Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. Adams, Robert Merrihew (1972). To be necessarily morally perfect is to be morally perfect in every possible world, but there seem to be some states of affairs such that bringing them about is inconsistent with moral perfection, and so it seems that if any being is necessarily morally perfect, then there are some states of affairs which that being does not bring about in any possible world. Jonah These are the notion of lack of power and the notion of one state of affairs obtaining partially due to another state of affairs obtaining. Such theories of omnipotence may be conveniently referred to as act theories. For instance, a being who could perform only physically possible actions would not be omnipotent. Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. Some philosophers have responded by arguing that there could not possibly be such a being as McEar (Wierenga 1983: 374-375). As a result, had God brought about that world, Caesar would still have been free. 7. angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in It is therefore impossible that McEar bring about some other state of affairs. I know that if I tested them they would fail. Torrey: p31, T:II is absolutely subject to God's will and word. But then they have found a few instances in the Bible that seem to indicate God is limited in His ability or power to accomplish certain things. Evil and omnipotence. 1980. To say that nothing is impossible for the Lord is to say that nothing that is possible according to God’s character and purpose is impossible for the Creator of the universe. Thus, omnipotence at a point in time cannot be defined as, for instance, the ability to bring about any contingent state of affairs because, although many past states of affairs are contingent, nothing done in the present, even by an omnipotent being, could possibly bring about a past state of affairs. Neither Leibniz nor Ross finds this objection particularly troubling. However, if someone else chooses what Caesar will do, then Caesar is not free. God is omnipotent, all-powerful. It falls into the same category as "an irresistible force meeting an immovable Kings 20:1, 4-6  In It also solves the problem of the consistency of God’s inability to do evil with omnipotence, since God’s inability to do evil is not due to lack of power. In general, this sort of claim related to God’s abilities is called an “omnipotence paradox.” For instance, Hebrews 6:18 and Titus 1:2 clearly state that God cannot lie. 060.010.012a René Descartes, almost alone in the tradition of Western theology, held that God could do anything, even affirming that “God could have brought it about … that it was not true that twice four make eight” (Descartes 1984-1991: 2:294). and inadequate language do not preclude omnipotence. Obviously, Smith's argument proves that the God’s omnipotence must be understood in light of what is revealed in Scripture and with what is logically possible. Hence, although God does not bring into external being all that He is able to accomplish, His power must not be understood as passing through successive stages before its effect is accomplished. They simply prove what everyone already knows 2000. Libertarians, however, have generally not been satisfied, and have argued that an omnipotent being need not have the power to bring about such states of affairs as Caesar’s freely refraining from crossing the Rubicon. While there are no obvious contradictions involved in the Leibniz-Ross theory, there are a number of metaphysical consequences which some have thought odd and, indeed, absurd. Torrey: p31, T:I Please follow the instructions we emailed you in order to finish subscribing. Therefore, an omnipotent being could not bring about this state of affairs. To give just one example of such a difficulty, it is widely held that acting requires one to be the cause of certain effects. These more precise theories can be divided into two classes: act theories, which say that an omnipotent being would be able to perform any action; and result theories, which say that an omnipotent being would be able to bring about any result. So Others have given up on the project of giving a general analysis of omnipotence (La Croix 1977). 060.032.000 Further develops, and defends from objections, the account of omnipotence given in Ross 1969. Omnipotence. possible conclusion. (9) He feels compassion; (10) He is omniscient. Conversely, if an object is truly immovable, it can resist any But we must reject the claim that statements of His authority over His creation contradict statements about His character. will have a son. Must God create the best? The activity of God is simple and eternal, without evolution or change. It might be objected that this task is not possible for the being in question, but this qualification is not permitted by (1). to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. The notion of an atemporal action has, however, been found difficult. Finally, according to Wielenberg, if it is really true that even an omnipotent being could not bring about Caesar’s freely choosing not to cross the Rubicon, then this must be due not to lack of power, but to the logic of the situation. For instance, consider the fact that the U.S. If the concept of God is otherwise coherent, then this claim is probably true. Furthermore, the Leibniz-Ross theory entails that an omnipotent being not only cannot create beings it cannot control, but cannot create beings it does not control (Mann 1977).  Now listen, you who say, "Today 52). This is not a problem for a being who is only contingently omnipotent: such a being might perform the first task, thereby ceasing to be omnipotent, and so be unable to perform the second task, or the being might refrain from performing the first task, and so continue to be omnipotent. However, many philosophers have also held that it is part of the concept of a cause that it must occur before its effects. Definition (1) requires that an omnipotent being should be able to perform any logically possible action, that is, any action which could possibly be performed by any being at all, in any circumstances at all. When we begin with the straightforward truths of Scripture and an accurate understanding of God’s absolutely consistent character, there is no contradiction in the Bible. a short-cut and not bother to test them.". harmony is if those who would ultimately reject God are not present. For instance, philosophers disagree about whether the claim that an omnipotent being exists is necessarily true, necessarily false, or contingent. Rosenkrantz and Hoffman introduce a number of further qualifications, but the central point of their account is the notion of unrestricted repeatability. I'm going to take Coming to know that one has never been omnipotent is an example of a single task that is logically possible for some being perform, but which is logically impossible for an omnipotent being to perform.