The Instigator
Nzrsaa
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
black_squirrel
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

God probably exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Nzrsaa
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/7/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 700 times Debate No: 48625
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Nzrsaa

Pro

Welcome!
The motion is that God probably exists.
"God" is defined as:

"the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being." [1]

1st round is for acceptance.
Burden of proof is shared.

Good luck!

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
black_squirrel

Con

I accept. I thank my opponent for hosting this debate. I will argue, that it is not probable that God exists.
Debate Round No. 1
Nzrsaa

Pro

Ave

Thanks to pro for accepting this debate, I hope it is stimulating for the both of us.

I will present two arguments for this debate - an Ontological Argument, and an Introspection argument.

Ontological argument

The argument is as follows:

1) If it is subjunctively possible that a Maximally Great Being exists, then, necessarily, a Maximally Great Being exists.
2) It is Subjunctively possible that a Maximally Great Being exists.
3) Necessarily, a Maximally Great Being exists.

Firstly, some definitions:
Maximally great being: A being possessing all great making properties
Subjunctive possibility: Whether a statement might have been or could be true [1]

Premise 1 is undeniable, as it follows the laws of Modal logic. Essentially, if something is subjunctively possible, then the being is said to exist in "some possible world" - some description of reality that is logically possible, and could have been true in an alternate description of reality. To give an example - I could have been born in Iraq in some possible world.

The next part of reasoning is that it is greater to be a necessary being rather than a contingent being. This is undeniable as well. Because it is obviously greater to be necessary than contingent. A being which can interact in all possibe worlds is greater than a being which can only interact in some possible worlds. So if a maximally great being is contingent due to its subjunctive possiblity, and exists in "some possible world", then due to how it is greater to be necessary, the being exists in every possible world.

However, if a being is necessary, then it exists in the real world! It has to, as the real world is a sub-set of every possible world.

So why is a maximally great being subjunctively possible?
To help understand this, imagine binary code. Great making properties are "1". Non-great-making properties are "0". A maximally great being will be: 1 1 1 1 1 1 1...... , possessing all great making properties. There will be no contradictions between each great making property - if there were, then the being woukd be "0 and 1 at the same time - and thus is subjunctively possible.

If a maximally great being is subjunctively possible therefore, it follows, through axiom S5 (premise 1), that a maximally great being must exist.

Now, we progress onto the Introspection argument.

Introspection argument

The introspection argument is as follows:

1. The mind exists
2. The properties of the mind are not those which matter can have
C1. Mind is not reducible to matter
4. Substance dualism is impossible
C2. Monistic idealism is true

First some definitions:
Substance dualism: Substance Dualism is a variety of dualism in the philosophy of mind which states that two sorts of substances exist: the mental and the physical. [2]
Monistic idealism:" A system of philosophical idealism emphasizing the primacy of the One (as the Absolute or Nature) rather than of the many [3]

Premise 1 is self-evident. Rene Descartes said, "I think therefore I am". If there is consciousness, then there is mind. As Sam Harris remarks, "consciousness is the one thing in this universe that can't be an illusion" [4]

Premise 2 is the crucial premise. It states that mind and matter are not identical, and we can as a result, deduce that the properties of mental states are not that of which physical states can have.
We can divide our senses into 2 categories - physical properties and mental properties. And to give an example - the mental property would be the feeling of pain, and the physical property would be the sending of electrical signals to the brain. The sending of electrical signal to the brain causes pain. However, these are not the same thing - an electrical signal to the brain can occur without the feeling of pain. All we experience is a correlation.
As Thomas Nagel remarks;

"If a mental event really is a physical event in this sense, and nothing else, then the physical event by itself - once its physical properties are understood - should be sufficient for the taste of sugar, the feeling of pain, or whatever it is supposed to be identical with. But it doesn't seem to be. It seems conceivable, for any physical event, there should be a physical event without any experience at all. Experience of taste seems to be something extra, continently related to the brain state - something produced rather than constituted by the brain state. So [taste] cannot be identical to the brain state in the same way water is identical to H2O.[5]

Moreover, to support this 2nd premise, we can say that even if you knew every physical fact about the brain, you could not use it to deduce anything about mental states.
This is illustrated by the analogy of Leplace' demon. Say there was as demon who knew every single thing about every last atom in the universe. Even though he knew everything, he could still not figure anything out concerning consciousness, the feeling of pain, or the taste of sugar, etc. So what does this tell us? Our mental state: i.e the feeling of pain, or the taste of sugar, cannot be the same as our brain state: the sending of signals to the brain. For if they were identical, by knowing the brain state, we could also know the mental state. But it is not the case. [6]

In other words, Qualia (our individual experience of any event) is not a physical substance, and so is not identical to our physical brain. This means that the mental substance is something separate, and yet all we truly experience.

So we can arrive at our first conclusion - mind, or our mental state, cannot be reduced to matter, or our brain state.

But what are the implications of this?
We have already established that mind and matter are not identical. One solution to this is Substance dualism. It asserts that there are 2 kinds of fundamental substances - mind, and matter. However, this immediately raises problems concerning interaction - as if there are 2 fundamental substances, then they have to interact via a shared property. This means that they are not seperate substances - they are both interlinked, as one. However, we have established that mind and matter are not identical, rendering substance dualism false.

This leads us to our final conclusion: all is mind (otherwise known as Monistic Idealism). If mind is fundamental, and mind cannot be reduced to matter and substance dualism is false, then the only option left is that all is mind. There are no other possibilities.
The notion that "all is mind" is backed up through recent discoveries in quantum mechanics. We know this due to the double slit experiment, which proved that nothing is certain until we measure it. During the experiment, electrons were fired through a double slit - when they were not observed, the electrons took a wave form, and showed up going through both slits; when it was observed, the electrons went through only one slit [7]. What this means is that mind and consciousness is the sole determinant of the world around us. Mind determines existence. Monistic idealism is true.

But why does Monistic Idealism mean that God exists? Essentially, it means that there is a fundamental mind. If mind in the universe is fundamental, then there must be a fundamental mind.

And if all is mind, then that means that the universe is information. However, the universe is changing all the time - and so information is being processed. But information can only be processed by a mind! The universe must be thinking! And ergo, there is a mind that is beyond the universe. This is essentially what we call God - a creator and sustainer of the universe.

In hindsight, I should have elaborated in the opening round the format of the debate, but I will do so now.
Round 1: acceptance
Round 2: arguments, no rebuttals,
Round 3: no new arguments, rebuttals to arguments
Round 4: rebuttals to the rebuttals

I now hand the debate over to Con.

Vale

Sources:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.philosophy-index.com...
[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4] http://www.samharris.org...
[5] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[6] http://www.informationphilosopher.com...
[7] http://abyss.uoregon.edu...
black_squirrel

Con

I will show that my opponents arguments can be used to prove that God does not exist. Let us start with the ontological argument:

PRO:
1) If it is subjunctively possible that a Maximally Great Being exists, then, necessarily, a Maximally Great Being exists.
2) It is Subjunctively possible that a Maximally Great Being exists.
3) Necessarily, a Maximally Great Being exists.

I agree that 3) follows from the premises 1) and 2). I disagree with 2). Since the definitions of "subjunctively possible" and "Maximally Great Being" are problematic, I won't endorse 1) either.

PRO: 2) It is Subjunctively possible that a Maximally Great Being exists.

I will give several reasons why I disagree with this.

A. Pro's notion of "Maximally Great Being" is really strong. He writes:

PRO: A being which can interact in all possible worlds is greater than a being which can only interact in some possible worlds. So if a maximally great being is contingent due to its subjunctive possibility, and exists in "some possible world", then due to how it is greater to be necessary, the being exists in every possible world.

I think this is the real fishy part of the argument for 1). A being cannot be defined within one possible world in such a way that the definition transcends to all other possible worlds. Think in terms of the following analogy. A possible world could be a fiction novel. However, it is impossible to write a novel that has a character that is so powerful, that it transcends the novel and enters every novel known to man. I challenge you to write such a novel with such a character. It is impossible!

B. My opponent defines a maximally great being as a being that possesses all great making properties. There are at least two problems with this:
(i) two great making properties might contradict each other. For example, one "great making property" for a shape is that it has infinitely many rotation symmetries. For example, a circle has this property (you can rotate it over an arbitrary angle), but a square has only 4 rotation symmetries. Another "great making property" for a shape is the property that it can be divided up in to smaller copies of itself. For example, a square has this property because it can divided in 4 smaller squares. But a circle does not have this property. There is no shape that has both "great making properties". So there is no "Maximally Great Shape".
PRO: There will be no contradictions between each great making property - if there were, then the being would be "0 and 1 at the same time - and thus is subjunctively possible.
I did not understand this argument (not just because of the spelling and grammar mistakes). It is not clear at all that there are no contradictions between different "great making properties".
(ii) The notion of "great making property" is subjective. Who decides what a great making property is? In my opinion, omnipotence is a great making property. However, an omnipotent God (in the strong sense) cannot exist because of the omnipotence paradox [1]:
If God is omnipotent, then God can create a stone that is so have that no-one -- even God -- cannot lift it. But if God cannot lift the stone then this contradicts his omnipotence. We have to conclude that:
God does not exist.

C. If we assume that it is possible that God exists, then we should, in fairness, also assume that is possible that God does not exist.
If we would assume that God has to exist right from the start, then the whole debate is pointless. Also, the title of this debate is
"God probably exists". This means, that PRO claims that it is likely that God exists, but that it is possible that God does not exist.
Since God does not necessarily exist, God does not exist in some possible world. Pro writes:
PRO: So if a maximally great being is contingent due to its subjunctive possibility, and exists in "some possible world", then due to how it is greater to be necessary, the being exists in every possible world.
So, if a maximally great being exists in some possible world, it has to exist in every possible world. But since a maximally great being does not exist in some possible world, we have to conclude that:
A Maximally Great Being cannot exist in ANY possible world.

The introspection argument: My opponent writes

PRO:
1. The mind exists
2. The properties of the mind are not those which matter can have
C1. Mind is not reducible to matter
4. Substance dualism is impossible
C2. Monistic idealism is true

We can have a discussion about materialism vs. idealism vs. dualism. "C1" rejects materialism and 4. rejects dualism.

PRO: C1. Mind is not reducible to matter

The relationship between "consciousness" and "matter" is complex and not well understood. There is no indication that consciousness can exist without matter. Since nature is very complex, it is possible that consciousness can be reduced to matter:

“Some years ago, there was a lovely philosopher of science and journalist in Italy named Giulio Giorello, and he did an interview with me. And I don’t know if he wrote it or not, but the headline in Corriere della Sera when it was published was "Sì, abbiamo un'anima. Ma è fatta di tanti piccoli robot – "Yes, we have a soul, but it’s made of lots of tiny robots." And I thought, exactly. That’s the view. Yes, we have a soul, but in what sense? In the sense that our brains, unlike the brains even of dogs and cats and chimpanzees and dolphins, our brains have functional structures that give our brains powers that no other brains have - powers of look-ahead, primarily. We can understand our position in the world, we can see the future, we can understand where we came from. We know that we’re here. No buffalo knows it’s a buffalo, but we jolly well know that we’re members of Homo sapiens, and it’s the knowledge that we have and the can-do, our capacity to think ahead and to reflect and to evaluate and to evaluate our evaluations, and evaluate the grounds for our evaluations.

It’s this expandable capacity to represent reasons that we have that gives us a soul. But what’s it made of? It’s made of neurons. It’s made of lots of tiny robots. And we can actually explain the structure and operation of that kind of soul, whereas an eternal, immortal, immaterial soul is just a metaphysical rug under which you sweep your embarrassment for not having any explanation.”
-- Daniel C. Dennett

In his book [2], Dennett explains the complex relationship between matter and consciousness. See also his Ted talk [6].

PRO: We can divide our senses into 2 categories - physical properties and mental properties. And to give an example - the mental property would be the feeling of pain, and the physical property would be the sending of electrical signals to the brain. The sending of electrical signal to the brain causes pain. However, these are not the same thing - an electrical signal to the brain can occur without the feeling of pain. All we experience is a correlation.

This is not true. Whenever you put an electrical charge on a certain nerve, it will hurt.[7] Every time you hit your thumb with a hammer, an electrical signal will go from your thumb to your brain and it will hurt. In fact, I bet if you repeat this experiment 100 times, that it will hurt A LOT. Consciousness, pain, is all part of matter. However, these are the aspects of matter that we do not understand very well because of its complexity. In any case, I do not agree that we can reject materialism.

PRO: Moreover, to support this 2nd premise, we can say that even if you knew every physical fact about the brain, you could not use it to deduce anything about mental states. This is illustrated by the analogy of Leplace' demon. Say there was as demon who knew every single thing about every last atom in the universe. Even though he knew everything, he could still not figure anything out concerning consciousness, the feeling of pain, or the taste of sugar, etc. So what does this tell us?

We are limited and we cannot know every physical fact about the brain. But if we did, perhaps we would be able to deduce everything about our mental states. I do not believe in demons, but if Laplace's demon existed, perhaps he would know everything about consciousness. It seems that you have rejected the idea that Laplace's demon would be able to know everything about consciousness with out any argument for it.

C2. Monistic idealism is true

PRO: This leads us to our final conclusion: all is mind (otherwise known as Monistic Idealism). If mind is fundamental, and mind cannot be reduced to matter and substance dualism is false, then the only option left is that all is mind. There are no other possibilities.

What does "all is mind" mean? "All" is, by definition, the universe - everything that exists. Whether one calls the universe "mind"
or "matter" does not really matter all that much.

PRO: But why does Monistic Idealism mean that God exists? Essentially, it means that there is a fundamental mind. If mind in the universe is fundamental, then there must be a fundamental mind.

This so-called "fundamental mind" is just the Universe. I do not disagree with the fact that the Universe exists. But we should not label it as "God". This is certainly not compatible with the definition of God that was given by PRO in the beginning of the debate:

PRO: "the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being."

According to this definition, God is not the Universe, but the creator and ruler of it. It is a stretch to call the Universe a "being", and it does not have any moral authority. The Universe is pretty much amoral.


[1]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained.
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://www.ted.com...
[7] http://www.mydr.com.au...

Debate Round No. 2
Nzrsaa

Pro

Thanks Con!

Ontological argument

Pro states:
"I think this is the real fishy part of the argument for 1). A being cannot be defined within one possible world in such a way that the definition transcends to all other possible worlds. Think in terms of the following analogy. A possible world could be a fiction novel. However, it is impossible to write a novel that has a character that is so powerful, that it transcends the novel and enters every novel known to man."

So the main contention here is that nothing can transcent possible worlds, and compares the notion to a novel.
While this may seem obvious at first, the simple fact about this part of the argument is that it follows the laws of Modal logic, and so does transcend possible worlds. That is what Modal Logic is all about - more specifically axiom S5, which states that if it is possible that "A" is necessary, then "A" is necessary. This is a logical truth:

S5: 00"`33; = `33; and 00"`74; = `74;, where each 0 is either `33; or `74; [1]

Con then compares the idea to a novel. The analogy, however, fails. Modal Logic cannot apply to a novel, and the challenge of writing "a character that is so powerful that it transcends the novel and enters every novel known to man" simply shows a lack of understanding of Modality.

"There is no shape that has both "great making properties". So there is no "Maximally Great Shape"."

Absolutely not - I do not dispute this! But this is because there is no abstract object with any sort of great making property. It is simply non-sensical. Red, for example, is no greater than yellow. Similarly, a triangle is no greater than a hexagon. To have the attribute of symmetry is not 'great' per se. Nothing is 'great' about having a lot of sides.
But with a maximally great being though, it is obvious that each great making property it possesses, adds greatness. Such as omniscience - the being knows everything, rather than just a few things. Or, omnipresence - the being is everywhere, rather than just in a few places.
Abstract objects, in other words cannot be great - and so the analogy fails.

"I did not understand this argument (not just because of the spelling and grammar mistakes). It is not clear at all that there are no contradictions between different "great making properties"."

The point I was attempting to get across is that we can look at binary code to convey how there are no contradictions in the concept of a maximally great being. A logically inconsistent being would have a binary code of, say, 2 or 3 - logically impossible for binary code, or contradictory 0 and 1 for a single property - like omniscience and knowing absolutely nothing. But a maximally great being simply has every great making property to a maximal extent. There are no '2's' or '3's'.

"The notion of "great making property" is subjective. Who decides what a great making property is?"

We do, through logic. You cannot simply argue from ignorance - dsagreement about whether a property is great does not imply that there is no objective standard.
However, we can form somewhat of an argument. I think that it is blatantly obvious that it is greater to be omnipotent than to not be able to do anything. It is greater to know everything rather than to know nothing. It is greater to be necessary, and exist in all possible worlds, than to be contingent and to exist only in some possible worlds. It seems just obvious. [2]

"If God is omnipotent, then God can create a stone that is so have that no-one -- even God -- cannot lift it. But if God cannot lift the stone then this contradicts his omnipotence. We have to conclude that:
God does not exist"


Here, Con presents an omnipotence paradox. However, this is a basic misunderstanding of what "omnipotence" means. It does not literally mean 'to be able to do anything'. Rather, a more fitting definition would be "to be able to actualize any logically possible series of events" [3]. And so God could not - despite being omnipotent - make a square circle, or a married bachelor. These are logically impossible events.
Likewise, God could not, as Con says, "create a stone that is so have that no-one -- even God -- cannot lift it". Despite the spelling/grammar errors, the idea is that God cannot make a stone so big that he can't lift it, and so God cannot do one of those, and thus is not omnipotent. However, this is again just logically contradictory. No omnipotent being could do such an action. It is logically impossible, and so does not impede on God's ability to "be able to actualize any logically possible series of events". [4]

"If we would assume that God has to exist right from the start, then the whole debate is pointless. Also, the title of this debate is "God probably exists". This means, that PRO claims that it is likely that God exists, but that it is possible that God does not exist."

Of course, I agree with this. Nothing can be proven for certain, and as with all things, we make a probablistic claim of God's existence. Also, we can differentiate between a logical proof and an epistemological proof. The Ontological Argument is certainly a logical proof of God, but is by no means an epistemological proof of God..

We now come to our final objection to the ontological argument:
"PRO claims that it is likely that God exists, but that it is possible that God does not exist. Since God does not necessarily exist, God does not exist in some possible world. So, if a maximally great being exists in some possible world, it has to exist in every possible world. But since a maximally great being does not exist in some possible world, we have to conclude that:
A Maximally Great Being cannot exist in ANY possible world."


The issue with this argument is that the chain of reasoning in my argument shows that if the concept of a maximally great being is coherent, then that being is thereby necessary. And so when you say "a maximally great being does not exist in some possible world", you are really saying 'a necessarily existent being does not exist in some possible world', which is obviously fallacious and incoherent.

Now, we arrive at the introspection argument.

Introspection argument

To begin with, Con quotes from Daniel Dennet. However, nothing really is achieved. The quote just says is that what we consider to be a soul is just neurons. This is merely a bare assertion. No evidence is used to back this up, and is in fact, not all that relevant to the argument - I do not argue for a soul per se, I argue only that our mental properties are not properties which matter can have.

"Whenever you put an electrical charge on a certain nerve, it will hurt. Every time you hit your thumb with a hammer, an electrical signal will go from your thumb to your brain and it will hurt... Consciousness, pain, is all part of matter."

This only skims over the surface of the argument, and it is what I indeed admit - I do think that we experience a correlation between mental and physical properties. However what I argue is that there is more than merely a correlation - there is a distinct difference that is fundamental between the two. Take schizophrenia, for instance. Someone who suffers from schizophrenia hears sounds just like any other person. [5] But there are no sound waves. Sound, usually produced by sound waves, is purely mental, so matter and mind are not identical, supporting the second premise.

"We are limited and we cannot know every physical fact about the brain. But if we did, perhaps we would be able to deduce everything about our mental states. I do not believe in demons, but if Laplace's demon existed, perhaps he would know everything about consciousness. It seems that you have rejected the idea that Laplace's demon would be able to know everything about consciousness with out any argument for it."

The idea with laplace's demon is that it seems at least logical and conceivable that if you knew everything about every last atom, the experience of consciousness, pain, or taste cannot be understood. Understand that this is not a definite, certain scenario - it is a probabilistic scenario, supporting the title of the debate "God probably exists". Nevertheless, I still do agree that a demon could not know what the feeling of consciousness, pain or taste is like purely through knowledge of matter. That just seems logical.

"This so-called "fundamental mind" is just the Universe. I do not disagree with the fact that the Universe exists. But we should not label it as "God".

Monistic idealism asserts that the universe is a mental state - like a thought. A thought is fundamentally mental. However, a thought, by definition, requires a mind. And so if the universe is fundamentally mental - just like a thought - then the universe must be the thought. It cannot be the mind.

This is certainly not compatible with the definition of God that was given by PRO in the beginning of the debate"

The case for the definition given at the beginning of the debate is a cumulative one - the Ontological argument gives support for the other attributes of God.

Thanks Con, I now hand the debate over to you.

Sources:
[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[2] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
[3] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[4] https://www.princeton.edu...
[5] http://www.schizophrenia.com...
black_squirrel

Con

PRO: So the main contention here is that nothing can transcent possible worlds, and compares the notion to a novel.
While this may seem obvious at first, the simple fact about this part of the argument is that it follows the laws of Modal logic, and so does transcend possible worlds. That is what Modal Logic is all about - more specifically axiom S5, which states that if it is possible that "A" is necessary, then "A" is necessary. This is a logical truth:

S5: 00"`33; = `33; and 00"`74; = `74;, where each 0 is either `33; or `74; [1]

Although the ontological argument for the existence of God can be formulated in modal logic, it cannot be derived from the axioms of modal logic alone. An additional premise/axiom is needed, namely the premise 2) from round 2:
"It is Subjunctively possible that a Maximally Great Being exists"
This statement, together with the definition of "Maximally Great Being" I find nonsensical. It can be formulated in modal logic, but that does not make it true or self-evident.

Con then compares the idea to a novel. The analogy, however, fails. Modal Logic cannot apply to a novel, and the challenge of writing "a character that is so powerful that it transcends the novel and enters every novel known to man" simply shows a lack of understanding of Modality.

Yes, we can apply modal logic to novels. Modal logic is just a formal language with symbols. We can apply this formal language to different situations and as long as the axioms of modal logic are satisfied with this interpretation of the symbols appearing.
Modal logic has two symbols, but the symbols don't come out well at DDO. So I will just just # for square, and ^ for diamond.
# means "it is necessary true that"
^ means "it is possibly true that"
We can interpret these symbols as:
#: in all worlds it is true that
^: in some world it is true that
But, we can also interpret these symbols as:
#: in real live and in all novels it is true that
^: in real live and/or in some novels it is true that
(here, novels within a novel are also considered a novel )
The axioms of S4 modal logic are satisfied.

In the novel interpretation, S5 modal logic may not be applicable, but then again, it may not be applicable in real life. In S5 modal logic, one assumes that if something is "possibly necessary" then it is "necessary". I could imagine, that in some world it is necessary that God does not exist. According to S5 modal logic, it is necessary that God does not exist. In particular, God does not exist.
I do not accept this to be true. Or, at least if PRO wants to convince me that this is true, he should explain what exactly "possible", "necessary" and "possibly necessary" mean in real life.

Since I have little time right now, I will respond to the other arguments in the next round.

[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
Nzrsaa

Pro

Hey Con,
It's a shame that I can't respond to all of your points in this debate, but I will reply to what you provided.

Ontological Argument

"Although the ontological argument for the existence of God can be formulated in modal logic, it cannot be derived from the axioms of modal logic alone. An additional premise/axiom is needed, namely the premise 2)"
Of course - I never denied this.

[It is Subjunctively possible that a Maximally Great Being exists]
"This statement, together with the definition of "Maximally Great Being" I find nonsensical. It can be formulated in modal logic, but that does not make it true or self-evident."

Well you need to explain just why you find it nonsensical. Because I argued that there are no contradictions within the notion of a Maximally Great Being, due to how the notion It is not a logical impossibility - we can imagine a possible world in which a maximally great being exists. If you are to back up your statement, you need to say why you find it to be nonsensical.

"Yes, we can apply modal logic to novels. Modal logic is just a formal language with symbols. We can apply this formal language to different situations and as long as the axioms of modal logic are satisfied with this interpretation of the symbols appearing."
This is simply false. Sure, Modal Logic is a formal language. But Modal logic is used to test the truth of a universal statement or judgement - such as, whether a maximally great being exists. A novel however is not a possible world and cannot be applied in the same way - while we may be able to apply modal logic to things such as novels, the analogy was treating the novel like it was the possible world, and this is just wrong. A novel is not a medium for modal logic to operate in - it is the object of Modal logic, not the mechanism of it. So the challenge of "writing a character so powerful that it transcends the novel and enters every novel known to man" is therefore obsurd.

"But, we can also interpret these symbols as:
#: in real live and in all novels it is true that
^: in real live and/or in some novels it is true that"

Yes, the basic principles of Modal logic can be applied to a novel - I never denied this. But what I do deny is the notion that a novel can be equated to a possible world, which is what your analogy tried to assert. They are simply not the same, and axiom S5 cannot be applied in the same way either therefore. So the Novel analogy simply fails.

"I could imagine, that in some world it is necessary that God does not exist. According to S5 modal logic, it is necessary that God does not exist. In particular, God does not exist."
Sure, you could say that, this would be an objection to premise 2. But now you have said it, you now have a burden of proof to show just how, in some possible world, it is necessary that God is a logical impossibility. And you have not done that as of yet.

"I do not accept this to be true. Or, at least if PRO wants to convince me that this is true, he should explain what exactly "possible", "necessary" and "possibly necessary" mean in real life."
Possible - logically coherent, but does not necessarily exist in the real world.
Necessary - Existing in every logical description of reality. You cannot form a logical description of reality without a necessary being existing within it. As such, it must exist in the real world.
Possibly necessary - To be logically coherent for a necessary being to exist. Another way of saying 'necessary'.
(As, to be necessary means to exist in every logical description of reality, if it is therefore possible for that necessary being to exist, then a necessary being exists in at least 1 logical description of reality. Bt it therefore follows that the necessary being must exist in every possible description of reality, as a necessary being cannot merely exist in 1 description of reality, but must exist in all)

Conclusion
As this is my last round, maybe some concluding remarks are necessary.
First of all, thanks to black_squirrel for this great debate. Also, thanks to all the viewers and future voters.
In this debate, I presented 2 arguments. However, neither of them have been successfully refuted by Con in my opinion.
There hasn't been substantive discussion concerning the Introspection argument, but of the discussion that has occurred, I don't think that that we have heard any serious objection, and so the argument still stands.
As for the Ontological Argument, there has been more discussion, but I think that I have refuted all objections successfully.
And so the motion is passed - God probably exists.

Thanks everyone, see you around.
לבריאות

Sources:
http://johnmacfarlane.net...
http://www.manyworldsoflogic.com...
black_squirrel

Con

black_squirrel forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by psyduck 2 years ago
psyduck
"subjunctively possible": stopped reading there
Posted by Weeksie 2 years ago
Weeksie
By the way, simply stating that the "burden of proof is shared" doesn't make it so. The claim Pro is arguing is that "God probably exists." The burden of proof is always on the side making the claim. To argue otherwise is fallacious.

Pro has cost himself valuable points right at the outset.
Posted by Squalliam 2 years ago
Squalliam
Possibility is not granted - the pro's whole argument functions on the assumption that a Maximally Great Being is even possible in the first place - this is an assertion without evidence and should be disregarded as such.
Posted by Nzrsaa 2 years ago
Nzrsaa
Weeksie,
Nonsense??!! This is scholarly accepted Modal Logic, Philosophy of the mind and Quantum Mechanics. If you reject those then you find yourself in hot water. If you want to criticize, at least make it constructive.
Posted by Weeksie 2 years ago
Weeksie
Nzrsaa's entire Pro argument is white noise. Pro is clearly a student of the Kent Hovind method: Machine gun delivery of so much nonsense that the opponent is left befuddled as to where to begin. I'm interested to see black_squirrel's response.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
Nzrsaablack_squirrelTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had stronger arguments, stronger refutations, and con eventually forfeited.