In various fictional works like in comic books,video games and novels I’ve come across characters that have been called omnipotence.Frankly I kind of having a problem with that.Personally at this point I consider it blasphemous.The word omnipotent seems to be thrown around a bit to lightly even though I’ve got to consider how in a lot of those situations they probably dont consider the religious ramifacations of something being called omnipotent.I’d be a bit more comfortable with something being described as having “unlimited power” instead of being called omnipotent but only because it would probably describes the ability more accurately.For example IMO it would be more accurate to say that the villian in a story might have the unlimited power to keep on making big magical energy blasts regardless of his age and condition for the group of heroes to face instead of saying he’s omnipotent because if he was omnipotent then he would’nt have to face challenges like facing people who’d try to stop him because he’d be able to wish any opposition out of existence and make the world to be however he’d like it to be.In fiction what ussually ends up happening to purported omnipotent characters (particularly antagonists) is even when they do have a lot of power something like a personal flaw makes them lose control of it (maybe due to intervention by another character) or something to that effect.Since real omnipotence is inexpressibly mysterious the “purported omnipotence” of fictional characters is’nt very much I guess.So in end (even though I feel personally uncomfortable with it and would likely not do it) if I were say writing a short story or something would it blasphemous to say “the hero now to search for the mystical crystal that would channel the powers of the omnipotent primal gods”?.This is yet another thread where I might be a prude with how appropriate something is and I have a feeling that I might be misusing this sub-forum this way and should put it in a different forum.Thank you for your time.
When it comes to fiction, you really can’t be too strict in using a certain word. We all have the artistic liberty to throw them around a little more loosely than in the strict academic sense. I don’t see how ‘omnipotent’ is no more sacred in this context than ‘god-like’.
@ Lost Wanderer IMO it’s b/c in like various mythologies dieties actually do have limits while real omnipotence has none
It’s called hyperbole.
Really, I’d have to see the context, though. Maybe the author is using it as an intentional form of irony because the villain thinks he is all powerful, but we all know he really isn’t. Or maybe the author is just sloppy and doesn’t know what the word really means. Or, like I said above, maybe it’s just hyperbole to impress upon the reader the vastness of the villain’s power in order to make the hero seem that much more brave and the danger that much more great.
Would’nt you say that it’s a blasphemous hyperbole though?:shrug:
The very nature of things like hyperbole (as with other literary tidbits like metaphors, personifications, idioms and the like) is that they’re not meant to be taken seriously or at face value.
To call something blasphemous, those two last things are required.
No just inaccurate and used for dramatic effect. Marvel comics as well as other comics publishers are particularly repeat ‘offenders’ in this repeat. As many of there more cosmic entitites are often portrayed as ‘omnipotent’ until six months later a bigger, badder villain knocks them off their bottom. Particularly amusing are concepts like ‘relatively omnipotent’ within certain spheres of influence that they use for particular characters like Odin and others at points, often very inconsistently. They do the same trick with regards to been all-seeing, not that they are by any means the only people to do this. It’s simply a nautre of the over blown world the characters are set in. At it’s best intelligent writers use it to show how these characters are not as all seeing as they think or to show how they are far, far more powerful than humanity at large but do have distinct limits.
As much as I appreciate your reply and understanding of comic books JharekCarnelian (I can name the Phoenix Force another* nigh-omnipotent* character from Marvel’s side and [debatably]the Spectre from DC’s side among others from both companies) I dont understand if your reponse was a yes or no to when I said “Would’nt you say that it’s a blasphemous hyperbole though?:shrug:”
This thread reminds me of “Q” - one of my favorite recurring characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation. There’s one episode where Picard has a brush with death, and wakes up to see Q dressed in white robes and dazzling light. Picard says something to the effect of “Q! You are not God!” Anyway Q would be an example of an omnipotent being in fiction who is morally pretty sketchy. Great character though, and great portrayal by John DeLancie.