The Omnipotence Paradox

The omnipotence paradox is one of the most fun things to talk about with a theist and one of the most effective tactics to create a cognitive dissonance and to prove that God can not exist by definition when defined as omnipotent. It works for me every time.

So what is the paradox? It’s very simple. Usually (and even in the bible) God is being defined as omnipotent. So what does omnipotence mean? Often omnipotence is defined as: “the ability and the strength to do anything”. Okay let’s start with that one. This definition makes God vulnerable for the paradox of the “stone”. If God is omnipotent, than let’s see God create a finite rock that even God himself can not lift. This is a perfectly logical action that you and I can do. We’ll go go to a mountain, chip off a large boulder and when the boulder is large enough we’ll end up with a rock we can not lift ourselves. It’s a perfectly coherent and logical action.

What happens next is that christians will object to the definition agreed upon earlier. They’ll say that God can not perform actions that are logically not possible. He can not create a square circle for instance. Also, God can not lie or die, because that’s not within his nature. Okay, fair enough. Even though creating a rock that can not be lifted by it’s own maker is a perfectly logical action, let’s go with our new definition of omnipotence, namely: “the ability to do anything that is logically possible restricted that it is within ones nature”.

This definition turns this God into a meaningless tautology. Why? According to this definition, God can do the things God can do. Also, according to this definition even I am omnipotent. For I can do anything that is logically possible, provided it’s within my nature. That God’s nature and my nature are different, is irrelevant.

Mostly what happens next is that theists will say that we can not define God in earthly and human terms and what that actually means is that we can not know anything about God which makes believing in him a joke.

So to all you christians out there, don’t be greedy and sloppy when it comes to defining your God. Or else we’ll get to kill him off immediately.


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