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today i tried dnL, that new caffeinated version of 7up. i was… - love like me ・ 日記
non solum memento mori, memento vivere sed etiam
気持: sleepy
today i tried dnL, that new caffeinated version of 7up. i was surprised at how much it tastes like regular 7up...it tastes the same, except for a tiny hint of orange. not bad at all, though i don't think it's going to be a regular purchase.

i've added some stuff to my essay. nothing really new, just said more about the stuff i've already said, possibly just making even less sense than i already did... ^_^;; i still don't know how to tackle the parts about addressing the attributes associated with God, or assessing the validity of the argument...oh well. i'm mainly worried about the additions i've made not making any sense. repetitiveness is okay, and in most cases preferred, in philosophy essays due to the fact that the whole essay is supposed to be the closest prose approximation for a logical proof of the thesis...i'm just worried that it doesn't make any sense, since i have trouble getting things in the right order to make logical sense to other people. i also have trouble with using vague or ambiguous language, so i'd be appreciative if someone could point that out to me. i don't plan on doing any further editing of the first two paragraphs unless someone suggests that i should, but the third paragraph is part of the stuff i'm having trouble with, so i might be editing that further once i figure out what i'm talking about ^^;; of course, if you'd rather not read it 'til it's finished (or would rather not read it at all), that's fine. i'm mainly posting it here to prove that i'm actually working on it before the last minute ^_^


In his dialogue On Free Will, St. Augustine claims that “it is manifest that God exists” (33). He begins this argument with the assumption that we exist. He states that if we did not exist, it would be impossible for us to ponder existence (or, in his words, to be deceived by the question of existence), and therefore we must exist. Because we could not know we exist if we were not living, therefore we must live. Because we understand that we exist and that we live, we therefore must also have intelligence. Furthermore, there is a hierarchy among these characteristics: “To exist, to live, and to know are three things.… And of these three things that is most excellent which man has along with the other two, that is intelligence. Having that, it follows that he has both being and life” (34). Anything that is intelligent has intelligence, life, and being; anything that lives has both life and being; anything that exists merely has being. In this way, anything possessing a higher characteristic necessarily possesses all lower characteristics.

This hierarchy is reflected in the hierarchy of our senses: we have an interior sense that not only receives and judges data from all our senses, but is also able to perceive the sense itself, so that we know where our sensory data is coming from. This interior sense we share with animals, who have an understanding of survival and can choose what to eat or drink, can move and respond freely, &c.1 This is what makes animals superior to inanimate objects. Inanimate objects have no senses but merely exist; animals have both sensory perception and movement.2 Humans alone have reason, which allows us to understand not only survival but many other things in the world.3

Man is superior to animals because man possesses reason, which is above the simple interior sense of animals in the hierarchy. Each level of the hierarchy possesses a sensibility which the levels below it do not, and each level of sensory perception presides over and judges the levels below it. Since human reason is the highest level of this hierarchy, we must now accept that if there is anything which both exists and imposes an order superior to our reason, it must be God: “If…by itself alone reason catches sight of that which is eternal and unchangeable, it must confess its own inferiority, and that the eternal and unchangeable is its God” (38). Reason alone is finite and mutable, and Augustine says that the only way reason could be improved upon would be to make it eternal and unchangeable. In order to qualify as being eternal and unchangeable, it would have to be something which all reasoning beings can see in common at the same time. It would be the sort of thing which is not used up by the person that senses it (as food and drink and air are) but “remains complete and unchanged, whether they see it or do not see it” (40). Such a thing does exist, namely, the science of number. 7 + 3 = 10 whether or not we exist, and this demonstrates that there is a truth that is superior to human reason. Because we are the greatest beings in the hierarchy and there is a truth which is not subject to our reason and does not depend on our existence, there must be a God.

1 Augustine seems to dismiss this ability to choose as denoting intelligence.
2 He doesn’t say anything about plants, which have life but not this ability to choose.
3 Augustine is not very convincing in differentiating the ‘interior sense’ from reason/intelligence itself. He wishes to say that animals have this interior sense but do not have reason, but fails to differentiate between the two.
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valamelmeo From: valamelmeo Date: Monday 10th February 2003 08.58 (UTC) (Link)
well, according to Augustine, numbers are an external truth that would exist whether or not we were around to discover them and think about them. personally i think that if this proof were a container, it'd be a sieve. but i don't have to agree with it, i just have to explain it.

but since part of the assignment is pointing out the holes in the argument (why it's not necessarily valid)...i'm having trouble pinpointing logical difficulties rather than just personal misgivings. that is, the problems i'm finding with the argument aren't that it doesn't work with the assumptions he makes, but rather that i disagree with his assumptions. i guess the whole thing does work if you accept all his assumptions, but some of those assumptions are rather farfetched in my estimation.
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