The Instigator
Toviyah
Pro (for)
Tied
3 Points
The Contender
Fanath
Con (against)
Tied
3 Points

Does God exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 588 times Debate No: 56591
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

Toviyah

Pro

Hey everyone,
The motion is "Does God exist?". My opponent will take the Con side of the debate.
The first round will be for acceptance.
'God' will be the God of Classical Theism.
The BOP will be on me.
Enjoy the debate!
Fanath

Con

Accepted. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
Toviyah

Pro

Thanks Con for accepting this debate, I Hope you enjoy it!
I'll present a single argument for the debate.


First off, some definitions for my argument:
Subjunctive possibility: whether a statement might have been or could be true [1]
Maximally Great Being: A being which possesses all Great-making properties

The Argument

P1) If it is subjunctively possible that a Maximally Great Being exists then, necessarily, a Maximally Great Being exists
P2) It is subjunctively possible that a Maximally Great Being exists
P3) Therefore, a Maximally Great Being exists

Defense of P1
The reasoning behind P1 is that it operates in accordance to Axiom S5 of modal logic [2], which states that if it is (subjunctively) possible that A, then necessarily, it is possible that A:

\Diamond A\to \Box\Diamond A

This is fairly standard. But if it is necessarily possible that a maximally great being exists, then it logically follows that a maximally great being exists. Plantinga illustrates this using possible world semantics [3]. Essentially, if it is subjunctively possible that a maximally great being exists, then it necessarily exists in at least one possible world - a description of reality that could be true. However, because it is greater to necessarily exist (in all possible worlds) than to contingently exist (in only some possible worlds), a maximally great being, possessing all great-making properties, must necessarily exist in all possible worlds, as to do so is a great making property. To necessarily exist in one possible world is equivalent to necessarily existing. But as the actual world is a possible world, a maximally great being must exist in the actual world too, a subset of 'all possible worlds', provided it is subjunctively possible for it to exist.

Defense of P2
P2 states that it is Subjunctively possible that a Maximally great being exists - id est, a maximally being could exist. I'll give three arguments in support of this premise:
1) Coherency
The simple fact is that the concept of a maximally great being is at the very least a coherency for humans. We can imagine a possible logical scenario where a being, which possesses all great-making properties, exists. This is characteristic of subjunctive possibility.

2) The concept of a MGB is not a logical impossibility
Similarly, the concept of a maximally great being has no metaphysical contradictions or logical absurdities. It doesn't appear, at least in a prima facie view, to be equivalent to a square circle or a married bachelor. Indeed, below I present a positive case for such a non-contradiction.
This is especially important as in order for something to be subjunctively possible, the only requirement is for it to be logically consistent. And it seems that the concept of a maximally great being is as such.


3) Maximal greatness is a possible property
This supporting argument has 4 lines of reasoning:
1) If a property is a great-making property, then its negation is a lesser-making property
2) Great-making properties do not entail lesser-making properties
3) Maximal greatness is the greatest great-making property
4) Maximal greatness cannot entail non-maximal greatness
All the premises seem sound enough.
1) is obvious - the lesser-making property of, say, ignorance, is the negation of a great-making property such as perfect knowledge or intelligence.
2) is equally as sound. After all, great-making properties cannot be great-making properties, and at the same time entail flaws from lesser-making properties; that in itself is a logical absurdity, for we would arrive at a scenario where an entity has both great and lesser-making properties, despite being negations. It would be analogous to a square circle.
3) also must be true; it only seems logical that maximal greatness is the greatest of all great-making properties. Nothing could be greater.
4) must follow. If great-making properties do not entail lesser-making properties, and also that maximal greatness is a great-making property, then it must follow that maximal greatness is a subjunctively possible property, for there exists no logical contradictions within the notion. As a result, an entity which possesses maximal greatness - id est, a maximally great being - is indeed subjunctively possible and P2 must stand.
[4]


Defense of P3
P3 follows necessarily from the first two premises. Consequently, a maximally great being exists. This is equivalent to the God of classical theism.

Back to Con!


Sources:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[3] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[4] http://philpapers.org...
Fanath

Con

Fanath forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Toviyah

Pro

Extend my argument
Fanath

Con

Pro and I reached an agreement to keep this a tie as I'm going to be gone over the next few days. We're starting the new one on Sunday when I get back, I'll post a link to it in the comments section for anyone interested in seeing it.
Debate Round No. 3
Toviyah

Pro

See you on Sunday :)
Fanath

Con

Fanath forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
If you send me the redo debate when it's over, I'll vote on it.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Yes Burncastle, it would have been an easy debate 4 U!
The use of modal logic has severe flaws for starters.
Also the argument can be considered as fallacious, but I'll leave that up to Fanath to determine.
Though Pro could have used a more operative word than "Subjunctively" which could mean simply that if it could be deemed in the mood to assert, rather than what I think Pro means as if it could be "Feared That" something exists, which is practically the same as using the word "Subjectively", because Fear is a Subjective term, so Subjectively would be an equal term to use.
Posted by Burncastle 2 years ago
Burncastle
Man, I'm always too late to take these debates XD
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by NateTheFirst 2 years ago
NateTheFirst
ToviyahFanathTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Honoring the agreement and keeping it a tie.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
ToviyahFanathTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Better arguments.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
ToviyahFanathTied
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Reasons for voting decision: tie
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
ToviyahFanathTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's Subjunctively turned his argument into Subjectively, which is only evidence that God exists in the human mind (subjective), which is true, but then every believer's God is entirely a different being, no two subjective Gods are identical, thus a Consistent God does not exist in the subjective world. Con had an easy job in opposing this, but since both agreed to tie, so I will also go along with this, as I would otherwise have to vote for Pro as Pro was the only one to present an argument. I will go along with their agreement.