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My Current Apologetic System for All To See

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posted on Nov, 11 2016 @ 11:51 PM
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1 Peter 3
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,



The Bible tells Christians to be prepared to give an answer to those who ask for a reason for the hope that is within me. The reason for the hope that is in me is ultimately my experience and relationship with Christ. Now this type of position cannot be given to persuade but it is the most honest answer that I can give. To give something others might could relate to lets look the following analogy. Hypothetically, lets say person A cured cancer, he couldn't recreate it, and he lacked no empirical evidence of it other than a few close friends of his who said he cured cancer. Now person B might think person A and his friends are lying, but in this scenario they are all perfectly justified in saying that he cured cancer because they experienced it. In the same way I have experienced Jesus. This is the main reason I am a Christian, but not the main reason I believe in God. Hypothetically, lets say for example that someone found Jesus's remains tomorrow. I could no longer be a Christian, but I wouldn't fall to atheism. With that said, I've spent the past few years of my life researching Science and Philosophy and this is the current state of the system I would use to explain God to someone. None of these arguments are new, but I hope to present them in a way that shows how each argument relates to the others and helps back up at least one premise of another argument. That said lets get into each argument.


The first argument a person needs to understand is the Ontological Argument for God. This is a hard argument for people because they fail to realize that the entire argument is about an abstraction, and the relationship of two sentences when that abstraction is involved. The purpose of the argument is to inform the audience that the statement, "it is possible a maximally great being exist", is logically equivalent to "it is necessary a maximally great being exist". This concept is confusing for people who don't often deal in abstractions because it is counter intuitive. It can be explained simply in terms of possible world semantics, again another concept people have a hard time with.

So for possible world semantics what you need to know is that a possible world is :




a complete way things might have gone, past, present, and future, down to the last detail, everywhere in the universe.One such world is the actual world. Along with the actual world there are huge numbers of complete ways things might have gone differently.



So you can think of a set in mathematics. We have one set of all possible worlds(which includes the world we observe and a plethora of ones we don't), and a set of all impossible worlds.

Inside the realm of ontology you have 3 types of existence:

Contingent - dependent on something else(i.e. existing in some possible worlds but not all)
Necessary - exist due to its own nature(i.e. existing in all possible worlds)
Impossible - cannot possible exist due to its own nature.(i.e. cannot exist in any possible world)

So with these things in mind lets revisit those two sentences this time in the structure of the Ontological argument:




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.


Now this argument uses virtuous circularity in order to inform the audience of the equivalence of the top and bottom statements. Now where I lose people is normally the 3rd statement, "If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world." The reason this premise is true is because a maximally great being is a necessary being meaning it cannot fail to exist. So in possible world semantics we could think of it like this, if a thing is possible then it exist in some possible world. If this same thing is also necessary by definition, then its existence in one possible world means it must also exist in every other possible world in the set of all possible worlds due to its necessity. Inside the set of all possible worlds is the actual world. So if the being exist in every possible world in the set of all possible worlds, then it also exist in the actual world. Many mathematicians have argued numbers exist in this way. I personally don't agree but some people do think this. So there ya have it. A simply argument that proves the statement "it is possible a MGB exist" is equivalent to "it is necessary a MGB exist". This is actually really simple to understand once you realize that its about the relationship of two sentences that are dealing with what, from the nonbelievers perspective, would just be an abstraction.


So from here I have established the relationship between these two statements, and the rest of my arguments will go to show that at the very least God is possible. If God is possible then God is real as the argument above establishes a circular relationship between the two premises which means they have the same truth conditions.

The next argument we come to is:




A “Sum-styled” Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
(1): Everything not existing by necessity (i.e. everything that could fail to exist) owes its existence to something external to itself. (For example, planets, lightning, and humanity each owes existence to something else.)
(2): Something exists (call it “the Universe” or “Big Contingent Sum”) which is the sum of all these things which do not exist by necessity.
(3): Therefore, “Big Contingent Sum” owes its existence to something external to itself.
(4): Whatever exists externally to “Big Contingent Sum” obviously cannot itself be contingent (i.e. cannot be part of that sum).
(5): Therefore, whatever exists externally to "Big Contingent Sum" is not contingent; by definition it exists of necessity.
Conclusion: Therefore, “Big Contingent Sum” owes its existence to something that exists by necessity.


So where as the ontological argument gets a person to realize that the mere metaphysical possibility of a necessary being shows it must exist. I think this argument shows that it is necessary that spacetime reality owes its existence to something that is necessary by definition. The Abrahamic God has always been defined as the one who inhabits eternity.

Now I have had many people attempt to argue with premise 1. Premise 1 is tautological. It simply says a thing that is contingent is dependent upon something external to itself. This is simply the definition of contingency.

Premise 2 is the one I assume most people will get upset with as the others once the first two premises are established logically follow. If you don't like this premise please provide me an example of something from your world view that is not contingent.
edit on 11-11-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typo

edit on 11-11-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typo




posted on Nov, 11 2016 @ 11:52 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Now once the two arguments above are understood I think we have pretty solid evidence for some form of monotheism, but lets continue on:




WLC Argument from applicability of mathematics:
1) If God did not exist, the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence
2) The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence
3) Therefore God exists


Now this argument is meant to be taken more as an inference to the best explanation rather than something that is absolute, but again it goes as more evidence for premise 1 of the ontological argument. This has always been one of my biggest question for those whose world view is similar to naturalism. Why is it that we assume that the world is rationally intelligible? Why assume we are the type of creature that is capable of understanding it? Why should we want to understand it? These all seem to by questions in which the theistic world view has easy answers to. We all take these belief for granted, but why would a naturalist ever assume these things in the first place? This could also be combined with the fine-tuning argument for Gods existence, but I'll leave that out for now.

So now we have arguments for two qualities of a MGB. Its necessary existence and its intelligence. So now look at one that explains why the cause of the big contingent sum must also be personal. In the actual world we observe the existence of moral values.


Atheist Peter Cave argues that:



"whatever sceptical arguments may be brought against our belief that killing the innocent is morally wrong, we are more certain that the killing is morally wrong than that the argument is sound… Torturing an innocent child for the sheer fun of it is morally wrong. Full stop."


As Margarita Rosa says in 'A Defense of Objectivity':



Even the enemies of objectivity rely on it... the skeptic states a position that cannot possibly be sustained or rationally believed [because] he is in effect asking you not to apply his assertion to his own position, without giving any reason for exempting his own words from his own general claim. His position is futile and self-refuting; it can be stated, but it cannot convince anyone who recognizes its implications.


Atheist Colin McGinn affirms in 'Ethics, Evil and Fiction':



When I assert 'this is good' or 'that is evil', I do not mean that I experience desire or aversion, or that I have a feeling of liking or indignation. These subjective experiences may be present; but the judgment points not to a personal or subjective state of mind but to the presence of an objective value in the situation.


What Colin is getting at is that when we speak of objective moral values existing we are not discussing epistemology but ontology.

WLC and J.P Moreland sum it up well with:



The question is not: Must we believe in God in order to live moral lives? There is no reason to think that atheists and theists alike may not live what we normally characterize as good and decent lives. Similarly, the question is not: Can we formulate a system of ethics without reference to God? If the non-theist grants that human beings do have objective value, then there is no reason to think that he cannot work out a system of ethics with which the theist would largely agree. Or again, the question is not: Can we recognize the existence of objective moral values without reference to God? The theist will typically maintain that a person need not believe in God in order to recognize, say, that we should love our children.


With that said here is the syllogism:



1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.


So now we have arguments which tell us we need a necessary, intelligent, perfectly good agent, that created the universe. If it created all of spacetime from no previously existing stuff, then it also must be extremely powerful. So in conclusion, it is most definitely possible that a necessary, omniscient, ominpotent, wholly good being exist, and therefore via the virtuous circularity established in via the Ontological Argument God must exist. Now these arguments only work for monotheism, and I could get into that but I am not going to. The purpose of these arguments are not to prove Christianity to be true, but rather to prove atheism false and monotheism true. The question of which god would be something discussed after an agreement on the need for some God was reached.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 12:47 AM
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You lost me right here:



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.


No matter how you move the words around, something cannot be proved to exist only because it's possible to exists. So your second line should have been like this:
"If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being possibly exists in some possible world."
"If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists" is just not logical. "Blue apples are possible" by no means prove that "blue apple exists".

We cannot use words the same way we use numbers, and we cannot apply the same mathematical logic because numbers are fixed values while words are variables. The words have mostly abstract meanings behind them, they imply locations, time, attributes and so on.
So if I say x=4 and y=4 then x=y, and that is a true statement. But if I say "great being=possible" and "great being=exists" it doesn't mean that "possible=exists". And it seems to me that is exactly what you did here, or something very close.

Either that or I'm too dumb to understand your logic. IMHO

Edit to ad: and it seems to me that if something is demonstrable to exists it can be done in simple, logical terms, you don't necessarily need interchangeable terms with interchangeable meanings to make all this even more confusing than it already is.
But again, maybe I'm too simple minded. I wait to see what other philosophical minds here on ATS have to say.
edit on 12-11-2016 by WhiteHat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 01:41 AM
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a reply to: WhiteHat

Those are some wise words.




posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 02:20 AM
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a reply to: WhiteHat

First I want to say thank you. You are a refreshing relief from the people who are not actually looking for a real discussion. You response seems sincere and I appreciate that.





No matter how you move the words around, something cannot be proved to exist only because it's possible to exists. So your second line should have been like this: "If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being possibly exists in some possible world."


So I think there are a couple misunderstandings here. First, this entire argument is phrased in possible world semantics which I discussed briefly in the OP. When we say something is possible in the context of possible world semantics what we mean is there is a possible world description in which this could be the case. To use a fun example lets look at the Marvel Universe. This would be a possible world, but it is not the actual world. So it is possible that say a man could have super-speed and use that to travel thru time like the Flash, but this is not something we observe in the actual world.

First I think we need to distinguish between something's excellence in a particular world and its greatness. It's excellence depends only on its properties in that world. It's greatness depends on its properties in all worlds. A thing has maximal excellence in a given possible world X if and only if it is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good in X. A thing has maximal greatness if it has maximal excellence in every possible world. This argument is based on the Anslemian conception of God. Namely that God is the greatest possible being. The basic idea for necessity is that a being which is maximally excellent and cannot fail to exist in any possible world is greater than a being that has maximal excellence only in some worlds descriptions.

A necessary entity is an entity that exist due to its essence. Somethings essence is the set of attributes that make that thing fundamentally what it is. A maximally great being is being that exhibits maximal excellence in all possible worlds. Thats what makes it maximally great. So the being by definition is either necessary(i.e. existing in all worlds) or impossible(i.e. cannot possibly exist due to internal incoherence like married bachelor). Premise 1 states that it is possible a MGB exist and premise 2 tells us saying something is possible is exactly the same as saying it exist in some possible world. In the context of possible world semantics this is most definitely true as that is what it means to say something is possible. Premise 3 tells us that saying a MGB exist in some possible world is exactly the same as saying it exist in all worlds. This is true because a MGB is by definition necessary and if something is necessary then it exist in all possible worlds. So remember the purpose of this argument on its own is not to persuade you into thinking that a MGB exist. It is to inform you that the two statements are logically equivalent. As a theist I would have to answer my burden of proof for premise 1 for this argument to hold any weight. This is what I did in the other arguments.




We cannot use words the same way we use numbers, and we cannot apply the same mathematical logic because numbers are fixed values while words are variables. The words have mostly abstract meanings behind them, they imply locations, time, attributes and so on.


Numbers are arbitrary groupings of things. The concept of two is an abstraction that refers to a thing and another thing. What is fixed about numbers is that they refer to a specific amount of things whether the be real or imaginary. So while you are right the word 'two' is a variable that refers to the collection of a thing and another thing, what the word refers to however is fixed. The same is true when we use speech in everyday language though it may not be as clear. When I say to you "it is raining outside". Yes those are variables used to convey some information and they could be changed, but the information cannot be changed. No matter what specific pattern you choose to represent the idea of it raining outside that message is fixed. Words are simply a medium for information.




So if I say x=4 and y=4 then x=y, and that is a true statement. But if I say "great being=possible" and "great being=exists" it doesn't mean that "possible=exists". And it seems to me that is exactly what you did here, or something very close. Either that or I'm too dumb to understand your logic. IMHO


Not quite an accurate representation. I guess I can try to do it that way for you though my programming habits will come out, try and think of the left side as an agreed upon word to refer to the concept on the right:

var x = something

ExistenceTypes
[
NecessaryExistence = existing in all possible worlds;
ContingentExistence = existing some worlds but not all worlds;
ImpossibleExistence = existing in no possible world;
]

//x has an ExistenceType and KnownToExist and IsPossible truth value variable

//If x is God then these are the properties that x would take
x.ExistenceType = NecessaryExistence;
x.IsPossible = true;

if(x.ExistenceType == NecessaryExistence and x.IsPossible == true)
[
x.KnownToExist = true;
]
else if(x.ExistenceType == NecessaryExistences and x.IsPossible == false)
[
x.ExistenceType = ImpossibleExistence;
x.KnownToExist = false;
]
else if(x.ExistenceType == ContingentExistence and x.IsPossible == true)
[
x.KnownToExist = false;
]
else if(x.IsPossible == false)
[
x.ExistenceType = ImpossibleExistence;
x.KnownToExist =false;
]


Now that may all be jibberish to you if you don't program at all, I tried to simplify it a bit. Basically the idea I am trying to express is that things that are necessary by definition are the only types of things in which possibility equates to necessity. This is because what we mean when we say something is possible is that it exist in some possible description of the world. If the thing in question has the existence type of necessary existence then it doesn't have the existence type impossible which means that due to what it means to exist necessarily it would have to exist in all worlds no just one wold description. So only when something has the existence type of necessary existence does possibility logically equate to necessity.




Either that or I'm too dumb to understand your logic. IMHO


I doubt that you lack the intelligence. When I first started studying all of this I hated the Ontological Argument. I thought it was stupid. I used to think I could just plug in the tooth fairy or zeus and the argument would remain sound but it wouldn't. If you can understand the pseudo-code type explanation I sent you could run thru the logic with zeus or the tooth fairy and you would see why it would fail:

x for either the tooth fairy or zeus would take the follows starting properties:

x.ExistenceType = ContingentExistence;
x.IsPossible = true;

edit on 12-11-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typo



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 02:22 AM
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a reply to: WhiteHat




Edit to ad: and it seems to me that if something is demonstrable to exists it can be done in simple, logical terms, you don't necessarily need interchangeable terms with interchangeable meanings to make all this even more confusing than it already is.


I mean you just got thru saying that words are like variables that they don't have objective meaning. I define my terms so that there is no misunderstanding to what I mean by certain things.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 08:46 AM
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Oh, I'm always looking for a sincere and open discussion and I respect everyone's opinion even if I don't agree or don't always understand them. I never dismiss something only because I don't quite get it

So...
I think I quite understand your reasoning, even if I don't do programing. But because is a lazy Saturday afternoon and half of my mind is already catatonic from too much video games, and English is not my first language so is kind of hard to explain myself, let me see if I can manage to clarify what I understand and what is that I don't agree with.

Like in programing, or mathematics for that matter, I understand that you assume a specific concept to a specific word. Then by a series of further assumptions you come to " logical" conclusions within that fixed set of terms.
My argument would be that programming is an agreed language in a virtual environment, and is meant only for a specific reader of that language. It's limited and it's fixed, this why we can use it the way we can use it. And it must be agreed upon.
But you cannot apply a limited language to an objective reality. Let me show you what I mean by that:



ExistenceTypes [
NecessaryExistence = existing in all possible worlds;
ContingentExistence = existing some worlds but not all worlds;
ImpossibleExistence = existing in no possible world; ]



In order to agree with you I must ask: why only these 3 types of existence? What about temporary existence? Or conditioned existence? Or virtual existence, only as a concept?
Then I also must ask: why are you using the term "necessary"? Necessary for whom or for what?
What do you mean by "world"? What do you mean by "existence"?

Then only when we completely agree on the exact definition of these terms, when we are sure to take all the possible factors and variables in calculation, only then we can start making those calculation.

Why I said that and tried to stop you right at the beginning of your assumption? Because a concept is not in fact reality and it can be infinitely more vast than a fixed language with fixed meaning. Yes we use variable words to transmit information but even that information is variable. Like in your example where we can say "it is raining outside". Yet that simple information would be translated different for each listener: is raining like pouring or dripping, cold rain or nice summer rain, outside like locally or generally and so on and on. A simple word like "dog" will translate in the mind of each person as a different image, different race, size, color, posture... You see what I mean?

Neither the word "dog" nor the image it triggers are the real, objective thing we try to convey but we agree upon their meaning because we have an experience of that thing and therefore we can understand what are we talking about. At least sometimes

Now when it comes to concepts the problem greatly amplifies because there is no objective reality behind the words. So how can we ever agree or understand each other, how can we convey the real thing if it's absolutely unknown to any of us?

And we should never forget that we try to prove the existence of a real, objective entity here. Or not? I mean what you really understand when you say "a maximally great being "?

I have a feeling that I kind of side-tracked myself here, so let me put it even simpler than that:
Let's assume I don't hear any sound. I'm deaf. You, on the other side are trying to prove me that sound exists objectively even if I cannot perceive it.
Now try to apply the same logic you used with God and prove that sounds exists. It will be much easier for both to see if this is a logic than can be practically applied or is just a mental construct available only within a limited language or frame of thinking.
Because (in my opinion) if something is to be defined as "existing" it should exist in all times, all places, all conditions, for everyone. If there is only one variable where that thing does not exists then the definition is not true or complete.

edit on 12-11-2016 by WhiteHat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 09:32 AM
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And like usual I forgot to say something:
I don't try to say that God exists or doesn't exists. What I'm trying to say is that the method you chose for proving it maybe is not the best one.
My stance on god's existence is here:
link
edit on 12-11-2016 by WhiteHat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 11:06 AM
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a reply to: WhiteHat




In order to agree with you I must ask: why only these 3 types of existence? What about temporary existence? Or virtual existence, only as a concept?


Well I think the three types I mentioned above encompass all types of existence, there may very well be another option needed but I currently am unaware of it. So temporary existence. I am assuming you mean that something comes into being for some period of time before going out of existence. Maybe a dinosaur would be something that has existed temporarily. Temporary things however are encompassed by the category of contingent existence.

Contingent is defined as follows:

con·tin·gent
kənˈtinjənt/Submit
adjective
1.subject to chance.
"the contingent nature of the job"
synonyms: chance, accidental, fortuitous, possible, unforeseeable, unpredictable, random, haphazard
"contingent events"
2. occurring or existing only if (certain other circumstances) are the case; dependent on.
"resolution of the conflict was contingent on the signing of a ceasefire agreement"
synonyms: dependent on, conditional on, subject to, determined by, hinging on, resting on

I am using the second definition, the phrasing exist in some possible worlds and not others is a way of describing something as contingent(i.e. existing only if certain circumstances are the case).




Or conditioned existence?


If you are talking about the idea of conditioned existence like from Buddhism, I would say that is pretty close to synonymous with contingent existence, though I think, if I am not mistaken, it includes the concept of believing all things are this way. Correct me if that is not what you are talking about, but Buddhism says that all existence is 'conditioned' or that it is all conditional on other conditions. I don't think the idea of a state where all things are conditional is reasonable as I think it ends up defeating itself as this type of reasoning gives the theist premise 1 & 2 of the Leibnizian argument I posted in the OP.




Or virtual existence, only as a concept?


Now when you say virtual existence are you referring to something that exist within the mind, or are you referring something similar to world of warcraft lol.




Then I also must ask: why are you using the term "necessary"? Necessary for whom or for what?


So in Philosophy we speak of two types of necessity in the context of modality. Modality is a particular mode in which something exists or is experienced or expressed. There is necessity de dicto(which translates to about what is said) and necessity de re(which translates to about a thing).

Couple of examples from wiki:



The number of discovered chemical elements is 118. Take the sentence "The number of chemical elements is necessarily greater than 100". Again, there are two interpretations as per the de dicto / de re distinction. According to the de dicto interpretation, even if the inner workings of the atom could differ, there could not be fewer than 100 elements. The second interpretation, de re, is that things could not have gone differently with the number 118 turning out to be fewer than 100. Intuitively, this claim is true. Of all the ways the world could have turned out, presumably there are no possibilities wherein 118 is fewer than 100. That 118 is greater than 100 is a necessary fact. The de dicto interpretation seems to yield a false statement. The de re interpretation seems to yield a true statement.

Another example: "The President of the USA in 2001 could not have been Al Gore". This claim seems false on a de dicto reading. Presumably, things could have gone differently, with the Supreme Court not claiming that Bush had won the election. But it looks more plausible on a de re reading. After all, we might skeptically wonder of George W. Bush whether he could have been Al Gore. Indeed, assuming that being George Bush is an essential feature of George Bush and that this feature is incompatible with being Al Gore, a de re reading of the statement is true.


The number 118 is necessarily greater than 100 by virtue of its definition entailing 18 more things than one hundred. A maximally great being either exist or cannot possibly exist by virtue of the definition entailing it must be maximally excellent in all possible worlds, a maximally great being is not impossible, therefore it is a necessary fact that a MGB exist.




What do you mean by "world"?


Think of "possible world" as a phrase that refers to a complete description of the way things might have gone, past, present, and future, everywhere in the universe.One such description is the actual world and it describes what we observe. Along with the actual world there are huge numbers of complete ways things might have gone differently. So for example the sky could have been green with hot pink clouds.




What do you mean by "existence"?


If some entity A exist in some possible world X, then entity A is exemplified in world X. So in short, what I mean when I say something exist in the actual world I am saying that it is exemplified in the reality we observe.




Yes we use variable words to transmit information but even that information is variable. Like in your example where we can say "it is raining outside". Yet that simple information would be translated different for each listener: is raining like pouring or dripping, cold rain or nice summer rain, outside like locally or generally and so on and on.


I am not so sure I agree. Of course the statement it is raining outside doesn't encompass the information needed to know the force of the rain or the temperature of the rain, but it does encompass a message. Namely that water is falling from the sky to some degree. Now the interesting thing is that the message is still fixed. Whenever I say it is raining outside you would always have the same questions you could ask about why type of raining is occurring and so on. The message doesn't change it simply doesn't encompass all related information a person might want to know. Knowing more than one language surely you can tell that just using different combinations of sounds to ask me where the bathroom is.




A simple word like "dog" will translate in the mind of each person as a different image, different race, size, color, posture... You see what I mean?


This may be true, but that is the word dog is generalization, and the message it carries doesn't encompass the necessary information, however the moment we change from dog to "husky" we have made a more specific message. I guess what I am trying to say is that the message is fixed but it may not contain all the information a person might like to know.




Now when it comes to concepts the problem greatly amplifies because there is no objective reality behind the words.


Sure concepts are completely arbitrary, but once a concept is defined by a speaker, his definition should be adopted in order to understand what he is trying to communicate. The ontological argument is the only argument I put up that deals in abstractions, the rest on conclusions drawn from observations about reality.


edit on 12-11-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typo



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 11:06 AM
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a reply to: WhiteHat




And we should never forget that we try to prove the existence of a real, objective entity here. Or not? I mean what you really understand when you say "a maximally great being "?


Yes we are, but the Ontological Argument is not trying to do that. I am trying to prove the existence of a real objective entity by getting you to realize that an abstract entity's possibility is equivalent to its necessity due to the entity's essence. Then I argue for the abstract entities possibility in some world, which i think I do successfully, and due to the nature of the thing once it is shown to be metaphysically possible it must logically be metaphysically necessary. The purpose of the Ontological Argument is to make the relationship between the entity's possibility and necessity clear. The phrase, "maximally great being," refers to a being that would be omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good no matter what possible world description we choose.




Let's assume I don't hear any sound. I'm deaf. You, on the other side are trying to prove me that sound exists objectively even if I cannot perceive it. Now try to apply the same logic you used with God and prove that sounds exists. It will be much easier for both to see if this is a logic than can be practically applied or is just a mental construct available only within a limited language or frame of thinking.


Well i wouldn't take this approach with sound, because sound is not a necessary thing. Remember my pseudo-code type explanation, only when a thing is both possible and necessary does it give us grounds to say that it is known to exist. Sound is not necessary by definition so I wouldn't even attempt this. Now I will show you a similar argument I think a Platonist could use for the existence of numbers:

It is possible two exist
If it is possible two exist, then two exist in some possible world
If two exist in some possible world, then two exist in all possible worlds
If two exist in all possible worlds, then two exist in the actual world
If two exist in the actual world, then two exist
Therefore two exist.

This argument would work the exact same way, but the Platonist would have to answer their burden of proof for "it is possible two exist" in order for this argument to prove the existence of two. I personally believe mathematical objects and numbers are all just useful fictions. I don't think that actually exist so i would reverse this argument on them and then provide evidence for premise 1 of the negation as a disproof for the existence of the number two. That said, if I were trying to prove sound to a deaf person I would show them its effects on objects like glass or their body because sound is contingent I would need to show that it is exemplified somehow in the actual world we observe.




Because (in my opinion) if something is to be defined as "existing" it should exist in all times, all places, all conditions, for everyone. If there is only one variable where that thing does not exists then the definition is not true or complete.


I agree. If something is defined as existing, then it would exist in all times, all places, all conditions, for everyone. God is defined as existing therefore, God exists in all times, all places, all conditions, and for everyone. Now just because something is defined as existing necessarily doesn't mean everyone has to believe that it exist. 2+2 is necessarily 4, but not everyone has to believe or assert that 2+2 = 4.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 11:09 AM
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a reply to: WhiteHat




However. What I wanted to tell you is that in fact there is evidence of god. But that evidence can only be personal, for you only. No one can prove god to you, just like no one can prove they are in love. Is the best comparison I can come up with. Unless it happen to you personally is just words. Is not something someone can understand intellectually.


I don't think this is the only evidence, but it is the strongest evidence for the individual. Like i said in the OP, the most honest answer I can give is that I have experienced Christ. In my cancer analogy, you could think of Christ as the man who cured cancer and Christians as his close friends that were cured. We all experienced this and as such believe in God in a properly basic way, so i think we can agree that is the strongest evidence a person could have.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 05:27 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb

So in conclusion, it is most definitely possible that a necessary, omniscient, ominpotent, wholly good being exist, and therefore via the virtuous circularity established in via the Ontological Argument God must exist.


I feel like omniscient, omnipotent, and wholly good are arbitrary qualities that we humans have given to an all-powerful God. Who says a maximally great being has to be omniscient, omnipotent, and wholly good? How can we give attributes to an all-powerful God when we do not have the power to comprehend God?

I am most skeptical about the argument that God is wholly good. Why does God have to be wholly good? It seems quite arbitrary to me. And to think that a spiteful, vengeful God who turns humans to stone and floods the earth to cleanse the world of humans is a good God? I would argue that a more plausible quality would be a wholly just God.

With that said, I don't buy any of the apologetics arguments. I believe if you want to use logic you cannot use deductive logic to prove the existence of God, because if you do so, you are bound to use invalid premises or invalid reasoning. More appropriate would be to use inductive arguments, and show that there is a high probability that God exists. That's the best you can do, that last bit has to be a leap of faith.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 01:56 AM
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a reply to: Wang Tang




I feel like omniscient, omnipotent, and wholly good are arbitrary qualities that we humans have given to an all-powerful God.


The idea is based on the Anslemian conception of God. Anslem described God as the greatest possible being. A maximally great being would be a being that has those and only those properties which are great making properties to their highest possible extent. A great making property would be any property that it is better to have than not to have to its maximal extent. The three qualities I've assigned to God seem to be an easy point of agreement. It would be better to be omniscient, omnipotent, and wholly good rather than stupid, powerless, and wholly evil.




How can we give attributes to an all-powerful God when we do not have the power to comprehend God?


This seems to be a positive claim, and one I definitely don't agree with. If God is truly all-powerful could he not make himself known to us on a level we could understand? We give attributes to God based on what God is defined as.





I am most skeptical about the argument that God is wholly good. Why does God have to be wholly good? It seems quite arbitrary to me.


Far from arbitrary on this point. Now I have already told you why we apply wholly goodness to God by definition, but it can also be done due to observation.




Atheist Colin McGinn affirms in 'Ethics, Evil and Fiction':

When I assert 'this is good' or 'that is evil', I do not mean that I experience desire or aversion, or that I have a feeling of liking or indignation. These subjective experiences may be present; but the judgment points not to a personal or subjective state of mind but to the presence of an objective value in the situation.

Atheist Peter Cave argues that:

"whatever sceptical arguments may be brought against our belief that killing the innocent is morally wrong, we are more certain that the killing is morally wrong than that the argument is sound… Torturing an innocent child for the sheer fun of it is morally wrong. Full stop."

As Margarita Rosa says in 'A Defense of Objectivity':

Even the enemies of objectivity rely on it... the skeptic states a position that cannot possibly be sustained or rationally believed [because] he is in effect asking you not to apply his assertion to his own position, without giving any reason for exempting his own words from his own general claim. His position is futile and self-refuting; it can be stated, but it cannot convince anyone who recognizes its implications.


Now I post these quotes because these people make good points for the existence of objective moral values. We observe objective moral values and duties in reality. These cry out for explanation. Where there is a transcendent law governing how conscious agents should interact with one another there must also be a basis for that law. To the thiest, the basis for that law is the character of God. Things are good because they are inline with God's wholly good nature. So what the theist maintains is that part of God's essence is goodness.The moral argument seeks to propose, imo, a type of reductio ad absurdum. Meaning God is the only rational explanation for the existence of moral values. This is far from arbitrary.




And to think that a spiteful, vengeful God who turns humans to stone and floods the earth to cleanse the world of humans is a good God?


Well if we are being accurate God warned Lot's wife not to look back verbally, had she not chosen to look she wouldn't have been turned to stone. So that was her choice to do something she had be warned not to do. According to theology God didn't just do it to cleanse the world of humans. He did it to get rid of the nephilim and their defilement of the human genome.




I would argue that a more plausible quality would be a wholly just God.


And I would argue that the concept of wholly good would entail that he is just by nature.




With that said, I don't buy any of the apologetics arguments. I believe if you want to use logic you cannot use deductive logic to prove the existence of God, because if you do so, you are bound to use invalid premises or invalid reasoning.


At what point have I done either of those things? The form of all these arguments are valid as the majority of these are developed by professional philosophers. So what isn't sound?




More appropriate would be to use inductive arguments, and show that there is a high probability that God exists. That's the best you can do, that last bit has to be a leap of faith.


These arguments all have inductive phrasings, but I don't think they are necessary as I am simply using them to argue for the metaphyiscal possibility of maximally great being. To prove that is to prove the existence of a maximally great being.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 09:50 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

I have several points of contention but I'll just focus on one at a time. First, God as wholly good.

Correct me if I'm misunderstanding, but my interpretation is any act of God is good because God is wholly good. So basically God can do anything and it will be Good because God willed it. Seems circular.

This is the same justification that leads to Jihad. And Crusades. If Muslim extremists truly believe God wills them to conduct suicide bombings, then it seems they are fully justified.
edit on 15-11-2016 by Wang Tang because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 12:30 AM
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a reply to: Wang Tang




First, God as wholly good. Correct me if I'm misunderstanding, but my interpretation is any act of God is good because God is wholly good. So basically God can do anything and it will be Good because God willed it. Seems circular.


What you have put forth here is the Euthyphro Dilemma. The question normally posited to the theist is does God will something because it is good, or is something good because God wills it? This is an attempt to trap the theist. If the theist says that God wills something because it is good then the good is independent of God and as such would force the theist to say that moral values are not based on God. If the theist says something is good because God wills it then that would seem to make what is good and evil arbitrary again. This is obviously a false dilemma as the alternatives are not in the form of "P or not P", but rather more of the form "P or Q". This allows the theist to posit a third alternative to escape the dilemma.

You see in philosophy something's essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and which without it loses its identity. Goodness is part of God's essence. The modern approach of theistic philosophers is to say that God wills something because he is good. God himself is the standard of goodness, and his will reflects his character. God is by nature loving, kind, just, fair and so on. So it could not be the case that God would will that hatred be good. That would contradict his very own nature.

So God's commands are now no longer arbitrary nor are they independent of God, and the dilemma is defeated. So in short no something isn't good because God wills it nor does God will it because its good. God wills something because he is good and his will reflects his nature.
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posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 08:51 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Another question. If God is Good, does that entail that all of God's actions are morally good?

There are good people who occasional do bad things, and there are bad people who sometimes do good things.

God must account for massacres of large numbers of people in the Old Testament such as the Passover, which culminated in the death of every Egyptian first born child. God must account for how he is being benevolent by condemning someone to an eternity in hell. He must account for the existence of moral evils such as genocide which people continually commit throughout history.

Seems to me that God is loving, kind, just, fair only to his chosen people. He does not seem to care much for anyone else.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang




Another question. If God is Good, does that entail that all of God's actions are morally good?

There are good people who occasional do bad things, and there are bad people who sometimes do good things.


Yes all of God's actions are good, if they were not then they would be contradictory to his nature. When we speak of a "good" person what we mean is this person is relatively good in relation to other human beings not in relation to morally perfect being. You may recall Jesus says none is good, but God.




God must account for massacres of large numbers of people in the Old Testament such as the Passover, which culminated in the death of every Egyptian first born child.


Yes, and the man Egyptian's worshiped as a god chose to allow that to occur. He saved those who trusted in Him from those who did not. I see nothing wrong with that.




God must account for how he is being benevolent by condemning someone to an eternity in hell.


Heaven and hell are a choice. You get to choose if you want to live with God or separate from God. His nature won't allow him to force you to love him and want to be with him.




He must account for the existence of moral evils such as genocide which people continually commit throughout history.


Why does God have to account for the moral atrocities of human beings if human beings are free creatures?




Seems to me that God is loving, kind, just, fair only to his chosen people. He does not seem to care much for anyone else.


I mean he died for the entire human race. Seems pretty caring to me.



posted on Nov, 19 2016 @ 09:10 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Here is my stance. God can be a maximally great being without being morally perfect.

Saying God is morally perfect assumes that morality exists. From my understanding, God is the standard for morality. Without God, there would be no morality. Unless you concede that morality exists separate from the existence of God, morality cannot be used to prove God's existence because the existence of morality is contingent on the existence of God.

So in conclusion, I do not believe morality is relevant in apologetics.

Am I understanding this right, or am I bashing a straw man?
edit on 19-11-2016 by Wang Tang because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 19 2016 @ 09:30 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
The form of all these arguments are valid as the majority of these are developed by professional philosophers. So what isn't sound?


I trust professional philosophers about as much as I trust professional doctors. I trust doctors to operate on me in emergencies, but otherwise I throw away my medication 90% of the time.



posted on Nov, 19 2016 @ 10:55 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang




Here is my stance. God can be a maximally great being without being morally perfect.


Well if we get into what it means to be God here I don't see how you could argue this. God by the Anslemian defintion is the greatest possible being, or in other words God is a being that has those and only those properties which are great making properties. Great making properties would be those properties that are better to have than not to have to their maximal extent. Plantinga shortened "maximal greatness" to the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence because he felt these were extremely easy to agree upon. So using this definition we could say it is better to be wholly good, than wholly evil. It would be better to be all powerful, than completely powerless. It would be better to be all knowing, than completley ignorant and so on. It seems that saying it is not morally perfect is to attack the very essence of the being and as such would be a straw man. Maybe I am wrong on that but that is my current thought process.




Saying God is morally perfect assumes that morality exists. From my understanding, God is the standard for morality. Without God, there would be no morality.


Precisely. If you look at the moral argument it illustrates this very point:

If God does not exist then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
Objective moral values and duties do exist
Therefore, God exist.

You can see that if God is the standard of morality and he is not there then there is no morality. Admittedly this is posed as somewhat of a reductio ad absurdum. Meaning my position is that any argument given for the existence of objective moral vaules and duties apart from God will fall into absurdity when pressed.




So in conclusion, I do not believe morality is relevant in apologetics. Am I understanding this right, or am I bashing a straw man?


You seem to be following the logic extremely well. The only thing I think would be probably be a straw man would be saying that a maximally great being is not wholly good as to do so contradicts the very essence of a maximally great being, so whatever you would be arguing for wouldn't be the same thing.
edit on 19-11-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typos

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