Much more profound than the old “make a rock so big He Himself can’t lift it” paradox, don’t you think? That goes merely to the logical implications of the concept of omnipotence. (St. Augustine said it is a sin to suppose that God is any the less omnipotent because He cannot do logically impossible things, such as dividing something into three equal halves.) But what I’m posing goes to the different but even more important concept of God as moral authority. If sin is defined as what is contrary to the will of God . . .
According to that definition, no he can’t. He could be omnimalignant and still not sin. So, the other question is, how do you define sin ? Going by the three most common definitions I’ve seen of sin :
Anything against God’s will : No he can’t.
Evil : Yes he can.
Evil actions that one knows and feels to be evil : Yes.
For a native speaker of English to be obsessed with linguistic purity is a classic exercise in futility. Engish is what happened when Norman knights tried to make dates with Saxon barmaids; it has no more purity than any of the less enduring results of such unions. There’s nothing wrong with appending Greek prefixes or suffixes to Latin roots or vice-versa. I mean, consider the phrase, “lunar geography.” Isn’t that a whole lot better and more meaningful than something as recondite as “selenography”?
< curious > H. Beam Piper fan ? Or did you get that paraphrase somewhere else ?
Yes, God can sin because God can masturbate. Jesus told me so. He does it.
If morality is defined as whatever god feels, like, no he can’t, since anything he does is moral by definition. If there is some other standard of morality, then he could.
You don’t need hypothetical examples if you believe in the Bible - just ask yourself if the killing of billions in the flood is a sin.
I gotta’ vote “no” on this one. I always thought it was pretty clear that sin is whatever is contrary to what God wants us to do; that is, God gets to define sin, not us. Indeed, even posing such a question might be considered a sin, although I’ve never gotten a clear answer on whether questioning God is actually a sin. I was raised Methodist, and we never really got very deeply into esoteric questions. According to our youth group leader, jerking off is a sin because it causes one’s seed to be wasted, rather than sown for harvest of another Methodist soul. One would think that leaves open the question of masturbation by women, but Methodist women never masturbate, so it’s not an issue. My Roman Catholic-raised wife, however, says Catholic girls do masturbate, and she was told that’s a sin because it requires one to have carnal thoughts outside of marital sex. I asked her if it was OK for her to masturbate while thinking of me. We both decided to become Episcopalian. They don’t think masturbation is sinful per se, unless performed during the priest’s homily.
I have always stated that for these discussions one first has to define God.
If is accepted that he is all powerful and all knowing, why does he have to be imbued with moral values that we understand?
But wait: you said a sin is whatever is contrary to what God wants us to do, not what he wants himself to do. If God does something that he wouldn’t want us to do ourselves, it still fits that definition of sin.
“Do not make statues of gods that look like anything in the sky or on the earth or in the waters. Do not bow down to them or worship them. I am the Lord your God. I am a jealous God…”
Yup, definite display of both pride and envy there.
Flooding the world - wrath.
Resting on the seventh day - sloth.
Seems a bit overeager. If you want to prove god a sinner by human standards, you’ve got a lot better things to choose from than that.
All the definitions of sin I could find includes god’s law (usually “transgression of…”), so it seems that he can do what he wants without sinning if his law at all times equal his will (seems fair), or he can sin if his law is fixed.
It’s like an inherently sinful way of making a promise and breaking it.
Now, what does it matter? God seems to be a bad guy anyway (problem of evil), but he also seems to stand above any judgement. The problem is rooted, as with god’s supposed omnipotence and his microwaving a burrito so hot that he himself cannot touch it, in false premises: Omnipotent and omnibenevolent doesn’t mix. Or better yet, omnipotence is a joke.
I know I do at least a dozen things a day contrary to my own will: eat that cookie, don’t take that walk, don’t sign up at the gym, don’t call my mother-in-law, spend too much time on the Dope…
Obviously, I think I am far weaker of Will than God, but I don’t see why God can’t sometimes be ambivalent. There’s lots of ambivalence in the Bible - for every quote supporting something, there’s something else against it. Which one is God’s will today? Should I stone my adulterous neighbor, or turn the other cheek?
If nothing else, I think we can get him on about 100 million charges against “Thou shalt not kill.”
The doctrinal Christian response would involve the triune nature of God. Per Christian doctrine, Jesus could have sinned - he could have gone against the will of God the Father, but didn’t.
If you consider Christianity to be an absurd superstition, that’s fine with me, but ‘sin’ takes on meaning per some moral framework that defines sin. Some don’t. Does Buddhism have a concept of sin? Hinduism? Durned if I know. Judaism and Islam certainly do; since both of those religions have a strictly unitary God (which way trumps a ‘unitary Executive’ ;)), I’d expect a sinning God would be an oxymoron in those belief systems, but I’d be far from certain of it.
I’m intrigued by this statement. To me it seems to suggest that even God must defer to logic, at which point logic would seem to be a higher power. Am I misunderstanding something?
No, I’d say you’re reading the best argument against an all-powerful god. It seems pretty clear not even god can defy logic, but where does logic end and god’s will begin? If anything governs the universe, my bet is plain, simple and unwilling logic.
Stop that, stop that. This is a very silly argument and I won’t be having any silly arguments around here on my watch. This argument is only slightly less silly than the most silly argument of all: “How many angels can balance on the head of a pin?”. I put a stop to that silliness and will strike this silliness down as well. You are hereby ordered to disperse and stop the silliness at once.
Well…there ain’t no devil, that’s just god when he’s drunk.
And I’ve done things that I consider out of my will when I’m drunk. Maybe god rolled over in the morning and discovered…he created humanity or something.
But seriously (or relatively seriously) sin is, I think, something that takes You away from god. Whoever he is. So by definition he couldn’t do it.
Sin isn’t “doing something”. God can, for example, kill, but when He does it, it isn’t a sin. Killing is only a sin when we do it (in fact, the reason killing is prohibited to us creatures is that by killing, we are presuming to take on God’s own perogative). Sin is not a thing that is done, it is a way in which some things that are done are classified. God can do things which would be sins for us, but it’s not even meaningful to ask whether He can sin.