Ontological Argument

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Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 10:19 am
Hello people,
I am not trained in logic. Could somebody help me out on something?

Its about Anselm's argument for god's existence. I had a thought about it.

He says that

"Being is greater that not being." And from there, god has to exist.

Now my thought , dont know if its meaningful, or total rubbish (in terms of academic logic) is the following:

Isnt it even greater, for a being greater than which cannot be conceived, to be able to exist and not to exist at the same time, or switch back and forth between the two, or to neither exist or not exist? As it pleases..... I mean, i would imagine a god to be able to not exist for some time and then "pop back" into existence.......



I would just like to know if my point has any value in a strict, academic sense.... And if not, why that is..
I would be grateful for opinions.......Smile
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 10:32 am
@walkingaround,
walkingaround;165773 wrote:
Hello people,
I am not trained in logic. Could somebody help me out on something?

Its about Anselm's argument for god's existence. I had a thought about it.

He says that

"Being is greater that not being." And from there, god has to exist.

Now my thought , dont know if its meaningful, or total rubbish (in terms of academic logic) is the following:

Isnt it even greater, for a being greater than which cannot be conceived, to be able to exist and not to exist at the same time, or switch back and forth between the two, or to neither exist or not exist? As it pleases..... I mean, i would imagine a god to be able to not exist for some time and then "pop back" into existence.......



I would just like to know if my point has any value in a strict, academic sense.... And if not, why that is..
I would be grateful for opinions.......Smile


I don't think it would be so great for a Being to exist and not to exist at the same time, since I don't think it is great for a Being to be self-contradictory. Do you? And, of course, once the Being does not exist, the Being is not going to be able to make the switch back to existence, since when he is not existing he won't be able to do anything at all. But what you say does carry an important lesson: it is not nice to talk about existence as if it were a property.
 
walkingaround
 
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 11:09 am
@kennethamy,
Your argument does not really get to my question, I think.

Of course its not nice for humans to be self contradictory, but for an omnipotent being? I think we cannot say anything about its likes or dislikes, or can you?


What do mean exactly by : it is not nice to talk about existence as a property? what has nice to do with my question? I am not native english, sorry, maybe I miss something

If something does not exist, it cannot do anything, that makes total sense in the academic kind of logic.

---------- Post added 05-18-2010 at 01:24 PM ----------

i think i know now what my general problem / misconception with logic is. thanks kennethamy!
 
cluckk
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 04:18 pm
@walkingaround,
Anselm is saying that God as we define him is the greatest being possible. Since "to be" is greater than "not to be" God must exist. This is because if he did not exist then everything that does exist (you, me, dogs or pond scum) would be greater than God and since they can not be greater than God he must exist.

It is of course only a part of his whole argument for the existence of God.

As for saying could God exist and not exist, this is, as kennethamy said, a contradiction. For anything that exists to do so, it by definition, does not not-exist. Anything that does not exist, by definition, does not exist. Gd's omnipotence does not require that he violate non-contradiction.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 06:47 pm
@walkingaround,
walkingaround;165798 wrote:

If something does not exist, it cannot do anything, that makes total sense in the academic kind of logic.

---------- Post added 05-18-2010 at 01:24 PM ----------

!


In what kind of logic does it not make sense?

---------- Post added 05-20-2010 at 08:49 PM ----------

cluckk;166609 wrote:
Gd's omnipotence does not require that he violate non-contradiction.


That's great since He could not do so even if He wanted to. It would be awful to have a frustrated God on top of everything else, don't you think?
 
cluckk
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 04:42 am
@kennethamy,
I agree. That was my point. Too many people misunderstand the word omnipotence. They assume if God is omnipotent he can do anything, but what they should understand it to mean is that nothing doable is beyond God's ability. There are so many doable things beyond our ability because we are limited, not so for God. If something is not doable, because it is a contradiction, then not even God would be able to do it, because it is not doable. This is not a limitation on God--it simply defines Him.

When saying that God can't do something illogical or contrdictory some imagine a higher rule or rule-giver setting a limit to God, saying, "This far and no more." This is not the proper image.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 05:00 am
@cluckk,
cluckk;166796 wrote:
I agree. That was my point. Too many people misunderstand the word omnipotence. They assume if God is omnipotent he can do anything, but what they should understand it to mean is that nothing doable is beyond God's ability. There are so many doable things beyond our ability because we are limited, not so for God. If something is not doable, because it is a contradiction, then not even God would be able to do it, because it is not doable. This is not a limitation on God--it simply defines Him.

When saying that God can't do something illogical or contrdictory some imagine a higher rule or rule-giver setting a limit to God, saying, "This far and no more." This is not the proper image.


In fact, it might interest you to know that the term "define" comes from the Latin, term for "to limit".
 
cluckk
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 07:23 am
@kennethamy,
Yes, but we could imagine this like coloring in a child's coloring book. The kitty is being colored by Bobby. Bobby is too young to color inside the lines so he scribbles all over the page. The kitty on the page has lines to limit page space to what is in the cat and what is not. Any crayon marks outside those lines (outside of the limits or definition of cat) are not actually part of the cat. Only those marks that fall within the lines (limits or definition) of cat describe the cat.

So defining God, though working within limits, is not to limit God as less than omnipotent. Once again by definition we have two nuanced meanings of limit. To define here, or limit, is to demarcate what is and is not within the "boundaries" of the being we call God.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 07:30 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;166800 wrote:
In fact, it might interest you to know that the term "define" comes from the Latin, term for "to limit".


Yes, it implies finitude...limits !

---------- Post added 05-21-2010 at 08:33 AM ----------

cluckk;166847 wrote:
Yes, but we could imagine this like coloring in a child's coloring book. The kitty is being colored by Bobby. Bobby is too young to color inside the lines so he scribbles all over the page. The kitty on the page has lines to limit page space to what is in the cat and what is not. Any crayon marks outside those lines (outside of the limits or definition of cat) are not actually part of the cat. Only those marks that fall within the lines (limits or definition) of cat describe the cat.

So defining God, though working within limits, is not to limit God as less than omnipotent. Once again by definition we have two nuanced meanings of limit. To define here, or limit, is to demarcate what is and is not within the "boundaries" of the being we call God.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:06 am
@walkingaround,
walkingaround;165773 wrote:
Hello people,
I am not trained in logic. Could somebody help me out on something?

Its about Anselm's argument for god's existence. I had a thought about it.

He says that

"Being is greater that not being." And from there, god has to exist.

Now my thought , dont know if its meaningful, or total rubbish (in terms of academic logic) is the following:

Isnt it even greater, for a being greater than which cannot be conceived, to be able to exist and not to exist at the same time, or switch back and forth between the two, or to neither exist or not exist? As it pleases..... I mean, i would imagine a god to be able to not exist for some time and then "pop back" into existence.......



I would just like to know if my point has any value in a strict, academic sense.... And if not, why that is..
I would be grateful for opinions.......Smile
Here's a similar parody:


[LIST=1]
[*]The creation of the world is the most marvellous achievement imaginable.
[*]The merit of an achievement is the product of (a) its intrinsic quality, and (b) the ability of its creator.
[*]The greater the disability or handicap of the creator, the more impressive the achievement.
[*]The most formidable handicap for a creator would be non-existence.
[*]Therefore, if we suppose that the universe is the product of an existent creator, we can conceive a greater being-namely, one who created everything while not existing.
[*]An existing God, therefore, would not be a being than which a greater cannot be conceived, because an even more formidable and incredible creator would be a God which did not exist.
[*](Hence) God does not exist.
[/LIST]
Ontological Arguments (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
 
cluckk
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:14 am
@ughaibu,
Actually you are claiming that that which does not exist can take creative action (something limited to existence) so you have created a contradiction.

I never said Anselm's argument was effective, I only stated it. Personally I believe it leaves a lot to be desired, but at least it does not violate noncontradiction.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:18 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;166874 wrote:
Here's a similar parody:


[LIST=1]
[*]The creation of the world is the most marvellous achievement imaginable.
[/LIST]
Not exactly parallel to the proposition that God is a being greater than whom cannot be conceived since we can argue that proposition is self-evidently true, and that cannot be argued about the creation of the world proposition, which although it may be true is certainly not self-evidently so. And that is quite an important distinction.
 
cluckk
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:25 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:

  1. The creation of the world is the most marvellous achievement imaginable.
Not exactly parallel to the proposition that God is a being greater than whom cannot be conceived since we can argue that proposition is self-evidently true, and that cannot be argued about the creation of the world proposition, which although it may be true is certainly not self-evidently so. And that is quite an important distinction.


Actually, the creation of the world is far from the most marvellous achievement imaginable. The creation of the solar system as a whole or of the Universe is far more marvellous than creation of the third rock from our Sun. Then what about alternative universes and their interaction? Of course creation of life is marvellous, but we can imagine far more spectacular forms of life living elsewhere, whether they exist or not. We can imagine all sorts of things some more marvellous than others.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:28 am
@cluckk,
cluckk;166885 wrote:
Actually, the creation of the world is far from the most marvellous achievement imaginable. The creation of the solar system as a whole or of the Universe is far more marvellous than creation of the third rock from our Sun. Then what about alternative universes and their interaction? Of course creation of life is marvellous, but we can imagine far more spectacular forms of life living elsewhere, whether they exist or not. We can imagine all sorts of things some more marvellous than others.


Could be? I wouldn't know. But I do know that proposition (true or not) is not self-evidently true. But the one about God, if true, is self-evidently true.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:34 am
@cluckk,
cluckk;166885 wrote:
Actually, the creation of the world is far from the most marvellous achievement imaginable.
"The world" doesn't mean 'the Earth'.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:43 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;166874 wrote:
Here's a similar parody:


[LIST=1]
[*]The creation of the world is the most marvellous achievement imaginable.
[*]The merit of an achievement is the product of (a) its intrinsic quality, and (b) the ability of its creator.
[*]The greater the disability or handicap of the creator, the more impressive the achievement.
[*]The most formidable handicap for a creator would be non-existence.
[*]Therefore, if we suppose that the universe is the product of an existent creator, we can conceive a greater being-namely, one who created everything while not existing.
[*]An existing God, therefore, would not be a being than which a greater cannot be conceived, because an even more formidable and incredible creator would be a God which did not exist.
[*](Hence) God does not exist.
[/LIST]
Ontological Arguments (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)



Care to answer ?
Does the Set of all things contains or not contains itself ?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 10:10 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil. Albuquerque;166896 wrote:
Care to answer ?
Does the Set of all things contains or not contains itself ?


Yes and no.,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 
mark noble
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 10:33 am
@walkingaround,
walkingaround;165773 wrote:
Hello people,
I am not trained in logic. Could somebody help me out on something?

Its about Anselm's argument for god's existence. I had a thought about it.

He says that

"Being is greater that not being." And from there, god has to exist.

Now my thought , dont know if its meaningful, or total rubbish (in terms of academic logic) is the following:

Isnt it even greater, for a being greater than which cannot be conceived, to be able to exist and not to exist at the same time, or switch back and forth between the two, or to neither exist or not exist? As it pleases..... I mean, i would imagine a god to be able to not exist for some time and then "pop back" into existence.......



I would just like to know if my point has any value in a strict, academic sense.... And if not, why that is..
I would be grateful for opinions.......Smile


Hi Walkingaround.

If (hypothetical) God is omnipotent, He has to be Omnipresent - Everywhere at once, and If (hypothetical) God is everywhere - God is every thing - If God is everything<>Everything is God. So Everything and Everyone is God, and is equal to itself.

Hope this helps, Walkingaround God, Have a great day.

Mark God...
 
cluckk
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 10:36 am
@walkingaround,
There is another problem with this in proposition four:
Quote:
The most formidable handicap for a creator would be non-existence.


How can nonexistence be a handicap? A handicap requires an existent being to define as such.

You got this from the Stanford Encyclopedia, but here is the response included in that article:

Quote:
This parody-at least in its current state-seems to me to be inferior to other parodies in the literature, including the early parodies of Gaunilo and Caterus. To mention but one difficulty, while we might suppose that it would be a greater achievement to create something if one did not exist than if one did exist, it doesn't follow from this that a non-existent creator is greater (qua being) than an existent creator. Perhaps it might be replied that this objection fails to take the first premise into account: if the creation of the world really is "the most marvellous achievement imaginable", then surely there is some plausibility to the claim that the creator must have been non-existent (since that would make the achievement more marvellous than it would otherwise have been). But what reason is there to believe that the creation of the world is "the most marvellous achievement imaginable", in the sense which is required for this argument? Surely it is quite easy to imagine even more marvellous achievements-e.g., the creation of many worlds at least as good as this one! (Of course, one might also want to say that, in fact, one cannot conceive of a non-existent being's actually creating something: that is literally inconceivable. Etc.)
Ontological Arguments (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

And for your last question: No, the set all things does not include itself.

---------- Post added 05-21-2010 at 11:53 AM ----------

mark noble;166964 wrote:
Hi Walkingaround.

If (hypothetical) God is omnipotent, He has to be Omnipresent - Everywhere at once, and If (hypothetical) God is everywhere - God is every thing - If God is everything<>Everything is God. So Everything and Everyone is God, and is equal to itself.


God being everywhere does not equate to God being everything. These are different unrelated concepts.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 11:03 am
@cluckk,
cluckk;166966 wrote:

God being everywhere does not equate to God being everything. These are different unrelated concepts.


Hi Clucck,

Does not "Everywhere" equate to EVERY POSSIBLE LOCATION? So can you provide me with a location, from the interior of an atom to the perimeter of the known universe that does not ammount to being a location?

Thank you Clucck, and journey well sir.

Mark...
 
 

 
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