I think, therefore i am

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Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 01:56 pm
@D bowden,
Do we, as humans, possess the concept of infinity in a clear way? Or are we just playing with a confused negation of the word "finite?" Does the word "infinite" function as a symbol or a myth? Is it a lightning rod for the energy of what Jung would an archetype?

That perfection implies existence is persuasive but not, for me, conclusive. It sounds right, but not exactly axiom-worthy.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 02:16 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;107333 wrote:
Do we, as humans, possess the concept of infinity in a clear way? Or are we just playing with a confused negation of the word "finite?" Does the word "infinite" function as a symbol or a myth? Is it a lightning rod for the energy of what Jung would an archetype?

That perfection implies existence is persuasive but not, for me, conclusive. It sounds right, but not exactly axiom-worthy.


What, I wonder, has any of this to do with the Cogito argument? I think therefore I am. No one claims that he is perfect. And the Cogito argument is supposed to be an argument for the conclusion that the arguer exists.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 03:32 pm
@Inquisition,
Inquisition;107312 wrote:
So that we may be clear let me restate his arguments:
  • We have in our mind the idea of God as an infinitely perfect Being.
  • But an infinitely perfect Being must have existence, otherwise it would not be infinitely perfect.
  • Ergo, God exists.

second dline of thought
  • We have the idea of God in our mind.
  • Since this idea represents an infinitely perfect Being, we, as finite beings, cannot have originated such an idea in virtue of our own powers.
  • This idea being beyond our mental capacity, it could have originated only from a Being who possesses such infinite perfection.
  • Ergo, God exists.

Descartes began his inquiry by doubting all knowledge without exception; he was even willing to accept it as "entirely false." This being the case, what about the idea of God as an all-perfect Being, since he admits that he discovered this idea in his own mind? According to his own principle of universal doubt, he simply cannot know whether this idea of God is correct or incorrect; as a matter of fact, according to this principle, he should consider it as "entirely false," until proved otherwise. But if his idea of God as an all-perfect Being may be incorrect, he cannot logically deduce from this idea God's existence and veracity.

Since the very idea of God is doubtful, his very reason and the process of reasoning is as yet of doubtful validity, how can be validly demonstrate God's existence and veracity? The trustworthiness of Descartes' reasoning powers is supposed to flow as a necessary consequence from the infinite perfection of God; and God's infinite perfect is made certain to him by means of a proof developed by these very reasoning powers, before he has proved that these reasoning powers are valid and trustworthy: he thereby gratuitously assumes the very thing beforehand which he intends to prove afterwards. (A logical fallacy called Begging the Question, or a circular argument.)



Perhaps I was moving off on a tangent....But I didn't bring it up. And do we have much left say, people, on the "I stink therefore I probably ate spam " argument?

(No offense intended...)
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 03:36 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;107361 wrote:
Perhaps I was moving off on a tangent....But I didn't bring it up. And do we have much left say, people, on the "I stink therefore I probably ate spam " argument?

(No offense intended...)


There seems to be a confusion between Descartes's argument for his own existence, and his argument for God's existence.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 03:39 pm
@D bowden,
No confusion on my part. Just a subject change, to spice things up. Wink
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 03:44 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;107366 wrote:
No confusion on my part. Just a subject change, to spice things up. Wink


I find the Cogito fairly spicy. Descartes's arguments for God deserve another thread.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 03:56 pm
@D bowden,
Fair enough.

What are we to make of this Cogito argument? What is its value for us in 2009? This is not to imply it is not valuable. I respect the tradition.
 
 

 
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