If he can't create a riddle he can't solve then he can't do everything so he is not omnipotent and if he can create a riddle he can't solve then he is not omniscient...So which is it?

(Ok I know it's a bit silly but IS THERE an answer?)

So far no attempt of an answer... How come people only try to answer seriously those and only those questions that are too complicated for them to find an answer to? I aint saying its a paradox but perhaps an antinomy?

Theres a slightly positive comment though. // If you do a search on this stack exchange, you will find plenty of answers to this. The typical phrasing involves creating a rock so heavy he can't lift it, but they are all the same paradox. – Cort Ammon 1 hour ago //

Isnt the correct answer that NOTHING IS BOTH omnipotent and omniscient?
Those who claim that god is both, are just trying to flatter him, thinking god is easy to fool?

  • If you do a search on this stack exchange, you will find plenty of answers to this. The typical phrasing involves creating a rock so heavy he can't lift it, but they are all the same paradox.
    – Cort Ammon
    May 24, 2018 at 0:56
  • 1
    This question is so duplicate that it's hard to actually find all its duplicates. There is no paradox because the initial premise is false.
    – Overmind
    May 24, 2018 at 12:46
  • I must say that omnipotence and existence of our universe made by omnipotent being with purpose already is contradictory. But I also should say this does not really seem a question. This rather seems to be a promotion of opinion.
    – rus9384
    May 24, 2018 at 17:29
  • You see no way then, to prove that "omnipotence and existence of our universe made by omnipotent being with purpose is contradictory"? May 24, 2018 at 17:42
  • xkcd.com/1505
    – CriglCragl
    May 27, 2018 at 23:38

5 Answers 5


Elliot Svensson makes a good point about attempting to derive results from assumptions or definitions that are inherently contradictory. Ultimately one will have to reject those assumptions or definitions.

For example, Alvin Plantinga defines omnipotence to avoid any inherent contradiction. This allows him to present his Free Will Defense of the existence of God given the existence of evil:

Plantinga pointed out that God, though omnipotent, could not be expected to do literally anything. God could not, for example, create square circles, act contrary to his nature, or, more relevantly, create beings with free will that would never choose evil.

This does not limit God, but defines omnipotence so that it is not contradictory.

Inherent contradictions with omniscience and free will may be able to be resolved with either Open Theism or Molinism.

One has to start with assumptions or definitions that are not contradictory or be required to reject them later.

  • But I dont agree on Elliot... I have nothing good to say about Paralogicians. I wont accept any contradictions. Period. Treating his comment as a joke. I can accept Plantinga's position because he redefines "Omnipotency"... But what do we do with my question? Redefine both omnipotency and Omniscience ... what will then be left of the traditional picture of the no longer so Omnipotent and no longer so Omniscient god? Will not so all-loving be next? May 24, 2018 at 2:52
  • I think what you need is to start with a quote from someone who agrees with your definition of omnipotence and omniscience. Then you could argue that that person's position leads to a contradiction. Otherwise it is a straw man argument. I think some theists do believe exactly what you are saying but there are others (such as Plantinga) who don't. They define omnipotence and omniscience so they do not run into a contradiction. Since some theists exist who avoid the contradiction, the contradiction does not affect theism in general. @SigurdVojnov May 24, 2018 at 4:48
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    @SigurdVojnov Here is a slightly different answer to a similar question that also mentions that such arguments may be straw man arguments: philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/3256/29944 May 24, 2018 at 4:57

If the deity is both omnipotent and omniscient can the deity then construct a riddle so difficult that even he can not solve it?

The premises create a paradox that has no resolution. The question begins from the same place as Bertrand Russell's famous barber who shaves every man in town who does not shave himself. Given the assumption, if the barber shaves himself, then he must not; but if he does not shave himself, then he must; and so on without end.

See, "A close shave for set theory", Plus magazine (2002) https://plus.maths.org/content/mathematical-mysteries-barbers-paradox


The argument presumes that omniscience only include epistemic knowledge. If it includes mythic knowledge then there is no paradox because the riddle can be solved by intuition instead of by searching for a solution.

  • Then please solve it.
    – Overmind
    May 24, 2018 at 12:44

Maybe not a riddle, but some other type of puzzle. There are many types of puzzles where guessing the answer does not count as solving it. This is because sometimes brute-force guessing is too easy (eg. Sudoku) or too time-consuming (decrypting a properly encrypted long message). Riddles do tend to favor guessing rather than constructing the answer.

"What is the best strategy for playing chess?" is a conundrum that humans shall never know the answer to. It is simply too hard a puzzle to solve. We've made pretty good guesses on what some good strategies are. An omniscient deity could know the answer without contradiction.

There are several known sudoku puzzles that cannot be solved using any technique any human has tried. Yet, each has a known and verified solution. One could extrapolate a puzzle so complex that guessing all the possible solutions is impossible, and that no other technique would solve, yet which has a solution that could be verified. Certainly an omniscient deity could know the answer to such a puzzle without causing any sort of paradox.


Yes, it is possilble. If the puzzle is a dynamic system.

So if an omnipotent God creates a puzzle and he is omniscient so at that moment of creation He knows the answer, this satisfies both the conditions that He is omnipotent and He is omniscient. But at the time of creation He is not solving it, so at the time of creation the conditions hold true.

Now let us see what happens when he tries to solve it. Since He is omniscient at the instant He will look at the puzzle He will know the answer and as He is omnipotent He can solve it, BUT the instant he goes to solve it the puzzle is changed. The puzzle doesnt remain the same. So He basically can never solve it instead of being omnipotent and omniscient.

That dude created Women, He is now screwed up solving that puzzle. Omnipotence or Omniscient dude is helpless.

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