Ontological Argument

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cluckk
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:04 pm
@walkingaround,
Something material has not always existed. Nothing by definition can not exist (exist) or not-exist (~exist) since it is simply the naught or empty set (in other words the set "nothing" contains "nothing" and therefore does not itself exist or not exist). I can say there was a time when nothing existed, but this simply means there was at that time nothing in existence. This would be a very different statement from what you are trying to say, I believe.

Your question about 'something' always existing depends on what you include with that label.

Quote:
I'm building a bridge to the point - If we can't lay the foundations we'll never get to the other side.


Yes, but the foundations for the bridge must rest on solid ground or it will collapse.

Quote:
What God are you talking about, anyway?


I am limiting myself here to God defined as necessary being. Once we lay that foundation we can build from there.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:16 pm
@Klope3,
Klope3;168748 wrote:
Krumple,

I'm failing to understand why an omnipotent, omniscient God could not choose to have an infinite amount of thoughts (or just one thought) at any given point in "time" (or, to phrase it differently, "his existence"). Would you elaborate on your reasoning here?


Well for the most part the problem is infinite. Are you suggesting that god could have an infinite amount of thoughts without taking an infinite amount of time? If so it contradicts the infinity of the situation. You can't just cancel it. If you are not suggesting that then we can move on.

There must have been some point when this god would have decided or enacted or chose, which ever word you want to use. Made up his mind, it does not matter, but the point is, when did this happen? How long was god solo? Or was god never solo? My point is there must have been a moment when the decision to make the universe arose. This is a key point. Regardless if you believe that god exists within a timeless realm and all time is exactly the same time. I simply do not buy that you can do something within a timeless realm. It's a contradiction in terms.

So there must have been a reason or a motivation for doing so. If there was no motivation or reason, then why do it? Just because? Had nothing better to do?

Klope3;168748 wrote:

You're making lots of assumptions about what God can and cannot do. If you begin to disprove God's creation of the universe by allowing that he could *potentially* create the universe, then you are allowing that he is omnipotent and omniscient, meaning that he has no limits. For example, q5 pops out at me. You're assuming that God needs a cause to think anything. How can you make that assumption?


I can't make that assumption and that is why it is phrased as a question. I am positioning the question as a theory and then I am pointing out some of the critical problems with some of the possible answers.

The question is, what was god doing before creating the universe? Absolutely Nothing? Just sucking up the bliss, then snapped his fingers and said, "Ahh, I just created the universe, not sure why I just did this, it was just a spontaneous act without any thought." (perhaps this is why it turned out so badly?)

---------- Post added 05-27-2010 at 12:30 PM ----------

cluckk;168783 wrote:
p3,4, and 5 are problematic at best. You have refuted nothing. You assume that any thought of God must have a cause to trigger the thought. You are limiting god with properties of matter and time.


Well lets examine what I have to go off of. If we use any of the bible stories it is clear that god is a reactionary. At least that is how it is written anyways. So if god is a reactionary that means he reacts to new information. One example. He sees the world as evil and decides he wants to destroy man because man is nothing but wicked. However; just before he does this, he notices a single man, free of wickedness. He decides to spare this one man. Blah blah blah. You can take just about any story and show that according to the story god is a reactionary. Now if you want to say the bible is not an accurate assessment of god's attributes then I won't argue. However; if you are saying that my personal assessment is incorrect than so is the bibles.

cluckk;168783 wrote:

You are actually trying to force God into a determinist framework--ie. if God does something to decides to do something then something must have caused him to do or decide this thing. Your logic is flawed.


I am asking the question. If is key. I have not decided, I am only pointing out the implications of such a thing. However; I back my statements with the assessment that I have. Not only that but then "when" does the universe come into being? How long was god around before the universe was created? If you say timeless, there was no time, that makes no sense. I simply will not buy the timeless argument.

cluckk;168783 wrote:

Oh, by the way shouldn't P1 and P2 be incorporated into one if then statement:


I wanted p1 to be that way because I personally do not accept it. I already know that it is a fallacy so that is why it begins with if.

cluckk;168783 wrote:

P1a. God is the creator of the universe -> the universe has not always existed.


Both premises are potentially fallacies. The universe could have always existed but to prevent a derailed argument from arising I just stated it as a premise without question.

cluckk;168783 wrote:

The way it is now only P2 makes a statement, P1 says nothing.


P1 is a lose premise and can't be relied upon.

cluckk;168783 wrote:

Sorry Krumple, I tried to reinterpret your argument to make heads or tails out of it, but it is too convoluted and without sensible flow or structure. To be honest, I got tired of trying to figure out how you went from your premises to your conclusions with all the flaws and fallacies it contains. Perhaps if I get time to look at it later on I'll put more effort into it.


I am not trying to prove that god is the creator of the universe. I am only using them as plausible truths. I was expecting the reader to already accept the two premises without much question.

cluckk;168783 wrote:

Sorry, I really like to respond to posts and be constructive, but I find no way to do so with my current schedule and the current way your argument is put together.


It would not have matter if you answered it ten years from now.
 
cluckk
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:09 pm
@walkingaround,
Quote:
Both premises are potentially fallacies. The universe could have always existed but to prevent a derailed argument from arising I just stated it as a premise without question.


Yes, but the way I put it together both contingencies are covered:

P1a. God is the creator of the universe -> the universe has not always existed.

This says, "If God is the creator of the universe then the universe has not always existed."

G > ~A

The truth table for this would look like:


G > ~ A
T F F T
T T T F
F T F T
F T T F


The only way the premise would be false is if God created the universe and it had always existed. If God did not create it (which would also cover if he does not exist) then the universe could have always existed or still might not have.
 
Klope3
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:45 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;169635 wrote:
Well for the most part the problem is infinite. Are you suggesting that god could have an infinite amount of thoughts without taking an infinite amount of time? If so it contradicts the infinity of the situation. You can't just cancel it. If you are not suggesting that then we can move on.


I am suggesting that, yes. One reason for this is that if he created time, then time (as we know it) must not have existed before. It could not, therefore, have taken any amount of time (as we know it) to have any thoughts.

Krumple;169635 wrote:
There must have been some point when this god would have decided or enacted or chose, which ever word you want to use. Made up his mind, it does not matter, but the point is, when did this happen? How long was god solo? Or was god never solo? My point is there must have been a moment when the decision to make the universe arose. This is a key point. Regardless if you believe that god exists within a timeless realm and all time is exactly the same time. I simply do not buy that you can do something within a timeless realm. It's a contradiction in terms.


Yes, it seems God must have decided at some point to create the universe. But I refuse to limit God to the very finite time that he created. THAT is a contradiction in terms. If God created time, then he must have full power over time (in order to create it). If he has full power over time, why would he be constrained by its limitations?

If you concede that the universe and time itself are both finite, and that they both had a beginning, then why don't you buy that God can do something in a timeless realm?

Krumple;169635 wrote:
So there must have been a reason or a motivation for doing so. If there was no motivation or reason, then why do it? Just because? Had nothing better to do?


I've heard this argument before, and I've never bought it. You can speculate as to why God would ever want to create the universe (I have thought of a few answers, though none of them are probably relevant), but you can't argue that God didn't create the universe BECAUSE he had no reason to do so. How can anyone, as a finite being, hope to understand the intentions of God, an infinite being? You've probably heard THAT a million times, but I insist that it is logically sound. A dog cannot understand why his owner would, say, give money to the poor or visit someone in a nursing home. Such things constitute the owner going out of his/her way to do something that doesn't really benefit him/her at all. The dog: "Neither me nor my owner would gain anything by helping others. I wouldn't do it; I'd have no reason to. So why would my owner?"



Krumple;169635 wrote:
Well lets examine what I have to go off of. If we use any of the bible stories it is clear that god is a reactionary. At least that is how it is written anyways. So if god is a reactionary that means he reacts to new information. One example. He sees the world as evil and decides he wants to destroy man because man is nothing but wicked. However; just before he does this, he notices a single man, free of wickedness. He decides to spare this one man. Blah blah blah. You can take just about any story and show that according to the story god is a reactionary. Now if you want to say the bible is not an accurate assessment of god's attributes then I won't argue. However; if you are saying that my personal assessment is incorrect than so is the bibles.


Concluding that God is reactionary is entirely a matter of interpretation, and another example of trying to figure out an infinite being's intentions.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 04:12 pm
@Klope3,
Klope3;169715 wrote:
I am suggesting that, yes. One reason for this is that if he created time, then time (as we know it) must not have existed before. It could not, therefore, have taken any amount of time (as we know it) to have any thoughts.


You could stop right there then. As I have mentioned before, you can't do anything without time. I know people just like to say it but they neglect what it means to say, "do" and "without time". You can't. Because there has to be a previous moment before you have done something which would signify a before or after the action itself. The only other option is that everything happens all at once in the same moment, but that is also a contradiction. I don't buy the argument that there is the ability to do something within a timeless realm.

Klope3;169715 wrote:

Yes, it seems God must have decided at some point to create the universe. But I refuse to limit God to the very finite time that he created. THAT is a contradiction in terms. If God created time, then he must have full power over time (in order to create it). If he has full power over time, why would he be constrained by its limitations?


I like how you object to my premise and place one of your own without anything to back it. Funny how that is. How do you know that first of all, that a god made time? I would object to it because of my above argument. You can't do anything without time.

Klope3;169715 wrote:

If you concede that the universe and time itself are both finite, and that they both had a beginning, then why don't you buy that God can do something in a timeless realm?


I am not a supporter of the time was created part. Because to go from timeless to time, there had to be a moment to even spark it off. You can't just create time from out of timelessness. It would require another time frame to go from timeless to time. It defies it's own logic.

Klope3;169715 wrote:

I've heard this argument before, and I've never bought it. You can speculate as to why God would ever want to create the universe (I have thought of a few answers, though none of them are probably relevant), but you can't argue that God didn't create the universe BECAUSE he had no reason to do so. How can anyone, as a finite being, hope to understand the intentions of God, an infinite being? You've probably heard THAT a million times, but I insist that it is logically sound. A dog cannot understand why his owner would, say, give money to the poor or visit someone in a nursing home. Such things constitute the owner going out of his/her way to do something that doesn't really benefit him/her at all. The dog: "Neither me nor my owner would gain anything by helping others. I wouldn't do it; I'd have no reason to. So why would my owner?"


That is not the point of the question. When I asked that, it is not because I am looking for the answer to why a god would create the universe. I am simply aiming for the fact that there was a moment when a god was not interested in creating a universe, and then, decided. That is all I am concerned with. I honestly do not care what the reasoning, or purpose, or motivation was. All that is important is that you see, there was a moment when was not creating a universe and then another moment when a god created the universe and then another moment when a god had finished creating a universe.

Klope3;169715 wrote:

Concluding that God is reactionary is entirely a matter of interpretation, and another example of trying to figure out an infinite being's intentions.


Once again I don't care about intentions. What clues do I have to go off of? None reliable. I can easily say all we are doing is chasing our imagination. Because anything totally substantial is easily understood. But when something is totally made up, you can't make heads or tails of it because anything is plausible then.

Do I even need to point out how you make your own premises without even providing proofs for them? How do you know that your interpretation of what your god is, is not just the opposite? I see how it is fine that you are allowed to come up with what ever traits and attributes you find suiting but as soon as I poke holes into your beloved attributes, you scold me as if I have made some full proof error and need correction.

Take just a moment and reason that out. If you accuse me of it and it is a mistake to place attributes, then you must also follow that same line of reasoning. If you abandon it, then why should I accept your correction?
 
cluckk
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 05:53 pm
@walkingaround,
Quote:
Well lets examine what I have to go off of. If we use any of the bible stories it is clear that god is a reactionary. At least that is how it is written anyways. So if god is a reactionary that means he reacts to new information.


Even if true this does not equate to God requiring outside sources to cause a decision or environmental circumstances for him to react to, or an unbroken line of earlier decisions to cause a later decision. You are taking one possible side of God's actions and making it mandatory for all other acts of God. Yes God reacts, but he does not always react, he also acts spontaneously and uniquely.
 
Klope3
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 05:48 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;169728 wrote:
You could stop right there then. As I have mentioned before, you can't do anything without time. I know people just like to say it but they neglect what it means to say, "do" and "without time". You can't. Because there has to be a previous moment before you have done something which would signify a before or after the action itself. The only other option is that everything happens all at once in the same moment, but that is also a contradiction. I don't buy the argument that there is the ability to do something within a timeless realm.


Why do we reject that argument? Because we have only our own understanding of what "time" and "doing" are. If this is a philosophy forum where people question and discuss what REALITY itself is, then I think we can explore the idea of a "timeless" realm where things can be "done."



Krumple;169728 wrote:
I like how you object to my premise and place one of your own without anything to back it. Funny how that is. How do you know that first of all, that a god made time? I would object to it because of my above argument. You can't do anything without time.


I do that because if I offered my reasoning behind everything I said, it would result in absurdly long posts and a good amount of tangents. Sorry if that led to any misunderstandings between posts.

I propose that God made time because of the evidence that the universe and time were created by God (evidenced by the universe and time being finite, needing a beginning--as conceded by Einstein--and the fine-tuning of the universe). I didn't mention my reasoning (yet) because I do believe there are other threads for arguing about the specific subtopics of evidence for God.




Krumple;169728 wrote:
That is not the point of the question. When I asked that, it is not because I am looking for the answer to why a god would create the universe. I am simply aiming for the fact that there was a moment when a god was not interested in creating a universe, and then, decided. That is all I am concerned with. I honestly do not care what the reasoning, or purpose, or motivation was. All that is important is that you see, there was a moment when was not creating a universe and then another moment when a god created the universe and then another moment when a god had finished creating a universe.


It's an interesting point, yes. Even to me it seems logical that there must have been some "moment" for when God decided to create the universe and when he actually did. But the evidence THAT he created the universe still remains. HOW he did it, or even WHY, are deeper questions that are likely even farther beyond our understanding.



Krumple;169728 wrote:
Once again I don't care about intentions. What clues do I have to go off of? None reliable. I can easily say all we are doing is chasing our imagination. Because anything totally substantial is easily understood. But when something is totally made up, you can't make heads or tails of it because anything is plausible then.


This is because we're arguing about the way things were "before" the universe. I don't really want to argue about this, since I don't have a very good answer myself. But again, at that point, I choose to reiterate that there is nevertheless evidence THAT God created time and the universe.

Krumple;169728 wrote:
How do you know that your interpretation of what your god is, is not just the opposite? I see how it is fine that you are allowed to come up with what ever traits and attributes you find suiting but as soon as I poke holes into your beloved attributes, you scold me as if I have made some full proof error and need correction.


The evidence supporting God's creation of time and the universe logically leads to the conclusion of a few attributes of God (omnipotence, omniscience, among others). And you've been scolding me about my supposed proof errors all along. That's just the nature of logical argument, I guess.


Krumple;169728 wrote:
Take just a moment and reason that out. If you accuse me of it and it is a mistake to place attributes, then you must also follow that same line of reasoning. If you abandon it, then why should I accept your correction?


The attributes I am ascribing to God are the ones that are supported by the evidence. The attributes you are ascribing to him seem to contradict the evidence; a God restricted by time doesn't make much sense if God MADE time.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 06:36 am
@Klope3,
Klope3;169876 wrote:
Why do we reject that argument? Because we have only our own understanding of what "time" and "doing" are. If this is a philosophy forum where people question and discuss what REALITY itself is, then I think we can explore the idea of a "timeless" realm where things can be "done."


Alright fair enough but you know what this sounds like to me? A bunch of blind people from birth discussing colors. They will never be able to fully experience colors. They can sit around all day and debate what colors look like but they would never reach the state of a person with sight.

To talk about doing things in a timeless realm is exactly the same problem. You can not discuss such things because you have never experienced such a place. Even if you try, you are breaking the fundamental laws that your entire being is surrounded by. To break these laws you must be able to provide an explanation as to how it could happen. The thing is, you can't and the only thing you have to go off of is just saying that you can. That is not an explanation. It's like a blind person from birth saying they know what the color red is.

Klope3;169876 wrote:

I do that because if I offered my reasoning behind everything I said, it would result in absurdly long posts and a good amount of tangents. Sorry if that led to any misunderstandings between posts.


Well I can relate but honestly even if no one else reads your post, I will. So feel free to make it as long as you want. I won't ignore it just because you took fifty pages to explain your reasoning. Maybe I might learn something from it, so if you find it a waste of time, keep that in mind.

Klope3;169876 wrote:

I propose that God made time because of the evidence that the universe and time were created by God (evidenced by the universe and time being finite, needing a beginning--as conceded by Einstein--and the fine-tuning of the universe). I didn't mention my reasoning (yet) because I do believe there are other threads for arguing about the specific subtopics of evidence for God.


Alright, but let me reiterate that I am not a supporter of the time creation theory. I don't even need to toss out any of Einstein's work to maintain that position. Is time still important? Of course but I do not accept that time was created. Does matter still effect time? I think it does effect time but not in the way that is most described. I think that matter effects the space which gives the appearance of warped time. But time never changes.

Klope3;169876 wrote:

It's an interesting point, yes. Even to me it seems logical that there must have been some "moment" for when God decided to create the universe and when he actually did. But the evidence THAT he created the universe still remains. HOW he did it, or even WHY, are deeper questions that are likely even farther beyond our understanding.


I don't see any such god existing so for me asking those deeper questions are meaningless to me. If I am wrong, and that god does exist, that god would understand me and where I am coming from. With that knowledge that god would have known it created me knowing that I was already headed for the scrap heap before he even snapped his fingers to create me. So what is the point of making something knowing that it was already going to be going down a path in which you are against? It's like if you knew that your child would grow up to be the worst serial killer in history and no matter what lessons you taught your child, it's fate were not changeable. Would you still want this child to live? Or would you forgo having that child?

Klope3;169876 wrote:

This is because we're arguing about the way things were "before" the universe. I don't really want to argue about this, since I don't have a very good answer myself. But again, at that point, I choose to reiterate that there is nevertheless evidence THAT God created time and the universe.


You can say "there is evidence THAT God created time and the universe" all you want but I still have not seen even a smallest piece of evidence to support that theory.

Klope3;169876 wrote:

The evidence supporting God's creation of time and the universe logically leads to the conclusion of a few attributes of God (omnipotence, omniscience, among others). And you've been scolding me about my supposed proof errors all along. That's just the nature of logical argument, I guess.


I don't see how such a thing could have such attributes, omnipotence and omniscience are contradictory of each other. It is one thing to say it, but how is it that you can arrive at such knowing? Where is the reasoning, and where is the proofs to support it?

Klope3;169876 wrote:

The attributes I am ascribing to God are the ones that are supported by the evidence. The attributes you are ascribing to him seem to contradict the evidence; a God restricted by time doesn't make much sense if God MADE time.


Now you are talking in circles. I am not subscribing to the idea that time was created. I say that is a paradox in terms. You need time to be able to make time. So then how do you come to the conclusion that god created time? Since I do not adhere to time being created where is the evidence that time had a beginning?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 07:18 am
@Klope3,
Klope3;169876 wrote:
Why do we reject that argument? Because we have only our own understanding of what "time" and "doing" are.


Since those terms are English terms, I wonder what other understanding we could have of them other than the meaning they have in English. Why would you suppose they would have meanings other than the meanings they have?
 
mark noble
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 08:26 am
@cluckk,
cluckk;169625 wrote:
Something material has not always existed. Nothing by definition can not exist (exist) or not-exist (~exist) since it is simply the naught or empty set (in other words the set "nothing" contains "nothing" and therefore does not itself exist or not exist). I can say there was a time when nothing existed, but this simply means there was at that time nothing in existence. This would be a very different statement from what you are trying to say, I believe.

Your question about 'something' always existing depends on what you include with that label.



Yes, but the foundations for the bridge must rest on solid ground or it will collapse.



I am limiting myself here to God defined as necessary being. Once we lay that foundation we can build from there.


Hi Cluckk,

How, exactly, do you ascertain that "Something material has not always existed". Especially when you, earlier, agreed that "something cannot arise from nothing"? My question about something always existing, includes "anything" that can be defined as "something".

Thank you Cluckk, hope that helps... Have a great day.

Mark...
 
Alan Masterman
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:36 am
@walkingaround,
Yes walkingaround, as a quick reply to your question - as far as it goes, it is obvious, as a matter of logic, that a god which can choose to exist or not-exist would be 'greater' than one which can only either exist or not-exist.

But one challenge, as your respondents have pointed out, is to explain how a being can, from a state of non-existence, determine its future history.

But the whole question is fraught with scholastic and ethical prejudices. In what way is existence logically 'greater' than non-existence? Is this just a fancy way of saying that anybody would rather be alive than dead? 'Existence' and 'Non-existence' are contradictory states; but 'Greater' describes a matter of degree. It is very difficult to ascribe a precise meaning to this whole intellectual muddle.
 
Klope3
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 02:04 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;169896 wrote:
I don't see any such god existing so for me asking those deeper questions are meaningless to me. If I am wrong, and that god does exist, that god would understand me and where I am coming from. With that knowledge that god would have known it created me knowing that I was already headed for the scrap heap before he even snapped his fingers to create me. So what is the point of making something knowing that it was already going to be going down a path in which you are against? It's like if you knew that your child would grow up to be the worst serial killer in history and no matter what lessons you taught your child, it's fate were not changeable. Would you still want this child to live? Or would you forgo having that child?


Again, I don't know the answer to this. But it's still more speculation. And the fact that I (or any human) doesn't know the answer still doesn't disprove God. It doesn't even logically refute God.


Krumple;169896 wrote:
can say "there is evidence THAT God created time and the universe" all you want but I still have not seen even a smallest piece of evidence to support that theory.


Really? Red-shift of galaxies (pointing toward Big Bang)? Fine-tuning of the universe (pointing toward design)? The Big Bang causing itself does not seem a plausible explanation--and the universe being fine-tuned FROM that self-created Big Bang seems even more unlikely. God seems to be much more plausible. This isn't God-of-the-Gaps; it's the most reasonable explanation we have for the evidence at the current point in time. What else can we possibly go off of?


Krumple;169896 wrote:
I don't see how such a thing could have such attributes, omnipotence and omniscience are contradictory of each other. It is one thing to say it, but how is it that you can arrive at such knowing? Where is the reasoning, and where is the proofs to support it?


Please explain why omnipotence and omniscience are logically contradictory of one another. The reasoning behind it comes from the conclusion that God created the universe. If God created it, he must have power over EVERYTHING of the universe (omnipotence) and knowledge of it ALL (omniscience). This is a product of a simple logical progression. The evidence lies back in the matter of the creation of the universe.



Krumple;169896 wrote:
Now you are talking in circles. I am not subscribing to the idea that time was created. I say that is a paradox in terms. You need time to be able to make time. So then how do you come to the conclusion that god created time? Since I do not adhere to time being created where is the evidence that time had a beginning?


I didn't say you subscribed to it. In fact, I said "IF God created time." Now, admittedly, the problem of whether or not time was created is a tougher problem. Time is such an elusive phenomenon that there may never be any evidence to support that it was created or infinite. But I don't consider this matter to be essential to showing that God must exist.
 
 

 
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