Friday, May 3, 2013
Yet another reason Catholics say God cannot make a stone he cannot move...
..is that the statement argues against a straw man.
Straw man arguments take an easy-to-knock-down idea and claim an organization or person holds this idea. Saying “Catholics are wrong for worshiping Mary” is a straw man argument, we all agree idolatry is bad but Catholics don’t worship Mary. Saying “Opponents of homosexual marriage are wrong because they’re just bigots” is a straw man argument, the majority of opponents to homosexual marriage claim bigotry is wrong but oppose homosexual marriage out of love for natural law and what is most good for individuals and society.
Asking “Can God create a stone so heavy he can’t move it” is a straw man argument. On the surface it seems to ask “is God all powerful but it really asks “can God create a contradiction”. There’s a big difference because Christians say God operates within his nature and part of his nature is the absence of contradictions. In other words, the question tries to disprove God by forcing the Christian to admit God cannot create a contradiction; a claim Christians never made about God in the first place.
Christians believe God is omnipotent and all powerful, but he cannot contradict his nature. Basically, this means God can do anything “possible” but nothing “impossible”. Can God create everything out of nothing? Christians say yes, he can and did. Can God sin? No, God is the standard against which sin is measured. God sinning would be like saying something is both perfect and not perfect simultaneously. Can God make a 9-sided triangle? No, once something has not 3 sides it’s no longer a triangle. Can God make a stone so heavy even he can’t move it? No, it isn’t possible for such a stone to exist so God cannot make it; making it would cause a contradiction like a 9-sided triangle.
That the question at hand deals with an idea of omnipotence that Christians don’t claim God has is yet another reason Catholics say God cannot create a stone so heavy even he can’t move it.