Points: 35

Can The Judeo-Christian God Create a Stone That Is Too Heavy For Him to Lift?

Finished

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After 5 votes the winner is ...
PsychometricBrain
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
5,000
Contender
Points: 16
Description
Pro is going to argue that the Judeo-Christian God can create a stone that is too heavy for Him to lift, whereas Con is going to argue against this resolution.
Round 1
Published:
Argument 1 – Misunderstanding of God’s omnipotence:
God’s perfect nature (or as St. Anselm said: “God is a being than which nothing greater can be conceived.”) implies that God is, in fact, very limited; God is not able to sin as his perfect nature entails moral perfection, God can not create a being that is greater than himself as he is by definition the greatest possible being and God can not have a false belief as that would contradict his nature (being omniscient). God is furthermore limited by his own perfect rationality, he can only ever carry out the most rational action. This does however not imply that God is limited in any significant way, his omnipotence is expressed in the fact that he can do whatever he wants to do, God is only limited by his own nature, this is referred to as “divine self-limitation” and is supported by biblical evidence such as:

“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.”-(Hebrews 6:13)
God can not lie as this goes against his nature of being the greatest/most perfect being there is which entails moral perfection and therefore perfect honesty.

“For example, there was God's promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:” (Hebrews 6:18)
God can not swear by a being greater than Himself. This is because he is the greatest being and it would be logically impossible for there to be a greater being than God that God could swear by.

Argument 2 – Argument from self-contradiction:
Logical paradoxes do not actually describe anything possible and therefore do not describe anything at all. To argue that God can create a square circle does not make any sense as there is nothing that corresponds to a square circle. Suppose that our assumption about the health of your cat led us to the conclusion that our cat was going to die next week but at the same time it led us to the conclusion that our cat was not going to die next week, then obviously we would conclude that our assumptions are flawed. In the same way, if there is a logical inconsistency in a concept such as a square circle, we have to reject it from the start as it implies an absurdity. Talking about a stone that an omnipotent being can not lift implies an absurdity and therefore does not actually describe anything which leads us to the conclusion that, while an omnipotent being could not create a stone that an omnipotent being could not lift, an omnipotent being would not lack any power regardless as the power to create a stone that could not be lifted by an omnipotent being does not describe any actual power.
 
Conclusion:
“Nonsense is still nonsense even when we speak it about God.” –C.S Lewis
Therefore, one can and must, in fact, reject the possibility of an omnipotent being creating a stone that can not be lifted by an omnipotent being, as it is inherently self-contradictory and therefore does not actually describe a possible power and furthermore, the rejection of this does not question the omnipotence of the Judeo-Christian God as “He” is still able to perform any action that he wants to perform and is not limited by any external source.
 
Pro will have to establish how an omnipotent being could create a stone that could not be lifted by an omnipotent being.
 
 
Sources:


Published:
Argument 1: God can not lie so all he has to do is say he will no longer lift a rock he created and boom the rock is unliftable .

Argument 2: God can put himself in human for like he did with Jesus and all of a sudden he is weaker and can't lift really huge things.


I thank my opponent for the concession that follows

Round 2
Published:
Rebuttals:
My opponents kritik is disappointing and does not actually address the debate title: 
"Can The Judeo-Christian God Create a Stone That Is Too Heavy For Him to Lift?"


If argument 1 was sound it would only lead to the conclusion that God would never lift the stone, it would not lead to the conclusion that the stone would be "too heavy" for Him to lift.

If argument 2 was sound it would only lead to the conclusion that if God in the form of a human could not lift the stone, it would not lead to the conclusion that it would be "too heavy" for Him to lift, as it would not be "too heavy" while God was not in human form.


Furthermore, both argument 1 and argument 2 are questionable as God can only ever carry out the most rational action (see my Round 1, Argument 1) and I fail to see a scenario where it'd be the most rational action for God to say that he would never lift the stone...

Additionally, Con's assumption that a stone would be too heavy to lift for God while God is in human form seems unjustified, as Jesus did many things that are not possible for "normal" humans, such as turning water into wine (John 2), walking on water (Mark 6; Matthew 14; John 6), resurrecting the dead (John 11; Luke 7).



All of my arguments from round 1 still stand and my opponent has thus far failed to address the debate resolution and showed poor conduct.








Forfeited
Round 3
Published:
My round 1 arguments still stand and my opponent has not made any relevant arguments regarding the debate resolution so far. Should my opponent choose to expand his arguments next round, I would like his forfeit to not be taken into account while voting. 

Published:
If argument 1 was sound it would only lead to the conclusion that God would never lift the stone, it would not lead to the conclusion that the stone would be "too heavy" for Him to lift.
This is incorrect. In round one my opponent states the following.

“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.

If it is impossible for God to lie, than it is impossible for him to lift the stone once he says he can't lift. My opponent's argument is not that "GOD DOESN't LIE" It is that "IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD TO LIE"

What my opponent is doing is moving the goal posts. Just alter it to God saying "After this point I can no longer lift this 1 million pound rock because it is too heavy".

My opponent made an error when saying God can't lie. Award the win to Wylted thanks

Added:
--> @GuitarSlinger
"What is gravity"
An attractive force caused by mass distorting space.
"2) What is air resistance?"
Drag forces acting opposite to oncoming flow velocity.
#26
Added:
--> @MagicAintReal
Sorry, i'm not being difficult or avoiding your questioning. I'm actually trying to make sure I understand your questions. And I will also be asking more questions-- I don't like to assume, so I usually like to ask the opposition so I am sure what they intend.
#25
Added:
--> @MagicAintReal
I'm sorry. I'm actually going to have to ask you to clarify and explain your questions a bit more before I attempt to answer:
1) What is gravity?
2) What is air resistance?
It may sound trivial and elementary, but it's the basis for your questioning. So i want to make sure you and I are both on the same page when it comes to "gravity" and "air resistance".
#24
Added:
--> @GuitarSlinger
"Are you asking if God can make such device outside this known physical universe or within this known physical universe?"
Within.
"God, being all powerful....wouldn't it be possible for an all-powerful being to make themselves susceptible to such laws"
When this all powerful being makes themselves susceptible to such laws do they relinquish their power to infinitely remain not susceptible to anything.?
Explain how that works.
#23
Added:
--> @MagicAintReal
Help me understand your question.
Are you asking if God can make such device outside this known physical universe or within this known physical universe?
If you answer "Outside this physical universe", then I'm not so sure laws of gravity and aerodynamics apply outside the uinverse.
If it's inside this physical universe, then a few more questions are in order:
- God, being all powerful....wouldn't it be possible for an all-powerful being to make themselves susceptible to such laws, even if only to make Him more relatable to mere mortals like you (and me)?
- Would this ability to make Himself susceptible to such laws (and also able to revert back to not being susceptible) make him any less powerful? Au contraire, I would say having this power to do that makes him very powerful.
But alas, your attempting to create a paradox, using your (or man's) definitions, and then asking an all-powerful being to go against those definitions.
That would be like me saying "I'm defining a triangle to be a shape with only 3 sides......Ok, God....make a triangle that has 4 sides"...Imagine this scenario:
Me: "A triangle has 3 sides, no more no less. God, if you are so powerful, you should be able to make a triangle that has 4 sides"
God: "Um, even if I did, you wouldn't believe me. Because your very definition says it must have 3 sides. So even if I presented this shape that has 4 sides that's a triangle, you'd counter with "Nope, it's impossible!"
Regarding quantum phsyics, how can God lift a quantum particle? I'll be the 1st to admit quantum physics isn't my strong point, so I don't even know if that is even a plausible or logical question. I'm hoping you're not asking the illogical, like "God, if you are so smart, please tell me what color the number 3 is?"
#22
Added:
--> @GuitarSlinger
"1)There is nothing that God can't make."
Can god therefore make a device to help him fly?
Humans can.
God cannot fly either.
Being that god is superior to both gravity and air resistance, god cannot be susceptible to either force.
Well, that's what the power to fly is.
To admit that god could fly, would be to admit his utter submission to the laws of gravity and aerodynamics and that he needs to maneuver around them to travel distance in the air.
"2) There is nothing that God can't lift."
How does god lift a quantum particle?
#21
Added:
Before the Stone Paradox can be debated/discussed, a few questions must be answered. It's always good to agree on terms before engaging in debate (I've debated folks who think grilling hot dogs is called "BBQ"....um, no...no it's not.)
1) How would both sides define "God"
2) - Does "all-powerful" or "all-mighty" mean it can do anything?
a) DOes "all-Powerful" still mean bound by the laws of logic?
If you say "Yes", then I would say if something all-powerful must be bound by the laws of logic, then does it make sense to even ask if something bound by the laws of logic can do something that defies logic, like build a stone that he can't lift....that's kind of like asking "Can a triangle can be made with only 2 sides?"
If you say "No", then I would say well then, if something can be all powerful AND not boudn by logic, then yes, it is conceivable that someting not bound by logic can do the illogical, like a build a stone even he can't lift, but still lift it. Don't ask me to defend that statement. Because, I, not being all-powerful AM bound by logic, and so I must use logic. Whereas the all-powerful that is not bound by logic can defy logic.
So, in short, the answer to the debate question is, like the question itself, two-fold:
1) There is nothing that God can't make
2) THere is nothing that God can't lift.
#20
Added:
You pretty much confirm that by saying God is too much of a weakling to lie
Contender
#19
Added:
--> @Ramshutu
vote deleted. You should be able to revote now
#18
Added:
--> @Wylted
I believe your reasoning is flawed and every single argument you've made has been refuted during the course of this debate, if you would like to continue this debate with you arguing that God (a maximally great being) could say "After this point I can no longer lift this 1 million pound rock because it is too heavy" and that this would lead to God subsequently not being able to lift the rock as it is too heavy, I would be willing to have another debate about this.
Instigator
#17
Added:
--> @Wylted
If you have a specific objection to anything I said, please specify what you think is wrong. If you’re unable or unwilling to do that, I will assume you’re just butthurt.
Note: I accidentally scored this as a tie, this should have gone to con, and I’m waiting to correct the vote.
#16
Added:
@Wylted please do, I'll follow it on my vote. :)
#15
Added:
The voting on this site is horrendous. I'm going to create a voting guide for you guys
Contender
#14
Added:
Your reasoning is flawed Wylted, God could say that he will not lift the stone, but it follows from argument 1 and argument 2 (see round 1) that it would be logically inconsistent for God to say that there is a stone that is too heavy for him to lift:
Argument 2 (see round 1): "Talking about a stone that an omnipotent being can not lift implies an absurdity..." As it is logically impossible for a stone to be too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift, it follows that it would be logically impossible for an omnipotent being to honestly say that there is a stone that is too heavy for the omnipotent being to lift, which only leaves the possibility that God would have to lie about the stone being too heavy for him to lift which is however also logically impossible (argument 1) as God's perfection entails moral perfection from which perfect honestly follows (also see the Bible verse where it is said that it is logically impossible for God to lie).
Cheers for the debate, Wylted
Instigator
#13
Added:
--> @Wylted
I'll get a vote in, honestly.
#12
#5
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
The context of the debate, as stated in the description was about a stone being "too heavy" for god to lift. Con encompassed this by showing that it was impossible for any reason, which necessarily includes the reason of weight. However, for Pro to demonstrate his burden, he would have to demonstrate it in the context defined, being weight, which Pro did not do.
#4
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Conduct: to con due to the forefeit (which merits the point), I felt pro didnt debate in good faith here - and feel that needs to be spelt out.
Arguments: Cons main argument is effectively arguing a non contradictory form of omnipotence: That logically impossible options are impossible and don’t even need to be considered. This was completely unrefuted by pro.
Pro added two semantic arguments (I wouldn’t call them kritiks upon review).
The first, is that God could just say he won’t lift the rock and it becomes unliftable. Con points out the debate resolution: that it’s not about an unliftable rock, but too heavy too lift. Pro could have put a more detailed argument to support the claim, but he didn’t, so cons rebuttal stands.
The second argument pro makes is that Jesus is God, and Jesus was human. This was the most promising, and con points out that Jesus has super human abilities. As pro makes no attempt to produce a subsequent argument, and just repeats his original, cons rebuttal stands.
Pro could have won by pointing out that Jesus needed help carrying the cross: but didn’t. Instead deciding to capitulate his arguments.
As a result, pros arguments were not just insufficient, they bordered on insulting to both the other debater, and to the reader. Pros arguments, demeanour and attitude was woefully pathetic. I am awarding argument points to con.
#3
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Arguments:
Con's case for why god cannot make a stone TOO HEAVY (important) for him to lift is actually pretty good.
Con points out that god is actually very limited, can't do lots of things, and this is so understood and known that there's a term for it called "divine self-limitation."
Con mentions that god can't go against his nature, which isn't compelling in the slightest, but Pro drops it like a bowling ball covered in baby oil, and to me if I have to accept that god can't go against his nature because Pro drops this, then creating the damn rock is much more challenging for Pro at this point because the attempt at lifting the rock would violate the nature against which god cannot go, dropped by Pro.
Con also mentions that the logical paradoxes point to the impossibility of the paradox itself, i.e. the paradox isn't anything because it challenges why there isn't a square circle...it's an ok argument, because it's almost like a kritik of itself, but it's all rather immaterial because Pro again, drops it.
I've seen the argument before, but not with this spin, so props to Con for that.
Con's case is basically that being able to create something TOO HEAVY for oneself isn't a power.
Again, I don't find this compelling, but, Pro...man Pro came to this debate to...crap the bed?
Eat the soggy doughnut?
I mean, it almost seemed like Pro's account got hacked or something, but Pro debated like crap.
All Pro really says is that, well let me put it all here...thanks to the forfeit and back burner energy I can paste all of Pro's case here:
"Argument 1: God can not lie so all he has to do is say he will no longer lift a rock he created and boom the rock is unliftable .
Argument 2: God can put himself in human for like he did with Jesus and all of a sudden he is weaker and can't lift really huge things."
That's it.
The problem is that argument 1 says that god could say "he will no longer lift a rock" which does not speak to whether or not, by god saying that utterance, god COULD no longer lift the rock i.e. would the rock be TOO HEAVY for him is not resolved by god saying "I WILL no longer."
Maybe if god said "I can no longer lift any rocks I create because they will be too heavy for me," then maybe i see this working.
But, this was a crapping of the bed and Con even noted,
"If argument 1 was sound it would only lead to the conclusion that God would never lift the stone"
Which were my thoughts exactly.
Argument 2 isn't bad because god's wont to do the old body switcharoo, but Con has a nice rebuttal in that TOO HEAVY for human form is not TOO HEAVY for original god form, or god 1.0 as I call it, so human body god is irrelevant.
Pro possibly could have responded in his last round, but didn't.
Pro's last round wasn't much either, just asserting that he should win and he did end up changing what god could say to "After this point I can no longer lift this 1 million pound rock because it is too heavy" but at this point it's too late and Con can't respond here anyway.
So, easy vote, arguments to Con, the semantics would have worked if they had been done right in the 2nd round by saying "Forever more, all rocks I make I can't lift, too heavy."
Sources to Con, because they all were used to support Con's successful argument and upon inspection the quotations were accurate and made Con's point about nonsense still applying to god and the idea of divine self-limiting that much more effective for their case.
The bible quotes were sourced too which made checking those quotes easier.
Pro had no sources.
I'll clarify anything if asked.
#2
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Cons opening argument is two pronged. First, the common atheist argument about a stone too heavy for God to lift is already based on a misunderstanding of how God's omnipotence works. Secondly, trying to set up this sort of a paradox is a self-contradiction anyway. Con caps off these two points by offering a famous quote from a well respected Christian theologian as a simple summary of his argument. His overall presentation here was both logically valid and stylish.
Pro then showed up and clearly "phoned in" a half-hearted attempt at a rebuttal, by tossing out two hypothetical scenarios where God could make a rock too heavy to lift.
The first scenario was that since God can't lie, he can just say that he won't lift a rock and that would make it too heavy. Con offers the obvious rebuttal that God promising not to do something isn't the same thing as actually being unable to do it.
The second scenario involves God taking human form and thus being unable to lift the rock. Again, Con offers the obvious rebuttal here that Jesus regularly displayed various powers beyond that of an ordinary human, so assuming that he wouldn't be able to lift heavy rocks doesn't make a lot of sense.
Neither of Pro's scenarios made much sense and Con easily slapped them both down. Pro then forfeited round 2 and made a very weak effort to change his argument in the final round. Even with his proposed change, Pro seems not to really be taking the argument seriously and never offered a real rebuttal to any of Con's original points.
#1
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Conduct: Pro forfeited one round and thus loses conduct. I'd also ding him for conduct points as he did not take the debate seriously. I was totally unimpressed with his arguments. It's clear that con had put in effort to the debate, something that pro did not.
Arguments
Con argues in the opening round that omnipotence does not necessarily mean that God can do absolutely everything. The definition that con provided was that God cannot do that which is illogical and that which is contrary to his nature.
Pro's arguments doesn't seem to follow logically through the debate. His only two contentions are irrelevant. Pro is essentially arguing a Kritkit that is irrelevant. I don't see con as moving the goalpost because they clearly defined God's omnipotence as that which is logically possible - i.e. maximally great.
Con wins this debate hands down.