Gods are entities which are commonly perceived to possess greater power than any other being in existence, be they Capital-G Gods from a Fantasy Pantheon, Anthropomorphic Personifications of eternal concepts, or Eldritch Abominations.
Omnipotence means having the power to do anything logically possible, so it would be inaccurate to suggest that something like God being too heavy for rocks, or 2+2=5, would limit His abilities.
What is a god?
God refers to an infinite personal Being who created the universe and whom religious people pray to for guidance in their lives and decisions. Religious people typically worship this all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present Being and pray to him or her when problems arise in human affairs – this view has long been dominant within Western societies.
Most monotheistic religions hold to an immutable, transcendent concept of God that they refer to as their deity. Most English pronouns used for reference usually start with capital letters as a sign of respect; when discussing this subject this version of God usually gets mentioned first. Though other deities may also fall under its domain.
As one example, Greek philosopher Augustine (354-430) developed his idea of an omnipotent God which includes multiple descriptors such as “omnipotent”, “omniscient”, and “omnipresent”. Augustine maintained that God created the universe “ex nihilo”, reflecting His mind with no evil elements present whatsoever; furthermore he maintained that God did not intervene directly with human history or life, in line with classical Jewish and Christian thought of his time.
Plotinus (204-570 A.D), another Neo-Platonist philosopher, introduced another version of an all-powerful God into Western thought. He saw the universe as an inevitable overflow from divinity which existed eternally and without creation; as its first manifestation was good while subsequent ones became less real as they moved further from its source – this led him to conclude that evil exists solely as its opposite and had no positive existence whatsoever.
Pseudo-Dionysius, commonly referred to as Denys, offered a more modern interpretation of this idea of God. He asserted that ultimate god cannot be perceived in terms of beings but must instead exist outside categorical categories – this concept known as transcategoriality is considered essentialist and ineffability.
What is omnipotence?
Traditional Western theism identifies omnipotence as one of the key characteristics that define God. This property refers to his ability to perform any action or produce any result regardless of whether they are possible or not, and philosophers have struggled to develop an explanation that combines this characteristic with all aspects of religion in which it exists. Unfortunately, this definition and analysis remain opaque, leading them into internal contradictions as well as conflicts with other elements in a religious system’s view that incorporate it.
Philosophical discussions of omnipotence typically revolve around questions of how much power an omnipotent agent possesses and whether there are any states of affairs it cannot bring into being. For example, some believe it inconceivable for an omnipotent agent to create something immovable like an impassible stone; thus any definition of omnipotence must include restrictions that there exist no such states of affairs (Ross 1969).
Others philosophers disagree and believe there is no justification to restrict an omnipotent agent’s power in this way. Their logic holds that there are no states of affairs which an omnipotent agent cannot actualize as doing so would require choosing not to actualize (Wierenga 1983).
Another possibility is that there may be certain states of affairs that an omnipotent being cannot actualize, for example some philosophers suggest there are certain necessary truths of logic and mathematics which an omnipotent being cannot violate, thus leaving it without power to bring about states where these violations occur (Swinburne 1973).
Thirdly, an omnipotent being may only be capable of acting within a finite time period and producing any result desired – making the Leibniz-Ross theory valid at one particular point in time (Ross 1980) while its variant, the “result theory”, claims an omnipotent being can bring into existence all states of affairs at any one given point in time.
What is omniscience?
Omniscience refers to the state of knowing all there is. While commonly associated with monotheistic religions, this term can apply to many different beliefs systems. While its philosophical implications pose challenges, there can also be great theological advantages in considering it as part of our belief systems.
Tradition holds that God knows all, which remains generally true in modern discussions of omniscience. However, some theologians have suggested that He does not know everything and has limits to His knowledge that help protect human dignity and free will.
It can often be justified by asserting that God only knows things that are objectively true, such as laws of science or historical fact; He cannot know anything subjective such as what people believe or feel.
Another consideration is that it is impossible for God to know all things, even what might appear illogical or incoherent. This doesn’t hinge on any incoherency within the definition of omniscience but on rational beings being incapable of believing something that doesn’t exist.
Other philosophers have attempted to address this dilemma by proposing that there are certain forms of knowledge which God cannot know, such as what it feels like to play soccer or experience suffering. But these arguments assume God exists as an immaterial, non-material being.
Some have also claimed that God’s omniscience includes only propositional knowledge, not procedural or personal experience. This would mean He knows all facts but doesn’t experience what it’s like to ride a bicycle or have children first-hand; and wouldn’t possess a conscience, nor feel anything for His creations.
Philosophers have also asserted that it would be wrong to assume logical contradictions such as “God cannot lift this rock” or ‘two plus two equals five” are actual contradictions; such assertions relate only to their nature rather than existence.
What is omnipresence?
God is present with all aspects of creation at all times and able to act upon it according to His will (Psalms 139). Therefore, His omnipresence can be understood as His power and knowledge at work simultaneously.
Omnipresence can also be known as ubiquity or universal presence, though religious terms tend to use it more. Ubiquity describes phenomena where something can be found at any time or location such as internet access or radio waves.
Historically, omnipresence has received less philosophical consideration than such attributes as omnipotence or omniscience; however, some recent philosophers have started exploring it more. One approach involves defining omnipresence as being located at both its maximally inclusive region as well as every subregion within that region – this definition provides several advantages over its traditional one, including circumventing the need to postulate one central location that contains all parts of an object.
Omnipresence theory can be applied to numerous physical systems, from the universe as a whole and its individual parts to our human senses and computer models. This versatility makes omnipresence attractive for those who believe there is more to our world than can be captured with traditional understandings or models.
Other philosophers have taken a more spiritual approach to understanding omnipresence. Ross Inman asserts that God must exist at all times as He created and preserved everything on Earth; He must therefore always be present to make sure things unfold according to His plan; therefore omnipresence means eternal being in this context; however this view isn’t shared across Christian traditions – some debate exists as to whether the Bible teaches this fact or not.