The Instigator
usernamesareannoying
Pro (for)
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0 Points
The Contender
Fkkize
Con (against)
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Is it likely that a God exists?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,300 times Debate No: 71373
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (27)
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usernamesareannoying

Pro

Welcome!

Hello people of DDO! I have been floating around DDO for a week or so and decided to make an account. This will be my second debate on this site. I am 15 and eager for an intellectual argument. Please, don't hesitate to accept because of my age; my age doesn't matter...


Acceptance:

So, this debate should be impossible to accept. If you are keen to argue with me, please say why I should debate you in the comments! If someone manages to accept without my consent they will automatically lose the debate. Also, if you forfeit any round of the debate, you will automatically lose the debate.


Resolution:

Now, to the argument. This discussion is related to the likelihood of God existing. Since I am Pro, I will be affirming the former and Con will try and negate the resolution.


Burden of Proof:


The BoP will be shared - both Pro and Con need to provide arguments to either defend or negate the resolution.


Definitions:


"God" - "The greatest being that can be conceived"

This God does not necessarily mean the 'Christian God'; God denotes "the greatest being that can be conceived".


Format of the Debate:


Round One: Pro - define stuffs, Con - Acceptance
Round Two: Pro and Con, opening arguments (no refutations)
Round Three: Pro and Con, more arguments if one wishes and refutations
Round Four: (Same as round three)
Round Five: Pro and Con, closing statements/summaries


Voting:

I would like the voters to provide justification for their vote. Please do not say, "I think that x had better arguments than y". Please do not vote bomb (obviously!). If you are struggling to see who had better arguments, please do not let the decision go to spelling/grammar and/or the amount of relevant sources used etc. Please just let it go down to the quality of arguments!

This debate was accepted by "Fkkize", I anticipate an intellectual debate. Good luck to you Con.
Fkkize

Con

I accept. Back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
usernamesareannoying

Pro

Thank you very much for accepting. I wish you good luck for the entirety of the argument.



"Cosmological Argument from Contingency"

"Universe" - " All space-time, matter, and energy, including the solar system, all stars and galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space, regarded as a whole" (1)


P1: All physical entities has contingent existence

P2: If the universe is defined as "all space-time, matter and energy", the universe has contingent existence.

C: If the universe has contingent existence, and the universe is effectively everything, there would have to be something that is non-contingent - external to the universe to cause it to come to existence.

To refute the argument, you would have to show a flaw, or a logical fallacy in at least one of the premises - it would render the argument a non-sequitur.

Premise one is a well-known posteriori - everything that has been observed, has contingent existence - relies on something else to exist. This is true, nothing we have ever observed has been seen to be 'non-contingent' - does not rely on something else to exist. This premise is obviously limited to what we can see, but it is still valid for an argument of likeliness.

Premise two is a logical deduction from premise two. "Universe" is literally another name for "all space-time, matter and energy", so this avoids the fallacy of composition. Just because you refer to it as the "universe" does not mean that it is composed of the latter, because it 'is' the latter.

Now, on to the conclusion. This argument infers a being that is non-physical, external to the universe and is non-contingent must exist. If the universe is everything that was listed above, the being that created it, could not be a part of it. Therefore, the being must be transcendental. It must be non-contingent to prevent reductio ad infinitum (everyone say "yay" to Latin! No? Sorry). I assume you have heard of Hilbert's hotel... It deduces that an actual infinite cannot logically exist in our universe. The being must be non-contingent, because if the being that apparently created everything else has contingent existence, it would mean that it would have a preceding reason to be caused... And this would just go on forever, which is impossible, as aforementioned...

This illustration should help:
<br />The uncaused cause in the diagram would be

Argument that God is Omnipotent and Transcendent

Omnipotence:

P1: God is defined as the greatest being that can be conceived

P2: We can conceive a being that is attributed omnipotence, and a being that is not attributed omnipotence.

P3: If God is the greatest being that can be conceived, the concept that a God does not need omnipotence is nonsensical

P4: A God that has omnipotence is far greater than a God that doesn't

C: Therefore, God must have omnipotence

To refute this argument, you have to point out a flaw, or a logical fallacy in at least one of the proposed premises.

Defense of premise one: Well, that's what the definition is. It was provided in round one. Con shouldn't have any problems with this assertion.

Defense of Premise two: We can indeed conceive a being that has unlimited power, and one that does not. This is fairly obvious.

Defense of Premise three: God is the greatest being that can be conceived, if a conceived God can either have omnipotence or not, the conclusion is (in this instance) dichotomous. The definition of "God" logically deduces that a God must have omnipotence because it is the greater option. A God that does not exist cannot exist in actuality, because it can not logically exist... To assert that something is greater than God is an absurdity, so therefore a God that does not have omnipotence is an absurdity.

Transcendence:

Premise 1, in the Cosmological Argument cites a known posteriori that all observed physical entities have contingent existence. The argument also deduces that the entity to start the existence of everything else would have to be non-contingent. If all physical entities are contingent, and God is non-contingent, it would mean that God must be non-physical.


"Ontological Argument" (This is where the modal logic comes in)


"P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

P3: If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

P5: If a maximally great being exists, in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

C: Therefore, a maximally great being exists." (2)

Premise one is a priori, because God is defined as "The greatest being that can be conceived".

I will have to briefly elaborate on an analogy to prove premise two valid... This is paraphrased from (3). Let's say man created a supercomputer, which could successfully simulate every possible world, and it can simulate a world where a God exists. Therefore, God exists in some possible world.


For premise three to be valid, I must prove that God exists from necessity, which means that God must exist in every possible world. First I would like to comment on something that could exist in a possible world, but does not exist necessarily. Let's say, in some possible world, Barrack Obama did not become the president of the US. This exists possibly, because such a world was possible. But this means that this did not happen in every possible world, because it did not happen in actuality (our world). But for something to exist necessarily would mean that it would have to exist in every possible world. The existence of Barrack Obama not becoming president cannot exist in every possible world, therefore is represented as:" <>p" which means possibly true. For the sake of consistency, I will just note now that existence from necessity is represented as: "[]p", which means necessarily true. I will now affirm that god exists necessarily, or God[]p. God exists necessarily because, he must exist in at least one possible world, this is a priori. This correlates with the definition of God, which is the "greatest being that can be conceived", if we can conceive a God in at least one possible world, then God
<>p. Now, to say that God is confined to only one world, is an absurdity, because we can conceive a God that can exist in all possible worlds. It is as nonsensical to say that 2+2=5. God must exist in every possible world, because to say that God can't, would imply that God is only limited to a certain amount of worlds and a God that is not limited to a certain amount of worlds > to one that is. Therefore God[]p.

Premise 4 is a logical deduction from premise three. If God
[]p then God exists in all possible worlds. Our reality or 'actuality' is a possible world, therefore Godp, which means that God exists in the real world.

Premise 5 is a priori. If something exists then it exists...

Therefore, the argument is valid. Therefore, Godp.


(1)
http://www.thefreedictionary.com......
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org......
(3)http://www.angelfire.com...


I feel as if I am forgetting something. Meh, this will do for round one. Your turn, Con.

Fkkize

Con

First of all thanks for inviting me, this really looks like it is going to be a rather interesting "God vs no God" debate since I haven't seen modal logic being discussed anywhere on this site. Although you said your age doesn't matter I find it quite impressive that someone of your age looks into modal logic! Good luck to you, too!

Hence this debate is not bound by any scripture, I will first and foremost be concerned with the definition. When accepting the format I was aware that from the definition certain arguments will follow so I will try to distinguish my opening arguments from any earlier arguments made by Pro as best as I can. (even though it seems more difficult than I first anticipated)

"God" - "The greatest being that can be conceived"


Greatness

To say that something is "more X", "less X", "maximally X" one needs to demonstrate a method with which she can determine the value of X. It doesn't even need to be an absolute value (like distances), a relative value (like entropy) should suffice (although the latter seems odd in this context). The question now is: "What could this method be?"
In physics phenomena are explained via reductive explanation, for example:
We experience a block of ice as cold, a burning stick as very hot and (most) other animals as warm, but why do these things express a different degree of "hotness"? AS for temperature we one day found out that it is determined by the movement of particles or in other words: The temperature of a system supervenes on the movement of the particles in that system.

Supervenience:
B-properties supervene on A-properties if by changing the A-properties I also change the B-properties and if B-properties can only be changed by changing the A-properties.

In my example "temperature" is a B-property and "particle movement" is an A-property. Now, is there anything I can reduce "greatness" to? For this it would need to supervene on a more basic fact, a fact, that is grounded in the physical world. To get to the point, greatness is not based on physical facts but rather a subjective attribute given to something by our minds and differs from person to person which we cannot measure. Thus talking about greatness will necessarily lead to disagreements about what greatness actually is.
To refute this I expect one needs to either show that greatness is in fact reductively explainable or to declare greatness as a brute fact about reality.

Maximum

Let us suppose that greatness is actually reductively explainable, what would be its maximum? Certainly there is a maximum of something that I can conceive, like a really high number, but it doesn't follow that this number is maximally high. The maximum of a lot of things is pretty vague, all examples I could give basically follow the same scheme: a maximally cool funpark - I add another rollercoaster and thus it is cooler (for some).

As I noted earlier, I have not much to bring forth as an argument against a MGB outside of criticising the definition, the true strength of this position lies in the refutation of (possible) arguments for the existence of a MGB.
Debate Round No. 2
usernamesareannoying

Pro

Thank you for the kind words Con! Can I say you have taken a very interesting approach to this debate (not in the bad way). I have never seen your argument before. However, this seems a lot like a refutation to the ontological argument... It states in round one that you can only produce your arguments in round two, no refutations.

According to the debate format, I can attempt a rebuttal.

Rebuttals

Greatness:

Con proposes a very interesting argument... Con states that I need to devise a method so that I can define the value of God. Logically, we can compare greatness of something (X) and something else (Y) through certain factors in a context. Let's say, we have "X", who is a footballer, and "Y", who is also a footballer. There are many factors to be considered when comparing greatness in this context. In this instance we will comparing who will be the greater player 'overall'. The main factors that I will be mentioning are: tackling, marking, shooting, dribbling and passing (I know I am probably forgetting some vital ones. These are just the ones that I can recall off the top of my head).

Tackling.....Marking.....Shooting.....Dribbling.....Passing
......X..............Y................ X................... X................ Y

(Sorry for a hand-made table lol)
This table represents each factor that each player is better in.
As we can see, X is better than Y at tackling, shooting and dribbling. While, Y is better than X at marking and passing. If these are the only factors being considered, since X is better than Y in three of the five factors. Therefore, X is a greater footballer than Y 'overall'.

This might seem pointless, however it is just a quick example of a method.

Con seems to be playing semantics on the word 'greatness'. The intentions of "maximally great", is that nothing can be greater, which would be the definition of "God".

Let's cite a factor that contributes to God's 'greatness': omnipotence, which would be the highest attribute in regards to power. To say that God has omnipotence, would mean that God has the highest attribute in regards to power... Something that has more power than something else, is obviously greater in that factor. It is logically reasonable to say that if something has greatest power is maximally great. This is pretty much a priori. God is, by definition, the greatest conceivable being. The ontological argument shouldn't be invalidated from semantics, we can replace "maximally great", with "God", and the argument will still be valid... I think this is a red herring.


Supervenience:


Con states that there are two different properties: A-properties and B-properties. I don't understand how this undermines the concept of 'greatness'. However, God doesn't have physical properties, and cannot be affected by physical properties. So that renders the point moot. In regards to God, greatness is a subjective concept, as is "better". It is widely approven that God is the greatest. It doesn't really matter what people consider great or not - it doesn't refute the likelihood of a God possibly existing.


Maximum


"Let us suppose that greatness is actually reductively explainable, what would be its maximum"

It would be logical to say that if something is maximally great, it would mean that nothing could be greater. There cannot be an absolute value, because greatness is subjective and is impossible to quantify.

"Certainly there is a maximum of something that I can conceive, like a really high number, but it doesn't follow that this number is maximally high. "

It is not logically possible for that conceived number to be 'the biggest', because if we perform 1+1+1+1+1+1 over and over again, we could be in an infinite progress and eventually it would be 'bigger' than your conceived number. People's connotations of 'greatness' doesn't refute the validity of the argument... The same principle is applicable: whatever you conceive, God is 'greater'. Let's examine your maximally cool roller coaster. In that case, it would be up to interpretation, because no being is defined as the 'coolest thing to be conceived'. However, if you described it as the 'maximally great roller coaster' the conclusion would be different... It is not logically absurd to think that something can be greater than the greatest possible roller coaster.

Thanks for a very challenging argument. However, I did ask for you not to refute until this round!

Anyway, over to you, Con.




Fkkize

Con

I realize that my opening argument is on the borderline of your rules but given that I only had the definition, but no scriptures and no supposed acts (like creating the universe) I basically had to go for something that can be used as an objection to he ontological argument otherwise I would have waved the first round.





Cosmological Argument from Contingency

P1: All physical entities has contingent existence

P2: If the universe is defined as "all space-time, matter and energy", the universe has contingent existence.

C: If the universe has contingent existence, and the universe is effectively everything, there would have to be something that is non-contingent - external to the universe to cause it to come to existence.

The argument translates into the following:

P1) (∀x) (Px > Cx)
For all x if x is a physical entity, then x has contingent existence.
P2) (Up=Ap)>Cp
For all x, if p is a universe is identical to p is "all space-time, matter and energy", then p has contingent existence.
C) Cp > Zp
(Zp: p is caused by something non-contingent, C was allready taken by contingent existence)
If p is contingent, then p is caused by something noncontingent.

You need to carefully phrase your arguments because just from these premises the conclusion CANNOT logically follow for the simple conclusion that you are not allowed to have a new predicate in the conclusion which you never mentioned in the premises. That aside, a nonspecific physical entity (P1) is not equal to the set of all physical entities + spacetime + energy, so for P2) to go anywhere you need another premise stateing:

P4) (∀x) (Ux=Ax)
It is the case that for all x, x is a universe (Ux) is identical to x is "all space-time, matter and energy" (Ax)

This being common knowledge doesn't let you skip that in your argument.


(I don't have enough characters to post my objections to Argument that God is Omnipotent and Transcendent)








The Modal Ontological Argument

"Let's say, in some possible world, Barrack Obama did not become the president of the US. This exists possibly, because such a world was possible. But this means that this did not happen in every possible world, because it did not happen in actuality (our world)"


You are confusing "possible" with "contingent":

"
Possible propositions are those that are true in at least one possible world (for example: "Hubert Humphrey became president in 1969"). (Humphrey did run for president in 1968, and thus could have been elected.) This includes propositions which are necessarily true, in the sense below.
[...]
Necessarily true propositions (often simply called necessary propositions) are those that are true in all possible worlds (for example: "2+2=4"; "all bachelors are unmarried").
Contingent propositions are those that are true in some possible worlds and false in others (for example: "Richard Nixon became president in 1969" is contingently true and "Hubert Humphrey became president in 1969" is contingently false)."(1)

Usually Modal Ontological Arguments need this distinction to use S5 but since the argument you presented doesn't this is merely a problem for the analogy rather than the argument.


"P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

P3: If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

P5: If a maximally great being exists, in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

C: Therefore, a maximally great being exists."



This translates into:


P1) ◊(∃x) (Mx)

P2) ◊(∃x) (Mx) > (◊(∃x) (Mx))

P3) ◊(∃x) (Mx) > [] (∃x) (Mx)

P4)
[] (∃x) (Mx) > (∃x) (Mx)

P5) (∃x) (Mx)> (∃x) (Mx)

C) (∃x) (Mx)


P2) and P5) are tautologies. P3) was suprsing since I expected a corollary of S5 here (see above).
As far as I can tell this is a valid argument (note that I did not say sound), but let me demonstrate the following:

P6) ◊(∃x) (Mx) > (∃x) (Mx) [P3), P4) Hypothetical Syllogism]

since M is defined as a MGB this translates back into: If it is possible that a MGB exists, then it is the case that a MGB exists.
Which is problematic. To see why lets change the definition of Mx to "x is a rainy day" and say that q is next friday.

Now the argument translates into this (as I said P2) and P5) were tautologies so I skipped them here, furthermore I exnded it by a premise which doesn't change any meaning of the argument):


P1) It is possible that there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day.

P2)--

P3) If it is possible that there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day, then it is necessary that there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day.


P4) If it is necessary that there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day, then there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day.

P5)--


P6) There exists a x, such that x is a rainy day.

C) Mp [P6) Existential Instantiation]
C) Next friday is a rainy day


I hope this demonstrates why the argument is troubleling.

Pro said this about P3):
"
This correlates with the definition of God, which is the "greatest being that can be conceived", if we can conceive a God in at least one possible world, then God<>p. Now, to say that God is confined to only one world, is an absurdity, because we can conceive a God that can exist in all possible worlds."

My earlier objections to the definition aside Pro makes a huge leap from "
we can conceive a God in at least one possible world" to "we can conceive a God that can exist in all possible worlds".
When philosophers talk about possible worlds they are not actualy talking about a multiverse of some sort, they are talking about ways our actual world might have been, not realizing this might make someone accept this defence (maybe omnipresence makes her possible to be at multiple universes at the same time?), but since I can perfectly well, without any absurdities conceive of possible worlds without a god (like a world where the strong nuclear force was slightly stronger and everything collapsed back into itself). Unless Pro can give a convincing reason why such a world would be absurd I don't see why anyone should accept this defence or declare this argument sound.


Greatness


" Tackling.....Marking.....Shooting.....Dribbling.....Passing

......X..............Y................ X................... X................ Y

(Sorry for a hand-made table lol)
This table represents each factor that each player is better in.
As we can see, X is better than Y at tackling, shooting and dribbling. While, Y is better than X at marking and passing. If these are the only factors being considered, since X is better than Y in three of the five factors. Therefore, X is a greater footballer than Y 'overall'.
"



Pro provides a quantitative approach to the problem I mentioned, but this poses a further problem:

Quality


Lets suppose (since I am a football illiterate I will use variables) that player X has a

tackle count of a

marking count of b

shooting count of c

dribbling count of d

passing count of e



and player Y has a

tackle count of a-1
marking count of b*2
shooting count of c-1
dribbling count of d-1
passing count of e*2

Could I still clearly say that X is a greater player than Y?
Or lets add another column: fouls.
Take the same values than last time but give one a higher foul counter than the other. Since one might say that fouls are something a greter player has less of, in this case another question arises: How many "foul" equal one "shooting"? 1:1? 2:1? Who is to make a decision that is not based on subjective intuitions?


"Con seems to be playing semantics on the word 'greatness'."

I am not "playing" semantics, this is a semantic dispute, since I have no concept of something maximally great/tasty/fun/bad/ugly/beautiful and so on and I don't think anyone has.


"The intentions of "maximally great", is that nothing can be greater, which would be the definition of "God"."
Which is a tautology (thus necessarily knowable apriori) and still I cannot conceive of anything that would fit this description.
Examples:

Maximally tasty - nothing can be tastier
Maximally beautiful - nothing can be more beautiful
Maximally bad - nothing can be worse

Do I have a concept of any of them now?


"The ontological argument shouldn't be invalidated from semantics, we can replace "maximally great", with "God", and the argument will still be valid... I think this is a red herring."

All ontological arguments so far have been either invalid or question begging (because of the particular definitions of "God").


I will explicate this in the next round.




Supervenience


"don't understand how this undermines the concept of 'greatness"

It does undermine the ability to objectively say that a thing is greater than another since greateness is (as I said) not a brute fact about reality but rather a subjective intuition.





Maximum

"greatness is subjective and is impossible to quantify."

Exactly my point, if someone values nonexistence over existence who is to tell them that they are wrong? If something is impossible to quantify talking about a "Maximum of impossibility to quantify" seems rather odd.



"whatever you conceive, God is 'greater'"

This implies that you can in fact somehow quantify greatness.


"People's connotations of 'greatness' doesn't refute the validity of the argument"
Not the validity but the soundness.


There is a lot I would like to adress but I am out of characters.





(1)
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
usernamesareannoying

Pro


Thank you for a very thought provoking rebuttal, Con.

Cosmological Argument from Contingency

Con has pointed out a minor flaw in the argument, fortunately this can be rectified immediately.

P1: All physical entities has contingent existence.

P2: If the universe is defined as "all space-time, matter and energy", the universe has contingent existence.

P3: All contingent entities are the universe, so therefore the universe has contingent existence (as Con commended)

P4: If the universe is contingent, there must be something that is non-contingent to prevent reductio ad infinitum

P5: The non-contingent being must be transcendental, because the being cannot create space-time, while existing in space and time.

P6: If all physical entities are contingent and the causer isn't contingent, the causer must be non-physical

C: Therefore, a being that is non-contingent, transcendent and non-physical must exist.


Now, the conclusion logically follows from the premises. I have rectified the argument as you said, Con.

Con didn't seem to refute the criteria proving that the premises are correct, so I will assume that he has no problem with it...

Defense of premise one: This is a known posteriori - every physical entity has contingent existence.

Defense of premise two: "Universe" is literally another name for "all space-time, matter and energy", so this avoids the fallacy of composition. Just because you refer to it as the "universe" does not mean that it is composed of the latter, because it 'is' the latter.

Defense of premise three: all space-time, matter and energy are physical and exist contingently, if the universe is the latter then the universe exists contingently

Defense of premise four: It must be non-contingent to prevent reductio ad infinitum. There is a chain of contingent entities existing as we look back through time... However, this chain cannot last forever - Hilbert's hotel paradox deduces that an actual infinite cannot logically exist in our universe. Therefore, at one point, there would have to be a non-contingent entity to initiate the chain of contingent entities...

Defense of premise 5: This premise is a priori. If the universe is everything that was listed above, the being that created it, could not be a part of it. Therefore, the being must be transcendental.

Defense of premise 6: This is also a priori. If all contingent entities are physical, and we have deduced already that a non-contingent entity must exist, this being cannot be physical. Therefore it is non-physical.

Therefore, the conclusion logically follows from the premises.


Greatness:

Con says that there is no objective quantity of greatness. Which I agree with. However, if we were to take every possible factor that contributes to one's greatness, it could be a key logical indicator if that is greater than something else.

God:

Omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence (unfortunately Con didn't have enough characters to refute the omnipotence argument in round three, so I have to blindly create this argument under the pretense that the argument is sound).

Since I have already constructed an argument to why God must have omnipotence, I still need to create another argument for why God would need omniscience and omnipresence.

Argument for omniscience:

P1: God is defined as the greatest being that can be conceived

P2: We can conceive a being that is attributed omniscience, and a being that is not attributed omniscience.

P3: If God is the greatest being that can be conceived, the concept that a God does not need omniscience is nonsensical

P4: A God that has omniscience is far greater than a God that doesn't

C: Therefore, God must have omniscience

To refute this argument, you have to point out a flaw, or a logical fallacy in at least one of the proposed premises.

Defense of premise one: Well, that's what the definition is. It was provided in round one. Con shouldn't have any problems with this assertion.

Defense of Premise two: We can indeed conceive a being that has omniscience, and one that does not. This is fairly obvious.

Defense of Premise three: God is the greatest being that can be conceived, if a conceived God can either have omniscience or not, the conclusion is (in this instance) dichotomous. The definition of "God" logically deduces that a God
must have omniscience because it is the greater option. A God that does not exist cannot exist in actuality, because it can not logically exist... To assert that something is greater than God is an absurdity, so therefore a God that does not have omnipotence is an absurdity.

Argument for omnipresence:

To assert that the greatest being that can be conceived is spatially limited is an absurdity, because we can conceive a being that is not spatially limited. Not being spatially limited is not logically impossible. Since a being that is omnipresent > a being that isn't. God must have omnipresence.



Since I used 'greatness' in this argument, I am now required to affirm how it is adequate for this debate.


As Con says, it is impossible to quantify a subjective intuition... However, this doesn't apply to God. As I mentioned earlier, there are specific factors that would contribute to one's greatness... Con was indeed correct in saying that there is no way of telling that each factor contributes equivalently to greatness... As he said "How many "foul" equal one "shooting"? 1:1? 2:1?". However, from the definition of God, we have one value: God > everything else. If we examine the attributes of God, we can see that God has intrinsic maximums.


Omnipotence - Able to do anything possible to do


Omniscience - Able to know anything possible to know


Omnipresence - Able to be present everywhere



In these factors, God has the maximum. No other value can equate or exceed these variables. So if we were to compare any other possible being with the ability to 'know', 'do', or 'be' (which is all intelligent life) God has the maximum. From this, we can see that deductively, God is the 'greatest'.


Modal Ontological Argument

I will cite the parts that Con finds problematic:

"P1) It is possible that there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day.


P2)--


P3) If it is possible that there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day, then it is necessary that there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day.



P4) If it is necessary that there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day, then there exists a x, such that x is a rainy day.

P5)--

P6) There exists a x, such that x is a rainy day."


The problem with this argument, is that x isn't proven to be necessary...From my interpretations of this, Con is saying that my argument does not adequately explain why God exists necessarily. But now I have validated the concept of greatness, it efficiently explains that for something that can be present everywhere, to be limited to only one, or some possible worlds is an absurdity. If God is 'everywhere', to say that God cannot be present in all worlds, is implying that God is spatially limited. This would be contradictory to the definition of omnipresence.


So if God exists in a possible world, or some worlds:<>p --><><>p, then God must exist in all possible worlds: []p --> [][]p because to say that God doesn't, it would assert that God can be spatially limited, which is nonsensical.


--> - Is "then"


By the way, I am not actually required to prove that God definitely exists in this world ('actuallity'), because to defend the resolution, I just need to affirm that a God exists... Not necessarily necessary. So, <>p will suffice. And from Con's reconstruction of the Modal Ontological argument, it does not prove that <>p is a non-sequitur. The possibility of an "omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent" being does not defy logic. For example, 2+2=4 would be applicable in every possible world - 2+2=5 could not exist in any possible world, because it defies logic. So, it is definitely possible for a God to exist in 'a' world.



Supervenience


"It does undermine the ability to objectively say that a thing is greater than another since greateness is (as I said) not a brute fact about reality but rather a subjective intuition."


This is refuted because if we examine the necessary attributes of God that would contribute to greatness, he is the maximum in those factors. Therefore, we can reasonably say God > everything else.



Maximum



Same argument for supervenience.




Thanks for a very thought provoking argument Con! This was very difficult to respond to and I am not sure if I even did it correctly. The debate format states that the last round will be closing statements only. However, it would be a pitty to cut the refutations off here. Perhaps we could extend into the final round? This is completely up to you of course - if you decline, I will understand.


Well, I am out of characters now; over to you Con!


Sorry if there are any spelling errors. My spell check had an error message :/


Fkkize

Con

Cosmological Argument from Contingency

"Con didn't seem to refute the criteria proving that the premises are correct, so I will assume that he has no problem with it..."
My reasoning behind not examining the premises further was simply that, since I reached the character limit, the argument was plainly invalid as it stood so further explication was not needed for the rebuttal.

"P1: All physical entities has contingent existence. "

"Defense of premise one: This is a known posteriori - every physical entity has contingent existence."

P1) (∀x) (Px > Cx)

Existence as a Predicate

"There are two sets of reasons for denying that existence is a property of individuals. The first is Hume and Kant's puzzlement over what existence would add to an object. What is the difference between a red apple and a red existing apple? To be red (or even to be an apple) it must already exist, as only existing things instantiate properties. [...] Saying it is red and an apple and furthermore exists is to say one thing too many.
[...]

The second consideration favoring the thesis that existence is not a property of individuals concerns the puzzle of negative singular existentials. Suppose that existence is a property of the designation of the subject term in a singular existential sentence. Then ‘Ronald McDonnald does not exist’ predicates nonexistence of the designation of the subject term, in which case reality includes an entity—the designation of the singular term and subject of predication—that has the property of not existing. That, Russell complained, runs contrary to a robust sense of reality, according to which everything exists. So, we should reject the claim that existence is a property of the designation of subject terms in existential sentences."(2, Taken from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Since contingency in used as a predicate not only in the first but in all premises the argument fails for reasons shown above.


Argument that God is Omnipotent and Transcendent

I actually don't have to object to this argument since the resolution of this debate is not about specific attributes but rather the likelihood of Gods existence.

Greatness

"However, if we were to take every possible factor that contributes to one's greatness, it could be a key logical indicator if that is greater than something else."

Quantity and Quality of factors do not suffice for something to be called great, what all these arguments forget to take into consideration is the subjectivity factor. Sure, being omnipresent makes something more present than anything else but it is whether someone values presence as something great. For example one might say that a being which created the universe and does NOT exist is far greater than some being who managed the same thing but does exist.


Modal Ontological Argument

"The problem with this argument, is that x isn't proven to be necessary "

Technically speaking a lower case letter cannot even be proven to be necessary since in predicate calculus lower case letters are either objects or subjects (like "this chair" or "Olivia Wilde", beginning of the alphabet) or individual variables that do not reference a specific particular (end of the alphabet).

Pros intention might have been to say that in my case x is a rainy day is not proven to be necessary but that is self-refuting since the argument goes from "it is possible that there exists a x, such that x is " over "it is necessary that there exists a x, such that x is" to "it is the case that that there exists a x, such that x is", proving the necessity of something is the whole point of modal ontological arguments. Pro might objects to this by saying that being a MGB entails necessary existence whilst being a rainy day does not, in which case the argument is ultimately begging the question.

"If God is 'everywhere', to say that God cannot be present in all worlds, is implying that God is spatially limited. This would be contradictory to the definition of omnipresence."


I suspected this misunderstanding of possible worlds which is why I included this part in my last rebuttal:

"When philosophers talk about possible worlds they are not actually talking about a multiverse of some sort, they are talking about
ways our actual world might have been, not realizing this might make someone accept this defence"

"Omnipresence - Able to be present everywhere " can only refer to something in one possible world but not extend into others since "omnipresence" is not identical to "necessary" or in other words:
Being present everywhere in a world |= Being present in every world.
I cannot stress this enough, a possible world is not an existent thing, it is a thought about a way our world might have been.

"So if God exists in a possible world, or some worlds:p p, then God must exist in all possible worlds: p p"

p p and p p
are not actually the correct translations, all these two are saying:
"it is possible that p, implies it is possible that it is possible that p" and
"It is necessary that p, implies it is necessary that it is necessary that p"


"By the way, I am not actually required to prove that God definitely exists in this world ('actuallity'), because to defend the resolution, I just need to affirm that a God exists... Not necessarily necessary. So, p will suffice. And from Con's reconstruction of the Modal Ontological argument, it does not prove that p is a non-sequitur."
The resolution is: "This discussion is related to the likelihood of God existing"
"The topic isn't necessarily to be discussed in terms of modal logic"(a comment I posted before accepting) since likelihood and possibility (as in the modal understanding of "possible") are not to be confused. The first can refer to either actual probabilities (due to weather forecasts I can say that it is more likely to rain tomorrow than not) or intuitions of probability whilst the latter refers to the sheer potentiality of tomorrow being a rainy day, the important difference is that from the latter I can make no accurate prediction how the weather will be but rather list options.

Thus "It is possible that p" doesn't meet the requirements of the resolution.
The earlier objection to existence as a predicate applies to this argument as well.



Feel free to continue with the rebuttals next round.


(2)http://plato.stanford.edu...




Debate Round No. 4
usernamesareannoying

Pro

Quick disclaimer: due to really bad time management by myself, please don't expect a very elaborate rebuttal in this round. I thought I could hold it off until late Saturday, but I am pretty much just back from two nights out with mates and I am quite tired. So, this one is going to be quick - I am literally on my iPad in bed.

>and since I am on my iPad, I won't be able to access the helpful features of the RTF, so small headings is necessary.

Cosmological argument:

Con proposes an interesting puzzlement, but I do not see how this refutes that every physical thing has contingent existence. There might be something that I am missing, but I cannot find a reason why it supersedes the logic in the cosmological argument. I understand its intentions - that existence can't be used as a property, but physical entities, either exist, or don't exist.

Greatness:

I believe that the same comparison can be made to 'good' and 'bad'. We cannot reject what the majority of people consider good or bad, because a few isolated cases believe 'bad' is good. It is common sense to believe a being that is more powerful, knowledgable etc is greater than one that is less powerful, knowledgable etc... We ought not to neglect what the vast majority of people would believe is more great in these circumstances. And as aforementioned, if we examine God's properties and we can determine an intrinsic maximum, we have an important, quantifiable rendition of greatness.

Modal Ontological Argument:

"under S5, if something is possibly necessary, then it is necessary." (1)
Con has no objection of a God possibly existing. That being said, he hasn't contended why a God cannot exist in any possible world, and under the pretenses of S5, God must exist necessarily in all worlds. Therefore, the argument is sound (I could elaborate more thoroughly, however, it's 2am and I am getting rather tired and I am going to call it a night).

(1) http://en.m.wikipedia.org...(modal_logic)

Thank you for a 'great' debate Con! Sorry for the pretty pathetic round 5, I hope you'll understand. Good luck in the final round!
Fkkize

Con

Cosmological Argument from Contingency

"Premise one is a well-known posteriori - everything that has been observed, has contingent existence - relies on something else to exist"


What does it mean for something to have contingent existence? Sure it is possible that the table I am sitting on was never made, but when someone talks about all physical entities then they do not only talk about macrophysical objects like my table. "All physical entities" also includes all microphysical entities like atoms and the universe being defined as all contingent entities implies that energy has also contingent existence which we do not know. All we have ever observed is creatio ex materia (making stuff out of matter), what we have never actually observed is creatio ex nihilo (making stuff out of nothing) as is suggested by the argument.


Greatness

Peoples opinion on what is good / bad, great / not great differ from time to time and from place to place, e.g. some centuries ago the majority believed that the earth was flat, was it really flat because everyone believed that? Defining something in terms of what the majority believes to be great makes up for a really shallow definition. Of course I cannot reject the majority's opinion on what is great (assuming that there is actually a consensus), but I neither want to nor have to, since my point was that something having intrinsic maxima does not in any way shape or form dictate whether or not it is great.

Fluffy, my imaginary cat, has an intrinsic maximum of non existence, therefore it is greater then all other cats.
An existing, burning children's hospital is worse then one that does not exist.
Maybe one day humanity gets enslaved by aliens and thus fear powerful beings, from now on omnipotence is not great but horrific instead.


Modal Ontological Argument

The thing about system 5 is that Pros argument does not use it:
"P3) was surprising since I expected a corollary of S5 here"
The only rules used in this argument were Hypothetical Syllogism (p>q; q>r therefore p>r) and Modus Ponens (p>q; p therefore q). To use S5 one needs to have something that reads "it is possible that it is necessary that ...". That aside, S5 is highly controversial, Quine was of the opinion that quantifying modal operators is simply incoherent, but I will not go into further details since S5 is not applied. The only thing that comes close to S5 is P3) (If a MGB exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world) but as I said, to defend this one must define a MGB as something that necessary exists which is begging the question.

To claim that it is impossible for a god to exist would place the BoP on me for I would have to show that "God" is an incoherent concept, but that is not necessary to meet the requirements of the resolution, I only have to show that it is not likely that a god exists, which I did by refuting the arguments made by Pro.

Good luck in the voting period.
Debate Round No. 5
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
Yeah my format screws up as well... Must be the modal characters.
Posted by Fkkize 1 year ago
Fkkize
Something completely killed the format of my text..... I apologice for that!
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
My round two seems very glitchy... The font seemed to suddenly change in size, and it fluctuates between a light blue and black - weird. Sorry if this causes any misinterpretations or inconveniences...
Posted by Axelthane 1 year ago
Axelthane
Thanks!
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
Cool, Fkkize. I can tell that you are familiar with the topic... I would be more than happy to debate it with you.
Posted by Fkkize 1 year ago
Fkkize
I'd go for it.
The topic isn't necessarily to be discussed in terms of modal logic but I guess it depends on your arguments, if you go for proofs using modal logic I'm still with you.
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
@Axelthane, it is quite hard topic to debate. It is generally made from a philosophical standpoint.

Modal logic, and ideas of necessity are needed to debate it effectively.

I don't even know whether I can debate this effectively or not. If you want, you can have a look through my previous argument. But, don't expect anything to be elaborative.

I am not sure who is really good on this site or not; I am new here too.

Although, at the very bottom of the chat, Mister_Man commented, he is a good debater and I am pretty sure he debated this topic earlier as well.

Hope that helps, buddy.
Posted by Axelthane 1 year ago
Axelthane
I would love to debate this, but I don't think I am good enough at debating yet to tackle a question this large(and I also don't meet the criteria). Do you have any other debates or debaters that you recommend me following, to pick up tips?
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
@manpower2

Could you please elaborate on "obscure" please. The only reason why the resolution is inductive, is to mitigate semantics...

Sorry if it seems obscure.
Posted by manpower2 1 year ago
manpower2
I would debate, however I find the argument fairly obscure, as the likelihood of 'a divine being' existing is fairly high, because we have nothing to disprove it and we have things like 'fate' and nature to back it up, whereas if you focused on one religion's God, then contenders would have sources, actual proof, and more to go on. It almost seems like you're hedging your bets by not not being precise.

Good luck anyways :P
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