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Archived => Ontological Argument => Topic started by: UnreasonableFaith on October 16, 2016, 10:49:38 am

Title: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on October 16, 2016, 10:49:38 am
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This is a part I added recently so anyone who see this topic for the first time can see where it stands and answer respectively:

I don't see any good reason why I should accept that Maximal Greatness is possibly exemplified. To me it's simple. If proponent of MOA wants to claim that god exists in some possible world, he should prove it beyond reasonable doubt. Given that our world is the only to which we have access it means that in order for MOA to work its proponents have to prove decisively that god exists in our world. Only then we can accept its first premise. It shows that MOA in its final form is reduced to "if god exists, then god exists" or "if there are good reasons to think that god exiss, than it's reasonable to believe that god exists".

In both cases MOA is just a complicated way of saying what is obvious to anyone.

That's major objection which makes this argument useless.

The seond one is that no one provided any reason for why only specific kind of being (namely the Christian god) is proven using this reasoning).

Basically all reasons given for it could be summarized in few words:

It's an old tradition to use MOA to prove Christian god only, can we stick to it?

From what I gather proponents of MOA seem to think that because Christian god is an old concept it somehow adds credibility or probability to its existence, they think that because Christian god was designed so long ago it means it's in some way a better concept than the ones I gave as counterexamples, namely maximally evil god, and magical ball of energy capable of creating stuff.

Before it's proven otherwise every god, including Christian god is as man-made as any other concept you can think of. And no amount of years that passed, nor amount of people believing in it, nor amount of philosophical work done change it.

So far neither of these objections was even close to be rebutted in this topic and as you can they both makes MOA useless.

So I'm still waiting for someone to convince me.

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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.

I sincirely can't understand why OA is even called an argument.

OA is just circular reasoning and presuppositional argument in disguise. Existence in all possible worlds is necessary property of maximally great being. Without it a being wouldn't be maximally great. In other words argument comes down to "God exists because we defined god as existing being". The first premise already begs the question, saying that maximally great being may possibly exist is tantamount to saying that being that exist in every possible world may possibly exist in some world.

This issue alone makes this argument ridiculous to say the least, but there are more objections:

There is another problem namely being MGB is self contradictory. For example god must be maximally wet and maximally hot at the same time. It's impossible. We can't even use the oldest trick and say that god is beyond logic in this case because it would mean god isn't maximally coherent logical structure. Also we clearly see that god isn't MGB for example god isn't maximaly visible, or maximally recognizable, or maximally proven. Also Bible doesn't provide any evidence on behalf of Maximally Great God. Quite opposite, everybody who read the Bible will admit there is no point in believing that god is all great.

Furthemore Mr. Craig often uses OA together with KCA, and that brings contradiction. If god created everything it means that there was time when there was nothing but god. It means there was moment when god wasn't yet creator. It means god acquired new property. But since Maximally Great Beiing is already full it can't acquire new properties. So we can say that there was always creation and god. But it breaks Occam's Razor and makes Cosmological argument invalid. Of course that issue doesn't render OA invalid, it only shows lack of consistency among number of people who use it.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on October 22, 2016, 07:11:01 am
My point about physical contradictory properties indeed may not be an objection, may usage of word tantamount could be not entirely correct too.

Having said that I don't see any defence against my main objection. That is if you define god as MGB you basically define god to existence. I'm sorry but that's it. If you start from "god exists by definition" I don't see the point in further argument. If you say "God is MGB" and finish on "God exists" you may very well make "proof" like this:
1. Figure X is triangle
2. Therefore X has 3 sides.

It's not even an argument, you're just unpacking definition.

You have two choices. You either concede existence is not a property and as a result not great making property either, which means MGB may still be MGB without it, and it's only condition required for properties to take place. Or you may argue existence itself is great making property either directly or by saying that neessary being is greater than contingent being and then you end up on saying that MGB exists by definition namely if you really unpack what MGB means that is "being that possess all great making properties at maximal level" and then "that  is maxymally loving, maximally powerful, exists ine very possible world, etc..."

I genuinely don't see any escape here. I suppose if not for a long history this "argument" could be possibly used as an example of bad reasoning and no one would take it seriously. But now that it's so old everybody presupposes there is something more to it than meets the eye.

Also I can do this:

1. Real god is MGB
2. Christian god is not MGB
3 Therefore Christian god is not real god.

Bible provides a lot of evidence for premise 2. If you're christian you have basically three options here:

1. You can consistently resign from christian faith since christian god isn't real god.
2. You can cherry pick from the Bible passagess which are in line with vision of christian god being MGB but that's obvious leap of faith. To ignore all evidence for the contrary both in the Bible and in external world (for example I an argue that maximally loving being wouldn't create world with so much suffer) and say "No, no, we have to trust god" you need colossal leap of faith but it raise the question. Why would you even bother to make any argument at all if you're already believing in god by the force of faith?
3. You can completely resign from ontological argument.

Also I think there is another major objection namely god that exists in actual world and god which exists in possible world isn't really the same god, let me explain. Possible worlds exists as ideas in our brains. There is no reason to think otherwise. It implies possible world with god also is an idea. We may now argue in two ways:

You can claim that this "possible word containing god" that exists in my mind is as real as world can be, therefore god exists. That would be an obvious absurd.

Or

You can say that the idea that exists in all possible worlds is greater than idea that exists in only one world. But ideas aren't real. They don't really exist, therefore MGB doesn't exist either or at least this line of reasoning is nowhere near to prove it.

And there is even another one. What about infinite amount of other things that are not maximally great yet by definition are necessary? For example what about "UnicornPlus" that is being which possess all characteristics of standard unicorn yet by definition is necessary? Does it exist too? The only rebuttal to this I ever heard is that unicorns are contingent not necessary. Obviously it's not an objection at all given everything I presented earlier.

I think these are four major reasons why I can't understand any theist who uses ontological argument.

1. It absolutely forces them to use pure faith to equal their god with MGB and obviously one can wonder why they'd even use arguments if they willingly take god on faith?
2. Defining god as existing being is an obvious absurd
3. Theist has to either admit real worlds with real gods really exists in my mind (oviously that begs the question again) or admit that what we're talking is only an idea.
4. Theists has to accept infinite amount of other things that exists by definition that is Spaghetti monsters, unocorns, elves, etc.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on October 22, 2016, 09:01:12 pm
It's not a proof or argument when you say triangle has 3 sides it's definition. You don't prove that triangle has 3 sides. It's your starting point. Obviously this analogy is intended to show absurdity of defining MGB as existing being and calling it "proof". But I know you don't think existence has anything to do with MGB definition so I'll wait until you explain how otherwise you come up with existence given that MGB is new being that one makes up in one's mind.

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I think you are not informed enough about Plantinga´s modal ontological argument. Plantinga´s argument does not assume existence is a property, as your comments seem to indicate:

I have no idea why do you think my post indicates the existence is a property even though I clearly wrote "You either concede existence is not a property and as a result not great making property".

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“So existence and necessary existence are not themselves perfections, but necessary conditions of perfection.” (Plantinga, Alvin. The Nature of Necessity (Clarendon Library of Logic & Philosophy) (p. 214). Oxford University Press)


Also, Plantinga´s argument does not define a MGB as existing, but, rather argues for the possibility of the property of maximal greatness being exemplified. That there is a property does not imply it obtains in actuality, so, your objections rather miss the target, completely

It would be really much easier if you actualy presented how you derive the existence of MGB if you really consider my objections wrong. I don't see how quote from Platinga or your comment changes anything here. If MGB doesn't have to be necessary and doesn't have to exist where is the part of the argument when you get existence?

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That you think that Possible worlds only exist as ideas in our brains implies that things could not have been different. In other words, that it is impossible that things are not the way they are.  This is by far not a view most people hold, rather we all think that if we do things one way or the other different results will ensue. So, I´d like to see an argument for that conclusion. After all, the burden of proof is on those making claims of what is the case and what is impossible.

I didn't say that possible worlds only exists as ideas and they can't exist in reality. What I meant was that we obviously know that ideas in our minds exist but we have no proof whatsoever to claim that any possible world we have idea about exist in actuality With exception of our world that is. And it's the point where proponents of OA make the switch between idea and reality. Let me present how it looks like:

1. MGB may exist in possible world, that is MGB exists as idea inside or together with idea depicting one possible world.
2. Therefore MGB exists in all possible worlds that is this idea is part or exists inside all other ideas
And here is catch
3. Therefore MGB exists in actual world. Wrong. It exists as idea in idea behind actual world. I think we can agree that actual physical world is one thing, and our idea of this world even if 100% accurate isn't really it.

The only escape I can think of here would be to argue that god inside my mind really is a god but then the same would go for literally everything and obviously it's begging question. If you know better way I'd be glad t hear it.

I suppose your response to my objections regarding all other things that should exists by definition is included in your earlier comment and quote from Platinga. But I don't see how can you go around this problem so I hope you'l exactly explain to me in no uncertain terms how MGB exists despite the fact neither existence nor necessity is ascribed as one of it's properties included in its unpacked definition. To me since you're making this being up it all ultimately boils down to definition.

Let's give christian faith a rest that's not a main point anyway.

I never make discussions personal nothing that I wrote or will wrote is intended to have any personal impact. I don't understand why would you demand anyone to respect anyone's worldview. Personally I don't demand anybody to respect mine. I can obviously say their objections against my worldview are unreasonable or that their own worldviews are irrational but I don't see anything here to be offended about. I think the fact some people keep saying "respect other people's worldviews" indeed make some people believe it's something sacred that should be protected against critique and then they indeed feel justified in taking offence etc. To me it's good idea to "lower the pressure" I think it may be deep difference between us.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Biep on October 23, 2016, 02:01:08 am
Obviously this analogy is intended to show absurdity of defining MGB as existing being and calling it "proof".
That would indeed be absurd - but then modal ontological arguments don't define an MGB as existing.  Did you check this analogy (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/ontological-argument/premise-3-is-false.-6019849.msg1275095950.html#msg1275095950)?

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But I know you don't think existence has anything to do with MGB definition so I'll wait until you explain how otherwise you come up with existence given that MGB is new being that one makes up in one's mind.
No - the concept of an MGB may be in someone's mind - the MGB itself isn't.  (Likewise, the concept of possible worlds may be in someones mind; the worlds themselves aren't.  After all, the actual world is a possible world, and it is not in my or your mind.)
Existence of the MGB is derived first through A5, which brings one from ◊□S to □S, and then M, which takes the step from □S to S.  Of course it needs the initial input of ◊□S - if that isn't true, the argument ends up showing that an MGB cannot exist - because if a necessary being does not exist, it cannot exist.
So the argument hinges critically on the premiss that an MGB is possible, that, using possibilist terminology, there actually exists a possible world with an MGB, and defenders of the argument have a burden of proof there.  Merely thinking that such a possible world might exist won't cut it: it needs to be shown or made plausible that it actually does exist.

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I don't understand why would you demand anyone to respect anyone's worldview.
If one believes to see trivial faults in a world view held by a large number of highly intelligent people, the plausible inference is that one is wrong, and the respectful way to act is to ask for clarification, rather than prescribing people holding that world view to choose between a set of options that presuppose this presumed fault.

That is part of what makes a discussion irenic.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on October 23, 2016, 07:33:27 am
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But I know you don't think existence has anything to do with MGB definition so I'll wait until you explain how otherwise you come up with existence given that MGB is new being that one makes up in one's mind.
No - the concept of an MGB may be in someone's mind - the MGB itself isn't.  (Likewise, the concept of possible worlds may be in someones mind; the worlds themselves aren't.  After all, the actual world is a possible world, and it is not in my or your mind.)

I fully agree. I completely don't udnerstand what led you to believe I think otherwise. I clearly made the difference between ideas or concepts and real objects. Actual world is possible world and concept of this world exists in our mind as well.

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Existence of the MGB is derived first through A5, which brings one from ◊□S to □S, and then M, which takes the step from □S to S.  Of course it needs the initial input of ◊□S - if that isn't true, the argument ends up showing that an MGB cannot exist - because if a necessary being does not exist, it cannot exist.
So the argument hinges critically on the premiss that an MGB is possible, that, using possibilist terminology, there actually exists a possible world with an MGB, and defenders of the argument have a burden of proof there.  Merely thinking that such a possible world might exist won't cut it: it needs to be shown or made plausible that it actually does exist.

So basically speaking to make modal ontological argument for the existence of god working we have to independently prove that god exists. At the beginning i thought it's worst argument ever because it defines god into existence. Now I still think it isn't worth notice but for other, even better reason that is the main premise on whichh whole argument hinges is basically "There is actual possible world in which god exists" Given that we have no access to any other world than our actual one it boils down to "if god exists then god exists" If we somehow got access to other possible world than ours it would basically mean that our actual world is simply greater or more complex, with more say "sides" and that what we earlier conceived as other possible world is in fact part of ours. It always comes down to"we need to prove god exists in the first place"

If someone still think ontological argument holds water please consider this proof:

Let's define metaphisically possible immaterial being called UnicornPlus.

UnicornPlus is defined as being possessing following properties:
1. It's able to take material form of standard unicorn and in that form it can do everything usual unicorn can. After all MGB by definition can do everything so it seems legitimate to define being that can do something but not everything.
2. It does exist over your head. After all MGB by definition is omnipresent meaning it exists everywhere. It shouldn't be problem to define being that exists in only one or few locations.
3. It willingly uses it's abilities and indeed materialize over your head as often as logically possible. After all MGB is omnibenevolent meaning it must be doing good everytime it can. So if we can define MGB as always doing particular set of things namely good things in this case. I don't see any objections against defining UnicornPlus always as doing one particular thing namely materializing over your head.

And it's possible that UnicornPlus necessarily exists. Therefore you have to admit there is indeed unicorn right over your head. I often saw strawman versions of this contrargument but I think this one is unbeatable.

I think the only possible objections may be that UnicornPlus isn't metaphysically possible. Why would be so? Because someone said so? It doesn't matter anyway, I can redefine my being all the time to make it match standard. The only way to escape would be to say that the only metaphysically possible being is MGB itself. But it would be obvious adjustment ad hoc, plus it would mean souls can't exist.

Any objections?
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Biep on October 27, 2016, 12:49:41 pm
So basically speaking to make modal ontological argument for the existence of god working we have to independently prove that god exists.
No.  I do not care very much for ontological arguments, but Plantinga's version (which is what we are discussing here) definitely does take a step, namely from possible existence to factual existence.  And since we are free to choose our own accessibility relation (the argument works with any choice, as long as it is transitive, symmetric and reflexive), this does give us quite a bit of leeway.

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And it's possible that UnicornPlus necessarily exists.
How do you argue that?  Such a unicorn would be an existent, an ens, an entity - so how would you go about arguing that it can have necessary existence?  Or are you claiming that U+ is also existence itself, i.e. God with the extra property of always incarnating in the shape of a unicorn?  Then you'd have to argue that it is impossible for God not to incarnate in that way - otherwise such incarnation is merely something that God can do, and you are back with basically the orthodox notion of God..

I think you might like Leibniz' argument, (or Kurt Gödel's formalisation of it) better.  See Sobel's "Logic and Theism", or Language Gamer's helpful summary of it (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/choose-your-own-topic/reading-sobel-6027495.0.html).  That proof does not require an independent proof of possibility, and it also solves the hairy problem if inter-world identity.  Finally, it derives the necessary existence of God, rather than starting from it.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on October 27, 2016, 05:27:59 pm
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How do you argue that?  Such a unicorn would be an existent, an ens, an entity - so how would you go about arguing that it can have necessary existence?  Or are you claiming that U+ is also existence itself, i.e. God with the extra property of always incarnating in the shape of a unicorn?  Then you'd have to argue that it is impossible for God not to incarnate in that way - otherwise such incarnation is merely something that God can do, and you are back with basically the orthodox notion of God..

I don't understad this objection given the framework we're dealing with here. I described what U+ can do, what he does, and where he is. These three properties are of the exactly same kind as in case of MGB with one obvious difference namely they are not maximum. Then I did exactly what you said to be the correct way of deriving existence. That is I start from  ◊□S It's possible that it's necessary that U+ exists meaning there exist at least one possible world in which U+ exists necessarily, meaning there exists at least one possible world in which we can find being that exists in every possible world. It sounds so cringy I wish we could just simply treat necessity as property. I started from exactly same point, used exactly same logic, and arrived at fale conclusion. It necessarily follows my starting point had to be false.  That is we can't treat possible worlds as existing outside our brains. I don't see how you draw any similarities between god and UnicornPlus. Also I don't see why would you demand me to prove that it's possible for U+ to necessarily exists. If it's enough to say "I can imagine that MGB can necessarily exist so it's possible"  then I don't see how it could be wrong to do the same with other being.

To me this example demonstrates that first premise of MOA is wrong.

So either there is something wrong about the way I define UnicornPlus but I don't see it given that I used the same kind of properties that are used in defining MGB with one difference that is they are not at maximum level. So the only possible objection here is that beings can only be defined using maximally great properties which I think is nonsense. Or that maybe that it's legitimat to say "It's possible MGB necesarily exists" but it's not ok to say that "It's possible U+ necessarily exists" but if there is such problem then you definitely didn;t explain it, and I personally can't imagine at the moment why it would be so.

I think I'll later read this recommended topic. I can't imagine how it could skip the problem given that we're not dealing with anything we can test or measure, we're limited to ideas and because we're basically making this thing up from scratch it seems reasonable to say no matter how complex word plays proponent tried to use it ultimately has to end up on definining something into existence.  But for now I'd be happy if you could explain why do you think may counterexample doesn't fly.

UPTADE:

I've finally looked up Gödel's argument

http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/2009/06/godels-ontological-argument-step-by.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_ontological_proof

and I think the fact you recommended it means I should make further clarification regarding what I'm arguing against because I can't help feeling we're using different channels here. First of all I'm not arguing against mathematics and logic in particular.  To me it's as clear as anything can be to one, that if you take particular set of axioms and definitions you can prove that god exists. I'm not arguing here against validity of logic used or even against conclusion. I'm not arguing against conclusion "God exists" I'm arguing against "God exists, therefore it's now only a matter of investigating which, if any, contemporary religions is true one" I'm arguing against attempts to impose one's logic or more precisely one's particular set of axioms and definitions upon real world. I'm sure Gödel would agree.

Plus notice that this argument can be obviously used to prove anything, it's not an accident that the word used is "positive". It can simply means everything.

From wiki: "This assumes that it is possible to single out positive properties from among all properties. Gödel comments that "Positive means positive in the moral aesthetic sense (independently of the accidental structure of the world)"

There is nothing in the laws of logic that prevent us from interpreting positive property in whatever way we like, there is nothing that prevent us from using other word like say "unicornish property". One can possibly argue that unicorn sounds too physical to them, but I can easily adjust my definition and point out that god they really want to believe in had to interact via physical world too. And again it's obvious to me Gödel was fully aware of this and similarly to me would despise any attempt at using his argument as direct and sufficient justification of faith.

So to sum it up:

I agree both MOAs prove, within their framework, that god exists, I think Gödel's proof is very nice one.

I don't agree any of these proves that it's now only an issue of which god we should worship.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Biep on October 28, 2016, 08:17:42 am
Hi UF,

Again - I am not defending any ontological argument per se, just trying to clarify what they do and don't achieve.

But for now I'd be happy if you could explain why do you think may counterexample doesn't fly.
Oh, it may fly - if you can support the possibility of its necessary existence.

Part of the issue is very sloppy language use by theists.  When talking about "an MGB", one is - wrongly - identifying the being sought as "a being", an entity.  I wrote about the same issue in another context here (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/choose-your-own-topic/xo-comparisons-and-analogies-6035694.msg1275573102.html#msg1275573102) (see also the next post in that thread).

The reason necessary existence is plausible for God is that He is (the explanation for) existence at all.  He - it is claimed - is existence itself.  Which means that, if God exists, the universe can only exist in a derivative sense, as dependent on Him - which means that every possible world necessarily includes God.

Now we can be wrong about the nature of existence - maybe existence doesn't require God, in which case God (the supposed origin of existence) doesn't exist, and even cannot exist, because existence is based on something else.  So (given an accessibility relation that is not overly broad) God either cannot exist, or He must exist.

The same is not true for entities, existents - beings within the world.  One would need a very narrow accessibility relation to make any entity necessary - and the narrower the accessibility relation, the harder it is to argue for possible existence.  In the extreme case, only the actual world would be possible, and then arguing for possible existences simply amounts to arguing to factual existence - and the OA wouldn't add anything.

So if the U+ is the origin of being, its necessary nature is obvious enough - but then the thing above my head is just an incarnation (just as Jesus - assuming Christianity - was an incarnation, and as such an entity in our world).  If, on the other hand, U+ is not the origin of being, what is it that argues for its necessity?

Does that make sense?
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on October 30, 2016, 12:28:31 pm
There are many issues here and I'd still like to know what's your standpoint, does any of these arguments prove anything of practical impact, or are we just dealing with logical exercise? In other words, is this argument both valid and sound or just valid?

1. For one thing I can just say that it's possible that natural world exists necessarily. You can't deny it without begging the question.

2. I think it's false dichotomy that god either cannot exist or he exists necessarily. We don't define god as necessary, we just said it can be the case it exists necessarily. But I don't see anything wrong with mere saying that it's possible that god exist without using word necessary. It's completely other question that we can examine, so yeah I think it's perfectly possible for god to exist in only one world given that he is not necessary by definition. So even if we found god in one world it still means nothing.

3. I don't see how does it follow that introducing necessary god to every possible world somehow automatically means god is all existence. Maybe I'm wrong but isn't it perfectly plausible that there may be more than one necessary being? Aren't number necessary for example? Or maybe those are two different categories? Therefore I don't really see why I shall explain anything about UnicornPlus

4. It's just came to my mind, since we don't define as necessary, what if we formulate our premise differently, namely it's possible that it's necessary that god doesn't exist. Nothing in the definition of god warrant its existence, therefore it looks to me like there is nothing wrong with this attempt to disprove god. I can perfectly imagine that there may be some logical or metaphysical, and certainly physical obstacles against the concept of omnipotent disembodied mind.

5. Even if all objections you wrote were perfectly spot on I could still cut out almost everything. We don't need omnibenevolence here, nor omniscience, nor personality. Or I can switch from omnibenevolence to omnimalevolence so already at this point you have to admit you can't prove omnibenevolent god using this agument because it may be used to prove god of evil too. If you really want something that may be easily imaginable as necessary I can come up with some mystical impersonal energy capable of creating universes. However I think it's dangerously similar to quantum vacuum and we can skip word mystical completely thus reducing this case to just one nation, namely natural world may exist necessarily.

6. I still can't detect any transit between logical constructs and factual world. Every possible world we're talking about here is just idea or concept, when we refer to actual world what we in fact mean is concept of actual world that exists as an idea in our mind.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Biep on November 01, 2016, 12:13:09 am
There are many issues here and I'd still like to know what's your standpoint, does any of these arguments prove anything of practical impact, or are we just dealing with logical exercise? In other words, is this argument both valid and sound or just valid?
Hi UF,

I'll try to deal with your questions, but I am really overstretching the little energy I have, so this is rushed.
For Plantinga's argument, the crux is the possibility premise.  I am skeptical of his arguments for that (as is he himself, by the way), but if someone can build a good argument for metaphysical possibility, the remainder of the argument follows.

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1. For one thing I can just say that it's possible that natural world exists necessarily. You can't deny it without begging the question.
That is true, but now you are talking of epistemic possibility - and that isn't enough to make the argument work, because the modal axioms only apply to identical modalities.  This thread (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/choose-your-own-topic/the-modal-ontological-argument-and-p-6024280.msg1275214901.html#msg1275214901) discusses that.
David Chalmers has written a relevant article (http://consc.net/papers/conceivability.html) regarding possibility and conceivability.

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2. I think it's false dichotomy that god either cannot exist or he exists necessarily.
Let's take a less controversial example - assuming an accessibility relation that reaches "our kind of worlds", where maybe Hitler would have won the war, but where pigs don't fly.
Water is H2O - and necessarily so.  If it weren't H2O, it wouldn't be water, would it?  Now imagine we are unsure about this, for some reason (maybe we are only just starting Chemistry lessons).  Then we'd say: "Well, if water is H2O, then it necessarily is H2O, i.e. it is so in all possible worlds - worlds in which it isn't aren't ontically possible.  But if it isn't, it isn't in any possible world.  So either water must be H2O, or it cannot be H2O.
With God it is the same thing.  Existence needs an explanation, but we are unsure about the nature of that explanation.  Yet, because in our kind of worlds existence is the case, whatever the explanation is must necessarily be the explanation.  If brute existence is the explanation, then it necessarily is, and there is no place for God in any possible world.  If brute existence isn't, then it won't be in any world.  And likewise for God.
Why are logic and math true?  Why do space, time and matter (or the substrate that enables them) exist?  Why causation, why the laws of physics?  Whatever the answer is, it must necessarily be the answer.
(And whatever the answer is, it cannot be some being inside this world, inside time-space, because that would be begging the question.  Brute existence cannot be itself an existent, can it?  Quite apart for the conceptual loop that would imply, something within time could never create time, as it "wouldn't have the time to do so".)
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But I don't see anything wrong with mere saying that it's possible that god exist without using word necessary.
There is nothing wrong with that - but the necessity follows as explained above.
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3. I don't see how does it follow that introducing necessary god to every possible world somehow automatically means god is all existence.
It doesn't mean that - the implication is the other way around.  God being pure existence (or the ground of pure existence) is simply classical theism (see e.g. Thomas Aquinas' De ente et essentia (http://dhspriory.org/thomas/DeEnte&Essentia.htm), especially points 89-91).  It is what we mean when we are talking of God, and it is what the notion of MGB is trying to capture.
Anselm's ontological proof and Thomas' five ways are related.  By going from e.g. moved things to their movers, one goes up the "greatness" ladder, the First Mover being the greatest thing - and likewise with all the other ways.  That which "causes" existence is greater than that whose existence is caused by it.  The dreamer is greater than the dream.
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Maybe I'm wrong but isn't it perfectly plausible that there may be more than one necessary being? Aren't number necessary for example?
For us there are indeed many necessary beings - but what is the ground of their necessity?  "Math just is", brutely?  Then brute existence is necessary in a more fundamental sense - is greater than math.
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4. It's just came to my mind, since we don't define as necessary, what if we formulate our premise differently, namely it's possible that it's necessary that god doesn't exist.
Yes, that is the obvious counterclaim to the possbility of the MGB.  If for whatever reason there is no final ground of existence, then there cannot be one.
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I can perfectly imagine that there may be some logical or metaphysical, and certainly physical obstacles against the concept of omnipotent disembodied mind.
Metaphysical maybe, but not logical or physical - because such obstacles could only apply to existents, to beings subject to logical and physical laws, not to the source of such laws.
(Here I must say that Dr. Craig seems partially to disagree with me - and I don't know how he grounds logic.)
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5. Even if all objections you wrote were perfectly spot on I could still cut out almost everything. We don't need omnibenevolence here, nor omniscience, nor personality.
True, the argument as given doesn't take us all the way to the Christian God.  Dr. Craig makes an argument for personality based on the finite time since creation.
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Or I can switch from omnibenevolence to omnimalevolence so already at this point you have to admit you can't prove omnibenevolent god using this agument because it may be used to prove god of evil too.
No, I am afraid that wouldn't work, as omnimalevolence (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/ontological-argument/no-s5-needed-here-6021386.msg1275165174.html#msg1275165174) is a posterior notion.  Given a sufficiently broad accessibility relation, a necessary being can only have prior properties.
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If you really want something that may be easily imaginable as necessary I can come up with some mystical impersonal energy capable of creating universes.
Yep, that is basically what brute existence is - except that it isn't an energy, because energy would make it an existent again, requiring something greater to explain it.
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However I think it's dangerously similar to quantum vacuum and we can skip word mystical completely thus reducing this case to just one nation, namely natural world may exist necessarily.
Except that the quantum vacuum is part of the explanandum, and still awaits an explanans.  There is something greater than the quantum vacuum, even if it is only brute existence.
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6. I still can't detect any transit between logical constructs and factual world.
The factual world seems subject to mathematical laws, and mathematics seems subject to logical laws.  So logic can tell us what is necessary, contingently possible, or impossible about the world.  And here it tells us that the MGB is not contingent.
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Every possible world we're talking about here is just idea or concept, when we refer to actual world what we in fact mean is concept of actual world that exists as an idea in our mind.
That is true - our ideas refer to the external actual or possible worlds, but they are not identical with them.  Yet, if our ideas faithfully represent those worlds, they can give us information about them.  If I put a marble in an empty bag, and then add another marble, the idea in my mind tells me there are now two marbles in the bag - and that corresponds to the truth in the actual world.
So the concepts of such possible worlds (including the actual world) is in our mind, and if those concepts are correct, they can tell us something about the real possible worlds (again including the real actual world).
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 02, 2016, 02:39:23 pm
I think I'll stick to the main point.

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Yep, that is basically what brute existence is - except that it isn't an energy, because energy would make it an existent again, requiring something greater to explain it.

We may call it however you wish, the point is it isn't god yet it can exist necessarily.

I don't even know why I  continue to use coumterexamples. The moment you said god's existence is derived via "It's possible that god necessarily exists" I should ask you for proof that god is the only thing that can possibly exists necessarily. So I ask you now. And by god I obviously mean this personal omnipotent being.

Also how can you know there is something greater than quantum vacuum? Maybe there isn't even if there is then what? Maybe string theory is the final solution?

And I have to add I still think original latinga's argument define god as necessary :

"The “victorious” modal ontological argument of Plantinga 1974 goes roughly as follows: Say that an entity possesses “maximal excellence” if and only if it is omnipotent, omnscient, and morally perfect. Say, further, that an entity possesses “maximal greatness” if and only if it possesses maximal excellence in every possible world—that is, if and only if it is necessarily existent and necessarily maximally excellent."

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ontological-arguments/
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Al Graham on November 02, 2016, 02:40:35 pm
The following are some thoughts I have had when reflecting on the Ontological Argument...

The problem I have with the OA concerns the idea of "maximally great".  The phrase is quantitative, and it implies that qualities can be described in quantitative terms.  Should qualities be described in this way?  Can they be described in this way?  I suppose they can.  A person may be considered more compassionate than another, but this quality can be described in terms of certain quantifiable actions within a given context.  For example, one person may be considered "more generous" than another, in that she gives more money to those in need (either in absolute terms, or, more likely, relative to her disposable income). Or she may give more of her time.  Her superior level of generosity can be quantified.  Or if money and time are not involved, the quality of her attitude can still be quantified in terms of the effect her benevolence has on others in real terms.

Any comparison of abilities, attributes and qualities implies the existence of a scale, which functions quantitatively.  Because we are dealing with degree, we cannot escape a mathematical approach to this even when talking about qualities.  Now it is clear that a 'maximum' implies a limit.   Since there is no such thing as a "maximally great" number, for obvious reasons, then it follows that there cannot exist a "maximally great" anything that can be subject to quantification.  If there does exist a "maximally great" something which is not subject to a limit, and which does not need to be described quantitatively, then no comparison can be made with other entities possessing the said "something" quality, because there is no means - a scale of comparison - by which a comparison can be made.  Thus the term 'maximal' has no meaning, given that its meaning derives from the function of comparison.  A scale of comparison has to have some kind of quantitative basis.

It thus follows that the one unfailing quality of anything which is limitlessly "maximally great" is non-existence, given that, as mentioned, a "maximally great" number or quantity cannot exist.  It can only exist if there is an absolute limit to quantity, degree or extent, and thus we would need to embrace finitism or ultrafinitism.  Is this consistent with the idea of an eternal God?

Now it may seem that I, as a committed and completely convinced theist, am presenting an argument for atheism.  But that would only be the case if the concept of limitless maximal greatness was proven to be intrinsic to the definition of 'God', and that such a concept could not be defined non-quantitatively.

The term "maximally great" could mean nothing more than the idea that God is the first cause and origin of all things, and of all that is good (evil being essentially a corruption or deprivation of what is good).  If this is the case, then we cannot actually compare God with any other being.  In one sense we can, in the way that we can compare the luminosity of the sun and the moon, but in another sense we cannot compare the luminosity of the sun and moon, because we are not comparing two independent sources of light.  In the same way, it could be said that whatever goodness a person happens to possess is merely God working in and through his life.  Thus God is not really "more good" than that man, as if the man independently possesses a smaller degree of goodness.  It is rather than God is all goodness and the man, as an independent entity, possesses no goodness at all, as all goodness comes from God.  Thus God cannot be said to be "maximally great" in terms of moral goodness, because there is no such thing as minimal goodness in the sense that a man could possess a lesser degree of goodness independently of God.

My view is that we should accept that God is simply what He is.  There is no comparison with His creatures, and any comparison we make is merely an anthropomorphism, as if God is the highest being in a hierarchy.   "Maximally great" is a meaningless idea when applied to God, as it implies a limit, given that an eternal and limitless God could always add "one bit of something" to His repository of maximal greatness.

The word 'greatness' seems to be used by the OA as a rather general term to denote the highest possible degree of all properties and qualities.  If that is the case, then the OA surely cannot be valid unless it posits a limit which defines the maximum.  But such a limit undermines the idea of an infinite and eternal God.  A limitless maximal greatness implies non-existence, as I have explained.

The only solution is to strip away from the term "maximal greatness" any idea of measurement, scale or quantity.  But then the function of comparison becomes a victim of this purge, thus rendering the idea of 'maximal' meaningless.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 03, 2016, 04:22:46 am
@ AI Graham.

Just like Quantification in general quantification of maximality does not depend on numbers having maximal value.

For example (it´s just an example), one can take it that Maximal greatness is to have all perfections relevant to God´s divine nature, not one less , not one more.

Or have it that perfect goodness is to be the paradigm of the highest good itself, there is no higher good , and no less than that, and, so on.

These are forms of quantification that has no dependance whatsoever with numbers.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Al Graham on November 03, 2016, 01:48:52 pm
@ AI Graham.

Just like Quantification in general quantification of maximality does not depend on numbers having maximal value.

For example (it´s just an example), one can take it that Maximal greatness is to have all perfections relevant to God´s divine nature, not one less , not one more.

Or have it that perfect goodness is to be the paradigm of the highest good itself, there is no higher good , and no less than that, and, so on.

These are forms of quantification that has no dependance whatsoever with numbers.

In one sense I agree with you, and I admit it seems rather crude to try to impose mathematical logic on our understanding of God's nature.  But the point I was making concerns the use of the term 'maximal'.  Goodness is simply goodness, and greatness is simply greatness.  And if I could express this in a numerical way: the number 'one' in the set consisting only of the number 'one' is both the maximum and minimum member of the set.  A maximum that is also a minimum is, of course, an absurdity.  One cannot talk about something being 'maximal' when it is indivisible and therefore not distributable in different measures.  The perfect qualities of God, though imperfectly reflected in man, are not divisible. 

The language of 'maximum', 'minimum', "more than", "less than", even when applied to qualities, even moral qualities, is the language of quantification, even if the 'measures' used are entirely abstruse.  I put together the following line of argument:

1. "Maximal greatness" is "greatness to a maximum degree".
2. 'Degree' implies the existence of a scale.
3. A scale is, in principle, measurable.
4. Anything measurable consists of measures.
5. There is no maximum measure in an unbounded infinite set.
6. Therefore the set of "measures of greatness" is bounded if "maximal greatness" exists.
7. If God possesses maximal greatness, then God's greatness is bounded.
8. God, by definition, is the highest authority in all respects, and is therefore not bounded by anything other than Himself.
9. Therefore God cannot possess "maximal greatness" (except by question begging if God Himself is the bound by which maximal greatness is defined)

or His greatness cannot be described as 'maximal'

or if "maximal greatness" is part of the definition of God, then God does not exist

or God exists and is bounded by something other than Himself and thus cannot be the highest authority, because whatever defines the boundary at which God's greatness operates is greater than God, and thus "being the highest authority" is not part of the definition of God,

or if it is, then God does not exist.


The only conclusion acceptable to a theist is this: God is great, but His greatness cannot be described as 'maximal'.  This does not denigrate His greatness, because there is no need to compare His greatness with any other greatness, because no other greatness exists.

There is no greatness other than the greatness of God, and any other true greatness is merely a reflection of God's greatness.  Since there is only one greatness, then it cannot be 'maximal' - and to repeat the example I gave above - in the same way that the number one in the set consisting only of the number one is neither the maximum nor minimum member of the set or it is both.  A maximum that is also a minimum is not a maximum at all.

The idea of "maximal greatness" applied to God is, paradoxically, an expression of creaturely hubris, as it implies that other 'greatnesses' actually exist (potentially in competition with God's greatness, despite being inferior), and thus denies created reality's entire dependence on God, who is the source of all that is good and great.  Thus, ironically, the idea of "maximal greatness", when applied to God, undermines the greatness of God.   Interestingly, Jesus Himself stated that "there is no one good but God", when He Himself was referred to as "good teacher".  Goodness is therefore a singularity unique to God and therefore cannot operate on any kind of moral or spiritual sliding scale which defines the concepts of 'maximum' and 'minimum'.

Also... from where do we derive the standard by which we judge greatness and maximal greatness?  If God ultimately provides the standard by which we judge His attributes and qualities, is this not a form of question begging?
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 03, 2016, 03:14:32 pm
@ AI Graham.

Just like Quantification in general quantification of maximality does not depend on numbers having maximal value.

For example (it´s just an example), one can take it that Maximal greatness is to have all perfections relevant to God´s divine nature, not one less , not one more.

Or have it that perfect goodness is to be the paradigm of the highest good itself, there is no higher good , and no less than that, and, so on.

These are forms of quantification that has no dependance whatsoever with numbers.

In one sense I agree with you, and I admit it seems rather crude to try to impose mathematical logic on our understanding of God's nature.  But the point I was making concerns the use of the term 'maximal'.  Goodness is simply goodness, and greatness is simply greatness.  And if I could express this in a numerical way: the number 'one' in the set consisting only of the number 'one' is both the maximum and minimum member of the set.  A maximum that is also a minimum is, of course, an absurdity.  One cannot talk about something being 'maximal' when it is indivisible and therefore not distributable in different measures.  The perfect qualities of God, though imperfectly reflected in man, are not divisible. 

The language of 'maximum', 'minimum', "more than", "less than", even when applied to qualities, even moral qualities, is the language of quantification, even if the 'measures' used are entirely abstruse.  I put together the following line of argument:

1. "Maximal greatness" is "greatness to a maximum degree".
2. 'Degree' implies the existence of a scale.
3. A scale is, in principle, measurable.
4. Anything measurable consists of measures.
5. There is no maximum measure in an unbounded infinite set.
6. Therefore the set of "measures of greatness" is bounded if "maximal greatness" exists.
7. If God possesses maximal greatness, then God's greatness is bounded.
8. God, by definition, is the highest authority in all respects, and is therefore not bounded by anything other than Himself.
9. Therefore God cannot possess "maximal greatness" (except by question begging if God Himself is the bound by which maximal greatness is defined)

or His greatness cannot be described as 'maximal'

or if "maximal greatness" is part of the definition of God, then God does not exist

or God exists and is bounded by something other than Himself and thus cannot be the highest authority, because whatever defines the boundary at which God's greatness operates is greater than God, and thus "being the highest authority" is not part of the definition of God,

or if it is, then God does not exist.


The only conclusion acceptable to a theist is this: God is great, but His greatness cannot be described as 'maximal'.  This does not denigrate His greatness, because there is no need to compare His greatness with any other greatness, because no other greatness exists.

There is no greatness other than the greatness of God, and any other true greatness is merely a reflection of God's greatness.  Since there is only one greatness, then it cannot be 'maximal' - and to repeat the example I gave above - in the same way that the number one in the set consisting only of the number one is neither the maximum nor minimum member of the set or it is both.  A maximum that is also a minimum is not a maximum at all.

The idea of "maximal greatness" applied to God is, paradoxically, an expression of creaturely hubris, as it implies that other 'greatnesses' actually exist (potentially in competition with God's greatness, despite being inferior), and thus denies created reality's entire dependence on God, who is the source of all that is good and great.  Thus, ironically, the idea of "maximal greatness", when applied to God, undermines the greatness of God.   Interestingly, Jesus Himself stated that "there is no one good but God", when He Himself was referred to as "good teacher".  Goodness is therefore a singularity unique to God and therefore cannot operate on any kind of moral or spiritual sliding scale which defines the concepts of 'maximum' and 'minimum'.

Also... from where do we derive the standard by which we judge greatness and maximal greatness?  If God ultimately provides the standard by which we judge His attributes and qualities, is this not a form of question begging?

The argument equivocates between premises 7 and 8, on the concept of unbounded.

Let me ask you some simple questions.

If God has all perfections, relevant to God´s divine nature ,how many perfections more Can God have?

If a being,  has all perfections, relevant to God´s divine nature, ,  minus one perfection, how many more perfections ( of the same kind) can that being have?

Is having all perfection, in the sense discussed, here, bounded or unbounded?



PS: plausibly, premise 5) is false. A probabilistic measure with an exponential distribution is a measure of unbounded  set that has a maximum measure (namely, 1)
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Al Graham on November 05, 2016, 06:09:42 am
The argument equivocates between premises 7 and 8, on the concept of unbounded.

Let me ask you some simple questions.

If God has all perfections, relevant to God´s divine nature ,how many perfections more Can God have?

If a being,  has all perfections, relevant to God´s divine nature, ,  minus one perfection, how many more perfections ( of the same kind) can that being have?

Is having all perfection, in the sense discussed, here, bounded or unbounded?



PS: plausibly, premise 5) is false. A probabilistic measure with an exponential distribution is a measure of unbounded  set that has a maximum measure (namely, 1)

In answer to your questions:

"If God has all perfections, relevant to God´s divine nature ,how many perfections more Can God have?"

Answer: It's a meaningless question due to the incorrect use of language.  It is not possible to speak of "all perfections", because the word 'perfection' is defined as: the act of perfecting or the state or quality of being perfect (this is from the 5th edition of Collins English Dictionary, but I am sure you will find that other dictionaries will concur with this definition).  There is no such thing as "a perfection" or different perfections.  What I think you are trying to ask is: "If God has all perfect qualities, relevant to God's divine nature, how many perfect qualities more can God have?"

The problem with this question is that nothing is defined.  What exactly does "relevant to God's divine nature" mean?  The term seems to imply some kind of limitation, as if to suggest that there are "perfections" (which, as mentioned, I take to mean "perfect qualities") relevant to God's divine nature, and theoretically "perfections" which are not relevant to God's divine nature.  If all "perfections" are relevant to God's divine nature, then it follows that "relevant to God's nature" is a necessary condition of any "perfection".  And thus we are dealing with a circular argument.  Thus possession of all perfect qualities is a definition of God's nature.  It would, of course, follow from this, that no perfect quality can exist which could be added to God's repository of perfect qualities, so it would seem that God possesses what is vaguely termed "maximal greatness".

However, we need to understand what the concept of 'perfection' means.  Perfection has to do with exactitude, completeness and the absence of flaw and corruption. So we have, for example, a perfect circle.  But all circles are, if truly 'circles', in principle 'perfect'.  We may see, say, a drawing of a circle, and we discern that it is flawed.  We say that it is not a perfect circle.  This is just a convenient way of speaking, as we can see that the intention of the artist was to represent a circle.  But, strictly speaking, that artist has not drawn a circle, but another shape which is said to be an approximation of a circle.  The 'circle' concept which this shape approximates is the idea of a perfect circle in the mind of the observer which is, so to speak, imposed on the image and the judgment is made that the attempt by the artist is sufficiently close to the ideal, as to warrant the description of a 'circle' for all practical purposes.  There is only one circle, namely, the perfect circle, and all human attempts to represent that idea are flawed to some degree.  Therefore there is no such thing as a qualitatively 'maximal' circle, as if there is a hierarchy of genuine circles with the 'maximal' circle at the top.  Only one "circle concept" exists, and all human representations of that "circle concept" are mere reflections of this perfect idea.

In the same way, there is only one "goodness" - namely, God's goodness.  There does not exist a hierarchy of "goodnesses".  Whatever goodness exists in creatures, is merely a reflection of this one perfect goodness, which comes from God.  The same applies to the ultra-vague term "greatness".  Therefore there is no such thing as "maximal greatness".  There is simply the greatness of God reflected in man, distributed among human beings, and usually corrupted by them.

I suppose it is possible to use the word 'maximal' to describe the idea that everything of something pertains to the one who is said to be "maximally something", in the sense that when he distributes this 'something' to others he is not losing anything, but still retains possession and control of it.  This is just semantics.  It is like saying that the sun possesses 'more' light than the moon, even though we know that the light of the moon is actually the light of the sun anyway.  The comparison is merely a matter of perception.  Objectively the sun possesses more light than the moon only in the sense that something which is full possesses more of the thing of which it is full than the thing which has nothing at all.  One could say that the sun, with respect to the moon, is "maximally luminous", but really this is no different from saying that the sun is merely luminous and the moon is not.

Thus in the same way, to say that God is "maximally great" is to say no more than "God is great", and nothing else is great other than God.  Whatever greatness creatures possess is merely a reflection (albeit possibly corrupted) of God's greatness.

Therefore the ontological argument is irrelevant.  It relies on comparison to claim that existence is a great making property.  What the argument should be trying to do is simply argue that existence is a necessary condition for 'greatness' per se, whatever the degree of greatness.   But this gets us nowhere in trying to prove the existence of God, because we are merely in the domain of defining terms.  If existence is a necessary condition for greatness per se, then it must also be a necessary condition for reflected greatness.  In the same way, if the action of photons is a necessary condition for luminosity, then it is necessary condition both for originated light and reflected light.  Thus any 'reflected greatness' (such as the greatness of a character in a work of fiction) should possess the quality of existence.  And my example in parenthesis shows that this cannot be the case. 

The idea of 'maximal greatness' when applied to God is incoherent, as I have explained, and existence cannot be a necessary condition for greatness unless only non-fictional beings possess greatness.  This is, of course, begging the question.  If only non-fictional beings can possess the quality of greatness, then how do we define 'greatness'?  If greatness necessarily includes moral qualities, and we are forbidden from applying such qualities to fictional characters, then how can we even talk about such qualities?  (Jesus certainly did in the parables!).  If we can apply such moral qualities to fictional characters, then these qualities cannot be a necessary part of the definition of greatness.  So what therefore would be left of the definition of 'greatness'?

Now I suppose one could argue that even though there is only one 'greatness', namely, the greatness of God, it must exist in order for it to be distributed among both non-fictional and fictional creatures.  I certainly agree with this.  But this relies on other arguments for the existence of God.  Greatness exists.  It comes from God.  Therefore for greatness to exist, God must exist.  This is based on the premise that greatness comes from God (assuming we all agree on a definition of 'greatness').  If we can prove that greatness comes from God and that greatness exists, then we have proven that God exists.  This is really no different from saying that design exists, design comes from God, therefore God must exist.  This is not the ontological argument.  We are simply looking at aspects of reality and arguing that these can only exist if God's exists.  It is a posteriori argument.

"If a being,  has all perfections, relevant to God´s divine nature, ,  minus one perfection, how many more perfections ( of the same kind) can that being have?"

Answer: This question is really a variation of your first question, reliant on your definitions (which I dispute), and therefore it is covered in the answer above.

"Is having all perfection, in the sense discussed, here, bounded or unbounded?"

Answer: perfection is, strictly speaking, bounded.  Perfection is itself a bound.  But the discussion concerns the idea of comparison.  As I have explained, objectively speaking something is either perfect or it is not.  If it is not, then the imperfect thing is really something else and not that thing at all, but is another entity operating as an approximation of the perfect entity.  It is a signpost pointing to the perfect entity.  Therefore there is no such thing as 'maximal perfection'.  There is either perfection or imperfection.  Thus, perfection is 'bounded' by its own definition.  That is not to say that there cannot exist an infinite expression of something perfect, but the thing itself is merely what it is.

"PS: plausibly, premise 5) is false. A probabilistic measure with an exponential distribution is a measure of unbounded  set that has a maximum measure (namely, 1)"

No it is not false.  I stated that "There is no maximum measure in an unbounded infinite set".  I did not say "in a partially bounded infinite set".  Such sets do indeed exist.  The set of all real numbers between 0 and 1 is a bounded infinite set, of which '1' is the maximum number.  I wrote "unbounded infinite set".  Perhaps I did not make this clear enough.

Finally....

The modal OA draws a distinction between "possible world" and "actual world" and correctly argues that the actual world is a possible world.  By saying that the actual world is a possible world and that a maximally great being exists in every possible world, it concludes that God exists in the actual world.  There is a huge problem with this, and that is the problem of inconsistency.

If the actual world is a possible world, then why could we not say that a "fictional world" is a possible world?  If we conclude that God exists because He must exist in the actual world, it being a possible world, then honesty requires us to conclude that God also does not exist, because He must exist in a fictional world, it also being a possible world.  Thus we must conclude that God both exists and does not exist.  This is absurd, of course.

If we try to argue that a fictional world cannot be a 'possible' world, then we are saying that ALL possible worlds are potentially actual worlds under a particular definition of 'actual'.  How then is 'actual' (i.e. reality) defined?  According to what criteria or what laws?  Could 'reality' be defined in such a way as to include a world which is nothing more than a world of ideas?  And if not, why not?  If we already presuppose what "potentially actual" means are we not resorting to some element of a posteriori argument?  Does this not then invalidate the OA?

I am certainly convinced that God exists.  But NOT (even in part) because of the OA.


Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 05, 2016, 07:41:23 am
The argument equivocates between premises 7 and 8, on the concept of unbounded.

Let me ask you some simple questions.

If God has all perfections, relevant to God´s divine nature ,how many perfections more Can God have?

If a being,  has all perfections, relevant to God´s divine nature, ,  minus one perfection, how many more perfections ( of the same kind) can that being have?

Is having all perfection, in the sense discussed, here, bounded or unbounded?



PS: plausibly, premise 5) is false. A probabilistic measure with an exponential distribution is a measure of unbounded  set that has a maximum measure (namely, 1)

In answer to your questions:

"If God has all perfections, relevant to God´s divine nature ,how many perfections more Can God have?"

Answer: It's a meaningless question due to the incorrect use of language.  It is not possible to speak of "all perfections", because the word 'perfection' is defined as: the act of perfecting or the state or quality of being perfect (this is from the 5th edition of Collins English Dictionary, but I am sure you will find that other dictionaries will concur with this definition).  There is no such thing as "a perfection" or different perfections.  What I think you are trying to ask is: "If God has all perfect qualities, relevant to God's divine nature, how many perfect qualities more can God have?"

The problem with this question is that nothing is defined.  What exactly does "relevant to God's divine nature" mean?  The term seems to imply some kind of limitation, as if to suggest that there are "perfections" (which, as mentioned, I take to mean "perfect qualities") relevant to God's divine nature, and theoretically "perfections" which are not relevant to God's divine nature.  If all "perfections" are relevant to God's divine nature, then it follows that "relevant to God's nature" is a necessary condition of any "perfection".  And thus we are dealing with a circular argument.  Thus possession of all perfect qualities is a definition of God's nature.  It would, of course, follow from this, that no perfect quality can exist which could be added to God's repository of perfect qualities, so it would seem that God possesses what is vaguely termed "maximal greatness".

...

Philosophical questions are not settled by dictionary definitions.

Perfection is a term used in philosophy, since millenia ago, to denote basically certain kinds or properties, that, are in general thought better to be had than not, this does not mean that it is an absolute concept, but, usually is understood that certain properties are better had than not, with consideration to a being´s nature.

I don´t see we can have a conversation if you refuse based on dictionary definitions to engage with the actual argument discourse that has at its heart the philosophical concept of perfection.

To engage an argument the principle of charity requires that read it under the best light possible, and, that a -fortiori includes using the fundamental concepts undergirding it, dismissal based on dictionary definitions is very far from this objective.



Also, there are many words, concepts and the more that do not have non-circular nor thorough definitions, that in no way implies that they do not have meaning.

In addition, the question I asked is not an argument , so it is non sensical to call it question begging.

And, it is a meaningful question, you could have, perhaps, asked for clarification, before , hurrying up to simply dismiss it as meaningless.

It´s a great thing to be knoweldgeable of the great philosophies of 1 or 2 millenia ago, but, it wouldn´t hurt to also have some basic acknowledgement of the philophy of the last 100 years.


When  I stated  that "PS: plausibly, premise 5) is false. A probabilistic measure with an exponential distribution is a measure of unbounded  set that has a maximum measure (namely, 1)"

I was not referring to the real numbers between 0 and 1, but, to the positive  real numbers up to from 0  to  infinite, wich is unbounded  in the positive direction.


So, I guess, there is nothing much I can do to have a reasonable conversation , at this point, for which I am sorry. But, on the other hand, your critique to the argument is simply of no revelance, since the argument is not being taken for what it is , but, reinterpreted, ufavorably , and arbitrarily , before being dismissed.


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More specifically, our main purpose is to give a rational account of the nature of God, that is, of the God of the three major Western religions of Judaism, Christianity, ity, and Islam.;

The conception of God that these religious traditions have come to accept is the conception that Anselm (1053-1105) expresses: the being than which none greater is possible, that is, a perfect being.' This notion of maximal greatness or perfection will serve as a regulating definition nition on the basis of which we will attempt to derive and analyze the fundamental divine attributes, such as divine power, knowledge, and goodness.

Joshua Hoffman;Gary S. Rosenkrantz. The Divine Attributes (Exploring the Philosophy of Religion)

.


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I answer that, All created perfections are in God. Hence He is spoken of as universally perfect, because He lacks not (says the Commentator, Metaph. v) any excellence which may be found in any genus. This may be seen...

Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica (Complete & Unabridged) (pp. 18-19). Coyote Canyon Press.

Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Al Graham on November 05, 2016, 11:15:38 am
So, I guess, there is nothing much I can do to have a reasonable conversation , at this point, for which I am sorry. But, on the other hand, your critique to the argument is simply of no revelance, since the argument is not being taken for what it is , but, reinterpreted, ufavorably , and arbitrarily , before being dismissed.

You have withdrawn from this debate on a technicality, namely, that I used a dictionary definition rather than a supposed philosophical definition (never mind the fact that virtually all the words you have used in your posts are defined by everyday standard dictionaries - if that were not so, you would not be able to communicate with very many people at all!).  This is a strange approach, because philosophy is about ideas and the logical justification of ideas, rather than technical convention.

Irrespective of the source of definitions, a proper debate requires a respect for logical argument.  I am satisfied that I have presented coherent arguments as a critique of the Ontological Argument, and that any objective appraisal of my views requires that these arguments be addressed.

Perhaps this is the reason why so many philosophers have rejected the OA, because it draws its justification from clever circular assertions rather than coherent and well justified arguments.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 05, 2016, 11:24:45 am
So, I guess, there is nothing much I can do to have a reasonable conversation , at this point, for which I am sorry. But, on the other hand, your critique to the argument is simply of no revelance, since the argument is not being taken for what it is , but, reinterpreted, ufavorably , and arbitrarily , before being dismissed.

You have withdrawn from this debate on a technicality, namely, that I used a dictionary definition rather than a supposed philosophical definition (never mind the fact that virtually all the words you have used in your posts are defined by everyday standard dictionaries - if that were not so, you would not be able to communicate with very many people at all!).  This is a strange approach, because philosophy is about ideas and the logical justification of ideas, rather than technical convention.

Irrespective of the source of definitions, a proper debate requires a respect for logical argument.  I am satisfied that I have presented coherent arguments as a critique of the Ontological Argument, and that any objective appraisal of my views requires that these arguments be addressed.

Perhaps this is the reason why so many philosophers have rejected the OA, because it draws its justification from clever circular assertions rather than coherent and well justified arguments.

I have writhdrawn because, all you have done is missunderstand and missrepresent the argument, based on technicalities and semantics.

You have given arguments based on dictionary definitions, drawn circles not being perfect, a concept of bounded and God´s perfection that allows nothing from anyone but your own view, that is basically indiosincratic to your opinion, and, simply have not engaged with what the actual argument says.

I´d be more than happy to try to clarify the concepts that are being used, and, what the actual argument is , but, you haven´t evn asked, you simply went off on tangent. If we know all the answers we can not learn anything new.

You might be satisfied, but, that´s completely irrelevant to the soundness of the argument.

Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Al Graham on November 05, 2016, 11:40:40 am
I have writhdrawn because, all you have done is missunderstand and missrepresent the argument, based on technicalities and semantics.

OK.  So I'll ask.

You explain to me what the following terms mean (and please justify those definitions):

1. Maximal
2. Greatness
3. Possible world
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 05, 2016, 12:42:47 pm
I have writhdrawn because, all you have done is missunderstand and missrepresent the argument, based on technicalities and semantics.

OK.  So I'll ask.

You explain to me what the following terms mean (and please justify those definitions):

1. Maximal
2. Greatness
3. Possible world


Definitions do not need to be justified, merely explicited by explanation, be it by synonymy and analogy, or in other cases, as in many philosophical accounts, explained by the offering of case-wise examples.

Nevertheless, the basic concept that is being invoked is that of a property, that which can be predicated of.
As in John is intelligent.


It´s correct to talk about qualities, but so called "great-making" qualities are many times refered to as "perfections" or great-making properties.

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the idea that God is maximally great or infinitely perfect generates many philosophically interesting problems about the great-making qualities or perfections of God.

Joshua Hoffman;Gary S. Rosenkrantz. The Divine Attributes (Exploring the Philosophy of Religion)
 


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Great-making qualities typically vary from one category to another, and are a function of the nature of the category in question.

Joshua Hoffman;Gary S. Rosenkrantz. The Divine Attributes .


Possible worlds are descriptions of ways in which the world could  possibly be, when the sense of possibility used is broadly logical, or metaphysical.

In the semantics of possible worlds ( Possible world semantics ) to say that there is a possible world where I exist and I am 6 feet 5 is just to say that , it is possible that I´d be 6 feet 5, in common parlor.

In the specific scenario of Plantinga´s modal ontological argument, greatness is taken to be  a concept of the total accruement of  excellences (e.g. properties that are good to have, or better to have than not), where these are actual properties but also aletic modal properties.

For instance, that John is knowledgeable is to ascribe to John a  great making property ( a certain level of excellence, it is better to be knowledgeable than not to be) , and, to state that John is knowledgeable, and, that there are many other non actual states of affairs where he is knowledgeable (that given such and cush conditions it is possible John is also knowledgeable  beyond just being so, in actuality) is even greater than the former state of affairs (where John is , only, actually knowlegeable) .

Additionally, to say that some being possess all knowledge that can  be had ( e.g. being such and such knows all true propositions)  is, prima facie, to ascribe a property with no non-logical limitations, since, there are not any more true propositions to be known (e.g there can not be any more true propositions, to be known).

I´m pretty sure these exaplanations are not thorough, not totally clear, so, feel free to ask for further clarification.


To say that God is omnipotent is to ascribe God the perfection of being able to do everything that is broadly logically possible to do (but this is not to give analysis of what includes such predication).

To say that God is omnipotent , omniscient, and wholly good is to ascribe further perfections to God.

All of them being properties that include no non-logical limits.


Thus, to ascribe the property (within the context of the MOA) Maximal excellence, is to ascribe a "perfection" that implies being   omnipotent , omniscient, and wholly good, for instance, in actuality, or in some possible world (that it is the case given certain counterfactual situations), is to ascribe a certain degree of greatness (taking into consideration what I have tried to explain, so far), actual and modal.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Al Graham on November 05, 2016, 01:25:23 pm
Definitions do not need to be justified, merely explicited by explanation, be it by synonymy and analogy, or in other cases, as in many philosophical accounts, explained by the offering of case-wise examples.

Thank you for this information, and I will get back to you, when I have time, but I must make a quick comment about your claim that "definitions do not need to be justified".

That is not correct.  Definitions are concepts, which, if employed to construct premises of arguments, most certainly do need to be justified, especially if the line of reasoning is presented as an a priori argument, which claims to prove something fundamental about the nature of reality.

What is true of robust mathematical proofs is also true of proofs within ontology and epistemology.  Vague definitions, general assumptions and an appeal to common parlance* is not sufficient to construct a sound proof. Every one of the terms you have used needs to be thoroughly analysed to see whether it is justified in its function within the OA or MOA.

* Talking of "common parlance": yes, I used a dictionary definition of the word 'perfection', but I then went on to give an example of the concept in order to support my understanding of the term. 

Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 05, 2016, 01:41:39 pm
Definitions do not need to be justified, merely explicited by explanation, be it by synonymy and analogy, or in other cases, as in many philosophical accounts, explained by the offering of case-wise examples.

Thank you for this information, and I will get back to you, when I have time, but I must make a quick comment about your claim that "definitions do not need to be justified".

That is not correct.  Definitions are concepts, which, if employed to construct premises of arguments, most certainly do need to be justified, especially if the line of reasoning is presented as an a priori argument, which claims to prove something fundamental about the nature of reality.

What is true of robust mathematical proofs is also true of proofs within ontology and epistemology.  Vague definitions, general assumptions and an appeal to common parlance* is not sufficient to construct a sound proof. Every one of the terms you have used needs to be thoroughly analysed to see whether it is justified in its function within the OA or MOA.

* Talking of "common parlance": yes, I used a dictionary definition of the word 'perfection', but I then went on to give an example of the concept in order to support my understanding of the term.

I did not say premises in arguments do not need to be justified, I said definitions do not need to be justified, just explained.

Deductive arguments, and philosophical arguments are not mathematical arguments, most certainly they are not proofs, and, there is a fare share of vagueness in all kinds of philosophical arguments.

You are also conflating analysis with meaning, all that is needed to construct a philsophical (deductive, etc...)argument is that we have a grasp of the meaning of the words,conceptual grasp enough of the meaning as to form useful statements expressing meaningful propositions (of course it is an independent matter the matter of its premises epistemic justification). Analyses of terms , concepts are attempts to clarify and inform, but, they are not necessary to run an argument .

I have some understanding of mathematics but not enough to rebuke you on mathematics requiring thoroughly analysed concepts, but, I don´t need to go there.

I can define labritskero to be a 3 sided object with either 180 degrees or not 180 degrees depending on certain conditions, and, it is a good enough definition.

I don´t have to make an argument for it nor justify it.

Let me give you a more realistic example, we think we have knowledge of rigurous proofs in  mathematics , based on thorough analysis of terms , and concepts definitions, but, we don´t have an accepted account of knolwedge, in epistemology, we know we have knowledge, we don´t have a thorough analysis of knowledge.

Yet, the proposition we know that 1+1=2 is in as much need of a proof of what it is knowledge, than, 1+1=2 is

I´d suggest, that aside from many other reasons (like Carnap´s aufbau project -- where he attempted to reduce all truths of the world to a set of analytic truths - being a complete failure ), we shouldn´t expect  linguistic based arguments to be alike mathematical proofs, since, language, different from mathematics, is a live phenomena, with an essential fruitfulness that is as evident as evident can be,  immensely useful, yet, hardly thoroughly understood.

If you dislike my use of the term common parlance, feel free to ignore it, I merely used it to try to clarify, the cocept of possible worlds, and, I did give examples, too.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Al Graham on November 06, 2016, 10:15:01 am
I did not say premises in arguments do not need to be justified, I said definitions do not need to be justified, just explained.

Then definitions do need to be justified, if the premises, which need to be justified, rely on those definitions.  For example, the definition of God as a "maximally great being" needs to be justified for there to be any meaning to the first premise of the MOA, unless, of course, we take it that the MOA is not actually an argument for the existence of God!

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Deductive arguments, and philosophical arguments are not mathematical arguments, most certainly they are not proofs, and, there is a fare share of vagueness in all kinds of philosophical arguments.

You are also conflating analysis with meaning, all that is needed to construct a philsophical (deductive, etc...)argument is that we have a grasp of the meaning of the words,conceptual grasp enough of the meaning as to form useful statements expressing meaningful propositions (of course it is an independent matter the matter of its premises epistemic justification). Analyses of terms , concepts are attempts to clarify and inform, but, they are not necessary to run an argument .

If we understand the MOA to be merely a deductive argument that does not - and indeed cannot - deliver a proof, then its only use is to reassure us that belief in the existence of God is a logically coherent position.  But this is implied in the first premise of the argument.  If the rest of the argument exists to confirm the truth of the initial premise, then we are here dealing with a circular argument, as the argument itself depends on the truth of the first premise.  This would render the argument invalid.  Thus the argument can only have merit if it claims to deliver a proof.  And if so, then all the concepts within the argument need to be robustly analysed and justified. 
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 06, 2016, 11:24:09 am
I did not say premises in arguments do not need to be justified, I said definitions do not need to be justified, just explained.

Then definitions do need to be justified, if the premises, which need to be justified, rely on those definitions.  For example, the definition of God as a "maximally great being" needs to be justified for there to be any meaning to the first premise of the MOA, unless, of course, we take it that the MOA is not actually an argument for the existence of God!

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Deductive arguments, and philosophical arguments are not mathematical arguments, most certainly they are not proofs, and, there is a fare share of vagueness in all kinds of philosophical arguments.

You are also conflating analysis with meaning, all that is needed to construct a philsophical (deductive, etc...)argument is that we have a grasp of the meaning of the words,conceptual grasp enough of the meaning as to form useful statements expressing meaningful propositions (of course it is an independent matter the matter of its premises epistemic justification). Analyses of terms , concepts are attempts to clarify and inform, but, they are not necessary to run an argument .

If we understand the MOA to be merely a deductive argument that does not - and indeed cannot - deliver a proof, then its only use is to reassure us that belief in the existence of God is a logically coherent position.  But this is implied in the first premise of the argument.  If the rest of the argument exists to confirm the truth of the initial premise, then we are here dealing with a circular argument, as the argument itself depends on the truth of the first premise.  This would render the argument invalid.  Thus the argument can only have merit if it claims to deliver a proof.  And if so, then all the concepts within the argument need to be robustly analysed and justified.

I don´t know what´s the problem in the communication.

Definitions are just that, I tell you what I mean by a certain term, that´s it.

Then, I use those terms to construct an argument, with premises and conclusion, and then, assuming the argument has the right logical connection, I explicate what is the epistemic justification of the premises.

Meaning does not come from justification, but from intension and application.


Maybe, we are agreeing more than we know, and we can leave this subject, and go to what the argument really is.


Dialectically speaking, no deductive argument is a proof, because, they do not rely merely on showing a logical connection between the truth of the premises and the conclusion, but also, rely in degrees of epistemic justification.


If being a circular argument invalidated, automatically, an argument, all mathematical equations would be invalid.

There are nuanced conditions which are relevant to establish if a circular argument is viciously circular or not.

In the case of mathematical equations , they are usually meant as informative arguments, informing us that a certain result is equivalent or implies another.

Deductive arguments can also be of this type (informative), nevertheless, most arguments are meant to offer a certain level of dialectical trust, and, this is where epistemic justification enters, fully, the picture.

Just like any other deductive argument, if the 1st premise of the MOA has its own independent (from the conclusion´s) epistemic justication, then, there is no vicious circularity.

Additionally , it is the case that the MOA has another substantive premise (that is independently justified), and even though more plausible than its possibility premise, it delivers the argument from any risk of being question begging, and thus, from being a vicious circle.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Biep on November 08, 2016, 07:30:21 am
I should ask you for proof that god is the only thing that can possibly exists necessarily.
Lots of things exist necessarily, depending on the accessibility relation used.  (With the identity relation for accessibility, everything that exists exists necessarily.)  With most common choices numbers and theorems exist necessarily.
One could make the argument that God is what remains necessary under the widest accessibility relation that allows any necessary existence at all - and that would be an interesting and correct way to identify God -, but that is not what any ontological proof I am aware of does.

The proof isn't restricted to God.  The theorem corresponding to Goldbach's conjecture possibly exists necessarily - if there is a possible world in which Goldbach's conjecture is true, then it is true in all worlds, including the actual world.  There is nothing fishy, nothing special-pleading-y about the proof.

The one thing that makes it a proof of God is the input, the MGB.  In Al Graham's example, the sun would be a greater light bearer than the moon, not because it shines more brilliantly, but because it is the cause of the light of the moon.
Regarding existence, the MGB is what would be the ultimate source of all existence.  Regarding ethics, the MGB would be the ultimate source of ethical absolutes.  Regarding logic, the MGB would be the ultimate source of truth and falsehood. Et cetera.
It is this ultimateness that implies its necessity: any possible world that describes existence contains this MGB; any world in which logic holds contains the MGB, and so forth.

Now it may be that those sources are separate - there is no relation between existence, truth, goodness, love, or any of the other things that may hold in a world.  In that case, they are necessarily separate, and no overall MGB is possible.  Yet, beauty shines through truth and love; love and ethics seem deeply intertwined even at our derived level of existence; beauty manifests itself in things that exist - many people have a powerful intuition that these things do have a commonality.  That intuition is of course epistemic, and therefore does not fulfil the possibility premise.
Prof. Plantinga, if I recall correctly, points to mystic contemplation as one argument for the possibility: if a world can be contemplated, it is possible.
Let me stress once more that I am not defending the argument, merely explaining what it doesn't and does do.
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And by god I obviously mean this personal omnipotent being.
To the extent that personality and omnipotence are elements of maximal greatness, "personal omnipotent existence" would be part of the description of the MBG.  I am not sure these two characteristics have been discussed specifically, but they may have been.
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Also how can you know there is something greater than quantum vacuum? Maybe there isn't even if there is then what? Maybe string theory is the final solution?
Both are still subject to mathematics and logic, so they cannot be the cause of logic and math, let alone the ultimate cause.
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And I have to add I still think original latinga's argument define god as necessary
It does - but it doesn't "define God into existence", if that expression even makes sense.
A definition states what it takes to be an X.  Whether there is something corresponding to that definition is a completely unrelated question.  I can define a miracle set as one that is empty and also has two elements.  That is a perfectly valid definition - but it doesn't cause miracle sets to exist.  Likewise, I can define a megabother as a necessary tennis ball that always floats 10 cm in front of my nose.  Again, a perfectly fine definition - but with nothing corresponding to it.

I still think you'd be happier with Gödel's approach.  In section 7.1 of this paper (https://github.com/FormalTheology/GoedelGod/blob/master/GodProof-ND.pdf), a short argument is given (and checked with the Isabelle/HOL theorem prover) that does not assume God's necessity but derives it, does not need S5, does not lead to modal collapse, does not use the strong and doubtful version of positivity, and works from only three axioms and one definition:
The rest then follows.  Axiom 3 could be replaced by infinite induction, but the beauty of this argument is that it only uses widely accepted techniques.  It doesn't even need B, but works in KB.  (And the paper is self-contained: it assumes no specialised knowledge, but introduces each notion as it appears.)
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 11, 2016, 05:02:56 pm
Ok I understand that you're not defending this argument in a sense that I object, namely you don't try to convince me that it proves an god, but having said that I still don't know why anyone lose their time defending it it any way. To me it's analogous to situation when someone makes an argument like :
P1 God exists
C God exists

And try to pass it off as sound argument, then others criticize it, but then some people come and say, that well if we accept its premises, then it works, so there is something worth defending. Call me an ignorant but I think it's a waste of time.

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The proof isn't restricted to God.  The theorem corresponding to Goldbach's conjecture possibly exists necessarily - if there is a possible world in which Goldbach's conjecture is true, then it is true in all worlds, including the actual world.  There is nothing fishy, nothing special-pleading-y about the proof.

But you have to actually prove that it's true.

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Regarding existence, the MGB is what would be the ultimate source of all existence

So MGB equals universe. I'm glad we get rid of all superfluous properties. I can only wonder: Why would you call it a MGB? To me it's just Universe, or say deepest existing level of reality, if say String Theory is correct it may be that Strings are MGB.

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Regarding ethics, the MGB would be the ultimate source of ethical absolutes.  Regarding logic, the MGB would be the ultimate source of truth and falsehood. Et cetera.

The same objection, what's the sense of changing names of already existing things?

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Both are still subject to mathematics and logic, so they cannot be the cause of logic and math, let alone the ultimate cause.

What does it mean "cause of math and logic"? It sounds as if logic or math were some real things. They are not. Also god is subject to logic too in the same sense as all other things are. You can't honestly deny it. It would be like saying "Ok, here is our logical tool, we use it to prove god, but remember, you can't use it to disprove god because he exist beyond logic". Either god is subject to logic, and we can discuss it somehow, or it's not, and then any argument for its existence by default isn;t worth notice given that we can't make sense of anything "existing beyond any logic" we can't imagine how law of non contradiction could be broken etc.

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It does - but it doesn't "define God into existence", if that expression even makes sense.
A definition states what it takes to be an X.  Whether there is something corresponding to that definition is a completely unrelated question.  I can define a miracle set as one that is empty and also has two elements.  That is a perfectly valid definition - but it doesn't cause miracle sets to exist.  Likewise, I can define a megabother as a necessary tennis ball that always floats 10 cm in front of my nose.  Again, a perfectly fine definition - but with nothing corresponding to it.

So we're at the very beginning once again. So let me rewrite my objection:

Being X is MGB if and only if possess following properties a1, a2, a3...an.

property ai states "this being exists necessarily"

Exists necessarily means "Exists in every possible worlds"

Here is a set of all possible worlds: {w1, w2, w3, ... wn}

wj is an actual world.

Therefore by sheer definition MGB actually exists.

God exists because god exists by definition.

"It's possible that MGB exists" = It's possible that being which exists, exists". What a discovery! I mean seriously, I'm shocked. But wait, shouldn't we prove in the first place that MGB really exist?

The difference between MGB and your examples is that in the latters you didn't use existence or necessary existence as part of your definition. That's why definition of MGB is ridiculous.

I don't know why you send me to Gödel's proof. I already answered to this. I like it much more than Plantinga's proof. Why? Because it seems honest. For example Gödel doesn't pretend his argument works only with great making properties. He calls them positive properties, but it's obvious that we can use anything we like. And to no one's surprise he defined a god-like being as existing necessarily.

To be honest I no longer know what we arguing about. I suppose it's about details. Also you wrote earlier:

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I'll try to deal with your questions, but I am really overstretching the little energy I have, so this is rushed.
For Plantinga's argument, the crux is the possibility premise.  I am skeptical of his arguments for that (as is he himself, by the way), but if someone can build a good argument for metaphysical possibility, the remainder of the argument follows.

I skipped it then, but now it comes to me, that you basically said, that if someone can provide evidence that god actually exists, then OA may makes sense. That's exactly what I'm arguing for. To establish metaphysical possibility you have to provide some independent evidence for it. Without it we can only talk about epistemic possibility, but then I can say that I can think of universe without god so...

But there is a problem. How can you prove that something which by definition isn't based on our subjective understanding? How can you get out of human reason and understanding? At best you can only get somwhere close to it. Basically objectivity falls apart and we can only discuss whether our subjective standard of evidence is satisfied.

Therefore OA is reduced to:

P1 There is reasonable amount of evidence to say that god exists
P2 THere is no reasonable amount of evidence to say that god doesn't exists
C It's reasonable to say that god exists.

or even shorter:

If sufficient amount of evidence suggests that god exists, then it's reasonable to believe in one.

I think that's how MOA looks like when applied to reality. After 900 years of improvements, we went from "god exists by definition" to "if it's reasonable to believe in god, then it's reasonable to believe in god". Do you disagree?
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: HIJ on November 23, 2016, 03:26:33 pm
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I sincirely can't understand why OA is even called an argument.

In other words, you don't understand what an argument is.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 23, 2016, 04:17:05 pm
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I sincirely can't understand why OA is even called an argument.

In other words, you don't understand what an argument is.

Once again I should be more precise.

Technically it is an argument, of course. The problem is, it's a very poor one, so poor in fact I wouldn't dare to even call it so. We can make an argument like:

P1. God exists or earth is flat
P2. Earth isn't flat
C. God exists

I wouldn't really mind if you said it's not argument at all.

Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: HIJ on November 23, 2016, 07:29:50 pm
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I sincirely can't understand why OA is even called an argument.

In other words, you don't understand what an argument is.

Once again I should be more precise.

Technically it is an argument, of course. The problem is, it's a very poor one, so poor in fact I wouldn't dare to even call it so. We can make an argument like:

P1. God exists or earth is flat
P2. Earth isn't flat
C. God exists

I wouldn't really mind if you said it's not argument at all.

You'd better tell all the philosophers who think that it isn't a "poor" argument then. Just let them know that some person on the internet is ready to correct them.

Anyway, Plantinga (if you've ever actually read him) says that the argument may be rationally rejected. His conclusion is that it is rational to accept the crucial premise, and the rest follows by way of modal logic. This is not disputable.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 23, 2016, 08:01:56 pm
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I sincirely can't understand why OA is even called an argument.

In other words, you don't understand what an argument is.

Once again I should be more precise.

Technically it is an argument, of course. The problem is, it's a very poor one, so poor in fact I wouldn't dare to even call it so. We can make an argument like:

P1. God exists or earth is flat
P2. Earth isn't flat
C. God exists

I wouldn't really mind if you said it's not argument at all.

You'd better tell all the philosophers who think that it isn't a "poor" argument then. Just let them know that some person on the internet is ready to correct them.

Anyway, Plantinga (if you've ever actually read him) says that the argument may be rationally rejected. His conclusion is that it is rational to accept the crucial premise, and the rest follows by way of modal logic. This is not disputable.

I think I don't share your respect towards mentioned philosophers. This kind of appeal to authority is quite common, people criticize MOA as presented by popular apologists, and then defenders come in and start claiming that, well REAL philosophers have it all worked out and it does its job. I can only wonder why these philosophers don't share their arguments more openly so they can be discussed as well. Also the last time I checked philosophers were quite consistent in belief that you can't prove the existence of some real new object simply by defining it in specific way. It only works, when you just switch names with already existing stuff, but it doesn't make much sense for obvious reasons.

I also disagree that it's rational to accept MOA premise. When I say X is possible I mean that it may exist in our world at some point in time, and in theory I don't see anything in laws of nature or laws of logic which would make X impossible. But it may be also the case that even though it's possible it never happend, and will never happen. And I may be just wrong in assesing this possibility. That's kind of possibility we always use. But that's not semantics use in MOA. And I don't see any reason to accept them. Obviously we can define notions however we want. We can even make this trick:

Earth is round<=>god exists

P1. Earth is round
C. God exists

it's rational to accept first premise and conclusion logically follows, but hmmm I doubt this argument would convince anyone. However I'm open to the possibility, that "rational" has completely different meaning in this case as well. Maybe rational means "it's logically possible" or something similar? After all playing around with definitions is fun.

At some very technical level Ican accept it's ok to define god as necessary, the problem is how apologists try to use this definition. The right way, which we always use is this:

1. Define object as possesing set o properties X and call it god
2. Find object with all these properties.
3. Now you can call it god.

So if you define god as necessary, then I'm sorry,you're not warranted in belief in your god before you actually check all possible worlds and indeed find this god there. How are you going to do that? I don't now, not my problem.

And for god's sake how am I supposed to respect philosophers, who add existence as property after all? Ba, not mere existence, but necessary existence, that is actual existence + existence in other worlds.

Let's define Y as possessing following properties:
1.It has all properties of banana
2.It exists

It means that if I find a banana which exists, I;m going to call it Y... But clearly we can see it's futile to define Y as existing, after all is it possible to ever locate banana which doesn't exist? The same goes for god.

So I'm sorry to say this again, until someone actually show me how MOA adds any bit of credibility to the existence of god I'm not going to treat it with more respect than it deserves.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 23, 2016, 08:37:04 pm
Quote
I sincirely can't understand why OA is even called an argument.

In other words, you don't understand what an argument is.

Once again I should be more precise.

Technically it is an argument, of course. The problem is, it's a very poor one, so poor in fact I wouldn't dare to even call it so. We can make an argument like:

P1. God exists or earth is flat
P2. Earth isn't flat
C. God exists

I wouldn't really mind if you said it's not argument at all.

You'd better tell all the philosophers who think that it isn't a "poor" argument then. Just let them know that some person on the internet is ready to correct them.

Anyway, Plantinga (if you've ever actually read him) says that the argument may be rationally rejected. His conclusion is that it is rational to accept the crucial premise, and the rest follows by way of modal logic. This is not disputable.

I think I don't share your respect towards mentioned philosophers. This kind of appeal to authority is quite common, people criticize MOA as presented by popular apologists, and then defenders come in and start claiming that, well REAL philosophers have it all worked out and it does its job. I can only wonder why these philosophers don't share their arguments more openly so they can be discussed as well. Also the last time I checked philosophers were quite consistent in belief that you can't prove the existence of some real new object simply by defining it in specific way. It only works, when you just switch names with already existing stuff, but it doesn't make much sense for obvious reasons.

I also disagree that it's rational to accept MOA premise. When I say X is possible I mean that it may exist in our world at some point in time, and in theory I don't see anything in laws of nature or laws of logic which would make X impossible. But it may be also the case that even though it's possible it never happend, and will never happen. And I may be just wrong in assesing this possibility. That's kind of possibility we always use. But that's not semantics use in MOA. And I don't see any reason to accept them. Obviously we can define notions however we want. We can even make this trick:

Earth is round<=>god exists

P1. Earth is round
C. God exists

it's rational to accept first premise and conclusion logically follows, but hmmm I doubt this argument would convince anyone. However I'm open to the possibility, that "rational" has completely different meaning in this case as well. Maybe rational means "it's logically possible" or something similar? After all playing around with definitions is fun.

At some very technical level Ican accept it's ok to define god as necessary, the problem is how apologists try to use this definition. The right way, which we always use is this:

1. Define object as possesing set o properties X and call it god
2. Find object with all these properties.
3. Now you can call it god.

So if you define god as necessary, then I'm sorry,you're not warranted in belief in your god before you actually check all possible worlds and indeed find this god there. How are you going to do that? I don't now, not my problem.

And for god's sake how am I supposed to respect philosophers, who add existence as property after all? Ba, not mere existence, but necessary existence, that is actual existence + existence in other worlds.

Let's define Y as possessing following properties:
1.It has all properties of banana
2.It exists

It means that if I find a banana which exists, I;m going to call it Y... But clearly we can see it's futile to define Y as existing, after all is it possible to ever locate banana which doesn't exist? The same goes for god.

So I'm sorry to say this again, until someone actually show me how MOA adds any bit of credibility to the existence of god I'm not going to treat it with more respect than it deserves.

The problem is that to show you what you ask you need to be informed about many subjects you appear not to be informed about.

1. Modal logic
2. Possible world semantics
3. Perfect being theology
4. Contingency, necessity
5. Common a-priori and a-posteriori justificatory procedures
6. Main fallacies conditions (formal and informal)
7. Metaphysical, or broadly logical possibility, vs strict logical possibiliy, and physical possibility
8. Propositional logic
9. predicate logic
10. properties
11. compositionality
12. de re/de dicto distinction
13. Essentialism
14. Naturalness
15. Metaphysics
etc...

And of course, actually read the relevant work and understand it, properly enough.                                         

In that sense, the MOA is not a very good argument, but, it is a sound argument.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 24, 2016, 06:13:05 am
As I said first premise is unsound and makes MOA circular. "A being which exists in world 1, world 2, world 3, actual world, world 4,... world n, exists in some world i". Indeed if we accept premise which states "god exists in actual world" then it's quite easy to reach a conclusion that god in fact exists in actual world. And no amount of sophistry is going to change how MOA really looks like
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 24, 2016, 09:22:35 am
As I said first premise is unsound and makes MOA circular. "A being which exists in world 1, world 2, world 3, actual world, world 4,... world n, exists in some world i". Indeed if we accept premise which states "god exists in actual world" then it's quite easy to reach a conclusion that god in fact exists in actual world. And no amount of sophistry is going to change how MOA really looks like

All you have said is that the argument is valid, no amount of missunderstanding can change  what the argument really does and is.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 24, 2016, 09:34:06 am
As I said first premise is unsound and makes MOA circular. "A being which exists in world 1, world 2, world 3, actual world, world 4,... world n, exists in some world i". Indeed if we accept premise which states "god exists in actual world" then it's quite easy to reach a conclusion that god in fact exists in actual world. And no amount of sophistry is going to change how MOA really looks like

All you have said is that the argument is valid, no amount of missunderstanding can change  what the argument really does and is.

I'm find with that. I'm not arguing against validity here. But if someone says "look, this argument is so good, now it's only a matter of what religion is true!" or even "Look, this argument makes it more likely that god exists" then I disagree with such use of MOA strongly.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 24, 2016, 09:55:10 am
As I said first premise is unsound and makes MOA circular. "A being which exists in world 1, world 2, world 3, actual world, world 4,... world n, exists in some world i". Indeed if we accept premise which states "god exists in actual world" then it's quite easy to reach a conclusion that god in fact exists in actual world. And no amount of sophistry is going to change how MOA really looks like

All you have said is that the argument is valid, no amount of missunderstanding can change  what the argument really does and is.

I'm find with that. I'm not arguing against validity here. But if someone says "look, this argument is so good, now it's only a matter of what religion is true!" or even "Look, this argument makes it more likely that god exists" then I disagree with such use of MOA strongly.

I would have to know what do you mean by "so good argument"   and "likely that" . Depending on what you mean by those, mabye, it´s not all that.

As far as I can see, the premises of the argument are plausible, on independent grounds (from the conclusion), and, since the argument is valid ( as we agree ) the conclusion is at least as plausible, which provides some justification to believe that there is a being much like the one that the main monotheists religions have envisioned for centuries, specially, Christian monotheism.

Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 24, 2016, 12:07:17 pm
I think there is only one premise, the rest just unpack it, nevermind.

Yes, it's plausible that god exists. by plausible I mean that it's not impossible. So what? I don't see how MOA provides any justification for such belief. You have to accept its first premise which already assumes the existence of god. So basically you're saying that if you assume the existence of god, then you're justified in belief in god. How does it work? The sheer fact X isn't impossible doesn't justify belief in it by any reasonable standard.

Also there is nothing in MOA which gives you any god, let alone Christian one, where did you take it from? I can just switch omnibenevolence to omnimanevolence and voila. I can go step further and define some mystical creative energy as necessary. Or I can go even further and say that our reality exists necessary.

I always wonder. If let's say String Theory turns out to be the theory of everything and strings are most fundamental components of reality, what are proponents of MOA going to do? Call strings god? Argue that no, there is still something deeper, because they can imagine so? Or maybe physycists should add word "necessary" to all their theories? "Strings exist necessary, and you can't imagine world without them, because strings which don't exist aren't necessary so they are not subject of our discussion" or "It's possible that strings exists necessarily"?
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 24, 2016, 02:34:59 pm
I think there is only one premise, the rest just unpack it, nevermind.

Yes, it's plausible that god exists. by plausible I mean that it's not impossible. So what? I don't see how MOA provides any justification for such belief. You have to accept its first premise which already assumes the existence of god. So basically you're saying that if you assume the existence of god, then you're justified in belief in god. How does it work? The sheer fact X isn't impossible doesn't justify belief in it by any reasonable standard.

Also there is nothing in MOA which gives you any god, let alone Christian one, where did you take it from? I can just switch omnibenevolence to omnimanevolence and voila. I can go step further and define some mystical creative energy as necessary. Or I can go even further and say that our reality exists necessary.

I always wonder. If let's say String Theory turns out to be the theory of everything and strings are most fundamental components of reality, what are proponents of MOA going to do? Call strings god? Argue that no, there is still something deeper, because they can imagine so? Or maybe physycists should add word "necessary" to all their theories? "Strings exist necessary, and you can't imagine world without them, because strings which don't exist aren't necessary so they are not subject of our discussion" or "It's possible that strings exists necessarily"?

There are 3 premises:
1. Possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified
2. Necessarily, if maximal greatness is exemplified  then maximal excellence is exemplified in all worlds.
3 if (Possibly, maximal gretaness is exemplified , and,  Necessarily, if maximal greatness is exemplified, then,    maximal  excellence is exemplified in all worlds), then, actually, maximal excellence is s exemplified in all worlds.
4.  actually, maximal excellence is exemplified in all worlds.

1. Supported by Metaphysical intuition, and historical common usage of the natural concept of maximal greatness
2.  Supported by conceptual analysis of the concept of maximal greatness.
3.  supported by S5 system axiom 5


Thanks for the exchange.


Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 24, 2016, 03:18:18 pm
Let me clear it up:

P1. A being which exists in all possible worlds (part of maximal greatness), including ours, exists in some possible world
P2. Not important, premise 1 is enough
P3. Not important, premise 1 is enough
C. Actually such being exists.

Justification:
1. Supported by Metaphysical intuition, and historical common usage of the natural concept of maximal greatness
2. Not important
3. Not important

Conclusion:
God exists.

And by the way it's christian god.

I'm sorry but it doesn't answer anything I wrote in my previous comment. That is examples of other things which may be necessary, plus what if one day physicists announced they got it, here is theory of everything, we can't get any deeper. What then?

Anyway, thanks for exchange too.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 24, 2016, 03:29:01 pm
Let me clear it up:

P1. A being which exists in all possible worlds (part of maximal greatness), including ours, exists in some possible world
P2. Not important, premise 1 is enough
P3. Not important, premise 1 is enough
C. Actually such being exists.

Justification:
1. Supported by Metaphysical intuition, and historical common usage of the natural concept of maximal greatness
2. Not important
3. Not important

Conclusion:
God exists.

And by the way it's christian god.

I'm sorry but it doesn't answer anything I wrote in my previous comment. That is examples of other things which may be necessary, plus what if one day physicists announced they got it, here is theory of everything, we can't get any deeper. What then?

Anyway, thanks for exchange too.

This does not refute any of the premises, and,  it´s mere hand waving, and, does nothing to defeat the argument:
Quote
P1. A being which exists in all possible worlds (part of maximal greatness), including ours, exists in some possible world
P2. Not important, premise 1 is enough
P3. Not important, premise 1 is enough
C. Actually such being exists.

Justification:
1. Supported by Metaphysical intuition, and historical common usage of the natural concept of maximal greatness
2. Not important
3. Not important

Conclusion:
God exists.

And by the way it's christian god.


Such attitude deserves no attention

Quote
...what if one day physicists announced they got it, here is theory of everything, we can't get any deeper. What then?

What about it? this does not refute any of the premises.

I just realized you are just trolling.

Thanks for nothing.

Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 24, 2016, 03:49:53 pm
Quote
This does not refute any of the premises, and,  it´s mere hand waving, and, does nothing to defeat the argument.


It shows how absurd first premise is. Seriously, what counts as defeating here? You just want me to accept that being which exists in all possible worlds including ours also exists in some possible world. No amount of metaphysical intuition is going to help here.

Quote
Such attitude deserve no attention

Well, I'm sorry for not being impressed by these sophisticated wordplays. 

You still didn't explain why MOA suggests christian god. What if being evil contributes to maximal excelence?

And why any personal being at all?

1. Object is maximally excellent if it's mystical, eternal ball of energy capable of creating universes
2. Object is maximally great if it's excellent in all possible worlds

And the rest goes on.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 24, 2016, 03:58:32 pm
Quote
This does not refute any of the premises, and,  it´s mere hand waving, and, does nothing to defeat the argument.


It shows how absurd first premise is. Seriously, what counts as defeating here? You just want me to accept that being which exists in all possible worlds including ours also exists in some possible world. No amount of metaphysical intuition is going to help here.

Quote
Such attitude deserve no attention

Well, I'm sorry for not being impressed by these sophisticated wordplays. 

You still didn't explain why MOA suggests christian god. What if being evil contributes to maximal excelence?

And why any personal being at all?

1. Object is maximally excellent if it's mystical, eternal ball of energy capable of creating universes
2. Object is maximally great if it's excellent in all possible worlds

And the rest goes on.


What is intuition not going to help with?

It´s not wordplay, it is related to analytic philosophy jargon.

What if evil doesn´t  contribute to maximal excelence? questions are not objections nor defeaters.


It´s generally understood that a supreme , all perfect being, worthy of worship (as the Christian God is understood to be) is  omniscient and morally perfect, and eternal balls do not fit that description very well, rather it is implausible that they do, aside from it being somewhat an ad-hoc concept, with no common use nor any hint of  being a natural concept (in the Lewisian sense).

And the rest of your objections don´t go either. These puported objections your throw to the wall to see if they stick are all over the place and betray a lack of understanding of the subject.

So, forgive me if I am not impressed by so much sophistry and uninformed dismissiveness.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 24, 2016, 05:29:49 pm
Quote
What is intuition not going to help with?

It´s not wordplay, it is related to analytic philosophy jargon.

I think it's sophisticated wordplay to say "it's possible that god exists" instead of "God who exists in all worlds including ours, exists in some possible world"
Or
 "It's possible Maximal greatness is exemplified" instead of  "Maximally excellent being which also happen to exists in all possible worlds including ours, exists in some possible world"

Quote
What if evil doesn´t  contribute to maximal excelence? questions are not objections nor defeaters.

Don't pretend you don't know what I meant.

Quote
It´s generally understood that a supreme , all perfect being, worthy of worship (as the Christian God is understood to be) is  omniscient and morally perfect, and eternal balls do not fit that description very well, rather it is implausible that they do, aside from it being somewhat an ad-hoc concept, with no common use nor any hint of  being a natural concept (in the Lewisian sense).

Seriously? Ok, then if it helps you, you can put X instead of maximal excellence, and Y instead of maximal greatness. All other things stay the same. I suppose laws of logics don't mind what word we use. Can you now respond? Is my belief in mystical ball of energy which creates universes justified now?

And I have no idea by what criteria you judge my concept as ad hoc. I don't even know what it means in this context. We're totally making things up, why my concept is more ad hoc than yours? From what I get it's because your is older with more rich tradition, but I hope it's not your explanation.

I can give another example:

1. Being X is diabolic if and only if it's omnipotent and evil
2. Being X is totally diabolic if and only if it's diabolic and it exists in every possible worlds.

Rest goes the same.

Does it make belief in an evil god more rational? If MOA has any value at all, than what I just wrote itself should add some credibility to my belief, if not then MOA itself is completely irrelevant, it's nothing more than complicated way of saying that if there are good reasons to believe in X, then you're justified in belief in X
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 24, 2016, 06:11:26 pm
Quote
What is intuition not going to help with?

It´s not wordplay, it is related to analytic philosophy jargon.

I think it's sophisticated wordplay to say "it's possible that god exists" instead of "God who exists in all worlds including ours, exists in some possible world"
Or
 "It's possible Maximal greatness is exemplified" instead of  "Maximally excellent being which also happen to exists in all possible worlds including ours, exists in some possible world"

Quote
What if evil doesn´t  contribute to maximal excelence? questions are not objections nor defeaters.

Don't pretend you don't know what I meant.

Quote
It´s generally understood that a supreme , all perfect being, worthy of worship (as the Christian God is understood to be) is  omniscient and morally perfect, and eternal balls do not fit that description very well, rather it is implausible that they do, aside from it being somewhat an ad-hoc concept, with no common use nor any hint of  being a natural concept (in the Lewisian sense).

Seriously? Ok, then if it helps you, you can put X instead of maximal excellence, and Y instead of maximal greatness. All other things stay the same. I suppose laws of logics don't mind what word we use. Can you now respond? Is my belief in mystical ball of energy which creates universes justified now?

And I have no idea by what criteria you judge my concept as ad hoc. I don't even know what it means in this context. We're totally making things up, why my concept is more ad hoc than yours? From what I get it's because your is older with more rich tradition, but I hope it's not your explanation.

I can give another example:

1. Being X is diabolic if and only if it's omnipotent and evil
2. Being X is totally diabolic if and only if it's diabolic and it exists in every possible worlds.

Rest goes the same.

Does it make belief in an evil god more rational? If MOA has any value at all, than what I just wrote itself should add some credibility to my belief, if not then it's completely irrelevant and the same goes for attempts to use MOA as justification for belief in other gods.

I know informally and colloquially the argument is put on terms as you are using here:
"it's possible that god exists" instead of "God who exists in all worlds including ours, exists in some possible world"

But, that´s not how stated the argument.

The argument as I stated is not about a being who exists in all worlds including ours, exists in some possible world, which is what you are attacking, but about a property that is possibly exemplified.

so you are attacking an strawman.


Don´t second read me. Look, only people with mental and cognitive problems, honestly and truely, think that evil is an excellent thing to be, and they belong behind white walls or bars, away from society. So, that´s just a nonsensical question, and, as I said questions are not objections, so, I have no clue what you are asking or trying to say with such a question.


What about this argument?
1. Object is X if it's mystical, eternal ball of energy capable of creating universes
2. Object is Y if it's  X in all possible worlds


The concept of God as a supreme and wholly perfect being was not made by me, it´s the concept of God Christians (and the other great monotheists religions) have developed for centuries.

I did not just made this today so I can score rethorical points in our exchange, like you are doing, with  ethernal balls and necessarily existing diabolic beings, namely, these are ad-hoc, unnatural, and not in common use concepts  you are making up just  (as you yourself admit) for the sake of sustaining your position.

On the later concept of a totally diabolic being that exists in every possible world, why think  total diabolicness requires exemplification in all possible worlds, what is the history of the concept? (barely any exists, if at all) has it survived scrutiny for centuries?   (not , it hasn´t)

This type of manichaean view of evil is not favored today, by philosophers that study the subject. So, why think it is possible? (answer, there is no reason)

These are no good objections, they missconstrue the argument with respect to modal epistemic matters.

Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 24, 2016, 07:42:41 pm
Quote
I know informally and colloquially the argument is put on terms as you are using here:
"it's possible that god exists" instead of "God who exists in all worlds including ours, exists in some possible world"

But, that´s not how stated the argument.

The argument as I stated is not about a being who exists in all worlds including ours, exists in some possible world, which is what you are attacking, but about a property that is possibly exemplified.

so you are attacking an strawman.


When you say that property X is exemplified it means there is a possible world, in which object with property X exists.

When you say it's possible object Y exists, you mean there is a possible world in which we find object Y.

Maximall greatness include a necessary existence in all possible world.

To be honest I don't understand why you wrote "possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified", exemplified or possibly alone would be enough.

Quote
Don´t second read me. Look, only people with mental and cognitive problems, honestly and truely, think that evil is an excellent thing to be, and they belong behind white walls or bars, away from society. So, that´s just a nonsensical question, and, as I said questions are not objections, so, I have no clue what you are asking or trying to say with such a question.

If not for all these quite formally written posts of yours that I saw, I could indeed believe you have had a problem with a concept of  maximally excellent being whose property is omnimanevolence instead of omnibenevolence. But I saw them so to be honest I don't buy your excuse here.

Quote
What about this argument?
1. Object is X if it's mystical, eternal ball of energy capable of creating universes
2. Object is Y if it's  X in all possible worlds

The concept of God as a supreme and wholly perfect being was not made by me, it´s the concept of God Christians (and the other great monotheists religions) have developed for centuries.

It doesn't matter who created it, nor how long it took, now that it's already here. I hope you're not suggesting otherwise.

Quote
I did not just made this today so I can score rethorical points in our exchange, like you are doing, with  ethernal balls and necessarily existing diabolic beings, namely, these are ad-hoc, unnatural, and not in common use concepts  you are making up just  (as you yourself admit) for the sake of sustaining your position.

It doesn't matter whether concept is 1000 eyars old, or 10 hours long. MGB is made up too, and it's unnatural as well. Even if it wasn't what does it change? The fact it's common concept is an argument ad populum - useless. It's ad-hoc as well. However I still don't understand what does ad-hoc means in this context. nontheless given full analogy between our concepts it must be true that if mine is ad-hoc yours is too. Age doesn't affect it.

Generally speaking by your logic I just need to popularize my concepts for long enough, and then suddenly they become natural, and common, therefore more valuable that's your answer. It's total ad populum and "ad history". Or maybe you hope there are some laws of logic or nature which somehow prevent evil god from existence?

Quote
On the later concept of a totally diabolic being that exists in every possible world, why think  total diabolicness requires exemplification in all possible worlds, what is the history of the concept? (barely any exists, if at all) has it survived scrutiny for centuries?   (not , it hasn´t)

Again, historicity adds plausibility or credibility? Since when? And what kind of scrutiny do you mean? It's definition, and if it's coherent so what fault do you wish to find here? Or maybe you suggest there must be some independent evidence to support the existence of my defined object? That would count as admision of my point.

I don't have to explain why I think total diabolicness requires exemplification in all possible worlds, thats my definition. But if you wish, here is quick response - I think you're more diabolic if you cause evil in more than one world.

Quote
This type of manichaean view of evil is not favored today, by philosophers that study the subject. So, why think it is possible? (answer, there is no reason)

So you mean laws of logic or nature care whether your made up being is maximally good or maximally evil? That's interesting. Why do you think maximally good being is possible? Historicity, long time of development, tradition, popularity, etc. Aren't good answers here.

Quote
These are no good objections, they missconstrue the argument with respect to modal epistemic matters.


Well you still didn't respond to anything.

And you also didn't addres my hypothetical String theory example. Let's say strings always existed, and they are fundamental, let's say we have scientific proof for it. What then? Are you then going to call them god? Or are you going to claim that still, there must be something beyond them? Or maybe MOA proves that it's never going to be a case?
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 24, 2016, 08:40:08 pm
Quote
I know informally and colloquially the argument is put on terms as you are using here:
"it's possible that god exists" instead of "God who exists in all worlds including ours, exists in some possible world"

But, that´s not how stated the argument.

The argument as I stated is not about a being who exists in all worlds including ours, exists in some possible world, which is what you are attacking, but about a property that is possibly exemplified.

so you are attacking an strawman.


When you say that property X is exemplified it means there is a possible world, in which object with property X exists.

When you say it's possible object Y exists, you mean there is a possible world in which we find object Y.

Maximall greatness include a necessary existence in all possible world.

To be honest I don't understand why you wrote "possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified", exemplified or possibly alone would be enough.

Quote
Don´t second read me. Look, only people with mental and cognitive problems, honestly and truely, think that evil is an excellent thing to be, and they belong behind white walls or bars, away from society. So, that´s just a nonsensical question, and, as I said questions are not objections, so, I have no clue what you are asking or trying to say with such a question.

If not for all these quite formally written posts of yours that I saw, I could indeed believe you have had a problem with a concept of  maximally excellent being whose property is omnimanevolence instead of omnibenevolence. But I saw them so to be honest I don't buy your excuse here.

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What about this argument?
1. Object is X if it's mystical, eternal ball of energy capable of creating universes
2. Object is Y if it's  X in all possible worlds

The concept of God as a supreme and wholly perfect being was not made by me, it´s the concept of God Christians (and the other great monotheists religions) have developed for centuries.

It doesn't matter who created it, nor how long it took, now that it's already here. I hope you're not suggesting otherwise.

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I did not just made this today so I can score rethorical points in our exchange, like you are doing, with  ethernal balls and necessarily existing diabolic beings, namely, these are ad-hoc, unnatural, and not in common use concepts  you are making up just  (as you yourself admit) for the sake of sustaining your position.

It doesn't matter whether concept is 1000 eyars old, or 10 hours long. MGB is made up too, and it's unnatural as well. Even if it wasn't what does it change? The fact it's common concept is an argument ad populum - useless. It's ad-hoc as well. However I still don't understand what does ad-hoc means in this context. nontheless given full analogy between our concepts it must be true that if mine is ad-hoc yours is too. Age doesn't affect it.

Generally speaking by your logic I just need to popularize my concepts for long enough, and then suddenly they become natural, and common, therefore more valuable that's your answer. It's total ad populum and "ad history". Or maybe you hope there are some laws of logic or nature which somehow prevent evil god from existence?

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On the later concept of a totally diabolic being that exists in every possible world, why think  total diabolicness requires exemplification in all possible worlds, what is the history of the concept? (barely any exists, if at all) has it survived scrutiny for centuries?   (not , it hasn´t)

Again, historicity adds plausibility or credibility? Since when? And what kind of scrutiny do you mean? It's definition, and if it's coherent so what fault do you wish to find here? Or maybe you suggest there must be some independent evidence to support the existence of my defined object? That would count as admision of my point.

I don't have to explain why I think total diabolicness requires exemplification in all possible worlds, thats my definition. But if you wish, here is quick response - I think you're more diabolic if you cause evil in more than one world.

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This type of manichaean view of evil is not favored today, by philosophers that study the subject. So, why think it is possible? (answer, there is no reason)

So you mean laws of logic or nature care whether your made up being is maximally good or maximally evil? That's interesting. Why do you think maximally good being is possible? Historicity, long time of development, tradition, popularity, etc. Aren't good answers here.

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These are no good objections, they missconstrue the argument with respect to modal epistemic matters.


Well you still didn't respond to anything.

And you also didn't addres my hypothetical String theory example. Let's say strings always existed, and they are fundamental, let's say we have scientific proof for it. What then? Are you then going to call them god? Or are you going to claim that still, there must be something beyond them? Or maybe MOA proves that it's never going to be a case?

You again misunderstand, you say "When you say that property X is exemplified it means there is a possible world, in which object with property X exists."

Where did I say Maximal greatness is exemplified?  what I said is "possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified"

There is a subtle but important difference in formal modal logical arguments. I am referring to a property, that does not presume that there is any being or anything that has it, when I argue "possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified", by referring to the property, the statement can turn out to be false without contradiction.

When one states it in terms of a being or a thing having the property, for example: in the marred manner that you have done , then yes, by referring to an x that has such and such property on w, to say that it is false that x exists in w is self referentially contradictory, since you have already referred to x in w.

Furthermore to equate exemplified to possibly is just incoherent and completely ignores formal modal logic requirements, and, actualists modal views
So it is completely incorrect to think , as you have stated, that
 "possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified",  can just be stated as exemplified or possibly and that this would be enough.


I think you are confused, there are attempts at arguments using Omni malevolence, but your question was as follows : " What if being evil contributes to maximal excellence"

Indeed, arguments using Omni malevolence are tried out, but, not as an excellence, which is roughly the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.   Which is nonsensical, at the very least.

Why would I give you excuses when it is so much easier to show the question is nonsensical? no reason to do that.


You admitted making up concepts (in ad-hoc manner), which I have not done.

No, it´s not historicity I appealed to, I appealed to the naturalness and common use of the concept, which enables good  inductive inferences (e.g. to take it that the concept does imply certain conclusions, reliably, like exemplification in all possible worlds).

Ad-hocness in this context is when there are no independent reasons to think that the concept implies necessity, it´s just your definition as you admit, not like Maximal greatness that is argued and thought naturally and in common use to imply necessary existence, you need to give reasons, as Plantinga does, which you haven´t done, and provide evidence that the concept is at least relatively natural ( in the Lewisian sense) -- it has entrenchment by virtue of it being properly projectible-- and, that it is in common use , namely that, it has been in common-use over a great period of time, by a great number of users a number of whom were of high intelligence and to whom the concept was of great intellectual importance.


From your answers, we have one attempt to give a reason, which is at least an step forward, though a failed one:
Quote
1. Being X is diabolic if and only if it's omnipotent and evil
2. Being X is totally diabolic if and only if it's diabolic and it exists in every possible worlds.
3. You're more diabolic if you cause evil in more than one world.

For this to have a chance to work, let’s take evil to be something like Omni malevolent, or maximal evilness

The problem is that you have couched diabolicness/ maximal evilness/Omni malevolence in terms of causing evil.

And we can observe that in the actual world, that even though there are huge amounts of evil, there is not really all the evil that can broadly logically be caused in a world, and thus, your being does not exist necessarily.


I gave, a-priori,  expansive and inductive reasons, for thinking that maximal greatness is possibly exemplified , the concept is not incoherent, while it is understood determinately, it is not an ad-hoc concept, it is a more natural concept (in the Lewisian sense), and in common use (in the sense described above).

I have responded to plenty, even though there is nothing much to respond to.

There are some models based on string theory that present no contradiction to the MOA nor vice versa, are you referring to some specific string theory model? why is this even relevant to the argument?
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 27, 2016, 12:46:28 pm
You know, it doesn't matter how deep you hide it, if your argument starts with "god exists" and finish on "therefore god exists" It's not a good argument and no amount of logic will change it. You can formulate it in 10000 different ways, but the core remains. You can't escape it because MOA isn't evidence based argument. It's poor analytic argument which tries to tinker with definitions in order to influence real world. Your premises aren't based on any evidential or inductive reasoning, so how can they possibly lead to meaningful conclusion?

"Possibly, Maximal greatness is exemplified" is just even more complex way of saying that it's possible that Maximally great being exists, which is a complicated way of saying "god exists".

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Maximal greatness is possibly exemplified. That is, it is possible that there be a being that has maximal greatness.
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Genealogy to Iqbal volume 4 page 89
http://tinyurl.com/God-Exists-God-Exists

Author of this book also thinks there is nothing wrong with accepting this premise of MOA. In other words you just have to redefine phrase "god exists" which is hard to accept as a premise, into something more friendly and voila it's working!

As I said earlier we can make similar trick:

Earth is spherical <=> god exists

P1. Earth is spherical
P2. If earth is spherical then god exists
C. God exists.

P1. Intuition, metaphysics, physics, all these things tell us it's true
P2. Follows logically from our definitions.

You're using completely unnatural and out of touch with reality concept of possibility. Why should anyone accept your premises? Because they sound good? You can't give any other reason than that. Later in your post you're arguing how natural your concept is, why then you use double standard and don't apply it to your semantics? Who on earth use word possible as equivalent of "There is some possible world, where X"? For 99.999 of population possible means practically nothing.

When I say X is possible I mean I don't see any logical or physical constraints, for it to happen in future or in the past, it does not mean however that I believe it ever happend, or will happen, or even can actually happen. Possibility lacks any meaning. But proponents of MOA try to cheat others, they want them to accept that it's possible god exists (it doesn't matter how you formulate it) and people often fall for it, after all who doesn't want to be open minded and accept at least possible existence of god?

Nothing regarding actual world was ever proven using your method. There was never a person armored only in his reason, devoid of any scientific or evidence based knowledge, who sat in a chair, in an empty room, and who came up with real discovery concerning real world, only as a result of hard thinking and reasoning.

So given your standard of argumentation ("my concept is older, and more people worked on it and it's more natural, so it's better than yours") I can now safely say that your method of gathering knowledge is completely ineffective and lacks any justification. For thousands of years, your way of reaching truth regarding actual world, had effectivness equal zero.

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You admitted making up concepts (in ad-hoc manner), which I have not done.

Well, you repeat it second time, as if it somehow supports your case. It doesn't, I explain later.

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No, it´s not historicity I appealed to, I appealed to the naturalness and common use of the concept, which enables good  inductive inferences (e.g. to take it that the concept does imply certain conclusions, reliably, like exemplification in all possible worlds).

Appeal to naturalness? What does it even mean? Well I know, "It's such an old tradition to say that MGB exists necessarily, we would feel uncomfortable if we did otherwise". You can't be serious about this defence.

And with regard to ad-hocness of my concept...

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Ad-hocness in this context is when there are no independent reasons to think that the concept implies necessity, it´s just your definition as you admit, not like Maximal greatness that is argued and thought naturally and in common use to imply necessary existence, you need to give reasons, as Plantinga does, which you haven´t done, and provide evidence that the concept is at least relatively natural ( in the Lewisian sense) -- it has entrenchment by virtue of it being properly projectible-- and, that it is in common use , namely that, it has been in common-use over a great period of time, by a great number of users a number of whom were of high intelligence and to whom the concept was of great intellectual importance.

You basically admit my point. Your whole argument is: Oh, it's such and old concept, and we're so used to it, and many people spent time working on it, and many more know and have known it for long periods of time so it certainly count as sound justification. Your definition of ad-hoc is so deprived of any meaning that I don't mind, you can claim mine is ad-hoc and yours isn't if you wish, you can also say that my concept is green and yours is blue so yours is the better one, no difference in significance.

And by the way, for hundreds of years Europe was totally christian continent. So it's obvious people got accustomed to concept of god, plus it's obvious christian thinkers were working on them. You must be kidding if you suggest it adds any credibility to it.

Plus I gave reasons why it makes sense for maximal diabolic being to be necessary.

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From your answers, we have one attempt to give a reason, which is at least an step forward, though a failed one:
Quote
1. Being X is diabolic if and only if it's omnipotent and evil
2. Being X is totally diabolic if and only if it's diabolic and it exists in every possible worlds.
3. You're more diabolic if you cause evil in more than one world.

For this to have a chance to work, let’s take evil to be something like Omni malevolent, or maximal evilness

The problem is that you have couched diabolicness/ maximal evilness/Omni malevolence in terms of causing evil.

And we can observe that in the actual world, that even though there are huge amounts of evil, there is not really all the evil that can broadly logically be caused in a world, and thus, your being does not exist necessarily.

Again, are you serious? You're basically saying: "Look, there is evil in our world, but certainly there are not as much evil as possible, but well, we have at least maximal amount of good, isn't that great?"

Since lack of maximal amount of evil disprove my concept, lack of maximal good disproves christian god too. Or maybe you want to argue that that we live in a world with maximal possible amount of good? I'm sure you would have great evidence for it.

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I gave, a-priori,  expansive and inductive reasons, for thinking that maximal greatness is possibly exemplified , the concept is not incoherent, while it is understood determinately, it is not an ad-hoc concept, it is a more natural concept (in the Lewisian sense), and in common use (in the sense described above).

Yeah, your reasons:

It's an old concept
It's concept many people use
Many people spend time working on it
It somehow feels natural to say that god is necessary.
Etc.

Seriously, you think reality cares whether you like some concepts, or whether they sound natural to you or that reality change its structure depending on how long concept X is being used? You're completely confusing evidence with a kind of fuzzy feeling inside you which suggests that your imaginary concept is somehow objectively better than mine.

And to be honest I prefer magical ball of energy more than my totally diabolic being. I have good justification why it should exist necessary, its power is so great, it simply must exist in more than one world, it sounds much better to me, oh and give me few hundred years, power over half the world (that's what power church wielded when popularizing their concepts) and I'm sure I'll be able make it natural and common.

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I have responded to plenty, even though there is nothing much to respond to.

Still the same old appeals to popularity, historicity, etc. 100 lame excuses don't give you one good. I think  you have something to respond to, namely why should I accept your premise that god can possibly exist and what prevents me from applaying the same logic to other concepts. Your whole defence on why MOA specifically proves the christian god can be summarized in one sentence:

It's an old tradition.

Obviously you try to make it sound more spohisticated and justified but to be honest those are failed attempts.

And your rebutall to why I should even accept your first premise... Well I didn't see any, only accusations of confusion and lack of understanding. I think the problem isn't my lack of understanding but the fact I understand it well enough, to know what the real meanings of your words is, and even if I don't understand all of them I understand the key points.

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There are some models based on string theory that present no contradiction to the MOA nor vice versa, are you referring to some specific string theory model? why is this even relevant to the argument?

I'm asking what if scientists came up with physical model which doesn't requires god at any step. What then? For example what if scientists tell us one day "Ok, guys these strings were floating for eternity interacting with each other in such and such manner".  According to you it can't be the case, strings and theory describing them must be contingent right? God has to have a power to change them doesn't he?
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: ParaclitosLogos on November 27, 2016, 01:53:22 pm
You know, it doesn't matter how deep you hide it, if your argument starts with "god exists" and finish on "therefore god exists" It's not a good argument and no amount of logic will change it. You can formulate it in 10000 different ways, but the core remains. You can't escape it because MOA isn't evidence based argument. It's poor analytic argument which tries to tinker with definitions in order to influence real world. Your premises aren't based on any evidential or inductive reasoning, so how can they possibly lead to meaningful conclusion?

"Possibly, Maximal greatness is exemplified" is just even more complex way of saying that it's possible that Maximally great being exists, which is a complicated way of saying "god exists".

Quote
Maximal greatness is possibly exemplified. That is, it is possible that there be a being that has maximal greatness.
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Genealogy to Iqbal volume 4 page 89
http://tinyurl.com/God-Exists-God-Exists

Author of this book also thinks there is nothing wrong with accepting this premise of MOA. In other words you just have to redefine phrase "god exists" which is hard to accept as a premise, into something more friendly and voila it's working!

As I said earlier we can make similar trick:

Earth is spherical <=> god exists

P1. Earth is spherical
P2. If earth is spherical then god exists
C. God exists.

P1. Intuition, metaphysics, physics, all these things tell us it's true
P2. Follows logically from our definitions.

You're using completely unnatural and out of touch with reality concept of possibility. Why should anyone accept your premises? Because they sound good? You can't give any other reason than that. Later in your post you're arguing how natural your concept is, why then you use double standard and don't apply it to your semantics? Who on earth use word possible as equivalent of "There is some possible world, where X"? For 99.999 of population possible means practically nothing.

When I say X is possible I mean I don't see any logical or physical constraints, for it to happen in future or in the past, it does not mean however that I believe it ever happend, or will happen, or even can actually happen. Possibility lacks any meaning. But proponents of MOA try to cheat others, they want them to accept that it's possible god exists (it doesn't matter how you formulate it) and people often fall for it, after all who doesn't want to be open minded and accept at least possible existence of god?

Nothing regarding actual world was ever proven using your method. There was never a person armored only in his reason, devoid of any scientific or evidence based knowledge, who sat in a chair, in an empty room, and who came up with real discovery concerning real world, only as a result of hard thinking and reasoning.

So given your standard of argumentation ("my concept is older, and more people worked on it and it's more natural, so it's better than yours") I can now safely say that your method of gathering knowledge is completely ineffective and lacks any justification. For thousands of years, your way of reaching truth regarding actual world, had effectivness equal zero.

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You admitted making up concepts (in ad-hoc manner), which I have not done.

Well, you repeat it second time, as if it somehow supports your case. It doesn't, I explain later.

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No, it´s not historicity I appealed to, I appealed to the naturalness and common use of the concept, which enables good  inductive inferences (e.g. to take it that the concept does imply certain conclusions, reliably, like exemplification in all possible worlds).

Appeal to naturalness? What does it even mean? Well I know, "It's such an old tradition to say that MGB exists necessarily, we would feel uncomfortable if we did otherwise". You can't be serious about this defence.

And with regard to ad-hocness of my concept...

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Ad-hocness in this context is when there are no independent reasons to think that the concept implies necessity, it´s just your definition as you admit, not like Maximal greatness that is argued and thought naturally and in common use to imply necessary existence, you need to give reasons, as Plantinga does, which you haven´t done, and provide evidence that the concept is at least relatively natural ( in the Lewisian sense) -- it has entrenchment by virtue of it being properly projectible-- and, that it is in common use , namely that, it has been in common-use over a great period of time, by a great number of users a number of whom were of high intelligence and to whom the concept was of great intellectual importance.

You basically admit my point. Your whole argument is: Oh, it's such and old concept, and we're so used to it, and many people spent time working on it, and many more know and have known it for long periods of time so it certainly count as sound justification. Your definition of ad-hoc is so deprived of any meaning that I don't mind, you can claim mine is ad-hoc and yours isn't if you wish, you can also say that my concept is green and yours is blue so yours is the better one, no difference in significance.

And by the way, for hundreds of years Europe was totally christian continent. So it's obvious people got accustomed to concept of god, plus it's obvious christian thinkers were working on them. You must be kidding if you suggest it adds any credibility to it.

Plus I gave reasons why it makes sense for maximal diabolic being to be necessary.

Quote
From your answers, we have one attempt to give a reason, which is at least an step forward, though a failed one:
Quote
1. Being X is diabolic if and only if it's omnipotent and evil
2. Being X is totally diabolic if and only if it's diabolic and it exists in every possible worlds.
3. You're more diabolic if you cause evil in more than one world.

For this to have a chance to work, let’s take evil to be something like Omni malevolent, or maximal evilness

The problem is that you have couched diabolicness/ maximal evilness/Omni malevolence in terms of causing evil.

And we can observe that in the actual world, that even though there are huge amounts of evil, there is not really all the evil that can broadly logically be caused in a world, and thus, your being does not exist necessarily.

Again, are you serious? You're basically saying: "Look, there is evil in our world, but certainly there are not as much evil as possible, but well, we have at least maximal amount of good, isn't that great?"

Since lack of maximal amount of evil disprove my concept, lack of maximal good disproves christian god too. Or maybe you want to argue that that we live in a world with maximal possible amount of good? I'm sure you would have great evidence for it.

Quote
I gave, a-priori,  expansive and inductive reasons, for thinking that maximal greatness is possibly exemplified , the concept is not incoherent, while it is understood determinately, it is not an ad-hoc concept, it is a more natural concept (in the Lewisian sense), and in common use (in the sense described above).

Yeah, your reasons:

It's an old concept
It's concept many people use
Many people spend time working on it
It somehow feels natural to say that god is necessary.
Etc.

Seriously, you think reality cares whether you like some concepts, or whether they sound natural to you or that reality change its structure depending on how long concept X is being used? You're completely confusing evidence with a kind of fuzzy feeling inside you which suggests that your imaginary concept is somehow objectively better than mine.

And to be honest I prefer magical ball of energy more than my totally diabolic being. I have good justification why it should exist necessary, its power is so great, it simply must exist in more than one world, it sounds much better to me, oh and give me few hundred years, power over half the world (that's what power church wielded when popularizing their concepts) and I'm sure I'll be able make it natural and common.

Quote
I have responded to plenty, even though there is nothing much to respond to.

Still the same old appeals to popularity, historicity, etc. 100 lame excuses don't give you one good. I think  you have something to respond to, namely why should I accept your premise that god can possibly exist and what prevents me from applaying the same logic to other concepts. Your whole defence on why MOA specifically proves the christian god can be summarized in one sentence:

It's an old tradition.

Obviously you try to make it sound more spohisticated and justified but to be honest those are failed attempts.

And your rebutall to why I should even accept your first premise... Well I didn't see any, only accusations of confusion and lack of understanding. I think the problem isn't my lack of understanding but the fact I understand it well enough, to know what the real meanings of your words is, and even if I don't understand all of them I understand the key points.

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There are some models based on string theory that present no contradiction to the MOA nor vice versa, are you referring to some specific string theory model? why is this even relevant to the argument?

I'm asking what if scientists came up with physical model which doesn't requires god at any step. What then? For example what if scientists tell us one day "Ok, guys these strings were floating for eternity interacting with each other in such and such manner".  According to you it can't be the case, strings and theory describing them must be contingent right? God has to have a power to change them doesn't he?

You´d have to not be able to read correctly to think that the MOA  starts with "god exists" (the main premise can be Maximal greatness is exemplified) and if the argument finishes on "therefore god exists" , it´s because the premises entail that conclusion, that´s what a valid argument is suppose to do.

To know that the argument does not start with "God exists" one just needs to read the premises
1. Possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified
2. Necessarily, if maximal greatness is exemplified  then maximal excellence is exemplified in all worlds.
3 if (Possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified , and,  Necessarily, if maximal greatness is exemplified, then,    maximal  excellence is exemplified in all worlds), then, actually, maximal excellence is s exemplified in all worlds.

If you want to say that 1 means God exists, you are just mistaken, for that to follow 2 and 3 are needed.

So, I won´t be answering to your assertions that the argument starts with God exists, anymore, it just does not deserve attention.

The MOA possibility premise is based on the evidence from intuition, other arguments conclusions and the evidence from the naturalness and common use , which are  based on inductive reasoning and observation.

The 2nd premise is based on a conceptual analysis of the concept of Maximal greatness.

And the 3rd premise is based on advanced logic (modal logic S5 system (5) axiom)

It´s confused to think that statements that are not based on any evidential or inductive reasoning (read Bealer, Chalmers), cannot lead to meaningful conclusions?  Many   mathematical proofs are not based on evidential nor inductive reasoning, and yet lead to meaninful conclusions.

But, this is irrelevant, since, as I explained the MOA has an evidential base, that I have provided.

The explanation given in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Genealogy to Iqbal is irrelevant to the point  I made. As I said, popularly it´s ok, to do this, but, when it comes to considerations of reference, it is important to do it in the manner explained (read Plantinga, stalnaker, on essences and haecceitism)

And your following example, makes me doubt I should spend any more time in this exchange, it is just irrelevant and not a serious attempt to understand the argument:


Quote
Earth is spherical <=> god exists  ...

This is not a definition it´s a bi-conditional truth claim, and, under common understanding of what the terms mean there is no reason to think it is true.

If you define earth is spherical =(def)  God exists, then, it is true, but, then what is the support for the 1st premise? not what you stated, on the support for P1.


The concepts you mention here are related to common use, not to naturalness:
Quote
It's an old concept
It's concept many people use
Many people spend time working on it
It somehow feels natural to say that god is necessary. (this one is just your own ignorance speaking)
Etc.

The point is that, probabilistically, that these are true is better explained by the hypothesis that the concept is the concept of a possible thing,  It´s and inductive argument, quite an old method.  (Read Liebniz, Pruss) 

Naturalness has nothing to do with liking the concept, but, with projectibility (inductive reasoning), and, entrenchment of the predicate in question. (Read, Quine, Goodman)

These are a very poor arguments, and it just shows we are nowhere near the level needed to understand much less criticize the argument.

Furthermore, I´m no expert, I can certainly be wrong, but, the way you address me as if I am trying to trick you or deceive you, and I´m just deluded or something: I´m just sick of it. I don´t know you and I don´t have to accept that kind of treatment.

 It´s all the same to me, you think I´m a liar, and, full of myself, with no connection to reality, and, I think you are just an ignorant cretin, let´s not waste our time, further.

You are ignorant of the literature, have no epistemic humility, and, you are not here to learn anything but tell us how it is. Have a good life.
 
I´m done with this exchange.




Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 27, 2016, 06:57:14 pm
Quote
You´d have to not be able to read correctly to think that the MOA  starts with "god exists" (the main premise can be Maximal greatness is exemplified) and if the argument finishes on "therefore god exists" , it´s because the premises entail that conclusion, that´s what a valid argument is suppose to do.

To know that the argument does not start with "God exists" one just needs to read the premises
1. Possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified
2. Necessarily, if maximal greatness is exemplified  then maximal excellence is exemplified in all worlds.
3 if (Possibly, maximal greatness is exemplified , and,  Necessarily, if maximal greatness is exemplified, then,    maximal  excellence is exemplified in all worlds), then, actually, maximal excellence is s exemplified in all worlds.

If you want to say that 1 means God exists, you are just mistaken, for that to follow 2 and 3 are needed.

So, I won´t be answering to your assertions that the argument starts with God exists, anymore, it just does not deserve attention.

Oh, no one is saing that god exists because god exists. They're just saying that god, which exists in all possible worlds including ours, exists in some possible world. So to be more precise first premise is more like an indefinite list of premises, namely:

P0. God exists in our world
P1. God exists in world 1
P2. God exists in world 2
.
.
.
Pi. God exists in world i
.
.
.
Pn. God exists in world n

But to be honest it doesn't make much difference to me, whether it's one premise or 20, the point is none of them is evidence based, it's easy to make a logical chain which will lead to a certain conclusion, I already gave you one simple example. I continue comment on this later.

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The MOA possibility premise is based on the evidence from intuition, other arguments conclusions and the evidence from the naturalness and common use , which are  based on inductive reasoning and observation.

Evidence from intution - my intuition tells me there isn't god, are you sure about this part? But I wouldn't be surprised if intuition meant something completely different here.
Other arguments conclusions - you admit my point once again, MOA itself adds nothing to the case it's just a complex way of saying that if there are sufficient reasons to believe in god, then it's reasonable to believe in god. First premise already tells us whether god exists or not, so to establish it we need some evidence for the existence of god. I can only wonder why would anyone call it modal ontological argument and present it as independent argument for anything.
naturalness - I wasn't able to find any informations on what being properly projectable means in this context, but again, you refer to philosophy, instead of science so it's extremaly unlikely to add any substance to your premise.
common use- ad populum, why you keep using it as a justification of any sort?

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It´s confused to think that statements that are not based on any evidential or inductive reasoning (read Bealer, Chalmers), cannot lead to meaningful conclusions?  Many   mathematical proofs are not based on evidential nor inductive reasoning, and yet lead to meaninful conclusions.

Math is made up. Axioms can be intuitive and make sense to us, or we can make them super exotic and create our own universe when nothing is intuitive. We can choose our axioms quite freely, the point is whether we make them somewhat connected to what we observe in real world has influence on whether our conclusions are going to make sense.

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But, this is irrelevant, since, as I explained the MOA has an evidential base, that I have provided.

No, you didn't? That's the point. Why should I accept pure reasoning as evidence if I know it never led us to any actual discovery? Or let's say it did once or twice, who knows, it still doesn't change the fact this standard of evidence simply doesn't work.

You have to prove that god exists in some posible world. By "prove" I don't mean 100% certainty, just beyond any reasonable doubt. Given that we have only access to our world you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that god exists in our world. I think it shows quite decisively why MOA fails.

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And your following example, makes me doubt I should spend any more time in this exchange, it is just irrelevant and not a serious attempt to understand the argument:

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Earth is spherical <=> god exists  ...
This is not a definition it´s a bi-conditional truth claim, and, under common understanding of what the terms mean there is no reason to think it is true.

If you define earth is spherical =(def)  God exists, then, it is true, but, then what is the support for the 1st premise? not what you stated, on the support for P1.

I still ask why I should accept that god is possible. If I accept that god is possible than it logically follows he exists. So for all purposes when you ask me to accept the possibility of god you ask me to accept the existence of god.

If say we were arguing whether earth is spherical then you could make a following argument:
1. Sphere is the only shape which always casts a round shade
2. Earth always casts a round shade on the moon
3. Earth is spherical

Here both our premises are grounded in observations. So I wouldn't ask why should I accept them knowing where they lead. However in case of MOA nothing is based on any kind of evidence, instead we have definitions, axioms and wordplays. The same is true for my example. I don't provide any justification for my premise, all I do is I manipulatre words in such a way that it seems reasonable to accept my premise. You claim you have justification for your premise, just disagree, to establish your first premise that god exists in some possible world you have to prove his existence in this world. Given that we have access only to our world you have to prove that god actually exists in our world or at least that it's very likely. But it's another way of showing that MOA itself is just complicated wordplay.

That's the difference between evidence based argument and MOA. It doesn't matter how many excellent axioms you use, or how brilliant your definitions are, there is no evidence whatsoever anywhere in your argument, so since it's all made up you could just very well reduce it to "if god exists, then god exists".

When you say that there are other arguments whose conclusions help MOA, you're basically saying, that "if there are good arguments for the existence of god, than it's reasonable to accept that god exists"

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These are a very poor arguments, and it just shows we are nowhere near the level needed to understand much less criticize the argument.

Well from my point of view our discussion may be compared to the following one:

1. You have a very complex equation and you somehow managed to get the answer - god
2. I point out that you made a very simple error, you put 2 and 2 together, and your result is 5.
3. I try to convince you that if you mend your mistake the answer is actually zero.
4. You argue that I don't know calculus, topology, modal logic, etc. And you give me a lot of books.

That's basically how our discussion looks like.

And speaking of books, I'd highly suggests you to read more of scientific ones. Maybe it would change your way of thinking a bit. I'm sorry to break it to you, but all these illustriuous philosophers, work of which you want me to study, know nothing more of god, than you or me. They didn't see him, they didn't make observations, they didn't carry any experiments. Philosophers are like supercomputers which lack any data to process. I think it's quite obvious, otherwise they'd be scientists.

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Furthermore, I´m no expert, I can certainly be wrong, but, the way you address me as if I am trying to trick you or deceive you, and I´m just deluded or something: I´m just sick of it. I don´t know you and I don´t have to accept that kind of treatment.

 It´s all the same to me, you think I´m a liar, and, full of myself, with no connection to reality, and, I think you are just an ignorant cretin, let´s not waste our time, further.

Well, you know, before you say that someone insults you and before you call this person a cretin make sure you are indeed the first one who is actually being offended. I think it doesn't require any further comment. Anyway, "I'm insulted" is not a winning argument.

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You are ignorant of the literature, have no epistemic humility, and, you are not here to learn anything but tell us how it is. Have a good life.

I can only wonder what do you mean by epistemic humility, I'm not humble because I point out no one ever make any significatn breakthrough just by sitting and thinking very hard, without basing their process of thought on evidence and observation?

And you didn't address any of my counterexamples. I can still only guess why my evil being can't exist, the last rebuttal to it you gave was that we surely don't observe maximal level of evil in our world. I responded that we also don't observe maximal good too...

And let me stress this again, because given how long this topic is, it probably wasn't highlighted enough:

1. To support your first premise you need to prove god exists in at least one possible world
2. The only world we can work with is our own
3. Therefore to support first premise of MOA you have to prove that god exists in our world.
4. Therefore if you prove that god exists in our world, then you can use MOA to argue that god exists in our world.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Dogbyte on December 03, 2016, 10:41:14 pm
So I'm still waiting for someone to convince me.

I am curious if you could quickly summarize a scenario that indeed would convince you?
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on December 04, 2016, 07:29:35 am
So I'm still waiting for someone to convince me.

I am curious if you could quickly summarize a scenario that indeed would convince you?

Well, I don't know what would it take to convince me that MOA is a good argument. Its first premise states that MGB exist in some possible world. But where is a proof for it? Where is the evidence that god exists in any possible world? We're contained in our world, therefore we can only prove the existence of god here. But obviously it shows how ridiculous MOA is, to establish its first premise we have to firstly prove its conclusion...

I just wonder, where is a single thing that MOA adds to the case? For example, I think KCA with its conclusion about disembodied mind is a very weak argument too, however there is at least something, an attempt to make belief in god just slightly more justified. The same goes for ressurection of Jesus, I think it's terrible argument as well, but at least it tries to add something.

But in case of MOA? It's just superfluously convoluted way of conveying what's already obvious to everyone. If there are enough good reasons to believe in god, then it's reasonable to believe in god.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: igr on December 13, 2016, 04:07:53 am
The PMOA (Plantinga's MOA) seems to generate heat, but that should not be the case.  Given that almost all of us are not members of the Philosophy In-Crowd, it is incumbent on the Insiders to be patient and more especially, helpful to us Outsiders.  That includes explaining in every-day English any Modal Logic construct that is used in an argument.

This leads me to the premise of the argument (the PMOA).  This is, "It is possible that there is a Being that has Maximal Greatness".  In every-day understanding, the following seems reasonable:

1.  The premise of the argument REQUIRES the existence of the Being of Maximal Greatness.
2.  A Being of Maximal Greatness REQUIRES Maximal Excellence in all possible worlds.
3.  The expression "all possible worlds" INCLUDES the actual world we inhabit.
4.  A Being of Maximal Excellence in all possible worlds REQUIRES Maximal Excellence in the world we inhabit.
5.  A Being of Maximal Excellence in the world we inhabit REQUIRES omnipotence, onmiscience and perfect goodness in the world we inhabit.
6.  How has this been proven?

In response to this, Insiders do not express their disagreement in every-day English.  But that is what we require.

A Premise by its nature is a "statement of truth".  That means that it has been verified as true and correct.  If that is not the case, the basis for the assertion is required, expressed in every-day English.  I am not aware of a useful explanation of this for the PMOA premise, but maybe I have missed it, so a (re-)statement by an Insider would be useful.  Without such explanation it is not possible to accept the premise and the PMOA thus fails.

And keep in mind, regardless of the "logic" or constructs of Modal Logic, normal logic is not over-ridden, so my list above will apply regardless.  In any case, Modal Logic is a model which to be useful, must use rules and constructs that apply with equal veracity in actuality, otherwise any conclusion of Modal Logic cannot be applied to actuality. 

So it is over to an Insider to assist.  thanks.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Dogbyte on December 13, 2016, 11:02:46 am
Well, I don't know what would it take to convince me that MOA is a good argument. Its first premise states that MGB exist in some possible world. But where is a proof for it?

It may just be a misunderstanding of what is being argued. In what way are you using the word "proof"? I am not particularly qualified to, or necessarily capable of sufficiently going over each part, but in regards to needing proof for a premise that something is logically possible (ie. a counterfactual)...are you sure such a premise requires the type of "proof" that you mention?

Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Dogbyte on December 13, 2016, 11:06:37 am
I am surely no insider, not by a long shot, but the premise "It is possible that there is a Being that has Maximal Greatness" is based on an understanding of what philosophers mean by a possible world. That may be a good place to start when considering whether or not this premise is logically coherent.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on January 01, 2017, 05:33:03 am
Well, I don't know what would it take to convince me that MOA is a good argument. Its first premise states that MGB exist in some possible world. But where is a proof for it?

It may just be a misunderstanding of what is being argued. In what way are you using the word "proof"? I am not particularly qualified to, or necessarily capable of sufficiently going over each part, but in regards to needing proof for a premise that something is logically possible (ie. a counterfactual)...are you sure such a premise requires the type of "proof" that you mention?

Wait, you say "logically possible"? The last time I checked when something was logicaly possible it didn't follow there exist some real world where it does happen, it was a mere concept.

If proponents of MOA want to claim that their god is just a concept then alright I don't argue against it, but if their goal is to prove that god actually exist than I'm waiting for a proof that such world inhabited by god actually exists that is it's not a mere concept in our minds.
Title: Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
Post by: Dogbyte on January 04, 2017, 03:58:21 pm
Well, I don't know what would it take to convince me that MOA is a good argument. Its first premise states that MGB exist in some possible world. But where is a proof for it?

It may just be a misunderstanding of what is being argued. In what way are you using the word "proof"? I am not particularly qualified to, or necessarily capable of sufficiently going over each part, but in regards to needing proof for a premise that something is logically possible (ie. a counterfactual)...are you sure such a premise requires the type of "proof" that you mention?

Wait, you say "logically possible"? The last time I checked when something was logicaly possible it didn't follow there exist some real world where it does happen, it was a mere concept.

If proponents of MOA want to claim that their god is just a concept then alright I don't argue against it, but if their goal is to prove that god actually exist than I'm waiting for a proof that such world inhabited by god actually exists that is it's not a mere concept in our minds.

I would just offer what i said in post #53, so that when someone incorporates modal logic or possible worlds, you will know what is being claimed.