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I am confused, you have to assume God exists on the basis of his attributes (properties) of existence however that never actually proves existence. God is said to be unlike anything in existence, yet it describes or gives itself attributes/properties of existence, i.e. a thing which can only exist inside of existence, yet it claims to be completely unlike anything in existence or that can be imagined by the human mind. This is anomalous, because then God's existence is only assumed on the basis of its properties, we can just as well assume of God's non-existence, and it would be equally valid.


I am really struggling with this am I missing something here?

P.S, I don't have any formal schooling in philosophy I just thought about it myself for a very long time, but I am struggling with own answer, maybe I am overlooking something.

Answer
Sorry to be late in answering this -- I had a brief hospital stay this weekend.

Your confusion is the result of deep thinking, on which you are to be congratulated. You're referring to the Ontological Argument, which basically says that if we define God as perfect, then he must exist, since to not exist would be less than perfect. Whether one thinks this is a valid argument or not depends on whether or not one thinks existence is a property. Most philosophers hold that it isn't, which makes the argument invalid for the exact reason you cite in your last sentence.

Another version of the ontological argument goes like this: if God has the property of NECESSARY existence, he cannot not exist, therefore he MUST exist. Most philosophers regard this version of the argument as invalid also, because they say that necessary existence can't be a property, but holding that creates problems in the philosophy of mathematics, to say nothing of logic.

You may want to see:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ontological-arguments/

Regards,

Charlie

Philosophy

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Charles K. MacKay

Expertise

I can answer a number of questions in philosophy; my academic concentrations (graduate school at Cornell) are ethics, political philosophy, and 19th-century German philosophy (Marx, Hegel, and hangers-on.)

Experience

EDUCATION:

BA, New College, 1971, Philosophy and Religion
Awarded four graduate fellowships upon graduation

MA, Cornell University, 1974
Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

All course work and dissertation drafts completed for Ph.D. Cornell University, 1971-1975, Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

Courses in statistics and microeconomics, George Washington University and The American University, 1976-1978

EXPERIENCE: Health Insurance Specialist 2005 - Present
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service
US Department of Health and Human Services

Allentown Business School Instructor (Computer Science) 2003 - 2005

Northampton Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy 2003 -2005

Lehigh County Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Computer Science


PUBLICATIONS:

Medicare Made Easy (with Charles B. Inlander) Addison-Wesley, 1989

Good Operations, Bad Operations (with Charles B. Inlander) Viking Press, 1993

Health Rebooted: Information Changes Everything (in press), 2008


Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts, Philosphy and Religion, New College, 1971 Master of Arts, Social and Political Philosophy, Cornell University, 1975

Awards and Honors
Danforth Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

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