# Talk:Ontological argument

Well that's all clear now. (!?!!!???) Susanpurrrrr 14:07, 2 March 2008 (EST)

Heh, sorry. I'll fix it up once I excavate my philosophy book from my locker. It's an important historical fallacy, though. Also, I know nothing about editing wikis and am trying to learn, let me know when my stuff is unwanted/unclear.--PlantB 14:13, 2 March 2008 (EST)

Can't see it being unwanted & it's probably just my density defeating the undoubted logic. Don't worry - ther'll be plenty of people ready to jump on you. (see How to and note the penultimate bullet point) — Unsigned, by: SusanG / talk / contribs Susanpurrrrr (sorry)

For critisism of the Ontological Argument, see Gaunilo of Marmoutier --PlantB 18:05, 2 March 2008 (EST)

##  Currently it's not clear – here is how it should be simpler

If you think of something greatest, then something greatest exists in your thoughts, so it exists in reality too (because it's greatest :))

fallacy: 'something in thoughts' is not something actual :)

##  The Hulk

Could I use this argument to prove The Incredible Hulk exists?

• 1. Assume The Incredible Hulk does not exist.
• 2. The Incredible Hulk is defined as "that than which no stronger can be conceived"
• 3. "That than which no stronger can be conceived" must therefore not exist. (from 1 & 2)
• 4. "That than which no stronger can be conceived" exists only in imagination, not in reality. (from 2 & 3)
• 5. If "that than which no stronger can be conceived" were to exist in reality as well as in imagination, it would be even "greater".
• 6. But that would mean "That than which no stronger can be conceived" is not "that than which no stronger can be conceived". ( From 4&5)
• 7. "That than which no stronger can be conceived" must exist in imagination and also exist in reality for it to be the strongest thing conceivable.
• 8. That means 'The Incredible Hulk ' both does and does not exist (from 1 & 7).
• 9. Premise 1 cannot be true (reductio ad absurdum)
• 10. 'The Incredible Hulk ' exists.

--Bobbing up 13:02, 3 March 2008 (EST)

Bob, you're WAY wrong this time. Obviously everyone knows that Superman is stronger than the Hulk. And more eloquent. And cooler. I don't need citations for these indisputable facts.
Addressing your actual point, yeah, I think you could use this argument to "prove" that any super-awesome thing must exist. Breaking it down by category: a sprinter faster than any conceivable sprinter must exist. A planet bigger than any conceivable planet must exist. Bodily orifices more disgusting than the most disgustingly imaginable bodily orifice must exist. Throwing God into the mix only extends that idea to the "everything" supercategory I suppose. I guess proponents of the argument would have to somehow demonstrate that the "everything" category is somehow special for the it to have some sort of validity.--Bayesyikes 15:26, 3 March 2008 (EST)
Oh come on Bayes! First off I was thinking of the Marvel Universe. And secondly I'm not at all sure that everybody recognises that Superman is stronger. With regard to the rest I will concede of course - but stronger!!?--Bobbing up 16:01, 3 March 2008 (EST)
In the interest of historical accuracy, before too much derision gets poured on poor Anselm, I'll just point out that this argument arose in a society that did not know of Aristotelian logic and categorizations. Those were only rediscovered during the following century. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 16:10, 3 March 2008 (EST)
The Hulk? I guess he's kinda strong for someone with a yellow sun. When he gets strong enough to reverse the rotation of the Earth, survive multiple nuclear explosions, and accelerate himself to speeds that make him competitive with the Flash, I'll accept that he can hold a candle to Superman. Technically that's totally possible; someone just has to piss him off enough for him to get that strong, right? Maybe he just needs to read CP's upcoming article: [[Affirmative action superhero]]. That should do it.--Bayesyikes 20:59, 3 March 2008 (EST)

Yeah, Anselm tried to defend the Argument by saying that 'God' is a 'pure' and singular case. The Argument conveniently works only for 'God'. :P Descartes attempted to address the "paradox" (fallacy!) in his Meditation V: On the Essence of Material Things:

"Some might say 'If I take God to have all perfections, and if I take existence to be a perfection, I must take God to exist, but I needn't accept the premise that God has all perfections. Similarly, If I accept the premise that every quadrilateral can be inscribed in a circle, I'm forced to the patently false view that every rhombus can be inscribed in a circle, but I need not accept the premise.' This should not be said [...] God is the only thing whose existence belongs to its essence."

Has anyone asked the Hulk if his existence belongs to his essence? ;-)--PlantB 22:55, 3 March 2008 (EST)

##  Frege and existent as a predicate

It is kinda hard for me to talk about philosophical topics in english, so please excuse any sloppiness.

First of all it seems to me that the argument is stated needlessly complicated. It is in fact not just silly word play or trickery. It might become more obvious if it is stated "properly". The easiest thing would be something like this I assume...

[1]Assumption: God [defined as a being that cannot be imagined "greater"] does not exist in Reality. [2]A Being that does exist in Reality is greater than one that does not exist in Reality. [3]If something is missing a predicate that is would make it greater, than it is possible to imagine it containing that predicate. [1-2]

[4]It is possible to imagine god [a beeing that cannot be imagined "greater"] "greater". [5]This is obviously bullshit. [6]If an Assumption and true premises lead to the wrong conclusion C, and C is wrong, then the Assumption must be wrong [4-5]

[7]It is wrong that God does not exist in Reality [wich means God exists in Reality]

Premise 1 cannot be questioned [since it is an assumption] Premise 3,4,5,6 are [i think most people would doubtlessly agree] true Premise 7 follows from all the other ones.

But: Premise 2 is wrong.

The german mathematician, logician and philosopher had a striking explanation for this.

He looked at two sentences [he did in in german but anyway]

[1] The noble horses of the kaiser.----------------------------------[2] the four horses of the kaiser

What does this say about the horses?---------------------------------------

[1] All of the horses of the kaiser are noble------------------------[2] All of the Horses of the Kaiser are four?!

The number is [even though gramatically the same] not an attribute of the horses. It means that [as Frege put it] "there are four Objects on wich the predicate "hourse of the kaiser" apllies. By now it has become clear that the number does in fact say something about the predicate not the object.

How does this help with "existent"? Well the example above applies [obviously] to all numbers. If an Objecit is "nonexistent", well then there are 0 Objects. That means that if something is characterised as "existent" it means that the predicate applies to "non-0" objects. Hence "existent" is not a predicate for objects, it is a predicate for predicates.

This is why [2]A Being that does exist in Reality is greater than one that does not exist in Reality. is wrong. It doesnt even make sense.

Hopefully i could help clarify this. It would be very sad if Freges brilliant analysis werent in here. Also a christian philosopher names Platinga refrased the Argument so that it is untouched by all of this using a modal approach, maybe this could be added aswell [the argument is still bullshit of course] — Unsigned, by: 84.191.210.204 / talk / contribs

Interesting point. If we accept that an infinite being which does exist is greater than one which doesn't, then we'd have to assume that two gods are even better, or six gods, or a million gods, or an infinite number - therefore an infinite number of omnipotent beings must exist, which is clearly a problematic conclusion. Anyhoo, if you want to add something about Frege to the article, go right ahead. I'm sure others won't mind copy-editing if you're not confident writing in English. ωεαşεζόίďMethinks it is a Weasel 18:12, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

##  fact tag

I'm not sure what type of citation the original {{fact}} tagger was looking for, but it seems like they disagreed with the conclusions being drawn and just stuck on the tag. I'd like to just remove it unless someone makes a convincing argument against it (in which case that section needs to be worked - this really isn't a citation matter). ThunderkatzHo! 20:14, 24 February 2011 (UTC) PS We really need to stop using the fact tag to state our disagreement with a point and then move on.

I've removed it. The article could probably do with citing something somewhere, to meet basic article quality criteria, but the fact tag was propped against a summary statement. WeaseloidMethinks it is a Weasel 21:00, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

##  Argument breaks itself

In addition to the numerous problems with this argument, I might have found another. It's been a little while since I took a logic class, but I would think if we start out with an assumption (1. Assume God does not exist.) and during the "proof", we show the assumption is false (9. Premise 1 cannot be true (reductio ad absurdum) ), doesn't that kinda blow up the whole thing? I'd think we'd have to throw out the entire argument if we show the original assumption to be faulty. Then again, this argument is mainly semantics and not exactly formal logic. Thoughts? (ʞlɐʇ) ɹǝɯɯɐHʍoƆ 19:40, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Maratrean would agree with you, but as far as everyone else is concerned, that is the whole purpose of a reductio ad absurdum, showing that the original asumption is faulty. But if the argument did not use the premise, you would have a point — then it would just be an application of the principle of explosion. ListenerXTalkerX 20:02, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Ahh yes I was looking at it a little backwards. I knew I was missing something in there (ʞlɐʇ) ɹǝɯɯɐHʍoƆ 21:06, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

##  Definition of God

"Greater than" is by definition a subjective idea. The argument is circular, as it assumes that there is an objective way to determine which of two entities is "greater", an assumption that is necessary in order for this definition of God to hold. Furthermore, this definition of God is inconsistent with Anselm's definition that is used in other proofs. The "first cause" does not necessary need to be greater than the results; I can build a tower bigger than myself. Nor is it consistent with the idea of the Christian God; that God is held to be omnibenevolent, in other words limited by good actions. I can conceive of a being greater than that, one with all of its powers and the ability to make both good and bad actions, therefore being greater. Mr. Anon (talk) 21:46, 3 June 2012 (UTC)