The Definition of Omnipotence A. Simplest version: for any declarative sentence p , God can bring it about that p . This would entail that God can bring about true contradictions, change the past, bring about His own eternal non-existence, etc. Radical possibilism of Descartes. B. Lewis rejects the simplest version: God can do anything, but an intrinsic impossibility is a non-entity, not a "thing" at all. • Modal definition of omnipotence: for any declarative sentence p, if p represents a possibility, then God can bring (or at least, could have brought) it about that p. • How to define "possibility/impossibility"? Lewis suggests that an absolute impossibility is "self-contradictory". I.e., p represents an impossibility if it is possible to derive a self-contradiction from p. • How to define "derivation"? Two accounts: 1. A is derivable from B if it is impossible for B to be true without A also being true. Seems OK, but it makes the definition of "impossible" in terms of "derivation"
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