The Criterial Argument for God

I tend to be a little dubious of logical “proofs” of the existence of God.  While I think it is self-evident by virtue of Occam’s Razor, and I think both Pascal and Voltaire presented logical arguments worth keeping in mind, it’s not an area that I find particularly interesting. 

That being said, Machine Philosophy asked if I’d take a look at his argument, which goes as follows:

The Criterial Argument for the Existence of God – Version 2.0

Our most basic assumptions are necessarily used and referenced to be able to think about anything.

Therefore, our most basic assumptions are necessary to recognize and know that certain objects of our experience are persons.

But only a person can arbitrate whether an object is a person.

Therefore, taken together like the operating system of a computer, the standards and fixed values we operate with as running assumptions or control statements, are necessarily referenced, and treated as the unified predicative and adjudicative structure of an ideal ultimate personal mind.

This criterial structure must be applied universally.

Therefore, this non-local rational structure arbitrates all truth about everything including itself.

Hence, there is a sense in which this structure is omniscient as the instrument of all knowledge, ultimately authoritative as the final court of appeal, sovereign as the universally decisive inferential factor, omnipresent in it’s physically universal applicability, and transcendent in being perfectly functional at any point in the spacetime nexus.

Consequently, the characteristics of this structure are just as ultimate and inherently mind-like as any personal ultimate God is conceivable of being.

Treating this aggregate intellectual object as a reality-wide guide in all thinking about everything is therefore unavoidably necessary, even in reasoned denials that this object has that status as an ultimate universal ruling factor.

I often wonder about the reliability of my computer, but not about reason. Without even thinking about it, I necessarily try to approximate to some achievable extent whatever reason is always unwaiveringly indicating as the perfection standard of thought.

Moreover, there is no controversy about the ultimate authority of what it reveals to me, even if I don’t live up to it, or perfectly actualize the rational ideal in some way.

Furthermore, we merely need to contemplate these ultimates of mind such as reason, formal logic, the rule-set of an ordered context of reality, a hierarchy of values, and so on, in order to discover an endless stream of new knowledge when applied to our ongoing experience of the world.

Consequently, there is some sense in which these ultimate decisive rules and ideals of thought actually communicate knowledge and even wisdom by merely thinking about them and their relationship to our belief systems and our world of objects.

Lastly, the necessity of our referencing of these principles itself implies both purpose and value, which are equally ultimate in this comprehensive set of guiding operational principles. We reference inferential factors for various purposes, and those purposes are based on a hierarchical set of values.

Consequently, I believe in God because my thinking already necessarily assumes and references an unchanging and enduring god-level object of mind that arbitrates all things including personhood, makes inquiry of anything and everything possible including itself, and is indistinguishable from an ultimate personal mind or God.

I’ve been wrestling with some feedback mechanics today, so I haven’t gone over it in any detail yet, but a cursory glance suggests some apparent logical flaws.  The one that bothers me most at first glance is the claim that only a person can arbitrate personhood.

Anyhow, he’s looking for criticism, so I thought I’d throw it out to the Dread Ilk before seriously attempting to punch any holes in it.  Do your worst.