The Instigator
KeytarHero
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
mrsatan
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Argument from Desire is a sound argument.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+6
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/14/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,283 times Debate No: 36660
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (26)
Votes (0)

 

KeytarHero

Pro

I have re-instituted this debate because the last person who accepted is someone that I have no idea if he/she will even follow through. As such, I have made this debate impossible to accept. If you wish to take me up on it, please leave a comment. I'm not very picky on whom I debate, I just want to be confident that you will follow through and finish the debate.

Most people on this site are familiar with the more popular arguments for God's existence, the cosmological arguments, teleological argument, moral argument, and ontological argument. However, I would like to try out another argument which may not be as familiar to the debaters here, the Argument from Desire. I will give the argument in this round, even though this round will be strictly for acceptance. I will defend the argument in the next round.

The Argument from Desire I will be defending will be the argument as formulated by Peter Kreeft:

Premise 1: Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.
Premise 2: But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.
Conclusion: Therefore there must exist something more than time, earth and creatures, which can satisfy this desire. [1]

Round 1 -- acceptance only.
Round 2 -- opening arguments/rebuttals.
Round 3 -- rebuttals.
Round 4 -- rebuttals/closing statements.

I look forward to an interesting debate.

[1] http://www.peterkreeft.com...
mrsatan

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
KeytarHero

Pro

I would like to thank Con for accepting this debate.

The argument I will be defending will be the Argument from Desire, as laid out by Peter Kreeft:

Premise 1: Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.
Premise 2: But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.
Conclusion: Therefore there must exist something more than time, earth and creatures, which can satisfy this desire.
[1]

In defense of Premise 1: Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.

CS Lewis once wrote, "...Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such as a thing as sex. If I find myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." [2]

The idea behind the first premise is that there are two kinds of desires. One is an innate, natural desire like the desire for sex, food, drink, justice, etc. And every natural, innate desire has a real object that can satisfy it: we naturally desire sex, so there is sex. We naturally desire food, so there is food. And so on. We can also recognize corresponding states of deprivation of these desires: if you don't eat, you starve. If you don't drink, you dehydrate. And so on.

The second kind are artificial desires, which one does not desire naturally but come from without, from society. These desires are desires for things like sports cars, the planet Risa (Kreeft usees the Land of Oz as an example, but I figure I'll use my own analogy since it's my argument), that the Saints would win the Superbowl again. Unlike innate desires, there may or may not be satisfaction of these desires. Some, like the acquisition of sports cars, can be satisfied, and others, like traveling to Risa or the Saints winning the Superbowl again, cannot be. Kreeft points out that on top of this, we do not, for the most part, recognize corresponding states of affairs. There is not Risalessness to correspond to sleeplessness. Another difference is that all humans innately desire the natural desires, but the artificial desires vary from person to person.

Kreeft additionally points out, "The existence of the artificial desires does not necessarily mean that the desired objects exist. Some do: some don't. Sports cars do; Oz does not. But the existence of natural desires does, in every discoverable case, mean that the objects desired exist. No one has ever found one case of an innate desire for a nonexistent object." [1]

In defense of Premise 2: But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.

Lewis, again in the same book, writes, "Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise. The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love or first think of some foreign country, or first take up some subject that excites us, are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning, can really satisfy. I am not now speaking of what would be ordinarily called unsuccessful marriages, or holidays, or learned careers. I am speaking of the best possible ones. There was something we grasped at, in that first moment of longing, which just fades away in the reality. I think everyone knows what I mean. The wife may be a good wife, and the hotels and scenery may have been excellent, and chemistry may be a very interesting job: but something has evaded us." [2]

The idea behind this premise is that when we look back through all of human history, I scarcely think we should find anyone who was perfectly happy with everything they had acquired. Someone can spend their life chasing after women, or money, and no matter how many women they sleep with, or how many shiny new toys they buy, they are never really happy. There is always the feeling that life can't be all there is, there is the longing that there must be something more.

Peter Kreeft explains, "The second premise requires only honest introspection. If someone defies it and says, 'I am perfectly happy playing with mud pies, or sports cars, or money, or sex, or power,' we can only ask, 'Are you, really?' But we can only appeal, we cannot compel. And we can refer such a person to the nearly universal testimony of human history in all its great literature. Even the atheist Jean-Paul Sartre admitted that 'there comes a time when one asks, even of Shakespeare, even of Beethoven, "Is that all that there is?"'" [1]

Conclusion: Therefore there must exist something more than time, earth and creatures, which can satisfy this desire.

This argument is not a rock-solid proof of God's existence. I don't think there is such a thing. This argument may not even, necessarily, refer to God, though if used in a cumulative case could support God's existence by being the thing that this argument points to. This debate is not about whether the argument supports God's existence, but just about whether the argument, itself, is sound.

Kreeft tells us that the conclusion of the argument is not "God" as already conceived or defined, but a moving and mysterious X which pulls us to itself and pulls all our images and concepts out of themselves. This mysterious X is unknown, but the direction of this X is known. The desires of this earth are fulfilled by finite satisfactions; the X in question is more. Not more in terms of quantity (so not more food to satisfy your hunger). But more as in quality. The mysterious X this argument points to is infinitely more, as we are not completely satisfied with the finite and partial.

So while the argument points to God and the existence of Heaven, as an infinite satisfaction of the desires that this world can never truly satisfy, it is not meant to be absolutely evidence of God's existence.

I await Con's reply.

[1] http://www.peterkreeft.com...
[2] CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 10.
mrsatan

Con

I would like to thank KeytarHero for proposing what should be an interesting debate. This debate is, in fact, the first time I have ever seen this argument. However, I do feel it falls short of being a sound argument.


Premise 1: Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.

I have a few problems with this statement. The first being the wording of it.

For all of the desires this is implying, the real object(s) that can satisfy them exist on earth. As such, to say something exists somewhere other than earth to satisfy the desire of the second premise doesn't logically follow as the argument suggests it does. Therefore, the premises together do not actually imply the conclusion.

Secondly is the distinction of two types of desire, natural and artificial. I do not see such a distinction as truly existing. Logically speaking, all desires are natural, even the desire to have a sports car, or for whatever football team a person calls their own to win the Superbowl. Yes the specifics of them may be derived from society, but the reasoning for them will always correspond with a more basic desire. Why does someone desire a sports car? Some people would have different reasons than others. Possibly that it's a beautiful machine, aesthetically pleasing to look at. We all desire beauty for both ourselves, and the people/things around us. Perhaps its the significance of status it implies, as we all desire to be important in some way. I'm sure there are other possibilities, but I'm confident they all relate to some basic desire. Why does someone want "their" team to win the Superbowl? Because they consider themselves a part of that team through support of them, and should they be declared the best, that person will feel pride, which is a perfectly "natural" desire. Perhaps I'm mistaken and there are other examples that better illustrate the distinction, but it's a minor point anyways, bearing no real effect on my arguments. (Also, I didn't know what you meant by Risa, so I searched for it. Are you referring to the planet in the Star Trek Universe, or something else? The desire for the planet still follows, being born from the desire for exciting and new experiences, assuming that is what you were referring to.)

The third problem I see, which actually involves both premises, is that no desire can ever truly be satisfied by what's available to us. We get hungry, and so we eat. We thirst, and so we drink. We get horny, and so we have sex. But we will get hungry, thirsty, and horny again. It is only a temporary relief. As I understand it, this argument is implying a desire for true happiness, and that desire is no different from the aforementioned. I can't speak for anyone but myself in this regard, but I have most certainly had moments where I am truly happy. Enjoying the company of friends, joking and laughing. Even just sitting down with my cat, petting him as he purrs. In these moments, I am truly happy, not longing for anything else. I ask anyone reading this to look at there own lives, and experiences. Have you ever felt such a happiness? I would guess that many who read this, if not all, have at some point.

Is it a fleeting feeling? Very much so. Am I in that state as I type this? Not even close. But to my knowledge, there is no permanent end to any desire, short of death. And if there's an afterlife, depending on what that consists of, death may not even suffice. So to say the desire for perfect happiness is substantially different from any other desire is simply not true. As such, the conclusion cannot be deemed a truth.


Premise 2: But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.

For the same reasons as above, I agree with this statement, except that I would apply it to all desires, and only because no desire can ever be truly satisfied. The satisfaction is always temporary.

However, it's inclusion in the argument makes it an exception to the initial premise. It has to be, otherwise they would be in direct contradiction, leaving only one of the premises the possibility of truth. But because it's an exception, the rules of the first no longer apply to it, and so it cannot be said for certain that something exists to satisfy such a desire. Even if the first premise is deemed true, this renders the argument invalid.


In Closing

As there is no desire that cannot be fulfilled, no matter how temporary that fulfillment may be, the argument cannot be considered sound.

Even if I'm mistaken in my understanding of the desire being described, the arguments logic does not follow as it suggests, and still cannot be considered sound.


With that, I turn it back over to Pro.
Debate Round No. 2
KeytarHero

Pro

I wish to thank mrsatan for his thought-provoking response.

Premise 1: Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.

Argument 1: The fact that the objects that exist to fulfill these desire exist only on Earth is actually irrelevant to the argument. The argument does not state that the objects only exist on Earth, or that we can only find fulfillment here on Earth. Rather, by a simple deduction we can show by the examples of what we can find fulfilled here on earth that there are desires we have that can be filled, not here but elsewhere. That strikes me as saying something like this: "human beings need water to survive, and water appears on Earth. Therefore, water doesn't appear anywhere else in the universe." Now we have never discovered water existing on another planet, though there is evidence that water once existed on Mars. But at any rate, one of the things NASA is looking for is water on another planet to see whether or not there could be life out there.

Argument 2: Fair enough. I seems to be clearer, the distinction should probably be made for natural objects to fulfill our desires, or artificial objects to fulfill our natural desires. Either way, that doesn't argue against the premise, itself. If we are to call a desire fo a car a desire, that would be an artificial desire. But if we're going to look at a more fundamental, natural desire like the desire for beauty, then we can show that there are things society uses to bring us these pleasures, like cars an paintings, but there are natural objects to fulfill these desires, like sunsets and flowers. So either way, there is a natural object to fulfill this natural desire, even if humans had never created these objects. Instead, it seems that these objects are created as an extension of the recognition of these desires. (And yes, the reference to Risa was to the planet from Star Trek lore.)

Argument 3: Of course we all have moments where we are happy, but as Con has mentioned, they are fleeting. They are imperfect moments because they don't last. Our desire is for a more perfect, more infinite fulfillment of these desires, ones that will be unending. Sure, death may not suffice to end these longings for some people (especially if there really is a Heaven or Hell), the fact that some people don't obtain the fulfillment of these desires doesn't prove that they don't exist. Just because some people starve that doesn't prove that there is not such a thing as food.

Con's arguments didn't refute the first premise. The first two arguments were irrelevant as to the truth of the proposition, and the third argument was inadequate because some people not obtaining the fulfillment of these desires does not prove they don't exist.

Premise 2: But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.

Con used the same arguments to argue against this point, but my responses to them above stand.

The premises of the argument are not logically inconsistent. There is nothing inconsistent in arguing that first, every natural desire has a fulfillment, and second, there exists in us a desire that can't be fulfilled here but will be (or can be) fulfilled elsewhere (perhaps in the next life).

This premise stands affirmed.

Con had another argument which he forgot to include. As I find it much stronger than the others, I will go ahead and respond to it here:

"Also, while I think my arguments were all good enough as is, I meant to include that the objects to satisfy our desires don't exist because we desire them. Rather we desire them because they exist. For instance, without food to satisfy our hunger, we would not be able to live, and therefore would not be able to desire food at all. Or anything else for that matter. Same goes for the desires of sex (at least for multiple generations to live) and thirst"

I'm not sure this argument works, however. We desire food and drink because we need them to live. But there's no reason to conclude that we only desire them because they exist. Also, we desire more abstract things, like justice and beauty, and they obviously don't exist. They are abstract concepts that don't exist in themselves, yet we still desire them.

As the two premises stand affirmed, the conclusion stands affirmed.

I look forward to Con's next round of rebuttals.
mrsatan

Con

Firstly, I would like to thank KeytarHero for taking the time to address what I added in the comments. I am, however, content to drop this point, as it was meant to be more of an observation than an actual argument.

Also, as he has now put the desire in question into words, I have a better understanding of the Argument for Desire, and can now properly refute it.

As stated: "Our desire is for a more perfect, more infinite fulfillment of these desires, ones that will be unending."


Premise 1: Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.

Argument 1: It seems my point here has been misunderstood, and so I will attempt to explain it in more depth, as when combined with my second argument, this is my strongest point.

I did not say that the objects to fulfill our natural desires exist only on Earth, nor was it my intent to imply such a thing. Whether or not any of these objects can be found beyond the bounds of Earth, the fact remains that they all can be found on Earth. It's simply meant to point out one of the fallacies of this argument, that being it is an argument by selective observation.

An argument by selective observation is a logical fallacy that fails to reveal the entirety of truth. Facts that are counterproductive to the argument are left out, either by oversight or intent to deceive. Any argument that is truly sound is inclusive of all facts that are relevant.

Earth is the only place in which we know objects exist that can fulfill each and every one of these innate, natural desires. We may have reason to believe some of them exist beyond Earth, as Pro indicates, but that is not the same as saying they must exist beyond Earth, and it is certainly not saying they all must.

Pro would like you to think this is irrelevant, however it is not, nor should it be. To ignore our natural environment when talking about our natural desires would be folly. When this truth is added to the first premise, or anywhere else in the argument, it becomes a non sequitur, which literally translates into does not follow. By changing the first premise, or adding another premise, to show that fulfillment for natural desires can be found in out natural environment (Earth), there is no reason to believe that a natural desire can be fulfilled at all, if it can not be fulfilled on Earth.

At this point, what it would actually imply is that if a desire cannot be fulfilled on Earth, said desire is not a natural one. This is where the second argument comes into play.

Argument 2: I find the distinction Pro has given in this round to be a much more justifiable distinction. Natural desires being those that are fulfilled by natural objects, and artificial desires being those that are fulfilled by artificial objects. However, I believe there to be a third type of desire that has not been brought up, which would also be the category the desire in question falls into. That is, a supernatural desire, a desire that is fulfilled by a supernatural object.

Definition of Supernatural:[1]
1: of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil
2a: departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature
2
b: attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)

Our universe as we know it is bound by the laws of time, and as such, any object that is more than time must be a supernatural object. As a desires type corresponds to the object that fulfills it, any desire that is fulfilled by a supernatural object would be a supernatural desire. As such, the argument enters into an even larger non sequitur, as it is using what we know about natural desires to imply something about supernatural desires, for which we really know nothing about, at least not beyond the desires themselves.

Therefore, the argument for desire is not sound.


Argument 3: Although I believe Pro has missed the point of this argument (It had nothing to do with the desires of some not being fulfilled), I will drop this argument. It was formed on misunderstanding of the topic argument, due to its vagueness about the desire to which it's referring, and I can no longer consider it entirely relevant.


Argument 4: I will add in a final argument now, in case Pro manages to refute the above, as I prefer not to make new arguments when my opponent won't have a chance to respond.

Should Pro prove that the desire for "a more perfect, more infinite fulfillment of these desires, ones that will be unending" is a natural desire as opposed to a supernatural desire, it still remains fundamentally different than any other natural desire in two ways. One being that it encompasses all other natural desires, whereas other natural desires are all separate from one another. Secondly, other natural desires do not call for permanent satisfaction, only temporary satisfaction, Because of these fundamental differences, it would be fallacious to assume that the same rules apply.


Premise 2: But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.

I'm not sure what leads Pro to assert that my argument here was the same as my other arguments. The only similarity was that it refutes the logic of the Argument from Desire, but it does so on a different line of logic. As Pro didn't feel the need to address it, I will repost it here for convenience, and leave it for the voters to decide if it's acceptable refutation. (It reaches the same conclusion as the argument I added this round, but again, on a different line of logic)

The inclusion of this premise in the argument makes it an exception to the initial premise. It has to be, otherwise they would be in direct contradiction, leaving only one of the premises the possibility of truth. But because it's an exception, the rules of the first no longer apply to it, and so it cannot be said for certain that something exists to satisfy such a desire. Even if the first premise is deemed true, this renders the argument invalid.


In Closing

The premises in the argument of desire are based on natural desires. However, a desire fulfilled in such a way as the conclusion suggests would not be a natural desire, but a supernatural desire. As such it doesn't follow through logically, and therefore cannot be considered a sound argument.


With that I give the reins back to Pro.


Sources:
[1]: http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 3
KeytarHero

Pro

I wih to thank Con, again, for taking the time to debate this with me.

I would just like to add that I had put the desire in question into words in my opening argument, though it's possible I wasn't clear enough. From the opening argument, I stated, "The desires of this erth are fulfilled by finite satisfactions; the X in question is more. Not more in terms of quantity...But more as in quality. The mysterious X this argument points to is infinitely more, as we are not completely satisfied with the finite and partial."

In defense of premise 1:

Con's response that the argument commits the fallacy of selective observation is unwarranted. The argument is a simple deductive argument. All of the natural, innate desires that we do have have real objects to satisfy them. So if there is nothing here on earth that can satisfy one of our desires, then it follows that we were created for another world. Con has failed to refute this premise because he has failed to locate any natural desires in us that can not be fulfilled.

So regarding Con's second argument, strictly speaking, it is irrelevant to the first premise. It should really be used to attack the second premise. All the first premise is saying is that every natural, innate desire has a real object that can fulfill it. Con has failed to show us a natural, innate desire that can not be fulfilled here on earth, so the first premise stands. If he wishes to use this argument to attack the second premise, then it is still irrelevant to the premise. The "real" object that can satisfy the desire may be supernatural, but that doesn't mean that our desire for the satisfaction, itself, is supernatural. That simply does not follow.

Con has dropped his third argument, and the argument I responded to in the comments, so only the first two arguments, of which I responded to above, and the fourth argument, which I will respond to below, are relevant to the discussion.

So regarding Con's fourth argument, I think that his argument that this desire encompasses all other desires does not bear much weight in the long run. It does not encompass all other desires, such that fulfilling this desire will automatically result in the fulfillment of all the others. Rather, in order for this desire to be fulfilled, all other desires must be fulfilled. It's not a "blanket" for all of the desires. Secondly, our natural desires do call for permanent satisfaction, we just can't obtain permanent satisfaction here on this earth. For example, we all desire to survive, but despite this there will still come a day when we die.

It seems clear that premise one of the argument remains unscathed.

In defense of premise two:

I was responding to Con's statement: "For the same reasons as above, I agree with this statment, except that I would apply it to all desires, and only bcause no desire can ever be truly satisfied. The satisfaction is always temporary." It seemed to me that Con was expecting his arguments from premise one to apply to premise two, so I was indicating that my rebuttals to those arguments apply her, too.

The premise, here, is not an exception. It is simple deduction. If our desire for something more is a natural desire (and it doesn't follow that if it has a supernatural object to satisfy it, that the desire, itself, is supernatural), and all of our natural desires have a real object to satisfy them, then it follows that this desire for something more has a real object to satisfy it. That is not an invalid argument (it is logically valid), and if the premises are more plausible than their negations, the argument is likewise sound. Con has not sufficiently argued against either of the premises.

It is likewise clear that premise two remains firm.

Conclusion:

Premise one remains because Con has not supplied an innate, natural desire that does not have a real object to satisfy it. Premise two remains because Con has not shown that there is no desire in us which can't be satisfied here on earth. He did argue that the argument is invalid because I am arguing for a supernatural desire, but as I have shown, it doesn't follow that the desire is supernatural even if the object to satisfy it is.

I once again thank Con for his time, and I thank you, the reader, for taking the time to consider it.
mrsatan

Con

I would like to thank KeytarHero for what has been a most enjoyable, thought intensive debate. I apologize if my statement about the desires vagueness came off offensively. That was not my intention. More accurately, I simply found Pros later description to be much more clear than Peter Kreefts description.

Also, I do not need to show any of the premises as untrue. Showing that the conclusion given is not the most logical conclusion, or that the premises do not apply to the desire in question, is enough to render the argument unsound.

Argument 1: The fallacy of selective observation most certainly applies. [1] If the fact that the objects to satisfy our natural desires can all be found within our natural environment were actually irrelevant, it would have no effect on the argument when included. To better illustrate the effect it does have, I'll put it in the form of a proper syllogism.

P1: Every natural, innate desire corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.
P2
: These objects can all be found within our natural environment, which is Earth.
P3: But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.
Conclusion: Such a desire is not a natural, innate desire.

This conclusion is much more appropriate than either conclusion offered by Pro. That is, the conclusion originally included in the argument for desire, or the conclusion that we were created for another world. However, such a desire could be a supernatural, innate desire. Additional premises would be needed to rule that out, but we don't know enough about the supernatural to make those premises.


Argument 2: This argument actually applies to the whole of the argument for desire. It did, however, originate with the first premise. I simply left it there in favor of keeping the debate easy to follow.

That the desire in question is a supernatural desire logically follows.

Given that a desires type corresponds to the object which satisfies it:
A natural desire is a desire satisfied by a natural object.
And an artificial desire is a desire satisfied by an artificial object.
A supernatural desire would then be a desire satisfied by a supernatural object.

As the object in question is a supernatural object, the desire it satisfies must be a supernatural desire.


Argument 3 and comment: Dropped.


Argument 4: "Rather, in order for this desire to be fulfilled, all other desires must be fulfilled." - Pro

This opens up two very big problems. In this case, the desire in question is not fulfilled by an object, but by other desires. As such, by the first premise, it is not a natural, innate desire, because those all have an object to fulfill them. The same problem arises with the conclusion. According to the conclusion, there must be an object to satisfy it, which is in direct contradiction to this statement.


Exception Argument: I believe that this argument applies, but it seems to be unnecessary at this point, so I will still leave it for the readers to decide.


In Closing:
There is so much wrong with the argument for desire that I'm not even going to attempt to summarize it all. I will simply say that the argument for desire is not sound.


Sources:
[1] http://www.logicallyfallacious.com...
Debate Round No. 4
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ooberman 3 years ago
ooberman
KyLogan, then why would this be an argument for God if you can parse any desire into bits?

Isn't the desire for God simply a desire to live forever, to have a loving relationship, to have Goodness win, etc?
Seems to be a form of special pleading to say that the desire for God is about God, but the desire, e.g., to live forever" is about things that exist in this world (the living part, not the forever part).

BTW, how would we explain the desire for their to be an atheistic universe? Does that mean it exists, too?
Posted by mrsatan 3 years ago
mrsatan
Also, while I think my arguments were all good enough as is, I meant to include that the objects to satisfy our desires don't exist because we desire them. Rather we desire them because they exist. For instance, without food to satisfy our hunger, we would not be able to live, and therefore would not be able to desire food at all. Or anything else for that matter. Same goes for the desires of sex (at least for multiple generations to live) and thirst.
Posted by KyLogan 3 years ago
KyLogan
ooberman,

"Think of a great time with a loved one, you wish it could go on forever, or a good movie you wish was longer? There are probably more unfulfillable desires than desires themselves."

The premise does not say that we all have desires that WILL be satisfied. It says we have desires that correspond to something in the world that can fulfill that desire. The fact that not all our desires ARE actually fulfilled does not affect premise 1.

As for a desire that a relationship can go on "forever", have a feeling that might be part of KeytarHero's argument.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Ooberman, I'm guessing you have no idea how a philosophical argument works. Why don't you wait until after I make my case before dismissing the argument?

Seriously, people need to read more.
Posted by wordy 3 years ago
wordy
Though I am not an atheist, I think the arguement is awfully speculative.
Posted by ooberman 3 years ago
ooberman
How is #1 valid? There are many natural desires we have that can never be fulfilled? Think of a great time with a loved one, you wish it could go on forever, or a good movie you wish was longer? There are probably more unfulfillable desires than desires themselves.

It's simply such a poor argument since it really rests on, as has been mentioned in this thread more than once, touchy feely stuff. Emotions and such which are notoriously poorly defined.

It's another desperate argument from theists, like the moral argument, or TAG, etc.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Folks...it's not appropriate to debate in the comments, especially before I even select an opponent. I selected Mr. Satan because he was the first one to reply. I'd be happy to debate anyone else on this, as well.
Posted by Sargon 3 years ago
Sargon
I'll debate you on this.
Posted by wordy 3 years ago
wordy
*bounds of the universe and time - is beyond that comprehension. How can we desire something that we can't define as"real", much less define as an "object" when it exists in a space that is outside our current existence? The goal of this appears to be to prove the existence of a deity or deities beyond the fabric of our reality. Why should we try to confine it/them to being a "real object" when their very existence requires that they exist outside of reality and our bounds of comprehension?
Posted by wordy 3 years ago
wordy
The argument requires that several things are true, and I disagree with both premises and conclusions.
Premise 1:
Why should desire require a real object? If we desire a good life, one that we can enjoy and where we feel some measure of freedom, that's not an object. Love is not an object, yet we desire it. We desire material goods, sure, but I'd say that most of our deepest desires don't correspond to any real objects. Nor do I necessarily think that these desires are all natural desires either, but that's a larger issue. What's "real"? Does it have to have physical presence? How do we regard reality within the bounds of this premise?
Premise 2:
What is this desire? It's not spelled out. Someone's telling every one of us that there's a desire we can't satisfy no matter how hard we try. What is it? At the very least, we must be able to define that desire before we can accept it. But I would argue that there are no universal desires. There are universal needs, but no universal desires. What one person wants, another may not. Why should this be the single desire that covers practically everyone?
Conclusion:
First off, this doesn't logically follow from the two premises. There are multiple ways to evaluate the premises that dismiss this. If I accept that this universal desire exists, why can't I say that it simply can't be satisfied by anything, and that we are all doomed to dismal existence by not fulfilling that desire? The second premise refers to time,Earth and creatures, but doesn't refer to feelings or intangible aspects, nor does it even refer to objects in space. Why can't there be something that exists that we simply don't know of yet that would satisfy that desire? The first premise actually disproves this conclusion. If a real object must exist to satisfy this desire, then that object must exist within the bounds of our comprehension in order for us to desire it in the first place. What you're talking about -existence outside the bounds of the universe and t
No votes have been placed for this debate.