Can God create a stone so heavy even He cannot lift it?
People have lost sleep over this question for millennia. But, what’s the answer?
The question challenges God’s “omnipotence” (the unlimited power we ascribe to God). Actually it’s a dual challenge:
What seems like a quandary is actually faulty logic...the question is defective.
A basic principle of logic says one “thing” cannot be different “thing” at the same time. A square can’t be a circle. A blue circle can’t be a red circle. A circle can have blue areas and red areas but those areas can’t be both red and blue at the same time (and don’t get tricky by saying “purple”).
The stone question can be restated like this:
“If God has unlimited powers (to create a stone) can He also have something beyond unlimited powers?”
And, that’s the problem with the question. It presumes there can be something greater than “unlimited” such as unlimited + 1, super-mega-unlimited or whatever it might be called. Either something is unlimited, or it isn’t.
Isaac Asimov, a famous American writer and confirmed atheist, addressed a similar paradox:
“What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?”
Asimov concluded that in order to be "immovable" or "irresistible", either the force or the object must possess the majority of the energy in the universe. But, it’s impossible to have two majorities. The answer to the question, therefore, is that nothing happens because the irresistible force and the immovable object will never meet as they can’t exist at the same time. Another intriguing question ends up without an answer because of a faulty premise.
Intellectual exercises such as the “stone” question are fun and good for the brain. We should all be on guard for the illogical and impossible dressed up in pretty words that argue against God’s existence and omnipotence.
He continues to make stones as big as He pleases, when it suites His purpose. Sweet dreams!