Omnipotence and ALL-POWERFUL - difference?

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drkfuture2's picture
Omnipotence and ALL-POWERFUL - difference?

1- Is there any difference between Omnipotence and ALL-POWERFUL? Is either possible?
2- Should we use the Omnipotence Paradox as an argument? Its a Loaded Question Fallacy.
3- How do u tackle God's Omnipotence?

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williampeers's picture
1. Im not sure kn the

1. Im not sure kn the technical definitions, but consiering we can't know exactly what was meant by the original authors of the bible/quran it isnt very relevant. We just have to address whatever the person we are talking to thinks about the power of God.

2. I don't think we should use it. If i were still a theist, I'd say that God has can do all possible things. Not that he can do all things imaginable, which is what people commomly imply. This assertion doesn't contradict the bible, it could be described as all powerful, and it solves the omnipotence paradox.

3. Kind of answered in 2

Delaware's picture
@ Denver

@ Denver

I liked your definition of "can do all possible things."

The God in the Bible is described by people to be omnipotent, but the word is not in the Bible.
So you should go to the source document to get the most objective understanding.

God is not one dimensional - just omnipotent. He has many other qualities such as good and logical.
Him being logical would preclude him from creating a round square, because that is not logical.
His goodness would preclude him from doing something bad, like lying
You have to consider all of his attributes together, and not focus on just one, and make it the whole story.
If you don't, you can create paradox's and illogical situations.

xenoview's picture

Is your source the bible?

Which bible?

What is your definition of objective understanding?

Delaware's picture
@ xenoview

@ xenoview

The Bible I am referring to is the KJV as a point of reference.

Here is my response to your question of how to objectively understand the Bible.
I am not making any political or historical point in the following WW2 examples.
Please try to focus on my reasoning.

Suppose you are a citizen of one of the Allied countries (US, UK, etc.) during WW2. Consider the fire-bombing of Dresden and the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima. There were many innocent children killed by those bombings. Those cities were not highly important military targets. As a current citizen of one of the Allied countries you could be characters as condoning the evil practice of fire bombing and atomic bombing. You could be asked how you can be a proud citizen of the (US, UK, etc.) when your country has carried out such evil and inhumane attacks. Your country has nuclear weapons until this day, ready to be used at a moments notice. If you were any kind of decent person you would renounce your citizen ship and emigrate from your country.

See the parallels to what some do with the Bible? If you were a Christian, you could be asked – “how can you call yourself a Christian with knowledge of all the horrible things carried out by God in the Bible?”

What would be an objective understanding of those events in WW2? Taken in isolation they are horrible and completely unjustified events. They, and the citizens of the Allied countries, could be characterized in many negative ways. When we objectively look at the whole story, the purpose and reasons behind those bombings, we can arrive at a much fuller and less biased understanding. Germany and Japan were the aggressors in their war of imperialism and subjugation. The bombing of Hiroshima ended the war and was done to save a million Allied military lives, and even more lives in Japan. They were considered necessary and appropriate. When we consider the history behind the events, the reasons for the actions, and the ultimate positive goals of those actions, we get a much more objective understanding.

When we consider the positive goals behind the actions God takes in the Bible, we get a much more objective and fuller understanding of the Bible. When we don’t ignore the larger story, and don’t just look at one word or one sentence in the Bible, we can arrive at a more objective and comprehensive understanding.

When for example, someone says the Bible is a racist anthology, and we look at that claim objectively, we can expose the misunderstanding. One incident given by those who claim the Bible is a racist anthology is the Canaanite women (Matt 15) who Jesus calls a dog based on her ethnicity. You could think no more about it, conclude that name calling based on ethnicity is all the evidence you need to claim the Bible is a racist anthology. But just like my WW2 example, that would not be objective. This event did not happen in a vacuum and was part of a larger and much more complex story. When you consider the rest of the story, that the Canaanite women had her request granted by Jesus. That the name calling was a test and an example to those around who thought God was only concerned about their ethnicity. It is given as a shining example of someone who had great faith. When you look at the larger story in the Bible that all humans were created in the image of God. That the Bible states there is one blood and no difference between races in Christ. That the larger theme at work is one of universal salvation and eternity in heaven together with God for all ethnicities. That is just what happens at the end of the Bible. That Abraham and Jesus were for the blessing of all peoples. You get a much more comprehensive, accurate, and objective understanding of the Bible.

Here is another example of the lack of objectivity when considering some event in the Bible. Gen 1 is something like a theological and liturgical epic poem. It is about God creating, purposing, ordering, and giving meaning to the universe. It is God making a place for humans to dwell in communion with him and with nature. But some Christians and some Atheist want to make it into an introductory course in astrophysics. Then claim the Bible can be shown to be reliable, or not reliable based on how well Gen1 matches with current scientific knowledge. Both are failing to be objective.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo

More apologist claptrap coupled with 'biblical Hermeneutics" your head must be revolving at high speed.

You twist yourself like a pretzel to try and reach your presupposition. That is where "inerrancy" takes you Jo...into a a place where genocide, misogyny, rape, infanticide and yes...racism are all excusable....

You and Royism make a fine couple, you should get can discuss the reasons for perfect pedophilia and racism over dinner and how it is perfectly excusable.

Delaware's picture
@ Old man shouts

@ Old man shouts

I may not have mentioned this before so let me be perfectly clear.

Being a Christian and a racist are mutually elusive. If you are one you are not the other.
You cannot "love your neighbor as yourself" and hate him at the same time.
There cannot be "one blood" and "no difference between Jew and Greek in Christ", and also hate another race or beleive one race is superior to another.

Imagine the irony if a racist did get into heaven. What would he see? Every ethnicity living together with God.
Image the anti-Semite in heaven. Oh, and what race was Jesus? What were all of the early Christians and writers of the Bible?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo

Imagine the irony if a racist did get into heaven. What would he see? Every ethnicity living together with God.

Wow, you have been there and brought back the pics? Or is this another unevidenced claim?

We have been through the examples of racism and ethnic genocide in your holy book. You refuse to read the words.

Oh, and what race was Jesus?

He was a Jew, and as Jewish Law stated was racist towards the Canaanites and , indeed, if you like Lukes version the greeks. He also commanded his disciples to ONLY visit jews and not to enter the houses of the gentiles.

What were all of the early Christians and writers of the Bible?

They are all anonymous, we have no idea who or what they were....Well, we are pretty sure now that the author of Luke was greek and he copied all the mistakes that 'Mark" made about Jewish Law verbatim..which suggests that the author of Mark was greek...we can be reasonably sure that the author of Matthew was a Jew as he corrected all the errors of Law and Custom in those copies....and we also know that the early copies of Matthew (like Luke) did not contain any reference to the birth narrative.

Fact is you HAD to become a Jew ( Observe all holidays, the Law and be circumcised) in the early church before you became a christian. It was Paul (who had never ever met the Jesus figure) who relaxed the ruling, all on his own and without reference to the early christian Temple in Jerusalem.

Nothing to do with your Jesus quotes, all to do with 2nd century power politics.

Tin-Man's picture
@Jo Re: "His (God's)

@Jo Re: "His (God's) goodness would preclude him from doing something bad, like lying."

....or rape, or mass murder/genocide, or purposeful deceit, or intentionally influencing somebody to not obey him, or accepting child sacrifices, or allowing Satan to totally fuck up a guy's life on a bet, or ordering the wholesale slaughter of newborn babies, or condoning slavery, or.... Oh, wait...

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - His (God's) goodness

Jo - His (God's) goodness would preclude him from doing something bad, like lying."

Also, for what it is worth: the mythology repeatedly tells us that this god lies.

1 Kings 22:22 - "I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

2 Chronicles 18:21 - And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.

Ezekiel 14:9 - And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet,...

2 Thessalonians 2:11 - For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie

Delaware's picture
@ Nyarlathotep

@ Nyarlathotep

The first two verses you quoted are about deception involving warfare. God is using their own prophets to deceive them. The next verse is about God giving to the prophet what he has given to others (deception). The last verse is God saying fine, have it your way, I will give you the deceit you desire. He is locking them in the prison they created.

Nyarlathotep's picture

Those are great explanations of why the mythology (bible) describes this deity as lying. However, my objection is that you told us this deity doesn't lie:

Jo - [God's] goodness would preclude him from doing something bad, like lying.

Delaware's picture
@ Nyarlathotep

@ Nyarlathotep

Is your country a liar when it is at war and doesn't tell the enemy exactly what it is going to do? When it deceives the enemy would you characterize it as a lie?

This is kind of like the discussion we had on omniscience. It is much more complex and nuanced than how you are looking at the verses. You are taking a very wooden view of the verses you quoted, and the explanation that God does not lie.

Is an eye for an eye not justice. Is a lie for a liar not justice?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - Is a lie for a liar not

Jo - Is a lie for a liar not justice?

Perhaps so, but that is still lying; you told us that lying was something god can't do.

So you're giving us (perhaps good) reasons why god lies, after telling us he doesn't lie. Can you see my confusion here?

You know what is more annoying that someone telling you about their imaginary friend and trying to convince you the friend is real? When they contradict themselves about the imaginary friend.

David Killens's picture


"His goodness would preclude him from doing something bad, like lying"

Bullshit. Your god from the King James version is one sadistic liar. In Genesis 22 he got Abraham to set up a sacrifice of his son, Isaac. There is no "goodness" in such actions.

"You have to consider all of his attributes together, and not focus on just one, and make it the whole story.
If you don't, you can create paradox's and illogical situations."

And each item must be able to withstand scrutiny. If they cannot, then the so-called attributes of your god do not make sense.

Delaware's picture
@ David Killens

@ David Killens

"Your god from the King James version is one sadistic liar. In Genesis 22 he got Abraham to set up a sacrifice of his son, Isaac. There is no "goodness" in such actions."

What sadistic lies did God tell in Gen 22?
Did Abraham see any goodness in event?
Are you looking at it objectively?

drkfuture2's picture
I found a statement like this

I found a statement like this- "However, God, a perfect being, cannot do so, therefore he is not omnipotent. The "ability" to do imperfect things goes against what we define as perfect. But isn't God who defines perfection? If it is so, then the statement "god is perfect" is meaningless"
But this is not clear to me, what does it mean by "The ability to do imperfect things goes against what we define as perfect." ?

Cognostic's picture

Learn to pronounce
the quality of having unlimited or very great power.
"God's omnipotence"
synonyms: all-powerfulness, almightiness, supremacy, preeminence, supreme power, absolute/unlimited power, undisputed sway, divine right; More

Cognostic's picture
@DRKFUTURE: "How do u tackle

@DRKFUTURE: "How do u tackle God's Omnipotence?"

1. Which god?
2. Can you demonstrate you claim? (Why would you believe it?) Assuming you are referring to the God of the bible, "Given his many failures, how has this god demonstrated omnipotence?" "Why can he not defend against chariots of iron?"

All that has been done is that an unfounded claim has been made. "Some God is omnipotent." Please demonstrate the claim.

Get off my lawn's picture
What Cognostic said. But for

What Cognostic said. But for question number 3, how I tackle God's omnipotence – I don't. It's a ridiculous idea that was invented by stone age and bronze age priests to explain what they then didn't have the knowledge to explain. And of course to keep their position of power by making sure people feared hellfire etc. from their invented god. In short, I think it's a load of crap. A turd doesn't turn into a lump of gold no matter how much you polish it.

Delaware's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

Do you really think that verse means God cannot defend against iron chariots?
Or is it referring to Judah and his lack of confidence?

xenoview's picture
@Jo It was both.

It was both.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Fucking biblical hermeneutics

Fucking biblical hermeneutics again....sheesh.

"live in truth" arse....

Cognostic's picture
@Jo: It matters not. The

@Jo: It matters not. The result is the same. Another complete and incompetent failure by the God of the Bible.

rat spit's picture
If you allow for God’s

If you allow for God’s creation of Satan, then you posit a somewhat evil God. However, any issue with Omnipotence gets lost in the fog of morality that comes about when God allows evil to enter the world.

Key point. We must admit that God is not Omnibenevolet. We must admit the a “perfect being” can show signs of evil.

And of course, you guys are Atheist. So the question obviously becomes, “what God? Show me some proof.”

Delaware's picture
@ rat spit

@ rat spit

Did God create Satan as an evil being? Did God cause Satan to be evil?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - Did God create Satan as

Jo - Did God create Satan as an evil being? Did God cause Satan to be evil?

According to your mythology, yes:

Proverbs 16:4 - The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

rat spit's picture
The God I know and trust most

The God I know and trust most certainly delegated the task of enticing humans into death and destruction for Ha-Satan.

God doesn’t have time for our bullshit.

“Please let me win the lotto God”

“Oh please let my baby be a girl, God”

“Oh please, heal my cancer, God”

God: “STFU! Satan! You know what to do!”

Satan: “Yes, my LORD. With pleasure.”

CyberLN's picture
DRKFUTURE, you asked, “Should

DRKFUTURE, you asked, “Should we use the Omnipotence Paradox as an argument?”

I don’t think there is a “we”...if YOU want to use it, do so.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I'm not sure what omnipotence

I'm not sure what omnipotence means; but if I can do something that god can't do; I would assume that would be the end of any talk of omnipotence.

Can god lie? Can god die/kill himself? [/e]Can god change her mind?

If we say no, then god doesn't seem omnipotent (at least to me). If we say yes; that doesn't sound much like a deity to me.

chimp3's picture
I don't tackle "omnipotence".

I don't tackle "omnipotence". The term is meaningless to me.


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