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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 14:50   #1
Radical Edward
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Anselm's argument

pretty old, but I thought I would throw it to the dogs. What is wrong with this then?

1) A being is God if and only if it is the greatest conceivable being.
2) Let's assume that atheism is correct, and that God only exists in thought, and not reality.
3) That which exists in both reality and thought is greater than existence in thought alone.
4) We can conceive of God's existence in both thought and reality.
5) Thus, we can conceive of a being greater than God.
6) We can conceive of a being greater than the greatest conceivable being.
7) The assumption that God only exists in thought leads to a contradiction, so it must be false.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 14:56   #2
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Re: Anselm's argument

I dislike point 3
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 14:59   #3
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Re: Anselm's argument

oh and using that logic there must exist a perfect place, a perfect woman, a perfect spoon, etc
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 15:03   #4
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Re: Anselm's argument

I never find anything like that particularly satisfying. It's what happens when Mathematicians hang around with philosophers too long.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 15:09   #5
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Re: Anselm's argument

personally I like to define the greatest being as a being that can concieve a greater being than itself.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 15:09   #6
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Re: Anselm's argument

Point 5 is bollocks if you're keeping point 1 in mind. Plus point 3 appears to have been plucked out of the air.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 16:26   #7
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Re: Anselm's argument

Just because you can conceive of something great doesn't mean that it actually exists.

A 12 year old could come up with a better argument than that for why God exists.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 16:31   #8
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Re: Anselm's argument

2) seems like an abuse of language, with a pretty horrible use of the word 'exist', 3) is meaningless, 4) is probably wrong, and in any case you cant 'logically' prove that something does or doesnt exist (lol zeno lol)
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 16:35   #9
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Re: Anselm's argument

It's not called "Radical Edward's Argument", ffs.

Having said that, I was under the impression that the need for god was to fill the void left by a lack of inclination to apply logic to problems; so I find the use of logic to prove god exists to be somewhat perverse.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 18:09   #10
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Re: Anselm's argument

Ooh, JonnyBGood said he understands this sort of thing!
And yeah they aren't meant to be persuasive as such. But they are fairly sound in that specific refutations are generally even less persuasive. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/on...l-arguments/#8
I'd go for #2 for the reasons idi and nod said. Things don't exist in thought; at most, models of them do.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 18:59   #11
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Re: Anselm's argument

Quote:
Originally Posted by queball
Ooh, JonnyBGood said he understands this sort of thing!
S'up?

Anyways the whole thing just falls down so fast. What you're conceiving of as god isn't actually god, it's just an appearance, as in what you concieve god to be. It's a platonic raping of language.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 19:03   #12
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Re: Anselm's argument

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
S'up?

Anyways the whole thing just falls down so fast. What you're conceiving of as god isn't actually god, it's just an appearance, as in what you concieve god to be. It's a platonic raping of language.
"platonic raping", nice.
Though variants on "idealism is gay" are hard arguments to sustain logically.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 19:07   #13
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Re: Anselm's argument

Quote:
Originally Posted by queball
"platonic raping", nice.
Though variants on "idealism is gay" are hard arguments to sustain logically.
Well it's easy to "prove" things exist in reality. There it is, there it is, there it is. Idealism in itself is an assumption, and an unnecessary one at that. The fact that if you assume x,y and z a,b and c are true doesn't really mean much if there's no reason to assume x,y and z are true.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 19:14   #14
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Re: Anselm's argument

If god can create it all and do everything, than can it make a rock so heavy that he cant lift?

See? Much faster and simpler.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 19:15   #15
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Re: Anselm's argument

Oh my god we're not doing that one again. Let's put it this way, if god operates outside the universe, and time, does your question still make sense?
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 19:26   #16
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Re: Anselm's argument

Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't see anything in that arguement that isn't a hole.
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Unread 29 Jan 2004, 19:31   #17
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Re: Anselm's argument

dont know about the rest, but in the case of number 2, it means that God only exists in the thoughts of its believers, not in reality. and if you keep that in mind then at least that point makes a little more sense.
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