Thomas Aquinas Omnipotence: The Paradox Of The Stone

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The paradox of the stone heavily relies on Thomas Aquinas’s understanding of gods omnipotence. Aquinas proposes that Omnipotence is the power to do everything that is possible, not just to do anything. Aquinas breaks it down into two forms of possibilities; Relative possibility and Absolute possibility that will be discussed first in order to understand the paradox of the stone argument.

Relative possibility is a power that lies within some beings, but not within others. For instance, a fish can swim under water but a person cannot. This wouldn’t apply to god because the concept that god can do everything that god can do does not rationally explain what god can do. Absolute possibility applies to whatever can be done that is logically possible
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Mavrodes explains that if god is omnipotent, then the stone question is a contradiction in and of itself. His reasoning makes logical sense because if one agrees that god is an all powerful entity, then there is no realm in which god can create something that he cannot lift. As Mavrodes articulates, the crux of the question is its built in attempt to imply that god is not omnipotent. And, if one believes that God is not omnipotent, then it follows that of course god would not be able to lift the stone, or would not be able to create a stone heavy enough to lift thus rendering him non-omnipotent. And, if one believes that god is omnipotent, then this question is irrelevant because this question is a contradiction. Because, if gods omnipotent then there is no stone too heavy for him to lift. Thus, depending upon what one believes about god, the answer to this paradox is different.

All in all, the paradox of the stone is an interesting though experiment in debating gods omnipotence. The roots to Aquinas were key in the creation of this argument. Mavrodes did a great job of responding to this argument in an argument that elaborated that there is no logical discrepancy with god lifting a stone and gods

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