"God cannot create a square circle"

GenesisNemesis

Veteran Member
Jesus supposedly can walk on water, resurrect people, and most importantly, feed a multitude of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. That's pretty much saying 2+2=5, which would pretty much be just like creating a "square circle". Yet, he cannot create a square circle? What would be so difficult about that?

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
Creating a square circle is a doddle. I'd be impressed if he could give the Leafs a decent season.

dockeen

Member
Just a little bend in space will do it. I remember saying in my believing days that I similarly had no problem with god creating a 17 sided triangle and Self-Mutation went nuts telling me how stupid that was.

Xtians need their omnipotent god to be limited in some ways to provide appropriate excuses for problems in their theology, and real life observations.

Kharakov

Quantum Hot Dog
Like dockeen said, creating a square circle is simple with the caveat that one must use higher dimensional mathematics.

But I understand the dilemma you bring up.

If we define 2 objects as the products of mutually exclusive rule sets (the 2 sets of rules that cannot possibly create the same product), then of course no one who follows the rule sets can create something other than what the rule sets entail. This isn't to say that one cannot add additional rules to create a bridge between the mutually exclusive rule sets.

In this specific case, using higher dimensional mathematics, one could create an observer point (or multiple) at which an object is both a square and a circle. The easiest way to picture the object (although it isn't necessarily correct) is as the 2 space + 1 time dimensional transform over time of a square to a circle. The square circle exists as the limit object as transform time elapsed approaches 0.

This is a shady way of doing it- I'd prefer simply being a 4+ dimensional observer looking at a single 2d object in warped space without the idea of an object transform, but this way might make it a bit clearer to people who are unfamiliar with greater than 3 dimensions of space.

Enough of this though. It's pretty obvious that one cannot create certain things following certain rules or laws. It's also pretty obvious that one does not have to know the specific laws that govern beauty and attraction in order to appreciate beauty and feel attraction, or even follow those specific rule sets.

Something very interesting about the circle and the square. Nature is precise in relationship to spheres- exact distances of field strength interactions exist around particles in spherical patterns. The set of reals, on the other hand, has a more precise relationship to squares/cubes.

The infinite nature of Pi's relationship to a sphere or circle's size doesn't allow complete precision in a finite number of digits for the volume of a sphere, area or circumference of a circle. However, in many cases, a square or cubes volume can be very precisely calculated in a finite reality, BUT they cannot be created with infinite precision in nature due to the spherical nature of field strengths of particles. And I've got real work to get done...

Ohh, so I assume that certain rules are all right to break, and certain ones are not.

Veteran Member
I'm not saying that I would argue this, but one could argue that God could make whatever he wanted but it would be our limited minds that could not conceive of something as a square circle.

God: "Hey, I just made a square circle, it's not My fault that you can't... oh wait, I guess it is..."

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't actually want a square circle and wouldn't take one if God offered it to me. I prefer my circles to consist of cool and interesting people who are more fun to hang out with.

Atheos

Veteran Member
I don't agree that walking on water or raising dead people is the equivalent of 2+2=5. Walking on water could be accomplished with a variety of technologies or tricks. It is also possible that if a more thorough understanding of human anatomy along with commensurate technology were available a dead person could be brought back to life (provided of course that the body had not decomposed beyond the limit of said technology).

The miracles of the loaves and fish on first glance are math-defying miracles. A specific quantity of material is presented (5 loaves, 2 fish). Some of that material is taken away (by being eaten) with the result that a greater quanity of the material remains (12 baskets of uneaten bread and fish). This would be analogous to a square circle if it weren't for the possibility that the performer of this "miraculous" feat had access to technology similar to the transporters on Star Trek that allowed Scotty to beam fresh cooked fish and bread into the baskets as they were being passed around. Once again sufficient technology would be indistinguishable from magic.

But there is no technology available that can produce a 2 dimensional object that is at the same time square and circular. These terms are in their strictest sense limited to 2 dimensions, and for that reason it can be argued that the addition of other dimensions is cheating.

However, IMO the christian doctrine of the monotheistic trinity actually is as paradoxical as a square circle.

jonJ

Member
But there is no technology available that can produce a 2 dimensional object that is at the same time square and circular. These terms are in their strictest sense limited to 2 dimensions, and for that reason it can be argued that the addition of other dimensions is cheating.

But if a deity produced something which caused everyone who saw it to say "Hey, that's a square circle!", then they would have produced a square circle, wouldn't they? And that's certainly logically possible. With omnipotence there's no clear boundary here between doing something and making everyone think you've done something. If their thoughts are convincing enough, then you've done it.

Syed

Banned
Banned
Jesus supposedly can walk on water, resurrect people, and most importantly, feed a multitude of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. That's pretty much saying 2+2=5, which would pretty much be just like creating a "square circle". Yet, he cannot create a square circle? What would be so difficult about that?

god is like a engineer, a engineer can not create a car without wheel, so god cannot create a square circle

god cannot create a human without brain etc

Underseer

Contributor
Some days, I have to agree with igtheism.

The problem here, of course, is the definition of omnipotent. It's fucking incoherent nonsense that leaves itself open to childish nonsense like this. God can't create a square circle? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a married bachelor? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a rock so big that even god can't lift it? No matter how the question gets answered, he's not omnipotent.

Some of the other attributes of god become contradictory when combined with other attributes, but omnipotence creates contradictions all by itself.

Why do they even claim such a stupid property for their magic, imaginary friend? I'm assuming it was so that they could claim that their god could beat up everyone else's god like 8 year old nerds arguing about which comic book character would win in a fight. By making him omnipotent, then no one else can possibly think of a god more powerful than theirs.

Atheos

Veteran Member
But there is no technology available that can produce a 2 dimensional object that is at the same time square and circular. These terms are in their strictest sense limited to 2 dimensions, and for that reason it can be argued that the addition of other dimensions is cheating.

But if a deity produced something which caused everyone who saw it to say "Hey, that's a square circle!", then they would have produced a square circle, wouldn't they? And that's certainly logically possible. With omnipotence there's no clear boundary here between doing something and making everyone think you've done something. If their thoughts are convincing enough, then you've done it.

Seems like more of a philosophical question than a scientific one, not that science was ever mentioned as a qualification. I tend to disagree with your assessment on the principle that everyone thought the earth was flat until sufficient evidence came to light to demonstrate that the earth was, in fact, spherical. The illusion of a flat earth was completely compelling, but it was false.

I believe that the spirit of the question "Can god create a square circle?" implies that the end result of the satisfied condition is an actual square circle, not merely the illusion that one exists. But that's just me, I don't claim to speak for everyone.

Kharakov

Quantum Hot Dog
But there is no technology available that can produce a 2 dimensional object that is at the same time square and circular.
Because of minute perturbations in spacetime, I doubt that any (non mathematical) object produced by man would ever be a perfect square or circle. Of course, perhaps certain fields in nature are perfectly circular on certain scales, but Man does not produce these fields (unless the field of mathematical thought is considered a field).
These terms are in their strictest sense limited to 2 dimensions, and for that reason it can be argued that the addition of other dimensions is cheating.
No it can't. They are 2 dimensional objects (defined as such), but this does not mean they cannot exist in a higher dimensional geometry (circles obviously exist in certain 3 dimensional geometries, not to mention many 4d+ geometries as well).
However, IMO the christian doctrine of the monotheistic trinity actually is as paradoxical as a square circle.
How many quarks in a proton? Do they exist independently of one another?

Syed

Banned
Banned
Some days, I have to agree with igtheism.

The problem here, of course, is the definition of omnipotent. It's fucking incoherent nonsense that leaves itself open to childish nonsense like this. God can't create a square circle? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a married bachelor? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a rock so big that even god can't lift it? No matter how the question gets answered, he's not omnipotent.

Some of the other attributes of god become contradictory when combined with other attributes, but omnipotence creates contradictions all by itself.

Why do they even claim such a stupid property for their magic, imaginary friend? I'm assuming it was so that they could claim that their god could beat up everyone else's god like 8 year old nerds arguing about which comic book character would win in a fight. By making him omnipotent, then no one else can possibly think of a god more powerful than theirs.

you just misunderstood definition of omnipotent

we dont say god can die or god can have sex with ant

steve_bnk

Senior Member
Using his Holy Topology why not?

A circle is just a square without corners.

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
Some days, I have to agree with igtheism.

The problem here, of course, is the definition of omnipotent. It's fucking incoherent nonsense that leaves itself open to childish nonsense like this. God can't create a square circle? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a married bachelor? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a rock so big that even god can't lift it? No matter how the question gets answered, he's not omnipotent.

Some of the other attributes of god become contradictory when combined with other attributes, but omnipotence creates contradictions all by itself.

Why do they even claim such a stupid property for their magic, imaginary friend? I'm assuming it was so that they could claim that their god could beat up everyone else's god like 8 year old nerds arguing about which comic book character would win in a fight. By making him omnipotent, then no one else can possibly think of a god more powerful than theirs.

you just misunderstood definition of omnipotent

we dont say god can die or god can have sex with ant

Wait. Why can't God have sex with an ant? That seems fairly trivial next to creating an entire universe.

Keith&Co.

Contributor
god cannot create a human without brain etc
I actually saw a kid born without a brain. He was in the NICU next to my premature twins. He just wasn't there for long... Very sad.
So you're saying he wasn't human? well, that clears up a lot of things.
So if we abort before the structure of the brain even starts, they're not human, so abortion at that stage isn't murder.
Does it have to be a full brain? Can it be half-way developed? When exactly does a brain become crucial to the definition of human, Syed? And how do you know? This would clear up a lot of confusion about abortion rights and moral codes.

Underseer

Contributor
Some days, I have to agree with igtheism.

The problem here, of course, is the definition of omnipotent. It's fucking incoherent nonsense that leaves itself open to childish nonsense like this. God can't create a square circle? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a married bachelor? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a rock so big that even god can't lift it? No matter how the question gets answered, he's not omnipotent.

Some of the other attributes of god become contradictory when combined with other attributes, but omnipotence creates contradictions all by itself.

Why do they even claim such a stupid property for their magic, imaginary friend? I'm assuming it was so that they could claim that their god could beat up everyone else's god like 8 year old nerds arguing about which comic book character would win in a fight. By making him omnipotent, then no one else can possibly think of a god more powerful than theirs.

you just misunderstood definition of omnipotent

we dont say god can die or god can have sex with ant

If there are things god can't do, then we are lying when we say god can do anything imaginable, hence you do not believe that god is omnipotent.

Kharakov

Quantum Hot Dog
Many worlds God. In other words, every possible thing is true- a rock exists that God can and cannot lift. Not that this rock is useful- it's good to cut off the unproductive "limbs" of reality that hinder us, thus the whole "toss into hell those things which would drag you down to hell" and "discipline (mercifully) those beings that annoy you like hell" things.

Although maybe make a rock that you can't lift, but don't prevent your creations from lifting it. Give them something to do by setting that limit so they can actually do good intentionally and contribute (remind you of moving rocks to the corner of the yard and back???).

jonJ

Member
But if a deity produced something which caused everyone who saw it to say "Hey, that's a square circle!", then they would have produced a square circle, wouldn't they? And that's certainly logically possible. With omnipotence there's no clear boundary here between doing something and making everyone think you've done something. If their thoughts are convincing enough, then you've done it.

Seems like more of a philosophical question than a scientific one, not that science was ever mentioned as a qualification. I tend to disagree with your assessment on the principle that everyone thought the earth was flat until sufficient evidence came to light to demonstrate that the earth was, in fact, spherical. The illusion of a flat earth was completely compelling, but it was false.

I believe that the spirit of the question "Can god create a square circle?" implies that the end result of the satisfied condition is an actual square circle, not merely the illusion that one exists. But that's just me, I don't claim to speak for everyone.

But if your experience of a flat earth included the experience of falling off the edge to one's death, the experience of seeing a disk from space, the experience of a flat horizon, etc, then how would it be an 'illusion'? Faced with an omnipotent God, we're all in the same position as a brain in a jar: whatever experiences he chooses to pipe into us, that's our 'reality'.

Eric H

Member
GenesisNemesis;
most importantly, feed a multitude of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. That's pretty much saying 2+2=5, which would pretty much be just like creating a "square circle".

What would be the greater sign to five thousand hungry people? Being fed by five loaves and two fish, or being presented with a square circle, if that is possible?

Syed

Banned
Banned
Some days, I have to agree with igtheism.

The problem here, of course, is the definition of omnipotent. It's fucking incoherent nonsense that leaves itself open to childish nonsense like this. God can't create a square circle? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a married bachelor? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a rock so big that even god can't lift it? No matter how the question gets answered, he's not omnipotent.

Some of the other attributes of god become contradictory when combined with other attributes, but omnipotence creates contradictions all by itself.

Why do they even claim such a stupid property for their magic, imaginary friend? I'm assuming it was so that they could claim that their god could beat up everyone else's god like 8 year old nerds arguing about which comic book character would win in a fight. By making him omnipotent, then no one else can possibly think of a god more powerful than theirs.

you just misunderstood definition of omnipotent

we dont say god can die or god can have sex with ant

Wait. Why can't God have sex with an ant? That seems fairly trivial next to creating an entire universe.

sex does not apply to god, sun. star, galaxy, earth etc

Syed

Banned
Banned
god cannot create a human without brain etc
I actually saw a kid born without a brain. He was in the NICU next to my premature twins. He just wasn't there for long... Very sad.
So you're saying he wasn't human?

he didnt lives long because of he had no brain

Syed

Banned
Banned
Some days, I have to agree with igtheism.

The problem here, of course, is the definition of omnipotent. It's fucking incoherent nonsense that leaves itself open to childish nonsense like this. God can't create a square circle? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a married bachelor? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a rock so big that even god can't lift it? No matter how the question gets answered, he's not omnipotent.

Some of the other attributes of god become contradictory when combined with other attributes, but omnipotence creates contradictions all by itself.

Why do they even claim such a stupid property for their magic, imaginary friend? I'm assuming it was so that they could claim that their god could beat up everyone else's god like 8 year old nerds arguing about which comic book character would win in a fight. By making him omnipotent, then no one else can possibly think of a god more powerful than theirs.

you just misunderstood definition of omnipotent

we dont say god can die or god can have sex with ant

If there are things god can't do, then we are lying when we say god can do anything imaginable, hence you do not believe that god is omnipotent.
i dont believe god can do every thing, god is like an engineer NOT like magician

fta

Member
God can't create a square circle? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a married bachelor? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a rock so big that even god can't lift it? No matter how the question gets answered, he's not omnipotent.

Apologists would say that God can do everything that's "logically possible" but square circles, married bachelors, and theistic atheists are not "logically possible".

Eric H

Member
Jesus supposedly can walk on water, That's pretty much saying 2+2=5, which would pretty much be just like creating a "square circle". Yet, he cannot create a square circle? What would be so difficult about that?

What would be the greater miracle to a bunch of fishermen, Jesus walking on water, or showing them the party trick of a square circle, if that's possible?

What would stand the test of time?

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Jesus supposedly can walk on water, That's pretty much saying 2+2=5, which would pretty much be just like creating a "square circle". Yet, he cannot create a square circle? What would be so difficult about that?

What would be the greater miracle to a bunch of fishermen, Jesus walking on water, or showing them the party trick of a square circle, if that's possible?

What would stand the test of time?
So, God COULD have made a square circle, or squared a circle, but his omnipotence is limited by how much glory he gets out of the miracle?
What a showboat your god is, Eric.

dockeen

Member
God can't create a square circle? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a married bachelor? Then he's not omnipotent. God can't create a rock so big that even god can't lift it? No matter how the question gets answered, he's not omnipotent.

Apologists would say that God can do everything that's "logically possible" but square circles, married bachelors, and theistic atheists are not "logically possible".

As are various theological problems like forgiving sin without human sacrifice, or creating men with free will that will not require an eternal roaster.

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Apologists would say that God can do everything that's "logically possible" but square circles, married bachelors, and theistic atheists are not "logically possible".
But then, the same people will often say 'before time began' or 'outside of the universe' and think they're making a point.

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
we dont say god can die or god can have sex with ant
Wait. Why can't God have sex with an ant? That seems fairly trivial next to creating an entire universe.

sex does not apply to god, sun. star, galaxy, earth etc

But stars and galaxies aren't sentient entities. Are you saying that the definition of omnipotence excludes the ability to change one's form if one wants to? I don't see how any possible definition of the term excludes the ability to have sex with an ant if he chose to.

That's not saying that he'd ever want to, simply that he has the ability to do so.

dockeen

Member
we dont say god can die or god can have sex with ant
Wait. Why can't God have sex with an ant? That seems fairly trivial next to creating an entire universe.

sex does not apply to god, sun. star, galaxy, earth etc

But stars and galaxies aren't sentient entities. Are you saying that the definition of omnipotence excludes the ability to change one's form if one wants to? I don't see how any possible definition of the term excludes the ability to have sex with an ant if he chose to.

That's not saying that he'd ever want to, simply that he has the ability to do so.

Syed has made a couple of things clearish.

His god is not omnipotent.

He did not even create all, he just worked with materials at hand.

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
Syed has made a couple of things clearish.

His god is not omnipotent.

He did not even create all, he just worked with materials at hand.

But the ability to change one's form into an ant seems like a fairly trivial ability which would only need power levels which are far below that of omnipotence. I can't see any way that a being would merit the term "god" and not be powerful enough to do a bit of shapeshifting.

dockeen

Member
Syed has made a couple of things clearish.

His god is not omnipotent.

He did not even create all, he just worked with materials at hand.

But the ability to change one's form into an ant seems like a fairly trivial ability which would only need power levels which are far below that of omnipotence. I can't see any way that a being would merit the term "god" and not be powerful enough to do a bit of shapeshifting.

In discussions in the past, it sure looked like the ant thing was almost a figure of speach, one of those images that is supposed to convey ridiculous impossibility, with overtones of some ick elements.

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
This all is part of what I call the problem of super-omnipotence. If God cannot make 2+2=5 or any other state of affairs God desires,God is then obviously limited by a natural existing state of reality that exists trancedentally to God who then obviously does not create the laws, rules, laws or metaphysical necessities of the Universe. A God that does and is good can create a Universe without moral evil, creating man with a god-like good nature and a god-like free will who never does moral evil. We don't have such a world.
This then indicates a world where naturalism and its rules exists and is responsible for things being as they are. God is not needed for anything, and need not exist, naturalism is capable of doing all that actually is as it is.
This eliminates any TAG arguments, Plantinga's anti-naturalism arguments,and belief in God as basic arguments and more. God is not necessary as per theists.

The problem of the nature of omnipotence is a rather serious problem for theism. Naturalism seems to be impossible to argue away.

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
This all is part of what I call the problem of super-omnipotence. If God cannot make 2+2=5 or any other state of affairs God desires,God is then obviously limited by a natural existing state of reality that exists trancedentally to God who then obviously does not create the laws, rules, laws or metaphysical necessities of the Universe.

Well, not really. One could easily say that making 2+2=5 would be a nonsense statement and is as irrelevant to his being classified as omnipotent as someone who says "God can't suralfsa a olinagsd, so he's not omnipotent". It's fine calling someone omnipotent if he can do anything that's not nonsense.

Keith&Co.

Contributor
This all is part of what I call the problem of super-omnipotence. If God cannot make 2+2=5 or any other state of affairs God desires,God is then obviously limited by a natural existing state of reality that exists trancedentally to God who then obviously does not create the laws, rules, laws or metaphysical necessities of the Universe.

Well, not really. One could easily say that making 2+2=5 would be a nonsense statement
But god made 2 fish and a bag of pitas feed 5000. If God can't make 2+2 = 5 every time, he should at least be capable of making making two and two add up to five one time as a discrete miracle.
Like when kids pray that their math test is correct....

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
This all is part of what I call the problem of super-omnipotence. If God cannot make 2+2=5 or any other state of affairs God desires,God is then obviously limited by a natural existing state of reality that exists trancedentally to God who then obviously does not create the laws, rules, laws or metaphysical necessities of the Universe.

Well, not really. One could easily say that making 2+2=5 would be a nonsense statement and is as irrelevant to his being classified as omnipotent as someone who says "God can't suralfsa a olinagsd, so he's not omnipotent". It's fine calling someone omnipotent if he can do anything that's not nonsense.

No. If 2 + 2 = 4, then why? If not because of God, nor can God change that, Then there must be a reason that has nothing to do with God. Naturalism, the basic laws and metaphysical necessities of the Universe. God has nothing to do with any of this, and as a necessary entity disappears. The natural laws cannot be argued away to make room for God. THAT is the point. This naturalism must exist, God does not. Nor is there a special logic that applies to God but nobody else to save God from logical paradoxes. No mystery reasons for why things are as they are when discussing God.

Now, how far does this necessary naturalism extend into reality? You will not find theists investigating that. This problem sucks all the air out of the room for theism. Naturalism and its logic and laws must exist, God does not.

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
This all is part of what I call the problem of super-omnipotence. If God cannot make 2+2=5 or any other state of affairs God desires,God is then obviously limited by a natural existing state of reality that exists trancedentally to God who then obviously does not create the laws, rules, laws or metaphysical necessities of the Universe.

Well, not really. One could easily say that making 2+2=5 would be a nonsense statement and is as irrelevant to his being classified as omnipotent as someone who says "God can't suralfsa a olinagsd, so he's not omnipotent". It's fine calling someone omnipotent if he can do anything that's not nonsense.

No. If 2 + 2 = 4, then why? If not because of God, nor can God change that, Then there must be a reason that has nothing to do
with God.Naturalism, the basic laws and metaphysical necessities of the Universe. God has nothing to do with any of this, and as a necessary entity disappears. The natural laws cannot be argued away to make room for God. THAT is the point. This naturalism must exist, God does not. Nor is there a special logic that applies to God but nobody else to save God from logical paradoxes. No mystery reasons for why things are as they are when discussing God.

Now, how far does this necessary naturalism extend into reality? You will not find theists investigating that. This problem sucks all the air out of the room for theism. Naturalism and its logic and laws must exist, God does not.

2+2=4 is just a description of something - that's all math is. Sort of like how a bachelor is a description of a man who isn't married. Creating a married bachelor is the same as creating a oasldnkasdf. God doesn't become less omnipotent by lack of ability to produce the results of nonsense statements. Four is simply a description we've given to the number of objects one ends up with when we add two sets of two objects together.

Saying that God is less than omnipotent because he can't make 2+2=5 is an example of you saying "Hey, look at me! I have the ability to use clever wordplay!". It's not an example of you making any reference to limitations on omnipotence.

Wayne Delia

New member
Creating a square circle is a doddle.
Well, God is omnipotent.

I'd be impressed if he could give the Leafs a decent season.
God isn't that omnipotent.

Syed

Banned
Banned
we dont say god can die or god can have sex with ant
Wait. Why can't God have sex with an ant? That seems fairly trivial next to creating an entire universe.

sex does not apply to god, sun. star, galaxy, earth etc

But stars and galaxies aren't sentient entities. Are you saying that the definition of omnipotence excludes the ability to change one's form if one wants to? I don't see how any possible definition of the term excludes the ability to have sex with an ant if he chose to.

That's not saying that he'd ever want to, simply that he has the ability to do so.

god is changeable, he cant became human, he cant became ant

god also bond by nature, so he can not create a human without brain

that my understanding

jonJ

Member
Jesus supposedly can walk on water, That's pretty much saying 2+2=5, which would pretty much be just like creating a "square circle". Yet, he cannot create a square circle? What would be so difficult about that?

What would be the greater miracle to a bunch of fishermen, Jesus walking on water, or showing them the party trick of a square circle, if that's possible?

What would stand the test of time?

A square circle, obviously, if he stick it on top of a mountain somewhere in an unbreakable case. How come your God's miracles never last any longer than, say, a magic act?

- - - Updated - - -

But the ability to change one's form into an ant seems like a fairly trivial ability which would only need power levels which are far below that of omnipotence. I can't see any way that a being would merit the term "god" and not be powerful enough to do a bit of shapeshifting.

Rather than turning into an ant, he could just take over an ant for his ant-sexing purposes. We could call it an 'avatant'.

Eric H

Member
jonJ;
How come your God's miracles never last any longer than, say, a magic act?

The creation of the universe and life, is a miracle that has been around for a while now.

Atheos

Veteran Member
But if a deity produced something which caused everyone who saw it to say "Hey, that's a square circle!", then they would have produced a square circle, wouldn't they? And that's certainly logically possible. With omnipotence there's no clear boundary here between doing something and making everyone think you've done something. If their thoughts are convincing enough, then you've done it.

Seems like more of a philosophical question than a scientific one, not that science was ever mentioned as a qualification. I tend to disagree with your assessment on the principle that everyone thought the earth was flat until sufficient evidence came to light to demonstrate that the earth was, in fact, spherical. The illusion of a flat earth was completely compelling, but it was false.

I believe that the spirit of the question "Can god create a square circle?" implies that the end result of the satisfied condition is an actual square circle, not merely the illusion that one exists. But that's just me, I don't claim to speak for everyone.

But if your experience of a flat earth included the experience of falling off the edge to one's death, the experience of seeing a disk from space, the experience of a flat horizon, etc, then how would it be an 'illusion'? Faced with an omnipotent God, we're all in the same position as a brain in a jar: whatever experiences he chooses to pipe into us, that's our 'reality'.

An illusion is still an illusion no matter how compelling it is. Yes it might be impossible for us to see past the illusion. I agree that an omnipotent god could play some sort of Jedi mind trick on us to make us believe a square circle exists. But that's not the same thing as actually creating a square circle. That's my only beef with that solution.

Keith&Co.

Contributor
jonJ;
How come your God's miracles never last any longer than, say, a magic act?

The creation of the universe and life, is a miracle that has been around for a while now.
So you says. And the reason we should believe you rather than those who say Allah did it? Or Ptah? Or Raven?

Atheos

Veteran Member
jonJ;
How come your God's miracles never last any longer than, say, a magic act?

The creation of the universe and life, is a miracle that has been around for a while now.
Baseless assertions of various origin myths about one or another god or gods creating the universe and life have been around for a long time, that's for sure. Actual evidence that the universe was created or that life is the result of planned creative effort is non-existent.

rhutchin

Member
jonJ;
How come your God's miracles never last any longer than, say, a magic act?
The creation of the universe and life, is a miracle that has been around for a while now.
Baseless assertions of various origin myths about one or another god or gods creating the universe and life have been around for a long time, that's for sure. Actual evidence that the universe was created or that life is the result of planned creative effort is non-existent.

Let's rephrase the statement by Eric H. to, "The universe and life is a miracle that has been around for a while now." By miracle, we mean only that no one has the evidence to support any theory of the creation of the universe or life so the best that anyone can say is that it is a miracle.

The Bible contains an account of the creation of the universe and life. It says that God did it. So, we have one possibility and it fits the available evidence - scant as that evidence is.

Bronzeage

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jesus supposedly can walk on water, resurrect people, and most importantly, feed a multitude of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. That's pretty much saying 2+2=5, which would pretty much be just like creating a "square circle". Yet, he cannot create a square circle? What would be so difficult about that?

Who says God can't create a square circle? Have you asked him for one? I think we went through this before at the old place.

A circle is the area swept when the line between two points is rotated 90 degrees around one point, four times in succession. If this same line is rotated 90 degrees by one point once, then 90 degrees by the opposite point, then this done twice again, it sweeps out the plane geometric figure known as a circular square. It's all a matter of following instructions.

If you really won't to challenge the existence of God, you'll need to trisect an angle.

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Let's rephrase the statement by Eric H. to, "The universe and life is a miracle that has been around for a while now." By miracle, we mean only that no one has the evidence to support any theory of the creation of the universe or life so the best that anyone can say is that it is a miracle.
I think you'd be better saying 'The Universe and Life are mysteries.' That more closely fits your definition of miracle.

rhutchin

Member
Let's rephrase the statement by Eric H. to, "The universe and life is a miracle that has been around for a while now." By miracle, we mean only that no one has the evidence to support any theory of the creation of the universe or life so the best that anyone can say is that it is a miracle.
I think you'd be better saying 'The Universe and Life are mysteries.' That more closely fits your definition of miracle.

Mystery is a fine word also. However, whether created by God or by some other means, the universe and life are miracles.

rhutchin

Member
Who says God can't create a square circle?

The terms, square and circle, were coined to represent specific shapes. They have no meaning apart from that which they represent. One can draw on a piece of paper to show an object with four sides, all equal with ninety degree angles. For purposes of communication, we call it a square. Same with a circle. We do not have anything in language called a "square circle." Technically, a "square circle" can be anything. So, God could just draw on a piece of paper and declare the thing He drew to be a "square circle" and it would be. A "square circle" has nothing to do with a square or a circle. It can be anything a person (or God) wants it to be. God can create a square circle as easily as anyone else can.

Maybe, the challenge would be for God to create a circle that is in the shape of a square. However, a circle in the shape of a square would be a square but we can provide a definition of the term, "circle," such that it can be in the shape of a square. So God, or anyone else, need only add to the definition of the term, "circle," such language as is necessary to encompass the shape of a square.

All this says nothing about God or omnipotence. Generally God's attributes are defined relative to Himself and in contrast to everything else. Thus, to say that God is omnipotent means that (1) God can do anything He wants and nothing can prevent Him doing so, and (2) nothing that exists is more powerful than God (for example, nothing can make a rock too heavy for God to lift).

Bronzeage

Super Moderator
Staff member
Who says God can't create a square circle?

The terms, square and circle, were coined to represent specific shapes. They have no meaning apart from that which they represent. One can draw on a piece of paper to show an object with four sides, all equal with ninety degree angles. For purposes of communication, we call it a square. Same with a circle. We do not have anything in language called a "square circle." Technically, a "square circle" can be anything. So, God could just draw on a piece of paper and declare the thing He drew to be a "square circle" and it would be. A "square circle" has nothing to do with a square or a circle. It can be anything a person (or God) wants it to be. God can create a square circle as easily as anyone else can.

Maybe, the challenge would be for God to create a circle that is in the shape of a square. However, a circle in the shape of a square would be a square but we can provide a definition of the term, "circle," such that it can be in the shape of a square. So God, or anyone else, need only add to the definition of the term, "circle," such language as is necessary to encompass the shape of a square.

All this says nothing about God or omnipotence. Generally God's attributes are defined relative to Himself and in contrast to everything else. Thus, to say that God is omnipotent means that (1) God can do anything He wants and nothing can prevent Him doing so, and (2) nothing that exists is more powerful than God (for example, nothing can make a rock too heavy for God to lift).

Now, what about trisecting an angel?