Monday, September 01, 2008

Answers on Modal Argument to Rayndeon

Blogger Rayndeon said...

@OP:

Hartshorne's modal argument, which is an S5 formalization of Norman Malcolm's original reinterpretation of Proslogion II, is clearly deficient. Plantinga's argument is superior although it too fails, as I note in detail at my blog.


Meta: Neither argument fails. Every move Plantinga makes he got from Hartshorne. You are right that Malcom comes in there between Barth and Hartshorne. But you can't include everybody. None of them fail because none of them argue that the argument proves the existence of God. All of those thinks fit the argument into a larger system, as do I, where it is not the sole reason to believe but is an important piece of the puzzle.




Rayndeon:
We see this clearly at which Hartshorne (and by extension, Malcolm) argue that since God cannot be produced or cease to exist, He cannot be a contingent being. This is clearly fallacious. The fact that God cannot be caused to exist or be destroyed does not mean that He is modally necessary - all that entails is that all possible worlds at which God exists, He is neither produced nor destroyed hence the proposition "God exists" is true for all times t and at worlds at which God does not exist, He is not produced, hence the proposition "God exists" is false for all times t. It does not entail that God is logically/metaphysically necessary.

Meta: Yes it does! But that's not what they argue. Hartshorne does not argue that God is necessary because he does not cease or fail. That's my version that I got from Garrett Soalt. More to the point, it's an answer that came out on message boards, but by me. Hartshorne argues that if God exists, his existence must be necessary as a matter of the nature of the concept of God. He is not trying to do empirical analysis from data, he's not conducting an experment. He's arguing deductively from a concept. The concept is that of eteranl necessary being. Nevertheless, as a matter of fact, if God did not cease or fail God would be eternal. There two ways that could be. Either God is eteranl independently of anything else, or God is eteranl because he is eternally contingent upon some other eteranl necessity. There many reasons to decline the latter option, not the least of which is Occam. So we have eteranl God not contingent upon anything. If necessity is cannot or cannot fail then obviously God is necessary. If God creates all things he is ontologically necessary.

When you say:


and at worlds at which God does not exist, He is not produced, hence the proposition "God exists" is false for all times t.

that is clealry false becasue Plantinga's possible world's arguents shows that there cannot be a world in which God does not exist. God must exist in all possible worlds. In additon to that I would argue from my own view point that if God is the ground being then God must exist in all possible worlds. Far from being an added burden that the theist can't bear, this is a great argument that God has to exist qed.


Rayndeon:

It just means that if we have some possible world segment S that includes God, then any possible complement S* will likewise include God - and vice versa that if there is a possible world segment S' that precludes God, then any possible complement S'* will preclude God. It does not, of course, mean that either S or S' is necessary.



Meta: Yes it does. God cannot exist in some worlds and not others. God must exist in all possible worlds or not exist at all in any world. anything that is not impossible or contingent is necessary by definition. Unless you show why it is impossible for God to exist in some world, then you have not shown anything and God must exist in all possible worlds.

HRG on CARM used to argue that because he could concieve of a three particle universe, a universal contanining only three particals of sub atomic nature, then this proves can't exist because God could not have created such a world. I disproved this argument in many ways, not the least of which is that if God is being itself, any aspect of Being, even one particle universe shows that God msut be. So this is not a disproof anything, all it would prove, if it existed, is that God is an underachiever. But there's no reason to even see the three partical universe as a possible world.

Rayndeon:

The argument does not derive its specious plausibilty from God simpliciter, but purely from the property of eternity. An eternal universe or an eternal unicorn likewise cannot be produced or destroyed and both are possible - hence, both are necessary. This commits the same fallacy as the above. Hartshorne and Malcolm made the mistake of thinking that if God exists at a world, then He exists in all of them and if God fails to exist at a world, He fails to exist in all of them. This is clearly fallacious since what obtains is that if God fails to exist at a world, then He fails to exist (obviously enough!) at worlds at which He fails to exist and vice versa. Or more substantially, as I said above, the argument is committed to that [](S v S') which clearly is unargued for.

Meta: That still leaves you in the position you were in at square one, you must show that is impossible or you have not demonstrated that he can't exist in some possible world.

Moreover you are just plain wrong about the nature of necessity. Anything that is not contingent or impossible is necessary. Those are the only choices. It could also be fictional, but that doesn't help your case any. To prove that God is merely fictional you still have to prove that God is impossible. I don't see a reason you give for God not to exist in a given possible world. If God exists at all he has to exist in all possible worlds.



The argument does not derive its specious plausibilty from God simpliciter, but purely from the property of eternity. An eternal universe or an eternal unicorn likewise cannot be produced or destroyed and both are possible - hence, both are necessary. This commits the same fallacy as the above.

It's your fallacy. By default an eternal existant would be necessary because it is neither impossible nor contingent. Except, in the case of an eternal contingency (Aquinas) which I've already explianed. The best analogy for that is the eternal flute player. The music from the flute player is eternal, but it is also contingent upon the player continuing to play. But you have not come up with any reason to pin God's existence upon some higher thing. In fact, if you did that we would not be talking about "God" but the higher thing would be God so you would just wind up provoing there is a God. But there is no reason to mulitply entities beyond necesstiy.

Moeover, if God is eternal and everything else is contingent we kind of have to figure God created it all, because otherwise there's no just logical reason to assume it all pops out of nothing or is created by the violation of Occam from the preceeding paragraph. That means that by defition God has to be ontologically necessary since the being of all things is pinned upon God's existence (or Being).

Let's break down your last statment some more:

and if God fails to exist at a world, He fails to exist in all of them. This is clearly fallacious since what obtains is that if God fails to exist at a world, then He fails to exist (obviously enough!) at worlds at which He fails to exist and vice versa.

Why would God fail to exist at any world? You must show this. Failing to show the impossiblity of God we can assume God must exist in all possible worlds. Otherwise why are calling him "God?" How can he create "all things" If he can't be in the places where all things are? What would be a reason for excluding him form any possible worlds? If God is the ground of being then he has to exist anywhere where the beings exist (that my answer not Plantingas). Moreover,





Rayndeon:
There are worthwhile ontological arguments out there, among them, Plantinga and Robert Maydole's. This ain't one of them.



Meta: I am glad you said that. Because as long you feel the need to make personal gabs, I doubt that you have read Hartshorne. If you have done so you should see that almost everything Plantinga says comes out of Hartshorne in some way. Now that is not put down Plantinga. He is brilliant, he has contrbuted tot he feild in ways I can't dream of doing. I'm sure he will be rememebered and I will not be. He deserves to be lauded as one of the great thinkers of our time, but I think he would be the first to praise Hartshorne for paving the way.

I am truely doubtful that you have read any of these people. You don't seem to understand the basic concepts.

show me a printed version of Plantinga's modal argument, and then one of Hartshorne's so we can all see the differences?

9 comments:

Rayndeon said...

@OP:

Neither argument fails. Every move Plantinga makes he got from Hartshorne. You are right that Malcom comes in there between Barth and Hartshorne. But you can't include everybody. None of them fail because none of them argue that the argument proves the existence of God. All of those thinks fit the argument into a larger system, as do I, where it is not the sole reason to believe but is an important piece of the puzzle.

Plantinga inherited the argument from Hartshorne, certainly. But, he significantly modified the argument, not moving from merely the possibility of God to His existence, but moving from the possibility of His necessity alone to His existence. Plantinga also does not employ the same justifications as Hartshorne.

But that's not what they argue. Hartshorne does not argue that God is necessary because he does not cease or fail.

Yes, he does. He formalizes the argument Norman Malcolm's article in Anselm's Two Ontological Argument made a few years before Hartshorne's argument in the The Logic of Perfection. He argues that nothing could produce God or make Him cease to exist. As Norman Malcolm said,

"Let me summarize the proof. If God, a being greater than that which cannot be conceived, does not exist then He cannot come into existence. For if He did He would either have been caused to come into existence or have happened to come into existence, and in either case He would be a limited being, which by our conception of Him He is not. Since He cannot come into existence, if He does not exist His existence is impossible. If He does exist He cannot come into existence (for the reasons given), nor can He cease to exist, for nothing could cause Him to cease to exist nor could it just happen that He cease to exist. So if God exists His existence is necessary. Hence, God's existence is either impossible or necessary. It can be the former only if the concept of such a being is self-contradictory or in some way logically absurd. Assuming this is not so, it follows that He necessarily exists."

-- Taken from Malcolm, Norman. "Anselm's Two Ontological Arguments." Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology. 4th ed. Ed. Louis P. Pojman. Wadsworth, CA: 2003. pp.80-81.

Hartshorne, a few years later in the Logic of Perfection formalized Malcolm's words into an S5 modal symbolization, but kept the basic structure and justifications the same.

He does not, as you argue, look at a deductive argument from the possibility of an eternal necessary being. That's Plantinga's argument. But, it isn't Hartshorne's. Hartshorne moves from the premise that God's possibility entails His necessity. Plantinga does not.

Nevertheless, as a matter of fact, if God did not cease or fail God would be eternal. There two ways that could be. Either God is eteranl independently of anything else, or God is eteranl because he is eternally contingent upon some other eteranl necessity. There many reasons to decline the latter option, not the least of which is Occam. So we have eteranl God not contingent upon anything. If necessity is cannot or cannot fail then obviously God is necessary. If God creates all things he is ontologically necessary.

Independence is not isomorphic to necessity. Dependence is not isomorphic to contingency. Unless you can support some version of Scotistic or modal variant of the principle of sufficient reason, there is no reason to grant that. But, I admit that I'm puzzled - if you have to appeal to a cosmological argument purely to support an ontological argument, then the OA fails since the OA derives its soundness superfluously - if it relies on the CA, then you don't need the OA - all you need do is offer the CA.

that is clealry false becasue Plantinga's possible world's arguents shows that there cannot be a world in which God does not exist. God must exist in all possible worlds. In additon to that I would argue from my own view point that if God is the ground being then God must exist in all possible worlds. Far from being an added burden that the theist can't bear, this is a great argument that God has to exist qed.

Yes it does. God cannot exist in some worlds and not others. God must exist in all possible worlds or not exist at all in any world. anything that is not impossible or contingent is necessary by definition. Unless you show why it is impossible for God to exist in some world, then you have not shown anything and God must exist in all possible worlds.

That still leaves you in the position you were in at square one, you must show that is impossible or you have not demonstrated that he can't exist in some possible world.

Moreover you are just plain wrong about the nature of necessity. Anything that is not contingent or impossible is necessary. Those are the only choices. It could also be fictional, but that doesn't help your case any. To prove that God is merely fictional you still have to prove that God is impossible. I don't see a reason you give for God not to exist in a given possible world. If God exists at all he has to exist in all possible worlds.


You didn't get my remarks. All my argument showed was that from Malcolm and Hartshorne's notice that God can be neither produced nor destroyed, it does not follow that He exists at all possible worlds. I am not positively arguing against the thesis that God exists in all possible worlds, but undercutting its justification. But, for that matter, why are you appealing to God's necessity to answer my criticism? You would be begging the question by assuming the conclusion in order to justify it.

It's your fallacy. By default an eternal existant would be necessary because it is neither impossible nor contingent. Except, in the case of an eternal contingency (Aquinas) which I've already explianed. The best analogy for that is the eternal flute player. The music from the flute player is eternal, but it is also contingent upon the player continuing to play. But you have not come up with any reason to pin God's existence upon some higher thing. In fact, if you did that we would not be talking about "God" but the higher thing would be God so you would just wind up provoing there is a God. But there is no reason to mulitply entities beyond necesstiy.

You are confusing causal or ontological contingency viz. depending on something else for one's existence with logical/metaphysical contingency. The two are not analytically isomorphic. Logical contingency is defined as any proposition such that it and its negation is non-contradictory. Metaphysical contingency is defined as any proposition such that it and its negation is true in worlds accessible from w. Unless you can show, perhaps by some Scotistic argument or perhaps an extended cosmological argument, that the two are isomorphic, this claim is modally fallacious.

Why would God fail to exist at any world? You must show this. Failing to show the impossiblity of God we can assume God must exist in all possible worlds.

I don't have to show that God is impossible. All I have to show is that your argument does not establish that His possibility entails His necessity. I believe I have done that and what you have done is repeatedly begged the question by appealing to God's necessity in order to justify it and relied on some Scotistic or modal cosmological argument to support Hartshorne's OA, which would make the OA superfluous. All I did was point out a modal fallacy in Hartshorne's argument - the proposition [](S v S') is not argued for nor does it seem plausible to grant it. You seem to have answered with a cosmological argument, but that's something else entirely. If you want to discuss the cosmological argument, open up a blog post about. Otherwise, you'd be making the OA superfluous and dialectically deficient, because if your OA relies upon a CA, then it derives its soundness superfluously from the CA, in which case, bringing the OA is just pointless - just present the CA.

show me a printed version of Plantinga's modal argument, and then one of Hartshorne's so we can all see the differences?

You already presented Hartshorne's argument:

1. G -> []G (Premise, argued for as I noted about Malcolm)
2. ~[]~G (Premise)
3. []G -> G (S5 modal axiom)
4. []G v ~[]G (excluded middle)
5. ~[]G -> []~[]G (Becker's Postulate)
6. []G v []~[]G (4, 5, substitution)
7. []~[]G -> []~G (1, modus tollens)
8. []G v []~G (6,7, substitution)
9. []G (8, 2, disjunctive syllogism)
10. G (9, 3, modus ponens)

Plantinga does not argue for (1). He presents the argument as thus.

1. <>[]G (premise)
2. <>[]G -> []G (modal S5 axiom)
3. []G (1,2, modus ponens)
4. []G -> G (modal S5 axiom)
5. G (3,4, modus ponens)

He does not argue for the impossibility of God being produced or cease to exist or that God's possibility entails His necessity. Rather, he argues from the possibility of God's necessity (i.e. it is possible that God has the property of being necessary). Actually, he says something weaker than that. He says that the state of affairs of a maximally excellent being being exemplified (according to Plantinga, maximal excellence =def an omnipotent, omniscient, morally perfect being viz. God) possibly is necessary. Check out my blog for more detail on Plantinga's argument.

J.L. Hinman said...

Logical contingency is defined as any proposition such that it and its negation is non-contradictory.


that doesn't make sense. a and non a are both necessary?

J.L. Hinman said...

I'll get back to you tonight

Rayndeon said...

@J.L.:

I want to make a correction to my previous post. I have changed my mind on the superfluous nature of your OA - because the PSR, as you seem to use it, does not strictly entail that the necessary being is God, hence, the charge of strict superfluity can be avoided.

Logical contingency is defined as any proposition such that it and its negation is non-contradictory.

that doesn't make sense. a and non a are both necessary?


No. A proposition is logically possible if it is non-contradictory. A proposition is logically necessary if its negation is contradictory. Since A is non-contradictory and its negation is not contradictory, it follows that it is both possible yet non-necessary hence logically contingent. Examples:

Logical contingencies: My being present at French Revolution, pigs flying in New York tonight
Logical necessities: 2 + 2 = 4, unmarried bachelors
Logical impossibilities: 2 + 2 = 5 or married bachelors

J.L. Hinman said...

@J.L.:

my friends call me "Joe" or "meta."

I want to make a correction to my previous post. I have changed my mind on the superfluous nature of your OA - because the PSR, as you seem to use it, does not strictly entail that the necessary being is God, hence, the charge of strict superfluity can be avoided.


well as much as that feels like progress, I have to say, I think I can argue it as God, but that's for another day. If we get that far I'll deal with the superfluity them.

Logical contingency is defined as any proposition such that it and its negation is non-contradictory.

methat doesn't make sense. a and non a are both necessary?

No. A proposition is logically possible if it is non-contradictory. A proposition is logically necessary if its negation is contradictory.

you said above if BOTH it and its contradiction negation are non contradictory. that would mean a and non a are not contradictory. So then something could be a both A and ~A. That would be non contradictory.


Since A is non-contradictory and its negation is not contradictory, it follows that it is both possible yet non-necessary hence logically contingent. Examples:

Logical contingencies: My being present at French Revolution, pigs flying in New York tonight
Logical necessities: 2 + 2 = 4, unmarried bachelors
Logical impossibilities: 2 + 2 = 5 or married bachelors

Logicians may well speak of "logical contingencies." but it's meaningless because anything that is logical necessity is tautology, true by definition. All husbands are married men. Thus contingency would be something that is not tautological or true by definition. Some husbands are bald. So in other words all synthetic statements are about contingencies.

J.L. Hinman said...

MeNeither argument fails. Every move Plantinga makes he got from Hartshorne. You are right that Malcom comes in there between Barth and Hartshorne. But you can't include everybody. None of them fail because none of them argue that the argument proves the existence of God. All of those thinks fit the argument into a larger system, as do I, where it is not the sole reason to believe but is an important piece of the puzzle.

Plantinga inherited the argument from Hartshorne, certainly. But, he significantly modified the argument, not moving from merely the possibility of God to His existence, but moving from the possibility of His necessity alone to His existence. Plantinga also does not employ the same justifications as Hartshorne.


I didn't say that Plantinga has no innovations or embelishements or his own achievements. I said he got all his moves form Hartshorne, and he did. That doesn't mean he didn't build on them.

MEBut that's not what they argue. Hartshorne does not argue that God is necessary because he does not cease or fail.

Yes, he does. He formalizes the argument Norman Malcolm's article in Anselm's Two Ontological Argument made a few years before Hartshorne's argument in the The Logic of Perfection. He argues that nothing could produce God or make Him cease to exist. As Norman Malcolm said,


I didn't mean he never argues that. I know he does. I was talking about in the presentation of the argument that I go by and define as "his argument." There two sources: one is the article in The Many Faced Argumentby John Hick. The other is a presentation of H's argument used by Forest Bare who teaches at some University I think in Colorado. It hasn't been on the net in years. Come to that I haven't argued this with anyone who knows what he's talking about in so long I'm really rusty.

for the last eight years most of the arguments I've had on this have been with people who call it stupid and say things like "what are all those letters for?"


"Let me summarize the proof. If God, a being greater than that which cannot be conceived, does not exist then He cannot come into existence. For if He did He would either have been caused to come into existence or have happened to come into existence, and in either case He would be a limited being, which by our conception of Him He is not. Since He cannot come into existence, if He does not exist His existence is impossible. If He does exist He cannot come into existence (for the reasons given), nor can He cease to exist, for nothing could cause Him to cease to exist nor could it just happen that He cease to exist. So if God exists His existence is necessary. Hence, God's existence is either impossible or necessary. It can be the former only if the concept of such a being is self-contradictory or in some way logically absurd. Assuming this is not so, it follows that He necessarily exists."

Yes, I know H says this. I learned it form him and that's what I argue. I argue because I read that section in the Many Faced Argument where H says it.Also becasue a Friend of mine studies with H. at UT and another friend at Claimant. This is how I know about this argument because of reading Hartshorne and talking to his students.

But, in the presentation the way it is made in the two sources I mention above he does not argue this in an elaborated fashion. That answer is there in his assumptions but it's not made explicit.



-- Taken from Malcolm, Norman. "Anselm's Two Ontological Arguments." Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology. 4th ed. Ed. Louis P. Pojman. Wadsworth, CA: 2003. pp.80-81.

Hartshorne, a few years later in the Logic of Perfection formalized Malcolm's words into an S5 modal symbolization, but kept the basic structure and justifications the same.

I already said that. Maclom got it form Karl Barth.

He does not, as you argue, look at a deductive argument from the possibility of an eternal necessary being. That's Plantinga's argument. But, it isn't Hartshorne's. Hartshorne moves from the premise that God's possibility entails His necessity. Plantinga does not.


I am not a professional philosopher. I'm a history of ideas guy. I haven't studied this stuff in over eight years. I don't keep track of who said what for use on message boards where people don't give a shit anyway. If I was writing a paper I would look it up.

meNevertheless, as a matter of fact, if God did not cease or fail God would be eternal. There two ways that could be. Either God is eternal independently of anything else, or God is eternal because he is eternally contingent upon some other eternal necessity. There many reasons to decline the latter option, not the least of which is Occam. So we have eternal God not contingent upon anything. If necessity is cannot or cannot fail then obviously God is necessary. If God creates all things he is ontologically necessary.

Independence is not isomorphic to necessity. Dependence is not isomorphic to contingency.


yes it is. May not be in formal terms, but it winds up being so. Think about it: If something depends upon an ontologically prior existent for its existence, is it necessary? Is it impossible? No so it has to be contingent.

when Hartshorne is criticized for equivocating between meanings of he words contingent (can fail or cease on one had, vs. dependence for existence on the other) he links the two. They shows they are the same thing in the long run. Naturally if contingency is the same for those tow things, their opposites are necessity.



Unless you can support some version of Scotistic or modal variant of the principle of sufficient reason, there is no reason to grant that.


I guess that's what Hartshorne did because that what he says. If something is dependent for its existence it could fail if the thing it depended upon had been different So that is the same thing. so the two are linked.


But, I admit that I'm puzzled - if you have to appeal to a cosmological argument purely to support an ontological argument, then the OA fails since the OA derives its soundness superfluously - if it relies on the CA, then you don't need the OA - all you need do is offer the CA.


I didn't. Both CA and OA turn on the same principle, necessity/contingency. Just because I make an argument about necessity and contingency doesn't make a CA.

Methat is clealry false becasue Plantinga's possible world's arguents shows that there cannot be a world in which God does not exist. God must exist in all possible worlds. In additon to that I would argue from my own view point that if God is the ground being then God must exist in all possible worlds. Far from being an added burden that the theist can't bear, this is a great argument that God has to exist qed.

Yes it does. God cannot exist in some worlds and not others.
God must exist in all possible worlds or not exist at all in any world. anything that is not impossible or contingent is necessary by definition. Unless you show why it is impossible for God to exist in some world, then you have not shown anything and God must exist in all possible worlds.

That still leaves you in the position you were in at square one, you must show that is impossible or you have not demonstrated that he can't exist in some possible world.

Moreover you are just plain wrong about the nature of necessity. Anything that is not contingent or impossible is necessary. Those are the only choices. It could also be fictional, but that doesn't help your case any. To prove that God is merely fictional you still have to prove that God is impossible. I don't see a reason you give for God not to exist in a given possible world. If God exists at all he has to exist in all possible worlds.

J.L. Hinman said...

You didn't get my remarks. All my argument showed was that from Malcolm and Hartshorne's notice that God can be neither produced nor destroyed, it does not follow that He exists at all possible worlds.

Yes it does. Plantinga's argument shows this, and it is nothing more than Hartshorne's argument projected upon the screen of possible worlds.




I am not positively arguing against the thesis that God exists in all possible worlds, but undercutting its justification.

Yes but you have not pulled it off



But, for that matter, why are you appealing to God's necessity to answer my criticism? You would be begging the question by assuming the conclusion in order to justify it.


Nope. Not at all. The premise those are two different arguments. The modal argument, once it is pulled off to show God's necessity can be applied to possible words to make the possible worlds argument. God is necessary in this world, if that is true, then God must be necessary in all world.s the nature of necessity demands that God would be necessary in all worlds.

MeIt's your fallacy. By default an eternal existant would be necessary because it is neither impossible nor contingent. Except, in the case of an eternal contingency (Aquinas) which I've already explianed. The best analogy for that is the eternal flute player. The music from the flute player is eternal, but it is also contingent upon the player continuing to play. But you have not come up with any reason to pin God's existence upon some higher thing. In fact, if you did that we would not be talking about "God" but the higher thing would be God so you would just wind up provoing there is a God. But there is no reason to mulitply entities beyond necesstiy.

You are confusing causal or ontological contingency viz. depending on something else for one's existence with logical/metaphysical contingency. The two are not analytically isomorphic. Logical contingency is defined as any proposition such that it and its negation is non-contradictory.

The link from logical necessity to ontological necessity is necessary (no pun) or God is just a tautology. If God actually he exists he would have to be ontologically necessary as well as logically.

I was explaining why being eternal taps out to being necessary, I wasn't talking about the Modal argument per say at that point. I was explaining why I link eternal with necessary.




Metaphysical contingency is defined as any proposition such that it and its negation is true in worlds accessible from w. Unless you can show, perhaps by some Scotistic argument or perhaps an extended cosmological argument, that the two are isomorphic, this claim is modally fallacious.


as I said Hartshorne does this in dealing with the charge of equivocation. That is not the cos argument per se.

MeWhy would God fail to exist at any world? You must show this. Failing to show the impossibility of God we can assume God must exist in all possible worlds.

I don't have to show that God is impossible. All I have to show is that your argument does not establish that His possibility entails His necessity.


sorry, wrong wrong Wrong! the whole Hartshorne argument turns on this point. God cannot be merely possible since he can't be contingent. If he is possible at all then he must be necessary or he's not God because he's contingent.

you cannot show that God could fail to exist in a possible world without showing that he's impossible. Because otherwise if he fails to exist in a possible world he's ony a possibility and not necessary.

Hartshorne's argument turns upon the inability of God to be merely possible.

Standford Encyclopedia of Philosphy:

On Hartshorne's view, metaphysics does not deal with realities beyond the physical, but rather with those features of reality that are ubiquitous or that would exist in any possible world. And he does not think that it is possible to think of a preeminent being that only existed contingently since if it did exist contingently rather than necessarily, it would not be preeminent. That is, God's existence is either impossible (positivism) or possible, and, if possible, then necessary (theism). He is assuming here that there are three alternatives for us to consider: (1) God is impossible; (2) God is possible, but may or may not exist; (3) God exists necessarily. The ontological argument shows that the second alternative makes no sense. Hence, he thinks that the prime task for the philosophical theist is to show that God is not impossible.

http://www.seop.leeds.ac.uk/entries/hartshorne/#3


I believe I have done that and what you have done is repeatedly begged the question by appealing to God's necessity in order to justify it and relied on some Scotistic or modal cosmological argument to support Hartshorne's OA, which would make the OA superfluous.



No what you have done is to trat two seperate argumetns, possible worlds and OA as thoguh they are the same argument. You try to use the possible worlds arguemnt to beat up the modal argument, but the problem is, the modal argument is the foundation of the possible worlds argument and demonstrates that it proves God. To make your criticism work you have to beat the Modal argument the point upon which turns and how that God is impossible. Because that's the the way to prove that God can't exist in some possible world.

I am not begging the question. I am assuming what should be obvious, that until you prove that your argument doesn't stand.






All I did was point out a modal fallacy in Hartshorne's argument - the proposition [](S v S') is not argued for nor does it seem plausible to grant it. You seem to have answered with a cosmological argument, but that's something else entirely.

I don't think so. But you might be right. I'm so used to message boards, doing things a certain way because I'm dealing with people who don't get any of this. To explain the basic concepts I wind up shorting handing and making certain assumptions which I can't always make explicit right away and so forth.




If you want to discuss the cosmological argument, open up a blog post about. Otherwise, you'd be making the OA superfluous and dialectically deficient, because if your OA relies upon a CA, then it derives its soundness superfluously from the CA, in which case, bringing the OA is just pointless - just present the CA.


I used to love the CA but now it's boring. There is no reason to think that I've switched to the CA. They both use the same principle of necessity and contingency. CA uses ontological necessity (ironic given them name switch) and Modal uses logical but if God exits he has to be both anyway.

The Standford Encyclopedia says H's purpose is not to claim the argument proves God but to show that the demonstration that God is not impossible sets up the basis of a proof.


show me a printed version of Plantinga's modal argument, and then one of Hartshorne's so we can all see the differences?

You already presented Hartshorne's argument:

1. G -> []G (Premise, argued for as I noted about Malcolm)
2. ~[]~G (Premise)
3. []G -> G (S5 modal axiom)
4. []G v ~[]G (excluded middle)
5. ~[]G -> []~[]G (Becker's Postulate)
6. []G v []~[]G (4, 5, substitution)
7. []~[]G -> []~G (1, modus tollens)
8. []G v []~G (6,7, substitution)
9. []G (8, 2, disjunctive syllogism)
10. G (9, 3, modus ponens)


that's not what I presented. His argument begins with either or, either God exists necessarily or he is impossible. something like that. My version is just a short hand of that. I make explicit some things he does now. what you have above is not what I said either.

Plantinga does not argue for (1). He presents the argument as thus.

1. <>[]G (premise)
2. <>[]G -> []G (modal S5 axiom)
3. []G (1,2, modus ponens)
4. []G -> G (modal S5 axiom)
5. G (3,4, modus ponens)

He does not argue for the impossibility of God being produced or cease to exist or that God's possibility entails His necessity. Rather, he argues from the possibility of God's necessity (i.e. it is possible that God has the property of being necessary). Actually, he says something weaker than that. He says that the state of affairs of a maximally excellent being being exemplified (according to Plantinga, maximal excellence =def an omnipotent, omniscient, morally perfect being viz. God) possibly is necessary. Check out my blog for more detail on Plantinga's argument.


this is not printed material.

Rayndeon said...

@Joe:

you said above if BOTH it and its contradiction negation are non contradictory. that would mean a and non a are not contradictory. So then something could be a both A and ~A. That would be non contradictory.

No. You are misunderstanding me. By saying that p is logically contingent iff it and its negation are non-contradictory, I meant that p is non-contradictory and ~p is non-contradictory. Hence, p does not imply (q & ~q) and ~p does not imply (q & ~q), or expressed modally as (<>p & <>~p).

Logicians may well speak of "logical contingencies." but it's meaningless because anything that is logical necessity is tautology, true by definition.

All you've pointed out all logical necessities are tautologies. I don't see how that makes a logical contingency meaningless.

All husbands are married men. Thus contingency would be something that is not tautological or true by definition. Some husbands are bald. So in other words all synthetic statements are about contingencies.

Correct, but you have to make sure that all synthetic statements are logically contingent. Presuming, as most analytic philosophers do, that metaphysical possibility signifies a meaningful modal space, this statement does not necessarily apply for all metaphysically possible propositions viz. logical possibility is not isomorphic to metaphysical possibility, allegedly. I myself disagree that metaphysical possibility signifies a meaningful modal space - but it's largely the name of the game for modern analytic philosophy.

I didn't say that Plantinga has no innovations or embelishements or his own achievements. I said he got all his moves form Hartshorne, and he did. That doesn't mean he didn't build on them.

Well, he certainly built on Hartshorne's arguments, but he certainly didn't obtain all of his moves from Hartshorne. If one reads his The Nature of Necessity (Clarendon Press, Oxford: 1982 reprint) from pages 197-221, you can see that he significantly diverges from Malcolm and Hartshorne. Indeed, most of his points are entirely unrelated to what Hartshorne and Malcolm raised - including Plantinga's defense of modal actualism and in particular, serious modal actualism, and he disagrees with a major aspect of what he entitles "The Hartshorne-Malcolm Version" from pages 212-3. Most importantly, Plantinga does not move from God's possibility to His necessity and hence His actuality - but makes a much more nuanced view that maximal excellence being exemplified possibly is necessary; hence, it is necessary, hence it is actual that maximal excellence is exemplified.

I didn't mean he never argues that. I know he does. I was talking about in the presentation of the argument that I go by and define as "his argument." There two sources: one is the article in The Many Faced Argumentby John Hick. The other is a presentation of H's argument used by Forest Bare who teaches at some University I think in Colorado. It hasn't been on the net in years. Come to that I haven't argued this with anyone who knows what he's talking about in so long I'm really rusty.

Yes, I know H says this. I learned it form him and that's what I argue. I argue because I read that section in the Many Faced Argument where H says it.Also becasue a Friend of mine studies with H. at UT and another friend at Claimant. This is how I know about this argument because of reading Hartshorne and talking to his students.

But, in the presentation the way it is made in the two sources I mention above he does not argue this in an elaborated fashion. That answer is there in his assumptions but it's not made explicit.

I already said that. Maclom got it form Karl Barth.


I see. Well, from what I've read in the Logic of Perfection, that's his presentation of the argument. I also don't really see where your argument differs. You accept, as Hartshorne does, that either God is impossible or necessary - and the only justification Hartshorne offered for that, in any of the literature I am aware of, is precisely Malcolm's argument, which Hartshorne broadly formalized into an S5 modal sentential logic.

yes it is. May not be in formal terms, but it winds up being so. Think about it: If something depends upon an ontologically prior existent for its existence, is it necessary? Is it impossible? No so it has to be contingent.

when Hartshorne is criticized for equivocating between meanings of he words contingent (can fail or cease on one had, vs. dependence for existence on the other) he links the two. They shows they are the same thing in the long run. Naturally if contingency is the same for those tow things, their opposites are necessity.

I guess that's what Hartshorne did because that what he says. If something is dependent for its existence it could fail if the thing it depended upon had been different So that is the same thing. so the two are linked.


Perhaps so. Nonetheless, all that shows is that all causally contingent objects are logically/metaphysically contingent. It does not show that all logically/metaphysically contingent objects are causally contingent. These are analytically different. Something is causally contingent if and only if it depends on something else for its existence. Something is logically contingent if and only if it and its absence are non-contradictory. Something is metaphysically contingent if it and its absence are actual in worlds accessible from w. Now, you may have presented a presumably successful argument showing that all causally contingent objects are likewise logically and metaphysically contingent (I agree with you on this but for different reasons); however, you also need to show that all logically and metaphysically contingent objects are causally dependent. There doesn't seem to be any analytic isomorphism available here so your reply in this regard is clearly deficient. The modal ontological argument expressly relies on logical/metaphysical contingencies, which are the subject of modal logic and possible world semantics - not causal contingency, which is not a modal category or a space of possible worlds. Your use of "contingent" is not univocal with the use of "contingent" as used modally.

Yes it does. Plantinga's argument shows this, and it is nothing more than Hartshorne's argument projected upon the screen of possible worlds.

Yes, presumably, Plantinga's argument's conclusion was that a maximally excellent being (God) exists in all possible worlds. So was of Hartshorne. I'm not arguing against that. I'm arguing against the particular inference Hartshorne uses to argue that and I argue that is fallacious. Namely, as Malcolm explicated, the fact that if God exists, He cannot be produced or destroyed does not entail that He exists in all possible worlds - rather, all it means is that at worlds at which God exists, the complement of any possible world segment including God will also include God i.e. the proposition "God exists" would be true for all times t therein. Vice versa - if God does not exist, all that follows is that for any possible world segment that precludes God, its complement will likewise preclude God i.e. the proposition "God exists" would be false for all times t therein. In other words, the question of production and destruction applies only given the possible world segment and hence, Hartshorne and Malcolm must assume that [](S v S'), but that clearly is not argued for. This is not a problem with God simpliciter, but is a generally fallacious modal inference. We could substitute "eternal unicorns" just as well and wind up with the same fallacious inference. The fact that something is eternal does not lend to its necessity or impossibility; merely, that there is no possible world at which it is produced or destroyed at which exists and no possible world at which it is destroyed at which it does not exist - it does not mean that it is necessary that "the world segment consisting of its existence obtains or the world segment non-existence obtains." This of course lends itself to a different problem. Since this justification is supposed to defend that either God is necessary or impossible, the actual justification must rely on the assumption the world segment consisting of God's existence is either necessary or impossible - hence, a question-begging justification. Either the argument is modally fallacious with respect to the crucial premise or it is question-begging with respect to the crucial premise.

Nope. Not at all. The premise those are two different arguments. The modal argument, once it is pulled off to show God's necessity can be applied to possible words to make the possible worlds argument. God is necessary in this world, if that is true, then God must be necessary in all world.s the nature of necessity demands that God would be necessary in all worlds.

I don't think you understand my criticism here. My criticism is that you presented an argument against my inference from the presumption that God is necessary. Clearly, it is fallacious to argue against a criticism of an argument by assuming the soundness of the argument in the first place. Moreover, my argument showed a generalized modal fallacy, not an argument against God's necessity.

The link from logical necessity to ontological necessity is necessary (no pun) or God is just a tautology. If God actually he exists he would have to be ontologically necessary as well as logically.

I was explaining why being eternal taps out to being necessary, I wasn't talking about the Modal argument per say at that point. I was explaining why I link eternal with necessary.


I don't think you've shown that causal contingency is isomorphic with logical/metaphysical contingency, as I note above. Moreover, I have no problem with the consequence that the existence of a necessary God is a tautology under logical necessity - that's just a consequence of the modal semantics of logical possibility and necessity. I don't think you would need to have a problem with it either, since all tautologies are true after all. I myself don't think that the existence of God is logically necessary, pretty obviously enough, but that's beside the point. Likewise, one might go Plantinga's route, and work with metaphysical possibility - admittedly, of course, that itself relies on the meaningfulness of metaphysical possibility, which is debatable. I find it strange though that you seem to have a problem with the idea that God is logically necessary but later affirm it in your sentence. You say that there must be a link between logical necessity and causal independence - but, I don't really get this remark. If God is logically necessary, it does not follow that He is causally dependent - likewise, if God is causally independent, it does not follow that He is logically necessary, as I explained above.

sorry, wrong wrong Wrong! the whole Hartshorne argument turns on this point. God cannot be merely possible since he can't be contingent. If he is possible at all then he must be necessary or he's not God because he's contingent.

you cannot show that God could fail to exist in a possible world without showing that he's impossible. Because otherwise if he fails to exist in a possible world he's ony a possibility and not necessary.


I don't think you understand. I'm directly challenging Hartshorne's claim that God is either necessary or impossible, which is the same as saying that God's possibility or actuality entails His necessity. I did this earlier and above.

that's not what I presented. His argument begins with either or, either God exists necessarily or he is impossible. something like that. My version is just a short hand of that. I make explicit some things he does now. what you have above is not what I said either.

That's the same thing as saying that God's possibility entails His necessity. See the eighth premise of the argument as I presented above, which shows that given that God is not impossible that if God exists, then He is necessary, then it follows that either God is necessary or impossible, as explicated via conditional proof in 1-8. They are the same arguments. Here's another proof of the same.

1. []G v []~G (Your premise)
2. ~[]~G (Your premise)
3. []G v ~<>G (1, modal equivalence)
4. <>G (2, modal equivalence)
5. []G (3,4, disjunctive syllogism)
6. <>G -> []G (1-5, conditional proof)

this is not printed material.

If you want actual quotations from Plantinga:

"We may state the argument more fully as follows.

(34) The property has maximal greatness entails the property has maximal excellence in every possible world.

(35) Maximal excellence entails omniscience, omnipotence, and moral perfection.

(36) Maximal greatness is possibly exemplified.

But for any property P, if P is possibly exemplified, then there is a world W and an essence E such that E is exemplified in W, and E entails had P in W. So

(37) There is a world W* and an essence E* such that E* is exemplified in W* and E* entails has maximal greatness in W*.

If W* had been actual, therefore, E* would have been exemplified by an object that had maximal greatness and hence (by (34)) had maximal excellence in every possible world. So if W* had been actual, E* would have been exemplified by a being that for any world W had the property has maximal excellence in W. But every world-indexed property of an object is entailed by its essence (Chapter IV, Section 11). Hence if W* had been actual, E* would have entailed, for every world W, the property has maximal excellence in W; hence it would have entailed the property has maximal excellence in every possible world. That is, if W* had been actual, the proposition

(38) For any object x, if x exemplifies E*, then x exemplifies the property has maximal excellence in every possible world.

would have been necessarily true. But what is necessarily true does not vary from world to world. Hence (38) is necessary in every world and is therefore necessary. So

(39) E* entails the property has maximal excellence in every possible world.

Now (as we have learned from Chapter VIII) a being has a property in world W only if it exists in that world. So E* entails the property exist in every possible world. E* is exemplified in W*; hence if W* had been actual, E* would have been exemplified by something that existed and exemplified it in every possible world. Hence

(40) If W* had been actual, it would have been impossible that E* fail to be exemplified.

But again, what is impossible does not vary from world to world; hence it is in fact impossible that E* fail to be exemplified ; so E* is exemplified; so

(41) There exists a being that has maximal excellence in every world.

That is, there actually exists a being that is omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect; and that exists and these properties in every possible world. This being is God."

--Taken from Plantinga, Alvin. The Nature of Necessity. Clarendon Press, Oxford: 1982. pp.214-6.

A lot of what Plantinga says is repetitive and monotonic, but helpfully so in that he painstakingly shows the deduction from the possibility of maximal greatness being exemplified to that maximal excellence is exemplified in every possible world to that a maximally excellent being actually exists viz. God. Rather than moving from the premise that God is possible, translated under Plantinga's terminology as a maximally excellent being, he moves from the premise that God's necessity is possible, translated under his terminology as a maximally great being. This is an important distinction in that He does not analytically locate God's necessity in the concept of God itself; but extrinsically and argues that it is neither incoherent nor impossible and hence possible and hence actual. I critique in detail at my blog.

J.L. Hinman said...

hey Ray I have a brother named Ray. I will answer some of your post latter, maybe tomorrow. Ordinary I would love to have such a dialogue with someone who knows a lot about this topic. But these days I am writing a book and I can't trouble my mind about this topic. I have to stay focused and I don't have the time to deal with such huge posts every day.

I will respond to some of it. But I hope you will continue to be a regular contributor and reader of my blog. You are always welcome to post. I also have message boards, just look for the link on the left side of the side bar.