No idea which category this should be under but.

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Eugene, May 17, 2004.

  1. Eugene

    Eugene Senior Member

    Descartes and st. aquinius postulated that since I can convieve of an infinite being, one must exist.
    But I had some trouble with that, mostly that the phrase "infinite being" is a contradiction in terms. In order to "be" you must be limited to "being", I.e. you could not "not be". So for something to be infinite it must at the same time be and not be.... maybe the secret of the crucifiction nu?
  2. sassure

    sassure Member

    Ah, but can we really conceive of an infinite being at all?
  3. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    you can concieve ANYTHING, but it still only exists in your head.
  4. Eugene

    Eugene Senior Member

    no, you cannot concieve of anything unless you have some experience with it. And in cases like the boogy man or unicorn or other fantastic creatures they are only extrapolations and idunno the word morphings of different sources.
    But every religion seems to have a concept of a perfect, infinite being/creator, and since in everyday experience we never ever have anything related to this it must somehow be innate.
    Descartes did this: he broke down all the toughts we have into three catergories. First is the Innate, that which we are born with (eat sleep sex food etc.) then there are the imaginative, things we concieve of that come from experience (unicorns age of empires 2 etc.) and finally scientific a priori knowledge (a triangle has three sides, there are 360 degrees in a circle).
    Since we cannot imagine something without experience, and since there is really no scientific justification for a god (in fact there seems to be an opposite most of the times) then we are left with an innate idea. And why would we have this innate idea unless there is a creator who wishes us to be aware of it's presence.... hmmm...
  5. the dauer

    the dauer Member

    I think we only use the term being because it helps us find a way to better relate to some sort of supernatural, assuming we believe in that at all. What says god is in actuality a being in any sense that we can understand? For those who believe that god predates existence, doesn't this mean that his own existence is not in itself "being?" And besides, if god created logic, doesn't that mean that he himself is not bound by those laws? He is not his creation.
  6. osiris

    osiris Senior Member

    I can concieve of there being no infinite "being". Does that mean he does not exist?

    look, aquinas would postulate anything if it served to somehow meet the appearance of evidence for the faith in which he presided. this is the same guy who thought that masturbation was the cause of numerous handicaps, like atrophied limbs and the such.

    and descartes: "i think therefore i am". is it not equally valid, if not moreso, to say "i am, therefore i think." intelligent design supposes that existance is a result of consciousness, but what if consciousness is a result of existance? to me, these philosophies illustrate how arrogant man can be in regard to his place in nature.

    much love :)
  7. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    Ah yes the ontological argument.

    I don't buy it eithier. For something supposedly based on logic it is very illogical. Try and present any [lack of] evidence and the response is 'but it's God. God's diiffrent.' which is a lame cop out to me.

    It does raise interesting questions about whether something exists or not. After all most people have an idea what a unicorn is (from Disney and all that) but you never see them roaming around. So do they exist or not?


  8. HuckFinn

    HuckFinn Senior Member

  9. Eugene

    Eugene Senior Member

    well, i think therefore i am is a valid arguement, for by trying to prove you do not think you think. And if something thinks, then there must be a something to do the thinking.
    As for god being a "being" it isn't a semantic arguement or anything like that, it is just that if something exists it is limited in the fact that it exists and does not not exist. an a unicorn is just a horse with a horn, a morphing of two different ideas while a perfect infinite being is not a morphing of anything.

    As for the bible, it has some good teachings and some good stories and all, but it is pretty much bullshit.
  10. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    I honestly can't see why 'infinite' would mean both being and not being.

    Rather the opposite, actually.
  11. osiris

    osiris Senior Member

    it is a valid argument for a conscious being to make, but what of unconscious objects? are they not also part of existance? and what of the empty space? does it not, in its own way, exist?

    really, i think(haha), from the continuation of the argument you give above, it would be more proper to express it as "i think, therefore i think." lol.

    much love :)
  12. Professor Jumbo

    Professor Jumbo Mr. Smarty Pants

    You can can you? Well, do it. Concieve of something (and do please tell us what it is) that has never before been concieved of and which has absolutely no connection whatsoever to anything that has even been concieved of. In short, concieve of something that is entirly new in every single respect.
  13. Antimatter235

    Antimatter235 Member

    Of course you can't create a concept out of nothing. A painter can't paint with colors and brushes that doesn't exist, it doesn't mean the creation "must" exist outside the canvas in some tangible form.

    And, of course, all concepts doesn't come from experience. They come from other concepts that might be questionable themselves.
  14. Professor Jumbo

    Professor Jumbo Mr. Smarty Pants

    No, not the ontological argument; it has not quite showed up yet in this thread though similar things have appeared. In brief, the ontological arguement is as follows.

    I can have the concept of a being than which no greater being can be concieved. The specifics, attributes, powers and what not of this being are not important for the moment though one will become so later. What matters is that I can have the idea that there exists a being so great that no greater being than it can be thought of. Now, as the argument goes, existence is a greater thing than non-existence any being that exists must have then have an aspect of greatness above any and all non-existing beings. If I can concieve of there existing a being greater than any other being that can be concieved (and I can) then we know that that being must in fact exist, for if it did not exist than it would not be a being greater than which nothing can be convieved.

    For the original read the works of Peter Anselm of Canturbury. It is he, and not Aquinas or Descartes who developed this argument. While in its day heralded by the Catholic Church as a great achievement, and while it has survived to today as a master work of religious philosophy it never really convinced very many people.
  15. Antimatter235

    Antimatter235 Member

    Of course if we create a scale of "greaterness" to classify beings on you can create an imaginary "being" that will always be on top. Even if we were to discover such being the previous hypotesis of such being would be just a hypotesis not yet tested (possibly wrong, possibly true).
  16. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    I can coceive anything, too.

    Tell me what to conceive, and I'll conceive it in a moment's time! (Unless I'm drunk, of course...) :D :D
  17. Eugene

    Eugene Senior Member

    Okay, see, god is a being of infinite attributes, but one of those attributes cannot be that the being does not exist, or else god would not exist, and would therefore not have almost any attributes then.
    As for why physical objects exist if they do not think. There is no real way to prove that they do. It is called methodical doubt basically if there is any way to disprove anything than we simply throw it away. The objects you percieve to exist might not, just as any situation you find yourself in might not exist (think dreams). That and there is no real point in proving them to start with.
  18. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    If you lure me out of logic, you'll have to deal with me being illogical...
  19. osiris

    osiris Senior Member

    ah, but according to you, or descartes, whichever, dreams do exist, because they can be concieved. when one concieves themselves, they are concieving of the object of their "self", are they not? so one could also say, "i think this is a dream, so therefore it is." "i think that is a rock, therefore it is." do you see how endlessly we can "prove" the existance of things by concieving them?


    much love
  20. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    I think it has to do more with what CAN exist. Or, you can;t put these things in context. Everything that one can conceive exists (every object), but not so the situations. To say you cannot imagine a thing (a concept) that doesn't exist, but of course you can imagine millions of non-existant combinations of things.

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