Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Argument from Truth in Augustine

This is from Katherin Rogers' website. She is at the University of Delaware.


Proof from Truth: Summary
1. You know you exist.  (Si fallor, sum)
2. You know you also live and think. (To know 1 you'd have to.)
3. Your reason is superior to mere existence or existence and life.
A. It contains the other two.  (Existence is good, the more being a thing has, the more there is to it, the better it is.  Corollaries: The Great Chain of Being, The Principle of Plenitude.)
B. Reason judges other aspects of cognitive apparatus.
4. Therefore reason is the "highest" thing in our world.
5. Something would be God if it were...
A. really existent
B. not part of physical world
C. eternal and immutable
D. superior to reason
6. There is something like that, Truth i.e. Numbers and Wisdom
A. We all "see" it.
B. Clearly not part of physical world (We know it will be the case tomorrow, Idea of unity, mathematical rules that hold for infinite number system....)
C. Recognize don't change over time
D. Reason must conform to it, not vice versa.
7. And this Truth is the SOURCE of our world.
A. To exist must have form
B. Form depends on number.
C. A thing cannot form itself.

Therefore: God

8 comments:

mattghg said...

Eh?

Steven said...

Of course your response will be "eh?" when a some thousands of words from Augustine are reduced to 20 by some other person.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand...where is the contradiction between being an atheist and being a metaphysical realist about things like numbers, mathematical rules, etc.?

defeatingdefeaters said...

I have no idea what it means to be an atheist and to affirm necessary truths.

Online T.v Channels said...

"The Argument from Truth in Augustine"

Brenda said...

But... reason is not superior to experience. Hence the argument fails.

Brenda said...

1. You know you exist.

No I don't. I presume I exist but I cannot know I exist. It is possible to question whether or not the Cartesian subject actually exists.

3. Your reason is superior to mere existence

Superior is a value judgment and is not an objective fact of the world. It is a mere opinion that Reason is better than existence.

5. Something would be God if it were...

B. not part of physical world


Question begging. There is no physical world. That is a 19th century concept. There is no "matter". There is only mass and energy. What exists are tiny knots of energy that exist in relationship with each other. Mass as a substance does not exist, it is a relationship, an exchange of the Higgs boson, between particles.

The world is everything that is the case. If it is the case that God exists, then God is a part of the world.

6. There is something like that, Truth i.e. Numbers and Wisdom

Numbers doe not exist in that way. Number is just the name we give to a relationship between things in the world. Math is a human constructed language that names objects and their behaviors. Mathematical meaning is assigned not discovered. But it is assigned to really existing things that exist independent of us so it feels like a discovery when mathematical implications are worked on abstractly and then found to apply to the world.

[cont]

Brenda said...

[cont]
"7. And this Truth is the SOURCE of our world."

Again, Truth as such, as an objectively existing thing, does not exist. Truth is a property that some statements can have.

A. To exist must have form

I do not know what "form" is. Extension? If so then no, that is not true. Electromagnetic fields exist but they do not have "extension".

B. Form depends on number.

Incoherent.

C. A thing cannot form itself.

Particles spontaneously generate all the time. You can demonstrate this. In high school.

Therefore: God

The conclusion is not justified because the argument is not valid.