Talk:Omnipotence

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Omnipotence[edit]

I think the first part of their definition is pretty solid as long as you define omnipotence to mean, "capable of doing anything that is logically possible" instead of "anything." Like, an omnipotent being couldn't create a square circle, because that just doesn't make any sense. However, I disagree with them regarding whether God could be simultaneously omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Even if you go with the free will excuse, one could still argue that since there are millions of not-good things caused by natural forces (droughts, tsunamis, insect plagues, herpes), then God either had good intentions but created an imperfect world (which would mean he was not omnipotent) or the world works exactly as he intended (which would mean he's not necessarily omnibenevolent). Thoughts? GrandSoviet 02:32, 21 December 2007 (EST)

God can do anything except things he can't do. NightFlare 07:29, 21 December 2007 (EST)
I do wonder how they'd respond to the Omnipotence Paradox. Kirkburn 13:45, 21 December 2007 (EST)
I find it fairly arbitrary to go from "Having unlimited or universal power" (dictionary definition) to "Can do anything except for all the stuff that might lead to complications". That's not unlimited and universal power.
Dictionary definitions are to some extent ambiguous when they don't want to overprescribe the meaning of a word. The dictionary definition doesn't specify that the 'power' they have in mind can in any way effect the impossible. Usually we assume that 'power' lacks this 'capacity'. Don't get me wrong, omnipotence is an antiscientific idea, an epithet of obeisance, and a grand opportunity for hyperbole and equivocation on the part of the dogmatically religious, but it doesn't mean that it's good to nitpick over dictionary definitions when the effort would be better spent getting (or sometimes, rather absurdly failing to get) a workable definition for godly omnipotence.
Let me give a parallel example to show why playing tug of war about what the definition of this word is is a pretty empty intellectual exercise. Let 'omnipissant' mean "being completely and utterly powerless" An omnipissant rock is thus powerless to prevent me from making it into a powerful alien being right now just by thinking about it, and is thus a powerful alien being right now and is not omnipissant. It's pathetic wordplay and that this sort of wordplay appears in medieval theology just shows how silly metaphysics can get sometimes. Shirtsleeves (talk) 15:57, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Finally. Someone who speaks English! Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:48, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

But, if the same standard is applied to omniscience, then the result is an irrational definition of omniscience that's actually equivalent to 'irrational omnipotence': knowing how to do anything that's logically impossible, including knowing how to do so without making any effort. Of course, it may seem, then, that this 'irrational omniscience' would be more powerful that 'irrational omnipotence' since the former would already know that 2+2=5 or 5,000 (logical explosion). But, there is no distinction, because, from the point of view of a being which is 'irrationally omnipotent', 2+2 would already entail explosion.

Not even to mention that God is supposed to have created the entire universe in its current form, including all life in it. From scratch. In six days. Oh, and then he had few issues with wiping out cities or just flooding the entire planet for the Lulz. And yet he's not able to create a square circle, just because we can't imagine it? God could simply reshape reality or rewrite history to allow a square circle. THAT would be unlimited power. It strikes me as very naive to limit God's power to "everything written in the Bible, plus whatever I can imagine". --Sid 14:07, 21 December 2007 (EST)
I think it's fairly arbitrary to pull out dictionary definitions to solve a profound problem of logics, theology, and semantics. So we have to ignore that definition and ask what it would really mean to be omnipotent, if it were in fact possible for any thing to be omnipotent.
An omnipotent being couldn't create a square circle not because we "can't imagine it," but because it doesn't make any sense. What would a square circle be? An omnipotent being could create something with the properties of a square or something with the properties of a circle, but it's nonsense to ask for a a circular object with the properties of a square.
So we have to agree that the real meaning of omnipotence couldn't be, "capable of doing any act that can be uttered," because then it would be an impossible, meaningless categorization. I think the Wikipedia article linked above offers many good arguments for and against the paradox. GrandSoviet 16:59, 21 December 2007 (EST)
Indeed. See also their article on theodicy. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 17:22, 21 December 2007 (EST)
I completely agree with the need to think outside the box when it comes to define omnipotence in a usable sense, but I think it has to be acknowledged that this is consciously placing limitations to normally unlimited power. As little practical sense as it makes, there is a dictionary definition that's based on what the word actually means, and it doesn't literally mean "the power to do everything we currently think makes sense". Changing that is not a trivial act, and yet, CP just waves any conflict away by implying that their definition is the only one (thus also solving the entire Omnipotence Paradox). Furthermore, they then add further limitations: "God is also not capable of doing anthing which is against His nature." I'm not a specialist in the field, but if anything, this article is confusing as Hell to me because they speak of unlimited power and then make more and more "Yeah, but..." objections.
About the square circle... why not? If all else (like bending space and introducing new dimensions) fails, God could just hit the cosmic reset button and create a reality where things are defined to allow it. We're talking about the entity who is said to have created THE UNIVERSE. What's stopping him from starting over, just to prove a point? But that's more of a silly aside. I'm not really here to discuss the actual limits of omnipotence or a paradox that has been around for God knows how long. --Sid 18:07, 21 December 2007 (EST)
CP's article on this is an excellent example of why literalism makes for such crappy theology. Also, how do we know that God hasn't already made a square circle, only we wouldn't recognize it because it looks exactly the same as a round one? ;-) --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 18:56, 21 December 2007 (EST)

(outdent) - One of the fun bits to ask is "Can God lie?" and then when answered "yes" ask if they've got a better understanding than Paul[1]. The arguing for square circles or other logical impossibilities is only there to set up a strawman - its not that useful. Theologians from Aquinas and Augustine to modern philosophy, omnipotence has never been ascribed the power to make square circles. One has to use the term in the same way that it is used by those who deal with it. Omnipotence has to be defined in the way the theologians talk about it just like evolution has to be defined in the way biologists talk about it (otherwise we become just as guilty as those who argue that evolution says nothing about the origins of life and thus must be false). To that extent, when talking about omnipotence, this is likely the definition to go with and the arguments to make about it. (This comes from faint memories of a paper written for Modern Philosophy a decade ago) --Shagie 18:28, 21 December 2007 (EST)

Yea, verily God canst indeed lie, not that we'd ever know it since everything would change to fit into the current truth and no-one would have known it any other way. CЯacke®

If a god existed, and if it were omnipotent, then all bets are off, even this edit could be a fabrication of god. It could even have invented the ramblings of Andrew Schlafly. It's all rather silly really. Susanpurrrrr ... 19:05, 21 December 2007 (EST)
Whether the Judeo-Christian God is omnipotent is really a separate issue than whether God is full of deceit. GrandSoviet 22:53, 21 December 2007 (EST)

What about Yog[edit]

Yog-sothoth definitely deservers a mention here. — Unsigned, by: 65.29.79.165 / talk / contribs

Yog-Sothoth was not omnipotent; he could not get back to the earth without help from his twin sons. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:13, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

what is the point of the list?[edit]

What is the point of the list? I think my sense of humor is different from most people here. Andries (talk) 13:33, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

It is a joke. We like to have some humor in our articles see RW:SPOV ТyTalk. 13:34, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
It's got a Chuck Norris gag in it so it must be funny. ADK...I'll murder your dishwasher! 13:35, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
No, it really isn't. I never understood those. ТyTalk. 13:36, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

what is the meaning of parakeet part?[edit]

I am translating the article in french, but since I can't understand that part, I can't translate it, it would be great if someone could explain it to me. thanks, Jean 5 5 (talk) 12:59, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

That part of the article was so poorly written as to be not even wrong. Hipocrite (talk) 13:19, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

To create the antonym[edit]

Add a single 'm.' 82.44.143.26 (talk) 16:19, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

. . . Momnipotence? --Bertrc (talk) 18:28, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
Move the 'm' a few letters along. Anna Livia (talk) 16:54, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

The Socinian appropac[edit]

Looking at the Wikipedia page on this belief system could something similar be applied to omnipotence (the section on predestination and omniscience)? Anna Livia (talk) 15:26, 18 August 2017 (UTC)

Definitions[edit]

Omnipotence means that Deity of Choice has the #potential# to everything, not that God actually #chooses# to do everything.

And what are the actually accruing personal benefits from 'being omnipotent, omni-universe/omni-multi-verse, omni-scale and omni-temporal' and from 'intervening on a more specific basis'? Anna Livia (talk) 09:42, 28 September 2017 (UTC)