From: dac@lucent.com (Devonian Chalk)

Organization: Invis-O-Bob and the SlackMasters

Does "Bob" exist ?

Here are some popular arguments:

 

The Argument from Popularity:

1. Almost everyone believes that "Bob" exists. Those

who don't believe He exists are in the minority.

2. Many respected people claim to have received visions from Him.

3. In almost any society since the dawn of the Industrial Age, there

has been some form of "Bob" myth.

4. Given the universality of the myths, it is unlikely that such myths

are not based on truth.

 

Counter-argument:

1. Most people are clueless morons who need to believe in the Great

Benevolent Uber-Salesman, and that He protects and watches over

their Slack.

2. So who's to say it's "Bob" that created the Church?

Why not Stang, or Joanne Worley, or Zeus, or Thor or any other

such mythical creature?

 

The argument from Authority:

1. Stang insists that "Bob" exists.

Specifically:

a. Stang claims to have images of Him

b. Stang claims to have paychecks signed by Him

c. Stang has Revelation X, written by Him or His disciples.

 

Counter-argument:

1. Since when has Stang known what he was doing?

2. Using the Revelation X as proof that Revelation X was written

by "Bob" is circular. It could be a fabrication.

 

Argument from Design:

1. One looks at a pipe, and sees evidence of intelligent design.

2. It is therefore likely that something created it.

3. One looks at the Church and sees evidence of intelligent design.

4. It is therefore likely that something created it. That something

is "Bob".

Counter-argument:

1. If you think the Church implies intelligent design, you haven't

seen *our* Church.

2. Even assuming this proves the existence of a "Bob",

there's no evidence "Bob" is intelligent.

 

The ontological proof:

1. Given: The property of existence is more Super than the property of

non-existence.

2. "Bob" is defined as "a salesman, than which no more Super a

salesman can be conceived"

3. No matter how great a Super Salemsan you can conceive which

possesses the property of non-existence, you can then add the property of

existence and make the Super Salesman even more Super.

4. Therefore, "Bob" exists.

 

Counter-argument:

1. Rests on a dubious definition of what is and is not Super.

2. The concept of a Super Salesman is nowhere near analogous to the

Super Salesman itself. I can conceive of something, but that's only the

Concept of it, not the thing itself.

 

The Spinozist Argument:

1. "Bob" is defined as the most perfect Salesman possible.

2. The property of necessary existence means that anything which

possesses it must necessarily exist.

3. If existence is better than non-existence (see the ontological

proof), then necessary existence is better still.

4. Any perfect Salesman must possess the property of necessary

existence.

5. Therefore "Bob" must necessarily exist.

However:

6. Being perfect, "Bob" cannot make mistakes.

7. Being perfect, "Bob" can not be capable of

goal-directed action, because such action would imply that the

Church is somehow less than perfect in its current state.

8. Therefore, "Bob" is really more of a force of

nature within the Church.

9. Arguably, then "Bob" *is* the Church itself.

 

Counter-argument:

1. None, since "Bob" has been defined to the point

where it is a totally useless concept, there's no point in arguing.

 

At least this resolves one of the major issues: the Spinozist argument

proves that *if* "Bob" does exist, he cannot be intelligent.