Can God be truly omnipotent?

Cute story, but not adequate, IMHO, for two reasons:

  1. The country dweller did “engage in continuous acts of destruction”; the good of the final product doesn’t alter that fact. Whether that end justifies the means is a different question.

  2. The country dweller makes bread that way because he has no choice. If he could, say, grow bread on trees, there would be no destruction of fields, no cutting of plants, no grinding, etc. The same end result wouldn’t require the destruction. But his country is not of his devising; he is limited by the constraints of a universe he cannot control. Unlike God.

  3. Hi, Opal!

Unfortunately, his beliefs aren’t quite the same as the Catholics.

See here for the official version, which is a bit of a dance of course.

I feel it is safe to say, since Catholics believe people have free will, their God doesn’t know the future as your prof maintains.


Nice story, but I see monotheistic religious people the same way as you see the naive city dweller. To use your example, I see nature, human nature, natural forces, evolution, humanistic and logical laws with high ethical expectations, and then I see sheltered people who cry foul at everything natural and spread low expectations, and force moral and political issues and waste their time and money and lives hoping for just and better life in the next world handed to them on a silver platter. By the way, monotheism is historically an urban phenomenon. Pagan supposedly means “of the countryside.”

I am reminded of a story by Mark Twain, where a pupil is discussing good and evil with an arab sage:the answer is-there is NO such thing as good actions or evil actions, there are merely actions done with either evil intent, or good intent. And every action, regardless of intent, brings fourth both good and evil results. for example: the earthquake killed 15,000 people (evil result), but it caused lots of people to move away. perhaps this AVERTED a future disaster, which might have killed 10 times as many. I think this is the way the world works-because the world is what it is-imperfect and flawed (as we are). When man is transfigured, this sorry state of affairs will be changed.

near the beginning of Psalms it speaks of the kings of the earth doing evil and God laughing. suppose he knows something we don’t.

in a reincarnation paradigm ‘people’ don’t die. BODIES die, people live on and are reborn. in that scenario what looks like a big deal to us is small potatoes.

are we discussing what God would do according to our concept of omnisience. wouldn’t we be having to assume that we’re omniscient to conclude that God isn’t doing what he is supposed to be doing?

Dal Timgar

:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I guess it depends on if God necessarily obeys rules of inference, logic, and so on.

As the Perfect Master mentioned in his column on the Shroud of Turin, if we start with the premise that a miracle occurred then we can conclude anything we want.

Indeed…an all-knowing (omniscient) being and Bertrand Russel would have a HELL of a conversation; meanwhile, Godel would be burning in hell!

For God to be omniscient, it seems, he cannot obey logic. For God to be all powerful he cannot obey logic.

It seems.

hell is totally illogical. God can’t be stupid enough to tolerate such a place.

therefore Godel can’t be burning or doing anything else there.

these Roman superstitions really have to go.

see you in sheol.

the heretical, Dal Timgar

What is illogical about justice? You don’t think people should be punished for what they do wrong? Or do you maintain that no act is wrong?

I don’t know where people get the idea that God is omnibenevolent. From what I’ve read of the OT he’s anything but. He screws with Job’s life for no reason I can discern, he prevents Moses from entering the Promised Land because Moses made a couple of mistakes, he sends angels to nuke Sodom and Gomorrah because they had too much sex and had the audacity to worship other gods (gasp!), he asks Abraham to sacrifice his son and then says “Just kidding, I was just testing you.” I don’t think God is omnipotent either; the First Commandment says “Thou shalt have no other gods before me for I am a jealous god.” If God was the one true God then he would have no reason to be jealous of these other gods, since he would have power over them or else they wouldn’t exist. But what do I know, I’m just a multicultural pagan.

  • Did you hear about the insomniac agnostic dyslexic? He stayed up all night wondering if there was a Dog.

Some links touching on the problem of evil:

Ben Yacobi:

I don’t think a Deist God is necessarily omnipotent.

And my knowledge of scripture is rusty enough that I’m not even convinced that a Christian God is necessarily omnipotent. (I could just translate “all powerful” as “really powerful”).

So please explain how a non-omnipotent God is only consistent within a drastically altered religion. Thanks. Oh, BTW, nice presentation of the triad.

Many (I don’t know if this is true of all) Christian churches teach that whether you go to Heaven or Hell depends not on whether you were good or bad, but on whether you accept the Lord’s forgiveness for your sins. So basically we’re all sinners because we are alive, and if we don’t believe that Jesus is the Way we’re gonna fry forever. Why would a benevolent God have a place for eternal damnation and torment? Especially if the “sin” is doubting God’s word. The OT God seems to like punishing people for being people. He creates Adam and Eve, gives them brains and curiosity, then shows them the Tree of Knowledge and says “Don’t eat the fruit.” Well what does he expect? I think if the Christian God exists it’s like some cosmic joke. “Haha, I’ll give them thoughts and desires and then I’ll punish them for acting out those thoughts and desires.” It’s like a kid playing with bugs.