Ok, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not exactly an expert in ecumenical matters but I have a problem with the specifics of Gods omnipotent nature.
- I had a discussion about this with the philosophy teacher at my college a while back. He is a fervent Catholic and believes in Gods omnipotency without question. He told me that the current teaching on God is that he is Omnipotent (all powerful) Omniscient (all knowing) and Omnibenevolent (all loving, all good). He also said that for God to be truly omniscient he would know, not only everything that has happened anywhere at any time but also everything that is going to happen. in other words God can prognisticate and he can prognosticate perfectly. As I have already said my philosophy teacher is a fervent catholic and as such I take this position to be the one which the Catholic Church is currenlty advocating.
Now, we have all heard about the recent earthquake in India which happened just the other week. Fifteen thousand people have died as a consequence of this catastrophe and the death toll is still rising exponentially. My question is this. How can we support the position that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent in light of these kinds of tragedy?
The way I see it, if God knew that the earthquake was going to happen (as he would do if he were truly omniscient) and he didn’t stop it, this shows that he is not omnibenevolent. If he did know about it and did want to stop it but he couldn’t, then it shows that he is not omnipotent. And finally, if he just didn’t know about it at all he is not omniscient and if he is not omniscient it
shows that he cannot be truly omnipotent either.
So whichever way you look at it God is not truly all powerful as he cannot be omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent. The best he can hope for is to be omniscient and omnibenevolent.
Obviously this looks like quite a large flaw in theological teaching and one which, I’m sure, there is a logical explanation for. So my question is simple, what is it? How can the Catholic Church teach that God is Omnipotent etc… in light of catastrophes like the Indian earthquake?