Christians have claimed for a very long time that God can do anything.
He is “All Powerful.”
Atheists have claimed, since the invention of the internet by Al Gore in the early 1990’s, that this claim shows that the Christian concept of God is incoherent and thus OBVIOUSLY false.
It goes like this:
Can God create a stone so big that he CAN’T lift it?
The trick is this:
If God CAN make such a stone, then there is something God CANNOT do- lift the stone.
And if God CANNOT make the stone, then there is something God CANNOT do- make that stone.
CHRISTIANITY IS FINISHED! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Or is it?
There is more than one rational answer to this problem (and a few irrational answers) but the one I have stumbled on today seems to be the clearest one I have encountered thus far.
- According to the Bible, God is the creator of the universe. In Genesis 1:1 God calls into being all of time and space, and over the course of a week he fills it with a limitless number of wonderful things.
- There are multiple ways of arguing that the universe is infinite. In fact, the only LOGICAL way for the universe to be infinite is for it to have been created as such, as there is no coherent way of transversing the infinite- meaning, there is no way for an infinite number of stars to form one at a time, or even a hundred billion at a time. An infinite must come into being all at once, and only God could do such an act of creation.
- Having established that it is within God’s power to create the infinite and organize it according to His will, the question of the stone can only be understood to mean we are asking if God can make a stone which, unlike the universe, is beyond God’s ability to control. In other words, the stone must be bigger than infinite.
- Thus the question is really asking if God can make something bigger than infinite. We may as well ask if God can make a square circle, a polygamous bachelor, or an honest politician. The question itself is nonsense, and can’t be answered because it is a literally MEANINGLESS question.
It seems Christianity shall survive internet Atheism after all.
If they want to ask a real stumper, maybe our Godless friends should ask if God can make a youtube channel so good that Atheists don’t leave dumb questions in the comments section. Because it seems that would truly be a miracle.