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# Proof that omnipotence is impossible.

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1. (Original post by tazarooni89)
In some ways, I'd say that violating the law of the excluded middle is a type of attempt to interpret an undefined term.

The law of the excluded middle is essentially that any proposition is either completely true, or it is not completely true, and there is no "option in between". But there is no "option in between" is because this is an undefined term.
If I told you that some statement is completely true, you'd know what I meant. And if I told you that it was not completely true, you'd know what I meant. But if I told you that some statement is neither completely true, nor false in the slightest, you wouldn't know what I meant by that. I wouldn't know what I meant by that. It's an undefined concept.
Informally, I see what you are driving at, but I don't think it's a good idea in general to mix up language structure and vocabulary.

I agree that in these sorts of arguments, the concept of omnipotence is often incoherent. It's necessary to first agree on a clear definition of what is meant by "omnipotence".

In some cases, we might define "omnipotence" as the ability to do anything - even if it is logically impossible. The question "Is an omnipotent God able to..." must always be answered with "yes", even if the question is meaningless, or logically impossible. Clearly this type of omnipotence is logically impossible. But also, any God with this type of omnipotence would be able to "supercede logic" anyway, so it wouldn't matter that it's paradoxical.

Most theists probably believe that God is "omnipotent" in the sense that no task is too difficult for him, or that he can bring about any logically consistent state of affairs. Clearly this type of omnipotence is logically possible by definition.
That's a good distinction, so far, but it still leaves room for discussing what difficult means.
2. (Original post by Apeiron)
Informally, I see what you are driving at, but I don't think it's a good idea in general to mix up language structure and vocabulary.
Yes I know - but it's just an informal analogy after all, to illustrate the problem caused when we request God to do "something" which doesn't actually mean anything.

That's a good distinction, so far, but it still leaves room for discussing what difficult means.
Well, what I mean when I say something is "difficult" is that it takes a lot of power, strength, or other kind of capability to complete such a task. Lifting a car is difficult. Running faster than an aeroplane is difficult.
This is in contrast with things which are impossible - that is, the reason you are unable to perform these tasks is not because you lack any particular capability. It is because there exists no such capability which would enable you to perform such a task. Drawing a square which is also a circle is impossible. Finding a number greater than 4 but less than 3 is impossible.
3. (Original post by tazarooni89)
Yes I know - but it's just an informal analogy after all, to illustrate the problem caused when we request God to do "something" which doesn't actually mean anything.

Well, what I mean when I say something is "difficult" is that it takes a lot of power, strength, or other kind of capability to complete such a task. Lifting a car is difficult. Running faster than an aeroplane is difficult.
This is in contrast with things which are impossible - that is, the reason you are unable to perform these tasks is not because you lack any particular capability. It is because there exists no such capability which would enable you to perform such a task. Drawing a square which is also a circle is impossible. Finding a number greater than 4 but less than 3 is impossible.
Yes, I realise that. I am thinking in terms of things that would be contrary to the laws of physics, not logic. For example, would it be possible, however unlikely, to find an exoplanet that orbited its star in a rectangle rather than an ellipse?
4. (Original post by 35mm_)
Can God make a wall so strong he cannot tear it down? If he cannot tear it down, he is not omnipotent. If he cannot create such, he isn't omnipotent, either.

Discussion.
Being absurd - i.e. self-contradictory - has NOTHING to do with Omnipotence! This is just atheistic NONSENSE - as usual!

"Omnipotence" refers to the property of having the capacity to bring into being ALL possibilities. Self-contradiction - in the absolute sense - as you describe here is NOT something that belongs to the realm of possibilities. A thing CANNOT simultaneously be and not be! Such thinking is simply absurd - even insane!
5. (Original post by Apeiron)
Yes, I realise that. I am thinking in terms of things that would be contrary to the laws of physics, not logic. For example, would it be possible, however unlikely, to find an exoplanet that orbited its star in a rectangle rather than an ellipse?
The answer to that would have to be "yes". I think in most theistic belief systems, God is the one who actually decides what the laws of physics are.
6. (Original post by tazarooni89)
The answer to that would have to be "yes". I think in most theistic belief systems, God is the one who actually decides what the laws of physics are.
The laws of physics - not just what has been discovered of them - are an Expression of the UNCHANGING Nature of God - in this part of the Universe. They are not things perchance produced on a whim.
7. (Original post by NuckingFut)
How is this "proof"?
Its merely a hypothetical, and a moot point at that.
As is the existance of god and the concept of omnipotence in the first place.
8. (Original post by 35mm_)
Can God make a wall so strong he cannot tear it down? If he cannot tear it down, he is not omnipotent. If he cannot create such, he isn't omnipotent, either.

Discussion.
Omnipotence cannot exist because it should be able to do EVERYTHING and that includes illogical things such as making a God more powerful than him. So, I would say that an omnipotent being cannot exist.

For religious people: God might or might not exist. But even if he exists and he is powerful and can do awesome things, he is definately not OMNIpotent. He is as bound by us by logical laws and thus, he will never be able to make a squared circle and similar.
9. (Original post by When you see it...)
As is the existance of god and the concept of omnipotence in the first place.
This.

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