Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Fallacy of the ontological argument H1



Although very interesting this argument holds no real truth. "The ontological argument is the argument that God, being that than which no greater can be thought of, has to exist, because if he did not then it would be possible to conceive of an existent God, which would be greater than that than which no greater can be conceived" (https://www.princeton.edu/~grosen/puc/phi203/ontological.html) Hard to follow? Yea me too, its absurd. This argument has been debated heavily with no real wins for the supporters. Its almost fallen off the map, not completely, but pretty close. Anselm apparently proposes to treat the understanding or the mind as if it were a place, and to speak of things existing "in the understanding". Anselm's assumption here is that if I understand claims about God, then we may say that God exists in my understanding or in my mind. Now I want you to imagine a cake, a huge cake, a great cake. Greater than can ever be conceived. Now this cake exist in your understanding therefore it is real, yes? Nope. The cake is not real but only exists in your mind. But this is where he contrasts the existence of god in your understanding versus the existence of god in reality. God is a being of which no other being can be conceived. My cake is a cake of which no greater cake can ever be conceived. Therefore they both exist in reality. Now you can believe whatever you want religiously, and by no means am i comparing a cake to God. Im using the analogy of a cake to explain the ideas of existence vs reality in the understanding. But the argument that is given in this philosophy is too convoluted and never makes any real points. As interesting as it is, it is absurdly false.  

2 comments:

  1. I must vehemently disagree with your comparison with "the cake" to God.
    Although the ontological argument is at serious fault, I think to say that it is fallacious would be intellectually dishonest. Anselm's proposal that the mere fact that humans have somewhat collectively believed in an existence which is above all others is by no means proof of the existence, however, it is interesting that the man has always created doctrines that center around a supreme existence. You asked me to imagine a cake, and then asked me if this perfect cake exists simply because I can imagine that it's real. No, however, you asked me to imagine something that the both of us are wholly familiar with. We've personally seen them at weddings, birthdays, etc., but imagine if you asked a person who has never been familiar with or witnessed the food known as cake. You asked him to imagine a cake. His thought would be, "I can't imagine a cake, but since he is asking me to imagine this object, it must exist on some platform, or else he wouldn't know what it is."
    Now, it most definitely is fallacious that Anselm considers the ontological argument to be proof of the holy trinity, as the error in his thinking, similar to pascal's wager, is in thinking that Christianity is the only existent religion. For this logic to work, no other religion could have ever persevered or even existed besides Christianity for the ontological argument to be proof of its validity.

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  2. (H1) I see your point about the ontological argument. It is on the absurd side to say that because we conceive of God his existence is real while also saying it is impossible for us to conceive of Him. I would argue that having an idea or notion of something is not the same as it actually existing.

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