• Midterm!


  • Guiding questions
    • What does "omnipotent" mean?
      • Why might one think that it's impossible for something to be omnipotent?
          1. Super-heavy stone --> stone so heavy even God cannot move it
          1. If God exists he is able to produce a super-heavy stone
          1. If God is omnipotent he could move the heavy stone, thus a super-heavy stone is impossible
          1. If God exists, he is not able to make a super-heavy stone
        • 2 and 4 are conflicting implications --> theism must be false
      • What is St Thomas Aquinas' response to this objection?
        • Omnipotence needs a different definition
        • Omnipotent being --> able to bring about any possible outcome
        • Omnipotent being --> cannot bring about an impossible outcome (like a square circle)
    • Tensions
      • Why might one think omnipotence incompatible with omniscience?
        • If God were omniscient, he must already know how He is going to intervene to change history using his omnipotence
        • Because God knows, he cannot change his mind about intervention
        • Therefore, he is not omnipotent
      • Why might one think that omnipotence incompatible with omnibenevolence?
      • How might a theist respond to these puzzles?
    • What is the problem of evil?
      • If God was omniscient, omnipotent, etc. He would've create the best possible Universe
        • A Universe with no suffering is surely better than one with suffering
        • Therefore God did not create the best Universe --> theism is false
      • What definition of God does the problem assume?
        • That God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good
      • Can you reconstruct this problem as a deductively valid argument with "God doesn't exist" as its conclusion?
          1. If God exists and is omnipotent, he could prevent suffering
          1. If God exists and is omniscient, he knows of all suffering before it occurs
          1. If God exists and is perfectly good, he would want to prevent all suffering
          1. If God exists, then he is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good
          1. If God exists, he would prevent suffering (or make it less severe)
          1. God does not exist
    • What are some inadequate responses to this argument?
      • Responses
        • Suffering isn't real
        • Evil is merely a privation (absence) of good
        • God's goodness is not human goodness, it is divine goodness
          • Cannot be understood in moral terms we use to evaluate human actions
      • Why are they inadequate?
        • Bait-and-switch
        • Mislead people by using words in a nonstandard way
    • What is a theodicy?
      • A response to the problem of evil
      • Arguments that God doesn't have to stop all suffering
      • Sometimes it is okay to allow or cause suffering
    • What are some theodicies given in response to the above argument?
      • Examples of theodicies
        • Some who have done wrong deserve to suffer
        • Suffering is good because it is character building
        • Free will
          • God gave us free will; he wants us to be free
          • Since we are free, we can act immorally/stupidly which can lead to suffering
          • God lets us suffer because free will is more important
      • Do any of them provide a compelling objection to the argument?
        • Why or why not?
    • Can you think of other possible theodicies?
  • Omnipotent --> all-powerful
    • No limit to power
    • No limit to what an omnipotent being can do


  • Low level programming languages
  • Computer
    • Programmable electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data
    • Instructions control unit executes
      • Can store data in memory
      • Can retrieve data from memory
      • Process data in some way in the arithmetic logic unit
    • Data and instructions to manipulate are logically the same
  • Machine language
  • Pep9