I feel like I am obligated to make this thread because: What I can infer from my observation is is that people are really lost when it comes to the concept of omnipotence and cannot really give an adequate account for it's definition or the inferences made from said definition.
Most people define omnipotence like this:
- The ability to do anything
A more philosophical and formal approach would look like this:
- The ability to do any consistent task
- The ability to bring about any state of affairs
They are different in the sense that one definition talks about exercising power while the other one talks about effect. You could argue that they are identical as any action by an omnipotent would make that action true in virtue of it being actualised. (In this case, the state of affairs that are brought about will always succeed to obtain, i.e they will never be false in the actual world).
Many different subordinate definitions emerge from the above stated definitions which I will define here:
- Infinite/essential omnipotence
Infinite omnipotence is the idea that an omnipotent entity can never deviate from his infinite/perfect nature, i.e he cannot perform task which imply a limit or an imperfection. This type of omnipotence is also called ''essential omnipotence''.
The reason why bringing up this definition is important is that most intuitive notions about omnipotence arise from it (For example, that an omnipotent is more powerful than any other entity) which is not necessarily the case when considering alternative definitions.
- Contingent omnipotence
Contingent omnipotence is the idea that an omnipotent entity can perform actions which imply the loss of his omnipotence. This view is attributed to the french philosopher Rene Descartes. In particular, he argued that an omnipotent entity would be able to create necessary truths which he cannot violate afterwards.
- CD omnipotence
CD omnipotence is the idea that an omnipotent can perform any kind of actions which allude to a consistent description. Under´this view, an omnipotent entity may surrender its power, destroy itself or perform any kind of task which implies a limitation because limitations, or, to be more specific, imperfections, are consistent tasks or states.
- Absolute omnipotence
This is the only definition which is not entailed by the notion that an omnipotent can do what is logically possible, simply because this definition is the polar opposite of that. Proponents of absolute omnipotence argue that an omnipotent entity can bring about state of affairs or perform actions which are impossible (For instance, proponents of such a view would argue that an omnipotent can bring about states of affairs which entail that 2+2=8, or that bachelors are married).
I hope this could help.
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