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Omnipotence of God: The Stone Paradox

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The Stone Paradox: Arguments Questioning God's Omnipotence

The five divine attributes of a traditional concept of God includes: necessity, omnipotence, omniscience, eternity, and immutability. These divine attributes, as historically held, are argued for their reasonable articulation and affirmation. Certain philosophers argue that theism is conflicting and incoherent internally which makes God a logically impossible being, while some debate that the traditional concept of God requires a rational modification for it to be logically coherent. Still, other philosophers argue that overall conception of God is coherent, although some of the classic attributes stand logically better if modified. The logical coherence of these divine attributes considered individually remains fundamentally essential to the recent debates on the coherence of theism. In this short paper I show that the stone paradox presents a decisive objection to the classical attribute of God's omnipotence.

"For nothing will be impossible with God." St. Luke's Gospel, 1:37, The Holy Bible.

One of the classically attributed properties of God is omnipotence- from the Latin roots omnis (all) and potens (powerful). This property dictates that God is all perfect in power. This quality of God has baffled and intrigued several philosophers throughout the history. Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of the most influential theologians and philosophers of all times, struggled with this particular attribute of God.

The quality of God's perfect in power is often misunderstood as God's infallible ability to do anything whatsoever. God's power of performing miracles, answering prayers, creating the universe is traditionally held characteristic to His nature. However, the stone paradox challenges the omnipotence of a divine God. The paradox begs the question whether God, in His perfection of power, could create a stone that is so heavy that God Himself could not lift it. The problem this paradox poses is intriguing. If God were to create a stone that is so heavy, then He could not lift it, thereby proving that He is not omnipotent. And, if He failed to create such a heavy stone then again, He is not omnipotent. This strongly questions the Descartes' notion that God is not limited by anything, and God can do anything whatsoever. Descartes' defenders seem to reject the notion that God, in all His might, is only restricted by limits of logic, but they can hardly refute the premise on logical and rational grounds. If God was to be all powerful, and not be limited by logic or reasoning, there would be severe moral consequences: it would mean that God could lie, or sin, or break promises, or commit any actions that contradicts His divine moral perfection. Majority of theologians and theists argue and maintain that God cannot perform such immoral actions. Most of the philosopher

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