Al Graham

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #15 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.


« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 07:00:23 am by Al Graham »
To understand that logic must be valid is to see at once that mind cannot be alien to the nature of the universe. Many people think this is due to the fact that Nature produced the mind. But on the assumption that Nature is herself mindless, this provides no explanation. CS Lewis (abridged)

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ParaclitosLogos

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #16 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.


Quote

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)

.


Quote
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.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 11:21:13 am by ontologicalme »

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Al Graham

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #17 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.
To understand that logic must be valid is to see at once that mind cannot be alien to the nature of the universe. Many people think this is due to the fact that Nature produced the mind. But on the assumption that Nature is herself mindless, this provides no explanation. CS Lewis (abridged)

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #18 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.


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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #19 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
To understand that logic must be valid is to see at once that mind cannot be alien to the nature of the universe. Many people think this is due to the fact that Nature produced the mind. But on the assumption that Nature is herself mindless, this provides no explanation. CS Lewis (abridged)

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ParaclitosLogos

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #20 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.

Quote
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)
 


Quote
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.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 01:09:28 pm by ontologicalme »

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Al Graham

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #21 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. 

To understand that logic must be valid is to see at once that mind cannot be alien to the nature of the universe. Many people think this is due to the fact that Nature produced the mind. But on the assumption that Nature is herself mindless, this provides no explanation. CS Lewis (abridged)

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #22 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.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 02:46:21 am by ontologicalme »

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Al Graham

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #23 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!

Quote
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. 
To understand that logic must be valid is to see at once that mind cannot be alien to the nature of the universe. Many people think this is due to the fact that Nature produced the mind. But on the assumption that Nature is herself mindless, this provides no explanation. CS Lewis (abridged)

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #24 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!

Quote
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.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 02:37:13 pm by ontologicalme »

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Biep

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #25 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, 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:
  • Definition: God-likeness means necessarily having all and only positive properties.
  • Axiom 1: If the negation of a property is positive, the property itself isn't positive.
  • Axiom 2: A property necessarily implied by a positive property is also positive.
  • Axiom 3: God-likeness is positive.
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.)
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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #26 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?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2016, 04:24:33 am by UnreasonableFaith »
You see a grammar or spelling error in my post? Feel free to point it out, I'm still learning.

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HIJ

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #27 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.

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #28 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.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 04:19:14 pm by UnreasonableFaith »
You see a grammar or spelling error in my post? Feel free to point it out, I'm still learning.

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HIJ

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Re: Ontological Argument completely doesn't make sense and here is why
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2016, 07:29:50 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.