Fun with the Ontological argument
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19-02-2013, 05:16 PM
RE: Fun with the Ontological argument
(19-02-2013 12:41 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(19-02-2013 11:59 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I've noticed that too. When WLC presents his flawed Kalam Cosmological argument, he always concludes that the first cause of the universe must have been an intelligent, sentient and omni-benevolent being with interest in the human race without ever substantiating this claim in a coherent manner.
(19-02-2013 12:41 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Precisely, he tries (and fails) to argue for a deistic god, then tries to wave his hands and hope you don't see him switch out the deistic one with a theistic one...
I have problems with the concept of greatness, used inappropriately, not the formulation or arguments.
If god is initially premised as "perfectly good/great" further supportive premises must support this,based on reasonable observations of life, not esoteric suppositions of what might exist in some strange cosmic plan.

Irrespective of how well an argument can be constructed if the initial premise lacks substance, the argument will be 'valid' while the conclusion false.

For example : All women are blond.
My wife is a woman
So my wife is a a blond.

This very simple sylogism is true , if and only if the first premise is true, if and only if P1 was true, which of course it isn't. Logical claims and counter claims can become highly convoluted and misleading and in serious logic, symbols along with a system known as Trees are used to try and clarify end results.
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21-02-2013, 06:02 AM
RE: Fun with the Ontological argument
(19-02-2013 11:46 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(18-02-2013 05:49 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  The way I read the argument it is:

1. Let G be a set of "greatness" values corresponding to things that exist in a particular possible world.
2. Let G(any) = {G1...Gn}, the "G" set for every possible world.
3. There exists a value x such that x is the greatest value of any G set.
4. If x exists in any G set then it must exist in all G sets.
5. Therefore x exists in our G set - ie exists in our universe.
So there's still a couple problems that jump out at me from this logical statement. The "greatest value" must exist, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the "maximum value". You suggested that one might assume that G is an infinite set, but there's no reason to assume such. For example, if we were talking about speed rather than greatness, light is the maximum value but is not infinitely fast... we can imagine something faster, though such a thing cannot exist with our present physics. Also, some descriptions defy a "maximum", such as smelliness (always a great example when discussing the ontological argument). How could something be the "smelliest"?

Agreed. It is possible that some G set or even our set is an infinite set or they may all be finite. That doesn't affect the x value either way, because there is an infinite set of rational values between 0 and 1 - but none of those values is infinity. An infinite greatness value x might exist within one or more of the sets, but that doesn't affect the outcome of the logic drastically. Either the x value is finite or it is infinite, that doesn't draw its existence out from the possible worlds into the actual world, and doesn't ensure that the "necessary" version of the G set is populated since a being might be "infinitely great" but still not necessary.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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21-02-2013, 01:59 PM
RE: Fun with the Ontological argument
(16-12-2012 05:18 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  WLC's version

1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

To be honest, I don't go around reading arguments and this is my first read of the Ontological argument.
My first thought was to laugh out loud and then realized that in some possible world, someone took this seriously.
Like what the hell ?

How do you get from "If something exists in some possible world to it existing in EVERY possible world" ?
What is a possible world anyway ?
If an ant possibly exists here, then it possibly exists everywhere ?

Does the actual world contain possible worlds ?
Does our solar system contain another 300 possible planets orbiting the sun that we don't know about ?

I'm actually dumbfounded that someone could take this seriously, to even have the balls to talk about it in front of a group of people. Maybe inmates in the psychiatric ward of your local insane asylum, but not in front of real live possible people.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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23-02-2013, 11:29 PM
RE: Fun with the Ontological argument
Reminds me of the multiverse argument. I took a course called Science and Religion at university which was run by Christian scientists. No, it wasn't as bad as it sounds. They tried to be professional about it and basically accepted that the majority of the bible shouldn't be taken literally. The purpose of the course was to show that science and religion don't necessarily conflict with each other.

Anyway, one of the lectures brought up the multiverse and said that since an infinite amount of universes can exist, there is a possibility that one of them contains god. Because god is perfect, if one of them contains god, then all of them contain god.

Which, despite all the scientific problems (i.e. how multiverses work, validity of their existence, whether information can travel between multiverses, etc.) runs into a very simple ordering problem.

If I have 3 universes, and I investigate them one by one and determine the first two have no god, then the fact is the first two have no god. By finding god in the 3rd universe, that doesn't somehow alter the past and make the first two universes contain god. Evidence a priori cannot somehow change the premise of the investigation.

So even if a god did exist, he would be bound by the laws of that particular universe, which leads to the heavy rock paradox, which leads to god not really being god. Even if, somehow, you found god in the third universe and it changed the already determined fact that god does not exist in the first two universes, that would mean when you were first examining those two universes, you were in a different reality (one that does not contain god), which still means that god is bound by some laws (dimensional, etc.) which still means god is not god.

Or, you could just be logical and say there's no way god could exist [fullstop].

Science, logic and how they destroy religious arguments @ http://scepticalprophet.wordpress.com/

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
- Isaac Asimov.
Faith means not wanting to know what is true.
- Friedrich Nietzsche
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