• charleton
    843


    It does not exist just because you imagine it does, and there is nothing more to be said on that matter.
    So why bother?
  • charleton
    843
    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.fdrake

    What you believe is of no consequence at all.
  • fdrake
    484


    I don't understand the context of the response. Do you think you're debunking a theist?
  • charleton
    843


    Your belief does not make a thing true. In an "ontological" argument, as in any other belief is of no consequence.
  • StreetlightX
    1.8k
    Yeah, Charlie I don't think you understand what's going on at all.

    I'll have to get back to you later on - I'm heading overseas in a few hours and might be MIA for a while. In the meantime, here is why God is a lobster [pdf].
  • charleton
    843
    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.fdrake

    NOT in matters of ontology.
  • charleton
    843
    ↪charleton Yeah, Charlie I don't think you understand what's going on at all.StreetlightX

    You can believe what you like. If it helps you to think the fault is with me, then think that. But as with all cases belief is useless, unless grounded.
  • fdrake
    484


    And you read me as supportive of ontological arguments and the idea that concepts alone can vouchsafe a being's actuality?
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    The point of changing 'is' to 'would be' is to expose the fact that 'existence in the understanding' is hypothetical to begin with.StreetlightX
    Why?

    It equivocates on the whole concept of existence, confusing, from the very beginning, ideality and actualityStreetlightX
    That's your mistake. Ideality and actuality are different only in finite beings. But for the infinite being, God, there is no gap between ideality and actuality. So of course, if you treat God as a finite thing - as one more being amongst other beings - then the argument fails. That's precisely the reason why the argument doesn't work for the perfect island.
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    I think it's quite clear that existence in the understanding is not hypothetical - God really exists in the understanding, that is the claim of premise (1).
  • fdrake
    484
    I have an idea of being with some ideality and actuality in it - as all beings -, brought about by the gaps of unfulfilled potentials. In my head, I imagine the rotation of a button on my oven, turning the heat down from 9 to 0, thus the unfulfilled potentials vanish and a being is born. The most real of all beings. I shall call this being God.
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    God is defined as a being than which none greater can be imagined.Michael
    God is rather defined as maximally great.

    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:Michael
    The being is not imagined to exist in reality. "Imagined" is not a useful word. To exist in the understanding is to exist qua thought & concept (which is similar to your imagination). To exist in reality is to be an instantiation of whatever the corresponding thought or concept is. The argument is not talking about imagining God as existing in reality.
  • Agustino
    10.1k
    And you read me as supportive of ontological arguments and the idea that concepts alone can vouchsafe a being's actuality?fdrake
    You've been spewing a lot of nonsense in this thread, but this mistaken understanding is precisely the problem. You treat God as another being amongst beings - as finite. Sure, for a finite being, concept and actuality are not identical.
  • fdrake
    484


    Nah. God's infinite, obviously. That's how I understand him. That's why God is real.
  • Michael
    5.6k
    The being is not imagined to exist in reality. "Imagined" is not a useful word. To exist in the understanding is to exist qua thought & concept (which is similar to your imagination). To exist in reality is to be an instantiation of whatever the corresponding thought or concept is. The argument is not talking about imagining God as existing in reality.Agustino

    But the premise is that we can imagine something greater. So we have two different concepts: G1 and G2. How do these concepts differ such that G2 is greater than G1? The claim of the argument is that G2 is imagined to exist in reality and G1 is imagined to exist in understanding alone. This is the mistake that the argument makes. G1 isn't imagined to exist in understanding alone: G1 is imagined to exist in reality. It's just that, as a matter of fact, it doesn't exist in reality.

    The argument conflates the content of a concept (e.g. God is imagined to be real/unreal) with a fact about that concept (e.g. God is real/unreal).
  • charleton
    843
    That's your mistake. Ideality and actuality are different only in finite beings. But for the infinite being, God, there is no gap between ideality and actuality. So of course, if you treat God as a finite thing - as one more being amongst other beings - then the argument fails. That's precisely the reason why the argument doesn't work for the perfect island.Agustino

    LOL.
    Here's why I make the point.
  • charleton
    843
    I shall call this being God.fdrake

    Has he got big ears and a fluffy tail? Does he tend to hop and love carrots?
  • charleton
    843
    The argument conflates the content of a concept (e.g. God is imagined to be real/unreal) with a fact about that concept (e.g. God is real/unreal).Michael

    As I say, belief makes no difference to an ontological argument.
    It does not make it 'greater'.
  • StreetlightX
    1.8k
    God really exists in the understanding, that is the claim of premiseAgustino

    Yeah, and the premise is nonsense, or at least worded in a purposely misleading way. That a cake 'exists in the understanding' means precisely that the cake doesn't exist, or rather, what exists is the 'understanding' of a cake. This is elementary school grammar, and it's insulting and embarrassing that this needs to be explained to anyone over the age of 10: the understanding of the cake, and not the cake, is the subject of the sentence. The wording of the premise is absolute sophistical bullshit. As ever, God is a grammar mistake. As for the hand waving distinction between 'finite and 'infinite beings', that's just what you're trying to prove, so to invoke that distinction in the argument's defence is just question begging claptrap. Next.
  • Michael
    5.6k
    As I say, belief makes no difference to an ontological argument.charleton

    It does, as the key premise of the argument is "we can imagine something greater". The content of our concepts are an integral part of the argument.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.