Ontological Madness
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24-01-2015, 01:29 PM
Ontological Madness
So I just had an interesting "discussion" with a theist (I know, that stuff rots your brain) who couldn't quite grasp why contradiction and explosive logic mix poorly with anything pretending to be a moral code. So I went and applied it to something he was familiar with and the result was funnier than I'd anticipated.

Me: So god can do absolutely anything?

Him: Yes, that's what omnipotent means.

Me: Even things that are logically impossible?

Him: Yes, that's what unlimited means.

Me: So god can perform logical contradictions?

Him: Yes. God exists outside of logic. He created logic but is not bound by it.

Me: Can god make a mortal omnipotent?

Him: Yes.

Me: Can god make me the most powerful entity in all of creation? More powerful than even god?

Him: Yes, that's what unlimited means. No limits.

Me: OK, this is St. Anselm of Canterbury's "Ontological Proof":

(1) God is the greatest being which can be imagined.
(2) God exists as an idea in the mind.
(3) All else being equal, a being that exists in reality is greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind.
(4) If God exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than God, a greatest possible being that exists in reality.
(5) We cannot imagine something that is greater than God because it is a contradiction to imagine a being greater than the greatest possible being that can be imagined.
(6) God must exist in reality.

Congratulations on negating the first premise and invalidating the entire argument. The howling mob of apologists who will shortly break down your door is actually the least of your problems. Properly restated, the "Ontological Proof" now reads:

(1) The God-King Paleophyte is the greatest being which can be imagined.
(2) The God-King Paleophyte exists as an idea in the mind.
(3) All else being equal, a being that exists in reality is greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind.
(4) If The God-King Paleophyte exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than The God-King Paleophyte, a greatest possible being that exists in reality.
(5) We cannot imagine something that is greater than The God-King Paleophyte because it is a contradiction to imagine a being greater than the greatest possible being that can be imagined.
(6) The God-King Paleophyte must exist in reality.

Thanks! Now hang on for a sec. I have a loop-hole to close and an underling to demote.

I think that I may have exploded his little head. It's just as well that this doesn't actually work because I suspect that I would make a very unpleasant deity.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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25-01-2015, 02:40 AM
RE: Ontological Madness
That's a fair criticism of the (already profoundly flawed and false) ontological argument generally:
- Let g be the greatest conceivable being.
- Can g conceive of greater beings? If no g is not omnipotent in the "defeats logic" sense. If yes, g is not the greatest conceivable being.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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25-01-2015, 05:20 AM
RE: Ontological Madness
(24-01-2015 01:29 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  So I just had an interesting "discussion" with a theist (I know, that stuff rots your brain) who couldn't quite grasp why contradiction and explosive logic mix poorly with anything pretending to be a moral code. So I went and applied it to something he was familiar with and the result was funnier than I'd anticipated.

Me: So god can do absolutely anything?

Him: Yes, that's what omnipotent means.

Me: Even things that are logically impossible?

Him: Yes, that's what unlimited means.

Me: So god can perform logical contradictions?

Him: Yes. God exists outside of logic. He created logic but is not bound by it.

Me: Can god make a mortal omnipotent?

Him: Yes.

Me: Can god make me the most powerful entity in all of creation? More powerful than even god?

Him: Yes, that's what unlimited means. No limits.

Me: OK, this is St. Anselm of Canterbury's "Ontological Proof":

(1) God is the greatest being which can be imagined.
(2) God exists as an idea in the mind.
(3) All else being equal, a being that exists in reality is greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind.
(4) If God exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than God, a greatest possible being that exists in reality.
(5) We cannot imagine something that is greater than God because it is a contradiction to imagine a being greater than the greatest possible being that can be imagined.
(6) God must exist in reality.

Congratulations on negating the first premise and invalidating the entire argument. The howling mob of apologists who will shortly break down your door is actually the least of your problems. Properly restated, the "Ontological Proof" now reads:

(1) The God-King Paleophyte is the greatest being which can be imagined.
(2) The God-King Paleophyte exists as an idea in the mind.
(3) All else being equal, a being that exists in reality is greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind.
(4) If The God-King Paleophyte exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than The God-King Paleophyte, a greatest possible being that exists in reality.
(5) We cannot imagine something that is greater than The God-King Paleophyte because it is a contradiction to imagine a being greater than the greatest possible being that can be imagined.
(6) The God-King Paleophyte must exist in reality.

Thanks! Now hang on for a sec. I have a loop-hole to close and an underling to demote.

I think that I may have exploded his little head. It's just as well that this doesn't actually work because I suspect that I would make a very unpleasant deity.

So....what would have us do, oh lord? Big Grin

What amazes me about all of these arguments is the irony that they break logic in order to prove something through...logic.

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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25-01-2015, 05:30 AM
RE: Ontological Madness
(24-01-2015 01:29 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  ...
(6) The God-King Paleophyte must exist in reality.
...

I'm confused.

Do you exist or don't you?

Are you saying that you do exist but you're not really as great as we all thought you were?

Huh

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