Monday, December 12, 2011

The Omnipotence Paradox


The omnipotence paradox is a family of semantic paradoxes which address two issues: Is an omnipotent entity logically possible? and what do we mean by 'omnipotence'?. The paradox states that if a being can perform any action, then it should be able to create a task it is unable to perform, and hence, it cannot perform all actions. Yet, on the other hand, if it cannot create a task it is unable to perform, then there exists something it cannot do.

One version of the omnipotence paradox is the so-called paradox of the stone: "Could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even that being could not lift it?" If so, then it seems that the being could cease to be omnipotent; if not, it seems that the being was not omnipotent to begin with.