• Cavacava
    2.1k


    The fundamental vision practitioners of this magic show about our reality, their true metaphysical framework, is a demonstration of the ideality of the real and the reality of ideation; so long as a magician is skilled and driven enough to dissolve the boundaries between the two. All spells ensnare a portion of our shared narrative, carve out the magician's place upon it through sheer will, and tear the new narrative screaming from the ideal into the real; from the immaterial to the material. Though often overlooked, the powers of chaos magic are pregnant in all uses of language: and what black arts this thread can teach.

    Let me make sure I understand what you are saying here. 'God' does not exist prior to man's invention. The people who brought 'G' into existence, these magicians were able to "dissolve the boundaries between", "the ideality of the real and the reality of ideation", bringing 'G' into the real. The real which is at its base is an ideality for man.

    I think it works the other way round, 'G' is fetishized, some what in the same way jimmy choo stilettos are fetish items, where their reality points to their ideality
  • fdrake
    484


    Ontological arguments are examples of summoning magic.They work in the same way as a chaos magic summoning ritual, an array of symbols (premises and their entailment relations) are given the power to transform something from an ideal existence (something thought) to a real one (something actual). They do this with no imposition or restriction from the already actual. The mechanism is by taking the distinction between the actual and the ideal and dissolving it; which works by recognising it (assuming it) as already dissolved.

    This is exactly what chaos magic does when summoning beings; interpretation and thought are fundamentally believed as a creative act embodied in a symbolic ritual (an argument here), and the target being: the one that's considered creatively through and with the symbols; is imbued with actuality by its embodiment in the symbols used in the ritual. It is as if actuality is contagious. This is a physical form of the modal collapse step in modal versions of the argument from 'possibly necessary => necessary'. Its analogue is 'ideal in actual (thought in symbol mark) => actual (full properties of the being are actualised exactly as imagined)'. It's also very similar to a theological insistence that the transubstantiation is literally Jesus' body and blood being consumed; the bread and the wine are actual versions of their mythological functions.

    In essence, ontological arguments are attempts to summon God into actuality through the play of symbols. The God summoned is the one that passes through the words' meanings as their interpretation in the ritual (argument), being equal to their referent and (posited as, this is magic) already actual ground. Structurally, they are bundles of words which are (purported) literal sufficient conditions for an entity's existence, they are summoning magic.
  • StreetlightX
    1.8k
    The mechanism is by taking the distinction between the actual and the ideal and dissolving it; which works by recognising it (assuming it) as already dissolvedfdrake

    What's actually interesting too is the way it does this: knowing that it's literally impossible to move from ideality to actuality, it begins in actuality ('God exists in thought', etc), but always a kind of deficient actuality. From here, two steps are necessary - first, showing how this beginning in actuality can't measure up to the ideality of what God 'ought' to be ('the greatest being conceivable'), and second, concluding from this failure of initial actuality that the ideality must therefore be the case. This three-step dance of sophistry is what characterizes every ontological argument, and also exposes it for the fraudulent magical thinking that, as you rightly point out, it is.
  • fdrake
    484


    The distinction between actual and ideal things is usually subordinated in the argument through a relation with undetermined scope. In the 'greater than which cannot be conceived' formulation, it's the 'greater than' which ranges over ideal and actual, which means an existential proposition containing the 'greater than' relation ranges over a partitioned set of ideal and actual entities (which is typically set up explicitly in a premise). It makes sense that the more similar someone posits ideal and actual - or the more similar they set it up in the argument - the stronger the argument will seem. Possibly why the belief that things are more real the more they actualise their potentials and turning it up to 11 for the idea of God goes along with ontological arguments so well.

    Modal arguments have the distinction dissolved in the background, hidden in the accessibility relation.
    It's essentially a forgotten or usually unrepeated premise that all possible worlds and this world are in an equivalence relation. So the modal arguments take the form 'imagine that X is the case, by the nature of X X is possibly necessarily the case, so it's necessarily the case, so it's the case'. Equivalence accessibility relations conjure possibilities into actuality through necessity. If what can be imagined is all possible, then every imagined entity necessary to its associated narrative comes into being.

    A highly rationalised form of black magic.
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    Fixed it.StreetlightX
    No, you haven't fixed it. You've made it into a non-sequitur.

    (1) God exists in the understanding, but not in reality (assumption for reductio).
    (2) Existence in reality is greater than existence in the understanding alone. (premise)
    (3) A Being having all of God's properties plus existence in reality can be conceived. (premise)
    (4) From (1) and (2), a being having all of God's properties plus existence in reality is would be greater than God.
    (5) From (3) and (4), a Being greater than God can be conceived.
    (6) It is false that a Being greater than God can be conceived (by definition).
    (7) Hence, it is false that God exists in the understanding, but not in reality.
    — Alvin Plantinga
    As a non-native speaker, your change of "is" into "would be" in (4) seems fair. But this change does not solicit the corresponding change you've added to the conclusion, that's just arbitrary. In fact, the conclusion that follows can probably remain unchanged.

    In fact, if we are to make it more exact, the change should be:
    (1) God exists in the understanding, but not in reality (assumption for reductio).
    (2) Existence in reality is greater than existence in the understanding alone. (premise)
    (3) A Being having all of God's properties plus existence in reality can be conceived. (premise)
    (4) From (1) and (2), a being having all of God's properties plus existence in reality is would be greater than God.
    (5) From (3) and (4), a Being greater than God can be conceived.
    (6) It is false that a Being greater than God can be conceived (by definition).
    (7) Hence, it is false that God would exists in the understanding, but not in reality.
    — Alvin Plantinga
    Then we account for the hypothetical being, and the atheist has to show that God doesn't exist in the understanding.
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    Also, it's something that is exaggerated to think the argument is a sophism, when heavy-weights like even Hegel thought that it is important.
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    But, I will grant you this - the atheist does not have to show that the idea of God is incoherent or logically contradictory to deny the argument (as most people think). It suffices to show that the idea of God, (or the Absolute, or call it how you will) cannot exist in the (finite) understanding.
  • StreetlightX
    1.8k
    No, you haven't fixed it. You've made it into a non-sequitur.Agustino

    I didn't make it into a non-sequitur. It is a non-sequitur. As for this:

    (7) Hence, it is false that God would exist in the understanding, but not in reality. — Alvin Plantinga

    Leaving aside that you've changed the sentence structure so that it no longer reflects the proposition (1) that it needs to mirror so as to disprove (the entire point of the exercise), let's not forget that 'would' functions here as a conditional (grammatically, a 'second conditional'): every 'would' must be coupled with an 'if', or a least a condition under which it 'would be the case'. And that condition, in this case, is precisely... you guessed it, 'if God existed'. Hence the facile nature of all 'ontological arguments'.

    Modal arguments have the distinction dissolved in the background, hidden in the accessibility relation.fdrake

    Yup. The modal crap is just another way of burying the petitio principii deeper and in a more technical and even less obvious way.
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    I didn't make it into a non-sequitur. It is a non-sequitur.StreetlightX
    Your version is a non-sequitur, since the conclusion you presented does not follow from the premises.

    Leaving aside that you've changed the sentence structure so that it no longer reflects the proposition (1) that it needs to mirror so as to disprove (the entire point of the exercise)StreetlightX
    (1) is an assumption. The conclusion is in accordance with the assumption. That's why we say that it is false that God would exist in the understanding (assumption (1)) and not also in reality.
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    'would' must be coupled with an 'if'StreetlightX
    Even if this is granted, the "would" is coupled with the if of God existing in the understanding, not with the if of God existing in reality.
  • Michael
    5.6k
    @Agustino

    (3) A Being having all of God's properties plus existence in reality can be conceived. (premise)
    (4) From (1) and (2), a being having all of God's properties plus existence in reality is greater than God.
    (5) From (3) and (4), a Being greater than God can be conceived.
    — Alvin Plantinga

    5) doesn't make sense. There's no conceptual difference between the Being in 3) and the supposed "greater" Being in 5). In both cases we conceive of a being with all of God's properties plus existence in reality.

    It seems to retroactively change 3) to "A Being having all of God's properties plus existence in understanding only can be conceived".
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    5) doesn't make sense.Michael
    Why not? (3) establishes only that such a being can be conceived, not that it is also greater than God. It is (4) that establishes this. Thus (5) is a conclusion combining both (3) and (4) to tell us that a Being greater (the greater comes from (4)) than God (as conceived in assumption (1)) can be conceived.
  • Michael
    5.6k


    In 3) we conceive of a being who has God's properties and exists in reality. According to 5) we can conceive of something greater than this. So what are we conceiving?
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    According to 5) we can conceive of something greater than this. So what are we conceiving?Michael
    No, "God" in (5) refers to the God we have conceived in (1). Greater than that God.
  • Michael
    5.6k
    Then all the argument shows is that a being who is imagined to be real and have God's properties is greater than a being who is imagined to be imaginary and have God's properties. But there's no way to deduce from this that there is a being who is real and has God's properties.

    God is defined as a being than which none greater can be imagined. If a being that is imagined to exist in reality is greater than a being that is imagined to exist in understanding alone then the first premise of the argument is:

    1) [A being that is imagined to exist in reality ... ] exists in the understanding, but not in reality.

    According to 5) we can imagine something greater, but this is wrong; we're just re-imagining the same thing – namely, a being that is imagined to exist in reality.

    That the thing we imagine doesn't exist in reality isn't that we imagine it to not exist in reality. The argument is guilty of conflating these two different things.
  • StreetlightX
    1.8k
    The conclusion is in accordance with the assumption.Agustino

    Not in your formulation. Compare:

    (1) God exists in the understanding, but not in reality [original]
    (7) Hence, it is false that God would exist in the understanding, but not in reality. [Your forumlation]

    If (1) is P, (7) is not ¬P. My formulation works because I've qualified the proposition. You've altogether changed it. This is just a failure of basic logical form, not to speak of content.

    Even if this is granted, the "would" is coupled with the if of God existing in the understanding, not with the if of God existing in reality.Agustino

    You don't understand. The point of changing 'is' to 'would be' is to expose the fact that 'existence in the understanding' is hypothetical to begin with. To 'exist in the understanding' is precisely to not exist, or, if we want to be consistent and introduce some terminology, it is to have 'unactualized existence'. So the point is that the Being with 'existence in reality' is simply a 'better hypothetical', but a hypothetical nonetheless.

    This is the whole conceit of the - in fact any - ontological proof: it grants existence to what, by definition, does not exist. It equivocates on the whole concept of existence, confusing, from the very beginning, ideality and actuality, as @fdrake rightly pointed out.

    Then all the argument shows is that a being who is imagined to be real and have God's properties is greater than a being who is imagined to be imaginary and have God's properties.Michael

    Exactly right - and every single 'ontological argument' does this.
  • charleton
    843
    Then all the argument shows is that a being who is imagined to be real and have God's properties is greater than a being who is imagined to be imaginary and have God's properties.
    — Michael
    StreetlightX

    These are the same things.

    What about an imagined imaginary imagined God?
    Surely such a thing would be "greater" for having to be more difficult to conceive?ad infinitem...

    And then if YOU imagine an imagined imaginary imagined God, and ask me to imagine your conception of it, would that not be greater still?
  • StreetlightX
    1.8k
    Luckily, existence is bivalent: either something exists, or it does not. The rest, like your post, is word-play.
  • fdrake
    484


    Doing something with an ideal object in a manner which treats it as ideal, like imagining a snark, is a lot different from doing something that treats the same object as real, like going outside for a snark hunt. Another example, coming up with a fictional character and telling a story about them is a lot different from having an imaginary friend you believe is real.

    If the distinction between actions which treat some their involved objects as ideal entities - products of ideation in its broadest sense - and actions which treat all of their involved objects as actual entities - products of more than ideation in its broadest sense - is removed; that can land you in an asylum, for real. It removes the distinction between fantasy and reality, along with thoughts of things and things.

    Or maybe you're a chaos magician!
  • fdrake
    484


    I wanted to respond to this, from your posts and Deleuze studies I believe you think of existence univocally. How do you deal with different strata like ideal and actual?

    I think of it disjunctively, like there's a list of distinct modes of being. Each mode has a bunch of different and possibly overlapping generating conditions. Eg we make ideas through ideation but we can't say that bricks are products of ideation alone.

    I view it like: bricks are a composite of physical processes of individuation to make their constituents, coupled actual/ideational ones to take the constituents and turn them into a brick. Then its derived/imagined function ('being part of a wall') is ideal but the functioning itself plays out in actuality: its prescriptive ideal function ('what is to be done with the brick') and the virtual regularities that allow it are tightly linked in a manner that allows some kind of co-realisation, a tandem movement in actuality and ideality where its path is its potential carving itself out. The mechanism of this movement itself is the virtual form of existence.

    I think of this virtual dimension of any individuating process (ideation or cement mixing/baking/shaping) as constraining immanence to that process; a developmental trajectory generated through other constitutive (cement mixing) or limiting (cement needs hardening to be a brick) individuating processes which simultaneously constrains the trajectory and pushes along it. In a more prosaic form, existence has a good analogy to water filling a cup. The water being the instigating developmental trajectories, the cup being the immanent limitation/demarcation of them, and the cup-filling as their constitutive (of the cup-filling) dynamical union.

    So to be is to be involved in these processes in general. On topic, I'd say that God does indeed exist but is formed through ideational and discursive processes constrained by their own histories, and can act as an instigator and constraint in other processes; a myth that nevertheless has moved mountains.
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