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A proof of God's self-evidence

 
 
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 10:50 am
I have an argument that God is self-evident:

Aquinas said that, because "The Fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Ps 14:1, NASB), the existence of God is not self-evident (Summa Theologica, Question 2, Article 1). Well, if there is no God, why, pray tell, is there a word for Him? Every concept can be described by a word (or words), and every word (or words) describe a concept. My paraphrase of Proposition 7 of Wittgenstein's Tractatus. For all x(C(x)<->W(x)). There exists a word for God. Therefore, there must be an associated concept for that word "God", namely God. This merely proves that God exists as an idea in our minds. Going one step further, since according to Hume all ideas are images of sense impressions (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, part 2), our idea of God is a dim copy of the real God, something that our finite minds can grasp. But where did that sense-impression come from? It could be as simple as Ps 19:1, NASB -- "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." The universe is simply too fine-tuned, complex, and delicate to be anything but the product of an omnipotent Designer, and our idea of Him is but a mere copy of our sense-impression of Him, which is but a mere image of Him as He really is. So therefore, not only does God exist, he is much more than our conception of him. QED.

Is my symbolic logic correct?

Can anyone analyze or refute this? Am I echoing another philosopher?

Thanks!
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Protoman2050
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 03:19 pm
@Protoman2050,
Let me clarify "words": anything that is descriptive and not a proper noun. And I meant that ideas come from combinations of sense impressions.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 03:25 pm
@Protoman2050,
:)Divinity, no mind has held it, no tongue has soiled it.

:)All words are qualifications and/or limitations.

:)Is your God limited? Can you qualify God?
Protoman2050
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 03:31 pm
@boagie,
My God, the God of the Bible has these qualifcations: He cannot do anything that would make Him not God --He can't will Himself out of existence, will His omnipotence away, etc.-- and He can't go against His nature of perfectly just, merciful, holy, and loving. Read RC Sproul's Essential Truths of the Christian Faith for more clarification.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 03:36 pm
@Protoman2050,
You need to get out more.
Protoman2050
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 03:43 pm
@boagie,
I get that a lot. You're not the first one. And, this is the philosophy of religion forum, is it not, and discussing the existence of God is a valid topic, correct?

Here's something interesting the guys at the TheologyOnline forums said: A proof that God exists - Page 2 - Theology Forum | Theology Online
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 03:48 pm
@Protoman2050,
"Reason is the enemy of faith." Martin Luther

German theologian who led the Reformation; believed that salvation is granted on the basis of faith rather than deeds (1483-1546)

The devil made me do it!!:brickwall:
Protoman2050
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 04:44 pm
@boagie,
Explain Isaiah 43:26 then.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 04:58 pm
@Protoman2050,
The burdon of proof lies with the one staking the claim.!

Deliver up this God!:shocked:

I'll not trouble you further, there are many like minded here for you to discuss your beliefs with. Some welcome the mans says, well, it is a philosphy site.
Protoman2050
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 05:06 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
The burdon of proof lies with the one staking the claim.!

Deliver up this God!:shocked:

I'll not trouble you further, there are many like minded here for you to discuss your beliefs with. Some welcome the mans says, well, it is a philosphy site.


You weren't troubling me! You were challenging me! I like this!
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 05:46 pm
@Protoman2050,
Protoman2050 wrote:
I have an argument that God is self-evident:

Aquinas said that, because "The Fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Ps 14:1, NASB), the existence of God is not self-evident (Summa Theologica, Question 2, Article 1). Well, if there is no God, why, pray tell, is there a word for Him? Every concept can be described by a word (or words), and every word (or words) describe a concept. My paraphrase of Proposition 7 of Wittgenstein's Tractatus. For all x(C(x)<->W(x)). There exists a word for God. Therefore, there must be an associated concept for that word "God", namely God. This merely proves that God exists as an idea in our minds. Going one step further, since according to Hume all ideas are images of sense impressions (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, part 2), our idea of God is a dim copy of the real God, something that our finite minds can grasp. But where did that sense-impression come from? It could be as simple as Ps 19:1, NASB -- "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." The universe is simply too fine-tuned, complex, and delicate to be anything but the product of an omnipotent Designer, and our idea of Him is but a mere copy of our sense-impression of Him, which is but a mere image of Him as He really is. So therefore, not only does God exist, he is much more than our conception of him. QED.

Is my symbolic logic correct?

Can anyone analyze or refute this? Am I echoing another philosopher?

Thanks!


Because God is not self-evident I would say that your conclusions do not follow the premise. You cannot take others' words out of context to prove your conclusions. Hume would never argue that all ideas are images of sense impressions when applied to the idea of God. Remember Hume was an empiricist dealing with the practical not the abstract. Thus, you are turning Hume's philosophy on its head for your proof. That invalidates you proof.

Here is a different example of your argument. Because "God" is a word and the idea of God exists in our minds is meaningless. "Invisible", "pink", and "unicorn" are words and the idea of an invisible pink unicorn exists in my brain. Where did that idea come from? Does it mean that the invisible pink unicorn exists and is much more than my conception of it?
Protoman2050
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 06:12 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
Because God is not self-evident I would say that your conclusions do not follow the premise. You cannot take others' words out of context to prove your conclusions. Hume would never argue that all ideas are images of sense impressions when applied to the idea of God. Remember Hume was an empiricist dealing with the practical not the abstract. Thus, you are turning Hume's philosophy on its head for your proof. That invalidates you proof.

Here is a different example of your argument. Because "God" is a word and the idea of God exists in our minds is meaningless. "Invisible", "pink", and "unicorn" are words and the idea of an invisible pink unicorn exists in my brain. Where did that idea come from? Does it mean that the invisible pink unicorn exists and is much more than my conception of it?


Now you're making me think more. Thank you!

But, "invisible" and "pink" are contradictory. That invalidaes your counter-example, b/c logically impossible ideas by definition cannot exist in reality. There's nothing logically impossible about God's existence.

What if remove the "self-evident" part, and just try to use all of this prove God exists?

Am I doing something right?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 06:16 pm
@Theaetetus,
Quote:
Aquinas said that, because "The Fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Ps 14:1, NASB), the existence of God is not self-evident (Summa Theologica, Question 2, Article 1). Well, if there is no God, why, pray tell, is there a word for Him?


But Aquinas, obviously, thought there was a God even thought the existence of God was not self-evident.

Quote:
The universe is simply too fine-tuned, complex, and delicate to be anything but the product of an omnipotent Designer


Care to explain this one?
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 06:24 pm
@Protoman2050,
Protoman2050 wrote:
Now you're making me think more. Thank you!

But, "invisible" and "pink" are contradictory. That invalidaes your counter-example, b/c logically impossible ideas by definition cannot exist in reality. There's nothing logically impossible about God's existence.

What if remove the "self-evident" part, and just try to use all of this prove God exists?

Am I doing something right?


Invisible and pink are not contradictory. Visible and invisible are contradictory. Things can have color but not be visible because the visibility of an object may be limited by an individuals inability to see the object.

That's beside the point though. Get rid of the pink concept and then my example would be fine by your reasoning anyway and the argument would not change.

Another point. If you think God exists and is anything other than an amorphous being, then by your reasoning his existence would be contradictory because he is invisible but would contain observable properties. :poke-eye:

Getting rid of self-evident would do nothing for your argument since you invalidated a premise necessary for the conclusion to follow by improperly applying an idea of Hume's.
Protoman2050
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 06:39 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
Invisible and pink are not contradictory. Visible and invisible are contradictory. Things can have color but not be visible because the visibility of an object may be limited by an individuals inability to see the object.

That's beside the point though. Get rid of the pink concept and then my example would be fine by your reasoning anyway and the argument would not change.

Another point. If you think God exists and is anything other than an amorphous being, then by your reasoning his existence would be contradictory because he is invisible but would contain observable properties. :poke-eye:

Getting rid of self-evident would do nothing for your argument since you invalidated a premise necessary for the conclusion to follow by improperly applying an idea of Hume's.


You cannot envision God but you can observe his effects; like the wind or magnetism, you can't see them but you can observe their effects.

How can I make my argument proper?

To Didymos Thomas, read Lee Strobel's Case for a Creator.

You guys have enlightened me so much! How can I repay you?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 07:00 pm
@Protoman2050,
Quote:
To Didymos Thomas, read Lee Strobel's Case for a Creator.


I'm familiar with Intelligent Design arguments - and that's what I was afraid of. ID isn't science.
Protoman2050
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 07:16 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
How so? If you mean "not objectively verifiable" or "unfalsifiable", then is what we are doing here science? By that standard, no.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 07:24 pm
@Protoman2050,
Quote:
How so? If you mean "not objectively verifiable" or "unfalsifiable", then is what we are doing here science? By that standard, no.


You suggested I read a book that is advertised as neutral and scientifically rigorous when the book doesn't seem to be either.
Protoman2050
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 07:33 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Okay, why isn't it scientifically rigorous? Neutral it's not, but, is anything neutral and unbiased? I have a bias, you have a bias.

But still, do you believe it is plausible for a system so complex to have come about by random chance...the odds against it are overwhelming. And science can't explain why the Big Bang happened: Life against the odds..

When scientists can't answer, philosophers attempt to.

There had to be, by logical neccesity, an eternally existent Object, since an infinite regress makes no logical sense whatsoever, in my mind, or else there would be, and always would've been, nothing.
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 07:41 pm
@Protoman2050,
For someone that seems to want to grow into a philosopher, I am surprised that you buy into so much dogma Protoman. Don't get me wrong I have faith, but I have faith in the potential in life which liberates the mind from the restriction of indoctrinated religion. You have the right to believe in which you chose, but I rarely will you come across a philosopher tied down by indoctrinated dogma. Myths are good tool to explain the unexplainable, but they are not facts to tie one's life to. :drinking:(I just had to use it. Some of the best philosophical discussion come across while sharing a beer. I would give you a drink of my outstanding brew, but the Internet limits that possibility).
 

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