Questions Concerning Omnipotence
n Aquinas, Mavrodes, Frankfurt and Kenny
1. Define Omnipotence. Does it mean to be able to do anything at all or to simply be the 'most' powerful being.
2. Does Decartes response involving Gods free will to change the laws (that He created) at least in principle, successfully reply to all questions of Gods Omnipotence? For example, if He wished to create a square circle could he not suspend the laws of contradiction to do so? p 413 - foot notes.
3. Aquinas changes his definition of Devine Omnipotence to state that 'God can do whatever is possible.'(p 415 par 2) Kenny points out the need for clarification with the term 'possible' citing natural and supernatural possibility. It seems that all distinctions would be problematic for mono-theism. Consider this; Can God create a child for Himself to rear who has many God-like powers including rule over humans? If He can Does this not imply the possibility of poly-theism?
4. Is Mavrodes classification of creating a stone too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift as a 'pseudo-task' with no power at all ,acceptable? ( p 412 par 2)
5. If God created a stone of infinite weight this would satisfy the condition of it's not being movable. It seems that God has already created beings with the property of infinity such as the universe and, if you side with Decartes, numbers. Gods inability to find the last number is in no way detrimental to his omnipotence because of its property of infinity. Just as Gods infinite power to count can survive the inability to conclude a last number, so should his infinite power to lift survive the inability to lift an infinite weight. At best the task of lifting the object becomes the psuedo-task...