Our server costs ~$56 per month to run. Please consider donating or becoming a Patron to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
Current time: September 16, 2019, 4:39 am

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
#1
Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
So, what do you think, where is the fallacy in the George Berkeley's argument for the existence of God?
For those who don't know, it goes somewhat like this. There are things for which obviously "esse est percipii", that is, they exist only because they are being perceived by somebody. Light, for instance, exists only because it's being perceived, because, if it weren't perceived, it wouldn't by light by definition (a natural agent that enables vision). Since perceptions are ideas, they have to be caused by other ideas. Ideas have nothing in common with material things (they don't occupy space or have mass), and therefore they can't be caused by material things. Since perceptions, which are ideas, can be caused by the natural agents such as light, it has to be that those natural agents are also immaterial. Now, here is the important part: if those natural agents are being caused or affected by something, that is, the things we perceive as material, it has to be that those things that affect them are also immaterial. If they were truly material, they couldn't affect the ideas through which we perceive them (such as light), and therefore they couldn't be perceived at all. Therefore, the material world has to be an illusion. All we can actually perceive are ideas.
Now, if those things are ideas, how it is that, if we open our eyes in the middle of the day, we can't choose what we will see or whether we will see anything? It has to be that those ideas aren't ours, but that those are actually ideas of a supreme being, and that we are also one of his ideas. That being is called God.
It actually sounds smart. The argument for the material world being an illusion is quite convincing, isn't it? I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Reply
#2
RE: Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
(March 29, 2018 at 2:12 pm)FlatAssembler Wrote: it wouldn't by light by definition (a natural agent that enables vision).
Problem one.

Quote:Ideas have nothing in common with material things (they don't occupy space or have mass),
Problem two.

Quote:and therefore they can't be caused by material things.
Problem three.

Quote:Since perceptions, which are ideas, can be caused by the natural agents such as light, it has to be that those natural agents are also immaterial.
Problem four.

Quote:Now, here is the important part: if those natural agents are being caused or affected by something, that is, the things we perceive as material, it has to be that those things that affect them are also immaterial.
Problem five.

Quote:If they were truly material, they couldn't affect the ideas through which we perceive them (such as light), and therefore they couldn't be perceived at all. Therefore, the material world has to be an illusion.
............six.............

Quote:All we can actually perceive are ideas.
This one is close enough, I'm spending my mulligan here and letting it ride.

Quote:Now, if those things are ideas, how it is that, if we open our eyes in the middle of the day, we can't choose what we will see or whether we will see anything? It has to be that those ideas aren't ours, but that those are actually ideas of a supreme being, and that we are also one of his ideas.
seven

Quote:That being is called God.
sigh, eight.

Quote:It actually sounds smart. The argument for the material world being an illusion is quite convincing, isn't it? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

B/i mine

As to the bold, no.  As to the ital..what argument..but I gave it my mulligan because it got that one right on accident....ish....., so meh. Perhaps pick a single one of any of the things that jump out as problematic? The one that you think is the smartest bit in the bit? Conversely, I think the part about light not being light (yadda yadda yadda) is one of the single derpiest things I've ever seen.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


Reply
#3
RE: Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
(March 29, 2018 at 2:19 pm)Khemikal Wrote:
(March 29, 2018 at 2:12 pm)FlatAssembler Wrote: Ideas have nothing in common with material things (they don't occupy space or have mass),
Problem two.

I don't see the problem here Khem. Aside from a causal relation, ideas and material are distinct--ie essentially different.
Reply
#4
RE: Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
It all comes to plain, simple and obvious question - "Can you provide solid evidence that God made out of Divine Magic exists?".
[Image: keep-calm-and-praise-the-sun.jpg]
Reply
#5
RE: Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
Perception is required for our existence. We can't exist without perception, because our personality requires it.

Ideas require perception. Light illuminates perception so in that definition, perception is required for to be light.

We don't define ourselves by choosing whatever standards we chosen and that forms who we are and it's accurate.

If we have an accurate self, there is an accurate vision, but when you reflect about it, you will know it has to have perfect vision with respect to all possible types of existences and ranks, and hues of beauty and types of shapes of the personality,  it has to.

You think about it long enough and you see you exist through the vision of the absolute perceiver, and hearer of the innermost secret voice of the soul.

So yes, material world is an illusion, since true existence exists through vision of God and luminosity of his mind.

Ideas have nothing in common with material things (they don't occupy space or have mass), and therefore they can't be caused by material things.

This is the heart of the argument. But to me it seems the argument is sound, and he is right.

Well done whoever this guy is, he has proven God from a very good reflection.

God himself is an sustained idea, but that is the true form of existence, it's spiritual, not material which no one can define when it comes down to it but guess at it by an idea and imagination in the mind ironic!

(March 29, 2018 at 2:12 pm)FlatAssembler Wrote: So, what do you think, where is the fallacy in the George Berkeley's argument for the existence of God?
For those who don't know, it goes somewhat like this. There are things for which obviously "esse est percipii", that is, they exist only because they are being perceived by somebody. Light, for instance, exists only because it's being perceived, because, if it weren't perceived, it wouldn't by light by definition (a natural agent that enables vision). Since perceptions are ideas, they have to be caused by other ideas. Ideas have nothing in common with material things (they don't occupy space or have mass), and therefore they can't be caused by material things. Since perceptions, which are ideas, can be caused by the natural agents such as light, it has to be that those natural agents are also immaterial. Now, here is the important part: if those natural agents are being caused or affected by something, that is, the things we perceive as material, it has to be that those things that affect them are also immaterial. If they were truly material, they couldn't affect the ideas through which we perceive them (such as light), and therefore they couldn't be perceived at all. Therefore, the material world has to be an illusion. All we can actually perceive are ideas.
Now, if those things are ideas, how it is that, if we open our eyes in the middle of the day, we can't choose what we will see or whether we will see anything? It has to be that those ideas aren't ours, but that those are actually ideas of a supreme being, and that we are also one of his ideas. That being is called God.
It actually sounds smart. The argument for the material world being an illusion is quite convincing, isn't it? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

It's a sound wonderful argument.

The heart of it the dispute of it will be:

Ideas have nothing in common with material things (they don't occupy space or have mass), and therefore they can't be caused by material things.



This seems right, for their to be a casual link and relationship, there has to be something in common, but there isn't.
"….except those without power/capability - who do not find the means and find no guidance to the way, it maybe God will forgive these, and God is Forgiving, Compassionate." (in 4Th Surah).

Reply
#6
RE: Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
@Vulcan
The problem is that ideas are material things, and they do have mass and they do occupy space. More egregiosuly..and even for a person who would contend otherwise, is that this assertion is fundamental to the argument. It asserts the immaterial in order to..wait for it..conclude the immaterial.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


Reply
#7
RE: Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
The whole argument has problems, but on the one point, (the difference in essence between ideas and material things) the metaphysics are hardly clear.

For instance, I have a coffee cup sitting on my desk. Material thing... has mass and volume. But! The idea of the coffee cup... what I perceive as the coffee cup is a work of interpretation. For example, it has color (in this case black). You and I know that the actual coffee cup has no color. Waves of light bounce off of it at certain wavelengths, and a "mind's eye" interpretation of those wavelengths is displayed before me.

That "mind's eye" interpreted image has no weight, volume etc. The causal aggregate (the actual coffee cup) does. The the idea does not. That's the point Berkeley is trying to make. He goes on to say, we only ever experience ideas so (as far as we're concerned) material things aren't real. But let's not consider all that at the moment. I at least have to agree with him that ideas are essentially different. I disagree with him on the existence of material reality.
Reply
#8
RE: Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
^I think he is saying ideas can't be caused by material things because they have nothing in common.

What is in common between material and immaterial things? If nothing is in common, what is the link between them so that one can cause the other?
"….except those without power/capability - who do not find the means and find no guidance to the way, it maybe God will forgive these, and God is Forgiving, Compassionate." (in 4Th Surah).

Reply
#9
RE: Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
Quote: Conversely, I think the part about light not being light (yadda yadda yadda) is one of the single derpiest things I've ever seen.
Why exactly?
Quote: It asserts the immaterial in order to..wait for it..conclude the immaterial.
It doesn't start with immaterialism. It starts with the philosophically naive position of dualism (that both immaterial and material things exist) and finds a contradiction in it that can be resolved by assuming idealism (immaterialism). You think that materialism is right? I don't know, I find materialism hard to even conceive. The evidence of our ideas (or at least some of them, like the perceptions) being caused by the states of the neurons in the brain is overwhelming. But the idea that the ideas themselves are something material in our brain. . . how is that even conceivable?
Reply
#10
RE: Berkeley's argument for the existence of God
Phenomenology FTW, Tongue
Reply



Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Best arguments for or against God's existence mcc1789 22 488 May 22, 2019 at 9:16 am
Last Post: Gae Bolga
  The Argument Against God's Existence From God's Imperfect Choice Edwardo Piet 53 2619 June 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm
Last Post: Gae Bolga
  The Objective Moral Values Argument AGAINST The Existence Of God Edwardo Piet 58 5644 May 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm
Last Post: Amarok
  Arguments for God's Existence from Contingency datc 386 17015 December 1, 2017 at 2:07 pm
Last Post: Whateverist
  A good argument for God's existence (long but worth it) MysticKnight 179 11503 October 26, 2017 at 1:51 pm
Last Post: Crossless2.0
  What do scientists say about existence? Mariosep 186 28174 July 20, 2017 at 10:59 am
Last Post: Gae Bolga
  To explain why we can define God to affirm his existence! MysticKnight 119 5093 March 24, 2017 at 11:27 am
Last Post: Edwardo Piet
  Existence must exist at all times. Edwardo Piet 41 5030 November 28, 2016 at 6:46 pm
Last Post: Edwardo Piet
  God sees - strongest argument for God..... MysticKnight 62 3658 November 3, 2016 at 12:25 pm
Last Post: Doubting Thomas
  Breaking down the "God sees argument" MysticKnight 64 3013 November 3, 2016 at 3:59 am
Last Post: theologian



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)