The problem of omni-qualities: they cannot exist

shikko
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The problem of omni-qualities: they cannot exist

This thread is for anyone who wants proof that a god can be conclusively proven to not exist. I want this as tight as possible, so if anyone sees a problem with my reasoning, please let me know.

Some notes: if I succeed, this argument can be used as a blanket rebuttal that any entity matching this description cannot exist. If I fail, I did not make my case. That does not mean things matching this description therefore exist; it means I screwed up and made a flawed argument.

DEFINITIONS

- Omniscience means holding all possible knowledge about all possible subjects; an omniscient entity knows the correct answer to any question.

- Omnipotence means able to perform any act; this speaks strictly to ability to act, not desire to take an action.

PREMISES

Assume the qualities of omniscience and omnipotence are possible.

P1: An entity can be omniscient: call this OS.

P2: An entity can be omnipotent: call this OP.

P3: An entity can be concurrently both omniscient and omnipotent: call this (OS ^ OP).

ANALYSIS

If an omniscient entity exists, it knows everything. However, if it knows everything, it is impossible for this entity to learn. Additionally, it cannot alter its conclusions in light of new information, nor ever feel surprised. Omniscience necessarily precludes this entity from performing some possible actions. Therefore an omniscient entity is precluded from being omnipotent: (OS -> ~OP).

We have reached our first contradiction. We cannot have both (OS ^ OP) and (OS -> ~OP). By the law of non-contradiction, an entity cannot be both omnipotent and not omnipotent at the same time. Therefore, our most recent assumption (P3) is false: an entity with these qualities cannot exist.

To rephrase my definition, omnipotence means "capable of any action." Since an omnipotent entity can never attempt something and fail for lack of ability, this entity cannot improve with practice, or learn a new skill. Also, this entity can never make an unwitting mistake; any percieved errors would be intentional, and therefore not an error. Therefore, by being omnipotent, an entity is precluded from being omnipotent (OP -> ~OP).

We have another contradiction: we cannot have both (OS ^ OP) and (OP -> ~OP). Therefore, P3 is false. Additionally, we have shown that omnipotence (P2) is self-contradictory, so by the law of non-contradiction, the quality of omnipotence itself cannot exist.

CONCLUSION

It is impossible for an entity to be both omnipotent and omniscient, since even if omniscience did not preclude omnipotence, omnipotence cannot exist. Any entity defined as being omniscient cannot be omnipotent, and any entity defined as being omnipotent cannot exist, since omnipotence is impossible.

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shikko wrote: This thread

shikko wrote:

This thread is for anyone who wants proof that a god can be conclusively proven to not exist. I want this as tight as possible, so if anyone sees a problem with my reasoning, please let me know.

Some notes: if I succeed, this argument can be used as a blanket rebuttal that any entity matching this description cannot exist. If I fail, I did not make my case. That does not mean things matching this description therefore exist; it means I screwed up and made a flawed argument.

DEFINITIONS

- Omniscience means holding all possible knowledge about all possible subjects; an omniscient entity knows the correct answer to any question.

- Omnipotence means able to perform any act; this speaks strictly to ability to act, not desire to take an action.

PREMISES

Assume the qualities of omniscience and omnipotence are possible.

P1: An entity can be omniscient: call this OS.

P2: An entity can be omnipotent: call this OP.

P3: An entity can be concurrently both omniscient and omnipotent: call this (OS ^ OP).

ANALYSIS

If an omniscient entity exists, it knows everything. However, if it knows everything, it is impossible for this entity to learn. Additionally, it cannot alter its conclusions in light of new information, nor ever feel surprised. Omniscience necessarily precludes this entity from performing some possible actions. Therefore an omniscient entity is precluded from being omnipotent: (OS -> ~OP).

We have reached our first contradiction. We cannot have both (OS ^ OP) and (OS -> ~OP). By the law of non-contradiction, an entity cannot be both omnipotent and not omnipotent at the same time. Therefore, our most recent assumption (P3) is false: an entity with these qualities cannot exist.

To rephrase my definition, omnipotence means "capable of any action." Since an omnipotent entity can never attempt something and fail for lack of ability, this entity cannot improve with practice, or learn a new skill. Also, this entity can never make an unwitting mistake; any percieved errors would be intentional, and therefore not an error. Therefore, by being omnipotent, an entity is precluded from being omnipotent (OP -> ~OP).

We have another contradiction: we cannot have both (OS ^ OP) and (OP -> ~OP). Therefore, P3 is false. Additionally, we have shown that omnipotence (P2) is self-contradictory, so by the law of non-contradiction, the quality of omnipotence itself cannot exist.

CONCLUSION

It is impossible for an entity to be both omnipotent and omniscient, since even if omniscience did not preclude omnipotence, omnipotence cannot exist. Any entity defined as being omniscient cannot be omnipotent, and any entity defined as being omnipotent cannot exist, since omnipotence is impossible.

Can an all powerfull god kill itself? If it cant, then it cannot be called all powerfull.

Can an all powerfull god be capable of murder, rape and genocide? If it cannot do those things it cannot be called all powerfull. If it can do those things why would such a being be called moral?

Can an all powerfull being turn Jupiter into a baseball in a nanosecond? 

Can an an all powerfull being "poof" turn me into Heidi Clume as I type this?

I can go on and on and on with the absurdty of the concept.

Omni atributes are naked assertions and logical impossibilities. Postulating them as a viable reality would be like me making the naked assertion that I could litterally, in reality, fart a full sized Lamborginni out of my ass and would deserve the same credibility. 

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From Webster:

From Webster:

Quote:
Main Entry:
1om·nip·o·tent " class="audio">Listen to the pronunciation of 1omnipotent
Pronunciation:
\-tənt\
Function:
adjective
Etymology:
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin omnipotent-, omnipotens, from omni- + potent-, potens potent
Date:
14th century

1often capitalized : almighty 2: having virtually unlimited authority or influence <an omnipotent ruler>3obsolete : arrant 9
To follow up:
Quote:
Main Entry:
1al·mighty " class="audio">Listen to the pronunciation of 1almighty
Pronunciation:
\l-ˈmī-tē\
Function:
adjective
Etymology:
Middle English, from Old English ealmihtig, from eall all + mihtig mighty
Date:
before 12th century

1often capitalized : having absolute power over all <Almighty God>2 a: relatively unlimited in power <an almighty board of directors> b: having or regarded as having great power or importance <the almighty dollar>3: mighty —used as an intensive <an almighty shock>

Note that absolute power does not mean the ability to take any action, but unfettered power, ie: unable to be overruled.

Thus, your proof is already fatally flawed. But it's a good start.

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Missed an important

Missed an important step.

Your argument shows that a being with omni-qualities is contradictory in terms of human logic.  No problem there.

The missing step is that you haven't shown that a contradictory being can't exist.  "Contradictory" does not automatically equal "cannot exist."

I haven't ever seen anybody make a convincing argument for why contradictory entities can't exist (most handle it by begging the question and defining "non-contradictory" as a necessary feature of "existence" by means of an unsupported assertion). 

The popular conception of God incorporates contradictions.  God can do anything, and existing in spite of contradictions is something, ergo God can do it.  The whole line of argument is therefore not persuasive except against a small sub-population of people who are already inclined to believe that non-contradiction is necessary for existence.

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Textom wrote: I haven't

Textom wrote:

I haven't ever seen anybody make a convincing argument for why contradictory entities can't exist

 

The existence of my mother would suggest that they can.Tongue out

 

Seriously, though, I've been wondering how multi-valued logic fits into all this. Maybe someday I'll be able to study it.


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BMcD wrote: Note that

BMcD wrote:

Note that absolute power does not mean the ability to take any action, but unfettered power, ie: unable to be overruled.

Thus, your proof is already fatally flawed. But it's a good start.

I disagree. I am arguing against the notion that the entity I described can exist as described; of course my argument will break down if the reference meaning of the words are changed at the outset. This isn't a strawman of the concept of a god because a god's posession of unlimited abilities is a common belief among believers: Google "all-powerful god" and read some of the links.

I stand by the definition I gave in this context.

The inability to be overruled is usually dealt with separately in theology; thus the descripion of a "sovereign" god, answerable to no one.

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Except that the definitions

Except that the definitions you are offering are wrong. Thus, your proof is flawed.


shikko
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Textom wrote: Missed an

Textom wrote:

Missed an important step.

Your argument shows that a being with omni-qualities is contradictory in terms of human logic. No problem there.

The missing step is that you haven't shown that a contradictory being can't exist. "Contradictory" does not automatically equal "cannot exist."

Okay, for this I am relying on the law of non-contradiction, which as I believe was pointed out by deludedgod, is axiomatic and defended by retortion: to prove it false, you must assume it true.

Quote:

I haven't ever seen anybody make a convincing argument for why contradictory entities can't exist (most handle it by begging the question and defining "non-contradictory" as a necessary feature of "existence" by means of an unsupported assertion).

This is a good point. Do you mean convincing in terms of rhetoric or logic?

A quick truth table:

P~P
P v ~P P ^ ~P ~(P ^ ~P)
T
F
T
F
T
F
T
T
F
T

 

There are two tautologies in this table: the definition of a tautology (col 3) and the law of non-contradiction (col 5); any statement is either true or false and must be exclusively one or the other. There is no truth value you can give to P so that it is both true and false at the same time.

Is this what you were thinking of, or something more formal proving that a contradiction must necessarily render something nonexistant?

Quote:

The popular conception of God incorporates contradictions. God can do anything, and existing in spite of contradictions is something, ergo God can do it. The whole line of argument is therefore not persuasive except against a small sub-population of people who are already inclined to believe that non-contradiction is necessary for existence.

This is why I think formal logic should be taught in secondary school. Smiling

Isn't your second sentence a special pleading fallacy against the law of noncontradiction? If the LNC is truly axiomatic, saying "god can exist in spite of contradictions" is itself a contradiction.

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shikko wrote: This is why

shikko wrote:

This is why I think formal logic should be taught in secondary school. Smiling

Isn't your second sentence a special pleading fallacy against the law of noncontradiction? If the LNC is truly axiomatic, saying "god can exist in spite of contradictions" is itself a contradiction.

 

I can be myself and George Washington simultaneously, in spite of the fact that I can't.

What's wrong with that?

 

In regard to omnipotence:

 

I could become a can of baked beans right now, if I really felt like it. It's a cool power, I just don't like to do it very much. I've never even done it, actually, because I'm so opposed to the idea, but I could if I wanted to. That much is certain. 

 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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I don't think that God is

I don't think that God is omni-anything, because any trait you would fill in after "omni" will inevitably anthropomorphize God, or as todangst says, will "steal from naturalism".  I've come to realize that it's a bogus premise, and one that atheists love to exploit. 


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Archeopteryx wrote: shikko

Archeopteryx wrote:
shikko wrote:

Isn't your second sentence a special pleading fallacy against the law of noncontradiction? If the LNC is truly axiomatic, saying "god can exist in spite of contradictions" is itself a contradiction.

 

I can be myself and George Washington simultaneously, in spite of the fact that I can't.

What's wrong with that?

In spite of the fact that I can't discern humour, I can discern humour. Honest; I'm lying.

Saying you can do something in spite of the fact that you can't do it makes shikko something something.

Quote:

In regard to omnipotence:

I could become a can of baked beans right now, if I really felt like it. It's a cool power, I just don't like to do it very much. I've never even done it, actually, because I'm so opposed to the idea, but I could if I wanted to. That much is certain.

That's why I added that bit at the top about the difference between able and willing to do anything. I've seen believers here argue that just because their god *can* do something doesn't mean their god *will* do something (eliminate evil without affecting free will, I think...). I wanted to deal strictly with the idea of unlimited ability.

On a related note, is there any practical (as opposed to logical) difference between claiming you have an ability you will never exercise, and not having that ability?

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shikko wrote: This thread

shikko wrote:

This thread is for anyone who wants proof that a god can be conclusively proven to not exist. I want this as tight as possible, so if anyone sees a problem with my reasoning, please let me know.

Some notes: if I succeed, this argument can be used as a blanket rebuttal that any entity matching this description cannot exist. If I fail, I did not make my case. That does not mean things matching this description therefore exist; it means I screwed up and made a flawed argument.

DEFINITIONS

- Omniscience means holding all possible knowledge about all possible subjects; an omniscient entity knows the correct answer to any question.

- Omnipotence means able to perform any act; this speaks strictly to ability to act, not desire to take an action.

PREMISES

Assume the qualities of omniscience and omnipotence are possible.

P1: An entity can be omniscient: call this OS.

P2: An entity can be omnipotent: call this OP.

P3: An entity can be concurrently both omniscient and omnipotent: call this (OS ^ OP).

ANALYSIS

If an omniscient entity exists, it knows everything. However, if it knows everything, it is impossible for this entity to learn. Additionally, it cannot alter its conclusions in light of new information, nor ever feel surprised. Omniscience necessarily precludes this entity from performing some possible actions. Therefore an omniscient entity is precluded from being omnipotent: (OS -> ~OP).

We have reached our first contradiction. We cannot have both (OS ^ OP) and (OS -> ~OP). By the law of non-contradiction, an entity cannot be both omnipotent and not omnipotent at the same time. Therefore, our most recent assumption (P3) is false: an entity with these qualities cannot exist.

To rephrase my definition, omnipotence means "capable of any action." Since an omnipotent entity can never attempt something and fail for lack of ability, this entity cannot improve with practice, or learn a new skill. Also, this entity can never make an unwitting mistake; any percieved errors would be intentional, and therefore not an error. Therefore, by being omnipotent, an entity is precluded from being omnipotent (OP -> ~OP).

We have another contradiction: we cannot have both (OS ^ OP) and (OP -> ~OP). Therefore, P3 is false. Additionally, we have shown that omnipotence (P2) is self-contradictory, so by the law of non-contradiction, the quality of omnipotence itself cannot exist.

CONCLUSION

It is impossible for an entity to be both omnipotent and omniscient, since even if omniscience did not preclude omnipotence, omnipotence cannot exist. Any entity defined as being omniscient cannot be omnipotent, and any entity defined as being omnipotent cannot exist, since omnipotence is impossible.

Since an omnipotent entity can never attempt something and fail for lack of ability, this entity cannot improve with practice, or learn a new skill. Also, this entity can never make an unwitting mistake; any percieved errors would be intentional, and therefore not an error. Therefore, by being omnipotent, an entity is precluded from being omnipotent (OP -> ~OP).

 

Can an omnipotent entity deny his own omnipotence? according to your definition it can . So it can make mistakes and learn . Remember that intention has nothing to do with omnipotence . This is in fact the myth of Jebus isn`t it? God turned human? denying his own omnipotence? But i`m taking out omnipotence out of the picture here , so fallacy...back to your poin

so omnipotent beeings can`t make mistakes..mistakes are performed acts that don`t have the intended results righ? correct me pls if i`m wrong . Intention is key here

- Omnipotence means able to perform any act; this speaks strictly to ability to act, not desire to take an action.

 desire=intention?

I tend to look at omnipotence attribute more like at a "potentiality" for that "potentiality" to be actualized you need some other atributes like "desire" to act . omnipotence on it`s self is a passive attribute , (much like atheism)

To "mistakes" , "learning" and "intention" . Is the lack of ability to act the only cause of mistakes . I guess not , i mean even if you CAN do it , you may end up making a mistake , ending up away from your original desired outcome

 

ok I totaly agree with your point , an (antropomorphic ) omniscient and omnipotent entyty can not exist if we accept logical method of "true" and "false"

I just love to shake things thoughSmiling i`ll probably rant more after i get some sleep 


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shikko wrote:

shikko wrote:

Okay, for this I am relying on the law of non-contradiction, which as I believe was pointed out by deludedgod, is axiomatic and defended by retortion: to prove it false, you must assume it true.

Yes, but an omni-powerful being is theoretically powerful enough to ignore the law of non-contradiction. That's the problem in the popular conception of God--he isn't subject to logic.

The "it's axiomatic" claim is the one that is an unsubstantiated assertion.  Substantiating the claim by retortion requires an appeal to the stolen concept fallacy.  But an all-powerful God isn't bound by that fallacy either. 


shikko wrote:
Do you mean convincing in terms of rhetoric or logic?

Rhetoric. The logic is valid. I'm contending that it's not persuasive to the majority of theists, because they don't conceive of a god who is subject to logical rules.

shikko wrote:

Isn't your second sentence a special pleading fallacy against the law of noncontradiction? If the LNC is truly axiomatic, saying "god can exist in spite of contradictions" is itself a contradiction.

Special pleading is only a fallacy when the entity making the plea is not entitled to special consideration. God, as popularly conceived, is a unique and all-powerful being, so is entitled to make any kind of plea he wants. So in this case it is special pleading, but not a fallacy.

DG and Todangst depend a lot on the three laws of classical logic (identity, excluded middle and noncontradiction).  But there's no necessary reason why these laws should represent the nature of the universe beyond human logic, or even necessarily reflect something fundamental about intelligence or conciousness.  Many alternative logical systems don't use these laws or don't use axioms at all.

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If God is omnipotent, then

If God is omnipotent, then he can simultaneously exist and yet not exist.  Therefore, God does not exist.  So how can atheists be condemned to hell for declaring that God does not exist?  

 Textom, if we are going to allow contradictory beings to exist, then where do we draw the line?  Opening the door for God lets in all sorts of other contradictory entities and concepts like square circles and invisible red objects.

 

The correct way of understanding our existence is as conceptually created entities superimposed upon our changing mental and bodily states.


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? Are there logical

Wink

? Are there logical paradoxes in this universe ?

 

 


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Rev_Devilin wrote: ? Are

Rev_Devilin wrote:

Wink

? Are there logical paradoxes in this universe ?

 

 

 

A paradox and a contradiction are two competely different things.  A paradox is merely an APPARENT contradiction which, when analyzed properly, is revealed to be logically consistent.   

The correct way of understanding our existence is as conceptually created entities superimposed upon our changing mental and bodily states.


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Didymos wrote:   A paradox

Didymos wrote:
 

A paradox and a contradiction are two competely different things. A paradox is merely an APPARENT contradiction which, when analyzed properly, is revealed to be logically consistent.

Example? 


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wavefreak wrote: Didymos

wavefreak wrote:
Didymos wrote:

A paradox and a contradiction are two competely different things. A paradox is merely an APPARENT contradiction which, when analyzed properly, is revealed to be logically consistent.

Example?

It seems I was only half-right.  There are a number of different ways of defining the word paradox.  From wikipedia:

 A paradox can be an apparently true statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies intuition; or it can be, seemingly opposite, an apparent contradiction that actually expresses a non-dual truth (cf. Koan). Typically, either the statements in question do not really imply the contradiction, the puzzling result is not really a contradiction, or the premises themselves are not all really true or cannot all be true together. The word paradox is often used interchangeably with contradiction.

 

Here is a list of paradoxes, also from wikipedia: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes

The correct way of understanding our existence is as conceptually created entities superimposed upon our changing mental and bodily states.