Could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?

Could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?” Yes, I know we’ve all heard that line from some stoner friend who think he is being deep.

And until recently, I for one did not know there was a specific name for this type of argument. Well, now I know, and because I’m bored, I’m also sharing…

The omnipotence paradox refers to various paradoxical situations regarding the abilities of an omnipotent being – i.e., God – which might undermine such a being’s omnipotence.

Basically it is any question, which no matter the answer, the end result is the same. That being a limit on the power of the deity or being being questioned. However, the paradox represents a logical fallacy known as reductio ad absurdum, with the conclusion that a truly omnipotent being cannot exist.

While using this type of argument may be fun and may make for a good one-liner, to use is in any serious debate is wrong, since it represents a logical fallacy, as can be seen here:

If the paradox is reworded slightly to the common variant of “what happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object?” then we can clearly spot a contradiction in the paradox itself, a similar problem to creating a four sided triangle as mentioned above. Namely, that if there is an unstoppable force, then there is no unmovable object, as if there was an unmovable object, there could be no unstoppable force. The two are therefore mutually exclusive in existence, and it is a logical contradiction for both to exist at the same time.

And to end with a joke:


About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
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4 Responses to Could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?

  1. I’m not sure that the reworded paradox is equivalent – neither an unstoppable force nor an immovable object are purported to make decisions, unlike a deity or a supreme being (as per the big three religions and others). When there isn’t any decision making, then no, you can’t have both an immovable object and an unstoppable force, which would make sense. But when you have an omnipotent being in the mix, the decision can be made to bring both into existence, which _wouldn’t_ make any sense.

    I’m not a logic buff, but I’m thinking that the paradox _does_ lead to the conclusion that there is no omnipotent being (though it says nothing about a more-than-just-a-little-potent being).

    • Jeff Randall says:

      Essentially the typical omnipotence paradox contains two mutually exclusive ideas and makes an argument that says “god can’t exist if both of these are true”.

      The “unstoppable force and immovable object” is the same type of paradox in that is it taking two mutually exclusive ideas and combining them into one argument.

      I’ve used these arguments before to gauge the level of intellect of people before bothering to debate them online, but it has it’s own inherent flaw which makes it a bad idea to use it in any serious debate…

      That said, just because THIS argument is flawed, does not mean that other arguments don’t exist which can be used to argue against the existence of a god or gods…

  2. poietes says:

    I gave this one some thought, and here is what I deduced (not from a true logical standpoint):
    Jesus, being able to make miracles happen, could microwave the burrito with his hands. But Jesus, being the human/man third of the holy trinity, could also burn his mouth.

    This is based on the premise that I believe that Jesus was a miracle-worker with god-like powers while simultaneously being the man part of the omnipotent god. I must believe both for these to be true. However, since I do not believe that Jesus was one third of the christian deity, then the statement cannot be true because he never would have been able to cook that wrapped up tortilla.

    And yes, this would have been one of those three-hours long stoner debates from my much younger years.

    • Jeff Randall says:

      Well I do see one issue with this idea… According to most christians, jesus is 100% god and 100% man (yeah I know, they’re not very good at math).
      This means that the god 100% should be able to eat anything no matter how hot it is…

      And I DO remember having this exact conversation when i was younger (i.e. high). And I think the conclusion we came to was “Shut the hell up and pass the fucking doritos man”.

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