See something you'd like to change or add, but you've never edited an open encyclopædia before? This overview was written to help absolute beginners get started.


From A Storehouse of Knowledge
Jump to: navigation, search

The 'naive', or initial, notion of omnipotence is a compound of the notions of everything and power. When applied to questions of ultimate cosmological reality (including mono- and pan-theology, and a-theology), the notion of omnipotence is that of the ultimate possible power which it is possible to exist in a single being.

But, when a particular cosmology is viewed from a more-or-less committed skeptical frame of reference, it is typical for the congruent omnipotence to be construed against itself. According to classic Aristotlian logic (and to Jesus), nothing which is in any way truly contrary to itself can possibly either exist or be indefinitely maintained. So, the possibility of construing an omnipotence against itself can be interpreted as counting against the possibility that that omnipotence either exists or can genuinely be defined as all-powerful.

For example, in a-theological (atheistic) cosmologies, the ultimate power is a non-sentient, (indifferent) agent. Viewed skeptically, a non-sentient omnipotent agent can be construed in various ways to entail contradiction.

However, the vast majority of people do not hold to a strict atheistic cosmology. So, the skeptical frame of reference which most often is found is that against theistic cosmologies, and, hence, against theistic omnipotence.

Omnipotence is a concept used to mean "the ability to do anything". This is an attribute of God, and of God alone. Technically speaking, although God is in fact all powerful, He is only able to do things that are not contradictory to logic: He cannot create a square circle or anything else, the definition of which contradicts itself.

Things that have been accomplished by God's omnipotence include the following:

Some people explore what "omnipotence" means with a question called the "omnipotence paradox" [1]: "Can God make a rock so large he cannot lift it?"[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


Personal tools

visitor navigation
contributor navigation