Doesn't the idea of an omnipotent and omniscient God kinda contradict itself?

If God is all-knowing, then He knows what will happen in the future. If He knows what will happen in the future, then fate exists because there is a set path to follow. If fate exists, then God’s actions are set too, and He can see his actions. If he changes them, then fate wouldn’t exist, therefore he wouldn’t know everything.

Also, if God is all-powerful, then technically He could create a rock too big for Him to move, right? Or make anything else that would be impossible to do?

But… omniscience means he not only knows what will happen in the future, but he knows what will happen in all possible futures. He can therefore use his omnipotence and his free will to choose the future he wishes.
All powerful means able to do any possible thing. It does not necessarily include the abbility to do impossible things (like make a rock too big for him to move, a rock bigger than infinitely big is an impossibe thing).

What do you mean all “possible” futures? Only one future happens unless you believe in parallel universes. If God is omniscient, he’s able to predict his own actions, meaning they’re set actions, so he can’t change them. If he did, that would violate his omniscience.

What do you mean any possible thing? We find it impossible for a person to turn water into wine, cure a blind man by touching him, be resurrected, etc…but it all happened according to the Bible, the acts done by Jesus, the Son of God. I hear Christians say that God’s logic is beyond our logic, His knowledge infinitely greater than ours. So what do you mean by “possible”? When we say God is all-powerful, then thats what it means, all-powerful. God has the ability to turn water into ine, cure a blind man by touching him, resurrect the dead, draw a square-circle, create a monkey-fish, defy gravity, split the ocean and make a path, etc…so shouldn’t omnipotence include the ability to make a rock too big for God to move?

I’m not sure the future things makes sense, I’ll have to re-read a few dozen times. But I think the rock thing does take care of omnipotence pretty nicely. :wink:

Of course God can create a rock he can’t move. He already did, in fact.

Its called humanity, and its been a thorn in her side for millenia. Luckily she’s all-compassionate too, otherwise she might still give it a go.


I think it could also be said that the idea of an omniscient and omnipotent god is contradicted by the bible.

Fate is the idea of predestination. Predestination means that the future is already written, and that everything that happens follows a set path. If everything follows a set path, then so does God’s actions. If God is also omniscient, then He can see His own futures and predict His own actions. To do anything that would deviate from the set path would be a violation of the set path, but to be stuck in that set path would be a violation of omnipotence. So that’s why the idea of God is self-contradicting.

I understand the logic of this, and there have been arguments that in a deterministic universe, God is delimited by the predetermined way things are going to work out. Two arguments work hand in hand to defeat this: First, He is eternal, a third attribute not picked up in your collection, and therefore sees the fullness of time in a single Gestalt. Therefore He wills the future that He wishes to happen, along with our past and present, in a single act of will that is not delimited by anything. He created Fate, not the other way around – it is what it is because it’s the way He wanted it to be.

However, the best evidence we have regarding the God in which we Christians do believe to exist, as opposed to any bull-session God with characteristics X, Y, and Z, is that He is self-limiting – a concept akin to omnipotent and omniscient but with the critical difference that He chooses not to act in all the possible ways He could in order to leave room for entities He has created with free will to exercise that free will.

What does being eternal have anything to do with seeing the “fullness of time in a single Gestalt”? What does that mean? If God is eternal, He’s been here forever; that has nothing to do with superior perception. If God wills the future that He wishes to happen, including our history, what about His own future? You’ve avoided that part, which was a main point in my argument.

If He has made our history, God has essentially created everything bad that’s ever happened, including Satan, war, famine, death, Adam and Eve losing paradise, all the evil people that were killed during the flood, everyone that’s ever been in and is going to Hell, etc…that would be Calvinistic, meaning some people have already been determined to go to Hell, contradicting the idea of our gift of free will.

Why doesn’t Fate apply to Him? Regardless of how long He’s been around and His skills of perception, He is able to predict His own actions, meaning they’re set, meaning He can’t deviate from them without violating that set path, meaning He’s not omnipotent, meaning Fate applies to Him.

As for God choosing not to act in all possible ways because He doesn’t want to…how do you know He is omnipotent, then? Does the Bible say so? The Bible was a creation of God; it would be like a magician writing a book that said he could do anything, and demonstrated he could pull a rabbit out of a hat; but when the audience wants him to pull an elephant from the eye of a needle, he says he chooses not to.

Reminds me of the Riddle of Epicurus:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

marley… evil from the human prespective and evil from god’s prespective would be diffrent.

alot of evil deals with many people dieing… if your god sitting around in heaven welcomeing all the newly dead people you’d be thinking “and thats bad HOW!?”

as for knowing everything includeing knowing his own future? why must you assume that?

with a hex editor and a little knowlage I could play a game of sims and know exactly everything each sim would do ever perfectly. in their world I would have perfect absolute knowlage, without haveing any crazy controdictions about knowing my own future as their universe is a subset of mine, and I have absolute control and power over their’s without much of anything being said about mine.

Fudge, there’s a difference between eternal and perpetual. If you care to set up a scenario involving the Invisible Pink Unicorn and what would happen if She misplaced the Holy File Cards that record everything that has ever happened, I’ll play your game along with you.

But if you intend to discuss a serious subject (and for me theology is serious), at least take the time to grasp the vocabulary. Your argument is akin to the one about manna where the writer didn’t know the difference between hydrocarbons and carbohydrates. I.e., there’s a big flaw in it, and it’s based on your misuse of vocabulary and the resulting flawed concepts you’re applying to the scenario. Sorry if I sound snitty in this – but I tried to respond with some degree of brevity, and you’re equating X with Y and then telling me I’m wrong because you don’t grasp the difference.

[quote[marley… evil from the human prespective and evil from god’s prespective would be diffrent.[/quote]

True if you buy into the god thing, but come to think of it, that shouldn’t make a difference.

True if you buy into the god thing, but come to think of it, that shouldn’t make a difference.

As for the Invisible Pink Unicorn, what are you talking about???

I find theology a serious subject too, but if you’re going to turn this into something more complex and harder to understand than it has to be, then it makes it harder for me to get what you’re saying. How is my argument about God’s self-contradiction flawed in my misuse of vocabulary and flawed concepts applying? And I’m not equating X with Y, I have no idea what you’re talking about, if its omnipotence and omniscience then I never said they were the same thing. Nor did I say you were wrong, I said I didn’t understand what being eternal had to do with perception, so it didn’t really affect my argument, so I restated it.

God is ALL-knowing, which means He knows EVERYTHING. I take that literally. Your example with the Sims only shows that you have absolute knowledge of the universe you created, but not necessarily everything, everything including your own actions, of which you don’t know about.

Who ever made the claim that God cannot do the logically impossible?

Also, the relevant part of the “eternal” definition is “existing outside of time.” Perhaps, to God, there is no fixed concept of past or present because everything is capable of being percieved simultaneously. Thus, there are no “future” or “past” actions that God would “predict” and thus be “fated” to do. All could be amassed in a giant mumbo-jumbo of God’s experience, without anything deliniated by time or space.

The IPU is a concept on this board. It was originally a sort of stab at how many religious folk try to convert others to worshipping one particular God when there are manifold ideas of God out there. (i.e. You expect me to believe in Jesus. Why not believe in an invisible pink unicorn? It’s just as probable as the version you suggest!)

I guess it has now morphed into a sort of all-inclusive idea of God-in-the-abstract, without needing to go into particulars of any specific religious doctrine.

Then again, I could be completely wrong here. That’s just my experience.

If you can figure out how to fit the entire ocean into a regular sized bucket, maybe you would be able to comprehend God. If you do, you wont need our help.

Time happens when an object in motion is in contrast with an object thats stationary. How does something exist “outside” of time? I don’t understand that concept.

Ah, I see.