Modal Ontological Argument

Fortunate_Son
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Modal Ontological Argument

(1) If an eternal being exists, then there is no potential for this being to not exist.    

(1a) An eternal being is, by definition, without end. Any being which has the potential to stop existing is not eternal.

(2) If an eternal being does not exist, then there is no potential for this being to exist.

(2a) An eternal being is, by definition, without beginning. 

(3) An eternal being either exists or does not exist.

(3a) This disjunction is exclusive, both disjuncts cannot both be true.

(4) That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible, or has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.

(5) The nature of an eternal being does not violate the law of non-contradiction.

(5a) Thus, it is not the case that there is no potential for this being to exist.

(5b) If it is not the case that there is no potential for this being to exist, then it must be the case that there is no potential for this being to not exist.

(6) Therefore, an eternal being exists. 

(7) An eternal being cannot be made of anything.

(7a) Formless matter is impossible; any matter will always have some form, even if that form is chaos.

(7b) If an eternal being is made of matter, then the being would have came into existence once the matter attained its form (since the form is what this being is) which would require either the being to give form to its own matter or be shaped by some other being. 

(7c) Both options in (7b) would contradict the idea of eternity.

 

 

We can thus conclude from logic alone that an eternal immaterial being must exist.  This does not prove the God of the Bible, but it opens the door to the numinous.  This plants the seeds for the acceptance of special revelation, especially given the consistency of the Abrahamic God as being eternal and immaterial, as opposed to being an anthropomorphic super-being.

 

 


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Fortunate_Son wrote:(4) That

Fortunate_Son wrote:

(4) That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible, or has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.

 

 

Your argument overall is weak and based on the same assertions about logic that a number of posters already challenged in the "Peanut Gallery" thread.

However, the one I have quote above is new. And it's also as bald as a badger. Care to back it up?

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I don't know why (and I

I don't know why (and I really should know better), but it continues to amaze me that theists find stuff like the above drivel:

1) Convincing*

2) Profound

3) Not crap

 

*Of course, like all apologetics, it's really ass backwards. No one believes in god because of "arguments" like this. They construct the argument because they already believe in god.


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Fortunate_Son wrote:(2) If

Fortunate_Son wrote:
(2) If an eternal being does not exist, then there is no potential for this being to exist.

(2a) An eternal being is, by definition, without beginning. 

...

(4) That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible, or has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.

Equivocation on 'potential'. In 2 you use 'potential' to mean 'in the future'. In 4 you use 'potential' to mean 'in the universe'.

It is possible for there to be an eternal being which has no potential to exist in the future of *this* universe, but has the potential to exist eternally in *another* universe.

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(5) The nature of an eternal being does not violate the law of non-contradiction.

Naked assertion. If you're using modal logic, you're restricted to non-contradiction by the nature of modal logic, not by the nature of the eternal being. There is nothing in particular in the nature of an eternal being that must necessarily obey non-contradiction. An eternal god could resolve the paradox of lifting a rock too heavy for him to lift by simply lifting it. He's so omnipotent that he's not even limited by logic. He's *that* good. Why should god be bound by logic? You have nothing here but a naked assertion.

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(5b) If it is not the case that there is no potential for this being to exist, then it must be the case that there is no potential for this being to not exist.

This is my favourite word soup from your argument. It basically amounts to "If it has no beginning, it must exist!" But you've so confused yourself with equivocation and modal jargon that you can't see your own confusion.

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(6) Therefore, an eternal being exists. 

Let's go to the petting zoo and pet the eternal unicorns. They have no beginning, so they must exist!

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(7) An eternal being cannot be made of anything.

Then what the heck *is* it? You can't meaningfully speak of something that exists but is no 'thing' to which to refer. The best you'll arrive at here is apophatic theology, which basically says, "Whatever you say or think about god, god is not *that*." There is no thing that is god. God is not any thing. God is no thing. Remove one space: God is nothing.

Or, in other words, in the universe of discourse, you won't find anything in there that *is* god. God does not exist in the universe of discourse. There is no ontology for god. And yet you claim god exists. The error is astounding, especially in the fact that you're unaware you committed it.

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We can thus conclude from logic alone that an eternal immaterial being must exist.

Your logic failed, but even if it succeeded, you would only have arrived at the most obvious fact: Existence exists. Duh. Why call it 'god'?

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  This does not prove the God of the Bible, but it opens the door to the numinous.

It gets you nowhere that we haven't been since newborn babies. Existence exists. Welcome to the world. Now that you're finally aware that reality exists, how about learning something about it?

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  This plants the seeds for the acceptance of special revelation, especially given the consistency of the Abrahamic God as being eternal and immaterial, as opposed to being an anthropomorphic super-being.

Wow, the incredible leap across the Non Sequitur chasm was one thing, but the conjuring of the God of the Gaps in the middle of the maneuver was truly amazing. And the finale performance of a very Special Pleading at the end brought tears to my eyes. Bravo!

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Fortunate_Son wrote:(1) If

Fortunate_Son wrote:

(1) If an eternal being exists, then there is no potential for this being to not exist.    

Pretty much... so I guess the trick is figuring out how to make make humans eternal... to displace the "imaginary man in the sky",  an artifact of excessive (or misapplied) human creativity, and discover a means of Clinical Immortality. We've already taken the baby steps there.

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(1a) An eternal being is, by definition, without end. Any being which has the potential to stop existing is not eternal.

Thus it is false until it is determined to be a potentially infinite being, not unlike human (farming) civilization.

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(2) If an eternal being does not exist, then there is no potential for this being to exist.

FALSE. Humans are eternal, it is simply matter of determining if we are capable of wiping ourselves off the planet... and perhaps out of the universe. (thus why I am staunchly opposed to humanism)

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(2a) An eternal being is, by definition, without beginning. 

Now you're just sounding like the oracle from the matrix.

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(3) An eternal being either exists or does not exist.

False. The potential for eternal existence is always there, we simply need a technological means to exhibit this state of being.

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(3a) This disjunction is exclusive, both disjuncts cannot both be true.

False, you are speaking exclusively in the present tense.

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(4) That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible, or has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.

I guess, your second half of the compound sentence is VERY confusing. Maybe you should read up on General Relativity sometime...

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(5) The nature of an eternal being does not violate the law of non-contradiction.

I will accept this, for now... after all, nothing is certain in a universe that isn't static, or unchanging... because it isn't static, or unchanging.

 

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(5a) Thus, it is not the case that there is no potential for this being to exist.

Anything's possible, I guess... but then, existance (and it's general concept) is highly subjective.

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(5b) If it is not the case that there is no potential for this being to exist, then it must be the case that there is no potential for this being to not exist.

Objection, your honor... double negative! (twice)

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(6) Therefore, an eternal being exists. 

A definite uncertainty, for the reasons already mentioned.

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(7) An eternal being cannot be made of anything.

"Is substance any less a miracle than nothingness?" Not really, because neither has much of a definite function unless they can be molded into the purposes of someone/something with intelligence.

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(7a) Formless matter is impossible; any matter will always have some form, even if that form is chaos.

Yes. Dark matter and dark energy are theoretically possible and also COMPLETELY undetectable.

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(7b) If an eternal being is made of matter, then the being would have came into existence once the matter attained its form (since the form is what this being is) which would require either the being to give form to its own matter or be shaped by some other being. 

This sentence is so highly subjective that it is without a definite answer. I only appreciate what I can observe, either directly or indirectly.

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(7c) Both options in (7b) would contradict the idea of eternity.

I really don't know how to answer this, in a definitive manner. There IS no way to define this.

 

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We can thus conclude from logic alone that an eternal immaterial being must exist.  This does not prove the God of the Bible, but it opens the door to the numinous.  This plants the seeds for the acceptance of special revelation, especially given the consistency of the Abrahamic God as being eternal and immaterial, as opposed to being an anthropomorphic super-being. 

Numinous? What's that? More esoteric vocabulary, perhaps?

No; no permanent, irreproachable conclusions can be reached from what's in your OP.

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Eloise wrote:Fortunate_Son

Eloise wrote:

Fortunate_Son wrote:

(4) That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible, or has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.

Your argument overall is weak and based on the same assertions about logic that a number of posters already challenged in the "Peanut Gallery" thread.

I've already addressed the objections. 

I couldn't address yours because you continually spouted things which made absolutely no sense and when prompted to explain what you mean, you refused.  Are we going to go through this again or are you going to actually articulate your position this time?

Quote:
However, the one I have quote above is new. And it's also as bald as a badger. Care to back it up?

Anything which has a nature that is contradictory cannot possibly exist.  For example, squared circles, married bachelors, oxygen-less H20, etc. 

Anything which has a nature which is not contradictory may or may not exist, but can possibly exist.  For example, intelligent life on other planets, flying lizards, talking dogs, etc.  This requires an important distinction between technological or biological impossibilities or odds-against-you vs. metaphysical impossibilities.  Humans being able to fly is presently a biological impossibility, but a good biologist can tell you what would have needed to happen in order for us to be able to fly.  Likewise, a flying car may be a technological impossibility at this point, but a good engineer can tell you what needs to be the case in order for this to happen.  Finally, winning the lottery 5x in one lifetime is highly unlikely, but it is theoretically possible.

Care to explain how something could be (1) not contradictory, and (2) metaphysically impossible?

 


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natural wrote:Fortunate_Son

natural wrote:

Fortunate_Son wrote:
(2) If an eternal being does not exist, then there is no potential for this being to exist.

(2a) An eternal being is, by definition, without beginning. 

...

(4) That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible, or has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.

Equivocation on 'potential'. In 2 you use 'potential' to mean 'in the future'. In 4 you use 'potential' to mean 'in the universe'.

It is possible for there to be an eternal being which has no potential to exist in the future of *this* universe, but has the potential to exist eternally in *another* universe.

I'll let drivel like this act as a microcosm of your entire post.

"Potential" means possible instead of actual.  It has no inherent reference to any particular universe nor does it commit someone to a temporal setting (though we lack a language to properly discuss a non-temporal world).

Something either exists or it does not.  Nothing can exist in one universe, but not exist in another.  In the context of reality itself, which encompasses all universes, this being would exist.


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Kamikaze!

Almost on par with the graceful "God Warrior" (see general forum) is this character's quest for Logic as a Suicide Bomb.

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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Fortunate_Son

Fortunate_Son wrote:
Fortunate_Son wrote:

(2) If an eternal being does not exist, then there is no potential for this being to exist.

"Potential" means possible instead of actual

In that case, 2 is flat out false. It is possible for an eternal being to exist in another universe even if it doesn't exist in ours. And vice versa. The only way for you to get 2 to work would be to rephrase it "If it is not possible for an eternal being to exist, then it is not possible for this being to exist." which is a tautology. Congratulations, your argument is worse than a useless tautology.

Here's a concrete example. Your 2 amounts to "If god does not exist, then it's not possible for god to exist." If you can't see the gaping hole in that, then you need to study basic logic before you start building a house of cards with modal logic.

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Nothing can exist in one universe, but not exist in another.

Wow. Your misunderstanding of modal logic is deeper than I imagined. If all universes contain exactly the same things, then in what way are they different universes? The whole point of modal logic is to be able to make arguments about universes that are different, but have common characteristics. If there are no differences, then you might as well just use basic logic. Which, as I already said, you need to study before you'll understand modal logic.

Quote:
  In the context of reality itself, which encompasses all universes, this being would exist.

Then eternal unicorns exist too. Not to mention the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

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When one uses logic to

When you use logic to explain magic, you misuse logic and kill the magic.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote:When you use

jcgadfly wrote:

When you use logic to explain magic, you misuse logic and kill the magic.

 

also only with evidence is logic valid for finding out the truth 


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How well do you understand

How well do you understand your own argument? Please feel free to fill me in where I have gone wrong.

 

From the beginning, all the premises that have logical components are:

(1) If an eternal being exists, then there is no potential for this being to not exist.
(2) If an eternal being does not exist, then there is no potential for this being to exist.
(3) An eternal being either exists or does not exist.
(4) That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible, or has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.
(5) The nature of an eternal being does not violate the law of non-contradiction.
(6) (5a) Thus, it is not the case that there is no potential for this being to exist.
(7) (5b) If it is not the case that there is no potential for this being to exist, then it must be the case that there is no potential for this being to not exist.
(8) Therefore, an eternal being exists.
 

To cut down on the verbose vernacular, here is my attempt at an abbreviated form - the "~" means "not":

1. If EBE then NPTNE
2. If ~(EBE) then NPTE
3. either EBE or ~(EBE)
4. All NPTE are LI (or VLNC)
5. EB(N) ~LI (~VLNC)
6. ~NPTE
7. If ~NPTE then NPTNE
---
8. EBE

 

Now in logic form:

1. If p then q
2. If ~p then r
3. Either p or ~p
4. All r is L
5. All p ~L
6. ~r
7. If ~r then q
---
8. p

 

Would you like to change anything before I continue? Obviously I will have misinterpreted some premises - for example premise 5 is difficult to put into logical form because it describes a diffrerent aspect of an eternal being that is found nowhere else in the argument; and premse 4 has little in the way of subject/predicate descriptions.

 

If you could post up the correct logical form, that would be great.

 

 


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jumbo1410 wrote:Would you

jumbo1410 wrote:

Would you like to change anything before I continue?



Yes.  If you are going to formalize a modal argument, then you should use modal logic

Propositional logic is too limiting for arguments like these.

 


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natural wrote:In that case,

natural wrote:

In that case, 2 is flat out false. It is possible for an eternal being to exist in another universe even if it doesn't exist in ours.

Then the statement "An eternal being exists" is true, irrespective of which universe he happens to occupy.

Quote:
Wow. Your misunderstanding of modal logic is deeper than I imagined. If all universes contain exactly the same things, then in what way are they different universes?

Actually, you are wrong. 

Modal logic has nothing do with different universes.  It is never a presupposition of modal logic that a different universe exists besides ours.  Modal logic is neutral towards this.  It has to do with potential states of affairs.  This does not encompass specific universes.  This encompasses all of reality

For example, if I say "There are possible worlds where lizards can fly," that in no way equates to "No lizards in our universe can fly, but lizards may be able to fly in some other universe."  It equates to, "Given circumstance x, a lizard is able to fly."  

Truth statements are not relative to one's particular universe.  They are relative to the reality in which they manifest, which is to say, they are not relative at all.  If in this universe, we have people but in some other universe, there are no people, then the statement "People exist" is still true.  It is not false in one universe but true in the other.  You are conflating truth statements such as the example I've given with statements such as "People exist in this universe."  Statements do not automatically have a qualifier about particular universes. 

Modal logic deals with truths in reality, not in separate universes.  You've obviously studied modal logic for about 5 minutes, saw someone write "There are possible worlds where....." and assumed it was talking about the idea that something can be true here and, at the same time, false someplace else.  This is so far removed from what statements such as the aforementioned mean.  It means that although somethng is false right now, it could potentially be true if the appropriate circumstances permit it to be so.

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The whole point of modal logic is to be able to make arguments about universes that are different, but have common characteristics.

No!  Absolutely false.

Modal logic is a system which allows us to formalize arguments using modal operators, such that we can establish a more efficient means of including modalities (i.e. possibility, necessity, probability) in our premises.

A modal logic is any system of formal logic that attempts to deal with modalities. Modals qualify the truth of a judgment. For example, if it is true that "John is happy," we might qualify this statement by saying that "John is very happy," in which case the term "very" would be a modality. Traditionally, there are three "modes" or "moods" or "modalities" represented by modal logic, namely, possibility, probability, and necessity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_logic#Development_of_modal_logic

It has nothing to do with making arguments about different universes.  It is about establishing objective truth based on the modes in which things exist. 

Quote:
Which, as I already said, you need to study before you'll understand modal logic.

Sorry, but you are not even on the same planet as me when it comes to understanding logic.  I'm by no means a super-expert, but I'm definitely far above you in this area.

Quote:
Then eternal unicorns exist too. Not to mention the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

You obviously did not read the entire argument, since I specifically explained why material beings cannot be eternal.


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Quote:Yes.  If you are

Quote:
Yes.  If you are going to formalize a modal argument, then you should use modal logic

 

Propositional logic is too limiting for arguments like these.

 

Um, then care to post up the modal form instead of wasting time?


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jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:Yes. 

jumbo1410 wrote:

Um, then care to post up the modal form instead of wasting time?

I may have this wrong.  I'm not good at transcribing language into symbols, but I think it would go like this:

 

e = eternal being

Cx = x has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction

 

(1.)  e--> ~<>~e

(2.) ~e-->~<>e

(3.) ~Ce

(4.) (x) [~<>x --> Cx]

(5.) ~<>e--> Ce   4; UI

(6.) ~(~<>e)   3,5; MT

(7.) ~(~e)   2,6; MT

::. e   7; DN

 

EDIT:  I removed the premise "An eternal being either exists or does not exist", as it is not needed.  Here are the symbols translated into words:

 

(1) If an eternal being "E" exists, then it is impossible for E to not exist.     PREMISE

(2) If E does not exist, then it is impossible for E to exist.     PREMISE

(3) E does not have a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.     PREMISE

(4) Anything which cannot possibly exist has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.     PREMISE

(5) If it is impossible for E to exist, then E has an nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.    4; UNIVERSAL INSTANTIATION

(6) It is not the case that it is impossible for E to exist.   3,5; MODUS TOLLENS

(7) It is not the case that E does not exist.     2,6; MODUS TOLLENS

:. E exists.     7; DOUBLE NEGATION

 


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Fortunate_Son

Fortunate_Son wrote:

jumbo1410 wrote:

Would you like to change anything before I continue?



Yes.  If you are going to formalize a modal argument, then you should use modal logic

Propositional logic is too limiting for arguments like these.

Ha! As if you would know. Good one.

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 (1.)  e--> ~<>~e(2.)

 

(1.)  e--> ~<>~e

(2.) ~e-->~<>e

(3.) ~(e & ~e) & ~Ce

(4.) (x) [~<>x --> Cx]

(5.) ~<>e--> Ce   4; UI

(6.) ~(~<>e)   3,5; Simp, MT

(7.) ~(~e)   2,6; MT

::. e   7; DN

 

Thanks a heap. I have not studied modal logic, but I already worked out my own interpretation of the above that is very similar to yours:

 

1. If God exists then it is not possible for God to not exist

2. If God does not exist then it is not possible God exists

3. It is not the case that God exists and God does not exist, hence God is not logically impossible

4. (God's nature is logically possible?), If it is not the case that God's nature is logically possible then God has a nature that violates the law of non-contradiction

5. If it is not possible that God exists then God is logically impossible

6. It is not the case that it is not possible that God exists, given by modus tollens on 5, supported by 3

7. It is not the case that God does not exist, given by modus tollens on 2 because the modus tollens on 5 gives 6.

Therefore

8 God exists.

 

I think 3 begs the question. How do you know it is not possible for God to exist and not exist at the same time? I mean, it remains a possibility that God is in fact above logic, doesn't it?

 


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jumbo1410 wrote:I think 3

jumbo1410 wrote:

I think 3 begs the question. How do you know it is not possible for God to exist and not exist at the same time? I mean, it remains a possibility that God is in fact above logic, doesn't it?

I know it by the law of non-contradiction.  If you disagree with the law, then we really can't have any rational discourse.

 


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Logic?

Interesting rebuttals. But c'mon, I think your motivation got the best of you. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and think for a minute before you post logical rebuttals. Multiple universes somehow gets us out of the law of non-contradiction? Asking for proofs for the basic laws of logic? It doesn't work that way, sorry. Keep in mind that:

--Potential is potential in any universe.

--Any explanation trying to show that the laws of logic can be changed would be self-refuting.

 

Actually, the basic argument in the OP is all accurate except for one point. And me being a theist, I'm going to leave it to you guys to find the fatal flaw. (hint: one person got close.)

If the topic is logical proofs for God, I prefer the vertical cosmological argument, which is sound, but a bit more tedious:

http://humblesmith.xanga.com/720335071/vertical-cosmological-argument/


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humblesmith

humblesmith wrote:

Interesting rebuttals. But c'mon, I think your motivation got the best of you. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and think for a minute before you post logical rebuttals. Multiple universes somehow gets us out of the law of non-contradiction? Asking for proofs for the basic laws of logic? It doesn't work that way, sorry. Keep in mind that:

--Potential is potential in any universe.

--Any explanation trying to show that the laws of logic can be changed would be self-refuting.

 

Actually, the basic argument in the OP is all accurate except for one point. And me being a theist, I'm going to leave it to you guys to find the fatal flaw. (hint: one person got close.)

If the topic is logical proofs for God, I prefer the vertical cosmological argument, which is sound, but a bit more tedious:

http://humblesmith.xanga.com/720335071/vertical-cosmological-argument/

Welcome to the forum!
 

Come on, what's the flaw?  Tell me and maybe I will publically repudiate the argument.


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Quote:I know it by the law

Quote:
I know it by the law of non-contradiction.  If you dissagree with the law, then we really can't have any rational discourse

Hmmm, I can grant it, but strong opponents of the rule will disagree.

"As is true of all axioms, the law of non-contradiction is alleged to be neither verifiable nor falsifiable, on the grounds that any proof or disproof must use the law itself prior to reaching the conclusion. In other words, in order to verify or falsify the laws of logic one must resort to logic as a weapon, an act which would essentially be self-defeating. Since the early 20th century, certain logicians have proposed logics that denies the validity of the law. Collectively, these logics are known as "paraconsistent" or "inconsistency-tolerant" logics. Graham Priest advances the strongest thesis of this sort, which he calls "dialetheism".

 

To further query your premises in order:

(1.) If I grant this as true

(2.) Follows from 1

(3.) This would have to be true in order to get your conclusion (conveniently) but it is impossible to prove either true or false. Granted for sake of argument.

(4.) Anything that is not a non-contradiction violates the law of non-contradiction and cannot exist. That is, ~(~<>Cx). Premise 4 is unfalsifiable (is that the point? I'm pretty slow). I thought unfalsifiability was a bad thing?

(5.) True

(6.) If you are saying that it is not the case that it is impossible for flying pigs, then

(7) It is not the case that flying pigs do not exist?

Therefore

(Cool Flying pigs exist?

 


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jumbo1410 wrote: To further

jumbo1410 wrote:

 

To further query your premises in order:

(1.) If I grant this as true

(2.) Follows from 1

(3.) This would have to be true in order to get your conclusion (conveniently) but it is impossible to prove either true or false. Granted for sake of argument.

(4.) Anything that is not a non-contradiction violates the law of non-contradiction and cannot exist. That is, ~(~<>Cx). Premise 4 is unfalsifiable (is that the point? I'm pretty slow). I thought unfalsifiability was a bad thing?

(5.) True

(6.) If you are saying that it is not the case that it is impossible for flying pigs, then

(7) It is not the case that flying pigs do not exist?

Therefore

(Cool Flying pigs exist?

Let e = flying pigs.

The first premise would be "If a flying pig exists, then it is impossible for it to not exist."  This is not a true statement because we know that pigs, flightless or otherwise, are not eternal.  Eternal is not contained in the concept Pig

But let's presume that flying pigs are eternal.  What else can be said about their nature?  Well, they are forms composed of matter.  For them to be eternal, matter would have to necessarily manifest in that form, but we already know that matter can take on many other forms.  Therefore, a pig could not be eternal because we know that their particular formation is contingent on a particular state of matter.

If you take away the matter and everything else which we would normally associate with a pig, then you are left with nothing more than an eternal immaterial being, that you happen to call a "pig" but refers to the same thing which I am pointing to.

 

(1.)  e--> ~<>~e

(2.) ~e-->~<>e

(3.) ~Ce

(4.) (x) [~<>x --> Cx]

(5.) ~<>e--> Ce   4; UI

(6.) ~(~<>e)   3,5; MT

(7.) ~(~e)   2,6; MT

::. e   7; DN

 


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Quote:Let e = flying

Quote:

Let e = flying pigs.

The first premise would be "If a flying pig exists, then it is impossible for it to not exist."  This is not a true statement because we know that pigs, flightless or otherwise, are not eternal.  Eternal is not contained in the concept Pig

 

Whoa. You are conflating terms there, my friend. "e" stands for "eternal being" in the original. Replacing "e" with any substitution instance consistent with the logical form of your argument will yield an equally valid/invalid conclusion. That is the point of logical form.

Strictly speaking, e in your original argument represents an "existing eternal being". E taken as only "eternal being" makes premise 1 completely incoherent:

(1.)  e--> ~<>~e

(2.) ~e-->~<>e

(3.) ~(e & ~e) & ~Ce

(4.) (x) [~<>x --> Cx]

(5.) ~<>e--> Ce   4; UI

(6.) ~(~<>e)   3,5; Simp, MT

(7.) ~(~e)   2,6; MT

::. e   7; DN

 

IOW 1. "If Eternal being then no possibility of not eternal being".


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Quote:Interesting rebuttals.

Quote:
Interesting rebuttals. But c'mon, I think your motivation got the best of you. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and think for a minute before you post logical rebuttals. Multiple universes somehow gets us out of the law of non-contradiction? Asking for proofs for the basic laws of logic? It doesn't work that way, sorry. Keep in mind that:

--Potential is potential in any universe.

--Any explanation trying to show that the laws of logic can be changed would be self-refuting.

 

Actually, the basic argument in the OP is all accurate except for one point. And me being a theist, I'm going to leave it to you guys to find the fatal flaw. (hint: one person got close.)

If the topic is logical proofs for God, I prefer the vertical cosmological argument, which is sound, but a bit more tedious:

http://humblesmith.xanga.com/720335071/vertical-cosmological-argument/

 

Hello! Maybe we can storm the athesits defences?

 

The argument you posted has been around for some time. It is very similar to R. Taylor's 'God', in metaphysics (1974) that deals with contingencies and sufficient reason. Have you read it?


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jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:Let e

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:

Let e = flying pigs.

The first premise would be "If a flying pig exists, then it is impossible for it to not exist."  This is not a true statement because we know that pigs, flightless or otherwise, are not eternal.  Eternal is not contained in the concept Pig

 

Whoa. You are conflating terms there, my friend. "e" stands for "eternal being" in the original. Replacing "e" with any substitution instance consistent with the logical form of your argument will yield an equally valid/invalid conclusion. That is the point of logical form.

"E" is a constant, but you used  pig in your example so I wanted to switch it off and show you that the truth value of the statements change when the constants are different.

Quote:
Strictly speaking, e in your original argument represents an "existing eternal being". E taken as only "eternal being" makes premise 1 completely incoherent:

The first premise is IF an eternal being exists, then it is not possible for the eternal being to not exist.  Existence is nowhere assumed, it is a conditional.


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Quote:The first premise is

Quote:
The first premise is IF an eternal being exists, then it is not possible for the eternal being to not exist.  Existence is nowhere assumed, it is a conditional.

Incorrect. By your logical form, the first premise is  e--> ~<>~e.

Existence is assumed by e in the above. Either your translation is wrong, or your logical form is wrong. Which will you change?


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Fortunate_Son wrote:Eloise

Fortunate_Son wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Fortunate_Son wrote:

(4) That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible, or has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.

Your argument overall is weak and based on the same assertions about logic that a number of posters already challenged in the "Peanut Gallery" thread.

I've already addressed the objections. 

I couldn't address yours because you continually spouted things which made absolutely no sense and when prompted to explain what you mean, you refused. 

I did not refuse to explain. Not once. I refused to make you a list of logical paradoxes and controversies and you agreed that they existed so I didn't need to.  I never refused to give you an explanation of my position, however. Why would you lie about that? Can I expect dishonesty from you often?

 

Fortunate_son wrote:

Are we going to go through this again or are you going to actually articulate your position this time?

I have articulated my position. Logic is contingent, Logic is empirical, Logic corresponds to the dynamics of human experience -- that is why it is reliable for humans to use. There is my position in full, any more questions?

 

Fortunate_Son wrote:

Quote:
However, the one I have quote above is new. And it's also as bald as a badger. Care to back it up?

Anything which has a nature that is contradictory cannot possibly exist.  For example, squared circles, married bachelors, oxygen-less H20, etc. 

That is not what I was referring to. (And, for the record, things of contradictory nature do exist they are why we use the uncertainty principle in microphysics, this is a stronger argument for their existence than propositional logic can ever make.) Your bald assertion was -- That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible -- can you establish this formally?

 

 

Aside:

Fortunate_Son wrote:

For example, if I say "There are possible worlds where lizards can fly," that in no way equates to "No lizards in our universe can fly, but lizards may be able to fly in some other universe."  It equates to, "Given circumstance x, a lizard is able to fly." 

Truth statements are not relative to one's particular universe.  They are relative to the reality in which they manifest, which is to say, they are not relative at all.  If in this universe, we have people but in some other universe, there are no people, then the statement "People exist" is still true.  It is not false in one universe but true in the other.  You are conflating truth statements such as the example I've given with statements such as "People exist in this universe."  Statements do not automatically have a qualifier about particular universes.

Modal logic deals with truths in reality, not in separate universes.


Well there's a big problem with modal logic if it claims what dealing with truths in reality entails is a set of probabilities bound in a singlular succession of time cause that's not "reality", it's just the part that corresponds with our mental experience and physical experiments have proven beyond doubt that our mental experience isn't even a speck on the actual fabric of reality.

Metaphysics advised by this Modal logic is necessarily an big fail on these grounds, unless you are mistaken about the implication of time in it.


 

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Fortunate_Son wrote:natural

Fortunate_Son wrote:

natural wrote:

In that case, 2 is flat out false. It is possible for an eternal being to exist in another universe even if it doesn't exist in ours.

Then the statement "An eternal being exists" is true, irrespective of which universe he happens to occupy.

How badly can you mangle modal logic? Please show me the axiom that supports that statement. Hint: You won't find it.

Quote:
Quote:
Wow. Your misunderstanding of modal logic is deeper than I imagined. If all universes contain exactly the same things, then in what way are they different universes?

Actually, you are wrong. 

Modal logic has nothing do with different universes.

Oh dear, your confusion is off the charts. In logic a 'universe', or 'universe of discourse', *is* a state of affairs. I wonder if you'll be able to understand that. Perhaps you need a link.

Quote:
It is never a presupposition of modal logic that a different universe exists besides ours.  Modal logic is neutral towards this.  It has to do with potential states of affairs.  This does not encompass specific universes.  This encompasses all of reality.

Look, either you are arguing about ontological reality, or you aren't. Since you titled this post as an 'ontological' argument, then you must accept that your argument is attempting to justify 'what really exists'. Namely, you're trying to say that 'god' exists in reality (i.e. within the universe(s) of discourse that corresponds to our reality).

If you are trying to tell me that a) your argument proves god exists in reality, and b) you are not interpreting modal logic to be speaking of alternate realities, then your argument can't even get off the ground.

Either a god exists or it doesn't. The purpose of using modal logic is to be able to make arguments that *distinguish* between those two possible universes (states of affairs). In other words, you need to be able to compare alternate realities. Otherwise, you'll never be able to separate 'god exists or it doesn't' into 'god exists' vs. 'god doesn't exist'.

Too bad you didn't read further in that wiki article. You might have come across this section: The ontology of possibility

Quote:

In the most common interpretation of modal logic, one considers "logically possible worlds". If a statement is true in all possible worlds, then it is a necessary truth. If a statement happens to be true in our world, but is not true in all possible worlds, then it is a contingent truth. A statement that is true in some possible world (not necessarily our own) is called a possible truth.

Whether this "possible worlds idiom" is the best way to interpret modal logic, and how literally this idiom can be taken, is a live issue for metaphysicians. The possible worlds idiom would translate the claim about Bigfoot as "There is some possible world in which Bigfoot exists". To maintain that Bigfoot's existence is possible, but not actual, one could say, "There is some possible world in which Bigfoot exists; but in the actual world, Bigfoot does not exist". But it is unclear what it is that making this claim commits us to. Are we really alleging the existence of possible worlds, every bit as real as our actual world, just not actual? Saul Kripke believes that this is a misnomer – that the term 'possible world' is just a useful way of visualizing the concept of possibility.[5] For him, the sentences "you could have rolled a 4 instead of a 6" and "there is a possible world where you rolled a 4, but you rolled a 6 in the actual world" are not significantly different statements.[6]

The situation here is similar. Maybe god exists, maybe he doesn't. If you limit yourself to speaking of *this* reality only, then modal logic does nothing for you. At the end of your argument, you will be stuck right back where you started: Maybe god exists, maybe he doesn't.

Quote:
For example, if I say "There are possible worlds where lizards can fly," that in no way equates to "No lizards in our universe can fly, but lizards may be able to fly in some other universe."  It equates to, "Given circumstance x, a lizard is able to fly." 

You're talking about an eternal being, one that either exists for all time, or never exists. The circumstances in *this* reality cannot have *any* impact on that. If you stick to this reality, modal logic is *useless* to you. At the end of your argument, you will be stuck where you started: God either exists for all time, or never exists. Only circumstances that distinguish *between* ontological realities can have any impact on resolving the question of whether an eternal being exists in *this* reality.

Your example of flying lizards is about *temporal* modal logic. You are trying to make an *ontological* modal argument. Can you not see the difference?

Quote:
Truth statements are not relative to one's particular universe.  They are relative to the reality in which they manifest, which is to say, they are not relative at all.

What incredible confusion. The whole point of modal logic is to operate on truths that are relative to the universe of discourse/state of affairs.

Look, I don't think you really understand what the hell logic is about. Logic is not inherently about 'reality'. It is a system of symbols and manipulations which allow us to speak about a 'universe of discourse'. If I want to have unicorns and fairies in my universe of discourse, logic is just fine with that. If I want to have a proposition "Unicorns are more magical than fairies" as true, then logic is just fine with that. I can even have many possible universes/states of affairs, and say things like "In world w, it is possible that dragons will eat all the unicorns," and modal logic is just fine with that. These statements are true with respect to their particular universe of discourse, and in modal logic, with respect to the larger logical model which considers all possible states of affairs/universes/worlds.

It is only when you try to apply logic to the *real* world that you need to have an accurate mapping from the universe of discourse to the *actual* universe. "Unicorns exist" does not map to our actual universe.

So, your argument is an attempt to map from a modal logic model containing many different universes of discourse/states of affairs onto ontological reality. If all of your possible worlds map to our actual universe at different points in *time*, then you will be unable to make any argument about the ontological existence of an *eternal* being. The only option you'll have is to provide *actual* real evidence that such a being exists; and for that, you don't need modal logic.

Again, eternal unicorns exist, or they don't. If I'm only talking about this reality, and not any other realities, then how can I make any statements about what must be necessary for this reality? Either they exist or they don't. Show me an eternal unicorn, and you've proven eternal unicorns exist. Failing that, your argument is dead in the water.

Quote:
  If in this universe, we have people but in some other universe, there are no people, then the statement "People exist" is still true.

This is the most basic error I can imagine with modal logic. No, "People exist", without any qualifications, is not true. It is contingent. It is either true or false, but you don't know which because you haven't specified which universe you're talking about.

Let's say your model contains two universes A, and B. In A, people exist. In B, they don't. Without any qualifiers, we can say "It is possible that people exist." But that's it. We cannot say "People exist" without specifying which universe we're talking about. However, we can also say "It is contingent that people exist."

If we limit ourselves to universe A, then we can say "People exist in A". Likewise, we can say "People don't exist in B". If A is accessible from B, we can say "It is possible that people exist in B". If B is *not* accessible from A, then we can say "It is necessary that people exist in A". But leaving out the qualifiers, we cannot simply say "People exist."

Now, in your argument, we have a model with countless possible worlds, but all the worlds in that model are limited to describing our reality. Now, in *our* reality, "Either god exists, or he doesn't" is true. But because your model is restricted to describing our reality, then in every possible world in your model, "Either god exists, or he doesn't" is true. But that's just a tautology! It doesn't resolve the question in *our* reality of whether god really exists or he really doesn't.

Pick any possible world in your model, and the only thing you can say about god is "Either he exists or he doesn't". You can't even say "It is possible that god exists", because to do that you would need a clear-cut world in your model where you can positively state "God exists." But since you have limited your worlds to speaking about states of affairs in our universe, the only way you could make such a clear-cut case is to show evidence that god exists (to show that one of your premises, i.e. "god exists in world w", is true). Otherwise, you are stuck with the tautology, "Either god exists or he doesn't."

The only way modal logic makes sense for a god argument is if you are considering worlds where "God exists" is true vs. worlds where it is false, and then using modal logic to show that *our* world must necessarily be one of those where "God exists" is true. But if all of your worlds are states of affairs in *this* reality, then you would just be begging the question.

Quote:
  It is not false in one universe but true in the other.  You are conflating truth statements such as the example I've given with statements such as "People exist in this universe."  Statements do not automatically have a qualifier about particular universes.

Again, logic does not inherently speak about reality. It speaks about universes of discourse. It is *your* job to map your possible universes of discourse onto ontological reality. I'm just sitting here pointing out what a bad job you're making of it.

Quote:
Modal logic deals with truths in reality, not in separate universes.

<sigh> You guys are so desperate to link logic to reality, you make a mockery of it. Logic does not inherently deal with truths in reality. It deals with universes of discourse. It is a symbol system. It can work with any symbols, even ones that have no connection to reality, like unicorns, fairies, dragons, and gods.

Quote:
  You've obviously studied modal logic for about 5 minutes, saw someone write "There are possible worlds where....." and assumed it was talking about the idea that something can be true here and, at the same time, false someplace else.

You've obviously not even studied basic logic, and are hopelessly mired in the technical lingo of modal logic. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, modal logic is one of those ideas like quantum mechanics or relativity, where if you know just a little about it, you can pretend like you are saying profound things, when really you're just deceiving yourself. You're in the realm of the quantum mystics. It's pure navel gazing.

Quote:
Quote:
The whole point of modal logic is to be able to make arguments about universes that are different, but have common characteristics.

No!  Absolutely false.

Modal logic is a system which allows us to formalize arguments using modal operators, such that we can establish a more efficient means of including modalities (i.e. possibility, necessity, probability) in our premises.

A modal logic is any system of formal logic that attempts to deal with modalities. Modals qualify the truth of a judgment. For example, if it is true that "John is happy," we might qualify this statement by saying that "John is very happy," in which case the term "very" would be a modality. Traditionally, there are three "modes" or "moods" or "modalities" represented by modal logic, namely, possibility, probability, and necessity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_logic#Development_of_modal_logic

It has nothing to do with making arguments about different universes.  It is about establishing objective truth based on the modes in which things exist.

Oh, come on, you know very well that I was speaking about *your* use of modal logic for possibility and necessity. You're not making an argument that 'god is *very* eternal', you're making an argument that he *necessarily* exists, and that modality is *all about* comparing different universes of discourse.

Quote:
Quote:
Which, as I already said, you need to study before you'll understand modal logic.

Sorry, but you are not even on the same planet as me when it comes to understanding logic.

Actually, I agree with you there, and I'm very thankful I'm not on your planet, wherever that is.

Quote:
  I'm by no means a super-expert, but I'm definitely far above you in this area.

Yeah, telling me -- a professional programmer who breathes logic like air, nearly every single day -- that your raping of modal logic is 'far above' me is soooo intimidating. Ooooh. I'm shivering.

Quote:
Quote:
Then eternal unicorns exist too. Not to mention the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

You obviously did not read the entire argument, since I specifically explained why material beings cannot be eternal.

You mean where you confuse 'form' with 'matter'? Yeah. Very convincing. Besides, who said unicorns or the FSM have to be material?

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jumbo1410 wrote:Incorrect.

jumbo1410 wrote:

Incorrect. By your logical form, the first premise is  e--> ~<>~e.

Existence is assumed by e in the above. Either your translation is wrong, or your logical form is wrong. Which will you change?

No, positing a constant in an antecedent within a conditional does not presuppose its existence.

If I say, "IF unicorns are red, then they have a certain wavelength and frequency", that is a true statement and it does not even presuppose the actual existence of unicorns.


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jumbo1410 wrote: Hello!

jumbo1410 wrote:

 

Hello! Maybe we can storm the athesits defences?

 

The argument you posted has been around for some time. It is very similar to R. Taylor's 'God', in metaphysics (1974) that deals with contingencies and sufficient reason. Have you read it?

 

If the vertical argument were based on the principle of sufficient reason, it would be open to those critiques. But instead, it's based on the law of causality. Neither the kalaam nor the vertical argument are based on sufficient reason.


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Quote:If the vertical

Quote:
If the vertical argument were based on the principle of sufficient reason, it would be open to those critiques. But instead, it's based on the law of causality. Neither the kalaam nor the vertical argument are based on sufficient reason.

 

The principle of sufficient reason just means that things that are said to exist, need an adequate explanation - i.e. one that is not, "because" or, "it's always been that way for eternity". Taylor describes the universe itself as a contingent entity (with humans being contingent upon the earth, the earth upon tbb, or whatever you ascribe to); that is, the universe is not a necessary truth and therefore requires an explanation consistent with the principle of sufficient reason. Whether you accept it or not, the argument you posted is on well trodden ground.

 

Quote:

No, positing a constant in an antecedent within a conditional does not presuppose its existence.

If I say, "IF unicorns are red, then they have a certain wavelength and frequency", that is a true statement and it does not even presuppose the actual existence of unicorns.

Fail. The above is of the logical form "If p then q", with any substitution instance of p and q being hypothetical in nature (propositional arguments are almost always hypotheical).

Where you have gone wrong is in modal logic. "If p then not the possibility of not p" requires that the substitution instances for p (or e, q, r, g and so forth) have to be uniform.

 

e--> ~<>~e

 

So, e either stands for (eternal being exists) or (eternal being) or (exists), with everything between the "If...Then..." conditionals being modified by the operators (nots, ands, ors etc). Your first premise conflates two different properties:

 

Quote:

                                                  e                E                    ~               <>                      e                   ~        E

The first premise is IF (an eternal being) (exists) then (it is not) (possible for the) (eternal being) to (not) (exist).  Existence is nowhere assumed, it is a conditional.

 


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Fortunate_Son wrote:I'm not

Fortunate_Son wrote:
I'm not good at transcribing language into symbols

That's problem number one. If you can't do that, you'll crash and burn at formal logic.

Quote:

e = eternal being

Cx = x has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction

 

(1.)  e--> ~<>~e

(2.) ~e-->~<>e

(3.) ~Ce

(4.) (x) [~<>x --> Cx]

(5.) ~<>e--> Ce   4; UI

(6.) ~(~<>e)   3,5; MT

(7.) ~(~e)   2,6; MT

::. e   7; DN

1) Is only valid if you limit your possible worlds to being temporally connected to this reality.

2) Same as 1.

3) Naked assertion. Counter-example: The eternal invisible pink unicorn. Just because something's definition includes 'eternal', doesn't mean the thing is non-contradictory. Do you believe Allah exists? How about Brahman?

4) Naked assertion. It is true that a contradiction implies that it is false in all possible worlds (impossible), but it is not true that a proposition that's false in all possible worlds is necessarily a contradiction. Since you have limited yourself to possible worlds temporally connected to this reality, then I can propose a non-contradictory entity, such as Beorge Gush, a former US President, who does not exist in any possible world temporally connected to this reality, but is not inherently a contradiction. Just because it didn't rain in my city yesterday, doesn't mean that raining in my city yesterday is inherently contradictory. A contradiction requires that any truth assignment to free variables will yield a result of false.

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natural wrote:Fortunate_Son

natural wrote:

1) Is only valid if you limit your possible worlds to being temporally connected to this reality.

2) Same as 1.

So there's a reality outside reality?

Quote:
3) Naked assertion. Counter-example: The eternal invisible pink unicorn. Just because something's definition includes 'eternal', doesn't mean the thing is non-contradictory. Do you believe Allah exists? How about Brahman?

This was not asserted in the premise.  "e" is an individual constant referring to a particular thing which is not contradictory.  If I had said, "The eternal squared circle," then your rebuttal would be valid.

I specifically stated that this does not prove the God of Christianity.

Quote:
4) Naked assertion. It is true that a contradiction implies that it is false in all possible worlds (impossible), but it is not true that a proposition that's false in all possible worlds is necessarily a contradiction.

Actually, that is true.  A contradiction is the only thing which cannot exist in any possible world.  Please give me an example to the contrary. 

Quote:
Since you have limited yourself to possible worlds temporally connected to this reality, then I can propose a non-contradictory entity, such as Beorge Gush, a former US President, who does not exist in any possible world temporally connected to this reality

"Temporally connected to this reality" is not even logical because there is no reality outside of this one.  There is only reality. 

There are possible worlds where we could have had a former president named Beorge Gush.

Quote:
but is not inherently a contradiction. Just because it didn't rain in my city yesterday

There are possible worlds where it did rain in your city yesterday.  This is strictly talking about things that could be the case


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Sorry, look at it again.

Sorry, look at it again. Nothing in the vertical argument that I posted that introduces sufficient reason. It's based on the cause of existence. The heart of it is current causality: existence cannot cause itself, essence cannot cause existence, and the potential cannot cause the actual.

Easy to refute a straw man.

 

 

 

 


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jumbo1410

jumbo1410 wrote:

                                                  e                E                    ~               <>                      e                   ~        E

The first premise is IF (an eternal being) (exists) then (it is not) (possible for the) (eternal being) to (not) (exist).  Existence is nowhere assumed, it is a conditional.

 

The premise is "If an eternal being exists, then it is not possible for the eternal being to not exist."  There is absolutely no existential import.


You claim to be a theist.  Do you believe in a God that is not eternal?


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Eloise wrote:I have

Eloise wrote:

I have articulated my position. Logic is contingent, Logic is empirical, Logic corresponds to the dynamics of human experience -- that is why it is reliable for humans to use. There is my position in full, any more questions?

Yes.  How can we learn about logic without using logic? 

(Counts down the seconds before I get some response full of esoteric terminology and phrases that do not make any sense)

Quote:
That is not what I was referring to. (And, for the record, things of contradictory nature do exist

Example, please? 

Quote:
Your bald assertion was -- That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible -- can you establish this formally?

Cx = x has a nature that is contradictory

s = squared circle

(1.) (x) {Cx-->[x-->(x &~x)]}

(2.) (x) ~(x & ~x)

(3.)  Cs

(4.)  Cs-->[s-->(s & ~s)]     1; UI

(5.)  s-->(s & ~s)     3,4; MP

(6.)  ~(s & ~s)     2; UI

(7.)  ~s     5,6; MT


Quote:
Well there's a big problem with modal logic if it claims what dealing with truths in reality entails is a set of probabilities bound in a singlular succession of time

It doesn't.  You have modal logic confused with temporal logic.  Modal logic may be atemporal. 

Quote:
it's just the part that corresponds with our mental experience and physical experiments have proven beyond doubt that our mental experience isn't even a speck on the actual fabric of reality.


Are you suggesting that the laws of logic are potentially falsifiable by empirical observation?


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Quote:Sorry, look at it

Quote:
Sorry, look at it again. Nothing in the vertical argument that I posted that introduces sufficient reason. It's based on the cause of existence. The heart of it is current causality: existence cannot cause itself, essence cannot cause existence, and the potential cannot cause the actual.

Easy to refute a straw man.

 

Huh? I'm not refuting anything, nor am I saying sufficient reason appears in your particular argument. What I am saying is that the argument is not an original. I am sitting here looking at Taylors arguments right now. In chapter 10, entitled "God", pg 105, I see the very words,

"It happens to be true that something exists, that there is, for example, a world, and although no one ever seriously supposes that this might not be so,....", and it goes on to talk about contingent truths, refutations of beginningless existence on page 106 (which you hacked)  etc. etc. ad tedium.

 

I see striking similarities between the argument you posted, and Taylors argument - except Taylor beats you by 40-odd years (unless I am talking to thee, in which case please accept my humle apologies). I sighted my reference, if you haven't read it, tuff luck - no strawman required.

 

Quote:

The premise is "If an eternal being exists, then it is not possible for the eternal being to not exist."  There is absolutely no existential import.


You claim to be a theist.  Do you believe in a God that is not eternal?

This site might explain what I cannot. Of particular interest is:

"Critiques of ontological arguments begin with Gaunilo, a contemporary of St. Anselm. Perhaps the best known criticisms of ontological arguments are due to Immanuel Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason. Most famously, Kant claims that ontological arguments are vitiated by their reliance upon the implicit assumption that “existence” is a predicate..."

 

And to answer your question, just because I am a theist, it does not mean I am above making mistakes - both in creating my own arguments, and assessing others.


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jumbo1410 wrote:"Critiques

jumbo1410 wrote:

"Critiques of ontological arguments begin with Gaunilo, a contemporary of St. Anselm. Perhaps the best known criticisms of ontological arguments are due to Immanuel Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason. Most famously, Kant claims that ontological arguments are vitiated by their reliance upon the implicit assumption that “existence” is a predicate..."

And to answer your question, just because I am a theist, it does not mean I am above making mistakes - both in creating my own arguments, and assessing others.

Anselm was good for his time, but guys like Plantinga have made the ontological argument fit for a 21st century conversation.


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Fortunate_Son wrote:natural

Fortunate_Son wrote:

natural wrote:

1) Is only valid if you limit your possible worlds to being temporally connected to this reality.

2) Same as 1.

So there's a reality outside reality?

Again, your confusion about possible worlds. Possible worlds do not have to be connected to this reality. Possible worlds are just symbolic constructs of logical states. Whether they represent an actual reality is a question for empiricism. Whether you limit them to being temporally connected to this reality is a question of the definition of the problem you're proposing to solve. Here, you've chosen to define them as strictly temporally connected to this reality. They are 'possible times in this universe'. If they are not, if they include the possibility of being states of affairs disconnected from this universe, then your premises 1 and 2 are false. This is what I've been saying from the beginning. If you can prove e exists, you can prove eternal unicorns exist.

As to whether there are actual realities outside this reality, that's an unknown metaphysical question along the same lines as "Are we living in the Matrix?" or "What happened before time?"

Regardless, if you're going to reason about possible realities (god existing or not), then you need to carefully define how your possible worlds map onto ontological reality (what is really real vs. what could have been real, counterfactually). You're the one making the ontological argument, so it's up to you to perform this mapping in order to argue your position.

Quote:
Quote:
3) Naked assertion. Counter-example: The eternal invisible pink unicorn. Just because something's definition includes 'eternal', doesn't mean the thing is non-contradictory. Do you believe Allah exists? How about Brahman?

This was not asserted in the premise.  "e" is an individual constant referring to a particular thing which is not contradictory.  If I had said, "The eternal squared circle," then your rebuttal would be valid.

I specifically stated that this does not prove the God of Christianity.

Okay, in this case you should be more clear about 'e', because you use it ambiguously to mean the name 'e' which is a particular 'eternal being' and the proposition 'e' which is 'there exists an eternal being'.

So, all you're saying with 3 is that the particular eternal being you're talking about, e, does not violate non-contradiction. Fine.

Premises 1 and 2 should be restated in the form of Ee --> ..., where Ex is a proposition "There exists an eternal being x".

Quote:
Quote:
4) Naked assertion. It is true that a contradiction implies that it is false in all possible worlds (impossible), but it is not true that a proposition that's false in all possible worlds is necessarily a contradiction.

Actually, that is true.  A contradiction is the only thing which cannot exist in any possible world.  Please give me an example to the contrary. 

Quote:
Since you have limited yourself to possible worlds temporally connected to this reality, then I can propose a non-contradictory entity, such as Beorge Gush, a former US President, who does not exist in any possible world temporally connected to this reality

"Temporally connected to this reality" is not even logical because there is no reality outside of this one.  There is only reality. 

There are possible worlds where we could have had a former president named Beorge Gush.

Again, we see the messy application of modal logic. You are being inconsistent in your definitions of your possible worlds. If you are sticking to the temporal premises of 1 and 2, then it is false that "there are possible worlds where we could have had a former president named Beorge Gush", because we know that Beorge Gush was *not* a former president, and you have limited yourself to possible worlds which map to possible times in this universe. Since the past did not happen to include Beorge Gush as president, then that time is not a possible time in this universe. Such a Beorge Gush does not exist at any time in this universe. Do you deny that?

If you choose to deny that, you'll have to give up premises 1 and 2, since they do not hold if you allow temporally disconnected possible worlds. If the actual universe *could have* been different at any time in the past, then it could have been different from the very beginning, and there could have been possible worlds where eternal being e existed and possible worlds where eternal being e did not exist. e would still be eternal because at any point in any possible timeline, e would either always exist, or never exist. But because there are many possible timelines, then there are many possibilities for whether e exists or not. Premises 1 and 2 will not hold.

See Subjunctive possibility to spot where you're jumping between types within the same argument. On the one hand, you want to stick to the nomological or temporal type (to show that eternal beings must exist in all possible worlds (times)), and on the other hand, you want to jump out of that into the logical type (to show that only contradictions do not exist in all possible worlds (realities)). You have to pick one or the other and stick with it.

Our reality (physical universe) does not include Beorge Gush, and yet he's not logically contradictory, in which case premise 4 fails.

On the other hand, our reality (logical type) could have included Beorge Gush, in which case, eternal being e may or may not have ever existed for all time, depending on which timeline you follow, in which case premises 1 and 2 fail.

Quote:
Quote:
but is not inherently a contradiction. Just because it didn't rain in my city yesterday

There are possible worlds where it did rain in your city yesterday.  This is strictly talking about things that could be the case

Same violation of premises follows. You have to carefully choose how you define your possible worlds. You can't have them be logical type in one premise and physical (nomological) type in another. Otherwise, you're arguing about two different incompatible models.

(In case you're tempted to say Beorge Gush is nomologically possible, even though a deterministic interpretation of physics says it's not, then I can just modify the example slightly, such that Beorge Gush's election caused a universal reversal of entropy. Same basic idea. It's not logically contradictory, but it's not possible in the real universe.)

I'll put it one last way which will hopefully be very clear:

You said: "There are possible worlds where it did rain in your city yesterday. "

If that's true, then there are possible worlds where e never (i.e. at no physical time) existed.

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Fortunate_Son wrote:Yes. 

Fortunate_Son wrote:

Yes.  How can we learn about logic without using logic?

Natural intuition. The inborn ability to learn. We don't need to know formal logic to do that. Did you know formal logic the moment you were born? (Considering your skill with it now, it would be comical to claim that you did.)

Quote:
Quote:
Your bald assertion was --

That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible

-- can you establish this formally?

Cx = x has a nature that is contradictory

s = squared circle

(1.) (x) {Cx-->[x-->(x &~x)]}

(2.) (x) ~(x & ~x)

(3.)  Cs

(4.)  Cs-->[s-->(s & ~s)]     1; UI

(5.)  s-->(s & ~s)     3,4; MP

(6.)  ~(s & ~s)     2; UI

(7.)  ~s     5,6; MT

Your starting point is off. She's asking you to show that your premise 4, (x)[~<>x --> Cx] is true, whereas you started with the premise Cx, which is cart before horse.

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Fortunate_Son wrote:Eloise

Ooops forgot something... BRB


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I 100% agree with natural on

I 100% agree with natural on this one. "e" is being defined as more than one thing, in different contexts.

 

All in all, it is a food for thought but your argument lacks coherence.


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Someone must have clicked

Someone must have clicked the reply button on my post cause I'm locked out of it.

Anyhow, I'll repost it here.

Fortunate_Son wrote:


Eloise wrote:


I have articulated my position. Logic is contingent, Logic is empirical, Logic corresponds to the dynamics of human experience -- that is why it is reliable for humans to use. There is my position in full, any more questions?


Yes.  How can we learn about logic without using logic?



Experience, Fortunate_Son, like a mouse hooked up to an electrode that shocks it when it approaches point X in the test environment learns its limits. It doesn't use logic to arrive at the logical conclusion of associating pain and point X with each other, it evolves mental habits out of chasing favourable outcomes - if it further evolved the mental habits that we humans have, like common languages and social education, it could expedite the generational passage of those mental habits through personal interaction as well as genetic imprint.

Fortunate_Son wrote:


(Counts down the seconds before I get some response full of esoteric terminology and phrases that do not make any sense)



I could say the same about your tendency to avoid the point and answer questions that were clearly not asked so to fake the appearance of having given a germane response while, actually, totally ignoring what has been said.

 
Quote:

Quote:
That is not what I was referring to. (And, for the record, things of contradictory nature do exist


Example, please?



Ot'avio Bueno USC & Mark Colyvan UQ (Australia) wrote:

http://homepage.mac.com/mcolyvan/papers/LNC.pdf
According to standard quantum mechanics, any electron E has an angular momentum (or spin) in a given direction X. Moreover, every electron has only one of two possible spin values: +1/2 or −1/2. So if we denote the spin of E in the X direction
by EX, the following disjunction is true: EX = +1/2 _ EX = −1/2
Furthermore, given Heinsenberg’s indeterminacy principle, it is not possible to measure the angular momentum of E in two (distinct) directions at thesame time.
Let X and Y be two distinct directions. And let us suppose that we have measured the momentum of E in the direction X, and obtained the result that EX = +1/2. In other words, ‘EX = +1/2’ is true. Now, given that ‘EY = +1/2_EY = −1/2’ is always true (in any instant), it follows that the conjunction EX = +1/2 ^ (EY = +1/2 _ EY = −1/2) (1) is similarly true. If we assume the distributivity of conjunction over disjunction found in classical logic, it follows from (1) that (EX = +1/2 ^ EY = +1/2) _ (EX = +1/2 ^ EY = −1/2) (2)
But something unexpected happens at this point.
As noted above, (1) is true, but it turns out (arguably) that (2) is false (or even meaningless)! After all, given Heisenberg’s indeterminacy principle, it is impossible to measure the moment of E in distinct directions X and Y at the same time. So,
if we assume (as we did) that the underlying logic is classical, we are led straightaway into a conceptual difficulty (see Birkhoff and von Neumann 1936, Putnam 1979, and da Costa 1997).


Quote:


Quote:
Your bald assertion was -- That which has no potential to exist is logically impossible -- can you establish this formally?


Cx = x has a nature that is contradictory

s = squared circle



NO!

Where's "Has no potential to exist" ? You're just reiterating what didn't ask for.

Are you deliberately dodging the question?

Quote:

Quote:
Well there's a big problem with modal logic if it claims what dealing with truths in reality entails is a set of probabilities bound in a singlular succession of time


It doesn't.  You have modal logic confused with temporal logic.  Modal logic may be atemporal.



But it is certainly not atemporal modal logic if you're using "eternal" and "everlasting" as the definitions because they are, most decidely, temporal.

Quote:


Quote:
it's just the part that corresponds with our mental experience and physical experiments have proven beyond doubt that our mental experience isn't even a speck on the actual fabric of reality.



Are you suggesting that the laws of logic are potentially falsifiable by empirical observation?



 

Yes. Absolutely. We're clear on that then are we?

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Fortunate_Son

Fortunate_Son wrote:

Propositional logic is too limiting for arguments like these.

 

Ironic, isn't it the more limiting structure of modal logic that you are attempting to exploit to make your point, Fortunate_Son?

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natural wrote:Fortunate_Son

natural wrote:

Again, your confusion about possible worlds. Possible worlds do not have to be connected to this reality.

Please answer the question.

Saying this reality is like saying this space or this time, as if there is a different space outside of space or a different time outside of time, which makes absolutely no sense.

Quote:
Possible worlds are just symbolic constructs of logical states. Whether they represent an actual reality is a question for empiricism.

Nothing I've said contradicts this.

Quote:
Whether you limit them to being temporally connected to this reality is a question of the definition of the problem you're proposing to solve. Here, you've chosen to define them as strictly temporally connected to this reality.

I did not define that as temporally connected to anything.  These are interpolations you are making in order to attack points that do not even exist in this thread.  Furthermore, you still have not been clear on what you mean by this reality as opposed to that reality.  Are there TWO actualities?  Just answer the question.  Don't say, "You don't understand X and Y!  X and Y blah blah" and go off on some tangent that has nothing to do with what I am talking about.

Quote:
They are 'possible times in this universe'.

No!  I have never said that. 

Quote:
If they are not, if they include the possibility of being states of affairs disconnected from this universe, then your premises 1 and 2 are false.

How? 

Quote:
This is what I've been saying from the beginning. If you can prove e exists, you can prove eternal unicorns exist.

Uh, no.  Because material things cannot be eternal.

Quote:
As to whether there are actual realities outside this reality, that's an unknown metaphysical question along the same lines as "Are we living in the Matrix?" or "What happened before time?"

It's not an unknown.  "What happened BEFORE time" is an illogical question, just as "Reality outside reality" is equally illogical.

Quote:
Regardless, if you're going to reason about possible realities (god existing or not), then you need to carefully define how your possible worlds map onto ontological reality (what is really real vs. what could have been real, counterfactually). You're the one making the ontological argument, so it's up to you to perform this mapping in order to argue your position.

I did.  You are throwing out red herrings in order to confuse onlookers.

Quote:
Okay, in this case you should be more clear about 'e', because you use it ambiguously to mean the name 'e' which is a particular 'eternal being' and the proposition 'e' which is 'there exists an eternal being'.

So, all you're saying with 3 is that the particular eternal being you're talking about, e, does not violate non-contradiction. Fine.

Premises 1 and 2 should be restated in the form of Ee --> ..., where Ex is a proposition "There exists an eternal being x".

Okay, you are clearly an amateur at this.

Existence is NOT a predicate.  It is contained in the individual constant itself!  Statements about particulars have existential import.

 

A statement has existential import if its truth depends on the existence of objects of a certain type.

For modern predicate logic, universal statements necessarily lack existential import. Because they are conditionals, they do not assert the existence of any Ss; all they say is that if any x is an S, then it is (or is not) a P.

If there are no Ss, then any statement of the form (x) (Sx ...) is true by default, regardless of the consequent, because the antecedent is not true of anything. That follows from the nature of conditionals as defined by the truth table.

By contrast, particular statements do have existential import. By the nature of conjunction, any statement of the form (x) (Sx . ...) is true only if some x is S.

http://www.wwnorton.com/COLLEGE/PHIL/LOGIC3/ch14/import.htm

 

Let Px = x is eternal

In the context of my argument, "(Ex) Px"  would be true (I think we can infer it by Existential Instantiation)

Quote:
Again, we see the messy application of modal logic. You are being inconsistent in your definitions of your possible worlds. If you are sticking to the temporal premises of 1 and 2

They are not temporal premises.  At what point did I use any symbols which are restricted to temporal logic?

Quote:
Since the past did not happen to include Beorge Gush as president, then that time is not a possible time in this universe. Such a Beorge Gush does not exist at any time in this universe. Do you deny that?

I am not talking about truths relative to our linear time.  I am positing nothing more than the modalities of possibility, contingency, and necessity.  This can be atemporal as well as temporal.  Eternal beings do not have the potential to not exist.  You can describe this in temporal terms, but it is not restricted to temporal modalities.

Once again, you are just throwing out red herrings.

Quote:
If that's true, then there are possible worlds where e never (i.e. at no physical time) existed.

That's precisely what I am arguing against.

If E exists, then E cannot possibly not exist.  If E does not exist, then E cannot possibly exist.  These are intrinsic in the definition of eternal.    This is equally true in a timeless environment.


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Eloise wrote:Experience,

Eloise wrote:


Experience, Fortunate_Son, like a mouse hooked up to an electrode that shocks it when it approaches point X in the test environment learns its limits. It doesn't use logic to arrive at the logical conclusion of associating pain and point X with each other, it evolves mental habits out of chasing favourable outcomes - if it further evolved the mental habits that we humans have, like common languages and social education, it could expedite the generational passage of those mental habits through personal interaction as well as genetic imprint.

How can experience be coherent to us if we do not have a preexisting standard of coherence

The example with the mouse does not work because instinct is not logic.  Animals have no free will, they are not free thinkers.  They are machines with wheels and pulleys.

If you choose to equate human beings with mice, then there is absolutely no reason to even trust that logic is truly logical or that what we believe works actually works.  You have basically trivialized the fundamental basis for our rational discourse and I will just say that I was instinctively predisposed to my own logic and therefore you cannot tell me I'm wrong because your logic may be wrong.

Quote:
According to standard quantum mechanics, any electron E has an angular momentum (or spin) in a given direction X. Moreover, every electron has only one of two possible spin values: +1/2 or −1/2. So if we denote the spin of E in the X direction
by EX, the following disjunction is true: EX = +1/2 _ EX = −1/2
Furthermore, given Heinsenberg’s indeterminacy principle, it is not possible to measure the angular momentum of E in two (distinct) directions at thesame time.
Let X and Y be two distinct directions. And let us suppose that we have measured the momentum of E in the direction X, and obtained the result that EX = +1/2. In other words, ‘EX = +1/2’ is true. Now, given that ‘EY = +1/2_EY = −1/2’ is always true (in any instant), it follows that the conjunction EX = +1/2 ^ (EY = +1/2 _ EY = −1/2) (1) is similarly true. If we assume the distributivity of conjunction over disjunction found in classical logic, it follows from (1) that (EX = +1/2 ^ EY = +1/2) _ (EX = +1/2 ^ EY = −1/2) (2)
But something unexpected happens at this point.
As noted above, (1) is true, but it turns out (arguably) that (2) is false (or even meaningless)! After all, given Heisenberg’s indeterminacy principle, it is impossible to measure the moment of E in distinct directions X and Y at the same time. So,
if we assume (as we did) that the underlying logic is classical, we are led straightaway into a conceptual difficulty (see Birkhoff and von Neumann 1936, Putnam 1979, and da Costa 1997).

Okay.  So what law of logic is violated in that?  I'm not good in quantum physics, so please explain it to me in layman's terms.

Quote:
NO!

Where's "Has no potential to exist" ? You're just reiterating what didn't ask for.

(p & ~p) is the only thing which has no potential to exist.  Squared circles are an example.  Are you suggesting that squared circles are possible?

Quote:
Are you deliberately dodging the question?

No, I'm answering it.

Quote:
But it is certainly not atemporal modal logic if you're using "eternal" and "everlasting" as the definitions because they are, most decidely, temporal.

No actually.  Eternity is a negative term meaning "without beginning and without end".  Since it is a negative, it does not require time in order to be true.  Something which occupies a timeless environment would be "without beginning and without end".  
 

Quote:
Yes. Absolutely. We're clear on that then are we?

Okay.  So please explain how you would falsify the law of non-contradiction.


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Fortunate_Son wrote:(1) If

Fortunate_Son wrote:

(1) If an eternal being "E" exists, then it is impossible for E to not exist.    

PREMISE

(2) If E does not exist, then it is impossible for E to exist.     PREMISE

(3) E does not have a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.     PREMISE

(4) Anything which cannot possibly exist has a nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.     PREMISE

(5) If it is impossible for E to exist, then E has an nature which violates the law of non-contradiction.    4; UNIVERSAL INSTANTIATION

(6) It is not the case that it is impossible for E to exist.   3,5; MODUS TOLLENS

(7) It is not the case that E does not exist.     2,6; MODUS TOLLENS

:. E exists.     7; DOUBLE NEGATION

So if E were an Alaskan vampire by the name of Hubert who lives entirely on beet juice and grubs, Hubert must exist?

This seems to be an overwrought statement of the law of noncontradiction, as Jumbo said.

[EDIT]

As I think about it, it isn't even a restatement of the principle of noncontradiction. It's more a masked man fallacy, in which "possible existence" is the masked man.

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Fortunate_Son wrote:How can

Fortunate_Son wrote:
How can experience be coherent to us if we do not have a preexisting standard of coherence?

But we do have a preexisting standard of coherence! It's called reality. It's really quite enjoyable. You can join us here any time you like.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Fortunate_Son wrote:Eloise

Fortunate_Son wrote:

Eloise wrote:


Experience, Fortunate_Son, like a mouse hooked up to an electrode that shocks it when it approaches point X in the test environment learns its limits. It doesn't use logic to arrive at the logical conclusion of associating pain and point X with each other, it evolves mental habits out of chasing favourable outcomes - if it further evolved the mental habits that we humans have, like common languages and social education, it could expedite the generational passage of those mental habits through personal interaction as well as genetic imprint.

How can experience be coherent to us if we do not have a preexisting standard of coherence

As the sample set size goes to infinity, all random distributions approach the normal distribution. Of the vast sea of random chaotic sensory data that makes up our human experience, mind is made up of the central elements of the sample set, that is to say, logic is the data clustered around the mean of our sensory experiences and hence experience is not coherent to us per se, "we" (as in the minds/egos which we filter the experience through) cohere to the mean of the reality (limited by the senses).

 

Fortunate_Son wrote:

The example with the mouse does not work because instinct is not logic.  Animals have no free will, they are not free thinkers.  They are machines with wheels and pulleys.

That is a vain and ignorant statement of the worst kind. I would recommend you get yourself a pet and experience the kinship of humans and animals first hand but the idea of one of gods lovely creatures being directly exposed to that bigotry appalls me.

Fortunate_Son wrote:

If you choose to equate human beings with mice, then there is absolutely no reason to even trust that logic is truly logical or that what we believe works actually works. 

Mice have senses and brains, they work like we do in every physical sense, with different adaptations. If you choose to stratify yourself so vainly above the rest of the eukaryotes then I can find no reason to trust that you or anything you say could represent any God of the man who said - "What you do unto the least of my creatures you do to me"

There is not 'no reason' to trust logic works. There is some reason (mostly pragmatic) and none of it is absolute. There is also plenty of evidence that logic can fail, so why should only having some, non-absolute reason to trust logic be such a big problem? Is there an alternative that we should be using instead? If not then so what? Logic is fallible and non-absolute but we can perceive ourselves to gain from using it so until something better comes along it's a moot point.

 

Fortunate_Son wrote:

You have basically trivialized the fundamental basis for our rational discourse

No, you deified it and I have brought it back to reality.

Fortunate_Son wrote:

and I will just say that I was instinctively predisposed to my own logic and therefore you cannot tell me I'm wrong because your logic may be wrong.

I could just laugh and show you your logic failing then you'd be left with expounding a predisposition worth all of jacksh*t.... Oh wait... I was already. LOL



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Okay.  So what law of logic is violated in that?  I'm not good in quantum physics, so please explain it to me in layman's terms.

It's right there in the text : "distributivity of conjunction over disjunction"

A and (B or C) != (A and B) or (A and C)



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(p & ~p) is the only thing which has no potential to exist

Two things:

1: p & ~p has been observed in a very famous old physics experiment which was designed to reveal the nature of light. Since it exists (and this is despite 100 years of concerted effort to prove it does not) it's potential to exist is given and unquestionable. A photon is a particle and not a particle {in fact the geometric antithesis of a particle}, in the same.

2. And the second thing is kind of two things again.... On what basis have you attempted to assert that p & ~p is a)without potential to exist and b) the only thing without potential to exist ?

Fortunate_Son wrote:

Squared circles are an example.  Are you suggesting that squared circles are possible?

No, not exactly. It is the failure of classical logic to accurately reflect a detectable part of our reality which is suggesting that illogical things like squared circles might have a place in an existence that seems presently to be beyond our physical means to experience or evaluate.

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But it is certainly not atemporal modal logic if you're using "eternal" and "everlasting" as the definitions because they are, most decidely, temporal.

No actually.  Eternity is a negative term meaning "without beginning and without end".  Since it is a negative, it does not require time in order to be true.  Something which occupies a timeless environment would be "without beginning and without end".  

Strange qualification, I have only known eternity to be use in a temporal context. But Ok, if we allow that you have taken god's eternity to mean allness in the strictest sense then it doesn't really infer a unique entity that isn't ostensibly equivalent to all possible worlds; you've argued for a tautology. 

If only you had a point of difference over the assumed insentience of the universe to show, you could advance pantheism there.
 

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Yes. Absolutely. We're clear on that then are we?

Okay.  So please explain how you would falsify the law of non-contradiction.

A

double slit experiment

should be sufficient to justify doubt for you.

 

 

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Fortunate_Son wrote:natural

Fortunate_Son wrote:

natural wrote:

Again, your confusion about possible worlds. Possible worlds do not have to be connected to this reality.

Please answer the question.

Please acknowledge the statement. Besides, I did, in the second paragraph.

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Saying this reality is like saying this space or this time, as if there is a different space outside of space or a different time outside of time, which makes absolutely no sense.

Then you have failed to understand the distinction between logic and reality. If you would just read that statement above once, and try to understand it, your confusion would vanish. But no, you choose to ignore the salient points to endlessly circle your black hole of ignorance. Sorry, I can't rescue you from willful ignorance, you've got to do it yourself.

Possible worlds do not have to be connected to this reality (the reality that is really real). They can talk about eternal unicorns (even non-material ones), es, anti-es, Yahweh, Allah, Flying Spaghetti Monsters, or whatever the hell we like.

You simply do not understand this crucial point. You think logic is necessarily linked inextricably to this reality (the reality that is really real). It is not. It is just a system of symbol manipulation, and the symbols can mean anything, real or unreal; they are merely symbols. That is the fatal flaw in both your argument, and your understanding of logic.

Did you even read the page on subjunctive possibility? I doubt that you did.

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Possible worlds are just symbolic constructs of logical states. Whether they represent an actual reality is a question for empiricism.

Nothing I've said contradicts this.

Much that you've said shows you don't understand it.

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Whether you limit them to being temporally connected to this reality is a question of the definition of the problem you're proposing to solve. Here, you've chosen to define them as strictly temporally connected to this reality.

I did not define that as temporally connected to anything.  These are interpolations you are making in order to attack points that do not even exist in this thread.

Premises 1 and 2 are only work if you limit yourself to speaking about a single timeline, i.e. the one we are currently in. If you want to speak about counterfactual pasts, then you cannot limit yourself to a single timeline, and thus premises 1 and 2 fall.

That is the problem. Deal with it.

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  Furthermore, you still have not been clear on what you mean by this reality as opposed to that reality.  Are there TWO actualities?  Just answer the question.  Don't say, "You don't understand X and Y!  X and Y blah blah" and go off on some tangent that has nothing to do with what I am talking about.

The 'tangent' you speak of is directly related to answering your question. Logic is not limited to speaking about this reality (the reality that is really real). Until you grasp this point, you'll never see the flaw in your argument. I can't state it more plainly than that. If you fail to comprehend, I can't save you from your black hole.

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They are 'possible times in this universe'.

No!  I have never said that.

You implied it, as I said, by proposing premises 1 and 2. If you disagree, then premises 1 and 2 don't work. Simple as that.

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If they are not, if they include the possibility of being states of affairs disconnected from this universe, then your premises 1 and 2 are false.

How?

I've explained it at length in my previous post. I'll summarize here: Because you would be allowing for alternate timelines.

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This is what I've been saying from the beginning. If you can prove e exists, you can prove eternal unicorns exist.

Uh, no.  Because material things cannot be eternal.

What makes you assume unicorns must be material? Also, if you allow alternate timelines, then physical laws may be completely different, allowing for eternal material unicorns. And furthermore, according to our current understanding of physics, matter/energy is eternal, neither created nor destroyed.

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As to whether there are actual realities outside this reality, that's an unknown metaphysical question along the same lines as "Are we living in the Matrix?" or "What happened before time?"

It's not an unknown.  "What happened BEFORE time" is an illogical question, just as "Reality outside reality" is equally illogical.

Talk about red herrings. You're side-tracking yourself. The point is that it's *irrelevant* because *logic* is not limited to speaking of *reality*.

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Regardless, if you're going to reason about possible realities (god existing or not), then you need to carefully define how your possible worlds map onto ontological reality (what is really real vs. what could have been real, counterfactually). You're the one making the ontological argument, so it's up to you to perform this mapping in order to argue your position.

I did.  You are throwing out red herrings in order to confuse onlookers.

No, you use different mappings for different premises. Read the page on subjunctive possibility.

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Existence is NOT a predicate.

I thought you didn't like red herrings?

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Again, we see the messy application of modal logic. You are being inconsistent in your definitions of your possible worlds. If you are sticking to the temporal premises of 1 and 2

They are not temporal premises.  At what point did I use any symbols which are restricted to temporal logic?

That's just the problem. You didn't, they are unspoken assumptions in your model.

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I am not talking about truths relative to our linear time.  I am positing nothing more than the modalities of possibility, contingency, and necessity.  This can be atemporal as well as temporal.  Eternal beings do not have the potential to not exist.  You can describe this in temporal terms, but it is not restricted to temporal modalities.

Eternal means "exists at all times". This is a truth relative to our linear time. In another possible world, with a completely different timeline, e may not exist at all, ever.

Imagine a universe A, where at all times, Fred exists. Now imagine another universe B, where at all times, Fred does not exist. Fred is an eternal being. But he only exists in A, and does not exist in B. He does not exist in all possible worlds, and he does not not exist in all possible worlds. Premises 1 and 2 fail.

By the way, 'potential' is not a member of the set {possibility, contingency, necessity}. The way you use it, it has an unspoken assumption of temporality. 'Eternal' is also inherently temporal.

Your assumption is that possible worlds must be tied to a single universal timeline. This assumption is false, because *logic* is not limited to speaking of *reality*.

(This may be a good time to point out that for your purposes, modal logic is not 'working' for you. It does not work for all situations. You're trying to get it to do things it cannot do. You cannot use modal logic to reason about reality, while simultaneously using it to reason about counterfactuals that are not real.)

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If that's true, then there are possible worlds where e never (i.e. at no physical time) existed.

That's precisely what I am arguing against.

And that's why your argument fails.

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If E exists, then E cannot possibly not exist.  If E does not exist, then E cannot possibly exist.  These are intrinsic in the definition of eternal.    This is equally true in a timeless environment.

No, it is not equally true in models which include many possible timelines. This is because you *assume* that all possible worlds *must* mean all possible times. But that assumption is false, because *logic* is not limited to speaking of *reality*. Time is a physical, not logical, concept. Modal logic is not limited to a single timeline.

Either premise 4 fails, or premises 1 and 2 fail. Take your pick.

 

Here's a logical model which defeats your argument:

w0 = {A, t0, Fred}

w1 = {A, t1, Fred}

w2 = {B, t0, ~Fred}

w3 = {B, t1, ~Fred}

Accessibility: w1 is accessible from w0 (timeline A), and w3 is accessible from w2 (timeline B), and aside from these two accessibility relations, no other worlds are accessible from any other worlds.

(Worlds are not necessarily times in a single timeline; in this case, worlds are times in a particular timeline, here indicated by A or B.)

Fred exists at all *times* (t0 and t1) on *timeline A*. He is eternal in A and exists in A.

Fred does not exist, for all *times* (t0 and t1) on *timeline B*. He is eternal in B, but does not exist in B.

In all possible *worlds* (w0,w1,w2,w3), Fred is eternal. Thus, Fred is necessarily eternal. Thus, Fred is eternal.

In timeline A, Fred exists, and has no possibility of not existing. And in timeline B, Fred doesn't exist, and has no possibility of existing.

However, when all possible *worlds* are considered, Fred has the possibility of existing, and the possibility of not existing.

Furthermore, Fred is not contradictory in nature (he can't be, he's an atomic symbol).

On timeline B, Fred has no possibility of existing, but he's not contradictory, so your premise 4 is false.

Without specifying a particular timeline, you cannot conclude that Fred exists, or that Fred doesn't exist, you can only conclude that Fred either exists or he doesn't, i.e. that Fred is contingent.

So, Fred is eternal, non-contradictory, and we still don't know whether he exists or he doesn't. Modal logic has not helped one bit.

 

Similarly, if you want to stick to a single timeline

w0 = {t0, ~Fred}

w1 = {t1, ~Fred}

Here, Fred is eternal, non-contradictory, and doesn't exist. An example of a logical contradiction would be Fred ^ ~Fred. Simply not existing doesn't make you logically contradictory.

 

If you are trying to make an argument about reality (which you are, seeing as you call it an 'ontological' argument), then you need to specify what possible worlds you are considering and how they relate to reality, such as how they relate to time and timelines. (This is where you jump between two types of possibility, when you should stick to one.)

If your argument (as you've claimed) is that worlds can operate on different timelines in the past (counterfactuals), then two timelines can be completely disjoint, sharing no common starting point. Consider these different starting points the 'starting conditions' of the timeline.

In one timeline, the starting conditions include "e exists". In the other, the starting conditions include "e does not exist". Unless you can identify which timeline corresponds to *our* reality (the reality that is really real), then your argument will never get you anywhere. You will always end up at "Either e exists or it doesn't."

In other words, are we on timeline A or timeline B? Does Fred exist, or does he not exist?

If you're sticking to a single timeline, with no past counterfactuals, then it is possible that Fred simply does not exist, and your argument still gets you nowhere. Does Fred exist or doesn't he?

 

Finally, I'll pose you a question which hopefully should make it clear (but I'm not holding my breath). Imagine two timelines A, and B:

- A is exactly like our universe in every known way, plus the starting condition that your non-contradictory eternal being, e, exists, and hence exists for all possible times in A.

- B is exactly like our universe in every known way, plus the starting condition that your non-contradictory eternal being, e, *does not* exist, and hence does not exist for any possible time in B.

We would like to know, in reality (the reality that's really real), whether e really exists, or really does not exist. To that end, we try modal logic.

Consider a modal logic model, M, with possible worlds defined as the union of the worlds (times) of A with the worlds (times) of B, but no accessibility between the worlds of A and the worlds of B (A and B remain disjoint, separate timelines with different starting conditions).

Does our reality (the reality that's really real) correspond to timeline A, where e exists, or timeline B, where e does not exist, and how do you know?

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