The Instigator
Dookieman
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Toviyah
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

God doesn't exist.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+4
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Toviyah
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/23/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,742 times Debate No: 60261
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (5)

 

Dookieman

Pro

First round is for acceptance.
Second round is for opening statements.
Third round for first rebuttals.
Fourth round for second rebuttals and concluding remarks.

Pro will argue that God doesn't exist and Con will argue that God does exist. God will be defined as the omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, eternal creator and sustainer of the universe.

Omnipotent means all powerful.
Omniscient means all knowing.
Omnibenevolent means all loving.

Good luck! (:
Toviyah

Con

I accept! Best of luck.
God Bless
Debate Round No. 1
Dookieman

Pro


Atheism is the Default Position


When I say atheism is the default position, I mean the burden of proof lies on the person making the claim that God exist, and that if the burden of proof can’t be met by the person making the claim, then atheism wins by default. If there is no evidence for the existence of God, then it is reasonable to assume that God does not exist. The reason why I think this is because if you take into account other supernatural things like Santa Clause, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, the flying spaghetti monster, ect. you will realize that we have no evidence against the existence of these beings. However, we still believe they don’t exist. In the same way, if there is no evidence for the existence of God, we should believe he doesn’t exist. My second argument as to why atheism is the default position is this: consider the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God, and the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly evil God, and lastly an all-powerful, all-knowing, morally indifferent God. I would argue that these three Gods that I have just presented are all equally likely to exist, which would mean that the all-loving God whose existence we are debating over today can be reduced to 1/3rd the likelihood. Therefore since all three of these Gods are equally likely to exist, atheism should be the default position and theism should have the burden of proof showing that it’s their God in particular that exist.



Atheist Argument from Suffering


Premise 1) If God exists, then there is no suffering in the world.


Premise 2) There is suffering in the world.


Conclusion) Therefore God does not exist.



If I successfully defend both premise 1 and 2, then the conclusion God does not exist will logically follow.



Defense of Premise 1)


Premise 1 is true given the definition of God. Firstly, God is all-powerful, he has the ability to destroy or prevent suffering. Secondly, God is all-knowing, so he would know how to create a world with no suffering. Lastly, God is all-loving, which means he would have the strongest desire to stop suffering. However, there are two popular objections to this argument, so I would like to bring them up and respond to them briefly. The first objection theist make is:


“It’s possible that God allows suffering to bring about good the world.”



If God is omnipotent, then he wouldn’t need to use suffering as a way to bring about good in the world. It would be completely unnecessary. God could have created the world in a way where there was only good and no suffering. If the theist still says no, that would not be possible, then we must accept that God is not omnipotent.



The second objection I have heard is:


“Suffering exists because God gave human beings free will.”


As a child growing up in church, this was the reason I was given for why there is suffering in the world. I was very young, so I didn’t know how to critically examine it. However, now I do. The problem with this defense is that it thinks in order for there to be free will, there must also be suffering. But this is false, because God could have given us both free will and moral perfection, thus resulting in us choosing the good in every situation. (1). So as you can see, the free will defense doesn’t hold water.



Defense of Premise 2)


This premise is also true, given the suffering there is in the world such as genocide, rape, slavery, child abuse, animal cruelty, torture, racism, sexism, totalitarianism, poverty, world hunger, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and so on. We observe all this immense amount of suffering around us and we wonder why, if God exists, he created the world like this. Clearly, this suffering I have mentioned is unnecessary and the world would be better without it.



Why God’s Omnipotence is Meaningless


Theists define God’s omnipotence as the ability to do all that is logically possible. That which is not logically possible like creating a square circle is not something God can do. This definition of the term tries to get around the rock paradox put forth by skeptics. However, even this definition of omnipotence is insufficient. Because there are certain actions that are logically possible that God can’t do. For example: lying, dying, being born, and forgetting are all things that are logically possible but are believed to be impossible for God to do. So when looking at God’s omnipotence, we see that what it actually means is: God has the ability to do all that is logically possible, as long as it doesn’t conflict with his other properties. But if this is really the definition of omnipotence, then that would make me and everybody else omnipotent. Because I myself and everybody else can do all that is logically possible as long as it doesn’t conflict with our other properties. This proves that saying God is omnipotent informs us of nothing special and that the word itself is meaningless.



Conclusion


In this essay I have demonstrated that the suffering there is in the world is incompatible with the existence of God, and that the term omnipotence is meaningless. On top of that, I have shown that even if my arguments are unsound, we will still be committed to atheism if my opponent cannot argue successfully that God exist.



Source:


http://en.wikipedia.org...


Toviyah

Con

Thanks Pro!
I'm going to present a single argument which will prove the existence of God as defined.

Modal Ontological Argument

Definitions
Metaphysically Possible: Could have been true in the actual world [1]
Maximally Great Being: A being that possesses all great-making properties

The Argument

P1) It is metaphysically possible that a maximally great being exists
P2) If it is metaphysically possible that a maximally great being exists then it exists in some possible world
P3) If a maximally great being exists in some possible world then it exists in all possible worlds
P4) Therefore a maximally great being exists in the actual world


Defence of P1
Here, I use support from Robert Maydole. It can be characterised (albeit simplified) as such:

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 premises can hardly be denied. Let's have a premise-by-premise walk through.

P1) is obvious - the lesser-making property of, say, weakness, is the negation of a great-making property such as strength.

P2) Is also self-evident. 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 them being antonymous. It would be analogous to a square circle.

P3) Also must be true; it is obvious that maximal greatness is the greatest of all great-making properties. Nothing could be greater: it is inclusive of every great-making property, and to lack that would be less than maximally great.

P4) Must follow. If it is true that 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 metaphysically possible property, for there exists no metaphysical contradictions within the notion. Maximal greatness does not entail non-maximal greatness.
It seems that P1 must therefore be admitted.
[2]

Defence of P2
P2 doesn't need much support: it simply uses possible world semantics [3] which are pretty much uncontested by philosophers. If something is metaphysically possible then it is said to exist in 'some possible world' - some logically consistent state of affairs. This is standard. And as we established in Premse 1, the concept of God is metaphysically possible and thus, exists in some possible world.

Defence of P3
The reasoning behind this lies in axiom S5 of modal logic [4], which states the if it is possible that 'A', then it is necessarily possible that 'A':
<>A-->[]<>A
That is to say, if 'A' exists in whatever ontological form - possibility or necessity - in one possible world, then it exists in all possible worlds with the same ontology (either possible or necessary).
The consequences of this means that when we admit the possibility of a maximally great being (which I have argued for in Premise 1), which is by definition a necessary being (as, to necessarily exist is greater than to contingently exist) in some metaphysically possible world, we must also admit the existence of a necessary being in all metaphysically possible worlds

Defence of P4
P4 must follow from the previous three premises. If a maximally great being exists in all possible worlds, then it must also exist in the actual world, as the actual world is a subset of 'all possible worlds'.

Attributes of the being
If we admit the existence of a maximally great being, it seems that we also have to admit the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being, for all are qualities that are greater to have than to not have. This can hardly be denied: perfect power is greater than impotence, perfect knowledge greater than ignorance, and so on. Considering the existence of this being, it only makes sense for it to be the creator and sustainer of the universe, not least because they are qualities that are greater to have than to not have, but also because it only makes sense that an omnipotent being would exercise its omnipotence and have the motive to both create and sustain a contingent conjunct of entities.

Summary
I have shown that there exists a being which satisfies the definition of 'God' as per the original definition given by Pro.

Sources:
[1] http://en.m.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://philpapers.org...
[3] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[4] http://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
Dookieman

Pro


Thanks Toviyah for your opening arguments. Now on to the rebuttals! (:


Definitions


Analytic proposition: Propositions that describe the interplay between ideas and definitions.


Synthetic proposition: A model statement about the external world.



Before Toviyah presents his argument, he says:


“I'm going to present a single argument which will prove the existence of God as defined.”


OK. Right off the bat we have a problem. Pure logical deduction cannot generate rote facts about the external world. Logic only tells us if the words we use to describe things are well-behaved. When Toviyah says “God exist” he’s making a synthetic proposition, which cannot be proven. I just wanted to throw that out there.


The argument my friend has put forth in this debate is the Modal Ontological Argument. This argument tries to establish the existence of God from the very concept of God itself. It says that if the existence of God is even possible, then God has to exist. The reason for that is because God is said to be a maximally great being with all the perfections. If this being were to exist contingently, then he would not be maximally great. Therefore he must exist necessarily. Necessary existence means existence in all possible worlds. Possible worlds are hypothetical situations. If something is possible, then we say it exist in some possible worlds. If something is impossible, then we say it exist in no possible worlds. So Toviyah’s argument could be summarized as follows:



Premise 1) If it’s possible that God (a maximally great being) exists, then God exist in some possible world.


Premise 2) Therefore God would exist in all possible worlds.


Premise 3) Therefore God would exist in the actual world.


Conclusion) Therefore if God’s existence is possible, God exist.



Now I will put forth an equally strong ontological argument against God’s existence.



Atheist Ontological Argument


Premise 1) If a world without minds is possible, God is impossible.


Premise 2) A world without minds is possible.


Conclusion) Therefore God is impossible.



If one of the possible worlds has no minds in it, then God can’t exist in that world. After all, he is a being with a mind. This atheist ontological argument alone shows that my friend Toviyah’s ontological argument for God’s existence fails. However, I would like to provide another reason for why this argument doesn’t work. Firstly, we must realize that if we can establish the existence of God in this manner, then one can also establish the existence of ANYTHING using completely parallel arguments. For example:


Ontological Argument for Perfect Island


Premise 1) It is possible that a maximally great island exists.


Premise 2) If it is possible that a maximally great island exists then it exists in some possible world.


Premise 3) If a maximally great island exists in some possible world then it exists in all possible worlds.


Conclusion) Therefore a maximally great island exists in the actual world.



Ontological Argument for Perfect Beer


Premise 1) It is possible that a maximally great beer exists.


Premise 2) If it is possible that a maximally great beer exists then it exists in some possible world.


Premise 3) If a maximally great beer exists in some possible world then it exists in all possible worlds.


Conclusion) Therefore a maximally great beer exists in the actual world.



Ontological Argument for Perfect Teenager


Premise 1) It is possible that a maximally great teenager exists.


Premise 2) If it is possible that a maximally great teenager exists then it exists in some possible world.


Premise 3) If a maximally great teenager exists in some possible world then it exists in all possible worlds.


Conclusion) Therefore a maximally great teenager exists in the actual world.



Conclusion


In my first round of rebuttals I have demonstrated that the Ontological argument is weak and fails to establish the existence of God. Back to you Toviyah! (:


Toviyah

Con

Thanks Dookieman!

Is atheism the default position?
Simply, no. It seems that if there is a default position at all, it would be agnosticism, not atheism - a withdrawal of judgement rather than an outright rejection of existence.
The underlying claim is that absence of evidence is evidence of absence. But why should we assume that? By what line of reasoning does it follow? Indeed, it seems that the only way in which we should do that is if we should expect more evidence for a claim - which is true in the case of the entities Pro listed - Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny etc. - perhaps we should see eyewitnesses on Christmas Eve, or a huge 6 foot rabbit hopping around on Easter day. Either way, we should expect more evidence and only then can we safely reject their existing status if there is a lack of evidence. But it just isn't the same with God. An entity which is transcendent, and by definition out of mankind's reach should not leave traces of (a posteriori) empirical existence"(and even this isn't the case, I am providing evidence anyway, so it is all irrelevant to the debate!)
Pro also states that an Evil and an amoral God are just as likely but I beg to differ: I do not see how a maximally great being could be anything other than morally perfect. To be morally perfect is a perfection and thus God, if exists, will have moral perfection. I see no way around this.

'Problem' of Suffering
Surprisingly enough, I am going to use both skeptical theism and the free will defence. I'll outline the defences and then respond to Pro's contentions.
Free-Will
First, for a simple free-will defence. It should be noted that a 'defence' is a story concerning the coexistence of God and evil that, given the existence of God, might be true for all we know. This is sufficient for a de jure case against the problem of evil and refutes the claim that God and evil are incompatible.
So what sort of defence shall I use? I'll propose something like this.
At the beginning of mankind's history (this could be the culmination of evolution), humans were at a beatific state with God: given the blessings of reasoned thought, language, and of course free-will, the cumulation was a preternatural state of existence. In this heavenly union, there was no evil. They could prevent it if they wished, and they were immune to suffering and pain.
But in enough time these humans, with their freedom, decided (for whatever reason) that they were dissatisfied with this union. As a result, they fell from this"preternatural state. They could no longer prevent evil if they wished, and they were no longer immune to pain and suffering. Evil entered the world. But, God could not prevent this. For, to rob mankind of their free-will is in violation of His all-good nature, and free-will is a greater good for it leads to reconciliation and reunion. Thus, God can be all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good, and suffering, evil and pain still exist. This is contrary to Premise 1 of Pro's argument.


What about Pro's contention? Well, he states that God could have made us both free and morally perfect. But is this freedom in any real sense? Freedom seems to entail a modal ability to do more than one given option. But if one is morally perfect, then one does not have the modal property of choice; this is because it is a de re modal property of an entity. Thus, you cannot, if you have moral perfection, choose anything other than the morally perfect option and as a result, do not have freedom. One cannot chose the morally defective option. This is not freedom in any sense of the word.
Moreover, it seems that in order to assert this, one must in turn assume"compatibilism. This is a huge assumption to make and must be defended before asserting anything like "God could have given us both free will and moral perfection", for it assumes that free-will and determinism are compatible. But there is absolutely no reason to assume that: indeed, we have good reason to reject it [1]."

Skeptical Theism
Essentially, this raises the question of 'do we have a representative sample of all the goods and evils there are?' Obviously not: we are limited beings with limited knowledge and capacities. But it then follows that we can't make any judgements on evil or suffering
Take the following statements:

1.) We have no good reason for thinking that the possible goods and evils we know of are representative of the possible goods and evils there are [due to our limited capacities]
2.) We have no good reason for thinking that the entailment relations we know of, between possible goods and the permission of possible evils, are representative of the entailment relations there are between possible goods and the permission of possible evils. [follows from 1.)]
3.) We have no good reason for thinking that the total moral value or disvalue we perceive in certain complex states of affairs accurately reflects the total moral value or disvalue they really have. [follows from 2.)]

In other words, due to our limited knowledge, we can't make any sort of claim concerning entailment relations between goods and evils (the moral relationship between some good and some evil). This means that we cannot make any claim concerning whether some evil is morally justified through some good or not. For all we know, it is.

Consequently, it is simply wrong to assume that because we see various examples of prima facie suffering and evil, we are justified in admitting the existence of suffering and evil. We are of a limited capacity, and to make any sort of judgment is unjustified.

What about Pro's contention? He says that God is omnipotent, and so could instantiated goods without the evils. Though this isn't directly related to sceptical theism, it is relatively enough. Firstly, it completely misses the point. The issue is not whether God *would* have done x in relation to evil, the issue is whether God and evil *could* coexist, given God's nature and the existence of evil. And if evil exists only to make way for a greater good, then it is morally justified."
It seems that the underlying assumption is that to be omnipotent entails exercising omnipotence at all times. But what reason do we have to assume that? For all we know, there may be several undesirable consequences of this: namely, a 'spoiling' of the human race, and a complete disintegration of epistemic distance."
Moreover, it may be logically impossible for the good to come about sans the evil. Let us take an example: I perform a good action of giving half my monthly earnings to a homeless man. This could never have happened without the evil of the man being homeless.
So it seems that Pro's contention fails.

A dilemma based on ethics
I will now give an argument based on ethics. Pro can either, when he speaks of 'evil', refer to either moral objectivism or moral relativism. Either way, the argument from evil fails.

Moral Objectivism
It seems that the only means by which the problem of evil can have any force is if it posits some sort of moral universalism or objectivism, where evil is an objective reality. For evil must exist in a concrete form if Premise 2 is to be supported. But, if one posits objective morality, then one must in turn posit God: for all theories of objective morality imply the falsehood of atheism. So unless Pro gives a solution to this issue, then the argument is counter-intuitive, for far from negating God, it implicitly affirms God's existence! And in the line of reasoning used, Pro lists several evils as if to affirm moral objectivism and so affirming God's existence!

Moral Relativism
Alternatively, Pro could posit a moral relativism. But this makes the problem of evil trivially easy to refute. Premise 2 is refuted simply because evil doesn't exist - it is simply relativistic, and what might be suffering to one person might be pleasure to another.

So, Pro must affirm either moral objectivism or moral relativism. There is no other option. But, either way, the problem of evil fails: in the former, God's existence is implied and in the latter, the problem of evil is a category mistake.

Omnipotence
Here, Pro presents somewhat of a strawman. He states: "Theists define God"s omnipotence as the ability to do all that is logically possible". However, I do not. I take a Prussian view of omnipotence, which states that omnipotence is"perfect freedom of the will and perfect efficacy of the will. [2]
Or, one could take a restricted view of omnipotence, that an omnipotent Brit can do all that is logically possible for itself to do.
Either way, these two widely accepted views of omnipotence escape Pro's criticism.

Conclusion
Pro has given three lines of reasoning as to why we should not believe in the existence of God. But, I have shown how each fails."

Sources:
[1] https://bearspace.baylor.edu...
[2] http://writings.kennypearce.net...
Debate Round No. 3
Dookieman

Pro

Thanks Toviyah for your first rebuttals, now on to my last rebuttals and concluding remarks. :~]


Defending Atheism as the Default Position


Toviyah disagrees with my claim that atheism is the default position, and says that if anything agnosticism is the default position. Agnosticism is, like my opponent correctly pointed out, a withdrawal of judgment rather than an outright rejection of existence. The philosopher William L. Rowe has said: “An agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities.” (1). The word agnostic has also been used in other instances aside from the question of God’s existence. For example, a physicist might say “I’m agnostic about the existence of the multiverse.” I think agnosticism is appropriate in some circumstances, but not in others. When it comes to the question of God, or any other supernatural claim, I think disbelief or atheism is the better view to take. As I stated earlier, most of us are not agnostic about the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Santa Clause, we simply just believe those things don’t exist. To help put this idea into an easier perspective, let me put forth a thought experiment. Imagine we have a murder that took place at 11:00 PM. The next day, detectives and forensic technicians arrive at the crime scene to figure out what happen. There are two competing explanations among the investigators. The first explanation is that a ghost is responsible for the murder. The second explanation is that a human being is responsible for the murder. One investigator says there is no evidence for the existence of ghost, so it’s reasonable to assume that a ghost is not the murderer. Another investigator says the ghost explanation can’t be ruled out, because we have no evidence against the existence of ghost, and therefore we should be agnostic about whether the ghost is the murderer. Out of these two hypotheses, which one do we think is more reasonable to accept? The disbelief or atheist view which holds that ghost don’t exist due to lack of evidence? Or the agnostic view which holds that the ghost explanation is a real possibility and can’t be ruled out? I think most of us would say you should believe the ghost explanation is false, until good evidence has been presented in support of it. We should use the same line of reasoning used in this thought experiment, and apply to the God hypothesis. The person making the claim “God exist” has the burden proof. And if such proof cannot be met, disbelief or atheism is the default position, not agnosticism.


Defending Atheist Argument from Suffering


Toviyah says that at the beginning of mankind's history, human beings were in a joyful state with God, and at this time were given the ability to reason, use langue, and have freedom of the will. However, overtime human beings became dissatisfied with the life they had and rebelled against God. This rebellion caused suffering to enter the world. But God, being morally perfect, could not stop humans from causing each other to suffer, for that would violate their free will.

The problem with this argument is that it completely ignores the fact that suffering was around even before there were human beings. For billions of years animals have been trying to survive and reproduce. This process is known as natural selection. In their effort of surviving many animals died and suffered from the existence of carnivores, disease, heat exhaustion, freezing temperatures, starvation, serious injuries, birth defects, deformities, and so on. It was not human beings that caused suffering to enter the world. Suffering has existed ever since there have been sentient beings. It’s also worth mentioning that there is suffering in the world that is not caused by free will. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, volcanoes, mudslides, avalanches, ect. are not caused my humans acting on their free will. But these things of course do cause suffering in the world. So it seems like the free will defense is incomplete, as it hasn’t explained away the suffering that animals had to endure for billions of years, or natural disasters that are not caused by human free will. However, I’m not done yet. There is still more to be said about the free will defense. Earlier in my opening statements, I argued that God could have given us both free will and moral perfection, thus resulting in us choosing the good every time. This objection to the free will defense came from the philosopher J.L. Mackie, and I think it’s quite powerful. However, Toiyah disagrees with me, and thinks that if we had free will and moral perfection, then we wouldn’t truly be free. This is because when it would come to decision making, one would only be able to choose what is morally perfect, and not be able to choose anything evil. Therefore it is not freedom in any sense of the word. This objection made by Toviyah is literally disastrous. He has just shot himself in the foot. For if we are to accept this objection by him, then we must also accept that God does NOT have free will! After all, theists believe God has free will and moral perfection. Under Toviyah’s line of reasoning, we have free will and God does not. But if that’s the case, this implies that God is not omnipotent.


Skeptical Theism Doesn’t Work

I already bought up this objection in my opening statements. Skeptical theism is:

“a strategy for bringing human cognitive limitations to bear in reply to arguments from evil against the existence of God.” (2).

Con states that we are limited beings with limited knowledge and capacities. And therefore we can't make any judgments on the existence of suffering. Because it could be the case that God allows suffering in order to bring about a greater good. But it’s not exactly clear why God, being omnipotent, would need to use suffering in order to bring about a greater good. As John Mackie pointed out: “if God has to introduce suffering as a means to good, he must be subject to at least some causal laws." (3). God having to obey some causal law would mean that he’s not omnipotent. So this objection by Con doesn’t get us around the atheist argument from suffering. Not only that, but skeptical theism can be turned around on its head and be used to justify the complete opposite of an all-loving God, namely, a perfectly evil God. Suppose I were to argue that there exist an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly-evil God. And that the only reason there is love, laughter, and happiness in the world, is because this God uses those things to bring about greater suffering. Therefore we are no position to judge the various good things in the world, because for all we know, evil God uses those things to make us suffer more. You see what I did there? I used the same skeptical theist approach to justify the view that there exists a perfectly evil God. So in summary, if my opponent wants to use skeptical theism to justify belief in a perfectly good God, then I can also use skeptical theism to justify belief in a perfectly evil God. Thus skeptical theism doesn’t solve the atheist argument from suffering against the existence of a perfectly good God, and so my argument still stands stall. Finally, near the end of his skeptical theist defense, Con states that it may be logically impossible for the good to come about without the suffering. But as I already stated earlier, if God is subjected to some causal law that only allows him to bring good through suffering, then he is not omnipotent. So this doesn’t help his case for God’s existence.

My moral “dilemma”

Con states that in order for my atheist argument from suffering to work, I must posit objective morality or moral relativism. He says:

“For evil must exist in a concrete form if Premise 2 is to be supported.”

For the person reading this now, I want you to scroll up to my atheist argument from suffering in round 2, and look to see if I used the word “evil” in premise 2. Go on. Do it. I’ll wait. As you can see, I don’t use the word evil in premise 2. I use the word suffering, not evil. The reason for that is because I expected Toviyah to bring this objection up, so I, being careful, used the word suffering instead. That way he would not be able to bring morality into it. I myself could be a moral nihilist and believe that morality is an illusion, and still argue that an all-loving God doesn’t exist due to the suffering there is in the world. So his objection is a red herring. It's also worth noting that objective morality can exist without God. Quite easily in fact. Just look up the euthyphro dilemma to see what I mean.


Conclusion

In this debate I have demonstrated that the suffering there is in the world is incompatible with the existence of God, and that the term omnipotence is a pointless attribute. On top of that, I have shown that even if my arguments are unsound, we will still be committed to atheism since my opponent has failed to establish the existence of God through the ontological argument. Finally, let me say how much I enjoyed this debate. Having a discussion on this topic with Toviyah has been really fun. Toviyah is a very intelligent young man who argues with force and charity. He is a worthy opponent and I wish him the best! (:


Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://plato.stanford.edu...
http://www.ditext.com...;


Toviyah

Con

Thanks Dokieman

Onto the final round

Analytic/synthetic distinction
First off, I want to say something about the analytic/synthetic distinction. It seems that for Pro to even assert his first case, he must first assume that there is such a distinction to begin with. Unfortunately, this is far from clear. I could simply take the view of W.V.O Quine and reject it [1]. But I would even contest that the view that 'God exists' is an issue if it is synthetic. It might be an issue if I were to present an argument from deductive syllogism, but it is not the case in the argument I presented: it was a deductive revelation from a single premise (viz. it is possible that God exists).
Furthermor, I think that one can deduce existential conclusions from synthetic statements. If we take the synthetic statement: "Ophthalmologists are rich", it certainly can be proven"through logical deduction. For, we could show that there is a minimum wage of say $200,000 for"Ophthalmologists, or that in some survey, 100% of Ophthalmologists were found to be rich. Thus, in the analogous statement: "God exists", we can deduce 'exists' from 'God' in a way similar to 'rich' from 'Ophthalmologists'. I therefore see no issue here.

Atheist ontological argument
I'm going to give three reasons as to why we should reject this argument.

The premises have not been shown to be true."
Perhaps vital to any modal ontological argument is support for the metaphysical possibility of something - if that is not given, then the rest of the argument does not follow. If you note, in round one I gave a separate argument for such a notion. However, Pro has failed to support his premise altogether. We therefore have reason to accept my premise, but no reason to accept Pro's premise.

A modal-counterfactual argument against the possibility of a world without minds
This is my own creation... I thought it would be interesting to try it out.
I think we all agree that minds actually exist. This is true whatever ontology one takes - we cannot doubt the existence of at least one mind, namely our own.
By the brouwer axiom (p-->[]<>p), as minds actually exist, then in all possible worlds, it is possible for minds to actually exist.
Now, for a reductio, suppose that there is a world without minds."This will contradict a necessary truth - namely, the existence of a necessary being (God). Therefore, by Lewisian counterfactual semantics (p[]-->q is true iff p is necessarily false), this must in itself be a necessary truth in all possible worlds, for if there are no minds in some possible world, then God does not exist (provided we take Pro's logic and conclusion to be sound). So, by Lewisian counterfactual semantics, the notion that 'There are no minds' must be a necessary truth if true in some possible world like Pro claims.

However, a world without minds is a Kripkean a posteriori impossibility in the actual world (and thus the negation is a modal possibility). Moreover, by the Brouwer axiom, in all possible worlds, minds are a metaphysical possibility, as at least one mind exists in the actual world. But this is contrary to the original assumption, viz. that premise 1 is true. So, premise 1 is not true.

So, to summerise, the very fact that there are minds entails that it is not possible for Premise 1 to be true for if it were, then by Lewisian counterfactual semantics, it would be a necessary truth. But this contradicts system B of modal logic when applied to the actual truth that minds exist.

An argument from Alethic modality against the possibility of a world without minds
This is another creation that I want to try out.
For another take on this, suppose an Aristotelian Essentialist account of Alethic modality (this would be a de jure move by the theist). Anything that is possible is instantiated at some times and not others, and whatever is necessary is instantiated at all times. This means that whatever is possible in some possible world will be instantiated in the powerset of each possible world. Now take the the Brouwer axiom (p-->[]<>p). As a world containing minds is actual (we cannot doubt the existence of our own minds), then by the Brouwer axiom, it is possible in all possible worlds and, via this Aristotelian account of Alethic modality, is instantiated in all possible worlds. This is contrary to Premise 1 of Pro's argument and is a de jure objection to it.

We should, therefore, render the atheist ontological argument entirely unsuccessful.

Reductio ad absurdums
Pro now gives a series of reductio ad absurdum arguments. However, I see at least three reasons as to why we should not accept them.

ii) The level of greatness is unclear
What is it that makes such entities greater? Is it a greater or lesser density of palm trees? Is it more or less froth on the beer? Is the teenager skinny or does he have more muscles?"I see it to be entirely unclear. We cannot therefore make sense of maximal greatness in respect to these entities. [2]

iii) Each Premise One is a logical absurdity
I take it that to say that there is a 'maximally great island/beer/teenager' is quite simply, a logical impossibility. For, surely it is greater for the island to have more palm trees and beaches; the beer to be bigger; and the teenager to do more chores. But this goes on ad infinitum - there can always be more palm trees, be bigger, and do more chores. Therefore, a logical contradiction arises: for however great the entity is, it can always be greater.

iv) The same does not apply to God
It seems that these criticisms do not apply in the case of God - we can quantify God's qualities as a being with perfect freedom and perfect efficacy of the will; knowing all true truths; and doing the most perfect action possible in any given circumstance. "Moreoever "God is by definition necessary and so S5 applies to Him; and, God is not a material being. Therefore, God does not suffer from the same deficiencies as the other examples Pro gives.

Conclusion
So how should we conclude? Hopefully, I have shown that the Ontological argument is entirely sound, supported and not subject to Pro's criticisms. This means that God must exist; moreover, it renders the argument from suffering redundant, for God must have some reason for suffering to exist:"he actually exists and so does evil. So, the resolution is negated.
I won't give rebuttals to Pro's last round to keep it fair.
Finally, thank you Dookieman for a most enjoyable debate! I hope we can debate again sometime!
God Bless

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me. -Psalm 138:7

Sources:
[1] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[2]"http://www.fordham.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ajabi 2 years ago
Ajabi
I just read your contestation? I know it is contention, but contestation sounds so much better. Let me be Shakespeare and make a new word up.

I do not know, it just seems that to apply it this way seems rather arbitrary. The formation of these logical systems, is, of course based on human logic. Right? How was logic formed if not by introspection. Then this logic does work when you study objects in the subject-object relation, but not for metaphysical systems as a whole.

I will take this to PM cause I do not know when you reply here. :P
Posted by n7 2 years ago
n7
Part 1/2

Difficult debate to vote on, I think both sides had strong points and weak points. However, it seems Con was able to defend the ontological argument better than Pro could defend his arguments. The null hypothesis argument doesn't seem to positively fulfill the BOP. It is not an argument that is against the existence of God, but just were we should position ourselves if there isn't sufficient evidence for God's existence. Pro's argument from suffering was attacked with the free will defense, skeptical theism, and Ravi Zacharias' objection. I feel Pro defended himself against the free will defense quite well, as he pointed out there existed suffering before humanity and pointed out God has moral perfection, but is free. Pro responds to skeptical theism by saying God could bring about the greater good without suffering, however Con did have objections to this which Pro did not address completely. He does restate this idea when it comes to one aspect of Con's rebuttal. In which it may be logically impossible for God to have prevented some said evil. But this fails, because even if God is omnipotent, God cannot do what is logically impossible. Pro stated in his defense against the third objection that evil is irrelevant, he used the problem of suffering. The ontological moral status of evil is simply irrelevant. Pro did have an argument against omnipotence, but this was dropped. I think Pro does a good job defending the problem of evil from 2 of the 3 objections. Con's argument was Plantenga's modal ontological argument. Pro responded to it by various parodies. It seems Con successfully refuted all of Pro's objections. He refuted the first one via Lewisian counterfactual semantics, showing that if Pro's first argument is true, then no minds exist in any possible world. He responded to the others by showing the same criteria doesn't apply to God. The level of greatness of things such as islands, ect are unclear, which leads to them being impossible.
Posted by n7 2 years ago
n7
Part 2/2

God is under a different criteria than the things listed, thus the MOA still can succeed if the parodies fail.

Con was able to defended against all of Pro's objections, whereas Pro dropped an argument and did not respond to some of Con's objections under skeptical theism.

Arguments to Con.
Posted by Toviyah 2 years ago
Toviyah
"the S5 logic system cannot be used as a metaphysical argument, for other than dialectic logic of Hegel, logic does not work for a priori systems"

I contest!
Posted by Ajabi 2 years ago
Ajabi
I expected better arguments from Con to be honest. Tobi Logic is Kripkean a posteriori semantics, which means it just seeks to make an argument coherent, the S5 logic system cannot be used as a metaphysical argument, for other than dialectic logic of Hegel, logic does not work for a priori systems. This was not though pointed out by Dookieman.
In any case I hope the criticism helps both of you. Dookieman if you have any problems feel free to message me, I hope we resolved the BoP one, did we not?
Posted by Ronbot 2 years ago
Ronbot
Science always has a certain amount of doubt. It would be foolish to entirely reject an idea, just as it would be foolish to entirely accept an idea. We can assume something to be true in all cases or false in all cases, but we cannot observe everything so there always exists the possibility of being wrong. At best you could only prove that theists have no evidence.

Good luck with this next argument on here.
Posted by Dookieman 2 years ago
Dookieman
Why can't one disprove the existence of God?
Posted by Ronbot 2 years ago
Ronbot
If you strongly believe there is no god then there is nothing to separate you from the person you're debating with. There is no way to disprove the existence of any god why make that argument? Atheism has to be a lack of belief otherwise its basically just another theology.
Posted by Dookieman 2 years ago
Dookieman
There are two types of atheism. One is strong atheism and the other is weak atheism. A strong atheist would believe there is no God. A weak atheist would lack a belief in God.
Posted by Ronbot 2 years ago
Ronbot
This is worrisome.

Atheist's don't deny the existence of any gods, instead they do not believe in any god's. This is an important distinction to make in order to back up the "Burden of Proof" argument. "God does not exist" is a claim just as much as "god exists " is, and therefore needs to be backed up with evidence. I don't believe in any gods because there is no evidence is not a claim, this is the stance an atheist must take, else they are misrepresenting atheism and asking to get shutdown.

This will come to a stalemate before round 3 ends
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
DookiemanToviyahTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: this is very very close, but after a closer look, it seems con is able to rebut most of pro's contentions. Good try tho, Dookieman.
Vote Placed by Krieg01 2 years ago
Krieg01
DookiemanToviyahTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate was a good read, the arguments are going to Con as he rebutted all argument provided by Pro, Spelling & Grammar is a tie, both debaters had Good conduct so that goes to tie, Reliable sources I don't like giving source points, as I am in school so I can't go to most of those website to double check source reliability.
Vote Placed by n7 2 years ago
n7
DookiemanToviyahTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by AlternativeDavid 2 years ago
AlternativeDavid
DookiemanToviyahTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: I was requested to vote on here so I shall give my RFD to the best of my ability. I thought that both arguments were phenomenal but Con gets arguments. It felt like a standstill but Con kept Pro from fulfilling his burden of proof. Conduct goes as a tie because I don't feel like either debater broke any rules. S&G is a tie. I have to give sources to Con, as the number of reliable sources put forward far exceeded that of Pro. To quote Bladerunner: As always, happy to clarify this RFD. Edit: I accidently fliiped "con" and "tied", now fixed.
Vote Placed by Ajabi 2 years ago
Ajabi
DookiemanToviyahTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I think to clarify I should point out that I place the BoP on Pro, the reason for this is that this is not a negative statement of impossibility, and as I sent Pro a long message, since he makes the affirmative charge, he places the BoP on himself. I think that due to this heavy burden of proof Pro lost this debate, his argument from suffering did not necessarily negate God, only possibly or probably did so. Con did give strong contentions, and since Con only had the burden of showing possibly God I believe he did so (something very easy to do). I would ask Pro to better phrase his debates next time. I give Conduct to Con because he made rebuttals in the last round which he could have made sooner, and therefore Pro could not respond. This was still in my opinion a good debate, but I expected better from both sides. Arguments to Con. In all happy to clarify this RFD, just send me a message please.