I just found out what an Ontological arguement was...

I faked being sick from work today because I didn't feel like going, so I decided to learn some philosophy!! Yay! And I finally figured out what this "ontological argument" was, and boy, is it ridiculous! Mind games, delusional mind games. It's sad to know that people were so delusional as to come up with an idea like that. You could create any number of imagined things! Even Thomas Aquinas knew this argument was bunk! An ontological argument seems to be the loophole of all loopholes. Kinda like saying that "since in the Bible it says God is real, and the Bible is never wrong, then God is real! ZOMG so easy."

So it goes like this. Since God, by definition, is so perfect and unimaginable a thing as can be, try as you must, but you can NEVER imagine him. The second you think you've got it in your head, the second it's not God, because you cannot imagine God in all his perfectiness. Therefore, we fulfill the defenition of God as an unimaginable thing! Viola x a million!

For fucks sake. It makes me sad to know that I was once deluded enough to where I would have bought this argument as a great way to support my belief in God. No wonder I went crazy!

The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...

triften's picture

Tomcat wrote: I faked being

Tomcat wrote:
I faked being sick from work today because I didn't feel like going, so I decided to learn some philosophy!!

Hey, maintaining one's mental health is just as important as maintaining physical health. Smiling

I'm home from work, too. 

StMichael's picture

I would agree that the

I would agree that the ontological argument has a fundamental flaw, but I would point out that you misunderstand the argument. The argument is not that God is unimaginable at all, or that the Bible says God exists therefore He exists.

The argument follows as such in Saint Anselm, summarized by Saint Thomas Aquinas:

"For by ["God"] is signified that thing than which nothing greater can be conceived. But that which exists actually and mentally is greater than that which exists only mentally. Therefore, since as soon as the word "God" is understood it exists mentally, it also follows that it exists actually."

But this is false basically because it attempts to prove God's existence from what God is. While God's nature is as a necessarily existing thing, God's nature as it is in Himself is not self-evident to us, but can only be "gotten to" by way of created things - His effects. Hence, the argument fails.

 Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.

todangst's picture

StMichael wrote: But this

StMichael wrote:

But this is false basically because it attempts to prove God's existence from what God is. While God's nature is as a necessarily existing thing, God's nature as it is in Himself is not self-evident to us, but can only be "gotten to" by way of created things - His effects. Hence, the argument fails.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

You misunderstand the refutation. The refutation exists on multiple levels.

Ontological error: we cannot assign a nature to something beyond nature.

Logical blunder: the argument commits a reification fallacy (although to be fair, it can't actually get this far, because no one can concieve of a god, or something actually 'perfect' for that matter - i.e. for which nothing can be greater)

The logical error itself exists on multiple levels... is every person's conception 'for which nothing can be considered greater'  equivalent? No.

Ontological error, part 2 - using 'existence' as a predicate is a basic error, as the law of identity states 'to exist is to exist as something.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.

StMichael's picture

First, God has a nature.

First, God has a nature. His nature is to exist. You are using different meanings of nature equivalently.

Second, it depends what you mean by "reification fallacy." I would disagree on one level, seeing that Anslem's inference is perfectly valid from the terms. If we were to use the term "God" as such a being, it would logically follow that such a being would necessarily exist. However, His essence is beyond us so that we cannot define His nature a priori. Second, agreeing with you, the most we would prove is that the being itself would be necessary, but not that such a being actually exists in reality.

Third, I see no reason why a person cannot concieve a concept of a thing which is that of which nothing greater can be thought. In fact, I have just concieved such an idea of a being possessing all manner of perfection. 

Fourth, in matter of whether everyone's conception of "greater" is, I agree with you that the matter is frought with difficulty. However, I tend to agree with St. Anselm that, absolutely considered, there would be little problem moving to his notion of such a being from any position of what is "greater."

Fifth, I think it is clear that existence does exist as a predicate, regardless of what other people might say (yes, I know Kant rejects this). What you mean in this context is that the mental existence of the term does not necessitate an actual existence. The only way to prove that would be to accept that such a being exists in the first place, which is precisely what is being proven.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

 

 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.

zarathustra's picture

In case the argument has

In case the argument has not been turned fully on its head yet, may I offer this up:

 

If we deduce "god" from "that greater than which cannot be conceived", what do we deduce from "that less than which cannot be conceived"?  A negative God?  

 

Add them together and what are we left with?  Nothing! 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††

Pikachu's picture

P1. A perfect God must

    P1. If God is perfect, then God depends on nothing.
    P2. Therefore, nothing depends on God.
    C1. God is nothing.

God had no time to create time.

StMichael's picture

No, the less than which can

No, the less than which can be concieved would be nothingness. And there is no reason one would "add them together." Such a phrase carries no meaning.

 Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.

zarathustra's picture

If you can conceive of 0,

If you can conceive of 0, and then conceive of -1, I bet you can conceive of something less than nothingness.  An infinite vacuum, perhaps, an ultimate black hole, which slowly draws everything into it, including god.

 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††

Pikachu's picture

P1. God > 0 = imperfectP2.

    P1. God > 0 = imperfect
    P2. God < 0 = imperfect
    C1. God = 0 = perfect