Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rocks so large

This is an old question that has been answered long ago but I heard it again at BSF the other night so I decided to blog about it. The question goes like this:

Can God make a rock so large that he can't move it?

I can see how this would trip people up but really, you could answer either way and it would in no way take away from God's power. Let's look at both ways of answering this issue.

I'll go with yes, God could make a rock so large he couldn't move it first since I'm a student of science. Physics has this property called relativity that pretty much dictates most of its laws. Movement is the change in location relative to another point. That point's location can only be calculated or plotted when you have an object to base it off of. Think of it this way, have you ever been driving a car and at a stop sign and you thought you were rolling forward when in fact you were still sitting still? What was happening is the car beside you was moving backward therefore relative to that car, you were moving. If God made a rock so large that it encompassed every particle in His creation, there would be nothing to compare movement to therefore movement would be impossible. Like the proverbial sound of a falling tree in the forest, with out perception there is no movement. So for my first answer, I say YES, God can make a rock so large he could not move it.

If you don't like or understand that answer, we can go with the psychology answer. Like Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato; most great thoughts require a large amount of logical thinking. Rene Descartes in his famous saying "I think therefore I am" takes a base argument and ask the reader to accept that it is fact. If we can accept that as fact, then another conclusion can be made leading to another fact and most conclusions can be made from there. The question posed above asks you to accept as fact two opposing conclusions. The first assumption is that there is a limit to the size of the rock that God could create. The second like the first asks you to assume there is a limit to the size of an object that God can lift. Since both are false the question is of no value and can be thrown out. There is also the matter of the Law of non contradiction. In logic, the law of noncontradiction (also called the law of contradiction) states, in the words of Aristotle, that "one cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time". In the symbolism of propositional logic, this is expressed as: Think back to your dreaded high school Geometry days when you were doing postulates & theorems. You were asked to prove or disprove something by following a similar logical path and at the end, you would arrive at two answers for a certain value. If those answers were the same (n=10 & n=10), you proved the theorem. If they were different (n=10 & n=20) then the theorem was false. Let me ask you another question and see if you can see the incorrect logic in the question. Could A genius be so smart that he could be able to successfully pass any test, including a test that would qualify him as an idiot. Yeah, I think you're getting the idea. I could continue with this talk of logic but I like how a seven year old once put it. "I can not give you a smart answer to a dumb question. "

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