all powerful and is able to choose freely regardless of the future he already knows, then he is not truly all knowing.

Side: No.
4 points

It is possible to be 'all-knowing' and 'all-powerful' provided that what one means by these terms is that God knows all that can be known and God can do all that can be done.

It is not possible for an entity to be all-powerful in the sense that the answer to every question of the form, "Can all-powerful entity do (such and such)?", is yes. It is easy to construct sentences in which saying yes leads to logical impossibilities. Since this stronger version of the notion 'all-powerful' can't exist then people should use the less strong version mentioned above. In the weaker versions of the meaning of these terms, God can be both omniscient and omnipotent.

Side: Yes.
2 points

One way this can be true is if God is outside of the universe. To help you think about it, pretend that the universe is a computer simulation and that God is the nerd who's programming the simulation and watching it run.

It's not hard to imagine that she has built tools that allow her to pause, save, load, rewind and fast forward the simulation.

As such, she can know anything she wants about the simulation at any given stage, and she can edit any aspect of that simulation as well.

That places God outside of time (since time in that simulation is just one of many variables that can be arbitrarily tweaked), and makes her all-knowing and all-powerful, as far as that simulation is concerned, which happens to be all we know.

Side: Consider This
Daealis Disputed
1 point

You have only proven god to be omniscient in the said simulation, that doesn't make god allknowing and powerful in his own realm existing outside the said simulation.

Side: No.
Zephyrous(2) Disputed
1 point

Time is a necessary precondition of existence. To proclaim that something exists outside of time, is synonymous to stating that "Nonexistence exists". Which is impossible, since everything that has existed and ever will exist, exists in this Universe.

Side: No.
2 points

Omnipotence does not grant the power to do anything logically impossible, like 'make a square circle', or 'bake a red decade'. Things like this are examples of meaningless statements.

The statement 'God change his mind' is meant to be an example of something that, because of his omniscience, God cannot do, and this is meant to refute his omnipotence. However, logically speaking, the statement 'God change his mind' is as equally meaningless as the statement 'make a square circle'.

Part of the definition of God, due to his omniscience, is that there is nothing that he does not know. Given this, if it is a possible item of knowledge, then God knows it. This, therefore, includes all possible counterfactuals (i.e. all 'if... then...' items of knowledge).

Given this, God cannot learn anything 'new' because he already knows everything. Is this a problem for his omnipotence? No. God cannot make a perfect circle any more circle than it already is, that's simply a logical consequence the definition of a 'perfect circle'. Likewise, an omniscient God cannot learn anything new (make his knowledge more perfect), simply as a logical consequence the definition of omniscience (perfect knowledge). Given that, as argued before, omnipotence does not grant the power to do anything logically impossible (because these things are meaningless), not being able to learn anything new is no refutation of omnipotence of a God that is already omniscient.

If God can't learn anything new, can he change his mind?

'Changing your mind' is a cognitive process involving the manipulation of items of knowledge resulting in a certain outcome. A process, by definition, is something which involves change over time. God's knowledge state cannot change over time because from the very moment it exists it is completely perfect. As argued before, the definition of omniscience entails the possession of every possible 'if...then...' item of knowledge, including the outcomes of all possible manipulations of all possible items of knowledge - instantly! Therefore, logically, the fact that God could not 'change' his mind is no more a refutation of God's omnipotence than the fact that he cannot learn anything new, any more than him not being able to make a square circle, or a perfect circle more circular.

Side: Yes.
1 point

Theoretically, a god who is omnipotent--can do anything--by definition can find out (or know) anything and so could be omniscient merely upon choice. So, yes, its possible.

Side: Yes.
Litchfield(54) Disputed
3 points

I applaud you for posting, but i do not think you made your point well enough to combat my argument.

A god cannot be all powerful and all knowing, because they inherently contradict each other. Nor can he be simply all powerful as stated in my previous argument. Nor all knowing with any ability to act.

This is just more evidence to point out god is in our minds not reality, we created him not the other way around.

Side: No.
townsend(29) Disputed
1 point

They do not inherently contradict each other.

Side: Yes.
1 point

You're holding God to your own universal laws and limitations which are the only one's your mind can conceive. You don't know that God can't "bake a red, square, circle decade." You don't know that God's world doesn't allow for every possibility, you just know that your humanity doesn't. It's both gross and beautiful that your ego allows you to think that you are the most omniscient thing possible and that the possibilities you know or can know are THE possibilities. Meanwhile, you can't conceive that something can exist outside the realm of your own logic. Catch 22?

Side: Yes.
0 points

It is amusing to me that the simple answer to this so easily evades all the 'thinkers' who want to weigh in and toss rocks.

Perhaps those who wish to argue this should first remind themselves what the root word 'omni' means..... it means 'all', which in turn specifically does not rule out states of ignorance or refusal of choice or pretty much any other appearance of contradiction.

If something/someone is omniscient and omnipotent, there are a number of things they may choose to do, among which is NOT TO CHOOSE.

If something/someone is omniscient and omnipotent, there are a number of things they may be, among which is IGNORANT OF SOMETHING.

Perhaps no one lied.

Perhaps all choices and all paths and all outcomes exist in their own dimension and the only one you know about is the one you experience... and even then, you only know it in the moment OF the experience, after that, you BELIEVE/HAVE FAITH that you know it.

Perhaps the difference between between omniscience and omnipotence and being human is simply ignorance and an inability to truly comprehend just what being omniscient and omnipotent really means.

Side: Yes.
Litchfield(54) Disputed
3 points

All that text and i got nothing from it.

Considering the FACT the humans created our languages, and we CREATED the words omniscient and omnipotent i do think we know what they mean.

We created the gods then the words to describe them.

Side: Yes.
Cienna(50) Disputed
0 points

Just because you are part of the species that made a thing doesn't mean you know how to use it or understand it and its logical ramifications.... obviously.

If omniscient then electing to be unknowing is possible.

If omnipotent then electing to be without power is possible.

Humans have called everything from weather to solar phenomenon evidence of 'gods', but that wasn't the question, was it?

I suggest Aristotle for your reading list. Particularly to understand the nature of syllogism and how it applies here.

Side: Yes.
1 point

Spot on. Humans trying to understand what God is fail simply because they try to describe him in terms that humans are constrained by. Things like time, space, limit and ignorance. If God is there he isn't constrained by such things. So he can be every where at the same time and know everything there is to know, and because he is all knowing he won't do that which makes no sense for him to do. In short he would be the ultimate expression of free will. He would only do that which he decides, which would be based on perfect reason and perfect logic.

Side: Yes.
0 points

Doesn't being "all knowing" make one "all powerful"?

Side: Yes.
kirstie1126(478) Disputed
2 points

Not necessarily, it depends on what you do with the knowledge. If you are lazy and do nothing with it... where is the power in that?

Side: No.
beevbo(295) Disputed
1 point

The power is in the possession.

For the sake of argument let say God is real, and that you died and ascended to heaven to meet him, you can't tell me you wouldn't be completely intimidated just being in his presence?

He wouldn't even have to do anything, he could just sit there and stare you into holy submission.

Side: Yes.