This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Some Clarifications for Steven Carr
Steven Carr: No, the whole point is that 'the power of omnipotence' is a meaningless phrase indicating the total lack of thought that has gone into working out your views.
Apparently, any being other than a god can only win a chess game by playing better moves than his opponent, while in contrast, a god wins chess games by a different method - namely the power of omnipotence.
VR: Actually, it depends on what you want explained. Winning a chess game involves making better moves than one's opponent, granted. But now if we ask "OK, I have the scoresheet, and I know what God did to win the game. But how in the world did he figure out what the best moves were?" we would be ignoring God's omniscience.
Similarly, we might get a good deal more detail about what happened when God raised Jesus from the dead. A Laplacean demon might know in detail what all the physical, chemical, and biological changes were that brought Jesus back to life. That would identify in more detail what the miracle was. But, if we then ask "OK, I see all that, but isn't that impossible given the laws of physics, so how did God do that?" then it seems the interlocutor is simply forgetting that God, ex hypothesi, is omnipotent, and has the power to create the laws of physics or to produce effects that are not possible given the laws of physics, and we would be gratuitously presupposing naturalism, which is precisely what is at issue between the defender of miracles and the opponent of miracles.