Nature of God

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« on: July 19, 2012, 06:51:30 pm »
Can anyone answer this. It seems like craig couldnt

Well this isn't my own words but Its from a debate i saw. So it might give you a clearer understanding of my question. the debate between craig and quentin smith in 1996. In the question and answer part smith ended the session with a statement about God's omnipotence's Which craig just kind of shrug off as a definition error. But then he comes back with that he was just clarifying the terms. Ill copy and paste the exchange for you.
Questioner: I have a question for Dr. Smith. There's some strange worry about this idea that God's omnipotence can’t cause anything .…
Smith: The definition of God's omnipotence is that God can do everything that is logically possible. But if it belongs to the logical definition of a cause that a cause cannot be a logically sufficient condition of its effect, then it would follow that God cannot cause something because then God would be doing something that it is logically impossible to do. And the reason why God's omnipotence prevents him from causing something is that it belongs to the very nature of the cause that it is not a logically sufficient condition of its effect, and God, because he is all–powerful, that just implies by definition that whatever he attempts to do automatically happens, necessarily happens, logically happens. There's a contradiction if it doesn't happen.
Questioner: So that is the definition of omnipotent: that if you will something, then his willing it causes that thing to happen. O. K. , so now he wills something. Just because his omnipotence creates this, the thing happens. I don't see that that makes his willing it logically sufficient of the thing’s happening….
Smith: O. K., it’s logically sufficient because that means that we can derive a contradiction from the supposition that God wills something, for example, that this microphone will fall over, and that it didn't happen. Because if God is all–powerful, then anything that God wills is going to happen as a matter of logic. And so if God wills this microphone falls over and it doesn't, then we have the contradiction that a being who wills something, and everything that being wills necessarily happens just the way that being wants it to, that being willed the microphone to fall over, and it didn't happen just the way he wanted to. Now that would be a logical contradiction. So that's why there's a contradiction to think that God who is omnipotent can cause something.
Craig: It seems to me that this argument is question–begging. You're just simply defining omnipotence away, in a sense, by saying that there cannot be infallible causes. And, if there is an omnipotent being, that's simply incorrect. It seems the whole thing is just question–begging. You’re just sort of "ruling out" the idea of an omnipotent being by definition.
Smith: No, actually I'm giving a clear and accurate definition of an omnipotent being. I'm doing a service to theists by helping them have a better definition of God, and the way I’m doing that is by clarifying this relation, that theists have called causation, between God and the world, and I'm saying, "Well, let's examine that to help out the theists on this score. Examine it very closely and we find out it's not really causation after all. It's a different relation called "God being the logically sufficient condition of the thing happening." So I’m really just giving a clearer and more accurate definition of what God is. So I’m not trying to—that's what an omnipotent being is, so it certainly would be the last thing I ever want to do to argue that an omnipotent being doesn't exist. I just want to help the theists to clarify the theistic position.
I don't know if you could answer it but I would appreciate it if you could.

Re: omnipotent
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2012, 01:49:09 pm »
Please keep the question apart from the wall of text. The reader should at the very least be clarified the question without having to read through text which, unless I am wrong, was pasted from a source.

Another thing is I believe this has been posted before many times--do not quote me on it.



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Re: omnipotent
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2020, 01:43:43 pm »
Smith and Craig appear to have been in agreement, but not to notice it. With a normal cause, say a human pushing over a microphone, you don’t know exactly where it is going to fall, though you have a general idea. With a perfect cause, if God is omnipotent, the microphone will fall exactly where He willed it to fall. If it falls somewhere else it contradicts His omnipotence. Smith starts calling this “God being the logically sufficient condition of the thing happening,” not a usual cause that cannot be a logically sufficient condition of its effect, but I think the meaning is the same as Craig’s “infallible causes,” who would then label the usual causes as fallible causes.

They both are remaining in the fairytale definition of omnipotence, which is a presumption God has any conceivable power, where a better definition is that He has all real powers. Disease organisms and genetic errors are types of proofs that the Living God is not omnipotent in the strict and what could be called ridiculous sense. It should have been obvious a long time ago, that the God that is real is meeting a certain percentage of failures in what He does. That people haven’t noticed it means they haven’t been thinking about God at all.

Of course there is no comparison between God’s causation and man’s causation, so this is where reverence comes back into it, particularly once you notice the souls depend on God for both existence and sustenance. It has been strange how humans try to conceive of a perfect God in an imperfect world, as if they can only draw ideas of reverence from delusion, like religion is a cartoon. I suppose it’s flattery too. They reason speaking of God as perfect and having made a decision to allow imperfection, they aren’t going to miss anything God had to offer, such as a way to leave what they call this benighted rock.