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Ontological Argument?

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  • Ontological Argument?

    Jumping off another thread - I'm not sure where the fault in the Ontological Argument is:

    Anselm defined God as "...that than which nothing greater can be conceived," and then argued that this being must exist in the mind; even in the mind of the fool who denies the existence of God. He suggested that, if the greatest possible being exists in the mind, it must also exist in reality. If it only exists in the mind, a greater being is possible—one which exists in the mind and in reality. Therefore, this greatest possible being must exist in reality.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

  • #2
    Originally posted by seer View Post
    Jumping off another thread - I'm not sure where the fault in the Ontological Argument is:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument
    Well, in the first place, it relies fairly distinctly on Platonism, so it's not likely going to be at all convincing to any nominalist.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
      Well, in the first place, it relies fairly distinctly on Platonism, so it's not likely going to be at all convincing to any nominalist.
      Are you a nominalist?
      Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
        Well, in the first place, it relies fairly distinctly on Platonism, so it's not likely going to be at all convincing to any nominalist.
        Exactly the same point I tried to make in a previous thread on this topic.

        I see value in the ontological approach insofar as it can lead to an apophatic awareness of our inability to define God. Others want to impose upon this approach some kind of idea of maximum goodness, which I think is ridiculous, by the way, but which they want to use to render the approach more logical. I whole-heartedly agree that the approach has no real logical appeal to anyone who does not presume a neo-platonic epistemology, but I do not think that there is any value whatsoever in trying to make it more logical if it requires us to abandon the undefinable apophatic 'nature' of God.

        Here's the earlier thread in case anyone is interested: http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...neral-Thoughts
        βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
        ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

        אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by seer View Post
          Are you a nominalist?
          I am.
          "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
          --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
            I am.
            I don't know much about Nominalism. Would you deny that the laws of logic are universal and immutable?
            Last edited by seer; 10-31-2014, 10:24 AM.
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by seer View Post
              Jumping off another thread - I'm not sure where the fault in the Ontological Argument is:
              As Anselm considered it, there's a very simple flaw: Existence isn't a property, and so something cannot be considered more perfect (or greater) by being real than not being real. Since this premise is false, Anselm's argument as it is typically stated ends up failing.

              A much deeper problem with the argument has something to do with what you do end up showing. Sct. Aquinas and other great theologians pointed out that for the argument to be considered successful, you'd have to know that what you've demonstrated is in fact God, rather than merely defined as 'God'. So unless you could demonstrate that traditional theism in fact is the highest perfection, then you wouldn't be able to connect this argument with classical theology. Now this is a very reasonable supposition, but its left without demonstration.

              Though its enough to prove the atheists wrong.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                As Anselm considered it, there's a very simple flaw: Existence isn't a property, and so something cannot be considered more perfect (or greater) by being real than not being real. Since this premise is false, Anselm's argument as it is typically stated ends up failing.

                A much deeper problem with the argument has something to do with what you do end up showing. Sct. Aquinas and other great theologians pointed out that for the argument to be considered successful, you'd have to know that what you've demonstrated is in fact God, rather than merely defined as 'God'. So unless you could demonstrate that traditional theism in fact is the highest perfection, then you wouldn't be able to connect this argument with classical theology. Now this is a very reasonable supposition, but its left without demonstration.

                Though its enough to prove the atheists wrong.
                Ok, I have to think about this...
                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  Why?
                  Because I do not think that the mere ability to hold a concept is a good definition for that concept's existence. Literally everything which can be thought to exist would actually exist.. On Platonism, if I can conceptualize the world tree, Yggdrasil, then that conception is only possible because some perfect abstract of Yggdrasil actually exists.
                  "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                  --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                    Because I do not think that the mere ability to hold a concept is a good definition for that concept's existence. Literally everything which can be thought to exist would actually exist.. On Platonism, if I can conceptualize the world tree, Yggdrasil, then that conception is only possible because some perfect abstract of Yggdrasil actually exists.
                    Ok, I don't know much about Nominalism. Would you then deny that the laws of logic are universal and immutable?
                    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      Ok, I don't know much about Nominalism. Would you then deny that the laws of logic are universal and immutable?
                      Not at all. I simply deny that all concepts find their basis in perfect actualized entities.
                      "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                      --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                        Not at all. I simply deny that all concepts find their basis in perfect actualized entities.
                        Then how could the laws of logic be universal and immutable? How can they escape subjectivity?
                        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by seer View Post
                          Then how could the laws of logic be universal and immutable? How can they escape subjectivity?
                          I'm not sure I understand. Why do you think that all possible abstracts must represent perfect actualized entities in order for the laws of logic to be universal and immutable?
                          "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                          --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                            I'm not sure I understand. Why do you think that all possible abstracts must represent perfect actualized entities in order for the laws of logic to be universal and immutable?
                            I'm wondering how they could be universal and immutable otherwise?
                            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              I'm wondering how they could be universal and immutable otherwise?
                              So, you don't think that the laws of logic can be universal and immutable unless my concept of Yggdrasil represents an actual, existing world tree which connects the nine worlds?
                              "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                              --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                              Comment

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