Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest Theta

Sartre's Argument Against The Existence Of God

Recommended Posts

Guest Theta
This plants the seed of Sartre's argument against God. God—to take God as a logical entity—is not a human being, and cannot Himself be at a distance from the world. Why not? Well, for Sartre, the reason is that unless God has something like consciousness, he could not take an outside view on His creation. To do so would be self-contradictory because one would be asserting that God is both a for-itself (he would have created and so distanced himself from the world) and an in-itself (which is a fully complete being, not dependent or separate from anything else). If we are willing to accept Sartre's terms of how being something works, then this argument attempts to be a rational proof that God cannot exist.

http://www.examiner.com/article/sartre-s-argument-against-the-existence-of-god

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Post this on William Lane Craig's website!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest r3alchild

I am not sure what this thread is about so ill wait till more is said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Theta

Just a arguement for atheism I find interesting and sound, is all it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Ex-C, Theta.

 

Good read. Sartre is fascinating!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Theta

Welcome to Ex-C, Theta.

 

Good read. Sartre is fascinating!

Glad you like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been quite a while since I have read Sartre, but I believe I could argue that if one were to take the position of "God" *is* creation, as opposed to being the agent of creation, then there would be no contradiction in a self-aware Universe as "God". I'm fairly certain that Tillich addresses this (though he certainly didn't intend his ideas to be used as an argument for pure deism.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Theta

It's been quite a while since I have read Sartre, but I believe I could argue that if one were to take the position of "God" *is* creation, as opposed to being the agent of creation, then there would be no contradiction in a self-aware Universe as "God". I'm fairly certain that Tillich addresses this (though he certainly didn't intend his ideas to be used as an argument for pure deism.)

Well a god that is creation alone isn't sentinent.  Monotheistic and deistic gods are sentinent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's grant for the sake of discussion that the Universe is self-aware (as some schools of thought do.) Where is the contradiction that Sartre asserts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Theta

Let's grant for the sake of discussion that the Universe is self-aware (as some schools of thought do.) Where is the contradiction that Sartre asserts?

Depends on how you define the words universe and self aware.  I actually agree with the premises, that sartre asserts if you dont, then the arguement wont hold no matter how hard one tries,

 

Sartre as I understand it, stripping away the existentialist jargon is saying that some things are sentinent and some things arent, to be a god you have to be both, and a being cant be both.  Why you have to be both to be god is because if the idea, that if your not a sentinent being you cant create sentinence and if your sentinent you cant create nonsentinence. The contradiction comes in that you cant be both nonsentinent and sentinent. In other words its the idea of out of nothing nothing comes taken to its extreme,  Now if your saying that the concept of something being nonsentinent is nonsensical then the arguement fails and there is nothing that can be done about it.  But the idea of something being nonsentinent is still something that I see as coherent.  To put it bluntly, Does a rock have a soul?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Let's grant for the sake of discussion that the Universe is self-aware (as some schools of thought do.) Where is the contradiction that Sartre asserts?

Depends on how you define the words universe and self aware.  I actually agree with the premises, that sartre asserts if you dont, then the arguement wont hold no matter how hard one tries,

 

Sartre as I understand it, stripping away the existentialist jargon is saying that some things are sentinent and some things arent, to be a god you have to be both, and a being cant be both.  Why you have to be both to be god is because if the idea, that if your not a sentinent being you cant create sentinence and if your sentinent you cant create nonsentinence. The contradiction comes in that you cant be both nonsentinent and sentinent. In other words its the idea of out of nothing nothing comes taken to its extreme,  Now if your saying that the concept of something being nonsentinent is nonsensical then the arguement fails and there is nothing that can be done about it.  But the idea of something being nonsentinent is still something that I see as coherent.  To put it bluntly, Does a rock have a soul?

 

Hello Theta, and welcome.  Re: what I bolded in your post --

 

why should one accept that "if you're sentient, you can't create nonsentience"?  I'm guessing that in Sartre's terms in your OP this would go, "if a being is a for-itself, it cannot create an in-itself."  I don't see why this is so.

 

BTW I've read a lot of Sartre's fiction, including Nausea, where the protagonist experiences nothingness in looking at the gnarled roots of a tree (the for-itself distancing itself from the in-itself, right?).  Never read Being and Nothingness, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ficino, you beat me to it. :)

 

As to the question "Does a rock have a soul?" I say why not? (Assuming you grant the existence of a "soul") A rock (or any other thing, including the smallest particle of matter or energy) would have to have a soul in a fully self-aware Universe. One could possibly argue that energy (matter) is a Universal soul in such a scenario.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Theta

I haven't finished nausea yet, I tend to read at a snails pace.  I may end up ditching this arguement after further thought, which is part of the reason I tossed this out there in case my agreement is misguided.

 

I may need to look into being and nothingness to really get the arguement fully.  But energy comes from energy and matter comes from matter, if I understand science correctly.  So that means a for itself can't create a in itself, elsewise something can come from nothing which is nonsensical cause out of nothing nothing comes.  It almost becomes a violation of the law of logical law of noncontradiction, non-a becomes a, if there is a god.  Put in a simpler way, marble comes from various rocks, rather then out of thin air, there for its still even with its changes in itself.

 

If fact I realized this also addressed indirectly, the concious universe thing, its having your cake and eating it too. Its saying that a being can be both incomplete (which is what I understand for itself to mean) and complete as in itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't finished nausea yet, I tend to read at a snails pace.  I may end up ditching this arguement after further thought, which is part of the reason I tossed this out there in case my agreement is misguided.

 

I may need to look into being and nothingness to really get the arguement fully.  But energy comes from energy and matter comes from matter, if I understand science correctly.  So that means a for itself can't create a in itself, elsewise something can come from nothing which is nonsensical cause out of nothing nothing comes.  It almost becomes a violation of the law of logical law of noncontradiction, non-a becomes a, if there is a god.  Put in a simpler way, marble comes from various rocks, rather then out of thin air, there for its still even with its changes in itself.

 

If fact I realized this also addressed indirectly, the concious universe thing, its having your cake and eating it too. Its saying that a being can be both incomplete (which is what I understand for itself to mean) and complete as in itself.

Hi Theta, what I bolded doesn't seem to follow.  If matter comes from matter, then a change is occurring, or work is being done.  So some energy must be injected into a system in order for a new outcome to occur, no?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I haven't finished nausea yet, I tend to read at a snails pace.  I may end up ditching this arguement after further thought, which is part of the reason I tossed this out there in case my agreement is misguided.

 

I may need to look into being and nothingness to really get the arguement fully.  But energy comes from energy and matter comes from matter, if I understand science correctly.  So that means a for itself can't create a in itself, elsewise something can come from nothing which is nonsensical cause out of nothing nothing comes.  It almost becomes a violation of the law of logical law of noncontradiction, non-a becomes a, if there is a god.  Put in a simpler way, marble comes from various rocks, rather then out of thin air, there for its still even with its changes in itself.

 

If fact I realized this also addressed indirectly, the concious universe thing, its having your cake and eating it too. Its saying that a being can be both incomplete (which is what I understand for itself to mean) and complete as in itself.

Hi Theta, what I bolded doesn't seem to follow.  If matter comes from matter, then a change is occurring, or work is being done.  So some energy must be injected into a system in order for a new outcome to occur, no?

 

 

Also, E=mc2. Matter and energy aren't actually distinct categories, you can convert between them.

 

Science tangent: If I remember correctly, the normal definition of matter, to differentiate it from energy, is having mass and taking up space. Mass is actually just one form of energy, and exactly how that works is what finding the Higgs is about. Taking up space is a function of fermions - in quantum mechanics, there are two categories of particles, fermions ("matter", the stuff our atoms are made out of) and bosons ("force carriers", like light and magnets and electricity). The difference between fermions and bosons is the difference between a plus sign and a minus sign - bosons add, fermions subtract. So you put two idential bosons in the same place, and you have twice the boson. You put two idential fermions in the same space, and they cancel out and you have no fermions. So fermions need some elbow room in order to keep existing, and that's why matter takes up space. (Are you familiar with the Pali Exclusion Principle? It's a chemistry thing about how each orbital in an atom can only hold two electrons, one with spin up and one with spin down. The simple explaination for why that is that you can't add another electron in there because electrons are fermions and don't add, so if you try to add another one, you just wipe out the one that was already there along with the one you thought you were adding.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Theta

 

I haven't finished nausea yet, I tend to read at a snails pace.  I may end up ditching this arguement after further thought, which is part of the reason I tossed this out there in case my agreement is misguided.

 

I may need to look into being and nothingness to really get the arguement fully.  But energy comes from energy and matter comes from matter, if I understand science correctly.  So that means a for itself can't create a in itself, elsewise something can come from nothing which is nonsensical cause out of nothing nothing comes.  It almost becomes a violation of the law of logical law of noncontradiction, non-a becomes a, if there is a god.  Put in a simpler way, marble comes from various rocks, rather then out of thin air, there for its still even with its changes in itself.

 

If fact I realized this also addressed indirectly, the concious universe thing, its having your cake and eating it too. Its saying that a being can be both incomplete (which is what I understand for itself to mean) and complete as in itself.

Hi Theta, what I bolded doesn't seem to follow.  If matter comes from matter, then a change is occurring, or work is being done.  So some energy must be injected into a system in order for a new outcome to occur, no?

 

Yeah and?  The fact that there is change is irrelevant to the idea, its still, for itself and in itself and nothing else.  For example, we became for itself when we developed the brain we have, before that we were in itself, and just as mentally complex as the average chimp.  The fact there is change says nothing.  Its changing between the two options only, nothing else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Theta

I think I missed a false dictonomy.  To a point, this binomial way of viewing this holds.  I think the more I look at it, it breaks down once its extented to physics or studies of origins.  We are all stardust as people like Krauss love to say, so the distinction isn't really valid outside of some method of processing and digesting the world around you. The world is more closer to a venn diagram, with for itself and in itself on each side and some stuff in the middle.  The middle of the diagram captures the varying degees of change and existence between the two states.  Its not black and white.

 

That said, after I finish Nausea, I am going to read sartre's theory of conciousness (the transedence of the ego).  Maybe he addresses my issue with this there?

 

But unless something in the transdence of the ego salvages the arguement in the op, I think this arguement stinks, thanks ficino for helping me think through it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.