Talk:Ontological argument

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The argument assumes that something has to meet the definition of god. otherwise the conclusion would not follow. --Tim (CPAdmin1)talk 12:37, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

Ontological arguments are interesting, but ultimately they're just word games and prove nothing. Atheists (except the rabid YouTube variety) simply don't care about them. They're attractive to people who already believe in god, but utterly unconvincing to those who don't. Interesting, as I said, but ultimately a self-licking lollipop. There are better things to spend time on. --SamCoulter 19:09, 26 August 2011 (EDT)

Section deleted from article: Counter-criticism

Is not the ideal which is God made sensible by the fact that the principle of deductive logic cannot itself be deduced? It must, like ontological arguments for God, be assumed “in order to be proved“.
The way in which existence is deduced as a property of perfection is different from the way in which a future (pending) puddle on pavement is deduced from present rain, because, unless something exists as a property of itself, then nothing exists. In other words, non-existence is not a property either of anything that does exist or of anything that does not exist; while existence is a property of anything that does exist; and, only some things may exist necessarily; and, perfection of the ultimate concept (God) includes necessary existence; and, existence in any sense is not necessarily included in the concept of a personally possessed hundred thalers.
If God exists, then His existence surely is a necessary property of His perfection. But, if God does not exist, then it remains to be explained how it can be deduced that existence is not a property of anything that exists. For, if nothing, including existence, is inherently mutual to anything, then nothing at all can be deduced, in any way, from anything.

Requesting reason(s) for deletion of section on Counter-critism, and pending action to restore a largely unbaised revision of section

Maybe I don’t have the best handle on this. I sure feel that I can barely make any sense of the issue as it is, and I have nearly as much trouble grasping the reasoning (which I simulated by visual words) in my own added section to the article. My guess as to the principle motive for its deletion from the article is that it was not written in an unbiased form. But, the entire article on omnipotence is anything but unbiased, and none of it has been touched. So, I'm not sure. In any case, I intend to revise my said section with consideration for an ideally disinterested encyclopedic tone which treats the reader with respect for possible differences. This is a respect by which I myself prefer to be treated when I'm not feeling the need to find a closely agreeable authoritative source. But, I know of no source document that says what I say in said section, so I made no effort to write it in an unbiased way. PatternOfPersona 12:29, 16 September 2011 (EDT)

problems of (not) presupposing necessity

What might it mean to say that no kind of thing exists necessarily? It seems to me that this question is the tacit root of the Ontological Argument. It was the reason I had added the things that comprised the now-deleted Counter-criticism section. I think most people assume that there is something which is unchanging and which underlies all the (rest of the) physical world (for atheists, this would be a Unified Field Theory, String Theory, or etc.). I think that if the Ontological Argument were reformulated in such secular terms, then there would not be a problem with it in the minds of atheists, unlike how they are determined to see problems with the current theological version. PatternOfPersona 12:29, 16 September 2011 (EDT)

Three quarters down the page at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-ontological/ it says:

'Kant observes that there is no intrinsic difference between the concept of a hundred real thalers (coins common in Kant's time) and the concept of a hundred possible thalers. Whenever we think of anything, we regard it as existing, even if the thing in question does not actually exist. Thus, existence does not add anything to the concept of a thing.'

I say yes-and-no to the final statement in that quote, since the statement is a formal version of a logical oversimplification regarding 'things' (some things are direct, first-order necessary fictions such as that '2+2=5', and some things are indirect, second-order necessary fictions such as that 'the Earth is flat like a waffle'; so, unless God is direct, first-order necessary fiction, then there is at least some intellectual traction in the substance (though not the normal interpretation of the form) of the ontological argument). First, the ideas both of ‘existence’ and of ‘necessary existence’ do add to the material, effectual concept of ‘God’, in that the idea of necessary existence (and, thus, existence) must be subtracted---and arbitrarily so---from any one or more of the material, effectual attributes of the concept of ‘God’. For example, while the existence of power does not add to the effectual nature of power, in that power, rather than power’s 'existence', is that which effects other material things, power cannot not exist without requiring that any other material thing not exist (whatever exists has some power, and whatever necessarily exists has/is a necessary power). Second, actual existence does not pertain necessarily to an arbitrary fiction such as a half-elephant-half-mouse. Third, actual existence necessarily does not pertain to a necessary fiction such as a ‘purple verb’ or the equation of ‘2+2=5’.

The concept of God is unique in that: a) it is not a direct necessary fiction, b) it is not an arbitrary fiction, c) it is not an arbitrary possibility (like things that are already known to exist, such as a hundred-thalers-currently-in-your-purse). In other words, if God does not actually exist as a material object, but is merely an idea of the mind, then the problem is from what does that idea come?

Is the concept of God a contingency of some more basic concepts? If not, and, if, according to atheists, God (nevertheless) is a necessary fiction...

Speaking for myself, it seems to me that the concept which I call ‘God’ is that idea which, without regard to my knowledge of the world, I hold to be the ‘logically best thing’. In other words, I think of God immediately as all that which is logically best, despite how the various parts of the concept might seem not to logically cohere either with one another or with what I know or believe about the world. I see neither possibility nor desirability to rid myself of the concept, though it is possible for a human person not to be used to thinking at a given complex level about it. Hence, while a person may have only a most vague and primitive conscious knowledge of it, I assume it nevertheless is there in everyone, in every necessary complex detail, in the human subconscious. For, if it were not there to begin with, in most implicit form, then I don’t see how it could ever be developed consciously to the least degree, nor that anyone---theist or atheist---could think themselves palpably right in what they feel must be the definitions of some of its parts. But, I find curious that any one of its parts is held to easily be coherent both with itself and with the potential or actual state of the world: that, despite this ease, there is a certain difficulty in finding how its parts might all be coherent with respect to one another, since the human individual must ever refer to a directly personal, conscious knowledge of the world.

As one example, the concept of omnipresence is palpably known, and thus agreed to prior to any exhaustive attempt to define it: Some one kind of thing, or else every kind of thing put together, must be everywhere. PatternOfPersona 10:45, 18 September 2011 (EDT)

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