Below is a guest post by Greg Spendlove, who is an adjunct philosophy instructor at Salt Lake Community College. He received his Master of Arts in Christian Thought with an emphasis in Systematic Theology and a cognate in Philosophy of Religion from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL in 2005. His Master’s thesis was entitled “A Critical Study of the Life and Thought of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay” and critically assessed Brahmabandhab’s attempt to reconcile Christian theology as expressed by Aquinas with Shankara’s Advaita Vedanta.
I see a couple of objections here.
First, I’m not exactly sure why it’s contradictory for one and the same thing to be another thing’s power at an earlier time and a thing with its own power at a later time. It certainly doesn’t affirm and deny the exact same thing. I think this may have to be fleshed out a bit more.
What it we changed it to something like “It’s impossible for one and the same thing to be the power of another thing and a thing with its own power at the same time.” But even this isn’t explicitly contradictory. And I’m not sure how to make it so.
Secondly, both of the principles above just seem to be plainly false. Take the second one. If it were true, it would seem that it would be impossible for me to ride my bicycle. For, when I ride my bicycle, I am the power of my bicycle and a thing with its own power at the same time. But, of course, it’s not impossible for me to ride my bicycle. I just did it the other day. (Okay, not really! I actually sold it two years ago.)
As for the first principle, consider the following scenario with the Wonder Twins.
Zan and Jayna touch hands and say “Wonder Twin powers, activate.” Jayna then says “Shape of a radio.” Zan says “Form of electricity.” Zan then enters Janya and music starts playing. After listening to their favorite song they transform back into Zan and Janya proper to finish their ping-pong game.
If I learned anything watching the Wonder Twins as a kid , it’s that things like this are possible. And, if that is the case then it seems that it is possible for something to be the power of one thing at an earlier time and then a thing with its own power at a later time.