Can God make a rock so big that even he can't lift it?

(by Alfalfa Henry)

 

Atheists constantly present this foolish argument as though it were some kind of trump card against the existence of God.

 

In brief I will explain why it is a failure.

 

The paradox is utterly ridiculous because it ignores the meaning of the word "omnipotent." If a being is omnipotent (all-powerful) then it is ridiculous to argue that such a being could somehow create something that it is powerless to manipulate.

 

The only way for this paradox to make any sense is if the being isn't all-powerful, and then it's not a paradox at all because it is obvious that beings of limited power will encounter circumstances that they are not powerful enough to manipulate.

 

Basically atheists have missed the entire point here.

 

The entire point is that the proposition: "God creates a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it" seems to be proper, but the conclusion, i.e.: "God is not all powerful" is contradictory based on the definition of the term "God" being used.

 

Of course, this is precisely what you find ridiculous, but the entire point of the argument is that it is ridiculous.

 

An argument of this form is called a "reductio ad absurdum", meaning reduction the absurd.

 

The idea is to show that an assumption, or group of assumptions, leads to a contradiction and therefore needs to be rejected.

 

But this form of argumentation to prove the point of the paradox is a failure on many levels and for many reasons.

 

Most of them able to be understood by a second grade child.

 

The first thing the atheist does is to ignore the definition and meaning of omnipotent as is described not just in the bible but by theologians in general.

 

The atheist therefore presents a false and sophists argument, in re a false dichotomy, it is this or nothing, while he ignores the given understanding of onmipotence as given by those who define it.

 

Theists make the claim that when one says "all powerful being" one simply means to refer to a being capable of performing all logically possible tasks, but not necessarily one who can perform logically impossible tasks.

 

Depending on one's understanding of "logically impossible tasks", one understanding rightly would be that they are simply non-sensical tasks to begin with.

 

For instance, if I asked "could God hypergoogasuffohockinate?", you'd looked at me quizzically and ask "what in the heck is hypergoogasulfohockinate?" The answer is the word doesn't refer to anything; I simply made it up.

 

Same as the rock, it is a made up situation that would corresopnd with no need in reality and goes against the nature of God who does not create for no reason.

 

As perhaps a better example we could consider: "God makes colorless purple square circles hyper actively." which is a modification of the so-called "Chomsky Sentence".

 

But of course we could not even decide on the meaning of such a sentence, let alone it's truth value.

 

It's simply gibberish, and as such God isn't capable of doing that even though He's all powerful.

 

Likewise, God cannot create "round squares" or "triangular spheres" since these notions fail to be coherent.

 

“Could God make a rock so big even he can't lift it?” This question is contradictory.

 

If a contradictory question can be meaningful, then all questions are ultimately meaningless, and we should expect that the laws of logic do not hold in any part of reality, yet they clearly do.

 

Valid questions cannot violate the law of contradiction.

 

Obviously, in a world where God exists, it cannot be true that God does not exist.

 

So then answer is no, God cannot both exist and not exist at the same time.

 

Same as the Rock, God cannot do what violates his nature or the laws of reality but this does not limit his power instead it defines it and gives us consistency in God from which we base our faith.

 

The skeptic may then object and say, then God is not omnipotent.

 

However, this is not a question of whether or not God can do something, rather, it is a question of whether or not the state of affairs that the skeptic gives is possible.

 

God can’t both exist and not exist at the same time, because God exists.

 

The very question assumes that God already exists, and the question is contradictory, therefore, the question is meaningless.

 

If the atheist thinks that God should be able to exist and not exist at the same time, then he has violated the law of contradiction, and has shown that his objection is unintelligible and meaningless, same with the rock question.

 

So all you have done when asking the question of the omnipotence paradox is create what is known in logic as a Contradictory-Tautological Question and a logical fallacy.

 

So for the paradox to make any kind of sense the atheist must ask us to abandon order for contradiction.

 

The atheist asks us to abandon reason for that which is not reasonable.

 

If god creates nothing without purpose, then to create such a stone to appease the atheists paradox is contrary to not just Gods nature but to the nature of men, who are created in his image.

 

As we are dependent on God for keeping and sustaining existence then we cannot have contradicion in God or in nature.

 

Additionally, we are also able to have some expectations on god and that he will uphold them.

 

Namely that we are able to live in a world where order and natural laws are not self contradicting.

 

We posit god as the creator of natural laws therefore we should, and can, and do see order and structure from the smallest to the greatest things that make up the fabric of the phenomenal reality, (Universe) we find order, symmetry, beauty and purpose in things.

 

These are things that we would expect from God and from a theistic universe.

 

What would an atheistic universe look like? A universe based on randomness and non directed process would be an atheistic universe and we could not expect any kind of coherence from it, just as we cannot expect any kind of real coherence from atheistic arguments against the existence of God, as is shown when the atheist tries to use simplistic and sophistic argumentation like the Omnipotence Paradox to manipulate an argument by ignoring the traditional definition of omnipotence and abuse of semantics.

 

What it really shows is a childish understanding of philosophy, logic and yes, even theology which is not bound by logic of men but dictated to us by the word of God.

 

Coincidentally the bible does offer an answer to the paradox.

 

We should also observe that the ability to humble himself does not cause God to not be self-sufficient, for God can stop suppressing his attributes at any time.

 

God had a specific plan to carry out his will, and in order to fulfill that plan, God humbled himself in the person of Jesus Christ and became human.

 

So God in his human form who came to earth for us and to enact his plan of salvation for the lost could make a rock so big that he could not lift it, but The fact that the ability to humble himself doesn’t make God any less powerful nor does not cause God to not be self sufficient and self sustaining.

 

After all, his, the human nature of Christ has no effect on Christ in his eternal state, paradox solved.

 

Atheistic argumentation is naivety in its worst form.