Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Problem of Omnipotence

Imagine yourself relaxing at home one day when you suddenly hear a knock at the front door. To your amazement, it appears to be none other than John DeLancie himself, standing on your doorstep.

"Hello.” he says. “My name is Q, from the Q continuum. Just stopping by to let you know that I’m an omnipotent god. You should probably start bowing before me or else I might get really upset."

"That's cool," you think. You've never met an omnipotent being before. But hey, he seems like a pretty honest guy, and you're probably not very keen on the idea of getting turned into a frog right now. So naturally, you take him completely at his word and start bowing right that second, am I right?

No, of course not! You’re skeptical. Maybe this person is telling you the truth, or maybe this person is just some weirdo pulling your leg. So you demand some basic empirical evidence to show that this being really is what he says he is. 

“All right,” he says.  “You want proof?  You got it."

The next thing you know, Mr. Q snaps his fingers, and, in a brilliant flash of light, your car is suddenly transformed into a giant pile of squirrels. It’s a very impressive trick to be sure and maybe even enough to warrant sincere placation of this being. However, we’re all hard-nosed philosophers around here, and we want to be as sure as we possibly can. So let’s put this guy to the test and see whether or not he truly deserves the title of omnipotent, rather than, say, really-really awesome and powerful.

You might be forgiven for thinking that this was a perfectly straightforward question to ask, and in any other context it probably would be. But religious philosophy has a really funny habit of tripping all over itself whenever questions like this crop up. Because as simple and intuitive as this problem may seem, most religious philosophers cannot for the life of themselves seem to answer it coherently. It’s an elegant little thought experiment that perfectly captures the bizarre mental gymnastics of Christian apologetics, as well as some of the foundational failings of their entire philosophical world. It’s also a really fun exercise in basic critical thinking skill that takes us over a surprisingly broad spectrum of interesting philosophical subjects. That's why I personally find this question to be so strangely fascinating and why I think you'll enjoy following me down the looming rabbit hole that it represents.

To begin our analysis, let's frame the question in terms of something a little more mundane. Rather than claim to be a full-on omnipotent deity, suppose instead that our stranger merely claims to be a reasonably competent automobile mechanic. It's basically the exact same situation as before, but now framed in a completely nonreligious context. So ask yourself now: How exactly should we go about verifying this claim? After all, it’s not like we just take random people completely at their word for this stuff. There’s real money at stake here, plus the functionality of our cars. Surely there must be some sort of test we can offer before honoring him with such a title, right?

Obviously, the answer is yes, and it works like this. Go get out a piece of paper and write the following words that the top:

Things That a Competent Automobile 
Mechanic Should be Able to Do.

After that, you just enumerate the list with a collection of pertinent challenges. For example:
  1. Change a tire.
  2. Change oil. 
  3. Flush coolant.
  4. ...
… and so on until you’ve completely populated the list. Once finished, you can then issue your challenge in the following fashion:

Dear Mr. Stranger.

Given the proper tools, work space, assistance, etc, I challenge you to complete each of these items on my list within a reasonable amount of time. Or, if the list is infinite in length, then at least complete a reasonable sampling of items until I'm satisfied.

There, done. If our subject is successful, then great. He has officially earned himself the title of competent automobile mechanic. And if not, then oh well. Maybe he's just pretty good with cars or perhaps halfway decent. That’s fine, too. They're just words and labels. 

Now to be fair, this isn’t exactly how we all go about our daily lives, but it does illustrate an important philosophical aspect over the nature of language. Doctors, lawyers, presidents, squirrels, rocks, potatoes---they're all just labels that we define and assign in accordance with a distinct set of empirically verifiable properties. Anything that demonstrates the properties of a given list may officially earn the corresponding title, while things which fail to satisfy those properties are simply not referred to as such. It’s basically a form of philosophical verificationism, and it represents a foundational pillar on which human language operates.

With that in mind, let’s go back to our supposedly omnipotent friend, Mr. Q. Start by getting out a piece of paper and writing the following words that the top:

Things That an Omnipotent Being Should Be Able to Do

What items go on the list now? The answer, it turns out, depends a lot on who you ask. For example, according to one school of thought, the answer is pretty simple: Anything. Literally anything you can think of goes on the list.
  1. Make it rain frogs? Check!
  2. Create a married bachelor? You got it!
  3. Flargle a snuffin? Sure, why not?
  4. ... 
This is a na├»ve form of omnipotence commonly referred to as absolutism, or absolute omnipotence. Rene Descartes was a famous defender of this position, and even some modern philosophers have periodically defended it as well [1]. It’s actually pretty easy to see where this idea comes from, given that the Bible itself practically screams this interpretation at you. For instance,
  • Matthew 19:26---With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
  • Mark 10:27---With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.
  • Luke 1:37---For nothing will be impossible with God.
  • Job 42:2---I know that you [God] can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 
  • Philippians 4:13---I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me
Despite its intuitive basis on Christian scripture, the idea of absolutism is clearly riddled with problems. For example, take the challenge of Flargling a Snuffin. According to absolutism, Mr. Q here should be perfectly capable of doing exactly that without a second thought. Yet, as should be obvious by now, flargle and snuffin are just gibberish words I made up out of nothing---they have no established definition. So pray tell, what exactly could our subject ever do that would satisfy the challenge?

Bear in mind now that this is not a limitation on our subject per se, but a simple problem of language. It’s like mashing my keyboard with random characters and saying “here, do this!” There’s simply nothing to do. I may as well just stand there in silence, or perhaps shrug my shoulders and grunt. Mr. Q cannot ever hope to fulfill a challenge if no coherent challenge was actually given. 

Notice that a similar argument also applies to the challenge of creating a married bachelor. By definition, a bachelor is an unmarried man, which means the creation of a married bachelor is the same thing as creating a married man who is also not married---a logical contradiction. The set of all things that are married is mutually exclusive to the set of all things that are not married. It therefore doesn’t matter what Mr. Q ever presents to me because the rules of logic forbid me from ever recognizing a successful outcome. Again, that’s not a limitation on our subject, but another limitation on language itself. The very words used to formulate the challenge are simply put together wrongly.

This is exactly why absolutism is generally regarded as a pretty terrible form of omnipotence. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that the death of absolutism does necessarily imply the death of God. All it says is that, whatever things are out there for us to give labels to, none of them will ever be able to demonstrate omnipotence to any rational satisfaction. And since no being can ever possibly earn itself such a title (even in principle), the title itself is essentially meaningless. If, however, we simply redefine omnipotence to mean something slightly different, then all of the problems we just talked about would immediately vanish in a puff of logic.

Remember now that all we’re trying to do here at the end of the day is define a word. If that word is coherent, logical, and verifiable, then great. We can use it to describe various entities in our environment, if and when we ever happen to encounter them. But if the word is incoherent or logically inconsistent, then oh well. It’s not like the universe cares one way or the other. All it means is that we can't use the word to meaningfully describe stuff. Time to go back to the drawing board and see if we can’t think of something better.

Much to the credit of religious philosophers today, that seems to be exactly what happened. Rather than literally be capable of doing anything, a far more common view of omnipotence is the ability to do all that is logically possible [2]. It’s a perfectly straightforward revision that specifically seeks to avoid the incoherence of absolutism while still preserving the totality of power we've come to expect. And that’s a good thing! So let’s all get out a piece of paper and write the following words at the top:

Logically Possible Actions 

What exactly does this mean? How do we determine whether or not some particular task should go on the list? 

Here’s how I interpret it.

Consider a simple challenge like “eat a taco.” If I can imagine some logically possible world wherein that task is being performed by some agent, then good. It goes on the list. For example, I can imagine a logically possible world where it is true that the President of the United States is eating a taco. Therefore, it seems to me, it must be logically possible to eat a taco. It is officially something that can be done, and therefore it must go on the list. Anything that wishes to call itself omnipotent must therefore be able to replicate that feat.

That was easy enough. So let's shake things up a bit by asking a very simple question: Is it, or is it not, logically possible to tell a lie?

Obviously, the answer has to be yes, because people around the world tell lies all the time. Therefore, by modal axiom B [3], it must be logically possible to tell a lie. Therefore, by the definition of omnipotence, all omnipotent beings must be able to tell lies. Strangely enough, however, the Holy Christian Bible says outright that lying is something God cannot do; not just something God doesn’t do or chooses not to do, but literally cannot do.
  • Titus 1:2 “[I]n hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”
  • Hebrews 6:18---“[I]t is impossible for God to lie.”
So right off the bat, the very definition offered by professional Christian philosophers themselves has immediately precluded their very own God from being omnipotent! Isn't that funny? But let's ignore that little problem anyway and see what else can we find wrong with this definition.  

How about this? Go outside and start collecting rocks into a giant pile. Keep piling up rocks until the pile is so heavy that you cannot ever hope to lift them. Congratulations! You have just created a finite pile of rocks that officially satisfies the description of being unliftable by its own maker. Therefore, it must be logically possible to create a pile of rocks, or even a single rock, that satisfies the description of being unliftable by its own maker. Therefore, all omnipotent beings must be able to replicate this task. So let’s pose the challenge.

Dear Mr. Q,

I challenge you to create a finite rock such that its own maker cannot lift it. Go.

So far so good, right? But what happens if Mr. Q actually succeeds in this challenge? After all, last time I checked, it is always logically possible to lift a finite rock.

Notice that this is just a simple variation on the paradox of the stone---Can God create a rock so heavy that even God Himself cannot lift it. It’s a famous philosophical challenge to the idea of omnipotence because it logically prevents any being from ever demonstrating such a property. By definition, all omnipotent beings must, at any given moment, possess the power to both create rocks and to lift rocks subject to specifications. Yet the moment our subject creates a rock he cannot lift, he cannot possibly satisfy the definition of omnipotence any more. That means no being can ever possibly earn the title of omnipotence because the very act of proving it requires them to not have it.

Notice also that we could just as easily frame this exact same problem any number of ways. For example, one of my personal favorites is to stand before a podium and truthfully speak the words “I am not omnipotent.” Again, it’s a perfectly logical task, in that I can imagine a logically possible world where this is taking place. Therefore, at any given moment, an omnipotent being must, by definition, be able to replicate that task---stand before a podium and truthfully speak the words “I am not omnipotent.” Unfortunately, the only way to actually possess such a power is by not being omnipotent!

Bear in mind now that this is not some clever philosophical trick, but a fundamental property of binary propositional logic. Self-referential propositions, when coupled with logical negations, tend to produce really nasty inconsistencies. It's the exact same reason why we have so many other famous paradoxes as well. For example, the Liar’s Paradox, Russel’s Paradox, the Halting Problem, and even Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems are all just similar manifestations of self-referential negation. So it’s not like I’m just making this stuff up, because philosophers, logicians, and mathematicians have been studying this exact same phenomenon for centuries. We therefore must conclude that the capacity to do all that is logically possible is, ironically, not a logical possibility. You can either be complete, or you can be consistent, but you cannot have both simultaneously.

At this point, you would think that most Christians would simply say something like, “why yes, that seems to be a bit of an issue. Perhaps my conception of omnipotence is just a little bit too greedy. Let’s maybe learn from the last 100 years of mathematical logic and see if we can’t find something a little less contradictory.” But of course, the exact opposite is generally true, with hack philosophers around the world dogmatically clinging to their precious definition anyway.

For instance, one complaint that you might hear is how the challenge itself is inherently ambiguous. When I create a rock, the word "maker" refers to myself, the person speaking to you right now. Yet when someone else performs the same task, the meaning of “maker” suddenly changes. On other words, the challenge shares the same type of proposition, but not the same token [4]. Thus, in order for the challenge to be comparable, Mr. Q would not need to create a rock that he cannot lift, but only create a rock that I cannot lift.

This may sound like a somewhat reasonable point at first, but quickly falls apart the moment you actually stop and think about it. For starters, we don’t have to use the word “maker” if we don’t want to. We could have challenged our subject to create a rock so heavy that no being in the universe can lift it. Or better yet, stand before a podium and truthfully state the proposition that “There are no omnipotent beings.” They’re still logically possible actions in some logically possible world, which means they still have to go on the list.

The real problem, however, is that all actions are inherently self-referential. To see why, simply imagine what would happen if I challenged you, right now, to eat a taco. Naturally, if you’re like most people, the obvious interpretation of that task is to immediately grab a taco and start shoving it into your face. If, however, you were to then challenge me to replicate that task, what exactly do you imagine happening next? Do I begin shoving a taco into my own face? Or must I literally shove a second taco into your face and force you to eat it?

Obviously, the former interpretation is the correct viewpoint, because that's how every English-speaking human on the planet understands it. The whole point of issuing the challenge in the first place is to see if you have the power within yourself to replicate a power that I had within myself. Yet, for some strange reason, the moment we try to apply this same line of reason within a religious-philosophical context, then all of a sudden people start acting like a bunch of pedantic morons. By invoking the type/token distinction in this way, it is literally meaningless for me to challenge you to "eat a taco." I have to instead say something horribly obtuse, like "I challenge you to bring about the event of you eating this taco."

Well I'm sorry guys, but events are not the same thing as actions, and I should not have to specify a particular actor in order to coherently define some particular act. When you challenge me to jump five feet in the air, you obviously mean that I have to propel myself with my own legs off the ground beneath me. If, however, I then challenge you to jump five feet in the air, then obviously you must now propel yourself off the ground with your legs. All logically possible actions are, in some way or another, inherently self-referential. Deal with it.

With that taken care of, the next most common objection I tend to hear is that omnipotence doesn’t really mean the ability to do all that is logically possible. Rather, it means something more like the ability to do all that is consistent with one’s nature. That is to say, if the proposition “Y is doing X” is logically self-consistent, then for an omnipotent being, it will always be true that “Y can do X” [5]. 

Okay, fair enough. If you want to just summarily change the definition of omnipotence again, then that’s great. It was a bad definition from the get-go, and we can only grow as philosophers by trying to find something better. But can we please all be grown-up enough to admit that this is nothing more than an indirect admission of defeat? The previous definition was inherently flawed, and so now we’re changing it into something else. Yet whenever I talk to Christian apologists about this, they almost always pretend as if the new definition is really what it was supposed to be all along, and how dare I straw-man such brilliant thinkers by ever suggesting otherwise!

Fine. Whatever. Let’s just roll with it and see what we find this time, shall we? Can an omnipotent being tell a lie or what?

Typically, the answer to this question is that it depends on the being. For example, the God of Christianity cannot tell a lie because doing so would contradict His perfectly honest nature. Thus, to ask God to lie is the logical equivalent to asking a perfectly honest being to not be perfectly honest---apparently, a logical contradiction. But don’t worry, God still gets to be omnipotent anyway because He can still do all the things that are consistent with his divine, unchanging nature. Likewise, God cannot stand before a podium and shout “I am not omnipotent” because that would produce a contradiction as well. Omnipotence is an inherent part of God's nature, so therefore it doesn't have to go on the list of things God can do. Bam. Problem solved!

This is usually the part where I begin to lose all patience with religious philosophers, because responses like this are clearly not well thought out. It really gets under my skin, too, because it represents a profound laziness that makes no effort whatsoever to consider the practical implications of what is actually being said. To illustrate, simply imagine God Himself standing on my doorstep in all His glory, when I issue the following challenge:

Dear God. 

I challenge you, right now, to tell me a lie. Tell me that you’re a potato. Go.

Pray tell, what exactly do Christians imagine happening next? Because as far as I can tell, they seem to imagine something like that scene from Liar Liar where Jim Carry tries to say that the pen is red, but just can’t bring himself to do it [6]---as if some invisible, metaphysical force of honesty is somehow preventing the words from coming out of his mouth! Call me crazy, but I hardly find that to be consistent with the idea of unlimited potentiality. Or maybe Christians just imagine God standing there with a dumb look on His face, as if He didn’t even understand the question? Or what if he just says “I’m sorry, but that would violate my essential nature. No thanks.” What in the hell am I supposed to do with that?

But let’s take it one step further. Suppose you challenge me to lift a 1000-lbs car over my head---except that ooh, I’m sorry, but that would violate my essential nature! You see, I’m a being comprised of physical muscle mass that can only lift 200 lbs. When you ask me to lift 1000 lbs, then you’re asking me to perform a contradiction---A being that cannot lift more than 200 lbs is lifting more than 200 lbs. Not only that, but any challenge you give me can be counteracted in the exact same way. No being can logically be expected to do the things it cannot do.

So congratulations, my dear Christians! You’ve solved the omnipotence paradox. All you had to do was replace it with the omnipotence tautology. Literally anything and everything in the universe is now omnipotent because nothing can ever logically do the things it cannot do!

“Aha!” I hear you saying. “It is only incidental that you cannot lift 1000 lbs. I can still imagine a possible world wherein you are lifting 1000 lbs over your head. Therefore, it may be logically possible, but not physically possible!"

Actually, no. What you're imagining right now isn't me. It may be an entity very similar to me, but that's not really me. Because as we just established, I am not a being who can lift 1000 lbs over my head.

Or better yet, let's play that game in reverse. I can imagine a possible world wherein God is telling a lie. Now what? What’s the difference? Why is lying a violation of God’s essential nature, but lifting 1000 lbs is totally consistent with mine? Because as far as I can tell, this entire line of reasoning appears to be nothing more than blatant special pleading. When God can’t do a thing, then it must be because it violates His essential nature. Yet when I can’t do a thing, then apparently it’s little more than a conditional happenstance of my feeble, limited existence.

So once again, we have another example of responding to an argument without any effort to actually address the argument. But the thing I find absolutely hilarious about this new definition is how (of all people) the famous apologist Alvin Plantinga himself personally debunked it as far back as the 1960s [7]. All you have to do is imagine a man called Mr. McEar, who just so happens to have one essential property---he has only the power to scratch his ear, and nothing else. Thus, by definition, any other task you challenge him to complete is a logical violation of his essential nature. Hardly an “all-powerful” being, wouldn’t you say? Yet, according to our new definition, Mr. McEar is still just as omnipotent as almighty God Himself!

All tangents aside, the real problem with this whole “essential nature” nonsense is just that: essentialism---the idea that there exists some kind of intrinsic “essence” to things that makes them what they are. It’s a perfectly natural bias through which human beings tend to look at the world, but it’s still completely bogus. Ever since the Greek philosopher Plutarch introduced the Theseus paradox back in the first century [8], philosophers have had very good reasons to reject essentialism as a worthless, incoherent concept. A chair does not have some magically objective “essence of chairness” that makes it a chair. It’s just some arrangement of physical material stuff that human beings have arbitrarily decided to sit on and call a “chair.” Likewise, there is no such thing as “essence of Godliness” that would make God “God.” Rather, there is only a distinct collection of empirically verifiable properties which, if demonstrated, would earn some lucky entity the official title of “God."

So not only do we have Christians pushing yet another idea of omnipotence that just doesn’t work, but it’s grounded on philosophical presumptions that have been categorically debunked for almost two thousand years. However, it really needs to be emphasized that all of these crazy problems would vanish in a heartbeat if only the theists would just stop insisting on such bungled definitions. It’s sad, too, because it’s really not that hard to come up with something relatively functional. So let’s do the theists’ job for them and just define omnipotence in a way that isn’t stupid, shall we?

Omnipotence: the capacity to create, destroy, and rearrange matter/energy in accordance with arbitrary whims. 

There. Done! If we ever encounter any being with this kind of power, I will be more than happy to refer to such a being as “omnipotent.” Can he create rocks? Sure. Can he lift rocks? Absolutely. But can he create a rock so heavy that even its own maker cannot lift it? Nope. Not a chance. But guess what? That’s perfectly okay, because it's still logically consistent with the stated definition.

Notice how a definition like this also solves all kinds of goofy philosophical issues. For example, one lesser-known problem with omnipotence is the problem of creating two omnipotent beings at once. So let’s imagine a possible world wherein two beings are both competing for the official title of “omnipotent deity.” All we have to do is make a game out of it. Challenge one guy to turn my car into a pile of squirrels while challenging the other guy to turn it into a sack of potatoes. Whichever outcome occurs will then determine which guy is the loser and which guy earns the title. Done. 

Or better yet, let’s consider another lesser-known problem. I challenge you to truthfully tell me what I ate for dinner last year. You’ll notice that this is not really so much a test of power, but rather a test of knowledge. Yet according to most classical definitions for omnipotence, there is no distinction. The omnipotent being must be able to do it because I formulated the challenge as a logically coherent action. If, however, we adopt the new definition, then it is now possible for a being to be omnipotent, but not necessarily omniscient. All-powerful and all-knowing are now philosophically distinct concepts, as we should reasonably expect.

Notice also that there are still many possible ways to potentially break the definition. For example, could an omnipotent being create another omnipotent being? Or what if I challenge the being to kill itself? Would that violate the definition? Maybe, maybe not. But you’ll notice that I’m not racking my brain with obtuse rationalizations just to protect a stupid definition. If it works, then great. It not, then oh well. We'll just think of something better.

The ultimate irony in this entire discussion is that, when all is said and done here, I’m basically just fixing the theists’ philosophical problems for them. Yet if past experience is any guide, the overwhelming majority of them will never see it that way. Instead, they’ll probably view this entire discussion as a literal attack on God Himself, as if the words used to describe some possible entity might have real power over whether or not it actually exists. That’s what happens when you live your life defending dogma rather than honestly searching for a better understanding of the world. But the thing I find really embarrassing about this entire debate is that by clinging to their philosophically warped definitions, it is the Christians themselves who are logically forcing their God squarely into the realm of nonexistence. Even if there were a God-like thing somewhere out there in the cosmos for us to meet, the rules of language would prevent us from ever rationally calling it such.

Thanks for reading.

  1. Earl Conee, "The possibility of power beyond possibility," Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 5, pp 447--473 (1991)
  2. See, for example, the Catholic Encyclopedia or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy "S is omnipotent =df S can perform any action A such that A is possible"
  3. If X is true in the actual world, then X is necessarily possible.
  4. See, for example, this video here
    See also Type-token distinction
  5. (PlaceForTruth.org) "When used of God, it refers to fact that He is all-powerful, that He is unconstrained by any outside force; He can do anything consistent with His character."
    (GraceBibleChurch) "God is infinitely able to do all things that He desires to do, but must at all times be consistent with His perfect attributes or essence."
  6. Plantinga, Alvin. 1967. "God and other minds: a study of the rational justification of belief in God." Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  7. Ship of Theseus


chadhale said...

ahh ha.

I am a computer programer.
I create a game called the universe.

a character in that game begins to talk smack like you do here in this blog.
does anything you say actually adhere, bind, or constrain me?

Jesus is the son of god. check.
Jesus is god. check.

roman centurion walks up to jesus and says somehing...
Jesus (god, the creator, omnipotent) is astonished...

these circular oxymoronisms are all fallacies that do not work, because god is not a creation of the created. done.

keithPlayzStuff said...

I can't find https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDZaUu-st0Y on your blog, so I will comment here. Comment: I've heard of scientific evidence of the soul, viz. terminal lucidity. I think NDEs have been debunked, however.

mendel said...

A very good portrayal of logistic philosophy.

I have one question.
Say you claim to been suffering from a headache and being unable to stand up yourself you need someone else to assist you in getting you a tylonel.

If you say "I have a headache would you please bring me a tylonel"

The other could respond prove it to me that you have a headache.

Ah now what do you do?

For any "proof" you may be able to give, such as your symptoms could be rationalized to mean many things other then a headache, it's thus logically impossible to prove.

Now if you were to say "please believe me I'm suffering".

The other has now a choice to believe and help you (perhaps because of some feeling of sympathy). Or to follow the his " reason" and decide you are just making him crazy.

keithPlayzStuff said...

What does that have to do with my question or the other response? Still though, you got to love P-zombies!

Diogo de Sousa said...

Great video, I want to add a few more things in this discussion:

One of the things that supports the determinism of the universe or the cosmos is the fact that all the observations made point out that all existing "things" make only one action, I mean that if the determinism is true, then there are not two different futures that something can cause, there is only one timeline of events.

If anyone has any doubt that this is true, try to imagine a thing capable of causing two different timelines, capable of having two alternative actions, and then ask the following questions:
What defines what and how many are these alternative actions?
What defines which one is going to happen?

If there is something defining these things and limiting them, so those "alternative actions" were not alternative actions, the existence of something determinating which action or timeline make that the others alternatives being impossible or non-existent.
If there is nothing defining these timelines and which of them is going to happen, then randomness literally exists, we always use the word 'random' in our day-to-day life referring to things that are not actually that, but that have factors and expectations that we do not know, such as when someone plays heads or tails without knowing the factors that control the result to make the prediction, the result of that is not random.

The idea of omnipotence must have originated in the observation that human beings are limited beings along with the imagination of a being that is not limited as we are, but this limitation is because of the determinism of the universe. With your new definition you make the omnipotent being as limited as all other things existing because he is only capable of causing one timeline, which was not the intention of that term in its origins, which is funny, otherwise, the actions of an omnipotent being would be random and he would be someone that makes any action without any sense or cause behind it, which is illogical don’t you think?

Talking more about the new definition, I can think in a lot of things that can rearrange matter/energy, but it's obvious that them can only do this in one way and causing a single time line, but if that omnipotent being could do that in a bunch of alternative ways then the problem of determinism vs. randomness would continue. If he can’t, then this part of the definition is not useful because it does not distinguish this being from others.

And in the case of the creation and destruction of matter/energy, again, is this action unique and determined that produces only one temporal line? Or are there several alternative and random actions? And more importantly, from where this matter/energy would been created and to where would it goes after when it be destroyed? More importantly than that, how can we detect that such matter/energy has been created or destroyed?

Everything I said in the text does not try to criticize or disvalue anything shown in your video, your video is awesome, I'm just presenting something that could even be in the video to delve deeper into this issue.

I love your videos, keep creating more amazing content like this!