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failure of logic?

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failure of logic?

Postby rimon-jad » Sun Jan 25, 2004 7:52 pm

st. Anselm - Fides quaerens intellectum (or Proslogion)
there´s a thing, the biggest thing in the whole kosmos, over which nothing else, nothing bigger can be thought, and it´s God.
but it necessarily implicates that the thing is in your mind. not as a projection but the thing itself. If it was a projection, you would know that, so it still exists as a bigger thing outside your mind.
doesn´t that necessarily mean that it cannot be thought?
(or isn´t this just a bunch of scholasticism?)
God cannot be thought, i´d say.
all comments, explenations, etc. are welcome
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Postby Kalailan » Sun Jan 25, 2004 8:05 pm

i don't think that "god" is something that can be thought.
it's something that our minds cannot grasp, because it is not anything in the physical world.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:56 pm

there´s a thing, the biggest thing in the whole kosmos, over which nothing else, nothing bigger can be thought, and it´s God.


The biggest thing you could possible think of is God... the problem is that this sentence is probably wrong. Because God could be infinitely big (God and infinity seem to go together pretty neatly), and we can't really comprehend infinity all too well. In this sentence it is also assumed He's inside the cosmos, but that would make him a bit of a prisoner inside his own creation, would it not? Surely all mighty God could also be outside of it, too?

Anyway, generally it's possible to find about a hundred reasons why sentences like that one are wrong, because when you start saying something about the nature of God you can quickly find yourself in trouble.

Logic fails on that sentence because it's not a logical sentence. In the world of theology it doesn't stick to the rules sort of thing.
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Postby rimon-jad » Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:36 pm

I should express it another way. That isn´t what I meant.
This has to do with the "proofs" of God´s existence.
This is the ontological one.
Undoubtly, we can´t imagine God.
We can think there is st., over which nothing bigger cannot be thaught. limit of our mind. There probably has to be the thing. Do you think it somehow "prooves" God, in a way of logic?
I imagine it can, but it´s unbelievable. sounds strange: "unbelievable proof".
my conclusion is this: if there is a thing, which finally limits our mind and logic, it has to be God. not necessarily the christian or jewish God or "cosmic soul" (cosm.soul is a stupid idea)
there are things which doesn´t and can´t exist, yet we name them: cold flame, elephant having an intercourse with an orange, apples with hairy tails, etc. but this is different. those are derivates. you get what i mean?
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Postby copain » Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:45 pm

I imagine it can, but it´s unbelievable. sounds strange: "unbelievable proof".
my conclusion is this: if there is a thing, which finally limits our mind and logic, it has to be God.


:) Well done, your comments are absolutely right :!:
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    Postby benissimus » Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:52 pm

    there are things which doesn´t and can´t exist, yet we name them: cold flame, elephant having an intercourse with an orange, apples with hairy tails, etc. but this is different. those are derivates. you get what i mean?


    I liked this part the most.
    flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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    Postby Emma_85 » Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:04 pm

    Yes, we can say stupid things like cold fire and so on, even if we can't imagine them. Eternity is another good example of something we can say but can't imagine.
    But all these things do have something to do with our environment. We know the word cold and we know the word fire, and in our language we can put the two words together, our brain allows us to put information we have in our memory into knew forms, and with language we can say the most stupidest things, as long as they don't violate the grammar of that language. Eternity is not something we can experience in nature, but we do experience the opposite - a moment in time. All we are doing there is giving the opposite of something we know a name. Infinity is the opposite of the finity we know and experience.
    We are limited in our thought to what we see. We can't imagine anything that's not made up or somehow has something to do with our experiences. A gold mountain is made up of gold, which we see and the mountain we see, it's not really anything radically new.
    What God is said to be is the opposite of most things we are.
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    Postby Kalailan » Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:41 am

    Emma_85 wrote:What God is said to be is the opposite of most things we are.


    i disagree here.
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    Postby mingshey » Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:35 am

    Emma_85 wrote:Yes, we can say stupid things like cold fire and so on, even if we can't imagine them.


    FYI, cold fire is not very stupid or unimaginable. I once read about the chemical formula to make a cold(that is, not hot) fire. It included a chemical agent for a kind of fire extinguisher; Carbon 4-Chloride or stuff like that. Plus an inflammable, like Carbon Disulfide, whatever. :D
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    Postby Emma_85 » Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:40 pm

    God is omnipotent - humans aren't, we're weak
    God is all-knowing - humans aren't, we're only know a bit
    God is infinit ...
    and so on
    That's what I mean. My exact word were: What God is said to be is the opposite of most things we are.
    Theologist may now say that God is just something totally incomprehendable (as I said, you can't imagine anything you don't know), but the common or classic view is of God as the opposite (really good) to humans (really bad). At least that's what religion teachers here say (who are often priests of course). Eventhough my parents are atheists too they did send me to a baptist sunday school type of group, and you had no choice but to take religion at school. So I know what God is said to be...
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    Postby klewlis » Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:14 pm

    well, I think it's hard to discuss an apologetic argument when we don't have the whole thing here. There is much more to this particular line of thinking than what has been mentioned above.

    In a nutshell, he talks about being able to imagine a being so great--powerful, perfect, omniscient-- that nothing greater can be imagined. But that's only the setup--the next step is that if we are imagining a perfect being with all perfect qualities, then surely existence is one of those qualities, because existence is more perfect than non-existence. And it's from there that he argues that God must then exist. I don't remember all the details but it is more believable (I didn't say entirely believable) when you read the whole argument.
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    Postby Kalailan » Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:27 am

    I know you said said,
    but it depends on who says it.
    you meant the christian god, now i see.
    my god isn't the opposite. i don't think humans are bad at all...
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    Postby klewlis » Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:00 pm

    wow.... you don't think humans are bad at all???

    that is one belief that I just can't.... understand....

    I work with street women, most of whom are ex-prostitutes trying to build a better life for themselves. They are all addicts of one sort or another.

    I know women whose mothers introduced them to crack when they were as young as 6 years old. I know women whose families sold them to men when they were children. I know women who have been tortured (literally) by men who are so depraved that they find some sort of sick, twisted pleasure in beating women to an inch of their life or performing all sorts of sexual atrocities on them. I know a girl who, because of her crack addiction, slammed her baby into a wall and killed it.

    And this is only one tiny part of the world population. Evil runs rampant throughout the world and NO ONE is innocent. Even children raised in the best, most loving homes are born with tempers, deceit, and every other evil. How can one believe that people are not bad???

    (sorry this is getting a little off topic.... we can start a new thread for it if necessary...)
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    Postby Kalailan » Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:12 pm

    I don't need to read horrific stories. i have read enough about the holocaust.

    i cannot explain this so shortly.
    now back to the topic!
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    Postby klewlis » Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:18 pm

    Kalailan wrote:I don't need to read horrific stories. i have read enough about the holocaust.

    i cannot explain this so shortly.
    now back to the topic!


    Then please start a new thread for it! I really do want to try to understand the reasoning behind your statement...
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    Postby Emma_85 » Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:46 pm

    In a nutshell, he talks about being able to imagine a being so great--powerful, perfect, omniscient-- that nothing greater can be imagined. But that's only the setup--the next step is that if we are imagining a perfect being with all perfect qualities, then surely existence is one of those qualities, because existence is more perfect than non-existence. And it's from there that he argues that God must then exist. I don't remember all the details but it is more believable (I didn't say entirely believable) when you read the whole argument.


    Thanks for making that more clear to me. But my argument is the same. The first part is wrong, as you can't imagine anything that great. It's beyond our capabilities. We are not able to imagine a being so great that nothing greater can be imagined. We have no real concept of infinity except that it is somehow something that goes on forever (but forever is a word we can't really imagine either) :-P.
    After the first bit the rest may be logical, but if the premise is flawed so is the rest.
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    Postby Lex » Wed Jan 28, 2004 8:02 pm

    Emma_85 wrote:After the first bit the rest may be logical, but if the premise is flawed so is the rest.


    Whether you can imagine anything that great doesn't matter, though. Even if you could, the argument is still flawed. Here is the argument, spelled out:

    1) Any entity that is perfect must exist.

    2) God is perfect.

    3) Therefore, God exists.

    Let's assume that premise 1) is true. Premise 2) is still faulty, in that assuming that God is perfect implicitly assumes that God exists, which is not obviously true, and which is what is to be proved. A more proper set of premises, would look like this:

    1) Any entity that is perfect must exist.

    2) If God exists, he is perfect.

    All that would logically follow from these premises is that if God exists, he exists, which is a rather trivial result.
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    Postby benissimus » Wed Jan 28, 2004 8:29 pm

    1) Any entity that is perfect must exist.

    How did they arrive at this premise?
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    Postby Lex » Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:13 pm

    benissimus wrote:
    1) Any entity that is perfect must exist.

    How did they arrive at this premise?


    Does it really make sense to speak of a non-existent but perfect entity?

    Besides, it doesn't matter. Even if that premise is true, the second one isn't, so the syllogism still fails.
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    Postby Emma_85 » Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:38 pm

    This reminds me of one of my history lessons where our teacher presented us with some medieval 'logic' (similar to this, only it was no trying to prove the existence of God, but the absolute power of the monarch). The very first premise was wrong, but first we all tried to prove the ones later on where wrong, but they were logically right if you assumed the first to be correct :P . You really have to watch it with medieval stuff.
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    Postby klewlis » Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:08 pm

    lol. this is true. the logic of old is very different than that today... there have been some pretty funny things said because of logic.

    I'm sure in a couple of thousand years our current forms of logic will also be considered primitive and amusing. :)
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    Postby Lex » Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:51 pm

    klewlis wrote:lol. this is true. the logic of old is very different than that today... there have been some pretty funny things said because of logic.

    I'm sure in a couple of thousand years our current forms of logic will also be considered primitive and amusing. :)


    Logic is logic. As far as I know, logic itself hasn't changed much since the days of Aristotle. It's the ways people misuse it that are so different from today. And yes, our current misuses of logic will probably boggle the minds of 31st century schoolchildren. "How could they have thought that?"

    This brought a new possibility for a signature to mind. How would one say "I think, therefore I make mistakes" in Latin? :wink:
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    Postby klewlis » Thu Jan 29, 2004 5:45 pm

    cogito ergo pecco

    I think that sounds better than cogito ergo erro.

    :)
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    Postby Skylax » Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:30 pm

    Here is the Latin text (from the Bibliotheca Augustana - a French translation is available on the web). The meaning seems slightly different from what you wrote initially :

    Convincitur ergo etiam insipiens esse vel in intellectu aliquid quo nihil maius cogitari potest, quia hoc cum audit intelligit, et quidquid intelligitur in intellectu est. Et certe id quo maius cogitari nequit, non potest esse in solo intellectu. Si enim vel in solo intellectu est, potest cogitari esse et in re, quod maius est. Si ergo id quo maius cogitari non potest, est in solo intellectu: id ipsum quo maius cogitari non potest, est quo maius cogitari potest. Sed certe hoc esse non potest. Existit ergo procul dubio aliquid quo maius cogitari non valet, et in intellectu et in re.

    In my best broken English :

    So even a fool is convinced (=must admit) that something does exist, at least in a mind, nothing can be thought to be greater than (= You can imagine the greatest thing possible, then it does exist in your mind), because, when he (the fool) hears of it, he understands what is spoken about, and what is understood lies in (the corresponding) mind. And the thing "nothing can be thought to be greater than", can certainly not exist in a mind alone. For if it lies only in your mind, you can think at the same time that it does exist also in fact, what is even greater (=superior, more important : we have to admit that this is the meaning of MAIUS from the beginning).Thus if the thing "nothing can be thought to be greater than" exists only in a mind, this very thing is (at the same time) a thing "something can be thought to be greater than". But surely, this cannot be. Thus, beyond any doubt, something does exist, in a mind as well as in fact, "nothing can be thought to be greater than".

    Remarks :
    - Anselmus doesn't mention neither "God", nor an animate being. It will come later.
    - The argument is only understandable if we admit that the meaning of MAGNUS is not "big" (in size) but "great" (in dignity, in rank). But dignity doesn't lie in external things, only in our thoughts for it is a value jugdgment. See Paul WATZLAWICK, How Is Real Real?

    :P
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    Postby Geoff » Fri Jan 30, 2004 2:15 am

    Klewliss is right about the Ontological argument being extremely difficult to set forth with any limited explanation.

    The real problem with discussing the ontological argument is that inevitably the fallacy of equivocation begins. The single word "imagine" is employed in place of the two separate concepts of "fathom" and "imagine" in the more concrete sense of "conceive".

    The ontological argument is valid, but the various versions are stated in such was that they render themselves useless. It is so very difficult to convey a premise that shows something "neccesarily follows" in purely abstract terms without ending up with a worthless tautology.

    Other arguements are easier and more compelling.
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    Postby Ibn Taymiyyah » Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:40 pm

    I have a humble opinion regarding the title of this thread "Failure of Logic”.

    I think it is important to differentiate between classical logic (ancient) and experimental logic (Dicart, Mill, Beacon).

    Classical logic, as any science put together by humans, has a faulty portion and a correct portion.

    We don’t need to study or implement the faulty portion because it is faulty. And the correct portion comes natural to each one of us, we are either inherently logical by nature and life experiences or not.

    Therefore, in either case we don’t need to study logic.

    It was said once: Logic is a science which the intelligent person is in no need for … and will never benefit he who is not so smart !

    Studying logic by someone who is illogical will not help them.

    Humans did not excel until they threw classical logic behind their backs and replaced it with experimentalism. Classical logicians had it all wrong … they put the horse behind the cart … they used experimentation to prove the law. Only when the law came as a result of experiment did the world advance.
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    Postby Mongoose42 » Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:52 pm

    Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:Humans did not excel until they threw classical logic behind their backs and replaced it with experimentalism. Classical logicians had it all wrong … they put the horse behind the cart … they used experimentation to prove the law. Only when the law came as a result of experiment did the world advance.


    I disagree on the alue of teaching classical logic. Having experienced the joy of taking a formal logic course, I have come to realise that even a fool can bettered by such instruction. If for nothing else than to see through the arts of public rhetoratician, similar to the politicians of America.
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    Postby threewood14 » Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:48 pm

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