The ontological argument

Author: keithprosser ,

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  • keithprosser
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    keithprosser

    1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
    2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
    3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
    4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
    5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
    6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.
    Obiously something is wrong in there but it's hard to identify exactly what! 

    The problem is that defing god as something 'maximally great' incidentally defines god as necessarily existing because 'neccessary existence' is greater than mere 'existence'.  While that is acceptable as a definition, it is problematic to use it as a premise in the OA because it assumes what it sets out to prove.

    For purposes of the OA you have to define a god as a entity that is 'maximally great, except it it does not necessarily exist', that is we still allow gods to possibly exist but we remove the hidden assumption their neccessary, certain existence.

    Of course that means the OA no longer works.




     

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @keithprosser
    1. It is possible [not necessary] that a maximally great [please define "great"] being exists.
    2. If it is possible [not necessary] that a maximally great [please define "great"] being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world [but not necessarily].
    3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world [non-sequitur].
    4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world [bald assertion].
    5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists [redundant assertion].
    6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists [conclusion does not follow from premises].
    1. It is possible that a human is a "maximally great being" (TRUE pending definition of "great").
    2. If it is possible that a human exists, then a human exists in some possible world (OBVIOUS).
    3. If a human exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world (FALSE).
    4. If a human exists in every possible world (FALSE), then it exists in the actual world (TRUE regardless of BAD LOGIC).
    5. If a human exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists (REDUNDANT).
    6 Therefore, a human being exists (OBVIOUS).

    Is a cow or an elephant or a whale or a dinosaur or a sequoia more "maximally great" than a human?
  • keithprosser
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    --> @3RU7AL
    You are wrong about 3.  It's not a non-sequitur - it is totally valid!

    you have to bear in mind that a 'maximally great being' necessarily exists - mere existence would mean it wasn't 'maximally great'.

    That is the root of the trick.   by defining god as 'maximally great' you smuggle in that god necssarilty exists at the outset.   In effect the argument is that 'something that necessarily exists, exists', which is not a great discovery.

    The fallacy is 'beggaring the question' - ie assuming what you purport to be proving. 


  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @keithprosser
    What keeps a human from being "maximally great"?

    I mean, isn't a human the "greatest" being we've ever seen?

    It also seems like "being" needs to be more clearly (explicitly) defined as well.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @3RU7AL
    What keeps a human from being "maximally great"?


    The ontological argument normally defines 'maximally great' in terms of what can be conceived or imagined rather than what exists.  Because it is possble to imagine an entity greater than a human, a human is not a candidate for being 'maximally great'.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @keithprosser
    1. It is possible that a maximally-great-super-hyper-dimensional-chair exists.
    2. If it is possible that a maximally-great-super-hyper-dimensional-chair exists, then a maximally-great-super-hyper-dimensional-chair exists in some possible world.
    3. If a maximally-great-super-hyper-dimensional-chair exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
    4. If a maximally-great-super-hyper-dimensional-chair exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
    5. If a maximally-great-super-hyper-dimensional-chair exists in the actual world, then a maximally-great-super-hyper-dimensional-chair exists.
    6. Therefore, a maximally-great-super-hyper-dimensional-chair exists.

    Where the heck is this awesome chair?

  • Paul
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    --> @keithprosser

    If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

    This line doesn’t hold up.

    exists in some possible world

    insert huge leap of faith

    then it exists in every possible world

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Paul
    This line doesn’t hold up.
    it does hold up and it is correct!

    It's true by virtue of the way 'maximally great' was defined - it implicity gave the 'maximal being' neccessary existence from the outset.

    That is to say

    "If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world."

    reduces to

    "A necessarily existing being exists in every possible world"

    The desired conclusion was smuggled into the initial definitions - that's a logic fail!

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @keithprosser
    By this reasoning, anything we imagine is hyper-dimensional, automatically exists?!?!

    I didn't realize that Christianity is contingent on the many worlds hypothesis and imaginary realism.

375 days later

  • Dr.Franklin
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    What keeps a human from being "maximally great"?
    Wouldn't a being that is all-knowing greater than a normal human being

  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Above
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    What keeps a human from being "maximally great"?
    Wouldn't a being that is all-knowing greater than a normal human being
    Gödel's incompleteness theorem(s) prove that no system can know everything about itself.

    Ipso-facto, there can be NO all-knowing "being".
  • Mopac
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    I personally think it is silly to argue for God's existence. Either you accept what it is we mean by God, or you can debate about some god that isn't our God.

    Scholasticism in the west lead to the popularization of these types of arguments. It also is what eventually lead to the secularization of the west. That is, the scholastic mindset. 

    When it comes down to it, this argument isn't going to inform you about who God is, the only thing it may do is open someone's mind to the idea of God, but possibly other things as well.

    But God does necessarily exist, because God is The Ultimate Reality, and there can be no existence without this.




  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Mopac
    Brahman is The Ultimate Reality.

    In Hinduism, Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. [WIKI] 
  • Mopac
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Yes, the Indians have in Brahman a legitimate name for God. Or at least, as it seems to me.

    It also seems to me that the best Chinese equivalent is The Tao.

    Christians in the middle east even use "Allah" for God.


    And so, you aren't pointing out anything that I don't already freely point out. 

    But here in English our word for Ultimate Reality is capital "G" God.






  • disgusted
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    --> @Mopac
    I personally think it is silly to argue for God's existence. Either you accept what it is we mean by God, or you can debate about some god that isn't our God.
    All Gods are created by men, they are the only ones who can be debated concerning existence.
  • Mopac
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    --> @disgusted
    All gods are created.

    However, The Ultimate Reality can not be creation, or it isn't what it is.
  • disgusted
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    --> @Mopac
    Your God was created a couple of thousand years ago by primitive, ignorant, superstitious  savages as a member of the Canaanite Pantheon of Gods.
    If you say anything different you are lying and your holy book confirms it.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @disgusted
    Your God was created a couple of thousand years ago by primitive, ignorant, superstitious  savages as a member of the Canaanite Pantheon of Gods.

    If you say anything different you are lying and your holy book confirms it.
    I think you missed the part where Mopac said, 

    Yes, the Indians have in Brahman a legitimate name for God. Or at least, as it seems to me.

    It also seems to me that the best Chinese equivalent is The Tao.
    So, Mopac wouldn't seem to be one of those "Biblical Literalists" you seem to be STRAWMANNING.
  • Mopac
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    --> @3RU7AL
    I would like to point out that even the church in New Testament times interpreted scripture in a typological sense. This can be observed most clearly in the epistle to the Hebrews
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @disgusted
    Your God was created a couple of thousand years ago by primitive, ignorant, superstitious  savages as a member of the Canaanite Pantheon of Gods.
    Also, I 100% agree with this part.
  • Mopac
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    You should know better by now than to say God was created.

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Mopac
    You should know better by now than to say God was created.
    Oh, right... "discovered"?
  • Mopac
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    --> @3RU7AL
    The existence of God is the surest scientific reality there is.

  • disgusted
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    --> @Mopac
    That would be the god invented as a member of the Canaanite Pantheon of Gods. Perhaps you can produce some of this scientific evidence you claim.