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Homework time - bring your advil

This week is Anselm's theory of the existence of God, and it's too big for here, so just the first part:
Everything exists on a conceptual level, even if it's not real. If I say the word "unicorn" you know what I mean even though they don't exist, because you can conceptualize a unicorn the same way other people do.
There's a corollary to the theory that it's possible for things we cannot imagine to not exist, because they have not been conceptualized, and it's also possible for things to exist in reality that we do not know about yet to conceptualize.
(this would be a good time to take the advil)
My question this week: since we can conceptualize the idea of things we have not imagined, does that count as conceptualizing them in theory, and, in essence, mean that everything exists whether we've thought it yet or not?

No answers in class yet, have to wait and see what shows up over the weekend.


Asked by NotPanicking at 12:36 PM on Sep. 17, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • This is the ONLY time you will ever see me say this, but in this way (and this way only) God DOES exist. I do believe things we imagine "exist". Not physically, and they require someone thinking about them to continue existing, but since unicorns, vampires, God, etc. are definitely widely thought about and obviously effect our society and ourselves, then they do exist....if only as ideas. God even effects me, even though I'm an atheist, because I am on here debating his existence instead of ignoring the idea :)

    I do believe that things we can't conceptualize exist. Our brains are only evolved to sense THIS world so that we can live in it. I think there could be much more out there that we can't even begin to understand or think of.

    I am still not getting what your question is though....LOL Did any of that answer it?

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 5:19 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • So you're saying something cannot exist unless it's thought of first? That the thought brings it into existence?


    Answer by IhartU at 12:48 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • No, because things can exist and we just don't know to think about them yet. It's the opposite - as long as something has been thought about, it exists, even if it's not "real" (unicorns, dragons, bi-partisanship, etc). The corollary is that it should be possible for things that we cannot imagine to not exist. My question is if we can think of the concept of things we cannot imagine, is that as good as imagining them, and automatically make them all exist?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:52 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • *blink blink*

    I've got nuthin'. lol

    Answer by deadheadjen at 1:36 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • can i have some of that advil please?

    Answer by bi-polarmommy at 2:37 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • confused

    I have been waiting to see someone give a brilliant answer. I gave up trying to come up with one of my own.


    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 3:11 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • Of course things can exist whether we've thought of them yet or not.

    How long did it take for humanity to figure out electrons and photons. Humans went for thousands of years not being able imagine them, but there they were all along, still existing.

    Answer by mogencreative at 3:13 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • Pass the dutchie on the left hand side...

    I think that's what's needed to answer this one. :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:13 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • okay, read your additional post.

    I think things exist independent of our imagination or concepts - EXCEPT for things that we invent or create ourselves.

    Although our conceptualizing them doesn't make them pop out of thin air; there's usually some work involved first.

    Answer by mogencreative at 3:16 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • Yes, things we have not thought of do exist - however conceptualizing something neither makes it real nor excludes it's existence. In laymen terms having a idea does not immediately or automatically produce the product of the idea. There are other factors to be considered; development, trial and production. The idea becomes more than a thought when it is first developed into articulation. Prior to articulation every theory is an irrelevant dream. When considering the conceptualization of God - we first look at the articulation of God. History and the Bible has laid the foundation of the articulation of the theory of God. Trial remains subjective for some but at the same time trial has proved production for others. One must understand that trial and production require more than just conceptualization in the mind; willingness, belief, experience, emotion and action act as a totality of the personal experiment when proving God.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:05 PM on Sep. 17, 2009