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omnipotent
« on: July 19, 2012, 06:52:06 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.

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omnipotent
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2012, 02:04:56 pm »
To make it brief, Smith is redefining what logically impossible implies...

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Ron Morales

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Re: omnipotent
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 12:01:56 pm »
I agree with Dr. Craig. Smith is simply ad hoc defining causality as being fallible, and hence defining infallible divine causality out of existence. But there is no logical reason why one has to define causality that way. Smith is engaging in the form of definist fallacy that utilizes a persuasive definition, which is an altered definition changed and insisted upon to try to reach a preferred conclusion.

Even so, Smith is still making a fallacious inference.

The following is true: Necessarily, if God is omnipotent, then if God wills P, P will occur. 

However, Smith erroneously infers from this that if God wills P, then P necessarily occurs. But "P necessarily occurs" means that P occurs in all possible worlds. But there are possible worlds in which P doesn't occur, since there are possible worlds where God does not will P (or wills not-P) in the first place. The necessity modality modifies the conditional statement "Necessarily, if God wills P, then P." Similarly, "Necessarily, If God knows P, then P" (for that matter, necessarily, if anyone knows P, then P, by definition of "know).  Therefore even if God wills P, "P necessarily occurs" does not logically follow, since the occurence of P is contingent (contingent on God's willing P).