Modal Ontological Argument from Divine Justice
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13-04-2015, 06:31 AM
RE: Modal Ontological Argument from Divine Justice
(12-04-2015 08:47 PM)CatholicSoxFan Wrote:  unfogged: You misread what I said a bit. You asked how a coherent standard has to be objective, when I distinguished between the two in the excerpt of mine that you quoted.

The complete original paragraph reads: "As the final step of the argument, we have one of the most indisputable premises one could come up with. Every time you say that a certain situation sucks, you are saying that that situation lacks a due good by a standard of evaluation. The only other step left in order to get to this premise is that one of those standards by which we say something is unjust is a coherent one. To deny this, not only do you have to deny that these standards are objective, you have to say there is something incoherent about them. You have to hold all of these standards hostage until you admit this premise."

You do not distinguish between objective standards and non-objective standards as far as I can see. That is why I asked why you restrict coherent standards to be only objective standards.

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13-04-2015, 03:02 PM
RE: Modal Ontological Argument from Divine Justice
(11-04-2015 05:22 PM)CatholicSoxFan Wrote:  For a while, I have been interested in the Modal Ontological Argument. Recently, I came across a new version of the argument which I think is better. It is featured on "Part I, Article III" of this page: http://newapologetics.com/the-tractatus

Note that I also think you should explore the site I linked to at some point, because some more interesting things are said in it.

I will give an explanation of it here; if you don't understand it at first, that's fine, I didn't either. You can ask any questions you like.

The explanation (which may or may not help):

Basically there are two foundational concepts in play here:

1) The definition of "injustice". Something is unjust if it can be said to be lacking of a due good by come coherent evaluative standard. The argument attempts to make the definition of injustice as wide-open as it could possibly be. This definition does not require a belief that what is just and unjust is objective (so you don't have to argue back and forth with an atheist about objective/subjective morality), although as you will see later on the argument tries to show that God exists, ad fulfills all coherent evaluative standards.

2) The concepts of modal logic being applied to situations. The same words "possible", "necessary", "impossible", etc. are transferred to talk about situations. So something is situationally necessary if it is true about all possible situations, situationally possible if it is true about some possible situations, etc.

Once those two basic concepts are understood, two crucial axioms to understand:

1) If some property is not compatible with some other property (in the argument itself uses the example of property a being incompatible with b), then it is compatible with the negation of that property (so a would be compatible with not-b). This is true simply because property a has to be logically possible (logically impossible properties are not properties at all), and either b or not-b must be true. If you think about it, if a were incompatible with both b and not-b, a would be logically impossible. Now, one could always say that property a is impossible and that would mean it could be incompatible with both b and not-b, but that doesn't work in response to this argument, as will be seen later.

2) If it is possible that a property is situationally necessary (i.e. if that property is compatible with situational necessity), that property is situationally necessary. This is a consequence of the S5 axiom of modal logic, which is used in the standard modal ontological argument. This video is I think a good defense of the S5 system of modal logic, if you feel it needs defending: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azHzZ2ADJkA

Once these concepts are down, there are basically three other steps to the argument that are needed- the rest of the argument logically follows:

1) The property of situational necessity is incompatible with the property of injustice.

If you remember back when I talked about the first axiom, I mentioned saying the first property is impossible as a potential escape route, but that it won't work here. The reason it won't work here is because if the property of situational necessity was impossible, that fact would itself be situationally necessary, which is obviously self-defeating. Also, there are necessary truths of mathematics and logic that are situationally necessary.

Now let's get back to the premise. Essentially, the premise says that for every unjust situation, there is a logically possible world in which it is "replaced" by a just one. So for instance, if an innocent man is unjustly found guilty in a court of law, there is a logically possible situation in which the same man is never accused. It seems that we only call things unjust in contrast to a coherent just situation.

If you still have doubts about this, here are two additional angles from which you can see this:

a) The axiom that "ought implies can". It doesn't seem that anyone can be said to have an obligation to do something if they are not able to do so.

b) The definition of injustice, used back when we talked about the "foundational concepts". Injustice is defined as something that can be said to be lacking a due good by some coherent evaluative standard. Now, if the due good cannot logically possibly exist in that situation, wouldn't that mean the standard itself is incoherent? If I were to say that "situation X is unjust because it doesn't contain square circles", that would not seem to be a coherent evaluative standard.

If you accept everything seen above, the conclusion can be reached that the property of justice is situationally necessary. This conclusion can be reached in the following way:

P1: The property of situational necessity is incompatible with the property of injustice.

P2: If some property a is incompatible with property b, it is compatible with its negation, not-b.

C1: The property of situational necessity is incompatible with the property of injustice.

P3: If a property is compatible with situational necessity, the property is situationally necessary (by the S5 axiom).

C2: The property of justice is situationally necessary.

Now, let's resume to go over the last two steps to the argument.

2) Since the property of justice is situationally necessary, either there is no sense to the concept of injustice, or there exists an infallible justice-making power.
This may sound like a false dichotomy, but think through the logic here: we have already concluded that justice is situationally necessary- that everything is just. That would mean that either nothing can logically possibly be considered unjust, or that unjust situations are transformed. Whatever transforms unjust situations must itself be a being whose existence can't be said to be an unjust situation (otherwise such a situation would itself need to be transformed, and we have an infinite regress). If you remember back to the definition of injustice from before, this means that this being cannot be said to lack any goods by any coherent evaluative standard. In other words, there would have to exist a being that than which none greater can be conceived.

3) There is a sense to the concept of injustice.
As the final step of the argument, we have one of the most indisputable premises one could come up with. Every time you say that a certain situation sucks, you are saying that that situation lacks a due good by a standard of evaluation. The only other step left in order to get to this premise is that one of those standards by which we say something is unjust is a coherent one. To deny this, not only do you have to deny that these standards are objective, you have to say there is something incoherent about them. You have to hold all of these standards hostage until you admit this premise.

By the second and third steps, the conclusion follows: There exists an infallible justice-making power.

As was explained before, this justice-making power must be that than which none greater can be conceived.

Whenever I look up the meaning of ontological...

"ontology |ɒnˈtɒlədʒi|
noun [ mass noun ]
the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being."

I realise the pointlessness of discussing it.
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13-04-2015, 04:22 PM
RE: Modal Ontological Argument from Divine Justice
(13-04-2015 06:31 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(12-04-2015 08:47 PM)CatholicSoxFan Wrote:  unfogged: You misread what I said a bit. You asked how a coherent standard has to be objective, when I distinguished between the two in the excerpt of mine that you quoted.

The complete original paragraph reads: "As the final step of the argument, we have one of the most indisputable premises one could come up with. Every time you say that a certain situation sucks, you are saying that that situation lacks a due good by a standard of evaluation. The only other step left in order to get to this premise is that one of those standards by which we say something is unjust is a coherent one. To deny this, not only do you have to deny that these standards are objective, you have to say there is something incoherent about them. You have to hold all of these standards hostage until you admit this premise."

You do not distinguish between objective standards and non-objective standards as far as I can see. That is why I asked why you restrict coherent standards to be only objective standards.

How about if you see someone have their fucking face shot off ? Will you then have to go through your pinhead steps asking whether the situation needs to be evaluated as to its "coherence" as to whether it lacks an objective "due good".
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13-04-2015, 07:05 PM
RE: Modal Ontological Argument from Divine Justice
(13-04-2015 03:02 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Whenever I look up the meaning of ontological...

"ontology |ɒnˈtɒlədʒi|
noun [ mass noun ]
the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being."

I realise the pointlessness of discussing it.

I have hope now that the neuroscientists have taken it up. Sparks of consciousness mapped in most detail yet.

And for the various ill-informed idiots around here who continue to insist that consciousness is somehow a bugger for atheists, "There is no hard problem. There is only the question of how the brain, an information-processing device, concludes and insists it has consciousness. And that is a problem of information processing. To understand that process fully will require the kinds of stepwise experiments you see here." Tongue

#sigh
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13-04-2015, 07:21 PM
RE: Modal Ontological Argument from Divine Justice
(13-04-2015 07:05 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(13-04-2015 03:02 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Whenever I look up the meaning of ontological...

"ontology |ɒnˈtɒlədʒi|
noun [ mass noun ]
the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being."

I realise the pointlessness of discussing it.

I have hope now that the neuroscientists have taken it up. Sparks of consciousness mapped in most detail yet.

And for the various ill-informed idiots around here who continue to insist that consciousness is somehow a bugger for atheists, "There is no hard problem. There is only the question of how the brain, an information-processing device, concludes and insists it has consciousness. And that is a problem of information processing. To understand that process fully will require the kinds of stepwise experiments you see here." Tongue


Wow. That article is great. Especially the last paragraph. I also think consciousness is a form of "illusion". Consciousness is the output product of sensory input, referenced to stored memory. It takes a few milliseconds to process that, and in fact what 'comes out" is already in the immediate past.

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