Friday, 20 December 2013
I believe the original biblical meaning of what is meant by an all-powerful God, is perhaps not a logical definition but a descriptive one. It describes that one aspect of God, one attribute He has, is that He is not limited in any meaningful way.
What do we mean when we say that God can do anything, or that anything is possible with God? What is meant by a thing? Firstly, a "thing" has to be something that means something. When God can't do something, it isn't in the same way that we can't do something. When we can't do something, it might hinder us, but when God can't do something, it does not hinder Him.
So when atheists say that God can't exist, as omnipotence is not possible, this becomes a nonsense, in that anything that God can't do is only a meaningless thing, or a hypothetical thing that has no sense to it, such as a rock too heavy for God to lift.
We can safely conclude that even if God can't do everything, technically, the things He can't do don't make Him any less God. In a sense it's just that even His limits don't truly limit Him. So in any meaningful sense, they aren't limits. For example, if I were to say to you, "I am limited in my breathing, as I can't breathe in solids", has this ever really limited my freedom to breathe? Only in a vacuous sense. OR, "I can't make a trip to Saturn today." Would we pretend that it is a limitation in any meaningful way? THIS IS THE SENSE in which God is "limited", for want of a better word. These limits, aren't limits in that He would never need or want to do anything He can't do, nor would it therefore affect His autonomy. So if He can't lie, this will never hinder His plans, as they would never involve lies or sin. It's a limit, that isn't really a limit.
Moreover, if then, logically, a potato is limited to being a solid, then your drinking abilities aren't truly hindered if you can't drink a potato, ERGO the potato is limited to being a solid. In the same way, if God can't do something, it means the thing itself is limited, or imperfect in some way, rather than God.
The things that supposedly limit God, really are limited things themselves.
Imagine if we had a game, you have ten seconds, to make three-letter words out of three letters. 3 points for each success, you versus God.
BGA, EYS, IPS.
Imagine, you scored 9 points, and God scored 9 points. Would this mean that God is limited, or that the game was limited? You could argue that God can't outscore you but this is because the game is too simple, so it says nothing about what God can or can't do. It would be like saying that a professional footballer was limited because you could also score an open goal, like he can.
Here is my challenge, can you think of anything that would hinder God, in any meaningful way, without it first being something that is imperfect or limited, of itself? A corruption?
Example; If God can't lie, then lying itself is something that is a perversion, something LESS than that which is fully attainable, (the truth). Therefore it is something limited and broken, and it says nothing about God, that He can't do it.
So my conditional implication reads thus;
If something is perfect in all it's ways, then it follows that to conclude it is imperfect means that either your argument is unsound, or the thing by which it is predicated that He is imperfect, is actually imperfect.