Thursday, March 13, 2008

There exists an existing unicorn

In the previous post I wrote about false logic that is often used in building claims about God. The example I used was a funny but totally false definition of Atheism. While I do believe in God I don't think that by using false logic it is possible to make other people believe in Him. In this post I intend to present proofs of God existence that are based on false logic, or are based on an incomplete logic.
First of all lets - a few words about the title. This post is about logic and proofs. Because of this I thought it would be a good idea to present an obvious example of a false proof. Also, the logic used in this proof is similar to the false logic in the proofs of God existence.
We are going to proof the following statement:

There exists an unicorn.

In order to proof it we will firstly proof another statement - there exists an existing unicorn. This one is very easy to proof. Lets suppose that an existing unicorn doesn't exists. But how can an existing unicorn not to exists? Therefore it exists. Now, since an existing unicorn is a by all means an unicorn - we just proof that there exists an unicorn.
The logic used here is clearly false however.

With this example in mind lets turn to the main part of this post:

Every effect has a cause; there cannot be an infinite regress of finite causes; therefore, there must be an uncaused cause or necessary being; this being is God (The Cosmological Argument, proponents- Aquinas).

It should be obvious why this is wrong. First of all why "there cannot be an infinite regress of finite causes"? This should be proofed. Moreover, it is not impossible for the cause and effect line to form a circle. Think about a light wave for example. But this is just a side note. The main problem with this particular statement is that it is in fact a definition of God. It defines God as an uncaused cause - but this is not a full definition of God. If for example you believe that the Big Bang was this "uncaused cause" than according to this statement you should worship it. If we go with the second option - "necessary being", it is also not enough. The fact that there was a being doesn't mean that this being didn't "die" immediately after creating the world, for example.

There is observable order or design in the world that cannot be attributed to the object itself; this observable order argues for an intelligent being who established this order; this being is God (The Teleological Argument, proponents- Aquinas).

In this one we have the unicorn argument again. The whole proof is based on "cannot be attributed to the object itself" But this isn't proofed. So the argument falls.

Man has an idea of an infinite and perfect being. Existence is a necessary part of perfection. (Therefore) an infinite and perfect being exists, since the very concept of perfection requires existence (The Ontological Argument, proponents- Anselm).

Unicorn again. Using the same argument - America has a perfect president. (Not that I have anything against him and Maths pages is not about politics anyway).

All people believe that something is true. If God is the God of truth and the true God, then God is truth. This Truth (capital T) is the context for all other truth. Therefore the existence of truth implies the existence of Truth, which implies the existence of God (The Argument from Truth, proponents- Augustine, A. Strong).

It becomes a little boring.. The same logic again. As I said in the beginning the unicorn argument is very popular. In this particular one it is taken to the very limit - we first assume that "God is the true God" and than base our proof on this. But this assumption requires proof. Moreover. in this assumption we already say that He exists - but this is exactly what we are suppose to proof...

If you want you can read about other such false proofs here.

The last thing I want to discuss is an example of a proof that uses mostly correct logic, but is simply incomplete:

There is no darkness without light.

Some of the arguments linked above use the same reasoning, but this is the more simple form of this argument.
It is not very clear how this one is connected to God at all, but lets think a bit about it. For a moment, forget about what we want to proof and think what our world would look like without light - without all light. In reality it will cause all of us to die, but in this mind game we can ignore the rules of physics, and focus on the question - will there be a word for darkness in such world?
Without light we would not know what darkness is. So why should we have a word for it?
From this we come to the following conclusion - since it is clear that evil and injustice exists in our world and we have a word and a definition for them, God must also exists.
But this argument is simply not complete. All it shows in this form is that there are good people. Even the understanding of what is good and what is not is different from nation to nation and even from person to person.

On a final note, I don't know a proof of God existence that uses correct logic. If you know (or think you know) you are welcomed to leave a comment.

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