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Ontological (illogical) argument

  1. Aug 27, 2003 #1
    The famous argument seems to logically explain the existance of God. However, the argument has a flaw.

    The Ontological Argument states:

    1.I have an idea of supremely perfect being, i.e. a being having all perfections.
    2.Necessary existence is a perfection.
    3.Therefore, a supremely perfect being exists.

    The agrument does not define "perfect", which is a logically grey term. One could say that it is "lacking in any flaws". But then you must define "flaw" so as to not be logically grey as well.

    There are versions that use the term "great" in the following way:

    1.There must exist a thing which greater than anything else.
    2.God is defined as the greatest of all things.
    3.God must exist.

    This is flawed because "great" is also a logically grey term. The Ontological Argument is dependent on logically grey terms. Without those terms, the argument cannot be made. Hence, there can be no argument made via logic to prove the existance of god which does not depend also on logically grey terms.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2003 #2
    How about:

    [the] (the) [sum] (sum) of [the] parts is < (greater) than [the] whole

    In this equation... I see a logical explaination of god... for the moment.

    In this case, "greater" is by all accounts not an illogical and unethical "grey" term but it is a specific reference to something beyond the sum of the parts.

    We can see an example when we examine the total sum of the parts of an automobile. The parts come together to form an auto... but the auto serves a far wider use... a "greater" function than the parts would suggest it serves to begin with. (place for dinner, romance, travel, sleeping, party etc...etc...)

    Therefore I would suggest that:

    God = [the] [sum] of [the] parts (of the entire universe) being [<] (greater) than [the] whole
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2003
  4. Aug 28, 2003 #3
    Re: Re: Ontological (illogical) argument

    The nice thing about this is that as this part of the definition of God (God as the greatest being) can be easily proved to exist, it defeats at the same time the existence of that 'greatest being' as God, since such a 'greatest being' can not be consciouss.
    The point is, to be consciouss, requires one to be able to distinguish between oneself and something that exists outside one self.

    But the greatest being is thus defined, that nothing exist outside of it (since of it does, one could conceive of an even greater being, which is the previously defined greater being PLUS that what exists outside of it).

    So, a greatest being can not be at the same time consciouss.
  5. Aug 28, 2003 #4
    Re: Re: Re: Ontological (illogical) argument

    Uhh, I hate to enter a discussion with an aside, but you mention consciousness and then define it as self-awareness. A child, prior to two is conscious, can make decisions, take actions, understand consequences, but is not self-aware. The simplest test is the mirror test. Until the age of two a child will not recognise themselves in the mirror.

    Buddhist practice involves a number of things, one of which revolves around the concept of a meditative state called Samadhi. Samadhi is a state where all boundaries and dualities, those things that give us the awareness of self/other, disappear. In this state consciousness does not disappear. This is where the concept of being at one with the universe comes.
  6. Aug 28, 2003 #5
    heusdens, you have yet to prove or support your statement:
    This is not a widely accepted statement and Glen has just shown at least one instance where it is false. Give it support or give it up.
  7. Aug 28, 2003 #6
    In answer to the case that god (and/or "the sum of the parts is greater than the whole") would not equal consciousness as presented by heusdens.

    My understanding of the equation I've put out here (the sum of the parts is greater than the whole) would place god as being equal to the concept of consciousness.

    Here's why:

    The brain is the sum of the parts. It has many working parts. The sum of the parts of the brain is greater than the whole brain.... ie: the sum of the parts of the brain is......consciousness, awareness... etc.

    It is not hard to believe nor is it unbelievable that the sum of the parts of the universe add up to a universal consciousness that supracedes the whole of the sum of the parts of the universe.

    One can argue that the "greater" result of a universe (in this explaination being universal consiousness or god) is actually a part of the universe... yet... as soon as we include the "greater" portion of the universe as a part of the universe... we create an even greater effect or result... and that is the nature of this sort of excercise.
  8. Sep 1, 2003 #7
    Well one can conceive of a 'greatest being' so to say, since it is only the conceptual "whole of existence", which is by definition the 'greatest being'.

    The other question is however: how does that relate to God?

    God is conceived as a greatest being AND a consciouss being. But can the 'greatest being' have consciousness? And of what can it be consciouss then?

    The point is of course that for this 'greatest being' to be conscious, it needs to have some object outside of it, to be consciouss of, and to be consciouss, it also needs to be able to distinguish between oneself and something outside of oneself.

    But then, if such things would exists outside of this 'greatest being' this would mean we could conceive of an even greater being: the greatest being AND that what is outside of it.

    In such a way it can be shown that 'greatest being' and 'consciouss being' can not in any way corresponed to the same being.

    For that reason, God does not exist.
  9. Sep 1, 2003 #8
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ontological (illogical) argument

    The point is though that in so-far we understand consciousness, it can not have arisen without a constant interaction with the objective outside world.

    Consciousness is defined by what it does: it reflects and/or projects the outside world, so that a consciouss being can react to that.

    In all cases, the existence and appearence of consciousness pressuppose that there is an objective world outside of one's consciousness, of which one can be consciouss.
    Self-consciousness arises out of this, since one can distinguish between the outside objective world, how it is reflected into the brain, and one's own consciouss thoughts, inner feelings, etc.

    So, also self-consciousness pressupposes that there is an outside objective world, which is distinguishable from one's own thoughts.
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