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Descartes: the material world/ontological arg

phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/21/2012 2:33:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Though I think Descartes made a large number of flaws in his arguments, I'd just like to talk about one here that isn't often disputed. After affirming, in his opinion, certainty of the immaterial mind with the cogito, Descartes sought to prove certainty of the external/material world. He used a version of the ontological argument for Gods existence to do so. His opinion was that a perfect being would not cause him to have illusions and such so the external world must be real if a perfect God exists. Since the ontological argument proves a perfect God, the ontological argument could accomplish this.

So now let's be generous and assume Descartes did prove God with the ontological argument. The ontological argument can only prove Gods attributes if they are completely objective attributes. That is because the ontological argument rests on objective facts necessitating the existence of God, so any attribute of greatness must stem from objective facts. It is obvious that any subjective, relative, inter-subjective, inter-relative etc...attributes cannot be established by the ontological argument. All attributes furthermore must stem solely from the laws of logic. Descartes argument could only work if it proved a morally perfect God. The ontological argument may prove a perfect God, but perfect in the sense of possessing all the most great qualities. Perfection does not necessarily mean moral perfection. What is moral perfection though? Is it objective? Are moral facts epistemic facts? I don't think so. I'm leaning to moral inter-relativism but nothing about the laws of logic by themselves necessitate moral facts. In other words, moral facts are only conceivable in the relation to there being moral agents. Values and obligation are only true in regards to beings who they are applicable to. For these reasons the ontological argument cannot prove a morally perfect God. If true, it necessitates a God with maximally great attributes, but there is nothing objective in the sense that he must possess maximally great moral attributes.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Cometflash
Posts: 126
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11/21/2012 5:10:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This sound like it could be an interesting discussion, unfortunately I don't have even an idea of how possibly I could participate in such. :(

I would have to do a lot of research just to grasp a bit of anything you just wrote. Lol

So this is way out of my reach.

However I like to ask a question. Exactly what definition of a God did he prove to exist? That is puzzling me more than anything.
I would think to prove a God, he would have to first define exactly who this God is.
Is it possible to give me just this detail, or the only way I could possibly understand this, is by doing all the homework. I don't know if I want to take such of task, I have trouble handle my own complicated thoughts, I don't know if I could handle this homework.
Chicken
Posts: 1,296
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11/21/2012 10:30:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/21/2012 2:33:09 PM, phantom wrote:
Though I think Descartes made a large number of flaws in his arguments, I'd just like to talk about one here that isn't often disputed. After affirming, in his opinion, certainty of the immaterial mind with the cogito, Descartes sought to prove certainty of the external/material world. He used a version of the ontological argument for Gods existence to do so. His opinion was that a perfect being would not cause him to have illusions and such so the external world must be real if a perfect God exists. Since the ontological argument proves a perfect God, the ontological argument could accomplish this.

So now let's be generous and assume Descartes did prove God with the ontological argument. The ontological argument can only prove Gods attributes if they are completely objective attributes. That is because the ontological argument rests on objective facts necessitating the existence of God, so any attribute of greatness must stem from objective facts. It is obvious that any subjective, relative, inter-subjective, inter-relative etc...attributes cannot be established by the ontological argument. All attributes furthermore must stem solely from the laws of logic. Descartes argument could only work if it proved a morally perfect God. The ontological argument may prove a perfect God, but perfect in the sense of possessing all the most great qualities. Perfection does not necessarily mean moral perfection. What is moral perfection though? Is it objective? Are moral facts epistemic facts? I don't think so. I'm leaning to moral inter-relativism but nothing about the laws of logic by themselves necessitate moral facts. In other words, moral facts are only conceivable in the relation to there being moral agents. Values and obligation are only true in regards to beings who they are applicable to. For these reasons the ontological argument cannot prove a morally perfect God. If true, it necessitates a God with maximally great attributes, but there is nothing objective in the sense that he must possess maximally great moral attributes.

Moral Perfection transcends agency? Why can't the peak of agency transcend existence? Just like there is no such thing as true happiness, moral agency has no perfection. It would actually make sense that moral Perfection transcends agency, do we not attribute a deity with attributes that transcend existence?
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Chicken
Posts: 1,296
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11/21/2012 10:30:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Edit: I meant Why can't moral perfection transcend agency (First sentence claim)
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phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/21/2012 10:39:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/21/2012 5:10:03 PM, Cometflash wrote:
This sound like it could be an interesting discussion, unfortunately I don't have even an idea of how possibly I could participate in such. :(

I would have to do a lot of research just to grasp a bit of anything you just wrote. Lol

So this is way out of my reach.

However I like to ask a question. Exactly what definition of a God did he prove to exist? That is puzzling me more than anything.

A perfect being

I would think to prove a God, he would have to first define exactly who this God is.
Is it possible to give me just this detail, or the only way I could possibly understand this, is by doing all the homework. I don't know if I want to take such of task, I have trouble handle my own complicated thoughts, I don't know if I could handle this homework.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/21/2012 10:57:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/21/2012 10:30:02 PM, Chicken wrote:
At 11/21/2012 2:33:09 PM, phantom wrote:
Though I think Descartes made a large number of flaws in his arguments, I'd just like to talk about one here that isn't often disputed. After affirming, in his opinion, certainty of the immaterial mind with the cogito, Descartes sought to prove certainty of the external/material world. He used a version of the ontological argument for Gods existence to do so. His opinion was that a perfect being would not cause him to have illusions and such so the external world must be real if a perfect God exists. Since the ontological argument proves a perfect God, the ontological argument could accomplish this.

So now let's be generous and assume Descartes did prove God with the ontological argument. The ontological argument can only prove Gods attributes if they are completely objective attributes. That is because the ontological argument rests on objective facts necessitating the existence of God, so any attribute of greatness must stem from objective facts. It is obvious that any subjective, relative, inter-subjective, inter-relative etc...attributes cannot be established by the ontological argument. All attributes furthermore must stem solely from the laws of logic. Descartes argument could only work if it proved a morally perfect God. The ontological argument may prove a perfect God, but perfect in the sense of possessing all the most great qualities. Perfection does not necessarily mean moral perfection. What is moral perfection though? Is it objective? Are moral facts epistemic facts? I don't think so. I'm leaning to moral inter-relativism but nothing about the laws of logic by themselves necessitate moral facts. In other words, moral facts are only conceivable in the relation to there being moral agents. Values and obligation are only true in regards to beings who they are applicable to. For these reasons the ontological argument cannot prove a morally perfect God. If true, it necessitates a God with maximally great attributes, but there is nothing objective in the sense that he must possess maximally great moral attributes.

Moral Perfection transcends agency? Why can't the peak of agency transcend existence? Just like there is no such thing as true happiness, moral agency has no perfection. It would actually make sense that moral Perfection transcends agency, do we not attribute a deity with attributes that transcend existence?

What do you mean by the peak of agency?

If moral agency has no perfection, how can we conceive of a morally perfect God? How would moral perfection even exist?

Moral perfection cannot transcend agency. That's because the whole idea of morality is conjured up by human beings and relative to our perception of reality. Morality is about values and obligations. Values are what agents make of certain qualities of the world. So it's based upon the moral rationale of the agent. Without agency, there is no values like forgiveness and fairness. Those are characteristics that are only great based upon an agents outlook. Descartes needed to prove a God who had attributes as such. Since his argument was an a priori argument for the logical necessity of God, the objective laws of logic that made him necessary had to make his moral attributes also necessary. Descartes couldn't claim anything about Gods character unless they were necessary objective characteristics. The problem is, bare reality says nothing about morality. Morality is only an idea developed by agents and dependent on agents. Therefore a perfect God was not necessarily morally perfect.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/21/2012 10:58:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/21/2012 10:30:47 PM, Chicken wrote:
Edit: I meant Why can't moral perfection transcend agency (First sentence claim)

Yeah that messed me up at first.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Cometflash
Posts: 126
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11/22/2012 1:15:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/21/2012 10:39:54 PM, phantom wrote:
At 11/21/2012 5:10:03 PM, Cometflash wrote:
This sound like it could be an interesting discussion, unfortunately I don't have even an idea of how possibly I could participate in such. :(

I would have to do a lot of research just to grasp a bit of anything you just wrote. Lol

So this is way out of my reach.

However I like to ask a question. Exactly what definition of a God did he prove to exist? That is puzzling me more than anything.

A perfect being

What is the description of what a perfect being is? The word perfect is one of those tricky words, not to define, but to know what really is. You could say perfection is something with no flaws. What exactly something with no flaws mean? And so on...

I would think to prove a God, he would have to first define exactly who this God is.
Is it possible to give me just this detail, or the only way I could possibly understand this, is by doing all the homework. I don't know if I want to take such of task, I have trouble handle my own complicated thoughts, I don't know if I could handle this homework.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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11/22/2012 6:11:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/21/2012 5:10:03 PM, Cometflash wrote:
This sound like it could be an interesting discussion, unfortunately I don't have even an idea of how possibly I could participate in such. :(

I would have to do a lot of research just to grasp a bit of anything you just wrote. Lol

So this is way out of my reach.

However I like to ask a question. Exactly what definition of a God did he prove to exist? That is puzzling me more than anything.
I would think to prove a God, he would have to first define exactly who this God is.
Is it possible to give me just this detail, or the only way I could possibly understand this, is by doing all the homework. I don't know if I want to take such of task, I have trouble handle my own complicated thoughts, I don't know if I could handle this homework.

The Fool: Don't worry its false. Its harder to rid you head of false information then to learn True knowledge.

<(8J)
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/23/2012 9:42:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/23/2012 6:09:08 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
Don't even accept cogito. Descartes does not apply his skepticism far enough.

Truth.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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11/23/2012 9:09:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/23/2012 9:42:13 AM, phantom wrote:
At 11/23/2012 6:09:08 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
Don't even accept cogito. Descartes does not apply his skepticism far enough.

Truth.

The Fool: What is the truth part???

Whats is a skeptic??

<(KD)
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/23/2012 10:37:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/23/2012 9:09:20 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 11/23/2012 9:42:13 AM, phantom wrote:
At 11/23/2012 6:09:08 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
Don't even accept cogito. Descartes does not apply his skepticism far enough.

Truth.

The Fool: What is the truth part???

That Descartes did not go far enough in his skepticism.

Whats is a skeptic??

<(KD)

Generally refers to a person who denies certainty or knowledge.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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11/24/2012 12:36:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/23/2012 10:37:59 PM, phantom wrote:
At 11/23/2012 9:09:20 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 11/23/2012 9:42:13 AM, phantom wrote:
At 11/23/2012 6:09:08 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
Don't even accept cogito. Descartes does not apply his skepticism far enough.

Truth.

The Fool: What is the truth part???

That Descartes did not go far enough in his skepticism.

Whats is a skeptic??

<(KD)

Generally refers to a person who denies certainty or knowledge.

The Fool: Exactly, so then what is a skeptic?

No bells ringing yet... think hard...
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/24/2012 1:27:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/24/2012 12:36:07 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 11/23/2012 10:37:59 PM, phantom wrote:
At 11/23/2012 9:09:20 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 11/23/2012 9:42:13 AM, phantom wrote:
At 11/23/2012 6:09:08 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
Don't even accept cogito. Descartes does not apply his skepticism far enough.

Truth.

The Fool: What is the truth part???

That Descartes did not go far enough in his skepticism.

Whats is a skeptic??

<(KD)

Generally refers to a person who denies certainty or knowledge.

The Fool: Exactly, so then what is a skeptic?

No bells ringing yet... think hard...

You asked. I answered. Why are you asking again?
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
badger
Posts: 11,793
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11/24/2012 1:39:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/24/2012 1:27:37 PM, phantom wrote:
At 11/24/2012 12:36:07 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 11/23/2012 10:37:59 PM, phantom wrote:
At 11/23/2012 9:09:20 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 11/23/2012 9:42:13 AM, phantom wrote:
At 11/23/2012 6:09:08 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
Don't even accept cogito. Descartes does not apply his skepticism far enough.

Truth.

The Fool: What is the truth part???

That Descartes did not go far enough in his skepticism.

Whats is a skeptic??

<(KD)

Generally refers to a person who denies certainty or knowledge.

The Fool: Exactly, so then what is a skeptic?

No bells ringing yet... think hard...

You asked. I answered. Why are you asking again?

What is the truth part???
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phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/24/2012 1:48:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
lol
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)