Problem of Rocks

Over the years, a multitude of creative arguments have been formed to undermine the existence of God. By focusing on the fundamental qualities of the divine, namely omniscience, omnipotence and benevolence, philosophers have attempted demonstrate that such qualities are actually logically impossible. For example, many argue that “problem of rocks” reveals the paradoxicality of omnipotence, or the idea that there is an all-powerful entity. The theist is presented with a dilemma: “Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it?” If God can create a rock that is so heavy that he cannot lift it, then there is something that he cannot do, namely lift the rock in question. If God cannot create a rock that is so heavy that he cannot lift it, then there is something that he cannot do, namely create such a rock. Either way, then, there is something that God cannot do, and if there is something that he cannot do then he cannot be omnipotent.

While many philosophers attempt to deconstruct the riddle by referring to linguistics, the saint Prabhupada had his own original response. In the 1970’s, he was posed with the same question by representatives from MENSA – “Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it?” Prabhupada’s answer was simple, yet sublime and profound – “yes, he can indeed create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it… but then he can lift it!” That was the end of that conversation.

The world we live is characterized by boundaries, quantities and restrictions. We tend to approach the divine with these conceptions, and thus fail to recognize that the spiritual reality is beyond the dimensional limits that regulate our daily functioning. In the spiritual strata power is not static – it is ever increasing. Personality is ever expanding. The relationships between those personalities are ever fresh, and ever-deepening. And the happiness derived from such interactions is like an expanding ocean. Thus, since there is nothing static about the spiritual paradigm, it will always prove problematic to try and box it within a material construct.

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