“catch-out” questions

Just a quick thought for the day… (not really one of life’s big questions but I’ve seen it around)

If God can do anything, can he make a rock so big he can’t move it?

OK, so at face value, when someone asks if God can do something, the right answer is usually “yes”, since he can do anything right?  In this case though we have been asked a nonsensical question, like “can God make a triangle with 5 sides?”  The question just makes no sense.  Triangles have 3 sides.  This defines what a triangle is.  God can do anything possible for “all things are possible with God”, which is rather more than can be said for us.  But questions like “Can God qizzuri a hedrophalitinisakilite?” just do not make sense.  Creating a problem He could not solve is a nonsense, as He is all-powerful.  The answer to the emboldened question above is “no“, and you will note that this in no way limits God’s power.  It is simply that He can make a rock of any size, and still move it.  Though why He would indulge the whim of some mad philosopher and participate in some strange cosmic weight-lifting challenge is beyond me!

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? 

This question is too downright strange to deserve an answer, but the underlying point seems to be that angels and other cosmic beings such as God could not interact with ordinary matter as they are not made of it.  The response from scripture is that yes “God is Spirit” and there are other spiritual beings.  This does not prevent them interacting with matter (God made the world, remember?).  This means God is capable of interaction, even as “not-matter”.  The idea that scientists can not cope with such an idea is laughable.  In fact the photoelectric effect is an example of something not made of matter (a light-particle or “photon”) interacting with more solid material (atoms, nuclei, etc), so even in science there are examples of things of wildly different kinds that are perfectly capable of interaction.  Again, in practice, more than nine out of ten angels deny ever trying this one out…Photoelectric effect