Hartshorne's modal argument for God's existence

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Charles Hartshorne was a theologian I used to read some time ago. He used alot of logic and was a fan of process philosophy.This is his modal argument for God's existence. See what you think. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?

    Hartshorne's Modal Argument.

    Argument

    1) If God exists, he must exist necessarily, if God does not exist his existence is impossible.

    (2) Therefore, God is either necessary or impossible.

    (3) God can be conceived without contradiction

    (4) therefore, God is not impossible

    (5) Since God is not impossible he must be necessary.

    (6) Since god is necessary he must exist.


    The assumption that God cannot be contingent is implicit in the concept of God itself. Therefore God cannot exist contingently.

    Source: http://www.doxa.ws/Ontological/modal.html
     
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  3. birch Valued Senior Member

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    God as an entity itself is a problem ontologically. It's irrational because it requires the question of what created god. so, the conclusion is a creator concept that is not an entity/fragment itself. so if a god exists, it must be all and everything. maybe pure consciousness, whatever that could be.

    the problem with a god concept is it implies an entity of some sort and that would be a byproduct so there could perhaps be many gods with pure consciousness being the material. ultimately god in the ultimate definition may not be an entity at all.

    the religious concept of god is subject to fundamental limitations as any living entity such as us.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    While is God's existence impossible if he does not exist?

    For example, the purple polkadot shirt in my cupboard doesn't exist, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that a purple polkadot shirt could exist in my cupboard.
     
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Because as he says, God exists necessarily---AS defined. So if God doesn't exist, then he is impossible because a non-existent necessary God would be impossible.
     
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  8. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Replace "God" for "The Mary Sue character in my Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover fanfiction who is a Borg Dalek but still has her Humanity".

    If she exists, then she must exist necessarily... etc, etc.
     
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  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    "All bachelors are unmarried men." As long as that particular preset for what bachelor entails is the one that dominates.

    It is just that: An analysis of or exploration of a God concept. Sometimes that's all an argument is round-a-boutly doing, is clarifying the internal structure or properties of an idea. Or what can belong to it and what can't, what can be categorized under it and what cannot. That an abstract construct or a particular formulation of _X_ espoused by a philosopher is internally consistent with itself doesn't equate to it being a resident of a literal, non-contingent plane of existence (in contrast to Nature). Just that it qualifies for membership if there was such a level.
    • KANT: "To know an object I must be able to prove its possibility, either from its actuality as attested by experience, or a priori by means of reason. But I can think whatever I please, provided only that I do not contradict myself, that is, provided my concept is a possible thought. This suffices for the possibility of the concept, even though I may not be able to answer for there being, in the sum of all possibilities, an object corresponding to it. But something more is required before I can ascribe to such a concept objective validity, that is, real possibility; the former possibility is merely logical. This something more need not, however, be sought in the theoretical sources of knowledge; it may lie in those that are practical."
    Superstrings may be bunk. But scientists claim useful insights or sideline products have fallen out of work in the theory, regardless. Arguably a practical or stimulating role / function to it not dependent upon the question of superstrings existing or not existing. But there's no practical slot for the idea of God to fill in science. Where that would rest is in the concerns of some pockets and interests of human society, practices, and reflective thought. (Many other corners of tribalism couldn't care less, though.)

    - - -
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  10. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    I couldn't get passed a concept of God in the first place.

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  11. ethernos Registered Member

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    a cup cake exist but it is not necessary for everyone.food exist it is necessary for living.so we can say he comes in many form one that is necessary.again,i made a ring out of can but it is not necessary for anyone so god could exist without purpose.but now that ring is necessary to prove that it does not necessitate anyone.so god exist who thinks he is necessary but doesn't who don't .but once he exist he exist for everyone but doesn't mean that for whom god doesn't exist that it doesn't exist for everyone.so think he exist.AN INTERESTING DEBATE WITH MYSELF.
     
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  12. birch Valued Senior Member

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    i don't agree with the one god for all, one size fits all concept of fundamental religions. though it seem logical on one hand, it is very counter-intuitive and even misleading for various reasons, one being the nature of people can differ intrinsically on fundamental issues etc.
     
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  13. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    I don't know if I can agree with this... it feels like a false dilemma to me. Why is it that He must be necessary if He exists, and why must it be impossible for Him to exist if He doesn't exist? Are we just presuming the premise here?

    Okay... but I can conceive a great number of things that are physically impossible (such as myself levitating into the air and flying under my own power). Or is he saying simply that there is nothing to contradict the idea of God?

    This feels like more false dilemma... why must it be one or the other?
     
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  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    A distinction must be made between physically (as in nature in all its possible manifestations) impossible, and logically impossible. A levitating human under their own power is not impossible in all possible universes. There could always be at least one universe where this is possible. A square circle on the other hand is logically impossible. Such an entity could not exist in any possible universe. This is the kind of impossibility we are looking for with the concept of God. Is there a logical impossibility for God to exist? Is there a logical contradiction in his nature? He says no. I myself wonder if existing everywhere at once and existing in one place aren't logically contradictory.

    Because he says God by definition is necessary, and so being necessary, could only not exist if he were impossible because a non-existent necessary God is impossible. That's his premise at least.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  15. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Okay, so he is referring to contradiction more as in a logical test, rather than a practical one. Fair enough


    Which... still feels like circular logic. I was wrong - it wouldn't be false dilemma; it would be petitio principii, or Begging the Question. If we want to assume it to be true as a method to craft a thought experiment, though, then that seems fine.
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I think Hartshorne's premise #1 is simply saying that, if God were to exist; he wouldn't exist incidentally alongside a perfectly functioning universe. Either God is the creator of the universe, or he does not exist.
    That's how I read it at least.
     
  17. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Mmm... that makes sense as well. I think I was looking at it too obliquely!
     
  18. birch Valued Senior Member

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    there is a difference in patterns when defining a god's characteristics from an abstract mathematical point of view and organic life patterns. from the latter, it leans that a god is degenerate and perverse because these are the root characteristics that are effective in nature. nature always resets itself to favor the lowest common demoninator. i've noticed people like this have an undeniably staunch level of knowing 'comfort' of existence. they naturally know all deviancy is okay and is supported by nature/god.
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I have no idea how this applies to the OP. Elaborate?
     
  20. birch Valued Senior Member

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    it's a real distinction when referring to god concept.
     
  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I think statement 3 has a problem: how do you prove God can be conceived without contradiction? If you can't, the argument collapses.

    If I claim God can't be conceived, or that any conception of God can't be a real conception because God is inconceivable, what's the counterargument? How do I know if my claim is wrong?
     
  22. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    god is physics. Just been renamed, given a beard and questionable personality and imbued with powers outside of Physics

    I think that explanation is a good contender for being a logical reason for the impossibility of god

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    And magic in this context is religion

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  23. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    This is really a statement of Pantheism, which Einstein seems to have subscribed to.
     

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