Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 57 (9054 total)
103 online now:
AZPaul3, jar, nwr, PaulK, Percy (Admin), Tangle (6 members, 97 visitors)
Newest Member: EWolf
Post Volume: Total: 888,282 Year: 5,928/14,102 Month: 76/438 Week: 8/112 Day: 8/14 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Ontological arguments - where's the beef?
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17034
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 4 of 74 (631882)
09-04-2011 4:13 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by cavediver
09-03-2011 4:59 PM


You've certainly nailed Plantinga's argument, which is nothing but a question-begging word game. There are less bad Ontological Arguments, but all are flawed.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by cavediver, posted 09-03-2011 4:59 PM cavediver has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17034
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 36 of 74 (632225)
09-06-2011 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Chiroptera
09-06-2011 11:39 AM


Re: gooey premises
I think the biggest problem in the definitions is that of necessity.

If necessity is conceived of as logical necessity, then the being referred to really does have to be logically necessary from it's other properties or the definition is self-contradictory and therefore logically impossible. And if we had good reason to think that the proposed "God" (a "maximally excellent" being IIRC) really was logically necessary, Plantinga's argument would be redundant. So, in this case we should conclude that the proposed entity is probably impossible.

If some other sense of necessity is meant we still have questions. Obviously we cannot define things into existence simply by adding necessity to the definition. We cannot dictate reality by such simple word games. So clearly beings defined as "necessary" are impossible, more often than not. And then we have to justify whatever concept of necessity is considered, and give reasons why it should be expected to apply to the proposed entity but cannot be applied to anything else.

So all in all, it seems to me that it is very unlikely that any proposed necessary being really is necessary.

Which leads us to the other problem with Plantinga's argument. It can easily be reversed. All we need to do is consider it to be possible that a Maximally Great Being does NOT exist. If we grant that, it follows that a Maximally Great Being does not exist !

From the arguments I have given it seems clear to me that we should favour the idea that a Maximally Great being possibly does not exist over the idea that it possibly does (because impossibility is more likely than necessity). Therefore Plantinga's argument weighs against the existence of God. At least to the extent it should be taken seriously.

Personally I think its main importance is in revealing the intellectual bankruptcy of religious philosophy - at least on the theistic side.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Chiroptera, posted 09-06-2011 11:39 AM Chiroptera has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17034
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 63 of 74 (632436)
09-08-2011 1:57 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Buzsaw
09-07-2011 6:38 PM


Re: Other Applications; Ontology.
quote:

Ontological arguments can be applied to other things being/existing as well as to deity.

In my experience the only examples which would qualify would be attempts to illustrate the problems with ontological arguments (e.g. Gaunilo's 'perfect island').

quote:

IMO, physicists sometimes unwittingly rely heavily upon it so as to arrive at theory. Scientific conclusions are too often reached ontologically.

Might I suggest that the opinion of someone who doesn't understand what he is saying carries little weight. Can you cite even one such argument ? Do you even know what an ontological argument is ?
Or is this another case where you simply don't know what you are talking about, like your claim that scientists invoked Quantum Mechanics to explain the low entropy in Earth's surface - where you couldn't even support the assertion that Earth's surface had a low entropy, let alone find any mention of QM in relation to it ?

quote:

The above ontological example models the zero premise to BB theory. It does so by applying the relative uniformity assumption that the alleged zero event eventually ontologically progressed from the compressed alleged sub-microscopic chaos to bloom/expand into all of the present observable order, more than it models the Biblical record evidence for the existence of Jehovah, the maximal Biblical god designer.

This is mere incoherent babbling. You literally do not understand what you are saying.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Buzsaw, posted 09-07-2011 6:38 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Buzsaw, posted 09-08-2011 8:31 AM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17034
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 66 of 74 (632484)
09-08-2011 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by Buzsaw
09-08-2011 8:31 AM


Re: Other Applications; Ontology.
quote:

Perhaps you need to widen your experience and to consider other applications. According to the Free Online Dictionary, it can apply to other things such as theory.

I think not, since the term "ontological argument" is frequently restricted to a class of arguments for the existence of God (see the link in my previous post) - and since you offer absolutely no counter-examples, even if a wider interpretation of the term were taken.

quote:

Argue with the dictionary, as to whether it's authors are incoherent or whether your understanding of the meaning of the term is limited.

My disagreement is with you, not the dictionary. Aside from the fact that you ignored the usage of "ontological argument" you have not provided any support for your assertion at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Buzsaw, posted 09-08-2011 8:31 AM Buzsaw has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by jar, posted 09-08-2011 9:09 AM PaulK has not yet responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2021