How is God omnipotent if things are logically impossible for Him?

I got a question from someone whose friends were challenging him on God’s omnipotence if he cannot do logically impossible feats.  If God is truly omnipotent, they said, then he should be able to transcend the laws of logic.

My response is below:

It is important to note that logically impossible descriptions do not refer to anything.  If I were to write, “square-circle”, for example I have not referred to an object (potential or actual) but just combined the words “square” and “circle” together in a nonsensical way.

In this way it wouldn’t even be correct to say that God cannot perform logically incoherent acts as there are no such acts for God to perform.  God can neither create nor is he unable to create a “square-circle”.  Rather there is no such thing as a “square-circle” with respect to which God may be able or unable to create.  It is just a meaningless combination of words.

I would push back on your friends and ask them to describe what they mean by “transcend” the laws of logic.  It seems more likely that what they have in mind is being *less* than logical, not *more* than logical.  It does not seem appropriate to say that one has “transcended” logic if one has merely been illogical.  I suspect they will have a very hard time describing what it means to transcend the laws of logic.

Sincerely,

Matt Bilyeu


Got a question?  Ask it here

Hit the “Follow” button at the bottom of the page to receive future Q&A.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s