Is omnipotence self-contradictory

What is the concept of omnipotence, and is it self-contradictory? If you think the concept of omnipotence if self-contradictory, then prove that this is, in fact, the concept of omnipotence.

Is omnipotent different from infinite?

Yes, it is.

It’s a subset of infinite.

Never treat infinity as an object. Treat it as a method. A direction.

You know that there’s positive and negative infinity, right?

Awesome reply Rajafar, thank you makes me think in a new direction!!

Been a long night, again my appologies

Is an omnipotent God (or Gods) capable of destroying herself? If yes then that God lacks the power to fend off her own attacks. If no, then that God obviously lacks the power to destroy herself. Q.E.D.

Destruction is an absolute, it implies non existence, can an infinite or omnipotent being cease to exist? Absolutes are not possible with omnipotence.

Why not?

oops double posted

To say that someting is “A” means it can not be “B”, if something is absolutely “A” then it can not be “B”, if it can not be “A” and “B” it is not infinite. Absolute is a finite term, this is why if you ever talk with a Budhist Monk about enlightenment, no matter what you suggest it might be, you will be told “its not that”. The point the Monk is making is that no one definition can contain all that is enlightenment.

To say that something is “destroyed” means it is finite, it is no longer “A”, if it is not"A" then it is not infinite or Omnipotent.

Omnipotent is about potential, not existence.

To say that something is all powerful is to say that it can be what it needs to be when it should be. Just because it isn’t now, doesn’t mean it’s any less powerful.

That would be like saying that because God came to me in the form of a fly, he will always be less powerful than a frog. That’s rediculous.

The point is that to say that God is the fly but not the frog, is to say that God is not omnipotent as God is only the Fly. To be omnipotent God must have the potential of being both the fly and the frog while at the same time letting the fly and the frog not be God.

If God is omnipotent, we can not say that God is “A” and we can not say that God is not “A”, within finite terminology we can describe the atributes of an omnipotent God as any atribute is finite. We can however list atributes that partially describe an omnipotent God realizing that an infinte-1 length list is still infinately far from defining the infinite

waggles his finger

You’re treating infinity as an object and not a method again.

You just rehashed the same thing over again…

If you really believe this to be true, though, then allow me to humor you and disprove god…

If god is all powerful, then god can be me. I am not god, therefore, god is not omnipotent, therefore, god doesn’t truly exist.

But, that’s not a valid argument. Why? Because just because god is not something now doesn’t mean he can’t be later. He’s not any less powerful for being a fly. It’s still god…as a fly. He’s not any more powerful by being both a fly and a frog…he just…is.

Power is a method. Being is an object.

Yes I am guilty of returning again to the concept of infinte, I keep confusing it with Omnipotent, and as our friend yesterday explained omnipotent is only a finite subset of infinite. And yes the true casualty of having an infinite God, is our sense of self. We may still insist that “I am not God, and God is not me”, but if God is infinite then both must be true and false, ie. not absolute.

My problem is that logically, if God does exist, God has to be infinte at laest in relation to our universe. But this does not maen that God does exist or that I can prove that God does exist, it simply means that if God does exist God necessarily must be at least infinite relative to the existance of our universe.

The word “infinity” is damn near meaningless. Stop using it as a proper noun. It doesn’t exist and it never shall by sheer reason that it is an assumption. How do we know that existence has no end unless we live out existence? It’s an assumption.

Read this… … 0&start=26

I’m supporting the idea that god has to be impotent, and therefore, cannot be omnipotent.

Omnipotence is self defeating, just as the first poster suggested.

These arguments against omnipotence all seem to be based on the idea of omnipotence as being ‘possesing infinite power’. If instead we view omnipotence as ‘posessing a maximal amount of power’, doesn’t that avoid all the inconsistencies?

This has serious implications in that is defies all but the transcendental proof of god. In stating that god is not really all-powerful, but instead is as powerful as one can get within reason, god is suddenly subject to bounds. As a result, we can concieve of something greater than him (waves bye to the ontological proof), god wouldn’t be able to create himself (waves bye to the teleological proof), and god would also be subject to apparent causality (bye bye cosmological proof). The only way I can see you defining him is by stating that god exists because reason exists, but that’s a horribly flawed argument (the transcendental proof).

Sooo, as a result, it makes god much much much more human. Descarte stated that it wasn’t bad to follow the rules, but unfortunatly, it’s also contradictory with his proof of god…as a result, his little circle gets cut in half.

 That depends on how you concieve logic. Let me explain. When I say God has a 'maximal degree of power' I mean He has as much power as it is logically possible to have. I have no problem calling that 'omnipotence'.  Saying God cannot has maximal power rather than inifite power is not a bound on God, if there's no such thing as infinity. 
 Logic is just a set of rules that guides our language to make sure we are really talking about the things we think we are- it's no different than grammar. Say for example part of your definition of "omnipotent" is "the ability to make square circles".  Well, square circles are logically impossible, therefore the term "square circles" doesn't really mean anything. Therefore, 'omnipotent' doesn't really mean anything.  Therefore, saying "God is not omnipotent" is the same as saying "God is not floop" where 'floop' has no meaning.  How can "God is not floop'  be a limitation on God, when 'floop' doesn't refer to anything? All we've established in this thread so far is that the most common usage of the word "omnipotent" is meaningless. 
  As to the traditional arguments for the existence of God, let me say this. I cannot personally concieve of a Being with greater than the maximal degree of power, so I don't see how my idea is a violation of the ontological proof. As to the other two, I'm not very familiar with the teleological proof, I wouldn't want to comment on that, and I'd need to see an argument for why a being with the maximal degree of power must nessicarily be subject to casuality.

The above was me, BTW.

to: Other guest

Why should a maximally powerful being be necessarily subjected to causality? Why not? It seems as if everything else is, and logically possible worlds even if just conceptions in the mind should work in the same way that the real world does in principle, as at least a candidate for a way that the real world might be.

One can say that God is a subject of cause and effect in terms of a feedback relationship between that God and “his” environment, which is the physical and psychological stuff that makes up everything else that is not God.

Jay M. Brewer