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The Problem with the Ontological Argument for the Existence of God

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  • Metal Gear Solid 2 DemoMetal Gear Solid 2 Demo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    why can there only be one being which is perfect?

    Because if God is the being who is completely perfect, then he is infinitely actualized -- he is infinite. If there is a being of which he is not, then he is not infinite. If there were another "perfect" being, it would just be a mode of God, like a trinity God, or a Hinduistic set of modal gods.

    And what's the problem with that?

    I can cite a whole bunch of religions with numerous 'perfect' beings.

    Well, in hinduism and christianity, there is really only one God, and the rest are just knowable modes. The number is still one, universal and transcendent, it just has modular singularity.

    So these are the only correct religions? How do you come to that conclusion?

    Spoiler:
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    An infinite universe needn't contain everything that is possible, any more than an infinite string of numbers need contain every number. If you represent one third in decimal form, the result is an infinite string, but it still contains only one numeral.

    In order to know that an infinite universe contains everything that's possible, you would also need to know something about the rules which generated it.
    Depends on how you describe "possible" . If there is an infinite universe, anything that has a probability of existing >0 exists as the number of iterations x->inf.
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Doesn't the ontological argument necessarily depend on an infinite universe? Because only in an infinite universe would anything that is possible also exist. Except, by all evidence, the universe is not infinite - there is a finite amount of matter in a finite volume.
    In a philosophical sense possible is different than P(X)>0 though. The ontological argument depends on the idea of God being a priori, like the idea of numbers, self, and form. Its an a priori argument that falls apart if the idea of God is contingent on some empirical experience.

    An example is numbers - the idea of multiplicity and numbers can exist (and many philosophers would argues does exist) independent of experience. So 2+2 = 4 would be an a priori argument. A unicorn could exist and in an infinite universe would iff the conditions of the universe don't make the unicorn's existence impossible.

    The ontological argument largely rests on the idea that the existence of God is likewise a priori. Since the conception of God exists regardless of empirical fact, and the attributes of that idea are every perfect attribute and necessary existence is a perfect attribute, God must necessarily exist.

    If the concept of God does not exist a priori OR necessary existence is not an attribute the entire formulation fails at its onset. There are all kinds of justifications on why the idea of a perfect being is a priori but few of them are compelling

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    Spoiler:
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Language games, Poldy. You are playing language games.

    Do you think that Being is a linguistic construct?

    Which, the word "Being", or the concept of "Being"?

    Because yes to the former, no to the later.

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  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    why can there only be one being which is perfect?

    Because if God is the being who is completely perfect, then he is infinitely actualized -- he is infinite. If there is a being of which he is not, then he is not infinite. If there were another "perfect" being, it would just be a mode of God, like a trinity God, or a Hinduistic set of modal gods.

    And what's the problem with that?

    I can cite a whole bunch of religions with numerous 'perfect' beings.

    Well, in hinduism and christianity, there is really only one God, and the rest are just knowable modes. The number is still one, universal and transcendent, it just has modular singularity.

    So these are the only correct religions? How do you come to that conclusion?

    "Correct?" Correct has nothing to do with it. The religions that I somewhat understand are monotheistic, even religions like Hunduism that have many Gods ultimately refer back to one sense of Divine Being. But this is not a thread for a discussion of religion -- it is not a thread about worship or community; it is a thread about problems that arise from the ontological argument for the existence of God, the ontological difference between Being and beings, and similar problematic relations between a non-being God and non-being Being.

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  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Houn wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Language games, Poldy. You are playing language games.

    Do you think that Being is a linguistic construct?

    Which, the word "Being", or the concept of "Being"?

    Because yes to the former, no to the later.

    "Being" as that which "presences" beings, my "being there" in existence is my Being. (It has a capital B because modern ontology is rooted in German idealism. Kant's word for "existence" is dasein - being there, but making it an substantiative has a capital letter -- Dasein -- makes it clear that it is not the participle dasein. English metaphysicists try to maintain this by capitalizing the substantiative.

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  • Metal Gear Solid 2 DemoMetal Gear Solid 2 Demo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    why can there only be one being which is perfect?

    Because if God is the being who is completely perfect, then he is infinitely actualized -- he is infinite. If there is a being of which he is not, then he is not infinite. If there were another "perfect" being, it would just be a mode of God, like a trinity God, or a Hinduistic set of modal gods.

    And what's the problem with that?

    I can cite a whole bunch of religions with numerous 'perfect' beings.

    Well, in hinduism and christianity, there is really only one God, and the rest are just knowable modes. The number is still one, universal and transcendent, it just has modular singularity.

    So these are the only correct religions? How do you come to that conclusion?

    "Correct?" Correct has nothing to do with it. The religions that I somewhat understand are monotheistic, even religions like Hunduism that have many Gods ultimately refer back to one sense of Divine Being. But this is not a thread for a discussion of religion -- it is not a thread about worship or community; it is a thread about problems that arise from the ontological argument for the existence of God, the ontological difference between Being and beings, and similar problematic relations between a non-being God and non-being Being.

    Well it's very hard for any of us to argue this idea of Being and God when the very concept of God is somehow assumed before the argument even begins, and is a concept that is completely relative.

    Again, you're playing around with language, trying to trap people into coming to a conclusion that doesn't necessarily have any basis beyond a linguistic ladder of "If Being is not then...."

    Spoiler:
  • 101101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm still have no idea what we mean here by 'perfect'

  • Metal Gear Solid 2 DemoMetal Gear Solid 2 Demo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    101 wrote: »
    I'm still have no idea what we mean here by 'perfect'

    perfect = omni-benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent

    Spoiler:
  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Well it's very hard for any of us to argue this idea of Being and God when the very concept of God is somehow assumed before the argument even begins, and is a concept that is completely relative.

    Again, you're playing around with language, trying to trap people into coming to a conclusion that doesn't necessarily have any basis beyond a linguistic ladder of "If Being is not then...."

    I grant that it is a "word game" in that it is impossible for a human to deny existence. These isn't a sort of charlatanry, however, because I think that the impossibility of denying existence shows that existence is some sort of foundational concept of human existence. Many theologians, such as Paul Ricouer, think that this basic human constitution is evidence of humanity's involvement in theology.

    Existence is necessary, and existence is absolutely present. Existence, Being, is what sustains beings. Can there be Being without beings? Can a human truly think of such a concept?

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  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    This just keeps going in circles. Really, all this thread has done is make me realize how flawed the concept of a perfect God is.

  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    101 wrote: »
    I'm still have no idea what we mean here by 'perfect'

    Perfect traditionally means completely actualized. This means that any possibility is actualized.

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    there is no form of theism which attributes to their God perfection. Christianity calls their god 'perfect', but under the understanding that 'perfect' does not mean 'all encompassing' so much as 'omnibenevolent'.

    I'm going to disagree with you there. In fact the exact opposite is true.
    The Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church believes and acknowledges that there is one true and living God, Creator and Lord of Heaven and earth, almighty, eternal, immeasurable, incomprehensible, infinite in will, understanding and every perfection. Since He is one, singular, completely simple and unchangeable spiritual substance, He must be declared to be in reality and in essence, distinct from the world, supremely happy in Himself and from Himself, and inexpressibly loftier than anything besides Himself which either exists or can be imagined

    "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt 5:48
    "He is the Rock, his works are perfect,and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." Deuteronomy 32:4
    "Be assured that my words are not false; one perfect in knowledge is with you." Job 36:3-5
    Quran wrote:
    He is God, the Creator, the Maker who shapes all forms and appearances! [31] His [alone] are the attributes of perfection.

    And are any of those instances of "perfect" the same as the one used in the ontological argument? I'm pretty sure that Matt 5:48 would not mean the same thing if you were to read it as:

    "Be ye therefore the entirety of being, even as your Father which is in heaven is the entirety of being."

    In all three of these senses "perfect" is understood to be without moral flaw. The ontological "God" that Podly is talking about has no reality. It is not subject to or even relevant to morality because all moral possibilities are a part of its being. Everything which might be considered an attribute of a perfect being is a part of it, but then so is every attribute of an "imperfect" being... using traditional definitions of "perfect" rather than "the set of all beings".

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Atheists need not account for Being or being any differently from theists because ontological being is not directly related to theist deities any more intrinsically than it is linked to unicorns or chairs.

    The problem is that unicorns or chairs are beings, whereas Being "presences" beings. Being is omnipresent and the the only [strike]being[/strike] capable of doing such. Beings are only allowed because there is Being.

    I didn't disagree with that. I said that the presence of Being is no more related to deity than it is to a chair. If you want to describe Being as deity then fine, but there is only tenuous relationship to what is normally called deity.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Language games, Poldy. You are playing language games.

    Do you think that Being is a linguistic construct?

    I think that perfection is a linguistic construct, since, as a notion, it relies upon the idea of a system or limits. And even if one attempts to get around this, the most common way is through negation, "not a system; without limits" - the problem is that it is still being spoken about in terms of systems and limits.

    Further, even if we allow you to use the notion of perfection to refer to God (something which you hold as being completely transcendent? Or, at least, partially so), you arbitrarily assert that there can be only one perfect being. Why must this be so? Singularity doesn't equal perfection, and if it does, it is only through a number of other results and constraints imposed by the system in which you are operating in.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    101 wrote: »
    I'm still have no idea what we mean here by 'perfect'

    Perfect traditionally means completely actualized. This means that any possibility is actualized.

    Fuck this. Thinly veiled Aristotle, here. God is not a teleology. An acorn is "perfect" when it becomes a fully actualized oak tree, according to your definition of perfect - which is fine, but we aren't talking about perfection. We are talking about perfection in regards to a particular system of limits and expectations. God, as something that is supposed to be the creator of the world, is not subject to a system of limits in the same way that an acorn or an oak are - and if he is, that would make God a part of the world, rather than the creator of it.

    Perhaps you can make the argument that God is perfect without reference to any sort of limit or system, but that is definitely not the way you are using perfect, here.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    And are any of those instances of "perfect" the same as the one used in the ontological argument? I'm pretty sure that Matt 5:48 would not mean the same thing if you were to read it as:

    "Be ye therefore the entirety of being, even as your Father which is in heaven is the entirety of being."

    In all three of these senses "perfect" is understood to be without moral flaw. The ontological "God" that Podly is talking about has no reality. It is not subject to or even relevant to morality because all moral possibilities are a part of its being. Everything which might be considered an attribute of a perfect being is a part of it, but then so is every attribute of an "imperfect" being... using traditional definitions of "perfect" rather than "the set of all beings".

    I'm not sure where the "entirety of being" came from to be honest. Perfect in the ontological argument means essentially having every conceivable positive attribute. If the being could be improved on in any way it is not God. A being that exists is better than a being that does not exist therefore God must exist. These other digressions are unnecessarily complicating the argument and don't really make any progress in attacking the argument.

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Atheists need not account for Being or being any differently from theists because ontological being is not directly related to theist deities any more intrinsically than it is linked to unicorns or chairs.

    The problem is that unicorns or chairs are beings, whereas Being "presences" beings. Being is omnipresent and the the only [strike]being[/strike] capable of doing such. Beings are only allowed because there is Being.

    I didn't disagree with that. I said that the presence of Being is no more related to deity than it is to a chair. If you want to describe Being as deity then fine, but there is only tenuous relationship to what is normally called deity.

    I don't think that it is such a tenuous relationship, when existence has been defined as the essence of God for quite a long time. Just look to Descartes.

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  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    saggio wrote: »
    I think that perfection is a linguistic construct, since, as a notion, it relies upon the idea of a system or limits. And even if one attempts to get around this, the most common way is through negation, "not a system; without limits" - the problem is that it is still being spoken about in terms of systems and limits.

    Well what about Being? In a sense, it is perfect. Wherever there are beings, there is Being. It is transcendent and infinite. And, unless you want to do a sort of Derridean trace deconstruction, Being is always completely existing, perfectly existing. It can exist no more than it does. It also "perfectly" presences beings: we can't imagine a being being any more or any less present.

    Further, even if we allow you to use the notion of perfection to refer to God (something which you hold as being completely transcendent? Or, at least, partially so), you arbitrarily assert that there can be only one perfect being. Why must this be so? Singularity doesn't equal perfection, and if it does, it is only through a number of other results and constraints imposed by the system in which you are operating in.

    The traditional notion of God is that he is absolutely transcendent and present. Again, much like Being. Can you have multiple cases of Being? I would argue that you cannot.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Being "presences" beings

    o_O

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, like at all.

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    And are any of those instances of "perfect" the same as the one used in the ontological argument? I'm pretty sure that Matt 5:48 would not mean the same thing if you were to read it as:

    "Be ye therefore the entirety of being, even as your Father which is in heaven is the entirety of being."

    In all three of these senses "perfect" is understood to be without moral flaw. The ontological "God" that Podly is talking about has no reality. It is not subject to or even relevant to morality because all moral possibilities are a part of its being. Everything which might be considered an attribute of a perfect being is a part of it, but then so is every attribute of an "imperfect" being... using traditional definitions of "perfect" rather than "the set of all beings".

    I'm not sure where the "entirety of being" came from to be honest. Perfect in the ontological argument means essentially having every conceivable positive attribute. If the being could be improved on in any way it is not God. A being that exists is better than a being that does not exist therefore God must exist. These other digressions are unnecessarily complicating the argument and don't really make any progress in attacking the argument.

    According to Podly's definition of perfect it's not only positive attributes, it's everything. I mean, how can you say whether something is going to get included? Is mass a positive attribute? Electrical charge? Is it positive to be larger than a breadbox or smaller? Any given attribute can be viewed as positive when considered from the right viewpoint. Arguing that god is the sum of all positive attributes posits that there exist absolute good and evil, or at least absolute better and worse. According to Podly's statement, "perfect" is basically synonymous with "infinite" where "infinite" means that it contains everything which is.

    I don't really see how you can attack the argument because there is no argument. As far as I can tell he's saying that God is either existence itself or is the summation of everything that exists (at least in an ontological sense of existence).

    You can argue that his definition of "God" isn't your or the traditional "God", which is what I was doing, but it's really just semantics.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Being "presences" beings

    o_O

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, like at all.

    Being is not an attribute or proposition of beings. (Hence, Kant's critique that "Being is not a predicate.) However, wherever there are possible beings, there is Being. You cannot speak of a being without its relation to Being. (The Greek histaemi, standing in being, and hupokeimenon, that which underlies everything) Beings seem to be made relatively present (in consciousness or otherwise) by absolute presence, by Being.

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Atheists need not account for Being or being any differently from theists because ontological being is not directly related to theist deities any more intrinsically than it is linked to unicorns or chairs.

    The problem is that unicorns or chairs are beings, whereas Being "presences" beings. Being is omnipresent and the the only [strike]being[/strike] capable of doing such. Beings are only allowed because there is Being.

    I didn't disagree with that. I said that the presence of Being is no more related to deity than it is to a chair. If you want to describe Being as deity then fine, but there is only tenuous relationship to what is normally called deity.

    I don't think that it is such a tenuous relationship, when existence has been defined as the essence of God for quite a long time. Just look to Descartes.

    I don't think so. When I say that I'm agnostic I am making the statement that I do not believe it to be knowable or relevant whether there exists a supernatural entity (or entities) and that any god-like higher beings are not, in fact, gods or deserving of worship.

    If I were to say that I am an atheist I am rejecting the idea of a supernatural, or at least higher but still constrained by nature, being who exhibits the characteristics I understand to define a god and who takes (or took, or will take) an active interest in the affairs of the universe.

    In neither case am I questioning or abrogating existence.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Being "presences" beings

    o_O

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, like at all.

    Being is not an attribute or proposition of beings. (Hence, Kant's critique that "Being is not a predicate.) However, wherever there are possible beings, there is Being. You cannot speak of a being without its relation to Being. (The Greek histaemi, standing in being, and hupokeimenon, that which underlies everything) Beings seem to be made relatively present (in consciousness or otherwise) by absolute presence, by Being.

    This is nonesense. "being" is a property that something can have or not have.

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  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Atheists need not account for Being or being any differently from theists because ontological being is not directly related to theist deities any more intrinsically than it is linked to unicorns or chairs.

    The problem is that unicorns or chairs are beings, whereas Being "presences" beings. Being is omnipresent and the the only [strike]being[/strike] capable of doing such. Beings are only allowed because there is Being.

    I didn't disagree with that. I said that the presence of Being is no more related to deity than it is to a chair. If you want to describe Being as deity then fine, but there is only tenuous relationship to what is normally called deity.

    I don't think that it is such a tenuous relationship, when existence has been defined as the essence of God for quite a long time. Just look to Descartes.

    I don't think so. When I say that I'm agnostic I am making the statement that I do not believe it to be knowable or relevant whether there exists a supernatural entity (or entities) and that any god-like higher beings are not, in fact, gods or deserving of worship.

    If I were to say that I am an atheist I am rejecting the idea of a supernatural, or at least higher but still constrained by nature, being who exhibits the characteristics I understand to define a god and who takes (or took, or will take) an active interest in the affairs of the universe.

    Oh of course, that's a perfectly valid stance to take. I'm not sure if the mere existence of a Godhead or Divine or what-have-you necessitates that you worship him/her/it. That is religion. Though I wonder if one becomes "beholden" to existence or "stands in awe" of being, and tries to exist that way towards the world, if they will not be better for it. Perhaps that is one of the basic foundations of religions. Not being a theologian or a religious scholar, I don't have any semblance of an answer to that question.
    In neither case am I questioning or abrogating existence.

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  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Being "presences" beings

    o_O

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, like at all.

    Being is not an attribute or proposition of beings. (Hence, Kant's critique that "Being is not a predicate.) However, wherever there are possible beings, there is Being. You cannot speak of a being without its relation to Being. (The Greek histaemi, standing in being, and hupokeimenon, that which underlies everything) Beings seem to be made relatively present (in consciousness or otherwise) by absolute presence, by Being.

    This is nonesense. "being" is a property that something can have or not have.

    Being is an absolute proposition. "I am." It is both contained in the proposition of the subject, I, and not a predication of reality. Propositions about reality are relative -- I am in New York City, I am a human. They are relatively restrictive. You should read the link to Kant's "Table of Categories" that I posted in the OP.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Being "presences" beings

    o_O

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, like at all.

    Being is not an attribute or proposition of beings. (Hence, Kant's critique that "Being is not a predicate.) However, wherever there are possible beings, there is Being. You cannot speak of a being without its relation to Being. (The Greek histaemi, standing in being, and hupokeimenon, that which underlies everything) Beings seem to be made relatively present (in consciousness or otherwise) by absolute presence, by Being.

    This is nonesense. "being" is a property that something can have or not have.

    Being is an absolute proposition. "I exist." It is both contained in the proposition of the subject, I, and not a predication of reality. Propositions about reality are relative. You should read the link to Kant's "Table of Categories" that I posted in the OP.

    It's not. Existance is just a physical fact, and statements about existance are just statements about some physical fact or other.

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  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Existance is just a physical fact

    How do you prove that something "has existence?" What kind of physical property shows what exists?

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  • 101101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    ^surely that i can sense and interact with it, or that there is significant evidense that something does/has existed?
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Being "presences" beings

    o_O

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, like at all.

    Being is not an attribute or proposition of beings. (Hence, Kant's critique that "Being is not a predicate.) However, wherever there are possible beings, there is Being. You cannot speak of a being without its relation to Being. (The Greek histaemi, standing in being, and hupokeimenon, that which underlies everything) Beings seem to be made relatively present (in consciousness or otherwise) by absolute presence, by Being.

    This is nonesense. "being" is a property that something can have or not have.

    Being is an absolute proposition. "I exist." It is both contained in the proposition of the subject, I, and not a predication of reality. Propositions about reality are relative. You should read the link to Kant's "Table of Categories" that I posted in the OP.

    It's not. Existance is just a physical fact, and statements about existance are just statements about some physical fact or other.

    This, it seems like people look way too much into this. You exist ro do not exist, you're a being or you're not.

  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Well what about Being? In a sense, it is perfect. Wherever there are beings, there is Being. It is transcendent and infinite.

    It's not transcendent. It's an abstraction.

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  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Houn wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Well what about Being? In a sense, it is perfect. Wherever there are beings, there is Being. It is transcendent and infinite.

    It's not transcendent. It's an abstraction.

    What do you mean by this?

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  • 101101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Well what about Being? In a sense, it is perfect. Wherever there are beings, there is Being. It is transcendent and infinite.

    It's not transcendent. It's an abstraction.

    What do you mean by this?

    I think he means that these ideas have no real baring on reality.

  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    101 wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Well what about Being? In a sense, it is perfect. Wherever there are beings, there is Being. It is transcendent and infinite.

    It's not transcendent. It's an abstraction.

    What do you mean by this?

    I think he means that these ideas have no real baring on reality.

    Ding! Have a cookie. (I assure you, it's real.)

    Steam: DigitalArcanist | PSN: DigitalArcanist | NNID: DigitalArcanist | Backloggery: Houn
  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    so all that exists exists

    that is so far from the word "god" as people understand it it's verging on disingenuous to even use the term

    HOW DO YOU FUCK UP BAGELS. YOU BOIL THE WATER. PUT IN THE NOODLES
  • darthmixdarthmix Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I guess it would be hopelessly pedestrian of me to suggest that the ontological argument is false because we're not actually capable of conceiving God in any way that satisfies the parameters of the argument.

    Anyway, it should go without saying that the God of the ontological argument bears no relationship to the God that human beings are actually interested in. The actual requirements of God include 1) consciousness - more specifically, consciousness that humans would recognize as consciousness, just as we recognize it in one another - 2) power that exceeds any other observable force, and 3) a personal engagement in our affairs. God has to be a powerful person who gives a shit. This is the only definition of God that can make any difference in human society.

    And I agree that the attempts to equate perfection with infinity are hopelessly muddled. If imperfection exists, infinity must contain imperfection.

  • 101101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Houn wrote: »
    Ding! Have a cookie. (I assure you, it's real.)

    Fuck yeah, gettin' mah cookie on.

    EDIT: And yeah, so you prove that God (i.e. Existence right?) exists.

    Mind Blown

  • PodlyPodly good moleman to youRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    101 wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Well what about Being? In a sense, it is perfect. Wherever there are beings, there is Being. It is transcendent and infinite.

    It's not transcendent. It's an abstraction.

    What do you mean by this?

    I think he means that these ideas have no real baring on reality.

    I completely agree, if by "no real baring," you mean that "existence is not derived from propositions about reality." Existence is an "abstraction" in that it only presents itself in thought. You can't "prove" existence with any sort of empirical investigation. Regardless, it transcends all possible experiences. You cannot have a thought or experience without Being presencing beings.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    According to Podly's definition of perfect it's not only positive attributes, it's everything. I mean, how can you say whether something is going to get included? ....
    That definition is not correct. God has only positive attributes under most ontological variations (modified versions of Godel's modular logic allows for some negative attributes in some worlds but that's the exception and weakens the foundation of the argument) and I've never seen a coherent argument that God has all attributes.

    But you're right about classifying attributes, that's a major problem with the argument. A proponent would argue that the proof is not about knowing all the details about God and that the only attribute in this case that requires examination is whether existence is positive. Most would also argue that the idea of good things and bad things exists a priori but that's another argument entirely.
    I don't really see how you can attack the argument because there is no argument. As far as I can tell he's saying that God is either existence itself or is the summation of everything that exists (at least in an ontological sense of existence).

    You can argue that his definition of "God" isn't your or the traditional "God", which is what I was doing, but it's really just semantics.

    If it wasn't a frustrating argument to attack it wouldn't be one of the most studied arguments in philosophy. It reaches into self referential logic, epistemology, theology, the nature of logic, etc. A comprehensive irrefutable refutation doesn't exist because of the slippery nature of the terms and the number of variations on it

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  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Podly wrote: »
    101 wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Well what about Being? In a sense, it is perfect. Wherever there are beings, there is Being. It is transcendent and infinite.

    It's not transcendent. It's an abstraction.

    What do you mean by this?

    I think he means that these ideas have no real baring on reality.

    I completely agree, if by "no real baring," you mean that "existence is not derived from propositions about reality." Existence is an "abstraction" in that it only presents itself in thought. You can't "prove" existence with any sort of empirical investigation. Regardless, it transcends all possible experiences. You cannot have a thought or experience without Being presencing beings.

    Sure you can prove existence. Can you perceive it? Then it exists.

    You may not UNDERSTAND what you're perceiving, but if it can perceived (not "conceived", mind you), than you have proven it's existence.

    Steam: DigitalArcanist | PSN: DigitalArcanist | NNID: DigitalArcanist | Backloggery: Houn
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    It's not. Existance is just a physical fact, and statements about existance are just statements about some physical fact or other.

    So the concept of God does not exist?

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Houn wrote: »
    Sure you can prove existence. Can you perceive it? Then it exists.

    You may not UNDERSTAND what you're perceiving, but if it can perceived (not "conceived", mind you), than you have proven it's existence.

    Only if you ignore huge amounts of philosophy and make huge assumptions.

    edit
    terrible TOTP so I'll put it in cinematic form.
    Demons could be deceiving you

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