However, I'm not sure how to apply this to something such as TRUE = FALSE.
God bumped against my mental limits quite a bit before I finally denied his existence. The issue of the limits of knowledge interests me a lot. Philosophers have debated whether the world as it truly is can be knowable to humans, but unfortunately I haven't been studying long enough to have an intelligent conversation about their arguments. I bought a book called Understanding Empiricism, which describes many of these debates against the rationalists, in preparation for reading the legendary A Critique of Pure Reason. I tried reading that one dry, and I after a couple pages I gave up. It's intense but I'm sure it will be worth it.
I'll take a stab...
Assuming that God exists and that logic exists externally (some philosophers have argued that logic is a result of how human brains perceive the world), and assuming that any proposition regarding the potentiality of an act by God is true, then we can conclude that God is able to create a rock that 1) He can lift, 2) He cannot lift. Simplified, we have concluded that TRUE = FALSE.
1) If God transcends logic, then we are unable to understand or postulate what that conclusion means, and logical analysis stops there.
2) If God does NOT transcend logic, then that definition of God is illogical and a being of that nature cannot exist
3) A third possibility is that God exists, but is not omnipotent and does not transcend logic, and he can choose to make balls of any sort he prefers.
I welcome criticism, I'm sure this argument is not airtight.
In my third possible conclusion, I state that he can make a single rock that he can either lift or not lift, but not both. I reread my argument and couldn't let that ambiguity stand. I also meant rock, not ball
Richard McNair, this question is one that has been around for some time, and what's important is not God or the rock (from which you derived questions regarding gravity). The question attempts to show the shortcomings of our man made theory of logic, not shortcomings in a God. The question of what would happen if an unstoppable force hit an unmovable target is of the same structure and same intent.
Well sorry... most of the time I have heard that argument has been from atheists trying to bash the theists.
First off, I just want to say this is the first subforum I've been browsing around in since I joined here, and I'm absolutely astounded by the intelligence of people here. I am honestly impressed. I have been to many forums and I haven't found anything with such high quality.
That being said, the highest mathematics course I've taken is trigonometry/algebra II. I also don't know if this has been said before. But I do have a grasp of basic logic to make the following assertion:
A common scenario is thus: can God make a rock not even he can lift?
There's two conclusions I've come to. One, ∞<x =/=. Nothing can exceed infinity by the very nature of infinity. Thus, this question is invalid because it uses illogic to try to come to a "logical" conclusion which obviously means the whole scenario is corrupt. However, the second simultaneous conclusion is that indeed, if there is a God, he has limitations. Personally I'm an atheist, but it's still something to consider.
Assuming reality is material.
Just thought this might interest some of you.
You could always argue that infinity is an implausible concept (outside its use in mathematics ^^).
This is the analogy that made me question whether infinity was a possible or even logical. ( Can't remember who orginally did this, does anyone here know?)
Imagine a hotel with an infinite number of rooms, all of them occupied. If you ask for a room in this hotel you've created a paradox. You can't stay because the rooms are occupied to infinity, but there are an infinite number of rooms in which you can stay. You simultaneously can and can't stay at this hotel.
One thing I really like about this analogy is that it makes my brain hurt a little everytime I think about it (:
But can time be infinite if you admit that it has a starting point?
Here you go: Peter Suber, "Infinite Sets"
Would that be understandable for a person without a university background in mathematics?