The Omnipotent God
I’ve heard people tell me that god is a mighty and all powerful being that has (according to them) limitless powers, that lay claim to the universe and everything. This claim has several logical problems; and while there are those who will simply use the blanket statement that god is ineffable, that is a completely baseless claim for which there is no possible evidence nor is there a way to prove it.
Not even if god came down and flexed his mighty muscle could he possibly prove his powers without first giving his witnesses the ability to see this, since he has supposedly ineffable powers that could not possibly be explained in mere words to us lowly mortals.
This is a specious claim since I could equally claim that I myself have ineffable powers and never have to prove it since my abilities would be beyond words themselves; but I wont try to delude you with such claims since I don’t actually believe I have any such capacity.
I think Christopher Hitchens said it best, “what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence”.
What I will point out however is the flaws in the claims that the personal, loving god described in religious books that is supposedly omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. While there are parts of this claim that do work, it also creates a number of contradictions.
If you were omnipotent for example, you would have all the power in the universe; this power would be boundless, bound – not even by the universe its self.
This would give you the power to exist everywhere, which is how the omnipresence is possible, one would only assume you’d want to do so should you have such limitless powers.
The omnipotence would also make it possible to know everything since your power would enable you to know everything you could possibly want.
This all works out quite nicely, until you take the concepts a little deeper.
With omnipresence, the implication is not that you choose to exist in any location you want, but instead that you are unequivocally existing everywhere. This is a state that cannot be changed, and if it is, then you are no longer omnipresent. Omnipresence implies a lack of power, since there is no choice in the state of existence, instead you are simply everywhere at all times (and as a result, will always be there, past, present and future).
This shows a lack of power, which means you are not omnipotent.
Of course you could simply claim that omnipotence implies the ability to reduce your own powers in order to pacify this quagmire, but doing so would create a new one, you would no longer be omnipotent, not to mention the problem with reducing your limitless power would then make you limited in power, never to regain those powers again. Having the ability to regain said powers would imply you never actually lost them in the first place; you cannot simply shunt them for a short while only to have them returned at a later time.
Then there is omniscience, which implies a complete and utter lack of ignorance. There is nothing that is not known to you. Absolutely (when dealing with this sort of power, absolutes are the only means) nothing is left to chance and instead nothing comes to a surprise to you since you have seen everything that has happened, is happening and will ever happen, which is a rather depressing thought, to realize your existence will never bring anything new, since you’ve already seen it all.
Omniscience is incompatible with omnipotence. If you were omnipotent, you would be able to, through your limitless powers, be able to create something unknown to yourself, dismissing your omniscience. By the same token you could also create a location that you have never been or even create something that even you don’t have control over, which would dismiss your omnipresence.
Clearly, the most problematic of powers is without doubt is omnipotence, since it (besides being in conflict with its self) is incompatible with omniscience and omnipresence.
If you were however to dismiss these problems and instead focus on this limitless power instead, you run into another interesting issue. Omnipotence is all encompassing. That is to say omnipotence implies complete and utter power, bar nothing. Even a single quark is not beyond your control. As a result there is no power that you do not have. This power is exclusive and cannot be shared, because if you did, you would no longer be the controller of the power, some other would be wielding it and not yourself. This cannot happen, instead the power must be consolidated and never shared which is a problem; it shows a lack of power to be unable to do something like sharing.
You can draw one conclusion from all this: if you did in fact have omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, you would not be the loving god floating around in the heavens, but instead you would be the universe its self.