Existence and God

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Existence and God

Existence is the capacity to be. Obviously everything that exists has the capacity to be. This
means that everything that exists is contingent upon this capacity including the capacity itself.
Any entity lacking this capacity is impossible. The impossible is that which cannot exist.
Anything that cannot exist represents an analytic contradiction. A trivial example of such an
entity would be a married bachelor.

One of the most profound analytic contradictions is an entity that exists and is both
distinguishable from and more fundamental than existence. Such an entity is impossible because
for anything to be both more fundamental than and contingent upon existence would be
inconsistent with the meanings of the terms fundamental and contingent. The impossibility of all
such entities means that the most fundamental thing in existence is existence itself.

Those who believe in a certain characterization of the one true God will generally take issue with
this conclusion. This is because these believers regard God as the most fundamental entity that
exists. This belief is based on their wholehearted embrace of the following propositions:

1. God exists
2. God is the Supreme Being
3. God is the source of every being that is distinguishable from it

For the sake of this argument let us define a being as any entity that exists and the Supreme
Being as that which exists and is not contingent upon any other being. In other words, the
Supreme Being is the most fundamental entity that exists.

If God is distinguishable from existence then the Third God Proposition requires God to be the
source of existence. However, in the most elementary sense a necessary (though not sufficient)
condition for one entity to be the source of another is that the former must be able to exist in the
absence of the latter. But it is impossible for anything to exist in the absence of existence. As a
result, a God that exists and is distinguishable from existence cannot be the source of existence.
This means that for such a God the Third God Proposition false.

If we abandon the Third God Proposition and posit that God exists, is distinguishable from
existence but is not the source of existence, then God is contingent upon something distinct from
it that is not contingent upon it. This would mean that God is not the Supreme Being, which
cannot be contingent upon anything other than itself. In other words, if God exists and is
distinguishable from existence, then both the Second and Third God Propositions are false. But
without these propositions what we are discussing no longer represents the one true God, thus
falsifying the First God Proposition. This means that if the God of these propositions is
distinguishable from existence, it cannot exist.

This does not mean there is no entity for which these God Propositions are true. Note that
existence exists, is not contingent upon any other being and all other beings are contingent upon
it. In other words, though none of the God Propositions are true of any entity that exists and is
distinguishable from existence, they are all true of existence itself. This means that God can
exist, be the Supreme Being and be the source of all beings if God is existence.

Certain of the theistically inclined contend that God is greater than existence. They typically
characterize God as absolute Divinity, Love, Wisdom, Power and Presence. But these properties
must exist in order to confer greatness upon God. Yet the premise that they exist means these
absolute properties are contingent upon existence, and thus so is any greatness that God would
acquire from them. In other words, existence is the source of God’s greatness. This argument is
supported by the fact that one of the premises of the original Ontological Argument for the
existence of God essentially states that without existence God cannot be the Supreme Being,
regardless of its divine properties.

The proposition that if God exists, it is contingent upon existence is a logical tautology. This
contingent being is at best a demigod unless this contingency is mutual. However, where God
and existence are regarded as distinct beings, the proposition that existence is also contingent
upon God is a matter of rationally indefensible faith. This faith-based proposition can only be
logically supported if God is existence. In other words, from a rational theistic perspective either
existence is God or God is not the Supreme Being.


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BobSpence
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Anything that exists is

Anything that exists is contingent upon existence, therefore a God separate from existence is by definition one that doesn't exist.

Trying to insert a God into an attempt to explain existence is logical absurdity.

The non-existence of God is the only assumption which can start to make sense of existence.

God is a self-contradiction.

Only a creature of such limited imagination and knowledge as man could conceive of such an absurdity.

Simple resolution.

Now lets get back to reality, thank you for playing.

EDIT:

Any argument even if perfectly consistent and internally logically valid, can be no more ultimately valid or true than the initial propositions.

Those propositions are naked assertions, with no clear definitions, therefore the following argument can prove nothing.

 

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What justification is there

What justification is there to posit '1) God exists'?

What is the point of your post?  To point out that we have another name for existence (an impotent notion of god) and to point out further that if not that, then god is not both that which exists and is not contingent upon any other being?  Why not just state the obvious, that god doesn't exist?

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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RationalAnswers

RationalAnswers wrote:

Existence is the capacity to be. Obviously everything that exists has the capacity to be. This
means that everything that exists is contingent upon this capacity including the capacity itself.
Any entity lacking this capacity is impossible. The impossible is that which cannot exist.
Anything that cannot exist represents an analytic contradiction. A trivial example of such an
entity would be a married bachelor.

One of the most profound analytic contradictions is an entity that exists and is both
distinguishable from and more fundamental than existence. Such an entity is impossible because
for anything to be both more fundamental than and contingent upon existence would be
inconsistent with the meanings of the terms fundamental and contingent. The impossibility of all
such entities means that the most fundamental thing in existence is existence itself.

Those who believe in a certain characterization of the one true God will generally take issue with
this conclusion. This is because these believers regard God as the most fundamental entity that
exists. This belief is based on their wholehearted embrace of the following propositions:

1. God exists
2. God is the Supreme Being
3. God is the source of every being that is distinguishable from it

For the sake of this argument let us define a being as any entity that exists and the Supreme
Being as that which exists and is not contingent upon any other being. In other words, the
Supreme Being is the most fundamental entity that exists.

If God is distinguishable from existence then the Third God Proposition requires God to be the
source of existence. However, in the most elementary sense a necessary (though not sufficient)
condition for one entity to be the source of another is that the former must be able to exist in the
absence of the latter. But it is impossible for anything to exist in the absence of existence. As a
result, a God that exists and is distinguishable from existence cannot be the source of existence.
This means that for such a God the Third God Proposition false.

If we abandon the Third God Proposition and posit that God exists, is distinguishable from
existence but is not the source of existence, then God is contingent upon something distinct from
it that is not contingent upon it. This would mean that God is not the Supreme Being, which
cannot be contingent upon anything other than itself. In other words, if God exists and is
distinguishable from existence, then both the Second and Third God Propositions are false. But
without these propositions what we are discussing no longer represents the one true God, thus
falsifying the First God Proposition. This means that if the God of these propositions is
distinguishable from existence, it cannot exist.

This does not mean there is no entity for which these God Propositions are true. Note that
existence exists, is not contingent upon any other being and all other beings are contingent upon
it. In other words, though none of the God Propositions are true of any entity that exists and is
distinguishable from existence, they are all true of existence itself. This means that God can
exist, be the Supreme Being and be the source of all beings if God is existence.

Certain of the theistically inclined contend that God is greater than existence. They typically
characterize God as absolute Divinity, Love, Wisdom, Power and Presence. But these properties
must exist in order to confer greatness upon God. Yet the premise that they exist means these
absolute properties are contingent upon existence, and thus so is any greatness that God would
acquire from them. In other words, existence is the source of God’s greatness. This argument is
supported by the fact that one of the premises of the original Ontological Argument for the
existence of God essentially states that without existence God cannot be the Supreme Being,
regardless of its divine properties.

The proposition that if God exists, it is contingent upon existence is a logical tautology. This
contingent being is at best a demigod unless this contingency is mutual. However, where God
and existence are regarded as distinct beings, the proposition that existence is also contingent
upon God is a matter of rationally indefensible faith. This faith-based proposition can only be
logically supported if God is existence. In other words, from a rational theistic perspective either
existence is God or God is not the Supreme Being.

What a convoluted claptrap. Nothing is god. No such thing exists. Mental masturbation, such as the tripe above explains nothing but the fact that you are cleaver and imaginative.

 

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I started to post a lengthy

I started to post a lengthy reply, but I realized quickly that it would be futile.

Let me just point out a couple of things you need to take into account:

1) Existence is not the capacity to exist.  You're setting up a category error here.  The capacity to exist is a necessary condition for existence.  Please don't conflate terms.  In fact, why don't you just briefly mention the anthropic principle and skip the whole first paragraph or two.

2)  Whether you know it or not, you're using the "Confuse and Conquer" technique.  Let me give you a quick example:

Quote:
One of the most profound analytic contradictions is an entity that exists and is both distinguishable from and more fundamental than existence. 

What's with all of the "one of the most profound analytic contradictions" bullshit?  All those words do is confuse the issue.  What you're saying, in terms of actual information, is "One of the contradictions".  

To say something is distinguishable from existence is to commit the category error I warned you about a moment ago.  "Existence" is a conceptual box.  Anything which exists is distinguishable from existence by category.  A cat is an existing thing:  (Category: Matter/energy/space/time).  Existence is a concept:  (Category: Emergent property of consciousness).

"More fundamental than existence" is just nonsense.  To begin with, you haven't established a paradigm within which we are operating.  What sort of thing are we trying to discover the fundamental nature of?  What would identify a fundamental component of this thing?  You're just using words that sound good, but they have no inherent meaning.

So, yeah... You're kind of off in bullshit land.  Maybe you could examine the words you're using a lot more carefully and figure out if you even know what you're talking about.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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tl;dr

I find it amusing that when I posted this on a religious forum I was attacked as an atheist Smiling.

The point of this post is to show that the vast majority of theists worship existence, in much the same manner that their ancestors worshipped fire, the weather, the moon, the sun, etc.

I think people here are overreacting to the fact that I have been mistakenly categorized as a theist and used the word God without the typical atheistic contempt.


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It's amusing that you:1)

It's amusing that you:

1) Bring the first cause argument to people who know better.

2) That theists don't know the arguments on which their religion is based.

Is this like Dennett's claim that people don't believe in God but believe in belief?

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 Quote:I find it amusing

 

Quote:
I find it amusing that when I posted this on a religious forum I was attacked as an atheist Smiling.

EDIT:  Whoops.  Cut and paste error.  Here's the real response:  "It's probably because your argument is bizarre and riddled with errors."

Quote:
The point of this post is to show that the vast majority of theists worship existence, in much the same manner that their ancestors worshipped fire, the weather, the moon, the sun, etc.

I disagree.  I think the vast majority of theists believe in a supernatural being, a thing with thoughts, emotions, motivations, and will.

Quote:
I think people here are overreacting to the fact that I have been mistakenly categorized as a theist and used the word God without the typical atheistic contempt.

I think you're just confused Eye-wink

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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 Quote:Is this like

 

Quote:
Is this like Dennett's claim that people don't believe in God but believe in belief?

I think Dennett is only partially right.  I do think that lots of people believe in belief.  That much is obvious.  However, I think most believers are either not sophisticated enough or have never bothered to think about the concept of a "supernatural being" critically.  I think they believe in God the same way they believe in George Washington's wooden teeth.  They accept it as true and don't bother with it too much beyond that.  

This argument goes a long way to explaining why people will begin a conversation with, "Yes, I believe in God," and then, when pressed revert to, "Well, I think religion is good for morality even if it's not a hundred percent true."

They DO believe in God, but not in a firm, empirical way.  Rather, it's a fuzzy... "well, it must be true" ... kind of thinking that might never have been seriously challenged.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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"I think the vast majority

"I think the vast majority of theists believe in a supernatural being, a thing with thoughts, emotions, motivations, and will."

Your point does not contradict mine. I say they ARE worshipping existence, you say they BELIEVE they are worshipping a supernatural being with thoughts, emotions, motivation and will.


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RationalAnswers wrote:I find

RationalAnswers wrote:

I find it amusing that when I posted this on a religious forum I was attacked as an atheist Smiling.

The point of this post is to show that the vast majority of theists worship existence, in much the same manner that their ancestors worshipped fire, the weather, the moon, the sun, etc.

I think people here are overreacting to the fact that I have been mistakenly categorized as a theist and used the word God without the typical atheistic contempt.

OK, forgive me for not reading your post my thoroughly, but I think Hamby is right. 

Most Theists do not do anything like that amount of serious 'reasoning' about their beliefs, and the others have a wide range of different 'arguments' or psuedo-reasoning to support their beliefs. 

So I think it is ultimately futile to try and attack what they seem to be saying or reasoning in such detail.

Just point out their starting assumptions are so flawed, anything after that is just meaningless drivel.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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 Quote:Your point does not

 

Quote:
Your point does not contradict mine. I say they ARE worshipping existence, you say they BELIEVE they are worshipping a supernatural being with thoughts, emotions, motivation and will.

Um... no.

Look.  If you're bowing down in front of the big, smoky green projection of The Wizard, you are worshiping The Wizard.  You have no knowledge of the man behind the curtain, and you believe the Wizard exists, and sees you worshiping him.  Without knowledge of the man behind the curtain, you can't possibly worship him.

You ARE worshiping something that has been created by The Wizard, so in effect, The Wizard is partially responsible for your worship, especially since he created the wizard for the purpose of being worshiped.

To help sort this out, ask yourself if the nature of worship would change if believers knew for sure that there is no being with super powers, and all that exists is the blind, uncaring universe.  Einstein revered and stood in awe of the grandeur of the universe, but he didn't ask it for favors.  Believers think that by genuflecting, praying, offering compliments and money, and other forms of subservience, they are influencing the will of a thinking being.  Would they do the same things if they believed they were directing their attention to a universe without consciousness?

Worship is directed at a specific thing.  If the thing happens to not exist, as in the case of God, that's fine, but the worship is still pointed towards an imaginary being, not some vaguely causal deist universe.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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RationalAnswers wrote:"I

RationalAnswers wrote:

"I think the vast majority of theists believe in a supernatural being, a thing with thoughts, emotions, motivations, and will."

Your point does not contradict mine. I say they ARE worshipping existence, you say they BELIEVE they are worshipping a supernatural being with thoughts, emotions, motivation and will.

How could you know that they're worshipping existence?  After all, they say they're worshipping "a supernatural being, a thing with thoughts, emotion, motivations, and will."  That thing doesn't actually exist, of course, but that doesn't mean they're not worshipping their imagination of it.  I think you'll have to do something more rigorous than a philosophical ejaculation to show that they're actually worshipping existence and not their imagination of what they purport to believe in.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Isn't rational saying up front

 

that god is the personification/deification of existence and therefore believers worshipping god are worshipping existence?

It sounds like semantics to me.

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Atheistextremist


Atheistextremist wrote:

 

that god is the personification/deification of existence and therefore believers worshipping god are worshipping existence?

It sounds like semantics to me.

 

It is semantics