omnipotence

omnipotence
   One naively assumes that omnipotence is the power to do anything. But this definition immediately runs into trouble: God is omnipotent and yet there appear to be actions that God lacks the power to do - God does not have the power to learn or to make himself nonexistent. One popular way that Christian philosophers have employed to get round this problem is to define God's omnipotence in terms of states of affairs, saying that God has the power to bring about any state of affairs. But this is also problematic, as we may see by considering the state of affairs of Peter's freely denying Christ. This state of affairs was brought about by Peter, but it seems that God did not have the power to bring it about, for it seems that if God had brought it about that Peter denied Christ Peter would not have done so freely. So it seems that Peter has a power that God lacks. The traditional response to this has been to claim that this is not a real power, though opinions vary over precisely why it is not. There is also debate among Christian philosophers over whether the second person of the Trinity kept his omnipotence in the incarnation.
   Further reading: Brink 1993; Hill, Daniel J. 2005; Urban and Walton 1978

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • Omnipotence — (from Latin: Omni Potens: all power ) is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed. In the monotheistic philosophies of Abrahamic religions, omnipotence is… …   Wikipedia

  • omnipotence — [ ɔmnipɔtɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1387; bas lat. omnipotentia ♦ Didact. Puissance absolue, sans limitation. ⇒ toute puissance. Pouvoir absolu. ⇒ absolutisme, domination, suprématie. L omnipotence militaire. ⊗ CONTR. Impuissance. ● omnipotence nom féminin… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Omnipotence — • The power of God to effect whatever is not intrinsically impossible Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Omnipotence     Omnipotence      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Omnipotence — Om*nip o*tence, Omnipotency Om*nip o*ten*cy, n. [L. omnipotentia: cf. F. omnipotence.] 1. The state of being omnipotent; almighty power; hence, one who is omnipotent; the Deity. [1913 Webster] Will Omnipotence neglect to save The suffering virtue …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • omnipotence — index force (strength), influence, predominance, supremacy Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • omnipotence — (n.) 1560s, from L.L. omnipotentia almighty power, from omnipotentem (see OMNIPOTENT (Cf. omnipotent)). Related: Omnipotency (late 15c.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • omnipotence — [äm nip′ə təns] n. [MFr < LL omnipotentia] 1. the state or quality of being omnipotent 2. an omnipotent force 3. [O ] God …   English World dictionary

  • Omnipotence — La Création d Adam, représentée par Michel Ange sur le plafond de la chapelle Sixtine L omnipotence ou la toute puissance (du bas latin de omnipotentia, composé de omnis «tout» et de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • OMNIPOTENCE — s. f. Toute puissance. L omnipotence est un des attributs de Dieu.   Il se dit, particulièrement, de La faculté de décider souverainement en certaines matières. Omnipotence parlementaire. L omnipotence du jury …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • omnipotence — (o mni po tan s ) s. f. 1°   Toute puissance. L omnipotence divine. 2°   Faculté de décider souverainement en certaines matières. L omnipotence du jury. HISTORIQUE    XVIe s. •   Concevez l homme accompaigné d omnipotence, vous l abysmez ; il… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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