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Author Topic:   Ontological arguments - where's the beef?
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 61 of 74 (632410)
09-07-2011 11:12 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Bolder-dash
09-07-2011 9:14 PM


Re: possible=shown?
By your terms, NOTHING is possible unless it is shown. How do you know it is possible for you to draw a King of Hearts until you do it? And for that matter you don't know if its possible for you to draw a King of Hearts from a deck of cards ever again. Maybe it is no longer possible. Maybe you can only draw a King of hearts 3 times and then after that it is impossible.

You are basing your definition of possible on having seen it or done it before. That means everything that you have not seen or done before is not possible.

No he isn't, as is clear from his choice of example.


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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 62 of 74 (632413)
09-07-2011 11:58 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by crashfrog
09-07-2011 10:00 PM


Re: possible=shown?
crashfrog writes:

Prediction: you'll respond to this post by accusing me of oppressing you in some way.

My prediction, before I submitted my question, was that you'd eat crow on this one. I looked it up. That's why I asked about the connection.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The Immeasurable Present Eternally Extends the Infinite Past And Infinitely Consumes The Eternal Future.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 16885
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


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:
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Replies to this message:
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Panda
Member (Idle past 2652 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 64 of 74 (632465)
09-08-2011 6:41 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Buzsaw
09-07-2011 11:58 PM


Re: possible=shown?
Buzsaw writes:

My prediction, before I submitted my question, was that you'd eat crow on this one.


...and you don't even have evidence of your own predictions.

Always remember: QUIDQUID LATINE DICTUM SIT ALTUM VIDITUR

Science flies you into space; religion flies you into buildings.


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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 65 of 74 (632474)
09-08-2011 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by PaulK
09-08-2011 1:57 AM


Re: Other Applications; Ontology.
PaulK writes:

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').

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.

quote:

1. (Philosophy) Philosophy the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being
2. (Philosophy / Logic) Logic the set of entities presupposed by a theory

PaulK writes:

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 ?

Perhaps you need to widen your own understanding of the meaning of the term, so as to comprehend what I was talking about.

PaulK writes:

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.

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


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The Immeasurable Present Eternally Extends the Infinite Past And Infinitely Consumes The Eternal Future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by PaulK, posted 09-08-2011 1:57 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 16885
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


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:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 67 of 74 (632489)
09-08-2011 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by PaulK
09-08-2011 8:50 AM


Re: Other Applications; Ontology.
I think that Buz saw the word "theory" used in one of the definitions and so assumed that it might also apply to science.

Here is the definitions in Buz's link in full:

quote:
on·tol·o·gy (n-tl-j)
n.
The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being.
on·tolo·gist n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
ontology [ɒnˈtɒlədʒɪ]
n
1. (Philosophy) Philosophy the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being
2. (Philosophy / Logic) Logic the set of entities presupposed by a theory
ontological adj
ontologically adv

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
ontology
philosophical inquiry into the nature of being itself, a branch of metaphysics. — ontologist, n. — ontologie, ontological, ontologistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy

-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ontology, phenomenology - Ontology is the branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature or essence of being or existence, the opposite of phenomenology, the science of phenomena.


The problem might be that Buzsaw simply does not know how to read a dictionary, he might not understand that in each case the definitions are qualified to show that they refer only to philosophy and metaphysics.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 406 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 68 of 74 (632508)
09-08-2011 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Dr Adequate
09-07-2011 11:11 PM


Re: possible=shown?
Goddamn autocorrect. I swear I've been typing in "epistemological."

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 406 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 69 of 74 (632509)
09-08-2011 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Buzsaw
09-07-2011 11:58 PM


Re: possible=shown?
My prediction, before I submitted my question, was that you'd eat crow on this one. I looked it up.

Eat crow on what? What did you look up?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Buzsaw, posted 09-07-2011 11:58 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 70 of 74 (632513)
09-08-2011 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by Buzsaw
09-08-2011 8:31 AM


Re: Other Applications; Ontology.
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.

quote:
1. (Philosophy) Philosophy the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being
2. (Philosophy / Logic) Logic the set of entities presupposed by a theory

The definition you're pointing to does not say that ontological arguments 'apply to a theory', however you want to interpret this. It's saying that, in addition to being used to describe a branch of philosophy, the word 'ontology' is also used as a way of saying the sum total of things and the way those things are, in a particular world view.

So, the ontology of your world-view would include a creator God, and a heaven, and whatnot. An atheist wouldn't share that ontology.

None of this has anything to do with the matter under discussion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Buzsaw, posted 09-08-2011 8:31 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 71 of 74 (632757)
09-09-2011 9:16 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by jar
09-08-2011 9:09 AM


Re: Other Applications; Ontology.
Jar writes:

Here is the definitions in Buz's link in full:

Blatant lie, Jar. My link cited the Free Online Dictionary, rendition of the definition, being inclusive of what I alleged.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The Immeasurable Present Eternally Extends the Infinite Past And Infinitely Consumes The Eternal Future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by jar, posted 09-08-2011 9:09 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 72 of 74 (632758)
09-09-2011 9:25 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Buzsaw
09-09-2011 9:16 PM


Re: Other Applications; Ontology.
Based on that assertion I suggest that folk actually click on the link and determine the truth.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Buzsaw, posted 09-09-2011 9:16 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 2652 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 73 of 74 (632759)
09-09-2011 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Buzsaw
09-09-2011 9:16 PM


Re: Other Applications; Ontology.
Buzsaw writes:

Blatant lie, Jar.


Are you claiming that Jar did not post the complete list of definitions from your link?
Because I have clicked your link and it looks like he did.

Always remember: QUIDQUID LATINE DICTUM SIT ALTUM VIDITUR

Science flies you into space; religion flies you into buildings.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Buzsaw, posted 09-09-2011 9:16 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1988
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 74 of 74 (632781)
09-10-2011 5:22 AM


Steering back to the topic
Topic Starter Cavediver writes:

While still a Christian, I had no need for proofs of God - faith was central to my, well, faith. As a mathematician, I was aware of Godel's ontological proof of God; but knowing what a fruit-bat Godel had been, I never bothered to investigate.

So, following my Damascus Road conversion to atheism, I have been reading up on the ontological arguments of Anselm, Descartes, Plantinga, and of course, Godel, to find out what all the fuss is about...

My first impression was simple confirmation of something I had long suspected: logic in the hands of philosophers tends to result in the use of very precise and well defined rules to push around exceptionally nebulous and ill-defined concepts. The ideas of maximal goodness, maximal greatness, maximal perfection, etc, suggest extremely naive one-dimensional thinking, almost certainly inspired by the age-old tenets of the faith held by the philosopher in question.

My second impression, primarily from reading Plantinga and associated apologetics (e.g. William Land Craig), is just how blatantly dishonest the argument appears. The bait-and-switch on the term "possible" is a text-book case. The modern Plantinga argument (put into readable english) is:

- It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
- If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
- If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
- If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
- If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
- Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

The possible of the first line looks innocuous enough, and on a generous day some of us may even make grudging acceptance. Possible is this context tends to be taken as "not definitely impossible". BUT the use of possible in the second line is very different. This is now the "possible" of modal logic, with very different meaning: something that is "possible" must occur in some plausible example of existence (the "possible world" mentioned.)

If we agree up front that the first "possible" is in the colloquial sense, then the argument fails immediately as the "possible"s of lines 1 and 2 are now different. If it is in the modal logic sense, then we have essentially begged the question, as we have essentially agreed as premise that this "maximally great being" is necessary.

And finally (for now), the "possible worlds" of modal logic are a perfectly sound concept when looking at strictly defined systems with specific parameter spaces, but their applicability is extremely questionable when it comes to considering possible examples of Existence. We even have no surety that there is any such thing as a possible example of existence that is not our own!

So, am I missing something?

Lets focus on the topic and not on each others quirks, shall we?


  
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