The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby BadgerJelly on November 18th, 2017, 12:36 pm 

Neri -

I like question 10 the best.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4603
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 18th, 2017, 1:07 pm 

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 9:27 am wrote:Mitch,

Because you apparently take the position that empirically supported scientific principles are only objective but not real in their own right, do you believe that the sun, the moon, the planets and the host of stars and galaxies did not exist before there were humans to conceive them?


Huh??? I cannot even imagine why you would think such a thing. I cannot even figure out what that means... "only objective but not real in their own right." what....? This certainly didn't come from my words. Even just the "only objective" part, what does that mean?

Objective versus subjective is a epistemological distinction not an ontological one. The objective has to do with shared knowledge and the the subjective with personal knowledge. There may indeed be differences in the thing which is known that is the cause of this difference, but there may not be. For example, it is quite conceivable that aliens with a superior stealth technology might make themselves known to you without leaving you a shred of evidence to prove they exist or the encounter happened. Then the knowledge they exist would be subjective only and you cannot reasonably expect others to believe this is the case. In this case, the subjectivity is more a matter of circumstance.

The principle difference is that objective things are capable of demonstration and thus there is a reasonable expectation that others accept them, but subjective things, no matter how convincing the personal experience which assures their existence and reality to you personally are not able to be demonstrated and thus there is no such reasonable expectation that others accept them. And even among those which do accept them, we must accept that there will be considerable diversity of thought about them. You are of course free to decide that such things do not exist, but that is just as much a subjective choice on your part as the decision of other that they do exist . (and remember that these difference can be applied to the aliens just as much as to gods and spirits)

The things of science are of course inherently objective because the methods of science are based on demonstration from get go.

As to whether some things "exist in their own right," I am not entirely sure what you mean by that but it looks highly philosophical to me. BUT I agree that it is only natural to presume that things known objectively are thus things which exist outside of us and are the source of our knowledge about them. But whether this is really the case is largely irrelevant and thus a useless speculation. My "middle position" stance is that I will not jump to the conclusion that things known subjectively are thus things which don't exist outside of us to be the source of subjective knowledge about them. We cannot objectively establish which is the case either way.

So while there are things which are only circumstantially subjective, there may be also things which are more inherently subjective because they are not a part of the physical universe and the system of natural laws which force themselves on everything which is a part of it. Spiritual things would be in that category, assuming they exist. The spiritual versus physical would be more of an ontological difference, though I make a loose association with the epistemological difference of subjective versus objective, which is neither absolute nor conceptual identity. I have shown that by circumstance even the physical can be subjective, and just because the spiritual is naturally subjective doesn't mean it is incapable of presenting itself objectively. Thus I will agree with the atheist, that if God exists He certainly can make His existence known to all, so at the very least, having all believe in His existence is clearly not His priority assuming He exists at all.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Neri on November 18th, 2017, 1:52 pm 

Mitch,

As I observed earlier:

“However, it is useful, to make a distinction between the expressions, ‘subjective,’ ‘objective’ and ‘true.’

“A proposition is subjective if only a certain individual accepts it. It is objective if it is accepted generally. It is true only if it corresponds to a state of affairs existing in the universe.”

I may be wrong, but I have interpreted your comments to mean you are an instrumentalist or some other form of utilitarian that admits of no truth as a correspondence between scientific knowledge and states of affairs in the universe.

Thus, my question.

Your specific and direct answer to this question should make it clear what you actually believe, and we can take it from there.
Neri
Active Member
 
Posts: 1905
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 18th, 2017, 5:10 pm 

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 12:52 pm wrote:Mitch,

As I observed earlier:

“However, it is useful, to make a distinction between the expressions, ‘subjective,’ ‘objective’ and ‘true.’

“A proposition is subjective if only a certain individual accepts it. It is objective if it is accepted generally. It is true only if it corresponds to a state of affairs existing in the universe.”

I may be wrong, but I have interpreted your comments to mean you are an instrumentalist or some other form of utilitarian that admits of no truth as a correspondence between scientific knowledge and states of affairs in the universe.

The question of whether I may be considered an instrumentalist is a complex one discussed
here viewtopic.php?f=55&t=33195&p=326352&hilit=instrumentalism#p326352
and here viewtopic.php?f=55&t=32094&p=325109&hilit=instrumentalism#p325109

And in neither of those cases was it associated with any kind of utilitarian or defined as you have above.
I am not utilitarian.
I am a pragmatist of sorts but more in line with the founder Charles Sanders Pierce than Dewey.
Virtue ethics is my choice with regards to normative ethics.
To say that I admit no correspondence between scientific knowledge and the state of affairs of the universe is down-right bizarre! Where in the world did you get that from? It
What I have said and will adhere to is that I do not equate scientific knowledge with state of affairs of reality. Science is a window on reality, and thus while it sees out into what is actually there, it is foolish to presume that it sees everything.

Perhaps your philosophical categories are too few, too narrow, and too rigid, so that you cannot admit any kind of middle ground between your position and that of BJ. That will certainly not work with me because I do not buy packages in totum. I make my own decisions on everything and pretty much criticize everyone even when I agree with what I see as the gist of their ideas.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 12:52 pm wrote:
do you believe that the sun, the moon, the planets and the host of stars and galaxies did not exist before there were humans to conceive them?

Your specific and direct answer to this question should make it clear what you actually believe, and we can take it from there.

That sounds like a purely scientific question to me.
The sun moon and planets are around 5 billion years old.
Stars and galaxies are around 13 billion years old.
The oldest remains of the human species is 200,000 - 300,000 years old. And although I do not equate humanity with the species, that still puts an upper limit on the existence of humanity.
Therefore the sun, moon, planets, stars and galaxies existed long before human beings.

But.... I don't think you are getting at any crucial point of this discussion for I doubt even BJ would answer this very differently. My guess is that BJ would give much the same answer but call into question whether we can know all this with any great certainty. I simply find his skepticism a little excessive and unwarranted. I generally consider certainty an illusion, but cannot see how we can know much with any greater certainty than the things of science where so much evidence has been accumulated.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Braininvat on November 18th, 2017, 6:19 pm 

For me, instrumentalism and scientific realism are two poles that most of us go back and forth between. When someone describes what a moose is, what it does, where it goes, what it eats, I am more in the direction of scientific realism. When someone describes what a boson or a fermion IS, I am more instrumentalist.
User avatar
Braininvat
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5844
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Neri on November 18th, 2017, 6:30 pm 

Mitch,

I will try to bring the matter into clear focus.

First, to say that there is no correspondence between scientific knowledge and the universe is the same as saying there is no correspondence between scientific knowledge and reality; for the universe is defined as all that exists and whatever exists is real. The universe, therefore, by definition is the whole of reality.

Further, to say that there is some correspondence between scientific knowledge and reality means that it cannot be the case that there is no such correspondence. In other words, it is not necessary that every scientific principle correspond to reality to justify the realist’s position that there is a large degree of such correspondence.

This you admit as a fact by accepting that the planets, stars and galaxies exist in there own right and therefore that their reality does not depend on our experience of them.

If you were actually an instrumentalist or utilitarian, or indeed an idealist like Kant, you would not concede correspondence of any kind between experience and reality.

The utilitarian equates truth with utility, the instrumentalist with the practical purpose of predicting future events. The Kantians believe that all of science concerns itself with phenomena—what things seem to be rather than what they really are. None of these doctrines admit of any truth by way of correspondence with reality.

I think you would best be described as a reluctant realist.
Neri
Active Member
 
Posts: 1905
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 18th, 2017, 7:18 pm 

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 5:30 pm wrote:First, to say that there is no correspondence between scientific knowledge and the universe is the same as saying there is no correspondence between scientific knowledge and reality; for the universe is defined as all that exists and whatever exists is real. The universe, therefore, by definition is the whole of reality.

NO! That is a philosophical position of yours which I do not accept and a special definition which you have adopted.
Google's definition of "universe":
all existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos. The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

The universe is a specific system of space-time relationships which began 13.8 billion years ago. I most certainly oppose that this is necessarily the only space-time relationships or even the only type of space or temporal relationships that exist. This is just the only one that can be objectively established, and I DO NOT equate reality with what can be objectively established.

Your attempt to equate this with "everything" is either the fallacy of equivocation or the railroading of an ideologue.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 5:30 pm wrote:Further, to say that there is some correspondence between scientific knowledge and reality means that it cannot be the case that there is no such correspondence. In other words, it is not necessary that every scientific principle correspond to reality to justify the realist’s position that there is a large degree of such correspondence.

LOL.... Wrong!
Let us recall the Ptolemaic picture of the universe. There is a very high degree of correspondence between this and the reality of the movement of the planets in the sky, but the correspondence with the reality of entire universe is quite small.

Some degree of correspondence is only some degree of correspondence and a quantitative evaluation of that (whether large or small) is simply not possible as a portion of the whole, because we do not know the whole.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 5:30 pm wrote:This you admit as a fact by accepting that the planets, stars and galaxies exist in there own right and therefore that their reality does not depend on our experience of them.

Again... wrong. The admission that the planets, stars and galaxies do not depend on our experience of them does not imply what you say above but only means that the planets, stars and galaxies do not depend on our experience of them. Perhaps there are other premises you have accepted which leads to an equivalence with what you say above.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 5:30 pm wrote:If you were actually an instrumentalist or utilitarian, or indeed an idealist like Kant, you would not concede correspondence of any kind between experience and reality.

I am certainly not an idealist in the style of Plato or Whitehead... I am a bit less clear about where Kant stood on this exactly, but you could be right.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 5:30 pm wrote:The utilitarian equates truth with utility, the instrumentalist with the practical purpose of predicting future events. The Kantians believe that all of science concerns itself with phenomena—what things seem to be rather than what they really are. None of these doctrines admit of any truth by way of correspondence with reality.

The CS Pierce style pragmatist asserts that the effect of believing something is part of its truth value. So there is a median position here, where it is not simply a matter of whether truth and utility are equal or not. Our subjectivity as human beings is also part of reality. What we want is NOT irrelevant. Pretending to live our lives as objective observers only is unreasonable. Life requires subjective participation and what we choose has an impact on reality itself because we are part of it. So utility is important enough that it cannot be ignored in the search for truth.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 5:30 pm wrote:I think you would best be described as a reluctant realist.

LOL
Ah yes... here is good evidence of what I suggested. Your categories are too few, rigid and narrow. I am not the least bit reluctant about by rejection of Plato style idealism. Also if we go with the simple definition of realism as the belief that reality exists independently of observers, then again I have no reluctance there. But if I google realism I see a quite a forest of philosophical positions so I am uncertain how to begin addressing exactly what kind of realist I am.

Google:
Realism, Realistic, or Realists may refer to:
Philosophical realism, belief that reality exists independently of observers
___Hermeneutic realism, in philosophy (Heidegger)
___Internal realism, in philosophy (Putnam)
___"Local realism", a term used by Einstein in the context of the Principle of locality
___Logical realism, the conviction the rules of logic are mind-independent
___Model-dependent realism, in the philosophy of science
___Scotistic realism
___Speculative realism, in philosophy
___Structural realism, in philosophy
___Transcendental realism, in philosophy
___Agential realism, in philosophy
Pragmatism


Perhaps I will work on this...

In the meantime, maybe you can figure out what sort of realist YOU are.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Neri on November 18th, 2017, 9:58 pm 

Mitch,

The Google definition of the universe as “all existing matter and space considered as a whole” will do if it includes by inference light, heat and all other energy.

If you say there are realities independent of the universe, what would they be and how can you establish their existence?

Are you saying that you accept Descartes’ dualism of res extensa and res cogitans?

Are you saying that our conscious thoughts are somehow independent of the universe? If so why?

If you believe that God is also independent of the universe, what proof have you that God even exists?

If you believe none of these things, then exactly what is it that you believe is not included in the universe if the latter includes all mass, energy and space?

If you say that there are other space-time relationships beyond a universe that includes all space, matter and energy, what exactly would they be and what proof do you have of their existence?

Do you refer to the notion of an infinity of so-called parallel universes that comprise a “multiverse” that justifies the QM notion of the actualization of all probabilities? In theory, these so-called parallel universes, although they are inaccessibly to us, exist in space and accordingly, properly speaking, are included in your definition of THE universe. Further, how can we give such a theory the weight of truth if by its nature it is susceptible to neither proof nor disproof?

Must I know everything in order to know anything? Is it necessary to know everything about the universe in order to know that the stars and galaxies exist independently of our experience of them?

Is it necessary for me to know everything in order for me to know that you exist whether or not I have ever met you?

What exactly does my belief that you exist contribute to the fact that you actually exist? Does the truth of your existence in any manner depend on my belief that you exist? If so, how?

As for myself, I believe that sense experience largely corresponds to external reality and hence gives us a window to the world. I do not say that a window is sufficient to give all knowledge, but it is capable of giving real knowledge. This ultimately is the foundation upon which science rests, for without the senses there would be no science.

My realism consists in two things:

(1) I maintain that real things do exist outside of us and that they do not depend in any way on our experience of them in order to exist.

(2) I maintain further that the senses are capable of providing facts that corresponds to those real things.

Accordingly, I am a realist in both the ontological and epistemic sense.
Neri
Active Member
 
Posts: 1905
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 19th, 2017, 12:37 am 

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:Mitch,

The Google definition of the universe as “all existing matter and space considered as a whole” will do if it includes by inference light, heat and all other energy.

Your truncation of the Google definition just means that you are determined to ignore anything which disagrees with your ideological agenda.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:If you say there are realities independent of the universe, what would they be and how can you establish their existence?

What is beyond the cosmological horizon? Not knowing the answer doesn't mean nothing exists beyond it. What other intelligent species are there in the universe? The inability to answer such a question tells us nothing about whether such intelligent species exist. Indeed we may never know anything any of them and it is probable that we will never know about all of them. None of this means they do not exist. Only the willfully ignorant equate reality with what they can know. Like I already said, I do not equate reality with what can be demonstrated and thus with what is known objectively.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:Are you saying that you accept Descartes’ dualism of res extensa and res cogitans?

Definitely NOT! With regards to the mind body problem, I am a physicalist. And even with regards to the physical and the spiritual I am a substance monist for the simple reason that such monism has more explanatory power. It can explain an apparent dualism by giving reasons for the differences.

Thus I would say that all being is composed of the same "stuff" (you can call it pre-energy or the potentiality of being). And I believe there are both physical forms of this stuff and spiritual forms of this stuff. The principle difference is simply that physical forms of this stuff are all a part of one form -- a singular structure of space-time and the form of it includes all the laws of nature which govern the changes within it.

This means there is something very similar to the mind-body problem with regards to the spiritual and physical. I believe that relationship is epi-phenomenal for the most part -- that is, interaction is almost always one way from the physical to the spiritual. This is the only thing consistent with the physical evidence.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:Are you saying that our conscious thoughts are somehow independent of the universe? If so why?

No. I am a physicalist with regards to mind and body. Or to be more precise, I believe that the mind is no less physical than the body.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:If you believe that God is also independent of the universe, what proof have you that God even exists?

Objective demonstration only exists because of laws of nature in the structure of the physical universe. Therefore it is nonsensical to even ask for proof of things outside this structure.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:If you believe none of these things, then exactly what is it that you believe is not included in the universe if the latter includes all mass, energy and space?

As explained above, I believe there are other forms of being than the physical ones.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:If you say that there are other space-time relationships beyond a universe that includes all space, matter and energy ...?

I do not say there is but I do not exclude the possibility of other universes than the one which began 13.8 billion years ago with the "big bang" (remember I am not accepting your truncation of the google definition). But aside from this I believe there are other space-time relationship which are not at all like this one. One example might be the thoughts of God and other spirits which would at least have a temporal ordering.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:Do you refer to the notion of an infinity of so-called parallel universes that comprise a “multiverse” that justifies the QM notion of the actualization of all probabilities?

As a possibility yes. The point is that I do not equate either the universe or what I can know objectively with reality itself.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote: In theory, these so-called parallel universes, although they are inaccessibly to us, exist in space and accordingly, properly speaking, are included in your definition of THE universe.

No, they are not. These would be OTHER universes. This is why it is called a MULTI-verse -- as in more than one.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote: Further, how can we give such a theory the weight of truth if by its nature it is susceptible to neither proof nor disproof?

We simply acknowledge that the universe and what we can know objectively does not equate with reality.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:Must I know everything in order to know anything?

No. But how can you quantify what you know in relation to everything if you do not know everything? The best you can do is ignorantly PRESUME that you know almost everything and thus tell yourself that you know most of it all. It is very ego-inflating, I am sure, but not very honest.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote: Is it necessary to know everything about the universe in order to know that the stars and galaxies exist independently of our experience of them?

Is it necessary for me to know everything in order for me to know that you exist whether or not I have ever met you?

No. No.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:What exactly does my belief that you exist contribute to the fact that you actually exist?

Only that a representation of me would also exist in your mental constructs.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:Does the truth of your existence in any manner depend on my belief that you exist? If so, how?

Only the truth of it in your mind.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:As for myself, I believe that sense experience largely corresponds to external reality and hence gives us a window to the world. I do not say that a window is sufficient to give all knowledge, but it is capable of giving real knowledge. This ultimately is the foundation upon which science rests, for without the senses there would be no science.

Yep. Sounds a lot like what I said.

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:My realism consists in two things:

(1) I maintain that real things do exist outside of us and that they do not depend in any way on our experience of them in order to exist.

(2) I maintain further that the senses are capable of providing facts that corresponds to those real things.

Accordingly, I am a realist in both the ontological and epistemic sense.

We agree on these two points, but I would not presume this means we agree on other things.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby BadgerJelly on November 19th, 2017, 2:19 am 

Mitch -

Well the algebra problem is equivalent to asking for the intersection of two parallel lines in a Euclidean plane. There is no intersection. And.... altering the question to something you prefer does not answer the question actually asked.


I assumed you'd have seen what I was saying? Or you're just fishing for clarification?

Either way, was trying to say that a problem may be perceived differently and that knowing something doesn't exist can be looked at as only being possible in a negative sense. The mystics tend to love to contemplate "nothingness" rather than appreciating it as a way of saying absence of X rather than as a stand alone X.

It is in this area we apply reason and language in order to frame experience within a certain understanding.

Just as a reminder I said this:

Take any examples you wish and say this exists where as this doesn't.


We can go back and forth repeatedly and be more and more pedantic about the semantics involved and differing methods of interpreting.

To justify your example of something that doesn't exist you have to set a limitation. This is not to devalue your point only to reflect upon how it is you can bring into play some idea of something not existing. By the "set limit" of algebra we can of course say there is no solution, but we can only say so because it means something - I admit this is probably not easy for you to understand, nor for me, there is just a "gist" or "blind grasping".

By this I mean we cannot sensibly have something that does not exist. It is a contrary thing to say, yet we can say it. Saying something gives a certain "feeling" of purchase.

To be clear, I am not disagreeing that there is no algebraic solution to what you posed, but you put across the point of the graphed representation of this from which we can see the meaning is existent rather than being non-existent. I am admittedly doing something many would brush aside as being merely "word play". I am not trying to unravel language for the sake of it though.

By doing what I am doing above I am not trying to explain my methodology, but rather looking at what methodology is (even though even that statement makes little logical sense because to explore there is methodology in place - I would say that the most prominent methodology is the logical kind.)

I am all for simplification (believe it or not - I do often think that painting everything with one brush is often mistaken as a useful simplification though), but I appreciate it by way of touching on the surface of the complexity of existence, if you catch my drift? Which I can never be sure that you do, hence the reason we're "tethered to reason" and can have exact abstract agreement if the rules are set out and known by everyone.

The very unerring experience of communication at the very least has an appearance of appearance of meaning. To some "reality" may appear more malleable than it does to others, yet this disparity is the very thing that allows us to communicate in the first place. It is in this area that talk of physicalism materialism as the underlying "reality" of everything we know that I find as being an abstraction "from which we hang" and a bloody good one!
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4603
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 19th, 2017, 5:14 am 

BadgerJelly » November 19th, 2017, 1:19 am wrote:Mitch -

Well the algebra problem is equivalent to asking for the intersection of two parallel lines in a Euclidean plane. There is no intersection. And.... altering the question to something you prefer does not answer the question actually asked.


I assumed you'd have seen what I was saying? Or you're just fishing for clarification?

Fishing for clarification is the objective of nearly every exchange in a good philosophical discussion.

BadgerJelly » November 19th, 2017, 1:19 am wrote:Just as a reminder I said this:

Take any examples you wish and say this exists where as this doesn't.


We can go back and forth repeatedly and be more and more pedantic about the semantics involved and differing methods of interpreting.

To justify your example of something that doesn't exist you have to set a limitation. This is not to devalue your point only to reflect upon how it is you can bring into play some idea of something not existing. By the "set limit" of algebra we can of course say there is no solution, but we can only say so because it means something - I admit this is probably not easy for you to understand, nor for me, there is just a "gist" or "blind grasping".

To justify my example of something that doesn't exist I have to define (what you call limit, I suppose) what I am talking about and show that supposing it exists leads to a logical contradiction. This is easy to demonstrate with algebra, but the same principle applies to other things. And often all this does is point out the problems in the definition. For it is true that when something is a part of life then saying it does not exist is a bit meaningless and as I said before the more meaningful thing to do is ask not whether it exists but what is this thing in our life really?

Sometimes when it isn't easy to understand, it is simply because it is wrong.

BadgerJelly » November 19th, 2017, 1:19 am wrote:By this I mean we cannot sensibly have something that does not exist. It is a contrary thing to say, yet we can say it. Saying something gives a certain "feeling" of purchase.

Incorrect. We most certainly can have something which does not exist, because in this context "having something" means "talking about something" and when you talk about something it most certainly is possible to define it in a way so that you can show that the existence of the thing according to this defininition leads to a contradiction and that means it does not exist.

Like I said... the most you say is then when something is a part of your life, then you can ask what this thing really is and that means that you reject definitions leading to contradictions and look for a better definition.

BadgerJelly » November 19th, 2017, 1:19 am wrote:To some "reality" may appear more malleable than it does to others, yet this disparity is the very thing that allows us to communicate in the first place. It is in this area that talk of physicalism materialism as the underlying "reality" of everything we know that I find as being an abstraction "from which we hang" and a bloody good one!

And we can improve communication by acknowledging the difference between the objective things which can be demonstrated and the subjective things which cannot. In this way we accept both the disparity of our perception of reality AND our commonalities. And the commonalities are just as important for communication as the disparities.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby BadgerJelly on November 19th, 2017, 10:21 am 

Mitch -

Thanks for the responses. It look to me that where I thought we may disagree we actually agree (to some extent.) I think we're probably on roughly the same page too, although the reason for this may be due to very different views?

Look forward to finding out in the future :)

Neri -

You don't/can't see "realism" as a multifaceted view? Even with your own inclinations I am at least assuming you can tease out some kind of use from views that rile against "realism" as you frame it?
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4603
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Neri on November 19th, 2017, 1:41 pm 

Mitch,

The expression, “universe” means “ALL existing matter and space,” according to the very definition you provide. Therefore, it is you who is truncating this definition by claiming that this expression applies only to the matter and space that we know of.

You say that we do not know everything. This I accept. On the other hand, you say that what we do not know goes beyond our understanding of matter and energy. This is an argument from ignorance.

If you mean that matter and space MAY be different in areas beyond our ken, this is correct. However, because we do not know what we do not know, it is equally true that matter and space may be the same in areas beyond our ken. In other words, what you say is only surmise and not established fact.

On the one hand, you adamantly declare that you are a substance monist “for the simple reason that such monism has more explanatory power.” On the other hand, you maintain, “I do not equate reality with what can be demonstrated and thus with what is known objectively.”

You attempt to explain this contradiction by saying “there are both physical forms of this stuff [presumably the single substance of reality] and spiritual forms of this stuff.” You do not tell us what exactly it is that you mean by “spiritual forms of this stuff,” yet you maintain that all things are “physical” including thought.

You unequivocally declare, “I am a physicalist with regards to mind and body. Or to be more precise, I believe that the mind is no less physical than the body.” This declaration is all the more contradictory.

The expression, “spiritual,” has the definite religious connotation of transcending time and space. Obviously, that which transcends time and space cannot exist in time and space. The two are fundamentally different. Yet you purport to disavow Cartesian dualism.

The speculation that “pre-energy” or “potentiality of being” constitute the single substance of reality does not answer this objection; for there can, in the first place, be no evolution from pre-energy to energy or from potentiality to actuality without time and space.

Further, without time and space, causation is out of the question, for a cause must move in time to its effect. Thus, a change from the so-called single substance of reality to either the “physical” or the spiritual form cannot have a cause.

An even more basic objection is that there is no evidence to support the existence of “pre-energy or “potentiality of being.” It is pure surmise and not established fact.

You say that it is nonsensical to ask for proof for the existence of God. However, this must mean that there is no proof for such a thing. That being the case, it is nonsensical to believe in the existence of God.

By your lights, all that exists is physical. This must include God. But, if this were so, God would manifest himself in a physical way, yet this is not the case.

You say, “I do not equate either the universe or what I know objectively with reality itself.” The problem here is that you cannot know anything that does not correspond to reality. In other words, what you say you know cannot actually be true if it does not correspond to fact.

You seem to say that there can be other universes even if the universe, by your own definition, embraces ALL that is physical including thought. This makes little sense.

As I pointed out earlier, it is not merely “ego-inflating” [your words] to believe one can know something (as a correspondence to reality) even if he cannot know everything.

You admit this when you say that one can know as a correspondence to reality (1) that you exist and (2) that the stars and galaxies exist, even though one does not know everything.

Further, the fact that a representation of you or of the stars may exist in one’s mind does not erase the fact that these things are real in their own right and do not depend on a mental representation in order to exit.

You agree with my assertion that “sense experience corresponds to external reality and hence gives us a window to the world.” Yet, much of what you say is at odds with this concession.
Neri
Active Member
 
Posts: 1905
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 19th, 2017, 7:20 pm 

Neri » November 19th, 2017, 12:41 pm wrote:The expression, “universe” means “ALL existing matter and space,” according to the very definition you provide. Therefore, it is you who is truncating this definition by claiming that this expression applies only to the matter and space that we know of.

Incorrect. The definition includes a description of size and duration and thus refers to a particular space-time structure. It is not my definition but simply the first reference I grabbed. Your attempt to twist this is desperate. All we have to do is look at another dictionary to see the tiny holes into which you try squeezing your ideological agenda disappear.
From Merriam Webster
the whole body of things and phenomena observed or postulated :cosmos: such as
a :a systematic whole held to arise by and persist through the direct intervention of divine power
b :the world of human experience
c (1) :the entire celestial cosmos (2) :milky way galaxy (3) :an aggregate of stars comparable to the Milky Way galaxy

The universe is exactly what I have explained as used by the sciences when they say that the universe is a particular size and duration and that it is expanding. The extension of this to other space-time structures which might exist does not make sense in that context. But no doubt you will continue to play your games of dishonest rhetoric.

Neri » November 19th, 2017, 12:41 pm wrote:You say that we do not know everything. This I accept. On the other hand, you say that what we do not know goes beyond our understanding of matter and energy. This is an argument from ignorance.

Incorrect. I make no such argument. I do indeed say that we do not know everything. I do indeed say that I BELIEVE that there are other space-time structures NOT that this follows from the fact that we do not know. This is a fabrication of a fallacy from lies, which is a fallacy in its own right. YOU are the one playing dishonest games of rhetoric. I have explicitly denied that such things are capable of proof or demonstration and thus we cannot expect other people to accept the truth of such things. I have explicitly explained that you are free to decide that such things do not exist. Thus it is abundantly CLEAR that YOU are the one who is unwilling to accept a diversity of opinion on issues where you do not have a SHRED of objective evidence. Your intolerance is showing!!!

I do not care to even read the rest of your post at this moment. I might do so later on.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby BadgerJelly on November 20th, 2017, 2:24 am 

Neri -

I think I see your problem. You don't seem to be able to see the difference of use between the terms "fact" and "true".

Humans do not transcend time and space (I am sure you'd say), so how can we talk about space and time as both "factual" and "true"?

You have stated you're a ontological and epistemic realist. By this I naively assume you know that there are other positions and perspectives?

If you're incapable of questioning what you know then you're limited. We are limited.

I admire ignorance above self-deceit, or claims of knowledge that aspire to do nothing other than staunchly enforce a position as being the one true factual position. This, of course, can be reduced to a contrary statement. My plea is ignorance due to limitations and my aim is to multiply my ignorance not cut it away as if it doesn't "exist' - this is a mystical statement. Does it make your blood boil or give you some feeling of superiority.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4603
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Neri on November 20th, 2017, 3:34 pm 

Mitch,

Let me remind you, first of all, that ad hominum remarks say more about those who use them than about those against whom they are directed.

I note that you have hand picked only two of the arguments that I gave in response to the numerous issued raised by you. If you chose not to respond to all of those comments, I cannot but presume that you have no satisfactory responses.

Herein, I will treat the two responses that you have provided.

In philosophy, the expression “world” or “universe” recognizes a rudimentary logical conclusion: If there is anything that exists, there must be the sum total of whatever exists. To put it even plainer, if there is anything, there must be everything. It is this “everything” that is customarily given the name “world” or “universe.” If you have a different word that for this totality, by all means tell me, and I will use it.

There is a difference between recognizing this totality and accepting general relativity (GR) as absolutely true.

I have already said that GR, like all other scientific theories, is subject to falsification. Indeed, certain subatomic events have brought the deterministic features of GR into serious doubt. Additionally, the fact that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate while the galaxies remain more or less intact cannot be fully explained by GR. Thus, you are correct is saying that there is no absolute truth in science. Indeed, the same may be said of almost all things in life. This is just the human condition.

The real question is: What are we justified in taking as true?”

You will remember that it was Hume who argued that the very notion of causation is logically flawed because it is subject to falsification. So far causation has not been falsified. Until it is, we are right in taking it as true. The same holds true for all scientific theories.

However, what we are not justified in believing is that because we do not know all things and science is not perfect, that there is a world out there that is beyond space and time that harbors God. The same may be said about the belief that human thought is “spiritual.” [Although, to say that thought is both “spiritual” and “physical” is a contradiction in terms, unless one is not using these words in the way they are generally understood.]

We are not justified in believing whatever we want, no matter how preposterous, based upon the fact that we do not know everything. This is what is referred to in logic as an “argumentum ad ignorantiam.” I might add that my use of the word “ignorance” in the expression “argument from ignorance” was not intended as a personal rebuke.

Further, to say that it is possible that God exists because we do not know all things is a useless statement, for if it is possible that God exists, it is equally possible that he does not exist. What is required is affirmative proof of his existence. Absent that, we are not at all justified in believing that God exists.

Certainly, as Popper correctly observed, in the formulation a new theory, a scientist may properly imagine what postulations would be sufficient to objectively account for a certain state of affairs in nature. However, the discipline of the scientific method is such that a new theory is not objectively shown unless it is supported by new data.

However, this is a far cry from making the assertion that one is right in believing in God, the tooth fairy or any other such thing based upon the fact that science gives us no knowledge of all things.
Neri
Active Member
 
Posts: 1905
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 20th, 2017, 3:59 pm 

I do not know WHO Neri is talking to anymore. It is like he is having a conversation with himself just making up both sides of a conversation. For example, who said " it is possible that God exists because we do not know all things?" Perhaps it is the construct in his mind which exists because he believes I exist. When those constructs start talking to you then your imagination is approaching the level of activity found in schizophrenia.

Again my motivation to read his posts to the end is fading. Perhaps I will find motivation to continue at a later time but if this keeps up, then perhaps not.
Last edited by mitchellmckain on November 20th, 2017, 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Neri on November 20th, 2017, 4:04 pm 

BJ,

I invite you to read my comments directed to Mitch regarding ad hominem arguments.

You should have noted that it was I who directed a whole list of questions to you for the very reason that I am capable of questioning my own beliefs. You have not answered any of these questions.

I can only presume that it is you who is incapable of examining your own beliefs if you do not provide specific answers to each and ever one of the questions I propounded.

Absent your specific responses, I cannot but believe that you have no valid position on the questions at hand.
Neri
Active Member
 
Posts: 1905
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Neri on November 20th, 2017, 4:05 pm 

BJ,

I invite you to read my comments directed to Mitch regarding ad hominem arguments.

You should have noted that it was I who directed a whole list of questions to you for the very reason that I am capable of questioning my own beliefs. You have not answered any of these questions.

I can only presume that it is you who is incapable of examining your own beliefs if you do not provide specific answers to each and ever one of the questions I propounded.

Absent your specific responses, I cannot but believe that you have no valid position on the questions at hand.
Neri
Active Member
 
Posts: 1905
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 20th, 2017, 5:12 pm 

Neri » November 19th, 2017, 12:41 pm wrote:On the one hand, you adamantly declare that you are a substance monist “for the simple reason that such monism has more explanatory power.” On the other hand, you maintain, “I do not equate reality with what can be demonstrated and thus with what is known objectively.”

You attempt to explain this contradiction by saying “there are both physical forms of this stuff [presumably the single substance of reality] and spiritual forms of this stuff.” You do not tell us what exactly it is that you mean by “spiritual forms of this stuff,” yet you maintain that all things are “physical” including thought.

I wonder what premises Neri embraces to make the two things in the first paragraph seem like a contradiction to him. His mental construct of me may be explaining this supposed contradiction but the real person is certainly not going to be explaining any contradiction which does not exist in his own mind at all. Apparently in making up his mental construct of me he has ignored the phrase "with regards to the mind-body problem" modifying physicalist. I am not sure if Neri just cannot handle relative applications of a descriptor like this or he is just intentionally constructing strawmen for furious burning.

Neri » November 19th, 2017, 12:41 pm wrote:You unequivocally declare, “I am a physicalist with regards to mind and body. Or to be more precise, I believe that the mind is no less physical than the body.” This declaration is all the more contradictory.

So he is aware of the phrase but I guess he doesn't understand how the phrase modifies the term "physicalist." It means that the both the body and the mind are physical and interacting according to the same natural laws the operate on all things physical, but not that "all things are physical" as concludes above.

Neri » November 19th, 2017, 12:41 pm wrote:The expression, “spiritual,” has the definite religious connotation of transcending time and space. Obviously, that which transcends time and space cannot exist in time and space. The two are fundamentally different. Yet you purport to disavow Cartesian dualism.

Correct. Not only does Cartesian dualism separate mind and body as fundamental dualities which I do not, but even with regards to the physical and spiritual I am not a dualist in the Caresian sense. I assert they are simply two forms of the same stuff but have very limited relationships particularly from spiritual to the physical because the spiritual is not a part of the system of natural laws which governs the behavior of physical things.

You might as well say that the sun and the moon are a Cartesian dualism because the differences and separation between them. Sure there are definite limitations in the interaction between them because of these differences and separation. But that is the whole point and power of substance monism. The limitations of interactions can be explained by these differences and separation between them. Likewise the limitations in the interaction between the physical and spiritual are not be cause these are whole distinct "substances" or in different categories of existence, but because spiritual things are not part of the same space-time structure as physical things. You can definitely say that there is an apparent duality just as there is between sun and moon or between ice and water, but they are not Cartesian dualities.

Neri » November 19th, 2017, 12:41 pm wrote:The speculation that “pre-energy” or “potentiality of being” constitute the single substance of reality does not answer this objection; for there can, in the first place, be no evolution from pre-energy to energy or from potentiality to actuality without time and space.

It seems you have two things to prove here.
1. Prove "there can, in the first place, be no evolution from pre-energy to energy or from potentiality to actuality without time and space."
2. Prove that the absence of such "evolution" means whatever it is he is trying to say this does not answer.

Frankly, I don't know why he would even imagine there should be such an "evolution" (whatever this totally different thing from the usual usage of the word means). I don't recall that it was ever a part of the mind-body problem that one cannot evolve from the other, only that it was difficult to understand the relationship between them if they are two completely different categories of being or "substances."

Substance monism avoids this problem for physical and spiritual while acknowledging the sharp difference between them. It is already according to established tradition that the spiritual is not a part of the system of natural laws, and it is also quite evident that any interaction between the two must be extremely limited if the spiritual exists at all. All I can gather from this is that Neri seems to be offended by the idea that anything should exist outside the system of natural laws which he studied. But I have already said that he is perfectly free to decide such things do not exist for whatever subjective reasons which may tickle him.

And that is all I have time for right now. Perhaps I will continue with the rest later.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby hyksos on November 20th, 2017, 6:09 pm 

I'm certainly okay with perfect things existing. Hell, there might even be proof of their existence using deduction.

But so what? I can't imagine how the existence of such things would then cause me to stone an adulteress, to burn atheists at the stake, imprison homosexuals, to make carbombs in northern Ireland, or to marry child brides.

I do not see what bearing the existence of perfect things has on the evidence that human beings are mammals, and products of billions of years of evolution of precursor species.

What bearing do these perfect things (and their deductively-determined existence) have to do with the methods for determining the age of the universe?

Someone please make the connection for me, because I'm missing it.
User avatar
hyksos
Active Member
 
Posts: 1056
Joined: 28 Nov 2014
Lomax liked this post


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Lomax on November 20th, 2017, 7:50 pm 

Neri » November 18th, 2017, 3:27 pm wrote:Lomax,

To say that there is general agreement on what perfection is because we are made in the image of God is obviously to presume the existence of God when that is the very thing Anselm sets out to prove. In other words, such an explanation would beg the question.

Further, there is no general agreement on what perfection may be, any more than there is a general agreement on what beauty and goodness may be. These things are purely matters of opinion. In other words, they are not objectively determinable.

If you've read all my posts in this thread you'll know that I consider Anslem's argument circular. But that doesn't owe to the fact that there's general disagreement over the auxiliary details of the perfect being. To take a more concrete example: there is general agreement that Stalin existed, but general disagreement over the degree of his antisemitism, and of his internationalism, and the exact reasons why Lenin chose him over Trotsky as successor. We can agree Stalin was around but not on every facet of what Stalin was. Theistic philosophers do have a problem here - they often content themselves with proving that there must be a creator or a perfect or divine being, and make the significant additional leap of assuming this being has all the traits of the Christian god. (Islamic scholars presumably do the same for Allah - I am not well-read enough to know.) [EDIT: I see Hyksos has beaten me to this point.] Descartes at least tried to show, by reasoning, that the deity must necessarily have various other features, although I doubt he has persuaded many.

As to the point about the "perfect" premise being a prescriptive one, this is a problem for those who don't allow deontic logics. But not a problem of circularity.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3506
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Neri on November 20th, 2017, 10:46 pm 

Mitch,

In the beginning, I agreed with what you were saying. Later I began to notice a thread of idealism and even religiosity in your comments. I still remain in agreement with much of what you have said. However, there is a point of fundamental difference between us, which I will get to in a moment.

On 15th November, you said in substance that although there is a need to adjust one’s “subjective” apprehension of reality to the findings of science, it is not the case that one should do so because these findings correspond to reality, for science has nothing to do with reality itself but only with its subjective apprehension.

It seemed to me that this was a clumsy way of expressing the Kantian view that science only concerns itself with appearances (phenomena) and not with reality (noumena). Incidentally, by his own admission, Kant made this distinction “to make room for God.”

Naturally, I was surprised at your use of the word “subjective” in this context and began to suspect that you were heading down the road to idealism.

On 18th November, you said in essence that it is “useless speculation” to ask if things known through science actually exist outside us and are the source of our knowledge of them.

Accordingly, I asked the question: “Do you believe that the sun, the moon, the planets and the host of stars and galaxies did not exist before there were humans to conceive them?” You emphatically declared that they existed for billions of years before the advent of mankind. This seemed to me somewhat of a reversal, but this was not the end of it.

On that same date, when I asked if there could be a God independent of the universe, you said that there could only be proof of things susceptible to objective demonstration. You added, in essence, that because such things as God cannot be disproved by science, it could not be said that one is not justified in believing them because of the findings of science. This double negative translates to: One can properly believe in God if that is what he wants and science has no bearing on the question.

You said on the same date that it is “nonsensical” to look for proof of God’s existence and posited a “spiritual form of reality.”

While you may not specifically have used the words, “ It is possible that God exists because we do not know all things,” that was the clear implication. Further, the question of the existence of God is, after all, the subject of the present inquiry. That being the case, it was proper to comment on any suggestion that a belief in God is justified even if there is no evidence to support it.

Now here is the point of fundamental difference between us:

The proposition that God exists is an empirical and not an analytic one and as such requires empirical proof. Absent such proof, no one is justified in believing such a thing. This is my position.

You argue on the other hand, that all empirical proof is somehow “subjective” in the sense that it does not correspond to reality. You make the same judgment of science. Thus, you claim that it is “nonsensical” to require empirical proof that God exists when such proof never touches on reality in the first place.

If you deny what I have attributed to you, please re-read your previous posts. Perhaps, you have employed the English language without sufficient clarity. I do not know. What I do know is that you are not mad for expressing your opinions, nor am I mad for expressing mine. I must say, however, that a bit more civility is required on your part.
Neri
Active Member
 
Posts: 1905
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Lomax liked this post


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby BadgerJelly on November 21st, 2017, 12:46 am 

hyksos » November 21st, 2017, 6:09 am wrote:I'm certainly okay with perfect things existing. Hell, there might even be proof of their existence using deduction.

But so what? I can't imagine how the existence of such things would then cause me to stone an adulteress, to burn atheists at the stake, imprison homosexuals, to make carbombs in northern Ireland, or to marry child brides.

I do not see what bearing the existence of perfect things has on the evidence that human beings are mammals, and products of billions of years of evolution of precursor species.

What bearing do these perfect things (and their deductively-determined existence) have to do with the methods for determining the age of the universe?

Someone please make the connection for me, because I'm missing it.


Neri is saying there is no such proof.

The religious aspect of this is secondary really. The term "God" is being framed as "perfect being". Murder and adultery have literally nothing to do with the OP. In the same light I am saying the scientific facts have nothing to do with the OP and it is the reason I question Neri's ability to make a distinction between "fact" and "truth".

I agree, there is no bearing on the physical sciences here. That is basically my entire point against Neri's machinations. The item under scrutiny is the understanding of "ontology", which Neri seems to take to be a matter of physical materialism and in no way part of metaphysics

The age of the universe I merely brought into play the idea that the constants may not be constant and asked how inconsistent they would have to be to change our view of the age of the universe. Basically to show that a physical fact is not a logical truth (and the OP is posed in regard to logical truths.)

There is no need to bring religious doctrines into the argument here. The OP is posing that it is illogical to look for a proof of the existence of God (note: "defined as "perfect being" not some Biblical, or otherwise framed, tyrant.)

Neri -

My belief is that you regard everything as physical. This would include perfection and truth. My belief may be wrong, but I've seen little to make me think otherwise.

I would recommend you don't refer to Kant. You've shown a fairly limited grasp of his ideas repeatedly and seem to be repeating the same thing again and ignoring the distinction between "noumena" in the positive and negavtive sense which makes your statement above mostly empty.

Neri all you have to do is offer a definition of "God", which I believe you did by saying "perfect being", and there is your proof. My qualm is that you seem to think, for reasons unknown, that because you can define something that means it doesn't exist, or to be more specific, you seem to be making the claim that if you cannot measure something then it doesn't exist. To which my reply would be if you can define something then it has some existence. As for "truth" that is a matter of the abstract rules we're working within ... I take semiotic path here in regards to language.

If you really want me to answer those 10 questions you'll have to rewrite them so I am left with very little room for misinterpretation. I believe you are posing the questions in an attempt to attach my words to some hard core physicalist materialism from which my replies would unwittingly be taken the wrong way. I would then have to write a small essay in an attempt to distinguish the different possible answers I could pose and I would have to do this for all of the questions.

For the sheer hell of it I will look at the question I found most attractive to show you the kind of problem you pose in your lack of precision:

(10) If all of humanity were killed [assuming you believe there is such a thing as death], would all things ever experienced by humans cease to exist?


I assume you mean "if all humans" except for myself. Right there we see a problem of interpretation. Then we may very well begin to ask what "humanity" means. No doubt you would give me a biological description and then make analogies to other phenomenon to describe the less tangible meanings like "society" and such. That aside I will assume I am the last human on Earth due to some mass extinction.

Yes, all things would cease to exist for humans but not for my singular being. There would be no "humans" only a "human" and I would have to question the meaning of "human" because I would be more like a shadow of humanity than a human because a human is only a human among humans. I would merely be me with no female or male equivalence other than in my head ... if you were to argue this then you assume my thoughts of other humans as being the same as their physical existence (which I am assuming you disagree with because you've stated I am the last human alive - which has very abstracted meaning in the given situation of isolation)

Believing you've probably drawn back your lips over your teeth at this point in utter degust leads me to then take a different meaning.

No, all things would not cease to exist. I find it kind of trivial that I have to bother to reply to this "tree in a forest" scenario though because I thought member of this forum were all well aware that the answer to that question is reliant upon the context in which it is framed. For the "tree" problem the answer is dependent upon the definition of "sound", and the answer can be "yes" and the answer can be "no", and both would be equally true within their given contexts.

You may now be asking if I have answered your question? What I believe is more important is looking at the question as faulty rather than getting disgruntled over how I choose to reply to it. You give a very broad expanse of possible answers which makes your life much easier if you wish to frame my reply as duplicitous or outright nonsense.

Just for an expansion from this I can then say "Who cares!", to which you may then set up another empty retort about me believing that everything that disappears from my vision means it ceases to exist. The thing is in some sense (the direct visual sense) it does cease to exist.

note: I have not even gone into the issue of defining "belief" and "death" within the different possible contexts of the human condition and the symbolic representation of this meanings in day-to-day life and how they reflect upon ontological questions. And you wanted 10 of these replies?? I cannot even begin to finish one because I need clarification about what you're trying to ask and the limitations you are imposing (intentionally or not) upon the kind of reply I am allowed to offer that you'd deem acceptable.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4603
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Lomax on November 21st, 2017, 1:44 am 

Oh good. I hereby define "godless universe" as a universe which contains no god, was made by no god, and has no interaction with any god. Badgerjelly tells me the godless universe has some existence by this fiat alone. So why would I waste my time on Anselm? "Dinner" (the perfect meal, coupled with the perfect wine and followed by the perfect intercourse) is unquestionably waiting for me. It's a simple matter of ontology.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3506
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 21st, 2017, 1:47 am 

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:In the beginning, I agreed with what you were saying. Later I began to notice a thread of idealism and even religiosity in your comments.

The word is "project" not "notice." Your very limited, rigid and narrow categories are probably the cause of this. This is a typical symptom of ideology -- oversimplifying the world and forcing everyone and everything into narrow rigid categories. There is no "idealism" whatsoever in anything I said and according to the definition YOU GAVE, I am 100% realist. Though perhaps you did a piss poor job defining your sort of "realism" after all, and you forgot to mention all the mumbo jumbo special handshakes needed to prove one a member of your little cult ideology.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote: I still remain in agreement with much of what you have said. However, there is a point of fundamental difference between us, which I will get to in a moment.

On 15th November, you said in substance that although there is a need to adjust one’s “subjective” apprehension of reality to the findings of science, it is not the case that one should do so because these findings correspond to reality, for science has nothing to do with reality itself but only with its subjective apprehension.

No I never said any such thing, so that must be the mental construct talking in your head again.
1. Yes there is a need to adjust one's subjective apprehension of reality to the findings of science.
2. No it is not the case that there is no correspondence between science reality.
3. No it is not the case that science has nothing to do with reality itself.
4. What I said is that science is not EQUAL to reality, nor is the universe equal to reality.
5. I already explained this like a window and you agreed. What you see through a window gives you information on what is out there, but what you see is not equal to the totality of what is out there.
6. I also gave the example of the Ptolemaic picture of the universe. It shows there can be a very high degree of correspondence with particular evidence, in this case the movement of the planets in the sky of earth, and yet it can still not be a very good picture of everything.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:It seemed to me that this was a clumsy way of expressing the Kantian view that science only concerns itself with appearances (phenomena) and not with reality (noumena). Incidentally, by his own admission, Kant made this distinction “to make room for God.”

You seem very stuck on Kant. Perhaps this dialogue with your imaginary version of myself is the fullfillment of your fervent desire to talk to Kant rather than me.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:Naturally, I was surprised at your use of the word “subjective” in this context and began to suspect that you were heading down the road to idealism.

Ah yes the typical slippery slope rhetoric of the ideologue. I would recognize that BS anywhere. Next is the "with me or against me" speech, telling us how we have to agree with every stupid thing you say in order to be one of the "good guys" rather than the "bad guys."

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:On 18th November, you said in essence that it is “useless speculation” to ask if things known through science actually exist outside us and are the source of our knowledge of them.

Incorrect. what I said was this...
As to whether some things "exist in their own right," I am not entirely sure what you mean by that but it looks highly philosophical to me. BUT I agree that it is only natural to presume that things known objectively are thus things which exist outside of us and are the source of our knowledge about them. But whether this is really the case is largely irrelevant and thus a useless speculation.
It is natural to presume this and so I assume this to be the case, but no I am not going to get into as snit like you do over it, like this is some dogma we must believe in for our salvation or something. But as I have said elsewhere, we have excellent evidence that an objective reality exists, but we do not have evidence that reality is exclusively objective.

So once you are finished burning all your strawmen fetishes in your Sunday rant, the real difference between us comes down to the part underlined and what I said immediate after the quote above.
My "middle position" stance is that I will not jump to the conclusion that things known subjectively are thus things which don't exist outside of us to be the source of subjective knowledge about them. We cannot objectively establish which is the case either way.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:You added, in essence, that because such things as God cannot be disproved by science, it could not be said that one is not justified in believing them because of the findings of science.

No that was the little straw construct in your head talking again. Whether this is a deliberate fabrication, an overactive imagination, or the beginnings of schizophrenic delusion, I do not know. All I know is that an exhaustive search of the text reveals nothing even remotely similar. So let's step outside your fantasies and go to the REAL person and see what he actually says on the matter, shall we?

1. No, science does not speak on the topic of God's existence.
2. Yes, there is ultimately no objective evidence either way on this topic.
3. However, this does not mean the findings of science are irrelevant to the topic. Depending on the way you have defined God, there may indeed be objective evidence against the existence of a god defined in such a way. Science can rule out many things that people have or might claim about God.
4. So yes, within these constraints, you are therefore free to make your own choices on the subject for whatever subjective reasons you choose. Naturally, there are scientists of all persuasions on this issue, because although there are those who have turned science into a kind of religion for themselves, that is not what science is really about at all. Science is defined by a methodology not by a set of beliefs.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote: This double negative translates to: One can properly believe in God if that is what he wants and science has no bearing on the question.

From the above we can see that Neri's "translation" has missed the mark by quite a margin. I suspect the reason for all this desperate twisting of words and double talk is that Neri wants to make the argument from ignorance that if we cannot know from science and the objective evidence then we have to agree with his subjective opinion about the existence of God. Why else would Neri get so riled up by the idea that we are free to make our own decisions about the existence of God? Neri's fantasies might include science eventually proving all his opinions to be right at some time in the future. But here in the real world we can see that Neri's fantasies tend to diverge from reality quite a bit.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:You said on the same date that it is “nonsensical” to look for proof of God’s existence and posited a “spiritual form of reality.”

Correct.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:While you may not specifically have used the words, “ It is possible that God exists because we do not know all things,”

Correct. I did not say those words. You made that up. You lied.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:that was the clear implication.

This so called implication was only in your head. It was that little straw construct version of me that you keep having your discussion with that said this, not I. And it is a construct build upon these few, rigid, and narrow categories that you want to stuff people into.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote: Further, the question of the existence of God is, after all, the subject of the present inquiry. That being the case, it was proper to comment on any suggestion that a belief in God is justified even if there is no evidence to support it.

Incorrect. As I reminded BJ, the subject was not God but a particular argument for the existence of God.

But you are certainly free to broach this topic. I just suggest that you talk to the real people involved rather than the fantasies in your head for whom you make up their side of the conversation as well as your own.

Neri » November 20th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:The proposition that God exists is an empirical and not an analytic one and as such requires empirical proof. Absent such proof, no one is justified in believing such a thing. This is my position.

Incorrect. According to this the creationists should have their theory taught in schools along side evolution as an alternative hypothesis. But God is not a proper scientific hypothesis at all. It is NOT a falsifiable proposition and thus it not any kind of empirical question. People like you and Dawkins who play this game turn science into a tool of rhetoric for their subjective opinions and that is pseudo-science not science and they begin to sound more and more like creationist themselves because of it.
Last edited by mitchellmckain on November 21st, 2017, 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Lomax on November 21st, 2017, 1:51 am 

Before I dine: for my part I don't regard everything to be physical. Good manners, ennui and the number twelve are all, in differing degrees, abstract. Still, one who recommends that others back off from Kant at least ought to exhibit an understanding of the difference between metaphysics and epistemology. Empiricism and physicalism are different dogs, fighting over two different bones. Which reminds me.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3506
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Lomax on November 21st, 2017, 1:54 am 

Mitchell, when you mark your students' physics papers, do you do it in the style of someone who's discussing theology on a philosophy forum?
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3506
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby mitchellmckain on November 21st, 2017, 2:07 am 

Lomax » November 21st, 2017, 12:54 am wrote:Mitchell, when you mark your students' physics papers, do you do it in the style of someone who's discussing theology on a philosophy forum?


Lomax, when you talk to people outside of a forum do you typically invent all kinds of the nastiest perversions you can think of and ask them if they do these things?
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Member
 
Posts: 736
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: The illogic of the Ontological Proof of God's Existence

Postby Lomax on November 21st, 2017, 2:09 am 

I only ask because you engage with Neri as if you were grading a paper. One wonders whether you would have spoken to Bertrand Russell with the same self-assurance and contempt, and whether such contributions could have endured in the same way as those of Father Copleston.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3506
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


PreviousNext

Return to Metaphysics & Epistemology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests