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Why ontological arguments are illogical
#31
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
(August 7, 2012 at 4:24 am)genkaus Wrote: I can imagine a perfect woman with whom every man and lesbian in the world would immediately fall in love with, but I can also see that its "better" if she doesn't exist - given the amount of conflict her existence would create.

Doesn't that suggest that she doesn't have perfect beauty, but that she has 'too much' beauty?

In order to make your argument, you need to understand what is meant by "perfection". What do you mean when you say "perfect woman"? Which ontological argument uses the definition of "perfection" that you're employing here?

(August 7, 2012 at 2:32 am)CliveStaples Wrote: So, the ontological arguments use words in a different "sense" now? "Sense" which is not explained but must somehow be realized?

No. Different philosophers use different language and terminology--Leibniz has his particular metaphysic and epistemology, and Plantinga his.

To my knowledge, the philosophers that have offered ontological arguments have been careful to note what they mean by "perfection".

Quote:Regarding your point: "Gottfried Leibniz saw a problem with Descartes' ontological argument: that Descartes had not asserted the coherence of a "supremely perfect" being. He proposed that, unless the coherence of a supremely perfect being could be demonstrated, the ontological argument fails. Leibniz saw perfection as impossible to analyse; therefore, it would be impossible to demonstrate that all perfections are incompatible. He reasoned that all perfections can exist together in a single entity, and that Descartes' argument is still valid."

Clearly, he saw the incompatibility of all perfections and made the excuse.

???

Leibniz thought that the logic of Descartes' argument was flawed, because Descartes failed to consider whether a supremely perfect being was coherent. The section you quoted even states that Leibniz thought all perfections can exist together in a single entity, and that ultimately Descartes' argument was valid.

(August 7, 2012 at 2:32 am)CliveStaples Wrote: And once you offer an argument supporting this notion, I'll counter it. Otherwise, its a cheap cop-out.

An argument supporting the notion that Leibniz thought perfections were compatible? Didn't you just quote one?
“The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.”
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#32
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
(August 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm)padraic Wrote: Logic guarantees truth if and only if the premise is true. An argument may be perfectly logical and the inference valid but untrue,or at least unable to be claimed to be true. The ontological argument is logically valid,but the inference may not be claimed to be true.

That's not true.

An invalid argument with true premises might have a true conclusion:

1) All cats are mammals.
2) I am a human.
3) Therefore, I am a mammal.

An invalid argument with false premises might have a true conclusion:

1) All animals with eyes are mammals.
2) I have eyes.
3) Therefore, I am a mammal.
“The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.”
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#33
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
Your first doesn't follow, the second premise is not true. You haven't disputed or elaborated upon anything that you responded to.

Since the first doesn't follow, it matters very little what your premise was to begin with.

Since the second premise is not true, even though you may have "stumbled" upon the correct answer (you didn't, actually, you already knew the correct answer so you just strung nonsense before it as if to make a point) the truth of the conclusion cannot be guaranteed.

Garbage in, garbage out.



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#34
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
(August 7, 2012 at 8:52 am)Rhythm Wrote: Your first doesn't follow, the second premise is not true. You haven't disputed or elaborated upon anything that you responded to.

The point was that an invalid argument can nevertheless have a true conclusion. Which was what I said.

Quote:Since the first doesn't follow, it matters very little what your premise was to begin with.

Since the second premise is not true, even though you may have "stumbled" upon the correct answer (you didn't, actually, you already knew the correct answer so you just strung nonsense before it as if to make a point) the truth of the conclusion cannot be guaranteed.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Not "as if to make a point". To make the point that whether an argument's conclusion is true does not depend on whether the argument is valid, or whether the premises are true.
“The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.”
Reply
#35
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
(August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am)CliveStaples Wrote: Doesn't that suggest that she doesn't have perfect beauty, but that she has 'too much' beauty?

No. Why would it?

(August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am)CliveStaples Wrote: In order to make your argument, you need to understand what is meant by "perfection". What do you mean when you say "perfect woman"? Which ontological argument uses the definition of "perfection" that you're employing here?

I've found that the ontological arguments don't actually define "perfect", so I have to assume that it means the same thing as it does in the dictionary.

(August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am)CliveStaples Wrote: No. Different philosophers use different language and terminology--Leibniz has his particular metaphysic and epistemology, and Plantinga his.

To my knowledge, the philosophers that have offered ontological arguments have been careful to note what they mean by "perfection".

To my knowledge - no, they haven't. Feel free to correct me.


(August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am)CliveStaples Wrote: ???

Leibniz thought that the logic of Descartes' argument was flawed, because Descartes failed to consider whether a supremely perfect being was coherent. The section you quoted even states that Leibniz thought all perfections can exist together in a single entity, and that ultimately Descartes' argument was valid.

And failed to argue exactly how all perfections can exist together in a single entity, opting, instead, to simply state it. That doesn't make it valid.


(August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am)CliveStaples Wrote: An argument supporting the notion that Leibniz thought perfections were compatible? Didn't you just quote one?

No. What I quoted was simply the notion itself. I'm yet to see a justification.
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#36
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
(August 7, 2012 at 11:57 am)CliveStaples Wrote: The point was that an invalid argument can nevertheless have a true conclusion. Which was what I said.

Except that nobody claimed it couldn't. Reread the post you responded to.




Quote:Not "as if to make a point". To make the point that whether an argument's conclusion is true does not depend on whether the argument is valid, or whether the premises are true.

But can that be guaranteed? Can it be said to be true? If you made a comment with regards to these two statements you would have been responding to the comments you quoted. Hmn, whats the word for arguing against an opponent by way of arguing against a statement or claim which your opponent did not make..oh, the name escapes me....just can't put my finger on it....... Pro-tip, when you decide to correct a person on their use or assessment of logic, try not to fuck up the process -in the process.

Would you care to take another crack at why the statements you responded to aren't true?
(i just like to watch you argue against reason -with "reason"-..lol)



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#37
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
(August 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm)Rhythm Wrote: Except that nobody claimed it couldn't. Reread the post you responded to.

It was something like, "Logic guarantees truth <=> the premises are true."

Consider the following argument:

1. Barack Obama was elected President in 2004. (premise)
2. John McCain was elected President in 2004. (premise)
3. If p is true, and p->q is true, then q is true. (conclusion)

Surely (1) and (2) are false. Thus, the premises of this argument are false. And yet, logic guarantees that the conclusion of the argument, (3), is true.


Quote:But can that be guaranteed? Can it be said to be true? If you made a comment with regards to these two statements you would have been responding to the comments you quoted. Hmn, whats the word for arguing against an opponent by way of arguing against a statement or claim which your opponent did not make..oh, the name escapes me....just can't put my finger on it....... Pro-tip, when you decide to correct a person on their use or assessment of logic, try not to fuck up the process -in the process.

Would you care to take another crack at why the statements you responded to aren't true?
(i just like to watch you argue against reason -with "reason"-..lol)

See above.

(August 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm)genkaus Wrote: No. Why would it?

It depends on your definition of 'perfection', doesn't it? For example, if the "perfect" amount of beauty is defined as "that amount which minimizes suffering universally", then in your example the woman would not possess 'perfect' beauty.

(August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am)CliveStaples Wrote: I've found that the ontological arguments don't actually define "perfect", so I have to assume that it means the same thing as it does in the dictionary.

The dictionary defines "perfect beauty"?

I think we'd be better served by criticizing an actual ontological argument instead of just making wild characterizations about what features ontological arguments do and don't have.


' Wrote:To my knowledge - no, they haven't. Feel free to correct me.

Well, we've each made our claims, and neither of us has provided evidence. Of course, this whole issue can be avoided by criticizing specific ontological arguments.


(August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am)CliveStaples Wrote: And failed to argue exactly how all perfections can exist together in a single entity, opting, instead, to simply state it. That doesn't make it valid.

No, he did argue exactly how all perfections can exist together in a single entity. You might not like his argument, or you might not find it persuasive, but he did argue it.

His argument is: "It is impossible to demonstrate that no entity can possess all perfections. Therefore, the conjunction of every perfection does not entail contradiction."

It seems like the continuum hypothesis to me; you can't prove whether it's "true" or "false" from the axioms of ZFC, so therefore it is logically compatible (if it weren't logically compatible, ZFC + Continuum hypothesis would entail a contradiction).

(August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am)CliveStaples Wrote: No. What I quoted was simply the notion itself. I'm yet to see a justification.

The justification was that since perfections cannot be analyzed, in particular they cannot be proved to contradict each other, and hence entail no contradiction with each other.
“The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.”
Reply
#38
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: It depends on your definition of 'perfection', doesn't it? For example, if the "perfect" amount of beauty is defined as "that amount which minimizes suffering universally", then in your example the woman would not possess 'perfect' beauty.

Why the hell would I define perfect like that? The word already has a definition - "conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type".

(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: The dictionary defines "perfect beauty"?

It defined "perfect" and it defines "beauty". Joining the two isn't a big leap.

(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: I think we'd be better served by criticizing an actual ontological argument instead of just making wild characterizations about what features ontological arguments do and don't have.

I thought we were going with Leibniz. So how does he define perfection.


(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: Well, we've each made our claims, and neither of us has provided evidence. Of course, this whole issue can be avoided by criticizing specific ontological arguments.

You should know better than that. I cannot prove that "no philosopher postulating an ontological argument has never put forward a definition of what he means by perfect" - that would be proving a negative.


(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: No, he did argue exactly how all perfections can exist together in a single entity. You might not like his argument, or you might not find it persuasive, but he did argue it.

His argument is: "It is impossible to demonstrate that no entity can possess all perfections. Therefore, the conjunction of every perfection does not entail contradiction."

It seems like the continuum hypothesis to me; you can't prove whether it's "true" or "false" from the axioms of ZFC, so therefore it is logically compatible (if it weren't logically compatible, ZFC + Continuum hypothesis would entail a contradiction).

That's the argument? Really? But we've already established by example that it is impossible for an entity to posses two contradictory perfections and therefore it'd be impossible for it to posses all perfections. Therefore, the conjunction of every possible perfection does entail a contradiction.


(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: The justification was that since perfections cannot be analyzed, in particular they cannot be proved to contradict each other, and hence entail no contradiction with each other.

Actually, that would be an invalid inference. If perfection cannot be analyzed and contradiction cannot be proven, it does not mean that no contradiction entails, it simply means that one cannot be proven. Besides, there is no justification for the statement "perfections cannot be analyzed".
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#39
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
(August 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm)genkaus Wrote: Why the hell would I define perfect like that? The word already has a definition - "conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type".

An amount of beauty that provokes suffering is hardly "ideal", to my thinking.

(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: It defined "perfect" and it defines "beauty". Joining the two isn't a big leap.

True, but that doesn't make for a great definition all the time.

Consider what is meant by "perfect victory" in a fighting game. Would a "perfect victory" have to include taking no damage? Or would it include taking the maximum amount of damage and still winning? Would it include winning using every move available? Or winning using only one move?

(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: I thought we were going with Leibniz. So how does he define perfection.

You're the one criticizing the argument. I'd go to the Standford encyclopedia of philosophy, they'll probably have something useful.

(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: You should know better than that. I cannot prove that "no philosopher postulating an ontological argument has never put forward a definition of what he means by perfect" - that would be proving a negative.

...and? If I say, "No atheist has ever loved their mother", I wouldn't have to prove it because it's a negative?

(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: That's the argument? Really? But we've already established by example that it is impossible for an entity to posses two contradictory perfections and therefore it'd be impossible for it to posses all perfections. Therefore, the conjunction of every possible perfection does entail a contradiction.

"Two contradictory perfections"...how do you know that there are any contradictory perfections?

(August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: Actually, that would be an invalid inference. If perfection cannot be analyzed and contradiction cannot be proven, it does not mean that no contradiction entails, it simply means that one cannot be proven.

You're going to need more support than that. How do you know that there can be unprovable contradictions (i.e., not all contradictions are provable) in this context?

Quote:Besides, there is no justification for the statement "perfections cannot be analyzed".

Uh, right, because you didn't look at the actual argument, you looked at the two-sentence summation of Leibniz's view.
“The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.”
Reply
#40
RE: Why ontological arguments are illogical
(August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: An amount of beauty that provokes suffering is hardly "ideal", to my thinking.

Why not? Suffering is irrelevant to beauty. Just ask Helen of Troy.

(August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: True, but that doesn't make for a great definition all the time.

Yes, it kind of does.

(August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: Consider what is meant by "perfect victory" in a fighting game. Would a "perfect victory" have to include taking no damage? Or would it include taking the maximum amount of damage and still winning? Would it include winning using every move available? Or winning using only one move?

It'd include winning with no damage and the number of moves issue would be resolved by whether the standard of perfection is intricacy or efficiency.

(August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: You're the one criticizing the argument. I'd go to the Standford encyclopedia of philosophy, they'll probably have something useful.

I did and they didn't. So I had to assume that Leibniz is using "perfect" in the same sense as the dictionary.

(August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: ...and? If I say, "No atheist has ever loved their mother", I wouldn't have to prove it because it's a negative?

Ofcourse not. Though you'd still need a good argument against an atheist who stands up saying that he does.

(August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: "Two contradictory perfections"...how do you know that there are any contradictory perfections?

Pick two contradictory qualities and conceptualize the perfect form of both.

(August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: You're going to need more support than that. How do you know that there can be unprovable contradictions (i.e., not all contradictions are provable) in this context?

The contradiction isn't necessarily unprovable in perpetuity, just within that context. Changing the axiom (that perfection can be analyzed) entails a provable contradiction, which would mean that it still entails a contradiction - just not provable.


(August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm)CliveStaples Wrote: Uh, right, because you didn't look at the actual argument, you looked at the two-sentence summation of Leibniz's view.

So give me the "actual" argument then. This is the best I've found.
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