Argument from degree

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As formulated by [[Thomas Aquinas]], the '''argument from degree''' is stated as follows:
 
As formulated by [[Thomas Aquinas]], the '''argument from degree''' is stated as follows:
  
{{Quote-source|We notice that things in the world differ.  There are degrees of, say, goodness or perfection.  But we judge these degrees only by comparison with a maximum.  Humans can be both good and bad, so the maximum goodness cannot rest in us.  Therefore there must be some other maximum to set the standard for perfection, and we call that maximum [[God]]|2=Richard Dawkins, ''[http://richarddawkins.net/print.php?id=258 Why There Is No God]'', The Times, Oct. 31, 2006}}
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{{Quote-source|We notice that things in the world differ.  There are degrees of, say, goodness or perfection.  But we judge these degrees only by comparison with a maximum.  Humans can be both good and bad, so the maximum goodness cannot rest in us.  Therefore there must be some other maximum to set the standard for perfection, and we call that maximum [[God]]|2=Richard Dawkins, ''[[The God Delusion]]'', 2006, pp, 78-79, excerpted in ''[http://richarddawkins.net/print.php?id=258 Why There Is No God]'', The Times, Oct. 31, 2006}}
  
 
==Counter-apologetics==
 
==Counter-apologetics==
 
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Dawkins replies:
{{Quote-source|That's an argument?  You might as well say, people vary in smelliness but we can make the comparison only by reference to a perfect maximum of conceivable smelliness.  Therefore there must exist a pre-eminently peerless stinker, and we call him God.  Or substitute any dimension of comparison you like, and derive an equally fatuous conclusion.|[[Richard Dawkins]], ''[[The God Delusion]]''}}
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{{Quote-source|That's an argument?  You might as well say, people vary in smelliness but we can make the comparison only by reference to a perfect maximum of conceivable smelliness.  Therefore there must exist a pre-eminently peerless stinker, and we call him God.  Or substitute any dimension of comparison you like, and derive an equally fatuous conclusion.|[[Richard Dawkins]], ''The God Delusion'', 2006, p. 79}}
  
 
[[Category: Ontological arguments]]
 
[[Category: Ontological arguments]]

Revision as of 20:54, 19 April 2007

As formulated by Thomas Aquinas, the argument from degree is stated as follows:

"We notice that things in the world differ. There are degrees of, say, goodness or perfection. But we judge these degrees only by comparison with a maximum. Humans can be both good and bad, so the maximum goodness cannot rest in us. Therefore there must be some other maximum to set the standard for perfection, and we call that maximum God"

— Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, 2006, pp, 78-79, excerpted in Why There Is No God, The Times, Oct. 31, 2006

Counter-apologetics

Dawkins replies:

"That's an argument? You might as well say, people vary in smelliness but we can make the comparison only by reference to a perfect maximum of conceivable smelliness. Therefore there must exist a pre-eminently peerless stinker, and we call him God. Or substitute any dimension of comparison you like, and derive an equally fatuous conclusion."

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, 2006, p. 79
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