Omnipotence Paradox Answer
Today we are going to ask ourselves a question; is the Most High all powerful?
- Logical Fallacy
- What Can God Do?
- "In philosophy, a formal fallacy (also called deductive fallacy) is a pattern of reasoning rendered invalid by a flaw in its logical structure that can neatly be expressed in a standard logic system, for example, propositional logic. An argument that is formally fallacious is always considered wrong."
For example, the Rock Dilemma. If he can make a rock so big he cannot lift it, then he is not all powerful. If he cannot, then he is not all powerful. Another example is the Stick Argument. Can he make a one ended stick? By default a stick has two ends, so that s impossible. But here we are implying that being all powerful means you can do anything. Let's break it down.
-All: used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing.
-Powerful: having great power or strength.
-Almighty: having complete power; omnipotent.
So if we split the words in two, we see that he has power over all things. That is what it means to be all-powerful, or Almighty. He is mighty over all.
What Can God Do?
Now does this mean he can do anything? No. He has a specific nature that cannot be manipulated. For example, he is eternal. So if he was able to make himself nonexistent or make himself evil, then that contradicts his nature.
Can he lie? Read Isaiah Chapter 59, verse 11. Whatever he says must come to pass. So he always tells the truth. He is outside of space and time, so he sees the beginning and end. So with that view, he sees everything. So by default, he cannot say something false, because everything he says must come to pass.
The Most High has set up the spiritual and natural laws. Natural laws can be manipulated to perform miracles. It is nothing for him to be able to split the Red Sea. He is not bound by these laws as we are. The only limit he has is his own nature. Things that would contradict his own nature are impossible for him to do.
The word "omnipotent" is never used in the Bible, but the closest word we can find is "Shadday," which is most often translated as "almighty." The Bible never claims that God can do all things. In fact, the Bible makes a point that there are things that God cannot do, such as sin.
Saying that omnipotence requires the ability to do logically impossible or immoral things is ignorant of the power of the Most High. In fact, this isn't even what the word omnipotent actually meant. The word "Omnipotence" derives from the Latin term "Omni Potens", meaning "All-Powerful" instead of "Infinite Power" implied by its English counterpart. There is a difference implied in the wording. Having all of the power is not the same as saying you have unlimited power that can do the purely illogical.
Some may argue that because God can perform miracles that my argument itself is illogical. But let's analyze this. A square cannot be a rectangle. That is contradictory. But when God revives the dead is that in any way false or contradicting itself? No. And it is not entirely impossible. We can revive the dead who have just died. If someone dies we can use defibrillator paddles, CPR, and other medical practices. But God, having more power than us, can use methods we cannot such as just simply willing that person to come back. Think of it as comparing someone who doesn't know much about mechanics and someone who knows everything about it. The latter, being wiser and more experienced, can do things that the other cannot. The only difference here is that while you can learn about mechanics we cannot get to the level of God.
But what about seemingly impossible things such as the splitting of the sea to let the Israelites pass through? There is a scientific explanation. I am not saying that God did not cause this to happen. I am saying that if the parting of bodies of water is possible, then we do not have a reason to think God cannot do this. This was the result of a coastal effect called a “wind setdown,” in which strong winds -- a little over 60 miles per hour -- create a "push" on the water and causes a storm surge in another location. But in the location from which the wind pushes -- in this case, the east -- the water moves away. Such occurrences have been observed in the past in Lake Erie, among other places such as in the Nile Delta.
God cannot do what is not true. God is all-powerful, meaning he can do whatever he wants to do. Even an all-powerful being cannot do what is impossible by definition. God can do many things that are humanly impossible. However, there are some things that even an all-powerful being cannot do.
The word "omnipotent" is never used in the Bible, but has been inferred primarily by one of God's Hebrew titles, "Shadday," which is most often translated "almighty."1 However, the Bible never claims that God can do all things. In fact, the Bible makes a point that there are things that God cannot do. The Bible says that God cannot commit sin.2 God cannot lie.3 Therefore, biblical omnipotence does not mean that God can do all things. God cannot do anything that is contrary to His holy character.
We have to understand the scriptural context of what it means to be all-powerful or Almighty.
Peace and blessings, and all praises to the Most High.
Here is another article where I address the common arguments against religion.