Establishing a New Standard for Divine Omnipotence

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Leland Harper


“Omnipotence” is one of the most critical terms in philosophy of religion. A significant amount of time has been devoted to determining precisely what omnipotence means and what it entails. The task of deciphering the meaning of omnipotence has generally been tied solely to specifying the kinds of tasks that an omnipotent being could do. Moreover, the discussion around this term has mostly been an investigation into what types of tasks an omnipotent being ought to be able to do, leaving out any discussion of how an omnipotent being goes about accomplishing those tasks. More than just the ability to carry out an action, the manner in which an operation is carried out can denote varying levels of power so when discussing omnipotence, the two aspects ought not to be addressed independently. As it is used in the philosophy of religion today and has been for a substantial amount of time, omnipotence is only concerned with the what, and not the how of divine acts. I argue that the how aspect of these divine acts is the real marker of omnipotence, and that such a reconceptualization of divine omnipotence can have consequences in both theology and philosophy.

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Harper, L. (2020). Establishing a New Standard for Divine Omnipotence. Humanities Bulletin, 3(1), 55–63. Retrieved from

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