Maydole's Ontological Argument

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Maydole's Ontological Argument

#1  Postby Nocterro » May 20, 2010 9:16 am

This is a response to Thommo, who has critiqued Robert Maydole's formulation of the ontological argument. The post in question is here: general-faith/wlc-attacks-the-god-delusion-t7108-40.html#p212610 (it is essential to read his post before mine, as I reference it heavily).

His contention is that M3 (in red) assumes the truth of the argument's conclusion (that a supreme being exists).

First, I would like to take a look at these premises, and add two more("G" standing for General):

G1: If Y is X, then Y's negation is not X.
L1: If a statement is true, then its negation is not a true statement.
M1: If a property is a perfection, then its negation is not a perfection.

G2: X's entail only X's.
L2: True statements entail only true statements.
M2: Perfections entail only Perfections.

M3: Supremacy is a perfection.


Now, can we formulate an L3 and G3 in order to show that M3 does not beg the question? I think we can, in this way:

L3: Statement Z is a true statement.
G3: Z is an X.


So, we are left with the following:

G1: If Y is X, then Y's negation is not X.
G2: X's entail only X's.
G3: Z is an X.

L1: If a statement is true, then its negation is not a true statement.
L2: True statements entail only true statements.
L3: Statement Z is a true statement.


Maydole gives the following definitions:
Perfection: a property that it is necessarily better to have than not.
Supremacy: the property that a thing has if and only if it is impossible for something to be greater and impossible for there to be something else than which it is not greater.


and defends M3 thus:
M3-1: For every Z, all of the nontautological essential properties entailed by Z are perfections if and only if the property of being a Z is a perfection.
M3-2: Every nontautological essential property entailed by the property of being supreme is a perfection.
M3: The property of being supreme is a perfection.


He also writes:
...and M3 is true because it is reasonable to assume that a thing is supreme if and only if it is necessarily greater than everything else solely by virtue of having some set of perfections, making the extension of the property of being supreme identical with the intersection of the extensions of those perfections.


We could analyze M3 using the definitions of "supremacy" and "perfection" given above in the following manner:

It is necessarily better for a being that (it is impossible for something to be greater than that being) and (it is impossible for there to be something else than which it is not greater).

Notice here that "existence" is not included. Instead, Maydole argues (in appendix 2) that M1 - M3 imply that it is possible that a Supreme Being exists. He then goes on to provide a deduction showing that the conclusion of the deduction in appendix 2 entails that a supreme being exists.

Conclusion - if Maydole begs the question, it is NOT in premise M3.

[Source: Maydole, Robert. The Ontological Argument, The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. 2009]
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -Siddhārtha Gautama
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#2  Postby hackenslash » May 20, 2010 10:41 am

Perfection: a property that it is necessarily better to have than not.


And that's supposed to be a definition? It doesn't even remotely address what perfection is, it merely asserts it as necessary.
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#3  Postby hotshoe » May 20, 2010 11:19 am

:coffee:
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He said, "Stick by my side and I'll be your guiding hand
But don't ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to"
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#4  Postby Nocterro » May 20, 2010 11:20 am

hackenslash wrote:
Perfection: a property that it is necessarily better to have than not.


And that's supposed to be a definition? It doesn't even remotely address what perfection is, it merely asserts it as necessary.


Based on past experiences, I am not interested in discussing definitions of anything with you. I will address this if Thommo brings it up.
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -Siddhārtha Gautama
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#5  Postby Fallible » May 20, 2010 11:24 am

:coffee:
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If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#6  Postby trubble76 » May 20, 2010 11:26 am

Sounds like word-salad to me. Can you demonstrate such a thing as perfection actually exists, or is that unnecessary in philosophy?
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#7  Postby Nocterro » May 20, 2010 11:31 am

trubble76 wrote:Sounds like word-salad to me. Can you demonstrate such a thing as perfection actually exists, or is that unnecessary in philosophy?


Whether the argument is *sound* is irrelevant here.

This is a response to Thommo, who has critiqued Robert Maydole's formulation of the ontological argument...His contention is that M3 (in red) assumes the truth of the argument's conclusion (that a supreme being exists).
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -Siddhārtha Gautama
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#8  Postby iamthereforeithink » May 20, 2010 11:36 am

:coffee:
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#9  Postby klazmon » May 20, 2010 11:39 am

Nocterro wrote:This is a response to Thommo, who has critiqued Robert Maydole's formulation of the ontological argument. The post in question is here: general-faith/wlc-attacks-the-god-delusion-t7108-40.html#p212610 (it is essential to read his post before mine, as I reference it heavily).

His contention is that M3 (in red) assumes the truth of the argument's conclusion (that a supreme being exists).

First, I would like to take a look at these premises, and add two more("G" standing for General):

G1: If Y is X, then Y's negation is not X.



Cat is furry
not cat is not furry.

Utter rubbish from the outset.
Last edited by klazmon on May 20, 2010 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#10  Postby hackenslash » May 20, 2010 11:39 am

Aww, come on Noct. I apologised! :cheers:
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#11  Postby Nocterro » May 20, 2010 11:44 am

klazmon wrote:
Cat is furry
not cat is not furry.

Utter rubbish from the outset.


If you say so...

hackenslash wrote:Aww, come on Noct. I apologised! :cheers:


I still love you :D I just don't think we will get anywhere productive.
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -Siddhārtha Gautama
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#12  Postby IIzO » May 20, 2010 11:47 am

Seriously wth is "perfection" ?
Between what i think , what i want to say ,what i believe i say ,what i say , what you want to hear , what you hear ,what you understand...there are lots of possibilities that we might have some problem communicating.But let's try anyway.
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#13  Postby IIzO » May 20, 2010 11:53 am

Perfection: a property that it is necessarily better to have than not.

Ok now are we going to assume with our own judgement what is "better" to have than not ?I think it's better to play football than play handball , football is perfection for me.

Supremacy: the property that a thing has if and only if it is impossible for something to be greater and impossible for there to be something else than which it is not greater.

Maximal power in a particular actions/property ok i got that.But maximal =/= omnipotence. just saying...
Between what i think , what i want to say ,what i believe i say ,what i say , what you want to hear , what you hear ,what you understand...there are lots of possibilities that we might have some problem communicating.But let's try anyway.
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#14  Postby hackenslash » May 20, 2010 12:59 pm

Nocterro wrote:I still love you :D


:comehereyou:

I just don't think we will get anywhere productive.


I don't suppose I can really raise an adequate argument against that. :cheers:
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#15  Postby Fallible » May 20, 2010 1:23 pm

So are we waiting for Thommo to rock up, or what?
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If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#16  Postby keypad5 » May 20, 2010 1:32 pm

:coffee:
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#17  Postby iamthereforeithink » May 20, 2010 2:15 pm

1. It is possible that a maximally perfect being exists in some possible world
2. If a maximally perfect being possibly exists in some possible world, then it must necessarily exist in all possible worlds ( :scratch: , but OK)
.
.
.
3. If a maximally perfect being exists in all possible world, then all possible worlds must be maximally perfect
4. Therefore the actual world must be maximally perfect
5. The actual world is not observed to be maximally perfect
6. Therefore a maximally perfect being does not exist in the actual world
7. Therefore a maximally perfect being does not exist in any possible world

Howzzat...?
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#18  Postby josephchoi » May 20, 2010 5:14 pm

why do ontological arguments hide behind vague terms like "great" or "perfect"?
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#19  Postby hackenslash » May 20, 2010 5:16 pm

Because they're vague. As soon as they make clear or categorical statements, they're opening to proper empirical debunking.
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Re: Maydole's Ontological Argument

#20  Postby newolder » May 20, 2010 5:22 pm

Ontological? Is that a vague word for "wordy"? :ask:
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