Paradox: A paradox is a statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies intuition; or, it can be an apparent contradiction that actually expresses a non-dual truth (cf. Koan, Catuskoti). 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.
Omnipotence Paradox. This is not really new. I have read this in forums and blogs many times. This argument is used to prove or show that God is not omnipotent. One of the most famous I read and know in forums and blogs is the Stone Paradox: Can God create a stone so heavy that he himself cannot lift it? Both possible answers would tell us that God is not omnipotent. Another example I read is this: Can God create a being that is more powerful than him? Again, the answers (yes or no) would tell us that God's power is not limitless. Now I read at theAtheist blog some interesting examples about the Omnipotence Paradox. The examples I read there are:
- Could God kill himself? One might question why God would have the desire to kill himself, but that is not a valid reason for dismissing the question. If God can kill himself, then he lacks the power of immortality (perhaps a poor choice of words, maybe ever-existence would be better), if he cannot, then he lacks the ability to kill himself.
- Could God create a truly immortal being? Similar to the above but a step removed. If God can create a truly immortal being, then he lacks the ability to end the life of that being, if he cannot create a truly immortal being, or if he can create a truly immortal being that he can then kill, then either he lacks the ability to create a truly immortal being or that being he creates is not truly immortal.
- Could God create a being more powerful than himself? You might also ask whether God can create a more powerful God? This is particularly interesting as it applies across multiple definitions of the word omnipotent (see below). If God can create such a being, then he is clearly not of unlimited power (for a being to be more powerful, there must, by definition, be something the new God can do that the old one cannot), and if he cannot, then that is an ability God lacks.
- Could God make himself no longer omnipotent? Rather than questioning whether God is omnipotent, this dispenses with that and rather asks whether God can make so that he is no longer omnipotent, or such that he is no longer a God. If so, then what impact does that have on the established belief systems, and how would we know?