bruce culver

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This is a possible worlds argument that refutes (Sorry, I've now decided it fails) the possibility of a Maximally Great Being. I believe is very (wrong). I won't say that it is solid proof that a Maximally Great Being  (MGB)doesn't exist, but I do believe it solidly (but erroneously) demonstrates that there must be a problem with possible world arguments concerning such beings.

1. Some possible worlds are imaginary only.  (This premise is debatable, I guess, but I don’t think the theist will want to deal with the infinite number of worlds that would result from denying this)

2. An MGB  must exist in all possible worlds. (By definition, and/or by the OA)
3. An MGB must exist in both actual and imaginary only worlds. (From 1&2)
4. It is impossible for something to exist that is both actual and imaginary only 
5. Therefore, an MGB cannot possibly exist. (Wrong! Does not follow from 3&4, Sorry)
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 11:37:07 am by bruce culver »
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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Re: Call the doctor: Maximally Great Being Cannot Exist
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 12:27:23 pm »
This is a possible worlds argument that refutes the possibility of a Maximally Great Being. I believe is very strong. I won't say that it is solid proof that a Maximally Great Being  (MGB)doesn't exist, but I do believe it solidly demonstrates that there must be a problem with possible world arguments concerning such beings.

1. Some possible worlds are imaginary only.  (This premise is debatable, I guess, but I don’t think the theist will want to deal with the infinite number of worlds that would result from denying this)

2. An MGB  must exist in all possible worlds. (By definition, and/or by the OA)
3. An MGB must exist in both actual and imaginary only worlds. (From 1&2)
4. It is impossible for something to exist that is both actual and imaginary only
5. Therefore, an MGB cannot possibly exist. (From 3&4)


This is laughable. 3-4, is quite false. How do you you know that He must exist imaginary worlds, or how do you know it is impossible for somthing to exist in actual and imaginary worlds.
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bruce culver

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Re: Call the doctor: Maximally Great Being Cannot Exist
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 04:45:09 pm »
This is a possible worlds argument that refutes the possibility of a Maximally Great Being. I believe is very strong. I won't say that it is solid proof that a Maximally Great Being  (MGB)doesn't exist, but I do believe it solidly demonstrates that there must be a problem with possible world arguments concerning such beings.

1. Some possible worlds are imaginary only.  (This premise is debatable, I guess, but I don’t think the theist will want to deal with the infinite number of worlds that would result from denying this)

2. An MGB  must exist in all possible worlds. (By definition, and/or by the OA)
3. An MGB must exist in both actual and imaginary only worlds. (From 1&2)
4. It is impossible for something to exist that is both actual and imaginary only
5. Therefore, an MGB cannot possibly exist. (From 3&4)


This is laughable. 3-4, is quite false. How do you you know that He must exist imaginary worlds, or how do you know it is impossible for somthing to exist in actual and imaginary worlds.

Come on man, that is elemental logic. 3 follows from 1&2. 4 follows from the principle of non contradiction.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 09:29:38 pm by bruce culver »
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bruce culver

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Re: Call the doctor: Maximally Great Being Cannot Exist
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 11:32:21 am »
Darn. I think my argument is a fail. :P

I'll probably delete it, but I'll leave it up for a while to accept whatever egg anybody wants to throw in my face, and to show how tricky these arguments are, that I, a person of fairly respectable albeit decidely subgenius IQ, was able to trick myself for a time.

The argument depends on a sort of equivocation, in that "to exist in imaginary only worlds" is confused with "to exist in the imagination only" . I was thinking these would be the same thing, but in fact "imaginary only worlds", would mean worlds that exist only in the imagination, not worlds that contain only imaginary members. Therefore it is certainly possible that a being could exist in the actual world and imaginary only worlds.

Now, I'm wondering if is logically possible to have a world with only imaginary members? If that is possible, then the argument could be reworded to make it work. However, I think it is impossible to have such a world. I mean a world can have imaginary members. Unicorns exist in the actual world as an imagination, but the existence of an imagination is dependent upon an actual mind to imagine them So, while there could be and  probably are possible worlds that exist in the imagination only, there are no possible worlds that contain only imaginary members.

But this leads me to a question: Is it a "great making property" to exist in a possible world that exists only in the imagination? If existing in imaginary only worlds is not a great making property, then how can it be said that MGB must exist in all possible worlds?

Well, actually, I can think of an argument as why it is a great making property; that is saying "Isn't a being that you can't even imagine not existing greater than a being that it is possible to imagine not existing." Geesh. I think I would agree. OK, another dead end.
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Re: Call the doctor: Maximally Great Being Cannot Exist
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2013, 02:44:57 pm »
Darn. I think my argument is a fail. :P

I'll probably delete it, but I'll leave it up for a while to accept whatever egg anybody wants to throw in my face, and to show how tricky these arguments are, that I, a person of fairly respectable albeit decidely subgenius IQ, was able to trick myself for a time.

The argument depends on a sort of equivocation, in that "to exist in imaginary only worlds" is confused with "to exist in the imagination only" . I was thinking these would be the same thing, but in fact "imaginary only worlds", would mean worlds that exist only in the imagination, not worlds that contain only imaginary members. Therefore it is certainly possible that a being could exist in the actual world and imaginary only worlds.

Now, I'm wondering if is logically possible to have a world with only imaginary members? If that is possible, then the argument could be reworded to make it work. However, I think it is impossible to have such a world. I mean a world can have imaginary members. Unicorns exist in the actual world as an imagination, but the existence of an imagination is dependent upon an actual mind to imagine them So, while there could be and  probably are possible worlds that exist in the imagination only, there are no possible worlds that contain only imaginary members.

But this leads me to a question: Is it a "great making property" to exist in a possible world that exists only in the imagination? If existing in imaginary only worlds is not a great making property, then how can it be said that MGB must exist in all possible worlds?

Well, actually, I can think of an argument as why it is a great making property; that is saying "Isn't a being that you can't even imagine not existing greater than a being that it is possible to imagine not existing." Geesh. I think I would agree. OK, another dead end.

It's actually a good argument if you just could rephrase it somehow.
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bruce culver

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Re: Call the doctor: Maximally Great Being Cannot Exist (Or so I thought)
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2013, 07:43:10 pm »
"It's actually a good argument if you just could rephrase it somehow."


Which argument?

"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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Re: Call the doctor: Maximally Great Being Cannot Exist (Or so I thought)
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2013, 07:45:26 pm »
"It's actually a good argument if you just could rephrase it somehow."


Which argument?

The first one.
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bruce culver

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Re: Call the doctor: Maximally Great Being Cannot Exist (Or so I thought)
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2013, 09:40:17 pm »
"It's actually a good argument if you just could rephrase it somehow."


Which argument?

The first one.

Huh? When I thought the argument was good, you dissed it. Then when I discovered and embarassedly pointed out the (now) obvious (to me) error, you tell me it could work if just reworded, which even I now doubt.

Why do you think that? Can you reword it to make it work?  :-\
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."