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Ontological Arguments do they stand up

PolyCarp
Posts: 63
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2/25/2015 4:46:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I always thought ontological arguments were quite weak evidences for God, but apparently some scientists in Germany proved Godel's ontological argument for God's existence was right recently. http://www.spiegel.de.... The question comes down to whether ontological arguments for God are valid. The logic seems to hold but I am not sure all the premises would cause one to conclude God exists.
"Perhaps the atheist cannot find God for the same reason the thief cannot find a policeman"

--G.K Chesterton
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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2/25/2015 4:54:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 4:46:27 PM, PolyCarp wrote:
I always thought ontological arguments were quite weak evidences for God, but apparently some scientists in Germany proved Godel's ontological argument for God's existence was right recently. http://www.spiegel.de.... The question comes down to whether ontological arguments for God are valid. The logic seems to hold but I am not sure all the premises would cause one to conclude God exists.

List the premises, and show the logical progression as to why they we sound. Go.

Also you are going to have to do better than a publicity article, cite the actual publication and show you actually understand it.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/25/2015 5:55:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 4:46:27 PM, PolyCarp wrote:
I always thought ontological arguments were quite weak evidences for God, but apparently some scientists in Germany proved Godel's ontological argument for God's existence was right recently.

Hey Poly.

Unfortunately, the report is misleading. The result reported is in the area of Automated Reasoning and Mechanical Theorem-Proving -- an area in which I completed my PhD, and used to actively research. The logic being used -- modal logic, or the logic of necessity and possibility -- is one of many logics used to explore reasoning, and one for which I used also write theorem-proving programs. It's a research area around 40 years old, so this sort of result isn't new.

Unfortunately, the mathematics underpinning modal logic isn't terribly predictive, the way that (say) calculus can predict how an apple will fall. Moreover, the choice of logic you use influences what you can prove, and there are some logics which can literally prove anything -- and its opposite.

So the significance of this report is not:
Scientists Prove Existence of God

but rather:

It's totally amazing that from this argument led by G"del, all this stuff can be proven automatically in a few seconds or even less on a standard notebook

It's also naive to write:

I didn't know it would create such a huge public interest

...because the public interest is created by the spin on the report. :)

(And you're right -- ontological arguments are among the lamest in philosophy because they're so nonconstructive. :D)

I hope that may help. :)
Harikrish
Posts: 11,005
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2/25/2015 5:56:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 4:46:27 PM, PolyCarp wrote:
I always thought ontological arguments were quite weak evidences for God, but apparently some scientists in Germany proved Godel's ontological argument for God's existence was right recently. http://www.spiegel.de.... The question comes down to whether ontological arguments for God are valid. The logic seems to hold but I am not sure all the premises would cause one to conclude God exists.

Computers have gone even further and created simulations of biblical characters and events. Before computers it took the likes of Cecil B. Mills and Charlton Heston.