Talk:Argument from desire

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All the "Critisms" of this argument suck. They are all mostly refuted by rereading the article. Jasonlfunk (talk) 01:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, the criticisms section is bunk. I'm going to go put an "original research" tag on it, if I can figure out how to do that. Misterbailey (talk) 04:24, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Changed my mind. I deleted the criticisms section, since it was basically a waste of space. A criticisms section would be good, but this was nothing more than "here's why the argument is wrong," which is not at all appropriate. A "criticisms" section would document criticisms that notable thinkers have made of this argument, and would not synthesize original or partly original arguments, however valid the criticisms might be. Misterbailey (talk) 04:36, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, you're right, the criticism is a little OR. I personally think this argument is amongst the weakest of all the arguments in this section of wikipedia, but fully udnerstand that in itself, that isn't enough. A bit of searching turned up at least one valid citation where the argument has been disputed, so I have put the criticism section back in, but on a different basis- this time around instances where it has been rejected. It is a lot smaller, as this argument appears to be pretty rarely used to justify belief in God, but still. I will add more sources as I find them. (talk) 10:51, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, this looks good. Misterbailey (talk) 02:37, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
No probs. Found another source from Sigmund Freud, who is a bit more notable from the others, so I've slotted that in as well. I think it looks pretty good now. (talk) 06:10, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I am very well acquainted with the argument from desire, which does not proport to be a logical proof. I concur with the assessment that the criticism section is mostly OR. It cites as a source, which is not exactly authoratative. I propose to take a pass through the section line by line to seek sources on the material and remove what isn't supportable. I won't if anyone disagrees and would like to team up to working on improving this section of text.

KSci (talk) 02:37, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Proposed lead change[edit]

The lead is incomplete, awkward, and lacks citations. The reason for this re-write is to minimally but clearly describe the topic to be covered and set the stage for the articles discussion. The list of CS Lewis works this lead omits would be displaced to the body text. Suggested text:

The Argument from Desire is a Christian apologetic argument that is not a 'proof', but argues that certain natural human desires point to the existence of something with the desired characteristics, which include perfections attributed to the Christian God.[1][2] The argument's is most often attributed to the literary works of C.S. Lewis beginning in the early 1930s,[3] though some parts of the argument were expressed as early as St. Augustine's autobiography, The Confessions., in 400 AD.[4] The Philosopher Peter Kreeft's 1994 formal presentation of Lewis' literary arguments, provided here, is frequently referenced in contemporary discussions[5].

[1] also

[2] Kreeft, P., and Tacelli, R. K. (1994) Handbook of Christian Apologetics. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.


[4] The Confessions, Saint Augustine's autobiography (354-430)

[5] Journal Knowing and Doing; Art Lindsley, Ph.D.; Fall 2003 — Preceding unsigned comment added by KSci (talkcontribs) 18:10, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Weight of Glory quote is about heaven[edit]

This quote is from a different argument from the topic, propose removal. (talk) 05:36, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

C. S. Lewis[edit]

Two things:

1. Do we really need such a lengthy explanation on C. S. Lewis and his version of the argument? I agree it may be notable, but I'm not seeing why it warrants taking up the bulk of this article. In fact, a shorter summary would be a lot clearer. I'd suggest cutting the entire section down to something like this:


The most prominent modern-day defender of the argument from desire is the well-known Christian apologist C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963). Unlike medieval versions of the argument from desire, Lewis argues from what he calls "Joy" (a particular kind of desire) rather than from "natural desire" (in the universal sense). Thus, his argument can be expressed deductively (as he describes in The Pilgrim’s Regress), as follows:

  1. Nature makes nothing (or at least no natural human desire) in vain.
  2. Humans have a natural desire (Joy) that would be vain unless some object that is never fully given in my present mode of existence is obtainable by me in some future mode of existence.
  3. Therefore, the object of this otherwise vain natural desire must exist and be obtainable in some future mode of existence.

In his other writings, however, Lewis often uses cautious terms such as “probable” that suggest that the argument should be understood inductively, more along the lines of:

  1. Humans have by nature a desire for the transcendent.
  2. Most natural desires are such that there exists some object capable of satisfying them.
  3. Therefore, there is probably something transcendent.


2. I am going to go ahead and change the wording on Lewis's deductive argument, because as of now it's both grammatically awkward and logically incorrect. You can't just jump back and forth between "humans" and "me". Logically speaking, "humans" expresses a universal while "me" expresses a particular. Universals and particulars are not interchangeable. (talk) 13:04, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Oh, I just noticed that the wording on the deductive argument was quoted directly from a source, so I am not going to alter it. However, my point still stands. I think it needs revision because as of now it does not follow. (talk) 13:09, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Edit: Oh, my bad. I was forgetting that the first premise was in the negative rather than the affirmative, so I guess the conclusion does follow. Still, it's very awkward. (talk) 13:13, 12 June 2017 (UTC)