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Offlinechemkid
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Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games
    #2196770 - 12/22/03 11:43 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I was recently discussing Descartes/Anselm's Ontological argument with a friend of mine. He was trying to use it just as the former thinkers had tried. The purpose of this thread isn't to drudge up the old debate of whether God exists or not but rather to discuss strength in argument and validity.

For the record, I do believe in God but I cannot stand arguments of the sort to which the Ontological argument belongs...namely, syntactical and semantic word games. I think it discredits an otherwise worthy subject for debate.

I find myself disagreeing with a position that I hold. I agree with the message, just not the method of proof. Anyone can come up with clever word schemes that seem to make an argument irrefutable. The problem is that we are severely limited by vocabulary and language. Any thoughts?


By the way, for those of you a little rusty on your Descartes and Anselm, here are their arguments:

Descartes Version ---

Premise 1: God possesses all perfections
Premise 2: Existence is a perfection
------------------------------------------------
Therefore, God exists

Anselm's version--

Premise 1: God is a being than which no greater
being can be conceived

Premise 2: If God exists only in the mind, there would be a
greater conceivable being, such as existing in the
mind and in reality.

Premise 3: God exists in the mind.
-------------------------------------------------
Therefore, God exists in reality.

Lets abstain from Guanilo's "Perfect Island" response which is easily refutable.


--------------------
An open mind is the greatest journey of all.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: chemkid]
    #2196796 - 12/22/03 11:56 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I'm a little skeptical as to whether or not Descartes actually believed in god.
Descarte's first premise here can only be taken if God exists... He claimed that there are two definate truths that he exists ("I think therefore I am"), and that god exists. I get the impression that Descartes was avoiding having his head chopped off with the "God exists" bit.

And uh... what does Anslem mean by "greater"? And a bunch of other problems with definitions and phrasing...

"Anyone can come up with clever word schemes that seem to make an argument irrefutable."
Bingo.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: chemkid]
    #2196842 - 12/23/03 12:23 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I do believe in God but I cannot stand arguments of the sort to which the Ontological argument belongs...namely, syntactical and semantic word games.

Well, the word "God" itself is a form of a word game. If I say the word "bike"; some might picture a Harley chopper or a 15 speed mountain bike or a 1 speed flyer with a bell. But at least we can further define that word to get a clearer picture. But with the word "God" everyone has an almost completely different picture based on culturalisms and heresay, so how can any coherent discussion at all ensue if we can't even agree what we are talking about?

Picture my liver cell #1,503,298 "talking" to liver cell #1,503,299 about the concept of "Swami". WHATEVER ideas they come up will be TOTAL gibberish and entirely inaccurate. Comprende?


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



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineSpecialEd
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Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: chemkid]
    #2196987 - 12/23/03 01:52 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Premise 1: God possesses all perfections
Premise 2: Existence is a perfection
------------------------------------------------
Therefore, God exists





That is a great example of affirming the consequence.


--------------------
"Plus one upvote +1..."
--- //
-- :meff:
  /l_l\/
--\-/----


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Anonymous

Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: chemkid]
    #2197384 - 12/23/03 10:19 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Thoughts on issues like these tend to be pretty rare around here. But this is a nice thread.

I was thinking about you when I created my "Universal Truth" thread. I am sure you would have enjoyed it.

There are other, more cogent, arguments for the existence of God but I don't talk about them in public forums.

Happy Hols,

MM


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Anonymous

Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: SpecialEd]
    #2197416 - 12/23/03 10:42 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

SpecialEd said:
Quote:

Premise 1: God possesses all perfections
Premise 2: Existence is a perfection
------------------------------------------------
Therefore, God exists





That is a great example of affirming the consequence.




A nice syllogism none the less. :thumbup:


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InvisibleTrueBrode
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Registered: 11/03/03
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Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: chemkid]
    #2197612 - 12/23/03 12:56 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Descartes fully explains why all things must be perfect; you are short-changing him by just listing the totality of his discourse. I'm not saying it makes perfect sense, or has become my life philosophy, but your summation cuts out his "logical" reasoning, which is paramount in understanding how he arrives at his conclusions.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: ]
    #2197617 - 12/23/03 12:59 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

"There are other, more cogent, arguments for the existence of God but I don't talk about them in public forums."

I guess if that kind of top secret info slipped out people would be going mad with faith.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Anonymous

Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: chemkid]
    #2197632 - 12/23/03 01:08 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

i like descartes over anselm.


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OfflinePHARMAKOS
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Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: ]
    #2198286 - 12/23/03 07:06 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

what is there to discuss? i read the ontological argument yesterday and was immediatly amazed at the fact the shit was ever published. Its ridiculous 'syntax games' describes it adequetly. :mad2: if you read 'quanillos reply on behalf of the fool' he neatly explains the flaws in the arguyment, saving me the trouble of doing that myself


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Anonymous

Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: Phluck]
    #2198814 - 12/24/03 01:13 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Oh no. Human nature is such that some people, when presented with such evidence, refuse to see or understand it.

But for me the reason I don't talk about it here, or any other public forum for that matter, is that all it ever ends up being is a bunch of squabbling. I reserve my time for more important things.

Besides, it isn't polite to thrust one's views in someone else's face that doesn't want or need them.

Such tactics are normally the device of idiots.


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Invisiblekaiowas
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Registered: 07/14/03
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Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: chemkid]
    #2198856 - 12/24/03 01:43 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

yep, definitions everywhere need to be understood. like what does existence is perfection mean? so does that imply then that to exist is to be perfect? second how could you assume god pocesses all perfections?? not only is the method seem strange, but the ideas themselves are strange. as my friend said to me once, "who are we to say what is what?"

but yeah I can't see how three lines of "wordage" can "prove" me god.


--------------------
Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.---senior doobie


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: ]
    #2199706 - 12/24/03 02:24 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

"Oh no. Human nature is such that some people, when presented with such evidence, refuse to see or understand it."

Human nature is also such that some people, when presented with weak or flimsy evidence, will ignore the flaws and believe in the evidence simply because it backs up an idea they want to believe. Is it not possible that this is the case with you?

I was reading a book a few months ago about pseudoscience and people's strange beliefs and ideas (it was a great book, I'll have to dig it up and make a post).

Apparently the American Mathematics Institute gets dozens of new formulas, equations, and ideas by people claiming to have solved all kinds of ancient mathematical mysteries. Many of them claim they've made one of the most important discoveries in history. The submissions range from flawed to complete gibberish.

If so many others have trouble understanding your brilliant theory, is there a chance it's not so brilliant after all?


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Anonymous

Re: Truth in the Ontological Argument or Syntax Games [Re: Phluck]
    #2200821 - 12/25/03 12:21 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

RCA (Reading Comprehension Alert)

Nowhere did I say this "theory" was mine. But thank you for proving my point by trying to start the squabbling before the theory was even mentioned.

Cheerio,

MM


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