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Proofs of impossibility of the existence of God

 
 
borisbv
 
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 05:00 pm
[CENTER]Five proofs of the existence of God according to Descartes:
[/CENTER]
1) An infinite being is more real than a finite being.
2) An infinite being implies necessary existence, whereas finite beings imply only possible existence.
3) A finite ego cannot have Nothing as its cause.
4) The cause of the finite ego must contain all the perfections of the ego formally and preeminently.
5) The cause of the existence of the finite ego must be the infinite being that exists necessarily and can guarantee the reality of the finite being.

First of all, it is necessary to define the concept of being. Being can be as material existing objectively, so ideal existing subjectively by means of consciousness of the person. But even though the material being exists objectively, i.e. irrespective of consciousness of the person, it depends on information providing the entire cycle of matter transformations in the nature. Thus we can tell that being is a unity of material and ideal entities. Hence, all material objects can exist only in connection with ideal entity, but not outside of it in any way. For example: all material objects undergo the process of organization in all possible forms (evolution) only on the basis of information existing before their organization (so-called fundamental constants and interactions). On the other hand ideal entity or information cannot be embodied in real objects without presence of matter, in that way the constant interaction of material world with ideal entity is carried out, as they depend on each other and cannot exist independently from each other. So being can be determined finally as eternal interaction of material and ideal, finite and infinite, relative and absolute, i.e. being is nothing else but the dialectic unity arising instantly and constantly at interaction of its eternal components - matter and mind. At that for both matter and mind, as two components of dialectic unity required for being, there is no, and cannot be any reason, as they are absolute and eternal entities. Therefore we cannot divide concept of being into finite (ego) and infinite (God). The entire material and ideal being is simultaneously finite and infinite. But what is the reason of existence of a finite ego? Nothing else but the same dialectic unity of material and ideal which is the reason of existence of all material universe, and human being as its integral part.
Now it is necessary to define the concept of God. We can address for such definition only to religion, as belief in God is its exclusive prerogative. Religion defines God as a supernatural being having supernatural abilities, and having even some certain personal characteristics, and moreover possessing some mythical appearance. Thus God, in definition of religion, is simultaneously a supernatural and human-like being. If we consider its supernatural being as a basis then we inevitably should assume that it exists outside of our material world, which is absolutely impossible as we have already determined that being or existence is possible only at dialectic unity of material and ideal. And ideal (i.e. a supernatural god) cannot exist separately from material world. Of course, it can exist in our imagination as a part of our ideal being, but then it completely depends on a consciousness of the person, and it cannot possess in any way all those supernatural abilities showered on it by religion. On the other hand, if we assume his personal, human-like being as a basis then he particularly cannot be a supernatural being, and he would be an ordinary man, same as all people.
Strange, but the concept of God reflects the same component parts which we have already considered above at definition of being. So, may the being be God? That is all its supernatural abilities are reflected in an ideal component of being, and personal and human qualities belong to his material part. Absurdity of such assumption is clear at first sight as the concept of God, at such definition, loses any sense, both for religion and for a sceptic studying this phenomenon. The only way out in this situation can be a single statement that the existence of God is impossible due to all aforesaid.



[CENTER]Descartes’ mistakes[/CENTER]

1) An infinite being is more real than a finite being. - Being is a dialectic, synthetic, instant and eternally repeating process dependent on two parts making it up - material and ideal entities, therefore being cannot be divided into infinite and finite.

2) An infinite being implies necessary existence, whereas finite beings imply only possible existence. - Being is possible in the ideal component, and is necessary in the material part, and as being is impossible both without matter and mind so being can be defined as simultaneously possible and necessary.

3) A finite ego cannot have Nothing as its cause. - The cause of a finite ego can be only unity of material and ideal.

4) The cause of the finite ego must contain all the perfections of the ego formally and preeminently. - The information necessary for existence of entire universe is concluded in the cause of existence of the finite ego. Thus the finite ego by its existence closes eternity of the universe.

5) The cause of the existence of the finite ego must be the infinite being that exists necessarily and can guarantee the reality of the finite being. – The existence of the finite ego is provided not with the necessity of existence of infinite being (which, actually, is a dialectic unity of finiteness and infinity), but with the eternity of its components - matter and mind.

Conclusion: There is no anything else and there cannot be anything in the universe except for matter and mind. Outside of the universe there cannot be any being. That is mind and matter cannot exist separately, and they can come to existence only in constant eternal interaction with each other. Thus there is no place for existence of God either in the universe, or outside of its realms. Hence, the existence of God is impossible.

Boris Baksalyar
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Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 05:31 pm
@borisbv,
bor [B wrote:
Conclusion[/B]: There is no anything else and there cannot be anything in the universe except for matter and mind. Outside of the universe there cannot be any being. That is mind and matter cannot exist separately, and they can come to existence only in constant eternal interaction with each other. Thus there is no place for existence of God either in the universe, or outside of its realms. Hence, the existence of God is impossible.

Boris Baksalyar
That is why it is called faith. A thing that is not limited to the logic of men.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2009 05:50 pm
@borisbv,
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Descartes' God proofs have always been regarded as extremely weak. There are stronger, more timeless God proofs out there, like from Anselm and Duns Scotus.

But let's assume for the moment the possibility of a God proof that is logically unassailable. The greatest atheistic minds in the world can't find a hole in the argument.

Does this prove the existence of God?

No -- it only proves the solidity of the logical construct.

A perfect God proof can never prove the existence of God in reality. All it can do is prove the logical necessity of God in the semantic construct of the proof. Subtle assumptions about the world (like to be real is "greater" than being unreal) abound in medieval God proofs, but why should we assume that that is true? Subtle variations in language, like the various submeanings of the verb "to be", can cause both the reader and the writer to confuse statements of predication for statements about existence.
vajrasattva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 12:22 pm
@borisbv,
To me regardless of philosophical, religious, or any view concerning god in at least the judeo-christian sense of the term is a delusion (a belief that is falsely believed or propagated). God is seen by the vast majority of people as a sentient creator and an active part of reality as we know it. This a contradiction in terms due to the nature of reality and life in it self. Considering an infinite, all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent force that runs the universe with a contradictory iron, wrathful, yet infinitely loving fist of goodness is stupid and shortsighted to say the least not to mention inaccessibly contradictory considering our glorious creators presence. This omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator everywhere with all knowledge and power at his disposal sees no other way to teach us ignorant, useless, fundamental sinful and finite beings through pain on pain of death and eternal hellfire (per. most religious doctrine and dogma). I'm sorry but I am confused it created us sinful in the first pace and made it possible for the first sin to occur. I do not deny what seems to be the presence of something greater then myself (other than the universe that most obviously is) and this thing regardless of name or place time or view possess what seems to be sentient qualities and does seem to have the power to right the wrongs that this world has (i.e. the rampant hunger, sickness and violence problems that this world most apparently has). This power in my experience is present though it probably is not infinite. Weather it is a power that has congealed within my mind in the process of my search for this creator I do not know. But the nature of my experience with it is at least similar to the process of spiritual growth as seen in most religious views. However considering the view of this creator and the nature of the path to it I do believe that it would be charged with crimes against humanity with this submit and love me or burn forever mentality (in its mind nothing more than pest control) not to mention rampant narcissism and a sociopathological problem that warrants permanent institutionalization considering the views of this world. For example your pain is for gods glory, his mercy reigns in hell, Sodom and Gomorrah and god is love, brings salvation, is bliss, love, consciousness etc. Now granted I am finite in every sense of the term apart from the esoterics accepted by most religious philosophical systems. But I think that considering this creator as he is seen (omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent with the tenet of love that all religious systems hold dear) could right these rampant wrongs that this world is so in need of seeing righted without torturing us to the point of death to the end of his own personal glory. I as so see a flaw in most accepted views with the infinite nature of this creator as I am separate from it due to my own sin that it created me with and allowed to take root but it is still infinite. If I am not wholly god then god has an end which defys the term infinite (without end) fundamentally. This apples to all terms of infinite nature (my power is not gods power, my presence is not gods presence, etc). To sum it all up god is not sentient, we are god is reality (the original use of the term god was used to describe ultimate reality, infinite mind etc.). I think that we should drop the god thing and get back to being good just cause and stop expecting a delusion to solve our problems.

Sorry for my rant Ive been a little pissed at this for a while

P.S. i think that the universe is more than we can understand any way and god is just a means to understand how it works (a concept not a reality in it self.
God bless america
Peace
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 12:40 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Descartes' God proofs have always been regarded as extremely weak. There are stronger, more timeless God proofs out there, like from Anselm and Duns Scotus.

But let's assume for the moment the possibility of a God proof that is logically unassailable. The greatest atheistic minds in the world can't find a hole in the argument.

Does this prove the existence of God?

No -- it only proves the solidity of the logical construct.

A perfect God proof can never prove the existence of God in reality. All it can do is prove the logical necessity of God in the semantic construct of the proof. Subtle assumptions about the world (like to be real is "greater" than being unreal) abound in medieval God proofs, but why should we assume that that is true? Subtle variations in language, like the various submeanings of the verb "to be", can cause both the reader and the writer to confuse statements of predication for statements about existence.


I don't think I know what the "solidity of a logical construct is", but I do think that all sound arguments ( a sound argument is one whose premises are true, and one which is valid) must have true conclusions, even if that conclusion is one you do not believe is true. Therefore, if a sound argument has, as its conclusion, that God exists, then that conclusion is true.
So. if there is an argument, whose conclusion you believe is false, then you must also hold that the argument is defective, and not a sound argument. And that means that either the argument is invalid (the conclusion fails to follow from the premises) or one or more of the premises is false, or, of course, both the argument is invalid, and one or more of the premises is false.

As the poem says, "logic is logic, that's all I can say". (Oliver Wendell Holmes, The One-Hoss Shay).
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2009 08:27 pm
@kennethamy,
Not only are Descartes arguments weak when compared to certain other scholars, as Aedes points out, but Descartes was not so concerned with the matter. He was far more interested in mathematics than philosophy.

borisbv, that's a great post with some interesting ideas. But the most significant trouble I see is the attempt to define God. Nowhere does religion define God, to my knowledge; instead what is being offered are figurative descriptions of the Divine. As the Divine transcends human language, we can only point toward the truth, we cannot perfectly represent the truth with language. To take figurative descriptions of God and demonstrate that they cannot be literally true is to miss the point of the descriptions of God.
0 Replies
 
ACB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 07:22 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
But let's assume for the moment the possibility of a God proof that is logically unassailable. The greatest atheistic minds in the world can't find a hole in the argument.

Does this prove the existence of God?

No -- it only proves the solidity of the logical construct.

A perfect God proof can never prove the existence of God in reality. All it can do is prove the logical necessity of God in the semantic construct of the proof.


Do you mean that a God proof may be logically valid (i.e. its conclusion follows from its premises), but that we can never be certain that all the premises are true?
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 07:43 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;54039 wrote:
I do think that all sound arguments ( a sound argument is one whose premises are true, and one which is valid) must have true conclusions, even if that conclusion is one you do not believe is true. Therefore, if a sound argument has, as its conclusion, that God exists, then that conclusion is true.
The problem is that you cannot prove that all premises are true. A God proof undertakes a proof of God's existence, but it does not undertake a proof of every premise. The cosmological argument suggests that there of necessity is a first cause or prime mover -- but other than its intellectually appealing qualities, there is no proof of such a thing.

The ontological argument, eg that of Anselm (and Descartes) suggests that 1) I can conceive of an infinitely great being; 2) Existence is greater than nonexistence; 3) Therefore God must exist because I can conceive of him. But these premises also fail -- 1) Am I truly capable of conceiving of infinite greatness, or do I just think I am? 2) What is the measure of greatness such that existence must be greater than nonexistence?

So these premises may be plausible, or appealing, but they are not rock solid -- and therefore neither is everything built upon them.

Furthermore, language is not rigid either. Plato offers a proof that your dog is your father:

1. You have a dog, therefore that dog is yours.
2. The dog had puppies, therefore that dog is a father.
3. Thus, your dog is your father.

Woo hoo, an unassailable logical proof -- but the phrase "your father" means something rather specific in common speech, and < [possesive] father > conventionally refers to the actual paternal unit of the possessing entity, not merely an object that is possessed. So despite having rock solid premises ( 1-the dog is yours and 2-the dog is a father), to claim "I can prove your dog is your father" is only possible because of the malleability of language. And Bertrand Russell's explorations of the verb "to be" has shown that in speech (rather than formal logic) it in itself is used imprecisely and has to be broken into sub-meanings:

I am. (the is of existence)
I am Paul. (the is of identity)
I am tired. (the is of predication)

Exact same word, and in fact perhaps the most common verb in any language (certainly this one). Yet more complicated in other languages (ser vs estar in Spanish, for instance), where each verb "to be" can have sub-meanings.

So if this most fundamental verb, to be, isn't even without room for error, then how can speech in general be beyond subtle twists and vagaries??

ACB;54186 wrote:
Do you mean that a God proof may be logically valid (i.e. its conclusion follows from its premises), but that we can never be certain that all the premises are true?
Yes, exactly. The premises and the words they contain may be stated as if they have no vagary, but there isn't always a 1:1 correspondence between a word or phrase and a specific idea.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2009 09:49 pm
@Aedes,
Regarding Anselm's ontological argument:

I'm not a Catholic and have not seriously studied that particular brand of Christianity. However, in Thomas Merton's Faith and Violence that Catholic monk discusses Anselm's argument with respect to the concept of aseity (CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Aseity). Merton claims that Anselm was not trying to produce a logical proof of God, which is the way philosophers tend to read the discourse; Merton argues that Anselm was instead trying to produce an argument for God's aseity. Merton goes so far as to claim that Anselm's argument is not actually an ontological argument, though this claim seems to be more of a semantic quibble as aseity does seem to deal with being.

Again, this is beyond my education of Catholicism, but I sometimes wonder if what I have taken to be a quibble (that the supposed ontological argument is not really an ontological argument) is in reality a significant issue. Perhaps by saying the ontological argument is not truly an issue of ontology Merton suggests that God is not merely a being that exists "of and from itself" but something beyond being and non-being altogether.
0 Replies
 
Jose phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:27 am
@borisbv,
I don't think there can be anyone who is able to successfully prove or disprove the existence of God. And I see no point in trying to do so.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 01:46 am
@borisbv,
Quote:
But even though the material being exists objectively, i.e. irrespective of consciousness of the person, it depends on information providing the entire cycle of matter transformations in the nature.

What does this mean? I don't think this is an intelligble statement, but am willing to be corrected.
0 Replies
 
 

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