Logic: Why God must exist.

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Judas_Iscariot:
The great tool of the atheist is logic, and it is logic he cites as his reason for atheism.

Let's do a little mental gymnastics, drawing only on our logical prowess, and explore why god MUST exist.

The definition of God we will use will be as follows, "A being so great none greater can be imagined"

The word greater is not to imply excellence or morality, merely power.

So, assertions

1) Even a fool can imagine God is real, even if he does not believe it is true.

Even atheists can imagine a god without believing it is real, just as I can imagine a unicorn without believing it is real.

2) Something real is greater than something hypothetical.

Example: We would all agree that we would regard a real twenty dollar bill as greater than a hypothetical one. Try to go buy a videogame with hypothetical money.

So the argument I am disproving is the atheistic thought that:

God, a being so great none greater can be imagined, is only a hypothetical.

Extrapolation:

If God is not real, he is only a hypothetical.
But if God is only a hypothetical, then we can imagine a greater being: A real God, because something real is always greater than something hypothetical.

So God, a being so great none greater can be imagined, cannot only reside as a hypothetical because if that were so we would be able to imagine a greater being, a real god.

This means the argument that God is only hypothetical leads to a contradiction of logic, disproving it.

With the argument "God is only hypothetical" disproven, the only other scenario is
"God is not only hypothetical". So God is real.

Conclusion: So the only case logic allows is that of a real, existing God which is greater than all other beings imaginable.

If you think you can disprove this with logic, be my guest.

Hey, this brings back memories. For those who don't know, this is Anselm's Ontological argument from... I dunno, medieval times. I came across it in PHL100. Now, there's a few problems with this, obviously.

First, I'll throw in the classic refutation, Gaunolon's Island (spelling might be wrong there). Let us imagine an Island. The BEST island - it's got everything you could possibly want: gold, chocolate, brothels, Gold Chocolate Brothels, etc. And the thing is - because it's the best island you could imagine, it would HAVE to be real, because it wouldn't be the BEST if it weren't real, right? Except, the problem is, there's no such island. This argument "proves too much" - it's a line of reasoning that clearly leads to incorrect conclusions

Now, there are of course many other problems with the argument. The claim that a thing's existence makes it greater is not necessarily correct. 'Greater' is such a subjective term that you can't use it in logic without giving it strict defining parameters - which you haven't.

To expand on Gaunolon's island, think on it this way. Everything that can BE imagined must fall somewhere on this "scale of greatness" - and everything that can be imagined can be imagined with the caveat "and exists". Now, the second greatest thing you can imagine must exist, because if it didn't, it wouldn't fall on the scale of existence in the way that it does. And so with the 3rd. And 4th. And the 56664838305484th. In fact, EVERYTHING that COULD exist MUST exist by this line of reasoning - and that is plainly not true. Again, it proves too much - there is not a pile of gold on my bed - and there could be, theoretically.

Moreover, from the Christian standpoint this was originally written from, while it is designed to prove the existence of an omnipotent being, it doesn't necessarily prove any particular one that we might imagine. It doesn't even necessarily prove a God, just "the greatest thing imagineable" - whatever the hell that might be. Who are we to say that necessitates an omnipotent being?

So... you knew that this was a horseshit argument, right?

At first I was like "oh I know this argument, it was debated comically before and laughed at - OP must be either really thick or making some sort of joke".
Then I looked at the date - april 1st. Yep, I get it now.

Then I saw the OP persisting in defending his argument even after april 1st. Oh my god.

It's not the fact that people will get fooled by this that's amazing. It's the fact that we have such a person here trying to get into an intelligent discussion, considering himself in the right. That's the equivalent of a redneck at a book club meeting. Wonderful!

Captcha: "act of god" - you're shitting me. Either the captcha is sensitive to the contents of the thread, or God must be telling me he liked this post. I'll go with the latter.

the land of chocolate lesbians in my garden is that than which nothing greater can exist

but even if i follow your logic that doesnt make it real... and ive checked

spartandude:
the land of chocolate lesbians in my garden is that than which nothing greater can exist

but even if i follow your logic that doesnt make it real... and ive checked

I like this refutation. Clearly the notion that the bestest thing EVAR is teh lawwwwwd is a faulty premise.

cover me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians

Stagnant:

KlLLUMINATI:
Naturalism is completely based on a set of philosophical assumptions rather than on empirical evidence. The second problem with Naturalism relates to the existence of life. To begin with, scientists do not even really know what life is.

Wrong, science has a very clear and strong definition of what "life" is.

It is one of those things where you know it when you see it, but no one has been able to identify a way to generate it or prolong it beyond a certain point.

We're working on it. We've been able in the lab to go from basic chemical compounds like Nitrogen, Carbon, and Oxygen to Amino Acids, and that's already most of the way there. And just because we cannot do something doesn't mean we don't have a very good idea of how it happened. We cannot perform nuclear fusion, but we can still take a very, very educated guess at how the sun works based on other factors.

In order to provide an explanation for the origin of life, Naturalism depends on Darwins theory.

Wrong again; Evolution say absolutely nothing about the origin of life. It simply explains the diversification of already existing life. That's a very different kettle of fish from the origin of life, which is Abiogenesis, and you'd do well not to conflate the two.

The best it can manage is that given the right circumstances, materials and enough time, life will naturally emerge.This, again, is purely a faith presupposition. Nothing like this has ever been witnessed and researchers have not been able to demonstrate scientifically that it is even possible. In fact, there is not even a theory as to an actual mechanism that could cause it to happen. Again, the starting point is nothing more than the philosophical assumption that matter is all that exists. With that assumption, the only logical conclusion is that life had to somehow emerge from non-life, but there is no empirical evidence that this is true. So it is based on faith.

And once again: you are wrong. It is not a faith presupposition, it is backed by a reasonable bout of experimental evidence. We know from various experiments that given the conditions of the prehistoric earth, we can easily go from basic chemical compounds to amino acids. That is a HUGE step. There really isn't much further to go as far as the formation of life goes. But here's the most key thing in your argument: you don't know what you're talking about. At all. Please, do us all a favor, and do some goddamn research on the subject before mouthing off about how abiogenesis is "faith-based".

How can non-material things like laws exist if the universe is material only?

Conceptually, as interactions between material things. Someone above me already explained this crap to you.

Life is far beyond reason and logic. All the laws, rules and regulations are based on partial understanding of life. But life is beyond all our understanding and beyond our logic.There is no answer to the question of human logic. Life is based on God's logic. There is no place in this universe that He is not present. There is no time He is not present. There is nothing He does not know. Human logic and God's logic can never meet. His logic is so immense, vast and infinite. We can never match His logic. Life, in myriad forms, is created by Him. Rules are created by us. Universe is created by Him. Laws are created by us. Naturally, our laws can never match or fit with God's logic or God created life. Life is natural. Laws are societal. Life is physical. Laws are mental. All our ideas, all our dos and don'ts, all our morality, all our rights or wrongs are given to us by society.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Now you're just proselytizing.

Can I prove that logic is divine in nature? Logic is a way of knowing. It is mental. How could anyone even prove logic is a anything more than thought ?

*sigh* Why would you say it is more than thought?

Naturalism is the position that nature is all there is, and there is no supernatural realm. It says that all of human experience can be described and understood through natural laws, science, and human reason. It asserts that biological evolution is true and that there are no supernatural realities.

KlLLUMINATI:
Naturalism is the position that nature is all there is, and there is no supernatural realm. It says that all of human experience can be described and understood through natural laws, science, and human reason. It asserts that biological evolution is true and that there are no supernatural realities.

I never disagreed with that.

Judas_Iscariot:
But if God is only a hypothetical, then we can imagine a greater being: A real God, because something real is always greater than something hypothetical.

But this real God that we imagine is still just in our imaginations, so we can imagine an even greater being: a really real God not just in our imaginations but really real. But that is still an imagination, so we can imagine an even greater being still: a really really real God not just in our imaginations not just in our imaginations but really really real. But that is still an imagination, so we can imagine a yet greater being ad infinitum.

The problem is that we can hypothesise a real god, in other words imagine that the hypothetical god we made up is real, which, since it is a figment of my imagination, can be anything, including, as per your definition, "A being so great none greater can be imagined". Problem is, it is still a hypothetical real god, not an actual real god.

Judas_Iscariot:
The definition of God we will use will be as follows, "A being so great none greater can be imagined"

That's the first problem:
You can ALWAYS imagine something greater than before. You imagine the greatest being ever... and then you imagine a being greater than that... and then you imagine a being greater than that... and then you do you see my point?

Judas_Iscariot:
1) Even a fool can imagine God is real, even if he does not believe it is true.

Even atheists can imagine a god without believing it is real, just as I can imagine a unicorn without believing it is real.

2) Something real is greater than something hypothetical.

Example: We would all agree that we would regard a real twenty dollar bill as greater than a hypothetical one. Try to go buy a videogame with hypothetical money.

OK, go on

Judas_Iscariot:
So the argument I am disproving is the atheistic thought that:

God, a being so great none greater can be imagined, is only a hypothetical.

Extrapolation:

If God is not real, he is only a hypothetical.
But if God is only a hypothetical, then we can imagine a greater being: A real God, because something real is always greater than something hypothetical.

So God, a being so great none greater can be imagined, cannot only reside as a hypothetical because if that were so we would be able to imagine a greater being, a real god.

This means the argument that God is only hypothetical leads to a contradiction of logic, disproving it.

With the argument "God is only hypothetical" disproven, the only other scenario is
"God is not only hypothetical". So God is real.

Eh?
How is that logical?
With things that aren't in any way knowable, observable and verifiable, you can't imagine the real thing. You can ONLY imagine a hypothetical.

What do I win?

Accept my premises and I will lead you infallibly to my conclusions

Your conclusions can be completely wrong even though your logic is completely right.

after recent postings someone had to say it...

more ?

All argument begins with an assumption, or a set of assumptions; that is, with something you don't dispute. You can, of course, dispute the assumptions at the beginning of your argument, but in that case you are beginning a different argument with another set of assumptions at the beginning of it. And so on ad infinitum.

The next morning, the rabbi called his initiates together. "There is no truth," he said, "only argument."

David Berlinski

*

Any premises that are capable of being put into words are also capable of being verbally questioned. Any argument whatsoever can thus be made into an infinite regress.

There always comes a point at which the question of sanity takes precedence over the question of demonstrable truth.

Christopher Derrick

*

As logic improves, less and less can be proved.

Bertrand Russell

Deduction has turned out to be much less powerful than was formerly supposed.

Bertrand Russell

*

As nothing can be proved but by supposing something intuitively known, and evident without proof, so nothing can be defined but by the use of words too plain to admit a definition.

Samuel Johnson

No argument can establish the truth of its premises, since if it tried to do so it would be circular; and therefore no argument can establish the truth of its conclusions.

Bryan Magee

*

Everything that logic can give us is ultimately founded on something other than logic, call it faith, or common sense, or intuition, or insight, or primary intellectual conviction.

Simple logical relationships are, in fact, insights. It's only because they seem so self-evident and because the contrary defies our imagination that they are not recognized as insights.

*

If nothing is self-evident, nothing can be proved. There are some premises that can't be reached as conclusions.

C. S. Lewis

To prove that anything is true you need some truth to start with.

*

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtaxed.

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes

Einstein was only half joking when he said, "My office in Prague looked out over an asylum and there were times when I felt a certain kinship with the inmates. They were the madmen who did not concern themselves with physics, I was the madman who did."

*

It is not enough for a system of ideas to be complete in theory. It must not be crippling in practice.

G. K. Chesterton

Logic must be governed by common sense. There's not much use counting the steps of the logic if every step takes us further away from common sense.

Logic is often more efficient as a weapon for destroying other logicians than as an instrument for discovering truth.

Logic: an unfair means sometimes used to win an argument.

J. B. Morton

*

Proof is an idol before which the mathematician tortures himself.

Sir Arthur Eddington

To find within a body of doctrine G (where G is, say, the theorems of arithmetic) a proof that G is consistent is impossible, for to accept the validity of such a proof is to concede to a part of G a special privilege which is clearly not justified if the coherence of G as a whole is in doubt.

*

You can never prove your first statement-or it would not be your first.

All knowledge must be built up upon our instinctive [i.e. intuitive] beliefs, and if these are rejected, nothing is left.

Bertrand Russell

popular culture.

Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end

Spock

*

You can use logic to justify almost anything. That's its power, and its flaw.

Kathryn Janeway

and finally RL

i'm leaving you.

why ?

because

ye good luck with your "logic" when that one arises...

Amnestic:
1. The creation of the universe is the greatest achievement imaginable.
2. The merit of an achievement consists of its intrinsic greatness and the ability of its creator.
3. The greater the handicap to the creator, the greater the achievement. (Would you be more impressed by Turner painting a beautiful landscape or a blind one-armed dwarf?)
4. The biggest handicap to a creator would be non-existence.
5. Therefore if we suppose that the universe is the creation of an existing creator, we can conceive a greater being - namely, one who created everything while not existing.
6.Therefore, God does not exist.

:)

O_o

That logic is flawless...

QED.

QED indeed.

KlLLUMINATI:
Naturalism is completely based on a set of philosophical assumptions rather than on empirical evidence.

Theism is completely based on a set of philosophical assumptions rather than on empirical evidence. See? I can do it too! The difference, of course, is that naturalism assumes that matter exists (which we can observe) and theism assumes that some sort of spirit, soul, or other supernatural things exist (which we can not observe). You can argue that naturalism falls to the black swan fallacy, but you can't say that theism is a more grounded presumption.

KlLLUMINATI:
The second problem with Naturalism relates to the existence of life. To begin with, scientists do not even really know what life is.

This is just simply wrong.

KlLLUMINATI:
It is one of those things where you know it when you see it, but no one has been able to identify a way to generate it or prolong it beyond a certain point.

Synthetic life is a field of study. While it hasn't yet yielded fully from-scratch organisms yet, you can't make the leap from "hasn't been done" to "can't be done."

KlLLUMINATI:
In order to provide an explanation for the origin of life, Naturalism depends on Darwins theory. The best it can manage is that given the right circumstances, materials and enough time, life will naturally emerge. This, again, is purely a faith presupposition. Nothing like this has ever been witnessed and researchers have not been able to demonstrate scientifically that it is even possible. In fact, there is not even a theory as to an actual mechanism that could cause it to happen. Again, the starting point is nothing more than the philosophical assumption that matter is all that exists. With that assumption, the only logical conclusion is that life had to somehow emerge from non-life, but there is no empirical evidence that this is true. So it is based on faith.

In 1952, two researchers from the university of Chicago performed an experiment that successfully created amino acids (the building blocks of life) from non-living and naturally-occurring material without any outside interference. Also, evolution =! abiogenesis. Before you go criticizing evolution, it might be prudent to know what it is.

KlLLUMINATI:
How can non-material things like laws exist if the universe is material only?

A pattern is not material. A pattern does not have a mass or temperature or state of matter, yet it exists. Why? Because it is formed from the interaction of materials. I don't know why this is so hard to comprehend. Say I have a row of switches and I put them into UP-DOWN-UP-DOWN-UP-DOWN order. The up and down pattern isn't material, but it exists because of the way material things are arranged. Physical objects have a volume and a mass, but they also have relations to other objects, and those relations are what we refer to when we talk about patterns and logic and laws.

KlLLUMINATI:
Life is far beyond reason and logic. All the laws, rules and regulations are based on partial understanding of life. But life is beyond all our understanding and beyond our logic. There is no answer to the question of human logic. Life is based on God's logic. There is no place in this universe that He is not present. There is no time He is not present. There is nothing He does not know. Human logic and God's logic can never meet. His logic is so immense, vast and infinite. We can never match His logic. Life, in myriad forms, is created by Him. Rules are created by us. Universe is created by Him. Laws are created by us. Naturally, our laws can never match or fit with God's logic or God created life. Life is natural. Laws are societal. Life is physical. Laws are mental. All our ideas, all our dos and don'ts, all our morality, all our rights or wrongs are given to us by society.

Now you're just preaching. And you skipped the part where you prove that God exists.

KlLLUMINATI:
Can I prove that logic is divine in nature? Logic is a way of knowing. It is mental. How could anyone even prove logic is a anything more than thought?

I don't know. Logic is thought. But thought is not divine.

Judas_Iscariot:
"A being so great none greater can be imagined"

You've placed a false limit on imagination. If imagination were limited, we would have no need for words like infinite, eternity, immeasurable, etc as we would be incapable of imagining a thing without bounds.

Or, there is no being for which a greater cannot be imagined.

(Also, your definition doesn't rule out the possibility of an infinite number of equally powerful beings, none of which is greater than the others.)

What you've done here is stated Gödel's ontological proof. This proof fails as you have defined an aspect of God (that it is the greatest possible being) and then used that definition in your proof without first showing that an entity obeying the definition exists. This is fallacious, and renders your proof invalid. An example: Let N be the largest positive whole number. Then N = 1, because for N > 1, N2 > N, contradicting the definition of N. Therefore, by reductio ad absurdum, 1 is the largest positive whole number. Do you see? This method fails because you cannot use a property of an object to prove it exists without first showing that the property exists by some other means, or else you have simply used circular logic.

EDIT: Actually, this just occurred to me. We can use your so-called proof to deduce that the devil must exist. Define the devil to be the worst possible thing. Existence is a negative property for such a being (after all, real ebola is worse than imaginary ebola, right?), therefore the being possesses the property of existence. Therefore the devil exists.

Oww, this thread hurts my head, first with the OP's lack of logic, despite his proclamation that what he says is logical (Very Kent Hovind of you, by the way) then so much actual logic being thrown at the OP that I feel like my brain got tied to the middle of a tug-o-war rope @_@

That ain't logic, that's just wordgames, definitions and special pleading. And it's not even new in the slightest. Did you try to adapt the ontological argument at all before posting it here?

Oh look, this piece of few hundred year old rubbish that fails basic logic and even more basic sense.

Epic fail troll is epic.

Does anyone feel like he is trolling or brainwashed due tho this sentence "Let's do a little mental gymnastics, drawing only on our logical prowess, and explore why god MUST exist." First off the term "Mental Gymnastics" and how it tends to mean believing something which is false you would not say "Einstein preformed Mental Gymnastics to find his mathematical formulas" for they are testable and generally correct. You would however say "Hitler preformed Mental Gymnastics to logically reason genocide" for he is dodging truth in favor of flashy used care salesman like remarks.

then you have the all caps "MUST" I hate the word must unless applied to a circumstance and this is in no way connected to one, nothing must happen. to put this on a basic saying "when you drop a ball it must fall" is incorrect there are several circumstances where the ball would not fall they are just hard to come by like lack of gravity. No one thing must any given action under all circumstances.

I still think the greatest being would be one that existed whilst not existing. ergo, God doesn't exist. amidoingitright?

Well since logic is sbjective to whos logic it is.. (my mother thinks it is logic to put my dirty clothes in the machine, put I think the floor is quite logical)

Furthermore, by my logic god cannot exist by logic.. according to the bible he created the world.. in the dark (some one on live at the apollo)..

By my logic, god isn't logical and therfore cannot exist in my logical world, which isn't logical and usually results in being hypocritical of itself.. in a logical way

I'll shut up now

these are stupid topics,

You cant prove that God exists
You cant prove that God doesn't exist.

I mean we are talking about the concept of a being that can do ANYTHING.
It i concept that goes beyond the scope EVERYTHING.

trying debate about the concept of god is like trying to debate about something that you have no knowledge of and no way to acquire knowledge of. You can speculate all you want until our sun goes red giant and destroys the earth in 5 billion years and you still wont be able to say anything concrete about God.

saltychipmunk:
these are stupid topics,

You cant prove that God exists
You cant prove that God doesn't exist.

I mean we are talking about the concept of a being that can do ANYTHING.
It i concept that goes beyond the scope EVERYTHING.

trying debate about the concept of god is like trying to debate about something that you have no knowledge of and no way to acquire knowledge of. You can speculate all you want until our sun goes red giant and destroys the earth in 5 billion years and you still wont be able to say anything concrete about God.

Wrong. Depending on the definition of "god", we could very well prove that god does not exist. For example, if someone believes in a god which is both able to do anything and unchanging (and, as such, cannot change himself), we have a clear logical contradiction, and we can say with certainty that the god in question does not exist.

Yeah, this argument is oooooold. Like, 11th century old. And as we all know, religious philosophers of that time knew so much about how the world truly worked. Even when St. Anselm originally came up with this, it was immediately refuted by a guy named Guanilon, which another user has already mentioned.

May I just say, that if we can imagine a greater being than the hypothetical, then why would we only imagine the one, and why would this theory apply to only the one god, you claim that there is only one god and that he is the only "greater being" but wouldn't this theory also apply to every god and deity, for example, the greek gods such as Poseidon, Zeus, Ares etc.
Therefore, there is not one "greater being" but many, and they must all exist, and therefore all religions must be "right".

But this introduces countless contradictions and problems, as no two religions follow the exact same philosophy, indeed it is speculated that king george created the christian church so that he may divorce his wife, and mary another.

Also, if we follow your theory, and believe that these "greater beings" all exist, then how can we define who was the original creator of the universe and all it contains, and which single god was responsible for the human race as a whole, or which god created which particular race of humans, and which gods are responsible for which actions, and which afterlife scheme is right. and the god that you describe can change anything, but is unchangeable, and therefore he cannot have taken the forms of the gods described in other religions, as the human perception may differ, but not to the point where he sprouts an elephant trunk and two extra arms (hinduism).

And furthermore If we can Imagine A greater form than the hypothetical, then these gods will just get more and more powerful, until they can all do anything and equal each-others power and there will be no greater beings imaginable, and if we then put them into the hypothetical, then we cannot imagine a greater being, making them all hypothetical and turning your logic upon itself.

This theory, (and I quote from earlier in the thread) "proves too much" for if one god can exist, than they all can, and if we put that into perspective, then I can put myself into the hypothetical and imagine a greater me, until I am the all-powerfull being, which goes against most religions, as the bible says, "we are all made in his image" but the priests preach that no man is greater than god.

Now that I have (hopefully) enlightened you, I'm off to take a dip into my emerald pool with my own set of the before mentioned chocolate lesbians, before I take my monkey powered rocket car to the new californian stripper factory, for a conference with our lord and master, FSM

~{O_o}~

Judas_Iscariot:
snip

As others have probably pointed out, this is Anselm's ontological proof, so I'll give you the actual answer which Gaunilo used to refute him.

Imagine a perfect island, the greatest and most wonderful island which can possibly be imagined.

We can also imagine that this island is real.

The island which is real is more wonderful than the island which is hypothetical.

Therefore, the perfect island exists.

This is something theology A-level students learn in the first few weeks, along with replica theory and the other arguments which practically anyone can pick holes in.

In order for the ontological argument to work, we need to assume perfect knowledge of God, which is problematic for atheists and many theists alike. To function, the definition of God described by Anselm must be universally axiomatic, and since God's existence is not demonstrable, it's not. If I can refute or even doubt the existence of God, then the definition of God as "that which is the greatest which can be conceived" is no longer an axiom.

There's no such thing as an a priori ontological proof. If you can imagine that something exists, you can also imagine that it doesn't. There is never any point at which the non-existence of an object would form a contradiction unless you had empirical evidence of its existence. You cannot prove existence simply by reference to concepts.

I'm sure others have said this, but if you will wheel out a standard argument you'll probably get a whole bunch of standard responses.

Cowpoo:
St. Anselm's ontological proof of the existence of god is one of the poorest arguments for the existence of god ever. Pascal's wager is probably worse.

Judas Iscariot. Try harder.

Pascal's Wager isn't so much a proof as it is just a "reason" to believe in a god (specifically the Judaic-Christian god, for some reason).

Amnestic:
1. The creation of the universe is the greatest achievement imaginable.
2. The merit of an achievement consists of its intrinsic greatness and the ability of its creator.
3. The greater the handicap to the creator, the greater the achievement. (Would you be more impressed by Turner painting a beautiful landscape or a blind one-armed dwarf?)
4. The biggest handicap to a creator would be non-existence.
5. Therefore if we suppose that the universe is the creation of an existing creator, we can conceive a greater being - namely, one who created everything while not existing.
6.Therefore, God does not exist.

:)

.....love it!

Judas_Iscariot:

2) Something real is greater than something hypothetical.

Ok, why is that true? I am actually pretty sure they are incomparable things.

Let's try it!
i<1?

I am actually not a math person, so I don't know how that pans out.

crudus:
Pascal's Wager isn't so much a proof as it is just a "reason" to believe in a god (specifically the Judaic-Christian god, for some reason).

I'm not sure even that's the case. How many people have been convinced by Pascal's wager? How many people have been convinced by the teleological, cosmological or ontological arguments? I doubt it's too many. The way I see it, these are more often explanations that are come up with/encountered after the fact and used to justify the pre-existing belief.
Or is that why you put "reason" in quotation marks?

Okay first off you haven't defined what God is, so we can't even begin to examine the idea of God without first making it clear what this "God" thing is. But I'm going to assume you are talking about the Christian God, which seems to be indicated by what you say afterwards.

Going by that definition God is infinite, omnipotent, omni-benevolent, perfect and all that jazz. How can anyone possibly imagine that? How can you imagine infinity or perfection? Even if you think you can how can you tell that actually is infinity or perfection? How can you possibly even understand or imagine that in any way? It's implausible.

Secondly, existence does not make something automatically better. You can't even compare between things that are real and "hypothetical". It doesn't make any sense. And even if it did it obviously can't be true. Would you say a real serial killer is "greater" than a hypothetical one? It's utter nonsense.

Your extrapolation makes no sense and your conclusion is false. Your reasoning consists of nothing but unfounded assertions that are impossible.

To prove or disprove the existence of God using logic is a flawed enterprise. Anyone who attempts to do one of the two, or both, makes a reductionist fallacy.

Basically you are trying to explain (away) an object that 'exists' in completely different terms. What I'm trying to say is this: those who actually believe in God do not talk about Him and their religious experience in the terms you are using to describe their experience.

Furthermore, logic or any "language" of the sciences already contains an inherent secular bias. The humanities and the social sciences, which study (parts of) religious experience already approach the subject with the a priori conclusion that God (or any similar supernatural entity) simply can not exist.

Compare Clifford Geertz, the famous anthropologist, who talked about all religions as a 'system of symbols'. That already excludes the possibility that any religious experience (that is, a connection with the divine) might actually be true. He, and most scholars and students in the humanities/social sciences (I myself am guilty of this, too) ignore the experience and subsequent "reality" of those who actually believe.

That's why you will never really convince the other "side" in the argument. Both sides are talking in completely different terms, and the debate becomes unintelligible in translation.

-Edit-

And yes, my argument does imply that those religious scholars who tried to assert the validity of the existence of God through logic failed harder than a drunken teenage girl posting on 4Chan.

Also yes, my argument applies to religious experience, and not to religious dogma.

Sometimes it can be really hard to hear what you don't want to hear. That is why people make up stories about gods and spirits and idols that will guide them through the world. But it doesn't work that way. The world doesn't care. The universe doesn't care. There are no gods and no spirits, people just need to get that:

THE. UNIVERSE. DOES. NOT. CARE.

I'm not trying to be off-topic, but I was just wondering:

What do you believe is logic's place, as far as human knowledge goes? Is logic the end-all, or is there something more?

As soon as I saw the title of this thread I knew you'd be talking ontological argument, and lo was it so.

OT:
this has been somewhat entertaining, and while I believe that the position has been pretty definitively shot down, I'm going to dip my little oar in anyway, and explain my own (so far as I know, and I'd be beholden to anyone if they could show me a more formal philosopher who's said the same) reason for why this argument is horseshit.

It is, quite simply, backwards. You're putting the cart before the horse. Definitions follow objects, not vice-versa; an apple is defined as a crunchy fruit that grows on trees because that's what it is in real life. If we were to define an apple as a floating blob of luminescent blue fungus, apples would not spontaneously turn into floating blobs of luminescent blue fungus because the object comes FIRST and the definition comes SECOND. See how this works?

Now, you might well say "Mr. Existentialist, that's all very well for real objects like apples and so on, but what about vampires? If anything worthwhile came out of Stephanie Meyer's diarrhoea-on-paper it's that mythical creatures are beings of pure definition; vampires are night-walking blood suckers because we define them as such, and a change in definition changes the nature of the being. The definition is FIRST, and the nature SECOND."

To which I would smile fondly, tousle your hair in a fatherly way and reply "now now, little moron, that may be a valid caveat to make, but it also turns the ontological argument into an endless cycle and requires an assumption that would make any theist nervous.
First of all, in order for his nature to be altered by his definition, the theist must admit that god is purely imaginary, not just for the sake of argument, but in order that this exception be applied to him at all. If, for some ludicrous reason, a theist were to accept this, we would shortly be swept into an endless cycle; god is imaginary = definition changes his nature and can make him real. He is therefore real = definition changes CANNOT make him real. He is therefore imaginary and so on and so forth until the end of time."

Thankyou for your time ladies and gentleman, keep up the debate and I hope my arguments can help you further the cause of reason some day

Skeleon:

I'm not sure even that's the case. How many people have been convinced by Pascal's wager? How many people have been convinced by the teleological, cosmological or ontological arguments? I doubt it's too many. The way I see it, these are more often explanations that are come up with/encountered after the fact and used to justify the pre-existing belief.
Or is that why you put "reason" in quotation marks?

I have heard people try to argue the teleological one (with no success). I don't know if they are just trying everything they can, or if they truly believe it. I have never heard the ontological argument outside of a classroom. Now I have been in arguments where the cosmological argument has been brought up many times. My assumption is if people are saying it, they believe in it on some level. Whether they believe it will convince people or if they think it is true is unknown to me. It all cases they are apologetic arguments.

Judas_Iscariot:

So God, a being so great none greater can be imagined, cannot only reside as a hypothetical because if that were so we would be able to imagine a greater being, a real god.

This means the argument that God is only hypothetical leads to a contradiction of logic, disproving it.

With the argument "God is only hypothetical" disproven, the only other scenario is
"God is not only hypothetical". So God is real.

Conclusion: So the only case logic allows is that of a real, existing God which is greater than all other beings imaginable.

If you think you can disprove this with logic, be my guest.

You've jumped from point to point without the use of logic at all. I mean: "So God, a being so great none greater can be imagined, cannot only reside as a hypothetical because if that were so we would be able to imagine a greater being, a real god". So my imagination can make things real? Am I reading this wrong?
This just feel like you've said: tomatoes are pink because a carrot is red, with not correlation between your points and your arguments. I can't make head or tail of it or I could engage with you more.

Rebuttal:

1.) Geatness = power.
2.) Power = the ability to affect lives.
3.) Ideas affect lives more than anything else.
4.) Ideas are hypothetical
5.) God is the greatest thing.
6.) Therefore: God is the most powerful thing.
7.) Therefore: God affects lives more than anything else
8.) Therefore: God is an idea
9.) Therefore: God is hypothetical.

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