Friday, June 10, 2011

A Theological Insight

There's a question that is passed around eventually in any discussion about the nature of God that is designed to make the asker seem so clever. The question is: "Can God create a stone that he cannot lift." The point of the question is it creates a paradox where God loses either way. If God does create a stone he cannot lift then the questioner can say, "AHA, what sort of weak god can't lift a stone?" If God doesn't create a stone he cannot lift then the questioner can say, "AHAHA! What sort of deity can't create what he wants to create?"

I've thought about this for a bit and then I realized the real answer to the riddle. The testing point of this question is when God makes the attempt to lift the stone. But what if he doesn't? What if God says, "I CHOOSE not to lift this rock I have created." If the premise is untested then neither point of the paradox can be said to be true or false. They are left indeterminate. The stone has been created, and it has not been lifted so both requirements of the question are met without actually testing God.

Besides annoying to no end the type of person who poses this question, I think there's a more profound point here. A paradox was avoided by the use of free will. Not only does this give an important clue to why we have free will, it is also an indication that God himself must have free will.

Think about it.


  1. In Norse mythology that evolved after Jesus visited Scandinavia, no strike that. Anyway Thor the God of Thunder IS actually caught underneath a rock that he can not lift after killing a giant. His SON (get it Gods Son?) has no problem lifting it tho.

  2. Thanks for reminding me of this even if you wont accept my comment!

  3. I have no problem accepting interesting comments. Thank you. That is indeed something to chew on.

  4. Great. It's currently my theory that some stuff escaped from Israel before the "official" bible was established , and venture other places on the globe. Hence the differences from the established "truth".

  5. Another answer I've heard to this question is "Yes he can create a stone so heavy he can't lift it. But he lifts it anyway."

    I can't quite decide if that's very clever, or very stupid.

  6. steve sounds almost something that a sufi might say. Thanks for the comment!