The Instigator
FreshMeat12
Con (against)
The Contender
Dartanman
Pro (for)

Does The Modal Ontological Argument Show That God Exists?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 420 times Debate No: 102296
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (0)

 

FreshMeat12

Con

Round One is for acceptance only.

Pro will argue that the Modal Ontological Argument does show that it is rational to believe that a God exists, while con (me) will argue that it does not.

The modal ontological argument can be presented as follows.

1. It is possible that God exists.
2. If it is possible that God exists, then God exists in at least one possible world.
3. If God exists in one possible world than God exists in all possible worlds.
4. If God exists in all possible worlds, then God exists in the actual world.
5. If God exists in the actual world, then God exists.
6. Therefore, God exists.
Dartanman

Pro

1. It is possible that God exists. We exists, and while there are many beliefs (and even evidence supporting) other theories on how we got here, we have no proof. This means it is possible that God created us, therefore, He could exists.

2. Many people believe in God, so He exists in one possible world. You can"t really prove that one, as we are in THIS world, so we can"t really do much with other worlds.

3. God exists in all possible worlds because He is omnipresent. I can"t say I can prove it, but you cannot prove He is not. (My answer to number 4 will expand upon this)

4. God exists in the actual world. Again, I cannot prove it, but you cannot prove He does not. People say, "God is man-made." Well, if that is so, how are we here? Before you go on to talk about evolution, the big bang, or other things, let"s talk again about God. You say science proves that God is not real, but in reality, does science prove anything? No. It doesn"t. Especially since science is based off of things that often prove incorrect (the five senses). You say that since we cannot see, feel, smell, taste, or hear God, that He does not exist. Well, you CAN feel cold. Is cold real? No. That is simply the word we use to describe a lack or absence of heat. There is no cold. You can make something really hot, or even get rid of all of its heat (absolute zero) but you cannot go further, because all the heat is gone, and you cannot add cold. Darkness is another example. You CAN see darkness, but is it real? No. Darkness is simply the absence of light. If you get rid of all the light in a room, you cannot make it darker, because you cannot add darkness, only remove light. According to the arguments that say God is not real, we can say the exact same things to say that things that do not exist, do exist.

5. I think #4 said enough.

6. God exists.
Debate Round No. 1
FreshMeat12

Con

Firstly, I'd like to address the fact that pro didn't leave round one for acceptance only. This is fine, I don't really care too much about structure.

Secondly, It's fairly clear that Pro lacks an understanding of the Modal Ontological Argument. This is shown throughout his post.

(Not to be rude, pro, but if you don't understand a word that I use here I suggest googling it.)

When he tried to justify the first premise, he seemed to be arguing that the idea of God was epistemically possible, as in "God might exist, we don't know". In the first premise of the modal ontological argument, the word possible refers to metaphysical possibility, as in, "we can coherently conceive of x (in this case, God) happening or existing.

Pro also didn't seem to know what I meant when I said "possible world". A possible world is simply a coherent world without any impossiblies. Think of a TV show that doesn't involve anything that would be regarded as impossible. That TV show would be a possible world.

With the exception of this world, possible worlds are imaginary. They are simply coherent realities.

In pro's justification for premise 3, he states that God is omnipresent, and thus, exists in every possible world. However, this would mean that God existed in a possible world where there was needless suffering. A good God cannot exist in such a world, because he would've stopped the suffering before it began.

The meat of pro's post was in the justification for 4, which is ironically one of the premises I don't have a problem with.

However, he talked about how science doesn't prove anything. I don't disagree with pro on this point. However, scientific principles do show themselves to work in a practical sense (cars, computers, rockets televisions, etc. all function because we understand science), while we cannot run a test to see if God exists.

Notice, pro also attacked arguments that I didn't make, but also didn't really try to justify the idea that God exists by providing arguments or evidence. Pro states that I can't show that God doesn't exist, which ignores the fact that the burden of proof is on is on the theist.

I set up this debate to see if the modal ontological argument showed that God exists. I'd like to ask that you stay on topic, pro. I'd that you do some reading on the argument you signed up to defend.
Dartanman

Pro

Upon further inspection of the original post, I still hold to my belief that it does indeed prove the existence of God. However, I do want to make it known that the God I am referring to is the Christian God. I think that MOST people, even among people who don't specifically believe in God do believe it is possible that a god could exist. So, according to common sense it is possible. Because it is possible that He exists, he must exist in at least one possible world. This makes sense because if it's not impossible it can be in a possible world. According to verses throughout the Bible, it clearly states that God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Because we know this, if He exists in a given possible world, He must exist in all possible worlds, including the actual world. This proves that God exists. This is basically just a more in-depth version of the modal ontological argument, but with more evidence and explanation.
Debate Round No. 2
FreshMeat12

Con

My opponent specified which God he believes exists, but didn't explain why this shows the Christian God exists.

If this argument successfully shows one God to exist, then it shows that any God that I might pull out of my imagination actually exists. However, there cannot be two omnipotent minds, because if they contradict each other, it leads to a contradiction. It's like having a sword that can pierce anything go against a shield that cannot be pierced. Both of them cannot exist.

Consider this argument.

1. It is possible that the Christian God exists.
2. It is possible that the God of elvkrvjekcirtvkevidism exists.
3. If it is possible that the Christian God exists, then the Christian God exists in at least one possible world.
4. If it is possible that the God of elvkrvjekcirtvkevidism exists, then the God of elvkrvjekcirtvkevidism exists in at least one possible world.
5. If the Christian God exists in a possible world, then it exists in all possible worlds.
6. If the God of elvkrvjekcirtvkevidism exists in one possible world, then it exists in all possible worlds.
7. The God of Christianity and the God of elvkrvjekcirtvkevidism cannot exist in the same possible world.
8. If the God of Christianity and the God of elvkrvjekcirtvkevidism exist in all possible worlds, then they will exist in the same possible worlds.
9. Therefore, The God of Christianity and the God of elvkrvjekcirtvkevidism exist in the same worlds.

But wait, premise 7 is true (as I explained above), but it completely contradicts the conclusion.

Here, we have no way to tell which God actually exists. Is there some sort of council which determines which God gets to exist?

Furthermore, we can derive absurd conclusions from the modal ontological argument, because you can just stick in any "possibly necessary" truth that is true in one possible world, and then infer that it is true in all possible worlds.

Consider the statement "in every possible world, where a unicorn can exist, there is a unicorn".

If we treat that statement the same way the ontological argument treats God, then we would have a conclusive proof that unicorns exist in our world. But they don't, so where does the argument go wrong? It is wrong because the first premise of the argument assumes that we can treat "possibly necessary" in the same way that we treat "possibly". The statement is NOT actually true in one possible world, because the statement extends into all possible worlds. Saying the statement is true in one possible world is to say "x is true in all possible worlds, in this possible world". It simply doesn't make sense. You cannot justify a proposition that can either be necessary or impossible by saying it is possible. Once you do that, you're not talking about the same proposition.

However, this is only how I see the problem. If pro believes he can propose a solution to this problem without concluding that his argument fails, then he should.

I also notice that Pro didn't adress my argument that God doesn't exist in some possible world.

Specifically, my argument about how God cannot exist in a possible world where needless suffering exists.

I will put my argument into a syllogism so pro can precisely point out where it goes wrong if need be.

1. There is needless suffering in some possible world.
2. God cannot exist in a world where there is needless suffering.
3. If God exists, he exists in every possible world.
4. If God exists in every possible world, he exists in a world where there is needless suffering.
5. Therefore, God does not exist in every possible world.
6. Therefore, God does not exist.

The premise that I expect there to be the most confusion about is premise 2. My justification for this premise is that God cannot exist in such a world because he would stop it from happening.

Premise 1 is true because there is no logical contradiction nor metaphysical law which prevents needless suffering from existing in at least one possible world.

Premise 4 is obviously true, and premise 3 was affirmed by pro when he stated "According to verses throughout the Bible, it clearly states that God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Because we know this, if He exists in a given possible world, He must exist in all possible worlds, including the actual world", and it is simply an assumption of the argument he is defending.

I look forward to pro's response.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Dartanman 8 months ago
Dartanman
My apologies. I see round 1 is for acceptance. I accidentally messed that up xD
Posted by FreshMeat12 8 months ago
FreshMeat12
My profile picture is actually kinda ironic because I'm allergic to cats (can't be in the same room as one without getting sick) but yeah, I do like cats.
Posted by Lucky_Luciano 8 months ago
Lucky_Luciano
I'm not sure why people still defend ontological arguments. It's pretty well established that you cannot ontologically prove existence.
Posted by Mharman 8 months ago
Mharman
Cutest. Profile picture. Ever.
Posted by FreshMeat12 8 months ago
FreshMeat12
No takers? Dang.
Posted by missmedic 8 months ago
missmedic
You only have to add "does not" and the argument goes the other way. And still fails because it presupposes knowledge we do not have.
1. It is possible that God does not exists.
2. If it is possible that God does not exists, then God does not exists in at least one possible world.
3. If God does not exists in one possible world than God does not exists in all possible worlds.
4. If God does not exists in all possible worlds, then God does not exists in the actual world.
5. If God does not exists in the actual world, then God does not exists.
6. Therefore, God does not exists.
Posted by FreshMeat12 8 months ago
FreshMeat12
I actually disagree with the "you can insert Santa Claus or a unicorn in the place of God" attack on the argument, because those objects are contingent upon space. I will use some type of variation of that argument, using the statement "in every possible world, if there is a place where a unicorn can survive, there is a unicorn". It works the same way, but isn't vulnerable to the attack that I talked about earlier.
Posted by missmedic 8 months ago
missmedic
Everything is predicated upon "If God exists". Well, yeah, that is the question. The problem, it seems to me, is that this is true of anything. The exact same analysis can be performed on the proposed existence of anything. Try it with unicorns or Santa Claus. Same result.
This is the kind of mental masturbation that turns people off to philosophy.
Posted by PowerPikachu21 8 months ago
PowerPikachu21
Yeah. It presupposes that God exists, as well as having to exist in many worlds because it could exist in a world.
Posted by missmedic 8 months ago
missmedic
The ontological argument fails as it presupposes God exists.
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