## A Cosmological Argument

The following Cosmological Argument is based on the arguments of Alexander Pruss and Richard M. Gale^{1}, and Jerome Gellman^{2}.

D1. God is the timeless, immaterial, personal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, free being who is worthy of worship, and is the explanation for why the big conjunctive contingent fact is true in the actual world.

P1. For all propositions p, if proposition p is contingent, then there is a possible world where something explains why the proposition is true.

P2. The big conjunctive contingent fact is contingent.

P3. The big conjunctive contingent fact is the conjunction of all actual contingent atomic facts true at the actual world.

P4. For all worlds w, and all things x, if x explains the big conjunctive contingent fact is true at w and the big conjunctive contingent fact is the conjunction of all actual contingent atomic facts true at the actual world, then world w is identical to the actual world.

P5. For all propositions p, and things x, if x explains why p is true in the actual world and p is contingent, then x exists necessarily.

P6. For all propositions p, and things x, if x explains why p is true in the actual world, and the proposition “Matter Exists” is an element of p, then x is immaterial.

P7. For all propositions p, and things x, if x explains why p is true in the actual world, and the proposition “Time exists” is an element of p, then x is eternal.

P8. For all propositions p, and things x, if x explains why p is true in the actual world, and the set of all atomic propositions describing natural laws that exists is an element of p, then x is not natural.

P9. For all propositions p, and things x, if x explains why p is true in the actual world, x is either natural or personal.

P10. For all propositions p, and things x, if x explains why p is true in the actual world and p is contingent and x exists necessarily, then x is free.

P11. For all things x, if x is free, then it is not the case that there is something z such that the actions of x entirely depend on z.

P12. For all propositions p_{1} and all things x_{1}, if x_{1} explains why p_{1} is true in the actual world and there is a world w and a proposition p_{2} such that p_{2} is the conjunction of all actual contingent atomic facts at w, and there is some y that explains why p_{2} is true at world w, and x is not identical to y, then there is something z such that the actions of x entirely depends upon z.

P13. For all propositions p_{1} and things x, if x explains why p_{1} is true at the actual world, and it is not the case that there is a world w and a proposition p_{2} such that p_{2} is the conjunction of all actual contingent atomic facts at w, and there is some y that explains why p_{2} is true at world w, and x is not identical to y, then x is omnipotent.

P14. For all x, if x is omnipotent and x is personal, then x is all knowing.

P15. For all x, if x is omnipotent, x is all-knowing, and x is free, then x is omnibenevolent.

P16. For all x, if x is omnibenevolent, and x is personal, and x is omnipotent, then x is worthy of worship.

P17. For all x, if x is timeless, immaterial, personal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, free, worthy of worship, and explains why the big conjunctive contingent fact is true in the actual world, then if anything y is timeless, immaterial, personal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, free, worthy of worship, and explains why the big conjunctive contingent fact is true in the actual world, then x is identical to y.

P18. The proposition “Matter exists” is an element of the big conjunctive contingent fact.

P19. The proposition “Time exists” is an element of the big conjunctive contingent fact.

P20. The set of all atomic propositions that describe the natural laws that exist is an element of the big conjunctive contingent fact.

C. God necessarily exists.

Let

P ∈ Q ≝ proposition P is an element of proposition Q

E!x ≝ x exists

Fx ≝ x is free

Gx ≝ x is omnibenevolent

Kx ≝ x is omniscient

M̅x ≝ x is immaterial

Nx ≝ x is natural

Ox ≝ x is omnipotent

Sx ≝ x is personal

T̅x ≝ x is eternal

Wx ≝ x is worthy of worship

Bpw ≝ p is the conjunction of all actual contingent atomic facts is true at world w

Dxy ≝ the actions of x entirely depends upon y

Expw ≝ x explains that p is true at world w

a ≝ the actual world

β ≝ the big contingent conjunctive fact

g ≝ (ɿx){[(T̅x ∧ M̅x) ∧ (Sx ∧ Ox)] ∧ [(Kx ∧ Gx) ∧ (Fx ∧ Wx)] ∧ Exβa}

M ≝ Matter exists.

T ≝ Time exist.

ℕ ≝ the set of all atomic propositions describing natural laws that exist.

1. (∀p)[(◊p ∧ ◊~p) ⊃ (∃w)(∃x)Expw] (premise)

2. ◊β ∧ ◊~β (premise)

3. Bβa (premise)

4. (∀w)(∀x)[(Exβw ∧ Bβa) ⊃ (w = a)] (premise)

5. (∀p)(∀x){[Expa ∧ (◊p ∧ ◊~p)] ⊃ □E!x} (premise)

6. (∀p)(∀x){[Expa ∧ (M ∈ p)] ⊃ M̅x} (premise)

7. (∀p)(∀x){[Expa ∧ (T ∈ p)] ⊃ T̅x} (premise)

8. (∀p)(∀x){[Expa ∧ (ℕ ∈ p)] ⊃ ~Nx} (premise)

9. (∀p)(∀x)[Expa ⊃ (Nx ∨ Sx)] (premise)

10. (∀p)(∀x){{[Expa ∧ (◊p ∧ ◊~p)] ∧ □E!x} ⊃ Fx} (premise)

11. (∀x)(Fx ⊃ ~(∃z)Dxz) (premise)

12. (∀p_{1})(∀x){{Exp_{1}a ∧ (∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (x ≠ y)]} ⊃ (∃z)Dxz} (premise)

13. (∀p_{1})(∀x){{Exp_{1}a ∧ ~(∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (x ≠ y)]}} ⊃ Ox} (premise)

14. (∀x)[(Ox ∧ Sx) ⊃ Kx] (premise)

15. (∀x){[(Ox ∧ Kx) ∧ Fx] ⊃ Gx} (premise)

16. (∀x){[(Gx ∧ Sx) ∧ Ox] ⊃ Wx} (premise)

17. (∀x){{[(T̅x ∧ M̅x) ∧ (Sx ∧ Ox)] ∧ [(Kx ∧ Gx) ∧ (Fx ∧ Wx)] ∧ Exβa} ⊃ (∀y){[(T̅y ∧ M̅y) ∧ (Sy ∧ Oy)] ∧ [(Ky ∧ Gy) ∧ (Fy ∧ Wy)] ∧ Eyβa ⊃ (x = y)]} (premise)

18. m ∈ β (premise)

19. t ∈ β (premise)

20. ℕ ∈ β (premise)

21. (◊β ∧ ◊~β) ⊃ (∃w)(∃x)Exβw (1 UI)

22. (∃w)(∃x)Exβw (2,21 MP)

23. (∃x)Exβω(22 ΕΙ)

24. Eμβω (23 ΕΙ)

25. (∀x)[(Exβω ∧ Bβa) ⊃ (ω = a)] (4 UI)

26. (Eμβω ∧ Bβa) ⊃ (ω = a) (25 UI)

27. Eμβω ∧ Bβa (3,24 Conj)

28. (ω = a) (26,27 MP)

29. Eμβa (24,29 ID)

30. Eμβa ∧ (◊β ∧ ◊~β) (2,29 Conj)

31. (∀x){[Exβa ∧ (◊β ∧ ◊~β)] ⊃ □E!x} (5 UI)

32. [Eμβa ∧ (◊β ∧ ◊~β)] ⊃ □E!μ (31 UI)

33. □E!μ (30,32 MP)

34. Eμβa ∧ (M ∈ β) (18,29 Conj)

35. (∀x){[Exβa ∧ (M ∈ β)] ⊃ M̅x} (6 UI)

36. [Eμβa ∧ (M ∈ β)] ⊃ M̅μ (35 UI)

37. M̅μ (34,36 MP)

38. Eμβa ∧ (T ∈ β) (19,29 Conj)

39. (∀x){[Exβa ∧ (T ∈ β)] ⊃ T̅x} (7 UI)

40. [Eμβa ∧ (T ∈ β)] ⊃ T̅μ (39 UI)

41. T̅μ (38,40 MP)

42. Eμβa ∧ (ℕ ∈ β) (20,29 Conj)

43. (∀x){[Exβa ∧ (ℕ ∈ β)] ⊃ ~Nx} (8 UI)

44. [Eμβa ∧ (ℕ ∈ β)] ⊃ ~Nμ (43 UI)

45. ~Nμ (42,44 MP)

46. (∀x)[Exβa ⊃ (Nx ∨ Sx)] (9 UI)

47. Eμβa ⊃ (Nμ ∨ Sμ) (46 UI)

48. Nμ ∨ Sμ (29,47 MP)

49. Sμ (45,58 DS)

50.(∀x){{[Exβa ∧ (◊β ∧ ◊~β)] ∧ □E!x} ⊃ Fx} (10 UI)

51. {[Eμβa ∧ (◊β ∧ ◊~β)] ∧ □E!μ} ⊃ Fμ (50 UI)

52. [Eμβa ∧ (◊β ∧ ◊~β)] ∧ □E!μ (30,33 Conj)

53. Fμ (51,52 MP)

54. Fμ ⊃ ~(∃z)Dμz (11 UI)

55. ~(∃z)Dμz (53,54 MP)

56. (∀x){{Exβa ∧ (∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (x ≠ y)]} ⊃ (∃z)Dxz} (12 UI)

57. {Eμβa ∧ (∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (μ ≠ y)]} ⊃ (∃z)Dxz (56 UI)

58. ~{Eμβa ∧ (∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (μ ≠ y)]} (55,57 MT)

59. ~Eμβa ∨ ~(∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (μ ≠ y)]} (58 DeM)

60. ~~Eμβa (29 DN)

61. ~(∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (μ ≠ y)]} (59,60 DS)

62. (∀x){{Exβa ∧ ~(∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (y ≠ z)]} ⊃ Ox} (13 UI)

63. {Eμβa ∧ ~(∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (μ ≠ y)]}} ⊃ Oμ (62 UI)

64. Eμβa ∧ ~(∃w)(∃p_{2}){Bp_{2}w ∧ (∃y)[Eyp_{2}w ∧ (μ ≠ y)]} (29,61 Conj)

65. Oμ (63,64 MP)

66. (Oμ ∧ Sμ) ⊃ Kμ (14 UI)

67. Oμ ∧ Sμ (49,65 Conj)

68. Kμ (66,67 MP)

69. [(Oμ ∧ Kμ) ∧ Fμ] ⊃ Gμ (15 UI)

70. Oμ ∧ Kμ (65,68 Conj)

71. (Oμ ∧ Kμ) ∧ Fμ (53,70 Conj)

72. Gμ (69,71 MP)

73. [(Gμ ∧ Sμ) ∧ Oμ] ⊃ Wμ (16 UI)

74. Gμ ∧ Sμ (49,72 Conj)

75. (Gμ ∧ Sμ) ∧ Oμ (65,74 Conj)

76. Wμ (73,75 MP)

77. {[(T̅μ ∧ M̅μ) ∧ (Sμ ∧ Oμ)] ∧ [(Kμ ∧ Gμ) ∧ (Fμ ∧ Wμ)] ∧ Eμβa} ⊃ (∀y){[(T̅y ∧ M̅y) ∧ (Sy ∧ Oy)] ∧ [(Ky ∧ Gy) ∧ (Fy ∧ Wy)] ∧ Eyβa ⊃ (μ = y)} (17 UI)

78. T̅μ ∧ M̅μ (37,41 Conj)

79. Sμ ∧ Oμ (49,65 Conj)

80. (T̅μ ∧ M̅μ) ∧ (Sμ ∧ Oμ) (78,79 Conj)

81. Kμ ∧ Gμ (68,72 Conj)

82. Fμ ∧ Wμ (53,76 Conj)

83. (Kμ ∧ Gμ) ∧ (Fμ ∧ Wμ) (81,82 Conj)

84. [(T̅μ ∧ M̅μ) ∧ (Sμ ∧ Oμ)] ∧ [(Kμ ∧ Gμ) ∧ (Fμ ∧ Wμ)] (80,83 Conj)

85. [(T̅μ ∧ M̅μ) ∧ (Sμ ∧ Oμ)] ∧ [(Kμ ∧ Gμ) ∧ (Fμ ∧ Wμ)] ∧ Eμβa (29,84 Conj)

86. (∀y){[(T̅y ∧ M̅y) ∧ (Sy ∧ Oy)] ∧ [(Ky ∧ Gy) ∧ (Fy ∧ Wy)] ∧ Eyβa ⊃ (μ = y)} (77,85 MP)

87. {[(T̅μ ∧ M̅μ) ∧ (Sμ ∧ Oμ)] ∧ [(Kμ ∧ Gμ) ∧ (Fμ ∧ Wμ)] ∧ Eμβa} ∧ (∀y){[(T̅y ∧ M̅y) ∧ (Sy ∧ Oy)] ∧ [(Ky ∧ Gy) ∧ (Fy ∧ Wy)] ∧ Eyβa ⊃ (μ = y)} (85,86 Conj)

88. {[(T̅μ ∧ M̅μ) ∧ (Sμ ∧ Oμ)] ∧ [(Kμ ∧ Gμ) ∧ (Fμ ∧ Wμ)] ∧ Eμβa} ∧ (∀y){[(T̅y ∧ M̅y) ∧ (Sy ∧ Oy)] ∧ [(Ky ∧ Gy) ∧ (Fy ∧ Wy)] ∧ Eyβa ⊃ (μ = y)} ∧ □E!μ (33,87 Conj)

89. (∃x){{[(T̅x ∧ M̅x) ∧ (Sx ∧ Ox)] ∧ [(Kx ∧ Gx) ∧ (Fx ∧ Wx)] ∧ Exβa} ∧ (∀y){[(T̅y ∧ M̅y) ∧ (Sy ∧ Oy)] ∧ [(Ky ∧ Gy) ∧ (Fy ∧ Wy)] ∧ Eyβa ⊃ (x = y)} ∧ □E!x} (88 EG)

90. □E!g (89 theory of descriptions)

QED

Footnotes:

^{1} A.R. Pruss & R.M. Gale. (1999). “A New Cosmological Argument.” In Religious Studies. Vol. 35. 461-476

^{2} J. Gellman. (2000). “Prospects for a Sound Stage 3 of Cosmological Arguments.” In Religious Studies. Vol. 36 159-201

## Vexing Links (8/5/2016)

Apologies for the hiatus. I am hoping to put some arguments out there soon. But in the meantime, here are some links of note:

1. My Ph.D. dissertation is now on ProQuest.

2. My review of Modality & Explanatory Reasoning by Boris Kment was recently published by the Polish Journal of Philosophy.

3. I’m currently reading Structure and the Metaphysics of Mind: How Hylomorphism Solves the Mind-Body Problem by William Jaworski. I’m hoping to do a presentation on hylomorphism this fall, so this will really help.

4. Wisecrack has some great videos on the Philosophy of Daredevil, and the Philosophy of the Joker.

5. Looking forward to the Ultimate Game of Thrones and Philosophy, especially as it will feature contributions from Max Andrews and Tyler Dalton McNabb.

6. Dale Tuggy interview Timothy Pawl on Trinities Podcast: Pt 1 and P2.

7. Appropriate for our current political climate, the SEP has a new article out on the Ethics and Rationality of Voting.

8. Illustrates the problem of semantics for AI: the Domino Computer.

9. The History of Philosophy without any Gaps has some great recent podcasts on the Trinity: Episodes 258 and 259.

10. Justin Brierley of the Unbelievable? Podcast explains the argument from Fine-Tuning.

## Hebrews 3, Proving the Minor, and the Divinity of Christ

I was recently reading the Letter to the Hebrews and came upon an interesting passage:

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end (Hebrews 3:1-6, NASB).

The logic of the passage jumped out at me, as I have been keen to find passages that affirm the divinity of Christ in light of my interactions with Biblical Unitarians. This passage is concerned with demonstrating that Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses. Thomas Aquinas dissects the passage in the following manner:

161. – But the Apostle’s reason is that more glory is due Him Who built the house, than to him that dwells in it. But Christ built the house: ‘You have made the morning light and the sun’ (Ps. 73:16); ‘Wisdom has built herself a house’, i.e., the Church (Pr. 9:1). For Christ by Whom grace and truth came, built the Church, as legislator; but Moses, as promulgator of the Law: therefore, it is only as promulgator that glory is due Moses. Hence, his face became bright: ‘So that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance’ (2 Cor. 3:7). Therefore, the sequence of thought is this: You say that Christ is faithful as Moses was. Why then overlook Him? Certainly this man was counted worthy of greater glory than Moses, by so much as he that has built the house has greater honor than the house. As if to say: Even though Moses deserves mention, Christ is more honorable, because He is the builder of the house and the chief lawgiver: ‘Behold, God is high in his strength, and none is like him among the lawgivers’ (Jb. 36:22). Therefore, if Moses is deserving of glory, Christ is more deserving: ‘For is the ministration of condemnation be in glory, much more the ministration of justice abounds in glory’ (2 Cor. 3:9).

162. – Then he proves the minor premise of his reason when he says: For every house is built by some man. But the minor is that Christ built that house. He proves this, first, because every house needs a builder; secondly, because the house of which he speaks was built by Christ, the builder of all things is God.

163. – First, therefore, he proves that this house, as any other, needs a builder, because its various parts are put together by someone. This is obvious in a structure in which the wood and stones, of which it is composed, are united by someone. But the assembly of the faithful, which is the Church and the house of God, is composed of various elements, namely, Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free. Therefore, the church, as any other house, is put together by someone. He gives only the conclusion of this syllogism, supposing the truth of the premises as evident: ‘Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood’ (1 Pt. 2:5); ‘Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone’ (Eph. 2:20).

164. – Then (v. 4b) he proves that Christ is the builder of that house, for He is God, the builder of all things. And if this is understood of the whole world, it is plain: ‘He spoke and they were made; he commanded and they were created’ (Ps. 32:9) But there is another spiritual creation, which is made by the Spirit: ‘Send forth your spirit, and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth’ (Ps. 104:30). This is brought about by God through Christ: ‘Of his own will has he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of his creature’ (Jas. 1:18); ‘We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works’ (Eph. 2:10). Therefore, God created that house, namely, the Church, from nothing, namely, from the state of sin to the state of grace. Therefore, Christ, by Whom He made all things, ‘by whom also he made the world’ (Heb. 1:2), is more excellent (since He has the power to make) than Moses, who was only the announcer (Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Hebrews).

If I understand Aquinas’s analysis of the passage correctly, the author of Hebrews is trying to prove:

C1: Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses

And the premises that support this conclusion are:

P1: For all persons p_{1} and p_{2}, if p_{1} is the builder of the house that p_{2} dwells in, then p_{1} is worthy of more glory than p_{2}.^{1}

P2. Christ is the builder of the house that Moses dwells in.

Now, C does follow reasonably well from P1 and P2 (see the footnote below). Aquinas notes that further support is provided in verse 4 for the truth of the minor premise, i.e. P2. This sub-argument has massive Christological significance, and the argument looks like this:

P3: For all x, if x is a house, then there is some person who built x.

P4: For all x, if there is some person who built x, the person who built x is God.

From (P3) and (P4), we can draw the conclusion that God is the builder of all houses, or:

C2: For all x, if x is a house, the person who built x is God.

So, given that there is some house that Moses dwells in:

P5: There exists some x such that x is a house and Moses dwells in x.

We can conclude:

C3: There exists some x such that x is a house and Moses dwells in x, and the person who built x is God.

Or in more readable English: God is the builder of the house that Moses dwells in.

But wait a minute! C3 doesn’t say anything like P2. The only way that C3 could be taken to support P2 is if we add a premise, which the author of the Letter to the Hebrews has suppressed, namely:

P6: Christ is God.

The author invites the reader to reason through his enthymeme, and keep in mind the truth that Christ is God, and so the creator of all things, including the Church and all of the houses of Israel, including that of Moses. So from C3 and P6, we can draw out:

C4: There exists some x such that x is a house and Moses dwells in x, and the person who built x is Christ.

And C4 just is P2.

Now, we are also told that Jesus is the Son over the house, but that it is His house. So, we get both the idea that Jesus is the Son of God and God, the creator of all things.

Suppose, for a moment, that the author did not intend such an argument. Instead, he merely wanted to argue that Christ is the Son of the house, whereas Moses is the servant. If so, then his entire point about builders being more deserving of glory than members of the house would be wasted ink. For that entire passage would only prove that God is more worthy of glory than Moses, which is hardly in dispute. The passage only makes sense if it can lend support to the authors actual conclusion, and the only way to validly reach that conclusion is if we identify Christ as God.

^{1}To be more precise, we should say something like, P1′: For all persons p_{1} and p_{2}, if p_{1} is the builder of the house that p_{2} dwells in, and p_{1} is not identical to p_{2}, then p_{1} is worthy of more glory than p_{2}. We would also need to then add P3′: Christ is not identical to Moses, which is a reasonable assumption given the Transfiguration, for instance.

## A Formal Version of the Third Way

I believe by using mereological sums, I avoid the charge of the quantifier shift fallacy.

D1: God is the x such there is not some y by which x receives the necessity it has, and x is a member of the essentially ordered causal series by which things receive their necessity .

P1. For all x, if it is possible that x does not exist, then there is a time at which x does not exist.

P2. If there is a time at which the mereological sum of everything does not exist, then there does not exist now the mereological sum of everything.

P3. If there exists now some x, then there exists now the mereological sum of everything.

P4. I exist now.

P5. If necessarily there exists the mereological sum of everything, then there is some x that necessarily exists, and x is a part of the mereological sum of everything.

P6. If there is some x that necessarily exists, then if for all x, x necessarily exists, then there is some y such that x receives the necessity it has from y, only if there is an essentially ordered causal series by which things receive their necessity and it does not regress finitely.

P7. For all z it is not the case that there is an x, such that both x is a member of the essentially ordered causal series by which things receive z and it is not the case that z regresses finitely.

P8. For all x, if x necessarily exists, then x is a member of the essentially ordered causal series by which things receive their necessity.

P9. For all x, if there is not some y by which x receives the necessity it has, and x is a member of the essentially ordered causal series by which things receive their necessity, then for all z, there is not some y by which z receives the necessity it has, and z is a member of the essentially ordered series by which things receive their necessity, and z is identical to x.

C1. God necessarily exists.

Note: D1 tells us that God does not receive his necessity from any other cause, but, being a part of the causal series by which things receive their necessity, is the cause of necessity in other things.

Let:

E!x ≝ x exists

E!_{t} ≝ x exists at time t

Fx ≝ x regresses finitely

Oxy ≝ x is a member of essentially ordered causal series y

Rxy ≝ x receives the necessity it has from y

σ<x,P> ≝ the mereological sum of all x that P.

σ<e,E!> ≝ (∀x)[E!x ⊃ (x ≤ e)] & (∀y)[(y ≤ e) ⊃ (∃z)(E!z & (y ⊗ z)]^{1}

e ≝ everything

g ≝ (ɿx)[~(∃y)Rxy & Oxl]

i ≝ I (the person who is me)

l ≝ the causal series by which things receive their necessity

n ≝ now

1. (∀x)[♢~E!x ⊃ (∃t)~E!_{t}x] (premise)

2. (∃t)~E!_{t}σ<e,E!> ⊃ ~E!_{n}σ<e,E!> (premise)

3. (∃x)E!_{n}x ⊃ E!_{n}σ<e,E!>(premise)

4. E!_{n}i (premise)

5. ☐E!σ<e,E!> ⊃ (∃x)[☐E!x &(x ≤ e)] (premise)

6. (∃x)☐E!x ⊃ {(∀x)[☐E!x ⊃ (∃y)Rxy] ⊃ (∃x)[Oxl & ~Fl]} (premise)

7. (∀z)~(∃x)[Oxz & ~Fz] (premise)

8. (∀x)[☐E!x ⊃ Oxl] (premise)

9. (∀x){[~(∃y)Rxy & (Oxl & Fl)] ⊃ (∀z)[(~(∃y)Rzy & Ozl) ⊃ (z = x)]} (premise)

10. ♢~E!σ<e,E!> (IP)

11. ♢~E!σ<e,E!> ⊃ (∃t)~E!_{t}σ<e,E!> (1 UI)

12. (∃t)~E!_{t}σ<e,E!> (10,11 MP)

13. ~E!_{n}σ<e,E!> (2,12 MP)

14. (∃x)E!_{n}x (4 EG)

15. E!_{n}σ<e,E!> (3,14 MP)

16. E!_{n}σ<e,E!> & ~E!_{n}σ<e,E!> (13,15 Conj)

17. ~♢~E!σ<e,E!> (10-16 IP)

18. ☐E!σ<e,E!> (17 ME)

19. (∃x)[☐E!x &(x ≤ e)] (5,18 MP)

20. ☐E!μ & (μ ≤ e) (19 EI)

21. ☐E!μ (20 Simp)

22. (∃x)☐E!x (21 EG)

23. (∀x)[☐E!x ⊃ (∃y)Rxy] ⊃ (∃x)[Oxl & ~Fl] (6,22 MP)

24. ~(∃x)(Oxl & ~Fl)] (7 UI)

25. ~(∀x)[☐E!x ⊃ (∃y)Rxy] (23,24 MT

26. (∃x)~[☐E!x ⊃ (∃y)Rxy] (25 QN)

27. (∃x)~[~☐E!x ∨ (∃y)Rxy] (26 Impl)

28. (∃x)[~~☐E!x & ~(∃y)Rxy] (27 DeM)

29. ~~☐E!ν & ~(∃y)Rνy (28 EI)

30. ☐E!ν & ~(∃y)Rνy (29 DN)

31. ☐E!ν (30 Simp)

32. ☐E!ν ⊃ Oνl (8 UI)

33. Oνl (31,32 MP)

34. ~(∃x)[Oxl & ~Fl] (7 UI)

35. (∀x)~[Oxl & ~Fl] (34 QN)

36. ~[Oνl & ~Fl] (35 UI)

37. ~Oνl ∨ ~~Fl (36 DeM)

38. ~~Oνl (33 DN)

39. ~~Fl (37,38 DS)

40. Fl (39 DN)

41. ~(∃y)Rνy (30 Simp)

42. Oνl & Fl (33,40 Conj)

43. ~(∃y)Rνy (Oνl & Fl) (41,42 Conj)

44. [~(∃y)Rνy & (Oνl & Fl)] ⊃ (∀z)[(~(∃y)Rzy & Ozl) ⊃ (z = ν)] (9 UI)

45. (∀z)[(~(∃y)Rzy & Ozl) ⊃ (z = ν)] (43,44 MP)

46. ~(∃y)Rνy & Oνl (33,41 Conj)

47. [~(∃y)Rνy & Oνl] & (∀z)[(~(∃y)Rzy & Ozl) ⊃ (z = ν)] (45,46 Conj)

48. [~(∃y)Rνy & Oνl] & (∀z)[(~(∃y)Rzy & Ozl) ⊃ (z = ν)] & ☐E!ν (31,47 Conj)

49. (∃x){[~(∃y)Rxy & Oxl] & (∀z)[(~(∃y)Rzy & Ozl) ⊃ (z = x)] & ☐E!x} (48 EG)

50. ☐E!g (49 Theory of Descriptions)

QED

^{1}Formulation of definition for everything based influenced by Filip, H. (n.d.) “Mereology”. Online: https://user.phil-fak.uni-duesseldorf.de/~filip/Mereology.pdf

## Vexing Links (2/13/2016)

Happy St. Valentine’s Day readers! I have been busy with my dissertation, so I have not had an opportunity to post any new arguments or articles. In the meantime, here are some links of note:

- The Vatican Library Digitizations Project is very exciting! I imagine there will be some extraordinary treasures in there.
- The true history of Socrates’s last day on Earth. Plato (or maybe Phaedo) had it all wrong.
- Wisecrack has an awesome video on Philosophy and the Walking Dead. See the connections to Rome, and the ways in which the Walking Dead makes us confront the meaning of life and death.
- Dr. Larycia Hawkins claimed that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Subsequently, she was placed on administrative leave following a controversity at Wheaton College. It looks like she will be terminated. Many philosophers have weighed in on the question, including Dr. Francis Beckwith, Dr. Bill Vallicella, Dr. Dale Tuggy, Dr. William Lane Craig, and Dr. Lydia McGrew. I think I am close to Vallicella’s position in that I think the question may be intractable, or at least depend upon what features one is going to insist upon as fixed, when determining the reference. Perhaps the bigger issue is the disturbing trend in academia to discipline and fire professors when they voice positions with which the administration disagrees. The fact that so many thinkers have arrived at completely different positions may tell you that Dr. Hawkins was taking a position that is not settled within Christian orthodoxy. Indeed, if we construe this as a question in the philosophy of language and the question of reference, then it seems that one can reasonably agree with Dr. Hawkins and be a staunchly orthodox Christian.
- On the same theme of academic freedom, the President of Mount St. Mary’s College in Maryland, Simon Newman, decided to implement a plan to identify and cull out freshman who were unlikely to flourish and graduate (rather than, you know, help your students succeed). He alledgly compared such freshmen to fuzzy bunnies who need to be drowned. Faculty and administration who disagreed with Newman were terminated, even if they had tenure. A provost was removed from his position. It now looks like Newman is under pressure to take it all back. At the same time, it is coming to light that Newman wants to rid MSM of her Catholic tradition and identity. This is a troubling trend in Catholic education, to say the least.
- On the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Graham Oppy has updated his entry on Ontological Arguments, Daniel Nolan has updated his entry on Modal Fictionalism, and Christopher Menzel has an updated entry on Possible Worlds.
- Read Dr. Ed Feser’s review of Jerry Coyne’s
*Faith versus Fact*. It has to be the most scathing and hilarious review ever written. - Dale Tuggy poses his “Jesus is God” challenge. Perhaps when I have time, I will offer a substantive critique, but I think there are issues with P2 and P4, which render the argument unsound. The first issue is that I suspect that identity statements about God are not subject the Leibnizian laws.
- This may be an older site, but it is new to me and it looks like it has a ton of resources for anyone interested in Early Church History and various original language documents: Documenta Catholica Omnia.
- I’ve been enjoying the music of Mikis Theodorakis lately.

## Vexing Links (12/27/2015)

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to Vexing Questions readers. Here are some links of note:

- Reasonablefaith.org has released its latest video in its series on the existence of God: the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument (view the other videos in the series here)
- The Church of England released a beautiful ad featuring the Lord’s Prayer. It was banned and created some controversy, but it is moving nonetheless.
- Dr. Lee Irons does a great job defending the Trinitarian perspective in a new book. Here is an interview about his defense, hosted by Dale Tuggy.
- The SEP has some new articles and revisions of note: Thomas Williams revises an entry on St. Anselm, Olga Lizzini has a new article on Ibn Sina’s Metaphysics, and Jeffery Bower revises an entry on Medieval Theories of Relations.
- Some music I’ve been enjoying: Timothy Vajda’s As the Crow Flies, and Sigur Rós’s version of the Rains of Castamere.
- Carneades.org great philosophy website, with videos on logic.
- Brilliant physicist, George Ellis, is interviewed on Closer to Truth about What An Expanding Universe Means.
- Grasped in Thought blogs about Gaunilo’s failed objection to Anselm’s ontological argument.
- Maverick Philosopher has a beautiful Christmas reflection on the meaning of the Incarnation and John 1:14.
- Dr. Alexander Pruss offers an interesting argument about physicalism and thinking about big numbers.

## An Argument based on Maydole’s Interpretation of Proslogion 2

Robert Maydole uses definite descriptions and Russell’s theory of descriptions to explicate Anselm’s first ontological argument in *Proslogion *2. I like the idea of using definite descriptions in the argument, and broadly agree with Maydole that Anselm intends to treat “that than which none greater can be conceived” as a definite description. I do have some issues with Maydole’s formulation, however. 1) I think of Anselm’s argument as a *reductio*, but that isn’t how Maydole formulates it, 2) there are extra premises in Maydole’s formulation that are ultimately unnecessary, in my opinion, e.g. his seventh premise below 3) there is a typological error’s in Maydole’s argument, which is a minor quibble, but this seems to be a common problem with Maydole’s arguments in the *Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology*. It doesn’t appear that the editors proofed his arguments very well, to be honest. This is not to say that Maydole’s arguments are not ingenuiously formulated.

Maydole’s argument is formulated as follows:

Ux ≝ x is understood

Sy ≝ the concept of y exists-in-the-understanding

Ex ≝ x exists-in-reality

Gxy ≝ x is greater than y

Fxy ≝ x refers to y

Dx ≝ x is a deﬁnite description

d ≝ the deﬁnite description “(ɿx) ~©(∃y)Gyx”

g ≝ (ɿx)~©(∃y)Gyx

P(Y) ≝ Y is a great-making property

©… ≝ it is conceivable that…Here then is our logical reconstruction of Anselm’s ontological argument:

A1 The deﬁ nite description “that than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater” is understood. (Premise)

A2 “That than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater” refers to that than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater. (Premise)

A3 The concept of whatever a deﬁ nite description that is understood refers to has existence-in-the-understanding. (Premise)

A4 It is conceivable that something is greater than anything that lacks a great-making property that it conceivably has. (Premise)

A5 Existence-in-reality is a great making property. (Premise)

A6 Anything the concept of which has existence-in-the-understanding conceivably has existence-in-reality. (Premise)

A7 It is not conceivable that something is greater than that than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater. (Premise)

Therefore,

A8 That than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater exists-in-reality.

The following deduction proves that this argument is valid:

Deduction

1. Dd & Ud pr

2. Fdg pr

3. (x)(y)((Dx & Fxy & Ux) ⊃ Sy) pr

4. (x_{1})(Y)[(P(Y) & ~Yx_{1}& ©Yx_{1}) ⊃ ©(∃x_{2})Gx_{2}x_{1}] pr

5. P(E) pr

6. (x)(Sx ⊃ ©Ex) pr

7. ~©(∃y)Gyg pr

8. Fdg & ~©(∃y)Gyg 2, 7 Conj

9. (∃x)[~©(∃y)Gyx & (z)(~©(∃y)Gyx ⊃ z=x) & (Fdx & ~©(∃y)Gyx)] 8, theory of descriptions^{1}

10. ~©(∃y)Gyν & (z)(~©(∃y)Gyz ⊃ z=ν) & (Fdν & ~©(∃y)Gyν) 9, EI

11. ~©(∃y)Gyν 10, Simp

12. Fdν 10, Simp

13. (P(E) & ~Eν & ©Eν) ⊃ ©(∃x_{2})Gx_{2}ν 4 UI

14. (Dd & Fdν & Ud) ⊃ Sν 3 UI

15. (Dd & Fdν & Ud) 1, 12, Simp, Conj

16. Sν 14, 15 MP

17. Sν ⊃ ©Eν 6, UI

18. ©Eν 16, 17 MP

19. ~(P(E) & ~Eν & ©Eν) 13, 11 MT

20. ~((P(E) & ©Eν) & ~Eν) 19 Com, Assoc

21. ~(P(E) & ©Eν) ∨ ~~Eν) 20, DeM

22. P(E) & ©Eν 5, 18 Conj

23. Eν 21, 22, DS, DN

24. ~©(∃y)Gyν & (z)(~©(∃y)Gyx) ⊃ z=ν) 10 Simp

25. ~©(∃y)Gyν & (z)(~©(∃y)Gyx) ⊃ z=ν) & Eν 23, 24 Conj

26. (∃x)[~©(∃y)Gyx & (z)(~©(∃y)Gyx) ⊃ z=x) & Ex] 25 EG

27. Eg 26, theory of descriptions

(Maydole 2012, 555-557).

My version is adapted from Maydole and runs this way:

P1. Possibly, God, the x such that there is not some y such that y conceivably has greater capacities, exists in the understanding.

P2. For all x, if possibly x exists in the understanding, it is conceivable that x exists in reality.

P3. For all x, if it is not the case that x exists in reality, and x can exist in the understanding such that it is conceivable that x exists in reality, then there is some y such that y is the proposition “x exists in reality” and there is some z such that y refers to z, z can exist in the understanding and z conceivably has greater capacities than x.

C1. The x such that there is not some y such that y conceivably has greater capacities than x, i.e. God, exists in reality.

The formal deduction is as follows, let:

Cx ≝ it is conceivable that x exists in reality

Ix ≝ x exists in intellectu

Rx ≝ x exists in re

Fxy ≝ x refers to y

Gxy ≝ x conceivably has greater capacities than y

g ≝ (ɿx)~(∃y)Gyx

1. ♢Ig (premise)

2. (∀x)[♢Ix ⊃ Cx] (premise)

3. (∀x){[~Rx & (♢Ix &Cx)] ⊃ (∃y)[(y = ⌜Rx⌝) & (∃z)((Fyz &♢Iz) & Gzx)]} (premise)

4.♢Ig ⊃ Cg(2 UI)

5.♢Ig ⊃ (♢Ig & Cg) (4 Exp)

6.♢Ig & Cg (1,5 MP)

7. ~Rg (IP)

8. ~Rg & (♢Ig & Cg) (6,7 Conj)

9. [~Rg & (♢Ig & Cg)] ⊃ (∃y)[(y = ⌜Rg⌝) & (∃z)((Fyz & ♢Iz) & Gzg)](3 UI)

10. (∃y)[(y = ⌜Rg⌝) & (∃z)((Fyz & ♢Iz) &Gzg)] (8,9 MP)

11. (μ = ⌜Rg⌝) & (∃z)((Fμz & ♢Iz) & Gzg) (10 EI)

12. (Fμν &♢Iν) & Gνg (11 EI)

13. Gνg (12 Simp)

14. (∃y)Gyg (13 EG)

15. (∃x){[~(∃y)Gyx & (∀z)(~(∃y)Gyz ⊃ (z = x))] & (∃y)Gyx} (14 theory of descriptions)

16. [~(∃y)Gyμ & (∀z)(~(∃y)Gyz ⊃ (z =μ))] & (∃y)Gyμ (15 EI)

17. ~(∃y)Gyμ & (∀z)(~(∃y)Gyz ⊃ (z =μ)) (16 Simp)

18. ~(∃y)Gyμ (17 Simp)

19. (∃y)Gyμ (16 Simp)

20. (∃y)Gyμ & ~(∃y)Gyμ (18,19 Conj)

21. ~~Rg (7-20 IP)

22. Rg (21 DN)

QED

^{1}This line has an error and should be: (∃x)[~©(∃y)Gyx & (z)(~©(∃y)Gyz ⊃ z=x) & (Fdx & ~©(∃y)Gyx)

Reference:

Maydole R. 2012. “The Ontological Argument”. In The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. Ed. W.L. Craig & J.P. Moreland. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 555-557.

## A Modest Formulation of the Ontological Argument

In this post, I have formulated Anselm’s argument for the necessary existence of a being than which none greater can be conceived. However, I have noted that the argument depends upon a two-place “greater than” predicate that functions with something like the Neo-Platonic “Great Chain of Being” in mind. Some thing, x, is conceived to be greater than y in the sense that x is understood to have more capacities or has an essence that can be actualized to a greater degree. For example, a plant is understood to contingently exists, grows, takes in nutrients, and reproduces. An animal is understood to be greater in the sense that it too contingently exists, grows, takes in nutrients, and reproduces, but it also has capacities like sentience, and can self-move, etc. So the greater something is, the more powers/more capacities it is understood to have. If God exists, then God would be that being which none more powerful could be conceived, which is just to say “none greater”. I find the metaphysics where a two-place “conceivably greater than” predicate can be objectively exemplified to be extremely plausible. There is an objective sense in which I have greater capacities and abilities than a flea.

The argument is as follows:

D1. Some x is an Anselmian God if and only if x is conceivable, it is not the case that there is something that is conceivably greater than x, and x necessarily exists.

P1. There is some x conceivable such that there is nothing conceivably greater than x.

P2. For all x, if the possibility of failing to conceive of x implies the possibility that x doesn’t exist, x is mentally dependent (premise).

P3. For all x, if x is mentally dependent, there is some y such that y is conceivably greater than x (premise).

P4. If there is some x such that necessarily there is some z and z is identical to x, and x is an Anselmian God, then necessarily there exists an Anselmian God.

Therefore,

C1. Necessarily, there is an Anselmian God.

That is the argument in ordinary language. To show that it is a formally valid syllogism, I offer the following formal deduction:

Let,

Cx ≝ x is conceived

Mx ≝ x is mentally dependent

Gxy ≝ x is conceived to be greater than y

Θx ≝ (∃x){[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx]& ☐(∃z)(z=x)} (Def Θx)

1. (∃x)[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] (premise)

2. (∀x){[♢~Cx ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)] ⊃ Mx} (premise)

3. (∀x)[Mx ⊃ (∃y)♢Gyx] (premise)

4. (∃x)[☐(∃z)(z=x)& Θx] ⊃ ☐(∃x)Θx (premise)

5. (∀x){[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] ⊃ [♢~Cx ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)]} (IP)

6. ♢Cμ & ~(∃y)♢Gyμ (1 EI)

7. [♢~Cμ ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=μ)] ⊃ Mμ (2 UI)

8. Mμ ⊃ (∃y)(♢Gyμ) (3 UI)

9. [♢~Cμ ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=μ)] ⊃ (♢Gyμ)(7,8 HS)

10. ♢Cμ & ~(∃y)♢Gyμ] ⊃ [♢~Cμ ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=μ)] (5 UI)

11. ♢~Cμ ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=μ) (6,10 MP)

12. (∃y)♢Gyμ (7,9 MP)

13. ♢Gνμ (12 EI)

14. ~(∃y)♢Gyμ (6 Simp)

15. (∀y)~(♢Gyμ) (14 QN)

16. ~♢Gνμ (15 UI)

17. ♢Gνμ & ~♢Gνμ (13,16 Conj)

18. ~(∀x){[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] ⊃ [♢~Cx ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)]} (5-17 IP)

19. (∃x)~{[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] ⊃ [♢~Cx ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)]} (18 QN)

20. (∃x) ~{~[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] ∨ [♢~Cx ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)]} (19 Impl)

21. (∃x){~~[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] & ~[♢~Cx ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)]} (20 DeM)

22. (∃x){[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] & ~[♢~Cx ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)]} (21 DN)

23. (∃x){[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] & ~[~♢~Cx ∨ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)]} (22 Impl)

24. (∃x){[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] & ~[☐Cx ∨ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)]} (23 ME)

25. (∃x){[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] & [~☐Cx & ~♢~(∃z)(z=x)]} (24 DeM)

26. (∃x){[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx] & [~☐Cx & ☐(∃z)(z=x)]} (25 ME)

27. [♢Cμ & ~(∃y)♢Gyμ] & [~☐Cμ & ☐(∃z)(z=μ)] (26 EI)

28. ~☐Cμ & ☐(∃z)(z=μ) (27 Simp)

29. ☐(∃z)(z=μ) (28 Simp)

30. [♢Cμ & ~(∃y)♢Gyμ] (27 Simp)

31. [♢Cμ & ~(∃y)♢Gyμ] & ☐(∃z)(z=μ) (29,30 Conj)

32. Θμ (31 Def “Θx”)

33. ☐(∃z)(z=μ) & Θμ (29,32 Conj)

34 (∃x)[☐(∃z)(z=x) & Θx] (33 EG)

35. ☐(∃x)Θx (4,34 MP)

QED

Indeed, I find the above argument very persuasive. However, there may be some who are resistant to the notion that the two-place “conceivably greater-than” predicate can actually and objectively be exemplified. For such a person, I propose a more modest version of the argument. The more modest version is that, since C1, i.e. “☐(∃x)Θx”, is provable given P1-P4,one can argue that if P1-P4 are jointly possible, C1 is possible, and so an Anselmian God necessarily exists. This follows given S5 in modal logic, which says that ◊☐P entails ☐P. The argument can be formally proved as follows:

Let, also:

P1 ≝ (∃x)[♢Cx & ~(∃y)♢Gyx]

P2 ≝ (∀x){[♢~Cx ⊃ ♢~(∃z)(z=x)] ⊃ Mx}

P3 ≝ (∀x)[Mx ⊃ (∃y)♢Gyx]

P4 ≝ (∃x)[☐(∃z)(z=x) & Θx] ⊃ ☐(∃x)Θx

C1 ≝ ☐(∃x)Θx

36. ◊[(P1 & P2) & (P3 & P4)] (premise)

37. [(P1 & P2) & (P3 & P4)] ⊢ C1 (premise; proved by 1-35)

38. [◊[(P1 & P2) & (P3 & P4)]& {[(P1 & P2) & (P3 & P4)]⊢ C1}] ⊃ ◊C1 (premise)

39. ◊[(P1 & P2) & (P3 & P4)] & {[(P1 & P2) & (P3 & P4)] ⊢ C1} (36,37 Conj)

40. ◊C1 (38,39 MP)

41. ◊☐(∃x)Θx (40 Def “C1”)

42. ☐(∃x)Θx (41 by “S5”)

QED (again)

Since (37) is established, and (38) merely argues that if premises are jointly possible, and those premises prove some conclusion, then the conclusion is possible, (38) is relatively uncontroversial. So, if one objects that P1-P4 are not actually true, but admits that they are at least broadly logically, or metaphysically compossible, then one ought to agree that, necessarily, an Anselmian God exists.

## Non-physical thought processes

An argument for the non-physical intellect and the possibility that it can survive the death of the body (based on a recent Facebook discussion and also roughly on James F. Ross’s *Immaterial Aspects of Thought*)^{1}:

D1) For all x, (x is a semantically determinate process ≝ there exists a y such that x contains y, and y is a set of operations that have a fixed and well-defined syntax and are semantically unique in their referents).^{2 }

P1) For all x, (if x is a physical process, it is not the case that x is a semantically determinate process).

P2) There exists an x and there exists a y, such that {x is a formal thought process in my intellect, [x contains y, and (y = Modus Ponens)]}

P3) For all y, [ if (y = Modus Ponens), y is a set of operations that have a fixed and well-defined syntax and is semantically unique in its referents].

C1) There exists an x such that (x is a formal thought process in my intellect and it is not the case that x is a physical process). [From D1 and P1-P3]

P4) For all x, [if (x is a formal thought process in my intellect, and the mode of being of my intellect is physical), then x is a physical process].^{3 }

P5) For all x, (if it is not the case that the mode of being of x is physical, then x is non-physical).

C2) My intellect is non-physical. [From C1, P4 and P5]

P6) For all x, if x is non-physical, then x cannot be physically destroyed.

P7) For all x and all y, if x cannot be physically destroyed and y can be physically destroyed, x can survive the physical destruction of y.

P8) My body can be physically destroyed.

C3) My intellect can survive the physical destruction of my body. [From C2 and P6-P8]

The point of the argument is essentially this: A physical process can be mapped onto a language, as we have computers do. But that physical process is only simulating the use of language and the way it computes symbols is only insofar as we tether symbols to physical states undergoing various processes. But the physical process itself does not fix the semantic content or the syntax, we do. And so we say that a computer might fail to “add” properly because of a hardware malfunction. But there is no *telos* intrinsic to the physical process that distinguishes functioning from malfunctioning, so it is merely our attempt to simulate adding that can, at times, be frustrated by a computer functioning in ways we did not anticipate or intend.

This is why no physical process can be semantically determinate. You can have a physical process that is given semantic content by a mind, and then it will be semantic, in a sense, but indeterminate in that the process doesn’t have to fix upon the syntax or semantics assigned to it.

However, a mental process like reasoning according to Modus Ponens is a syntactically well-defined operation that a mind can do. When the mind is doing this operation, it is preserving truth values. A mind cannot “do Modus Ponens” and “not do Modus Ponens” at the same time and in the same way. But a physical process “programmed” to track “Modus Ponens-like inferences” can run a program that makes “Modus Ponens-like inferences” while never actually doing Modus Ponens. It might be doing some other operation all together that is indistinguishable from Modus Ponens up to any given point in time, but in the next run of the program, the hardware catches on fire and it spits out on its display “if p, q/ p// not-q”. You can’t say that catching on fire and displaying an invalid argument on a screen was not part of the process, since the process just *is* however the hardware happens to function.

Given this, and given that the thing known is in the knower according to the mode of the knower, the rest follows from relatively uncontroversial premises.

Deduction: Let,

Px ≝ x is a physical process

Cxy ≝ x contains y

Ox ≝ x is a set of operations

Tx ≝ x has a well-defined syntax

Sx ≝ x is semantically unique in its referents

Fxy ≝ x is a formal thought process in y

Mx ≝ x has a mode of being that is physical

Nx ≝ x is non-physical

Rx ≝ x is physically destroyed

Vxy ≝ x survives the destruction of y

Dx ≝ (∃y){Cxy & [Oy & (Ty & Sy)]}

m ≝ Modus Ponens

i ≝ my intellect

b ≝ my body

1. (∀x)(Px ⊃ ~Dx) (premise)

2. (∃x)(∃y){Fxi & [Cxy & (y = m)]} (premise)

3. (∀y){(y = m) ⊃ [Oy & (Ty & Sy)]} (premise)

4. (∀x)[(Fxi & Mi) ⊃ Px] (premise)

5. (∀x)(~Mx ⊃ Nx) (premise)

6. (∀x)(Nx ⊃ ~◊Rx) (premise)

7. (∀x)(∀y)[(~◊Rx & ◊Ry) ⊃ ◊Vxy] (premise)

8. ◊Rb (premise)

9. (∃y){Fμi & [Cμy & (y = m)]} (2 EI)

10. Fμi & [Cμν & (ν = m)] (9 EI)

11. (ν = m) ⊃ [Oν & (Tν & Sν)] (3 UI)

12. Cμν & (ν = m) (10 Simp)

13.(ν = m) (12 Simp)

14. Oν & (Tν & Sν) (11,13 MP)

15. Cμν (12 Simp)

16. Cμν & [Oν & (Tν & Sν)] (14,15 Conj)

17. (∃y){Cμy & [Oy & (Ty & Sy)]} (16 EG)

18. Dμ (17 Def “Dx”)

19. ~~Dμ (18 DN)

20. Pμ ⊃ ~Dμ (1 UI)

21. ~Pμ (19,20 MT)

22. (Fμi & Mi) ⊃ Pμ (4 UI)

23. ~(Fμi & Mi) (21,22 MT)

24. ~Fμi ∨ ~Mi (23 DeM)

25. Fμi (10 Simp)

26. ~~Fμi (25 DN)

27. ~Mi (24,26 DS)

28. ~Mi ⊃ Ni (5 UI)

29. Ni (27,28 MP)

30. Ni ⊃ ~◊Ri (6 UI)

31. ~◊Ri (29,30 MP)

32. (∀y)[(~◊Ri & ◊Ry) ⊃ ◊Viy] (7 UI)

33. (~◊Ri & ◊Rb) ⊃ ◊Vib (32 UI)

34. ~◊Ri & ◊Rb (8,31 Conj)

35. ◊Vib (33,34 MP)

36. Fμi & ~Pμ (21,25 Conj)

37. (∃x)(Fxi & ~Px) (36 EG)

38. (∃x)(Fxi & ~Px) & Ni (29,37 Conj)

39.[(∃x)(Fxi & ~Px) & Ni] & ◊Vib (35,38 Conj, which is C1-C3)

QED

^{1 }J.F. Ross. 1992. “Immaterial Aspects of Thought.” In *The Journal of Philosophy*. Vol. 89. No. 3. 136-150

^{2 }I. Niiniluto. 1987. “Verisimilitude with Indefinite Truth.” *What is Closer-to-the-truth: A Parade of Approaches to Truthlikeness*. Ed. T.A.F. Kuipers. Amsterdam: Rodopi. pp. 187-188

^{3 }(P4) is based upon the principle that a thing known is in the knower according to the mode of the knower. See, for example, Thomas Aquinas *Summa Theologiae* I.14.1.

## Colbert on Faith, Logic, Humor and Gratitude

In the video below, Stephen Colbert talks about faith, logic, and humor. Even though Colbert says that the ontological argument is “logically perfect”, like Pascal, he does not think logic can lead to faith in God. There must be a movement in the heart, which Colbert connects to gratitude, and which he lives out in his work as a comedian. But it isn’t as though logic and emotion as opposed forces. The feeling of gratitude makes sense within a worldview where there is a being than which none greater can be conceived.

When we reflect on our existence, the love we share, the struggles, the joys, the busy days, and the quiet nights, we feel we ought to give thanks. This gratitude is not conditioned by the kind of life we have. For we see that gratitude is often freely expressed by the most lowly among us, and we are irked when the richest and most powerful lack gratitude. Such a duty to feel gratitude seems to exist for us all and it doesn’t matter who we are or the sort of life we have.

Now, if we ought to express an unconditioned gratitude, then we can do so. But if we can express such gratitude, there must be at least possible that there is an object worthy of such gratitude. It is, after all, impossible to express gratitude if there cannot be anyone to whom the gratitude is due. So, we might say that our ability to express unconditioned gratitude is at least predicated on the possibility of there being someone worthy of such gratitude. So, I think only a perfect being is worthy of unconditioned gratitude, and if is possible that there is such a being, such a being exists. That is, for me, one way in which gratitude and logic connect to bolster faith.

Anyways, here is the Colbert video. I love a comedian who can name drop Anselm and Aquinas!