Jewish Journal

Creation vs Weightlifting - the omnipotence paradox

Gábor Sárosi

July 25, 2012 | 1:11 pm

Can God create a stone too heavy for him to lift up?

This is the famous “omnipotence paradox”. If the answer is yes, He can, then His weightlifting-power is limited, if the answer is no, He can’t, than His creating-power is limited. Either way, God is not omnipotent.
There are a few proposed answers from big thinkers. (just type “omnipotence paradox” in google, or wikipedia)

I would like to suggest the following answer:

The answer for this question is not yes or no. The answer is: it is a wrong question. Why?

Let’s see first, how infinite works in mathematics (don’t worry, it is not difficult maths, just a little logic). Infinite is not an exact number. If you add one to infinite, what is the result? Infinite. So, the second infinite is bigger than the first one, since we added one to it. The same way, if we subtract one from infinite, we get infinite. In this case the second infinite is smaller than the first one.
The same, using mathematical signs:

∞ + 1 = ∞

∞ - 1 = ∞
if these are true, than:

< ∞

∞ >

You can’t really add/subtract a number to/from infinite. You will always get the same number, then the number which you added/subtracted doesn’t exist. Let me demonstrate it with a very simple equation:

∞ + 1 = ∞    / - ∞
1 = 0    
(or 1 = ∞)     

But this is not true: 1 is not 0, neither infinite. One is one.
Therefore we can’t use our known mathematical operations with infinite, because - as we’ve just seen - they will terminate in a false result. This happens with summation, subtraction, multiplication, division, and all the other known operations. We can’t even use the smaller/bigger signs. Why is it so? Because all these mathematical operations are for the finite World. For real numbers, which are all finite. When we use infinite, all the finite operations and relation marks fail.

Now, let’s go back to the “omnipotent paradox”. Can God create a stone, which He cannot lift up? Let God’s creating-power be “C”, and his lifting-power “L”. We assume, that both L and C are infinite (that is why the whole question is asked). The question is: which is bigger, L or C ? which of these statements is true?


< L now the answer is: He can't, so He is not omnipotent, because His creation-power is limited.

C >

L now the answer is: He can, so He is not omnipotent, because His lifting-power is limited.

C = L now the answer is again He can’t, so He is not omnipotent, because His creating-power is limited.

But we’ve seen above, that we can’t say C

< L, or C >

L, neither C = L, because both C and L are infinite, and relation marks don’t work in the World of infinite.

Therefore the answer for the original question is: 
The question is wrong, because it has a false assumption, that relation marks can be used in the World of infinite.

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