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Philosophy: The Existence of God
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29 / M / St. Louis, Misery
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Posted 4/8/12
I have a theory.... The Universe itself is a "God", some other "God" just injected the human disease into it, and we are bound to destroy it. Us humans are like a bacterial infection that's slowly developing and adapting to our host (the earth... for now). As soon as we do have intergalactic space travel, we will only spread our disease further.

Here's another. The universe is such a minuscule thing we just perceive it to be endless because we are even smaller. If we were able to shrink down to something smaller than a quark, we would just see another "universe".

And yet another! They say the universe was created 13.7 billion years ago. But how long is 13.7 billion years anyway? Just because we see it as a long time, doesn't necessarily make it a long time. All of time is happening instantaneously, we just perceive it to be long because our life span is shorter than the "instant".

What are all of these statements? Theories. Some may believe them when they read them, some may not. Your whole logical statement is based on a theory. Theories are not the equivalent of facts. The theory in this philosophical statement is that there is nothing greater than god. How is this proven exactly? If there is nothing greater than God, and he was omnipotent, why then would he only talk to a handful of people to spread his words? Couldn't he just talk to everyone and make them believe?

Who says its Greater to be conceived and exist than to just be conceived. Who conceived God? Wouldn't whatever conceived God be greater than God? Your statement says its greater to exist AND be conceived than to just be conceived. So obviously something created God, which in turn would make the creator of God greater than God.
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27 / M / United States
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Posted 4/8/12

pretendz0r wrote:


entropiCCycles wrote:




Here's what OP and I have managed to conclude so far.
Maybe this will help clarify the question.

Also, I'm kind of surprised by how many people have decided to step away from the originally intended topic, as OP specifically asked for people to refute the argument that they presented, not present additional perspectives on the general issue that this argument tries to answer. Maybe we could try to get back on track, here?



basically this. I mean, there isn't much more to say, is there? Without a more stringent definition of "greater", the premises are so vague that it's pretty much impossible to determine the truth value of the syllogism.

I also suspect that under any definition of greatness we could agree on, I would dispute the second premise (quite possibly the first as well).

So.../thread on page 2 or whatever?

Personally, though, I have little interest in or patience for purely philosophical arguments, which often seem to me to fall to the level of semantic wrangling -- while philosophy is obviously an important field, I prefer to discuss facts and empirical observations, and take certain philosophical axioms and notions as read.


I agree with your conclusion. Thanks for the second opinion.
And, yeah, I'd have to agree that it's not exactly all that fun to work with phantoms of definitions. I might work with uncertainty on a regular basis, but it's all generally well laid-out uncertainty.
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Posted 4/8/12
yes let's have a discussion on everyone's favorite fictional character from the best selling fiction novel. if he existed I wouldn't want to pray to such an evil cruel monster. And the reason why I don't believe in God, is that I have hope that human kind can take care of humankind, and not some person that we don't even know exist helping human kind. If this all knowing all powerful god existed, why is there a devil? He would be able to destroy the devil with no problem, and if he is all knowing, then is there any reason to pray for him to make things better, as he isn't going to change anything as everything is planned out.
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Posted 4/8/12

kyletkd wrote:

Well being Catholic I believe in the existence of God. I have to say that most people do give a sideways glance when you tell them this..


As a previous Catholic who "converted" to atheism and lives in Kansas, I can say the opposite, not believing in God, can be just as socially unacceptable in some areas :/
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22 / M / 風の山
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Posted 4/8/12
but your theory has baseless evidence, and there are many holes in it. for example your money example is just a fact of you having a misconception of whats in you pocket.

since we are using logic, which in sense is a science. there is room for a probability, but unless you can prove it time and time again there is no proof. what is his form? if its the form of man, then are we not our own god? if you use god as a philisophical sense, then it make sense but as a real being then we will then need proof.

this is a good discussion topic, hope no one thinks of it otherwise.
Posted 4/8/12
i beleive
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25 / F / kittens ♥
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Posted 4/9/12

CarboKill wrote:


Bossy-Cat wrote:

of course there is God..who created this complicated universe and humans then?
it created itself? BULLSHIT
you only deny His existence coz you wanna live life as you please like animals without restrictions and such...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQhd05ZVYWg


time didn't exist before the Big Bang,therefore God doesn't exist. what a lame theory! no offense
how can that even lead him to such a conclusion!! and yeah laws of nature are the work of God.
there is absolutely no scientific theory (or fact or whatever) that can prove God's nonexistence.
on the contrary,many scientists believe otherwise
but thank you any way young man! although i didn't gain anything from the video
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Posted 4/9/12 , edited 4/9/12
I would have to say the biggest problem is that the argument is not valid or sound. The argument is presented with an assumption of bivalent logic, but the actual logic needs to be trivalent. See the works of David Hume to see why a priori reasoning can't be the sole method used to prove existence. What you have is a semantic paradox making the argument invalid. This is intro to philosophy stuff. If you want to look at arguments that are not embarrassingly bad, seriously a poor version of Anselm's Ontological Argument, you should look into Alvin Plantanga.

Anyone else with an advanced degree in Philosophy or Religious Studies can feel free to P.M. me. I should note that my work has mostly been focused on Phenomenology like Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
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32 / M / United Kingdom
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Posted 4/9/12
The source of OP's syllogism is Anselm's ontological argument.

1. God is that being than which no greater can be conceived.
2. It is greater to exist in reality than merely as an idea.
3. If God does not exist, we can conceive of an even greater being, id est one that does exist.
4. Therefore, God must indeed exist in reality.
5. Therefore, He exists.

Beyond the obvious assertion that although internally consistent, the premises themselves can still be false, there are a couple of other fun ways to bring it into question.

First of all, if you accept that the logic is sound when used to prove a god, you must accept the logic is sound to prove anything. An 11th century monk Gaunilo of Marmoutiers demonstrated this with his own refutation.

1. The Lost Island is that than which no greater can be conceived.
2. It is greater to exist in reality than merely as an idea.
3. If the Lost Island does not exist, one can conceive of an even greater island, id est one that does exist.
4. Therefore, the Lost Island exists in reality.

The other way to do it is to use the premises against themselves.

1. God is that being than which no greater can be conceived.
2. A god who does not exist yet has agency (the power to act and have an effect) upon our world is is more powerful than a god who does exist and has agency upon our world.
3. If a God that does not exist must be more powerful than a God that does exist, then a non-existent God is greater than an existent God.
4. Therefore God does not exist.

But all in all, you never really have to go that far. If you cannot prove your premises, any logic using them as a founding point are purely mental masturbation and no proof of anything.
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31 / M / Where am I to, go...
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Posted 4/9/12
eh sure why not, I've believed In stranger things.
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28 / M / Irish/German - Am...
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Posted 4/9/12
Why isn't this in extended discussion?
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18 / F / Back in December :)
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Posted 4/9/12
My way of seeing it is like this: God wants to be loved, truly, by us. Sure, we've heard a billion times that if he really is God, we should worship him, he is almightly, blah blah blah. But what missing sometimes is the fact that he loves us too. Imagine if someone were forced to love you. That wouldn't be very genuine, would it? When there is tempting evil in the world, such as the devil, choosing God instead shows that we love him and have, with our own free will, decided to follow him.
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Posted 4/9/12 , edited 4/9/12
The way I see it. Belief in God and Religion is tied to the concept of trust or faith in whatever religious figure you happen to follow. Jesus, Buddha, Mohamed, etc. If you follow and believe their philosophy than God is just part of that philosophy (well I'm pretty sure theism in Buddhism is optional). My belief in God is simply an aspect of my Christianity.
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20 / F / Asia, Earth. :]
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Posted 4/9/12
I always believe that God does exist.

During my High School, I'm always devoted to him. I pray almost everyday and night. I go to church every Sunday. Everything went well. My studies, my Family, my lovelife...
But things had changed when I got to college. Since I have no troubles with other things except studies. I focused myself into studying that I stopped praying. I noticed how much impact it brought to me. I felt alone and unloved. Even though I studied, I still have problems regarding my grades unlike my performances during my 1st year in College. I dunno. I just became distant to him.

During the most crucial moment in my life, I prayed again. I don't know if you will believe me or not but my life became the same as it was before. But just a tip of advice for everyone. It doesn't mean when God didn't answer your prayers that he does not exist anymore. It means that he has a purpose for it. PLUS: You have to double your HARDWORK for it to be possible and you will be rewarded.

Sorry guys. I just love GOD so much.

I don't think it follows the Philosophy, Science and so on. I'm not just good with all that stuff.
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36 / M / Earth (Usually)
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Posted 4/9/12
For anything to exist, each of those things must have something in common, otherwise they could not co-exist.
This common substrate matrix is sometimes called "God".

Because this commonality is common to all things, it is difficult to become aware of directly,
and is impossible to perceive directly using only the senses, as the senses use it as an implicit unexamined reference point.

It is (metaphorically) like water to fish, or light itself in relation to color.

This substrate is also what is called "I", not any particular "I" but "I" itself, the original, infinite origin, self-less Self,
continually expressing itself as the myriad beings and things.

When one says "I", "God" is what is referred to, if all temporal coverings (body form, quirks of personality, thought-forms etc.) are discounted.

The practice of meditation in all religious traditions teaches one to look within for the source of "I",
in order to personally understand the nature of the divine.

Or maybe not.
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