mickeyd wrote:Hi Maria,
Re my post which puts the ontological argument into step-form, yes Step 3 should read “Put steps 1 and 2 together”, I made a minor mistake with the numbering.
“However, atheists' "conception" of God is merely their understanding of God-believers' conception of God”
I find it strange that you think you’re conception of God is dissimilar to mine. Do you use the English dictionary? So do I. Further, do you think our present conversation on the subject is meaningful? If you do then clearly there cannot be any significant difference in our understanding of the word “God”. If you don’t then why do you bother to engage in a futile exercise? Surely you must have something better to do with your time and energy.
“With my mind I believe leprechauns exist but because I believe they exist merely with my mind, I therefore do not believe with my mind that they exist.”
Precisely! The contradiction remains which is exactly my point. The notion of leprechauns is used to show that logic tests the form of arguments not their contents (material import); the notion shows an argument can have false premises but still be logically valid. Someone might ask, “if an argument can be formally true but materially false, then what’s the point of logic?” It’s value comes from the fact that an argument cannot be materially true but formally false, since if it was formally (logically) false it would be contradictory and therefore unintelligible; it wouldn’t be an argument at all. So logic underpins all knowing.
However, you’re appeal to the leprechaun notion is irrelevant to our present controversy, because it is precisely the form of your argument that I am criticising. This is why we can substitute leprechauns into your objection (as you have above) and the contradiction remains:
1. With my mind I believe that leprechauns exist
2. Because I believe merely with my mind that leprechauns exist, therefore with my mind I do not believe that leprechauns exist
Step 2 still contradicts step 1. Your objection is formally false; and since nothing can be formally false and materially true, your objection is also materially false.
“there is no demonstrable evidence of an "absolute being",”
The ontological proof shows evidence that could be neither more demonstrable nor more immediate, since it resides in our rationality, the constitution of the mind. If you say you can conceive of an absolute being not being, then you’re not conceiving of an absolute being:
absolute: “having no restriction, exception, or qualification” (Merriam-Webster)
absolute: “complete, perfect, unrestricted, independent, unqualified, unconditional” (Oxford Dictionary)
you are so arrogant, as well as ignorant - how dare you patronise people in this way about how they spend their time! (I
will probably get into trouble again with Maria for being intemperate, even though it is she who you patronised). Anyway,
what you say is barely comprehensible, but at least I can say that you are wrong to call arguments right or wrong -
arguments are valid or invalid, it is premises and conclusions which are right or wrong, ie true or false. Please explain
EXACTLY what you mean about material and formal correctness/incorrectness. Re conceptions of God varying - please understand that dictionary definitions, though useful and often essential, are distillations of all sort of complex usages and therefore that widely different conceptions of God are inevitable. To reinforce what Maria has already said, EXISTENCE IS NOT A PREDICATE. Therefore you cannot argue from the dictionary definition of the PREDICATE "absolute" to the ontological status of existence.