Originally posted by SwissGambit
OK, I think I see an intention to communicate now.
If a MGB existed, wouldn't it have - dare I say it - MAXIMUM differentiation?
I'm not sure why MGB requires something else to exist. I think I need a better understanding of what you mean by dependence. Can some galaxy on the opposite side of the universe be thought of as co-dependent wit ...[text shortened]... eds MGB to be 'independent' - again, this hinges on what you mean by dependence.
Thank you for your considered response. With all due respect to an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, before whom I would quail, I question from a Buddhist perpective the validity of the first premise as raised. He argues also apparently the validity of belief itself as an epistemological basis. I am not convinced of that, coming from a scientific perspective. He has ontological arguments and I know little of them, but this idea of the MGB appears to arise from those ideas.
A maximum differentiation would certainly not be a subtle one, would it? That is how I can only understand the phrase "maximum differentiation". It would stick out so obviously we could all pack up and go home, as it were. "God" doesn't stick out maximally like that, existent or not. Not the last time I looked anyway.
>>"I'm not sure why MGB requires something else to exist."
This underlines the conundrum of the argument.
Supposing the MGB does not require something else to exist. This then leads dangerously close (from a theist point of view) to something closer to a buddhist view.
There is thus nothing else but ""God". We are left asking then what are we and this manifested existence? Are we thus also "God"? Or if not, if God "exists" apart from us, is then "God"" not all, but an existent (much bigger) amongst other existents and thus not maximal?
As to co-dependence, it is scientifically illustrated from quantum non-locality experiments. Two co-related particles have been shown many times (Alain Aspect experiments can be good start to explore) to immediately change in unison, in response to any change to either. This apparently totally ignores our concepts of space and time, including concepts of the speed of light and physicists tell us it appears it would occur if they were on the other side of the universe. Quantum entanglement. If this is true the everything of every time and space is somehow connected. This is akin to Madhyamika counterintuitive discoveries. All is now.
This is probably the biggest thought a mind can try to get around - unsuccessfully.
The argument about parts is an extended one and for the sake of brevity, I will link to straightforward and short explanation of the Buddhist understanding. I personally have not been able to isolate anything without parts of one sort or another.
The principal descriptive issue for me at present is with the adjective 'maximally' (which is needed to argue from theism). As to existence, Buddhist philosophy does not say things do not exist. Nor does it say things do exist unto themselves alone. But that we appear suspended between the two, just as particles are in quantum, mysterious, 'there-not there' existence. As to "God" I simply cannot name or point to him,her or it, but are happy to hang around, so to speak..