God exists ?

  • #51
Evo
Mentor
23,141
2,697
Chronos said:
We can argue whether it is logical to believe in God, but not the existence of God. The proposition is neither provable or unprovable.
That's what I said two pages ago. :approve: Watch out, you will be criticized by AKG for "wasting space in a philosophical thread with pointless little comments".

Evo said:
trying to justify the existence of "god". I told him I think it's pointless, and it is. No one is going to prove or disprove it.
 
Last edited:
  • #52
honestrosewater
Gold Member
2,105
5
So how does one argue that some object- any object- O possibly exists? If O does exist, O possibly exists, yes? Failing that O is known to exist, how else can one conclude that O possibly exists? Is it enough to show that O could exist without contradiction? Or must it be impossible for O to not exist? Etc.
 
  • #53
hypnagogue
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,244
2
honestrosewater said:
So how does one argue that some object- any object- O possibly exists? If O does exist, O possibly exists, yes? Failing that O is known to exist, how else can one conclude that O possibly exists? Is it enough to show that O could exist without contradiction? Or must it be impossible for O to not exist? Etc.
Showing that O could exist without necessarily entailing logical contradiction would amount to showing that it's logically possible (perhaps 'metaphysically possible' too, though I'm not very clear on what the difference between logical and metaphysical possibility is supposed to be). To show that something is possible in our world (nomologically possible), we'd minimally have to show that it doesn't contradict known physical laws and principles (although this is an imperfect method, as our knowledge of physical law is imperfect-- for instance, prior to the advent of QM some existent physical phenomena would have failed this test).

If we try to show that it is impossible that O does not exist, then we're making a stronger claim-- not that it is possible that O exists, but that it is necessary that O exists.
 
  • #54
honestrosewater
Gold Member
2,105
5
hypnagogue said:
If we try to show that it is impossible that O does not exist, then we're making a stronger claim-- not that it is possible that O exists, but that it is necessary that O exists.
Oh, right, that makes sense. Thanks.
AKG said:
I see no justification for <>G
Why not? I guess you can't show that assuming <>G leads to a contradiction (I imagine you would say so otherwise)? I'm just curious. I haven't learned modal logic yet, and I can't see where you would run into difficulties proving either <>G or <>~G (still assuming G => []G).
 
  • #55
AKG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2,565
4
honestrosewater

It's not a matter of proving <>G or <>~G. <>G is asserted as a premise, it is not a theorem of modal logic. The argument I've seen for <>G is that God is defined as "the greatest possible being" so, prima facie, <>G. However, just putting the word "possible" in a description doesn't mean that it refers to a possible being. Even if we describe a number X as the greatest possible integer, such an X is impossible, i.e. calling it "possible" doesn't make it possible.

Also, it can be said that there is a difference between "logical possibility" and "metaphysical possibility". Just because it is concievable that God exists, that may not mean that it is really possible. Note that the characteristic property of God given here that G -> []G leads to fact that <>G & <>~G is contradictory. Normally, we say things like aliens possibly exist, and possibly they don't, so if A = "aliens exist", then we normally have it that <>A & <>~A. Because of God's necessary existence, this conjunction would be contradictory, so whereas with aliens, we have no problem assuming <>A since we can just take it from <>A & <>~A, we don't have <>G & <>~G, so we can't just assume <>G.
Evo said:
YOU are defining god and placing YOUR definition into the formula. There truly is no single definition of "god".
It may surprise you to learn that Owen didn't make up this argument, it's a rather old, and rather famous argument. This argument was originally put forth by St. Anselm, and an integral part of this argument is the definition of God, which he gives as the one I gave. I didn't just choose that definition, it's the one that goes with the argument. I also think many people might be inclined to agree with the definition.
I never said that it was "pointless just because it talks about a god", your mistake.
You said, specifically: "I will go further and say that I think any discussion of if there is one god or one hundred or none or whose god is better is pointless." You've also said that no person will prove either way whether God exists or not. Of course, you make this strong claim but won't back it up. You have essentially said that any discussion on the existence of God is pointless. You have said that discussions of God and religion from a sociological perspective have merit, but you have said the argument is pointless because it talks about the existence of God, and you have given no reason for anyone to believe this. This is the philosophy section, you are supposed to give arguments for your positions. If, as you claim, and discussion on the ontology of God(s) is pointless, tell us why? If not, please don't post here.
Ah, so you do admit the formula is seriously flawed and therefore it would be pointless to use it in a discussion of if there is a "god" or whatever.
You claim that since it is a formula, or since it talks about God's existence, it is pointless to discuss. Nobody cares if this is what you think if you're not going to bother justifying it. I claim that this argument for God is flawed, and it's definition of God is somewhat vacuous. I claim that the argument has flaws, and I point them out, and justify why I think they are flaws. You don't even understand "the formula" (you mean argument, not formula), as far as I can tell. Perhaps people who argue in Chinese are also just engaging in pointless discussion because I don't understand Chinese.

Assuming that you don't understand the argument, you are in no position to point out flaws with the argument itself, but you might have a case in saying that the whole exercise is futile from the outset. That God, by most common definitions, is something that is unprovable, and so discussing arguments for or against God can't possibly be fruitful. You could present an argument for this, but since you don't, I have to assume you stumbled into the philosophy forum not knowing where you were, not realizing that nobody wants to hear what you have to say if you don't have an argument to support it.
Then you are wrong, but perhaps you are truly the Grand Poobah of philosophy and therefore you can decide what is or is not pointless, correct? Just because you can discuss something doesn't mean it has merit or is even worthy of being discussed.
You missed the point. You don't provide justification for your claims, and so, they're essentially pointless. Unjustified claims are, for the most part, pointless in philosophy. Since you aren't providing justifications, I don't have to be a Grand Poobah to tell you that everything you've said in this thread is pointless. Look, I don't know if this is difficult for you or what, but all you have to do is take on of the points you've made, say, that god's existence can't be either proven or disproven, and justify it. That's the point of philosophy.
You mean that this formula requires a "christian god" type in order to work? Yes, that's a major flaw. Gods throughout history do not necessarily fall into this definition. There are gods that are weak, that have very limited powers, have human vices, are killed by other gods, killed and wounded by humans.
No, when did I say that? The argument requires some definition of God, and obviously, it does not set out to prove the existence of God according to every historical definition of God that ever existed. It may be a reasonable question to ask which God's fit under Anselm's definition. Another question one could ask is if the definition can be made more specific without creating problems elsewhere in the argument, etc.
I asked you to show what merit using this formula would have in a discussion, not the formula itself, and you failed to do so. You have simply regurgitated the formula, inserted your personal opinions of what "god" is, and pointed out the formula is flawed anyway.
I don't know what you're talking about. I have no real personal opinion of what "god" is, and yes, I pointed out the formula is flawed, but I did it with justification. I don't think I've "regurgitated the formula", I've made reference to it, but it's the topic of discussion, so why wouldn't I? What do you mean by "what merit it has in a discussion?" This thread is a discussion, isn't it? The argument presented is an argument for the existence of God. If someone wants to claim that they believe in God, then in a philosophy forum, they are expected to give reasons, and this argument can be one reason. We can discuss whether this argument is a good reason. Perhaps you're familiar with the "first cause" argument for God, or the telelogical argument which says that the design of nature suggests a purpose, and thus intelligent design, or the deontological argument which suggests God is necessary since without him, there is no moral standard, etc. These are various reasons for God, and in a discussion about whether God exists, one could present any one of these arguments, and we would discuss whether these areguments are good or not. If they are, then they give a good reason to believe in God, and if not, then they don't give a good reason. The ontological argument (the one presented in this thread) is just like another one of these reasons. It, like the other arguments, I believe is flawed, but if the topic of discussion is one (or more) of these arguments, I won't just say it is flawed, I will also say why I think it is flawed. Perhaps you can do the same thing?

Now, you've wasted a lot of space on this thread trying to justify your presence on this thread, i.e. making excuses for why it's okay to post the unjustified assertions you continually post. This is a waste of time and space. Rather than making these excuses, justify your actual claims. Figure out what your claims are, express them clearly, and justify them to the best of your ability. Sure, you're "allowed" to post your opinion on what's pointless, etc. but nobody cares about your opinions. In the philosophy section, people, I hope, would expect to see arguments. If you just want to post your opinion, use your journal or something.
 
  • #56
learningphysics
Homework Helper
4,099
5
AKG said:
This unicorn would have to have a totally non-contingent existence. It must not be contingent, on, for example, space, so this being must exist even if there were no space. Since that doesn't make sense, any unicorn would be contingent, and thus a necessarily existing unicorn is not possible, and the argument fails, since the premise <>"necessarily existing unicorn exists" is false.

In some senses, it is not that simple. What exactly does it mean for a being to be contingent or necessary? If determinism is true, is everything necessary, or can we still speak of contingency, but just in a more relative sense? If contingency is just a relative thing, is it a meaningful term to use in relation to this argument?
I see. So it's <>G, and G -> []G, that are the critical parts.

I wonder why everyone jumped on Owen in this thread. He didn't present his argument as a proof for or against god. Everything he said was correct.
 
  • #57
honestrosewater
Gold Member
2,105
5
AKG said:
Because of God's necessary existence, this conjunction would be contradictory, so whereas with aliens, we have no problem assuming <>A since we can just take it from <>A & <>~A, we don't have <>G & <>~G, so we can't just assume <>G.
Thanks, that's quite interesting.
 
  • #58
honestrosewater
Gold Member
2,105
5
learningphysics said:
I see. So it's <>G, and G -> []G, that are the critical parts.
Minor point: If I understand it's "G => []G" instead of "G -> []G". (From OP: "(p => q) =df [](p -> q)") In propositional logic, "p => q" means that "p -> q" is a tautology. It seems the same is true for modal logic.
I wonder why everyone jumped on Owen in this thread. He didn't present his argument as a proof for or against god. Everything he said was correct.
Yeah, the "G" word usually has that effect. :frown:
 
  • #59
loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,749
5
AKG said:
On topic, indeed the argument is valid for any P, but the premise G -> []G (or some variant) is not true for all G. God, being defined as the greatest conceivable/possible being, is said to thus have the greatest possible existence, namely necessary existence. Because God is said to have necessary existence, then if he exists, he exists necessarily, hence G -> []G.
It is only medieval scholastic artifact to hold that a being that exists is greater than a being that doesn't exist, or even that a being that exists necessarily is greater than a being that exists contingently. This Aristotelian heirarchy of the relative greatness of properties has no basis in what is dictated by logic.

Any ontological argument runs into another problem. If we're going to buy into the scholastic idea that we can assign relative levels of 'greatness' to objects such that object A is greater than object B and so on, then we must accept that there exists some object that is the greatest of all. I don't see any reason at this point to accept that there is only one of these objects, but let us grant that for the sake of argument. So we have one object, Z, that is greater than all other objects. In order to prove that Z exists, we must accept the further scholastic notion that an object that exists is greater than one that does not. Fine, we'll do that. At this point, it has been proven that some object Z exists that is the greatest of all objects. Now I suppose we can arbitrarily call this object "God," if we feel the need to give it a name, but what have we really demonstrated? It is clear what Anselm and Aquinas hoped to demonstrate: that the Christian God exists and that He is Z. But why? What exactly can the proven fact that Z is the greatest of all objects tell us about Z? How many different secondary properties are entailed by the property of being the greatest of all objects? Must Z be able to run the 100M dash in world record time and slam dunk from halfcourt? Must Z have 1000 arms, because if not, then an object with 999 arms would be greater? Or does each of his individual properties not have to be greater than each of another object's individual properties? Is it only that the sum total of his properties must be greater than the sum total of any other object's properties? If we recall, the Christian God was tempted to evil by the devil when incarnated in human form. Would not a being completely incapable of evil - and thus incapable of being tempted to evil - be a greater being? The Christian God is also said to be jealous and vindictive. Would not a being unemcumbered by petty emotions be a greater being?
 
  • #60
178
0
If we recall, the Christian God was tempted to evil by the devil when incarnated in human form. Would not a being completely incapable of evil - and thus incapable of being tempted to evil - be a greater being?

-actually, that was the human part

What's your take on polytheism, where each god has his/her own duties and even the ones that have top deities can have more than 1 top deity? (I mean in terms of the "greatest being" framework) Which one is more logistically correct?
 
Last edited:
  • #61
loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,749
5
0TheSwerve0 said:
If we recall, the Christian God was tempted to evil by the devil when incarnated in human form. Would not a being completely incapable of evil - and thus incapable of being tempted to evil - be a greater being?

-actually, that was the human part
Doesn't matter. Whatever form it takes, Z remains defined as the greatest of all beings. As such, a being that could not be tempted to evil (no matter the form this being took) would be greater than one who could be tempted. Of course, this completely depends on defining the property of not being capable of evil as greater than the property of being capable of evil. How this heirarchy of the relative worths of properties is not arbitrary is beyond me. Why should a being capable of evil be any less great than a being incapable of evil? This seemed to be the scholastic view, but why?

What's your take on polytheism, where each god has his/her own duties and even the ones that have top deities can have more than 1 top deity? (I mean in terms of the "greatest being" framework) Which one is more logistically correct?
If we accept Anselm's assumption that only one being can be the greatest of all beings, then of course only monotheism is consistent. I don't see why we should accept this assumption, however. Obviously, his framework allows for every other level of greatness to have multiple occupants. Why there can't be two beings greater than all others but each other is beyond me. It seems he just defined "God" that way, as only one being that is greater than all others. An arbitrary definition, but so be it.

If we step outside of scholastic tradition for a moment, though, I think that Hume makes a pretty good argument in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion that our universe shows signs of having many creators if we assume that it must have been created. The universe is known to be rather large and not of a uniform composition. Of course, Hume didn't have the knowledge that we do provided by modern cosmology that the size and heterogeneity of the universe can be explained by the expansion of a singularity according to a small set of basic principles that could easily have been the work of a single creator. He certainly makes a good argument, though, that any honest, objective theist in his day should have been a polytheist. The thing is, the argument he was refuting was Paley's argument from design, saying that the great complexity and heterogeneity of our universe could only be explained by appeal to a creator. Hume pointed out that it was better explained by an appeal to many creators. Presumably Paley's argument fails either way given that we have now demonstrated that the great complexity of the universe can be explained by a singularity and the laws of physics. These alone are not as awe-inspiring and prima facie in need of explanation. As Paley himself points out, no one wonders how the rock came to be.
 
Last edited:
  • #62
178
0
loseyourname said:
Doesn't matter. Whatever form it takes, Z remains defined as the greatest of all beings. As such, a being that could not be tempted to evil (no matter the form this being took) would be greater than one who could be tempted.
Ok, guess it doesn't matter then. Maybe you just don't understand how to think of Jesus as both human and divine and what consequences that would have. I thought the whole point was that he could be tempted and could overcome it, being God.
 
  • #63
178
0
loseyourname said:
If we step outside of scholastic tradition for a moment, though, I think that Hume makes a pretty good argument in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion that our universe shows signs of having many creators if we assume that it must have been created. The universe is known to be rather large and not of a uniform composition. Of course, Hume didn't have the knowledge that we do provided by modern cosmology that the size and heterogeneity of the universe can be explained by the expansion of a singularity according to a small set of basic principles that could easily have been the work of a single creator. He certainly makes a good argument, though, that any honest, objective theist in his day should have been a polytheist. The thing is, the argument he was refuting was Paley's argument from design, saying that the great complexity and heterogeneity of our universe could only be explained by appeal to a creator. Hume pointed out that it was better explained by an appeal to many creators. Presumably Paley's argument fails either way given that we have now demonstrated that the great complexity of the universe can be explained by a singularity and the laws of physics. These alone are not as awe-inspiring and prima facie in need of explanation. As Paley himself points out, no one wonders how the rock came to be.
cool. thanks.
 
  • #64
8
0
Doesn't matter. Whatever form it takes, Z remains defined as the greatest of all beings.
you can't think of God as a mathematical equation, it simply doesn't work. but yes. i know what you are talking about, and yes its a valid argument, but i don't think it would work that way
 
  • #65
AKG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2,565
4
honestrosewater said:
Minor point: If I understand it's "G => []G" instead of "G -> []G". (From OP: "(p => q) =df [](p -> q)") In propositional logic, "p => q" means that "p -> q" is a tautology. It seems the same is true for modal logic.
The argument I'm familiar with is perhaps a "leaner" version which does not require a new connective "=>". You can probably find a few versions of the argument as well as lengthy discussions of it over at PhilosophyForums, search for "Modal Ontological Argument," there should be a few threads on it alone. None of the arguments given there, nor other ones I've seen elsewhere on the web say anything about "=>".
 
  • #66
AKG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2,565
4
loseyourname said:
It is only medieval scholastic artifact to hold that a being that exists is greater than a being that doesn't exist, or even that a being that exists necessarily is greater than a being that exists contingently. This Aristotelian heirarchy of the relative greatness of properties has no basis in what is dictated by logic.
The point wasn't that an existing being is greater than a non-existing being (the comparison would be meaningless, like saying 5 > 1/0), but that a necessary being is greater than a contingent one. Both a necessary being and contingent being may exist, but it is "greater" to be necessary, or so says Anselm.
Any ontological argument runs into another problem. If we're going to buy into the scholastic idea that we can assign relative levels of 'greatness' to objects such that object A is greater than object B and so on, then we must accept that there exists some object that is the greatest of all.
This is only true if there are finitely many objects. God is not a physical being, so clearly, we aren't limited to physical objects with respect to this argument. It can be argued that there are finitely many protons in the universe, hence finitely many objects, but, loosely speaking, whatever "substance" God would be made of may be in infinite supply, and so there need not be any greatest being, since there need not be a finite number of them. What is the greatest real number? At the same time, consider the set of all real numbers less than or equal to 12. This set has infinitely many elements and a greatest element. So being finite is a sufficient condition for a set to have a greatest element, but not necessary. However, the nature of the set of all beings (finite, infinite without bound, infinite with bound) is not something immediately obvious, so that there is a greatest actual being is debatable.
I don't see any reason at this point to accept that there is only one of these objects, but let us grant that for the sake of argument. So we have one object, Z, that is greater than all other objects. In order to prove that Z exists, we must accept the further scholastic notion that an object that exists is greater than one that does not. Fine, we'll do that. At this point, it has been proven that some object Z exists that is the greatest of all objects. Now I suppose we can arbitrarily call this object "God," if we feel the need to give it a name, but what have we really demonstrated?
You've missed the point. "God" is not the name given to the greatest actual being, but the greatest possible, or conceivable being. You may be the greatest being that actually exists, but it is possible that there could have been (although there isn't right now, things might have been different) a greater being, i.e. we can conceive of a being greater than you, sorry ;). If God exists, then it would be the greatest actual being, however, the only thing said about God in the argument is that it is the greatest possible being.
It is clear what Anselm and Aquinas hoped to demonstrate: that the Christian God exists and that He is Z. But why? What exactly can the proven fact that Z is the greatest of all objects tell us about Z? How many different secondary properties are entailed by the property of being the greatest of all objects? Must Z be able to run the 100M dash in world record time and slam dunk from halfcourt? Must Z have 1000 arms, because if not, then an object with 999 arms would be greater? Or does each of his individual properties not have to be greater than each of another object's individual properties? Is it only that the sum total of his properties must be greater than the sum total of any other object's properties? If we recall, the Christian God was tempted to evil by the devil when incarnated in human form. Would not a being completely incapable of evil - and thus incapable of being tempted to evil - be a greater being? The Christian God is also said to be jealous and vindictive. Would not a being unemcumbered by petty emotions be a greater being?
Agreed. Your questions suggest that "greatest possible being" doesn't really mean a whole lot, and if it is to mean anything, then it certainly isn't the Christian God. In fact, I doubt it really applies to anything anyone calls a God, or even, anything anyone should bother thinking about and praying to.
 
  • #67
Can You Prove the Existence of God?
(Why philosophers and atheists love this question)
By Gregory E. Ganssle, Ph.D.
Ever since Immanuel Kant wrote his Critique of Pure Reason, it has been common for thinking people to insist that it is impossible to prove the existence of God. In fact this claim has been elevated to the level of dogma in American intellectual culture. The reason I know this is considered unquestionable dogma is the reaction I get when I call it into question. When someone says "You cannot prove the existence of God," I want to ask, "How do you know? You just met me! How do you know what I can do?"
What do most people mean when they recite this claim? Most people mean that I cannot provide a philosophical argument for the existence of God which will convince all thinking people. It is impossible, so the story goes, to provide an argument which will compel assent. If my argument will not convince the most ardent atheist, they say, I have not proven God's existence. Since I cannot convince such an atheist to believe, my arguments do not count as proof in their eyes. If they do not count as proof, what good are they?
I agree that I cannot provide an argument that will convince all thinking people. But what does this tell me? Does this tell me anything about God? No. This tells me more about the nature of proof than it does about whether God exists. I cannot provide an argument which will convince everyone, without a possibility of doubt, that God exists. That is no problem. You see, I cannot provide an argument for any interesting philosophical conclusion which will be accepted by everyone without possibility of doubt.
I cannot prove beyond the possibility of doubt -- in a way that will convince all philosophers -- that the Rocky Mountains are really here as a mind-independent object. I cannot prove that the entire universe did not pop into existence five minutes ago and that all of our apparent memories are not illusions. I cannot prove that the other people you see on campus have minds. Perhaps they are very clever robots.
There is no interesting philosophical conclusion that can be proven beyond the possibility of doubt. So the fact that arguments for the existence of God do not produce mathematical certainty does not by itself weaken the case for God's existence. It simply places the question of God's existence in the same category as other questions such as that of the existence of the external, mind-independent world and the question of how we know other people have minds.
Does this mean that arguments for the existence of God are useless? Not at all. Sure, I cannot provide an argument which will convince all thinking people but this does not mean I don't have good reason to believe in God. In fact some of my reasons for believing in God may be persuasive to you. Even if you aren't persuaded to believe that God exists, my arguments may not be useless. It is reasonable to believe that the mountains are real and our memories are generally reliable and that other minds exist. It is reasonable to believe these things even though they cannot be proven. Maybe some argument for God's existence will persuade you that belief in God is reasonable.
So how can we know that God exists? Instead of looking for undoubtable conclusions, we weigh evidence and consider alternatives. Which alternative best fits the evidence?
 
  • #68
IntellectIsStrength said:
Can You Prove the Existence of God?
(Why philosophers and atheists love this question)
By Gregory E. Ganssle, Ph.D.
......
Does this mean that arguments for the existence of God are useless? Not at all. Sure, I cannot provide an argument which will convince all thinking people but this does not mean I don't have good reason to believe in God. In fact some of my reasons for believing in God may be persuasive to you. Even if you aren't persuaded to believe that God exists, my arguments may not be useless. It is reasonable to believe that the mountains are real and our memories are generally reliable and that other minds exist. It is reasonable to believe these things even though they cannot be proven. Maybe some argument for God's existence will persuade you that belief in God is reasonable.
So how can we know that God exists? Instead of looking for undoubtable conclusions, we weigh evidence and consider alternatives. Which alternative best fits the evidence?
Great post! In reality it is the statement that "God does not exist" that cannot be proved.
 
  • #69
Chronos
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,408
738
What a shock. Shall we next examine the proposition that logic cannot prove logic is irrefutable? I'm really curious, if you substitute the word 'Logic' for 'God' in this thread, would it matter?
 
  • #70
1,604
1
IntellectIsStrength said:
I agree that I cannot provide an argument that will convince all thinking people. But what does this tell me? Does this tell me anything about God? No. This tells me more about the nature of proof than it does about whether God exists. ......

........So how can we know that God exists? Instead of looking for undoubtable conclusions, we weigh evidence and consider alternatives. Which alternative best fits the evidence?
I agree 100%. We cannot hope to determine on the basis of pure reason alone whether God exists or not (this is akin to the ancient Greeks trying to decide how many teeth a horse has by debate alone, without going out and counting them!).

Can anyone summarise what they consider to be the "evidence" for the existence of God, that is being referred to above, so we can weigh it up and consider the alternatives?

MF :smile:
 
  • #71
63
0
We simply cannot, will not, prove that a 'god' exists. it cannot be done, that is (if you believe in an afterlife), until we die. That is why all religions rely on faith. I believe in an 'afterlife' simply because there is nothing that proves there is not one. Some people who have out of body experiences where they die and are brought back say that they have seen a 'heaven' (or hell). others have not. that is a matter of time. i say, even if there is no God or afterlife, i like to think that there is, because how did the universe begin? we say big bang, but how did it come about? was there even a beginning? how did we get here? do we have a soul, or are we just physical beings? until these questions are answered, we will never know what lies beyond this world.

Fibonacci
 
  • #72
1,569
2
Owen Holden said:
Hartshorne's (1962) proof of the existence of god:

(~) = not, (v) = or, (&) = and, (->) = implies (<->) = equivalence,
[] = necessarily, <> = possibly, (=>) = strict implication,

(p => q) =df [](p -> q)

<>p =df ~[]~p.

g = god exists.


The argument is thus:

1. g => []g (premise)
2. []g v ~[]g
3. ~[]g => []~[]g
4. []g v []~[]g
5. []~[]g => []~g
6. []g v []~g
7. <>g (premise)
8. []g
9. []g => g
10. g


This argument is valid but not sound.
It proves that: ((g => []g) & <>g) -> g, is necessarily true, ..nothing else.

The argument is true for any proposition p.

1. g => []g
7. <>g
:.
10. g


A. (g => []g) <-> [](g -> []g)
B. [](g -> []g) <-> (<>g -> []g),

C. (g => []g) <-> (<>g -> []g)

Note: A, B, C, are theorems of modal logic (S5).

Because of C, the argument becomes:

1. <>g -> []g
7. <>g
:.8. []g

8. []g
9. []g -> g
:.10. g


If we substitute ~g for g, we get the atheists' side of it.

1a. <>~g -> []~g
7a. <>~g
:. 8a. []~g

8a. []~g
9a. []~g -> ~g
:.
10a. ~g.


This argument has two other equivalent variations.

1. [](g -> []g) & <>g .-> g
2. [](<>g -> g) & <>g .-> g
3. (<>g -> []g) & <>g .-> g

Once we realise that: [](p -> []p) <-> (<>p -> []p),
and [](<>p -> p) <-> (<>p -> []p), we can see that each
argument is equivalent to 3.

Hartshorne was wrong to assert that this argument proves that g (god exists) is true.


It seems that Theists need only show that 'God does exists' is possible
in order to prove that it is necessary or that it is true.
And, that Atheists need only to show that 'God does not exists' is possible
in order to prove that it is necessary or that it is true.

Note: <>(god exists) & <>(god does not exist), is contradictory.

What do you think?

Owen
In ternary logic, or fuzzier logics, the conjunction of a statement and its negation is not neccesarily false.

Evo, there is a point. Just as a special case, consider the claim that God created the universe. This is a crossover into physics when it comes to the creation of the universe (if the universe was created). That distinguishes God from faeries and unicorns because if those exist or not, it makes a lot less of a difference.
 
  • #73
cronxeh
Gold Member
961
10
And who created god then?
 
  • #74
203
0
I also believe that all these arguments are pointless.

Even though I am not a really exprienced person, and I also believe in God, I do not believe that anyone will ever be able to prove that god exists or it does not exists. (Maybe ecxept unusuall Human beings). How can we prove something that is beoned our knoledge?! I do respect the oppinion of people that do not believe in God. That is humanity after all. other wise we would not have been any diffrent from animals.


Also anyone watched Crossing Over? (the show where some guy talks to goust (Souls))???

If so do you believe it is true? How can some one ever prove that goust exist using Mahematics? nothing is ever usable for all! That includes Maths, You simply cannot use maths to prove the existence of life.!
 
  • #75
203
0
Ahh! one more thing before I finish.

The scientists of our age are probably try too hard to come with a brake through in an invention. Why do they create thiories to cover their existing problems? Like tring to figure out something about the "String Theory" and creating antigravitons to comunicate with creatures from other universes! What are the chanses that the creatures from other universes will response to it?

I am not saying that Scientists are wasting thier time because everything starts with thoeries, all I am saying is instead of trying to make theories for everything and making the world full of thiories they maybe should try and give proves to their existing thiories!
 

Related Threads on God exists ?

  • Poll
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
8
Replies
186
Views
16K
  • Last Post
9
Replies
200
Views
11K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
40
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
28
Views
4K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
4K
  • Last Post
11
Replies
255
Views
24K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
34
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
4K
Top