Is it likely that a God exists?
Debate Rounds (5)
Okey dokey. Hey there! Now, this is a debate about the likelihood of a God existing, or not... I normally affirm the former, but I would like to argue the other side for once. I would like to propose possible contentions to the argument that hasn't been used against myself...
This should be impossible to accept. If you'd like to debate with me, please say so in the comments.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof will be on Pro. However, I will post my own arguments as well.
"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
Pro must open with their argument in round one. From then on, it's just refutations and one can introduce new arguments in every round, except in round 5.
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!
Good luck to commondebator!
As a brief introduction to my opponent and the readers, my argument will be dependent of the ontological argument. This argument is a collection of arguments by philosophers and is heavily regarded upon philosophy and logic. You can say that the argument will almost be like a cited study (of coarse, it is not really a study however we can use the analogy for now). My defenses, interpretation, reasoning and rebuttals will be from me. Please do keep in mind I cannot site my own interpretation, rebuttal, and logical thinking as it is coming from me. I wish my opponent best of luck!
The Ontological argument
For a little history, the ontological argument was created by Anselm of Canterbury, René Descartes, Gottfried Leibniz and other philosophers. The traditional definition of an ontological argument was given by Immanuel Kant. This argument is for the existence of God that uses ontology. Many arguments fall under the category of the ontological, and they tend to involve arguments about the state of being or existing. So, I will put forth my argument using the ontological argument to defend my stance for god.
C.1 For ontological argument-Anselm’s logic
In chapter two of the ontological argument, his logic can be summarized like so:
1. It is a conceptual truth (or, so to speak, true by definition) that God is a being than which none greater can be imagined (that is, the greatest possible being that can be imagined).
2. God exists as an idea in the mind.
3. A being that exists as an idea in the mind and in reality is, other things being equal, greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind.
4. Thus, if God exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than God (that is, a greatest possible being that does exist).
5. But we cannot imagine something that is greater than God (for it is a contradiction to suppose that we can imagine a being greater than the greatest possible being that can be imagined.)
6. Therefore, God exists.
Defense of 1-3: God is the highest power imaginable and it is conceptual truth that no higher power can be imagined. However, a being that exists as an idea and in reality is equal to a being that exists as any other idea. If this idea is in our mind, then it is in reality.
Defense of 4-6: If god is equal to any other ideas, then we can imagine something greater than god because we can imagine higher ideas. However, imagining something higher than god is a contradiction to number 1.
Since number 1 is a conceptual truth, we cannot imagine something greater than god since it is the highest being that can be imagined. Therefore, if we can conceive of a being than which nothing greater can be conceived, it must exist in reality. Thus, a being than which nothing greater could be conceived, which Anselm defined as God, must exist in reality
Furthermore, Anselm further elaborates his logic (which to me) is in a more simpler way.
1. By definition, God is a being than which none greater can be imagined.
2.A being that necessarily exists in reality is greater than a being that does not necessarily exist.
3.Thus, by definition, if God exists as an idea in the mind but does not necessarily exist in reality, 4.then we can imagine something that is greater than God.
5.But we cannot imagine something that is greater than God.
6.Thus, if God exists in the mind as an idea, then God necessarily exists in reality.
7.God exists in the mind as an idea.
8.Therefore, God necessarily exists in reality
Defense of 1-4: God is something that nothing else can be imagined. So, a being that exists in reality is greater than one does not necessarily exist. God does not necessarily exist in reality, therefore we can imagine something greater than god.
Defense of 5-8: However, imagining something greater than god is a contradiction to god itself, therefore we cannot imagine something greater than god.Then, if god exists as an idea in the mind, as an idea, then god exists in reality.
C.2 of the Ontological argument-Mulla Sadra’s logic
Sadra put forward a new argument, known as Argument of the Righteous. The argument attempts to prove the existence of God through the reality of existence, and to conclude with God's pre-eternal necessity. Her logic can be summarized like so:
1.There is existence
2.Existence is a perfection above which no perfection may be conceived
3.God is perfection and perfection in existence
4.Existence is a singular and simple reality; there is no metaphysical pluralism
5.That singular reality is graded in intensity in a scale of perfection (that is, a denial of a pure monism).
6.That scale must have a limit point, a point of greatest intensity and of greatest existence.
7.Hence God exists.
Defense of 1-3: If there is existence it is perfect and above which no perfection can be conceived. The existence that we have is perfect at that state. My personal interpretation is that there is nothing to compare tbe of state “x” of the universe because state “x” is perfect at being state “x” . There cannot be a more perfect state, because there is nothing to compare it to, and it is at its perfect state already.
Defense of 4-7: The existence is singular and there is no metaphysical pluralism of that state of existence. If we were to measure the perfection of that state on a scale, there must be a limit or a point of greatest intensity of perfection and of greatest existence. Since there is no metaphysical pluralism (described in my previous defense) perfection exists, therefore god exists.
C.3 of the Ontological argument-Alvin Planting and William Lane Craig’s view
William Lane Craig’s view modifies Alvin Plantinga's alternative in a slightly different way. His logic follows:
1.It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
2.If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
3.If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4.If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5.If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
6.Therefore, a maximally great being exists.
Defense of 1-3: It is possible that god exists since he does not contradict any laws of physics. Therefore, if a possible god exists, then he exists in some possible world. If an all powerful being exists on some possible world, then he exists in every single possible world because he is eternal.
Defense of 4-6: Since god exists on every possible world, then he exists in the actual world, because he exists in all possible world. Every single world in the universe is possible, therefore god exists in the real world. If god exists in the real world, then he exists on every single world. Therefore god exists.
Please do keep in mind that this debate is not about religion. I udnerstand that my oppoentn knows this since he states "This God does not necessarily mean the 'Christian God'" . Therefore, it cannot be said that since prayer is not answered, god does not exist. It may be of his own choice not the answer the prayer. God does not mean benevolent, however if my opponent wishes to argue along that defintion, I request him to notify me. Keep in mind that my opponent did not clarify in the defintions in regards to beneveolence however I do not mind.
Thank you for a quick round 1, Pro. I will now rebut.
My adversary has proposed numerous ontological arguments. The first is known as the Conceptual Ontological Argument:
Conceptual Ontological Argument
To first rebut this argument, I attack the veracity of premise one and two:
"It is a conceptual truth (or, so to speak, true by definition) that God is a being than which none greater can be imagined (that is, the greatest possible being that can be imagined). God exists as an idea in the mind."
Firstly, these two premises can be converted into "God is defined as 'the greatest being that can be conceived', and I can conceive a being of which no greater can be conceived. The convertion has exactly the same intentions as the first two premises, except they are reiterated. There are two understandings of what this premise entails:
Billy believes in the toothfairy (in this case, there is no ontological commitment - this can be true without claiming that the toothfairy exists in the mind).
The second outcome can be iterated like so:
Billy is thinking about the toothfairy (in this case, there is an ontological commitment - this premise can only be true if we claim that the toothfairy exists in the mind).
Now, since I have proposed the only two possible interpretations of Pro's premise, I will now advocate why both are invalid.
The first statement 'gives cancellation', in other words, it can cancel the ontological commitment. And the second statement does not 'give cancellation' - it cannot cancel the ontological commitment.
Therefore, the idea of God can be a statement that gives cancellation, or a statement that does not give cancellation.
Gives cancellation: Billy believes in God - no ontological commitment. Therefore, the statement is categorically invalid. This is because one cannot be temperamental about 'intensional states'. Using this interpretation, we can create a hypothetical syllogism to convey it's invalidity:
P1: Billy believes that rainbows are made from 'rainbow glass'.
P2: Rainbows are 'rainbow glass'.
C: Billy believes that rainbow glass are rainbows.
Premise one is an intensional state - x (x being Billy) 'believes' premise one is true.
Premise two is not an intensional state - it is a regular statement
Therefore, the argument is a non-sequitur - it's invalid. The conclusion fails because x might not have known premise two, therefore, the conclusion would be unwarranted.
The second interpretation - no cancellation to the ontological commitment. Unfortunately this commits the begging the question fallacy. It does this because it just assumes that God can exist in the mind. A hypothetical syllogism can be constructed to convey its invalidity:
P1: Billy is thinking about a God.
P2: Billy cannot think about concepts that cannot exist.
C: Therefore, God exists.
This begs the question because the conclusion cannot be accepted unless the first premise is accepted.
Therefore, Pro's first two premises are refuted. Since the entire argument is dependent on those premises, the argument is also refuted.
Pro then advocates Anselm's iteration. The argument above also invalidates this argument. However, for the sakes of refuting each argument, I will propose another reason why this argument is invalid.
I attack the veracity of premise two: "A being that necessarily exists in reality is greater than a being that does not necessarily exist."
This premise is dependent on subjective intuition - I could easily say that a being that does not necessarily exist is greater than one that does. There is no way to objectively quantify 'greatness'. The same thing could be said for war. A war that does not exist, is greater than one that does exist. Yet, there is no objective way to definitely conclude which rendition is 'greater' than the other... Pro would have to formulate a definitive way to compare and quantify greatness of seperate properties. Until then, premise two is refuted. Since the entire argument is dependent on premise two, the entire argument is patently invalid.
The next argument Pro advocates is known as the 'Ontological Argument From Definition'.
Ontological Argument From Definition
For this argument, I attack the veracity of premise two: "Existence is a perfection above which no perfection may be conceived".
Essentially, Pro says, "existence is a perfection". This isn't always the case. This is still subject to subjective intuition. There is no objective way to prove that something that exists, is greater than something that doesn't. For example, many could say that a war that doesn't exist is 'more perfect' than one that did, because it would avoid death. Yet, some people could say the opposite. The point is, Pro would have to devise a method to quantify existence as a perfection. Until he does, this premise isn't necessarily valid.
The next argument Pro proposes is known as the 'Modal Ontological Argument'.
Modal Ontological Argument
I have two methods of refuting this argument. One:
The reverse modal Ontological Argument:
1.It is possible that a maximally great being does not exists.
2.If it is possible that a maximally great being does not exist, then a maximally great being does not exist in some possible world.
3.If a maximally great being does not exist in some possible world, then it does not exist in every possible world.
4.If a maximally great being does not exist in every possible world, then it does not exist in the actual world.
5.If a maximally great being does not exist in the actual world, then a maximally great being does not exist.
6.Therefore, a maximally great being does not exist.
Defense of 1-3: It is possible that god does not exist, since this does not contradict any laws of physics. Therefore, it is not logically incoherent to postulate that God does not exist in some possible world.
Defense of 4-6: Since god does not exist in every possible world, then he does not exist in the actual world, because he does not exist in all possible worlds. Every single world in the universe is possible, therefore god does not exist in the real world. If god does not exist in the real world, then he does not exist in every single world. Therefore god does not exist.
If you didn't notice, I plugged in "God does not exist" into every premise proposed, and the same conclusion entails. Since there isn't any logic in the MGB model argument that supersedes the logic in this argument. The modal argument is nullified. In other words, they cancel each other out.
I will now assert the other concept of refuting this argument:
This argument takes this format (conjunctive syllogism)
P1: God exists possibly
P2: Either God does not exist possibly or God exists necessarily
C: God exists necessarily
This argument commits the fallacy of equivocation. When one asserts "God exists possibly", or "MGU exists possibly", they are saying "an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent etc. Being exists contingently". But, then the next premise they replace the contingent property, and replace it with necessity. Therefore, premise two would be exist by the definition "A necessary God exists by definition of possible existence', this can be interpreted as 'r'.
Therefore, the argument translates into:
Therefore, the argument is invalid and is a non-sequitur.
The Properties of God are Incoherent
I have spent much of my characters rebutting - this will be short. If we were to examine God's intrinsic maximums, they include: omnipotence, omniscience etc.
I will now advocate why the concept of omnipotence is logically incoherent. First, let's set a basis of my argument:
P1: For God to exist, the concept of God must be logically coherent
P2: God's properties are logically incoherent
P3: If God's properties are logically incoherent, the concept of God is incoherent
C1: God is incoherent
C2: God does not exist
Defense of premise 1: this is a priori; if the concept of God is not logically coherent, God cannot logically exist
Defense of premise 2: I will be mainly attacking the veracity of 'omnipotence'. If God has omnipotence, God can create a being that is greater than itself. If God can't do this, God is bound by logic. If God is bound by logic, God cannot 'do' everything. Therefore, God does not have omnipotence. Omnipotence is defined as "
Argument from the impossibility of an atemporal mind
I will post this argument next round. I do not have enough characters to effectively construct this argument.
I thank Pro for a challenging first round. Can you please refrain from rebutting until monday please. I have an important maths perliminary exam to revise for tomorrow - it's on monday. I am sorry for this, but I can't have any distractions. Anyway, over to you Pro. Thanks for the argument.
I am grateful to my opponent's spectacular sportsmanship since my opponent let me argue!
I commend voters do not penalize my opponent for the waiving. Please, ignore this.
Good luck to Pro in his rebuttal.
Thanks for the reply con. I thank my opponent of what promises to be a challenging and thought provoking debate.
Upon accepting this debate we are arguing the likelihood of god’s existence. The general consensus of this debate is to argue in a way to determine a likelihood of god’s existence. I will explain deeper later, however for now, this is the reason why the reverse model of the rebuttal for the ontological argument falls. My opponent cannot replace “It is possible that a maximally great being exists” with “It is possible that a maximally great being does not exists.” This is simply because we are arguing for the sheer likelihood, and contention 3 certainly proves the greater likelihood of god’s existence.
R.1 Defense of the conceptual ontological argument
Pro attacks 2 possible interpretations of the argument. The first interpretation is almost useless because it has no ontological commitment in the first place as my opponent described. This however, is his interpretation. Unless my opponent has a further defense of how this is how the argument is really modeled, I shall move on to his next interpretation.
My opponent strikes down this argument since the first premise of his hypothetical syllogism cannot be accepted. I request my opponent to elaborate on that, since this is why that is hypothetical. If we were to assume that Billy thinks about god, then god “exists” in Billy’s mind. Which was my interpretation of Anselm. If Billy cannot think about concepts that cannot exist, then god exists in Billy’s mind. My opponent strikes down this entire argument for the sole reason that we are making an assumption that Billy is thinking about god. I believe that is the point of a hypothetical syllogism. Again, I request my opponent to elaborate for may be wrong.
R.2 Anselm II
Apparently my opponent says that my entire argument falls apart because there is not quantifiable method for greatness for premise 2. If premises 2 is incorrect, then yes. My entire argument does fall apart. However, I will perform in the best of my abilities to defend against that.
You see, I believe that the definition of “greatness” that Anselm put out was the validity of existence. Therefore, an object that does necessarily exists is “greater” than an object that does not necessarily exists.
Lets put this into example with another possible interpretation. If we pick a child that loves its mother, the child can only love its mother if it exists. Same with any other trait. Therefore, the existing child is greater because it can possess that trait.
I have put out 2 valid counter rebuttals for my opponent to rebut. I look forward to this.
R.3. Reverse modal
I stated this before how we are determining the likelihood of god’s existence, therefore there is no other alternative that can replace contention 3. My opponent supposedly defeats my argument because of the reverse modal, however this can not be the case. My intentions of posting that argument was because it shows how it is likely that god exists. This is all I need and I do not need to go further to prove god’s existence.
This part of my opponent’s argument came of slightly confusing. Anyway, let’s break it down. The way my opponent states, god existing necessarily is contingent to god existing possibly. That translates to a necessary god exists by definition of possible existence. Apparently, since the necessary existence is the conclusion of the necessary existence being contingent to the possible existence, it does not follow the necessary existence being contingent to the possible existence? Just because we can phrase this in another way does not mean the argument itself is different.
I will do rebuttals until my opponent is done with his argument. Again, I thank my opponent for letting me argue.
Thanks for the rebuttal Pro.
Reverse Ontological Argument
Pro seems to have a misunderstanding of what the contentions of this argument are. I would like to begin by stating that the Modal Ontological Argument (MOA), does not prove the likelihood of a God's existence... It's intentions are to definitely prove God's existence.
To elaborate more thoroughly, I will translate MOA into logical representation:
P2) ◊(∃x) ⊃ ◊(∃x)
P3) ◊(∃x) ⊃ (∃x)
P4) (∃x) ⊃ (∃x)
P5) (∃x) ⊃ (∃x)
C) ∴ (∃x)
(x being MGB)
I believe that the Pro is confused with epistemic modalies; a misconception for 'possibly', or '◊', is that it 'could' be the case. I believe that Pro is under that pretense because "My intentions of posting that argument was because it shows how it is likely that god exists" implies it. I apologize if this is not the case, however, to me, this is what it implies." Nonetheless, this argument uses system 5 axiom to make it valid... 'Possibly' means true in one world, 'contingent' means true in some worlds but not in others, and 'necessarily' means it is true in all worlds. Now, if we were to observe premise one, it states that it is possible that MGB exists in a possible world. What the reverse modal ontological argument (RMOA) does, is it replaces possible existence, with ~possible existence. If we were to concede that the MOA is sound, then RMOA is also sound. If that's the case, the argument is moot - Pro needs to advocate why MOA is superior to RMOA.
Modal Ontological Argument
I advocated that this argument is invalid, because it commits the fallacy of equivocation. If we were to examine premise 2 and 3, the definition of MGB changes...
P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
From this, God is defined as having possible existence - if God is defined as having possible existence, then God does not exist necessarily... This 'God' can be represented as 'p'.
P3: If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
Subsequently, in premise 3, the definition changes to necessary existence - this can be represented as 'q'.
From this we can deduce that p and q are separate entities.
Therefore the argument takes the form
P2: ◊(∃p) ⊃ ◊(∃p)
P3: ◊(∃p) ⊃ (∃q)
Now we have a problem; if the possible existence of MGB implies the possible existence of MGB, then how can it imply the necessary existence of MGB? Now, this may seem odd, but in premise two, you defined MGB as existing in one possible world, then in the next premise you defined it as having necessary existence. Therefore, the argument is a non-sequitur. If Pro were to commend that existence from necessity is implied in premise two, then it's begging the question.
Argument of the Righteous
Notice in premise 2, Pro states "Existence is a perfection above which no perfection may be conceived". However, there is no evidence for why this is the case... Why is existence a perfection? Why would non-existence not be a perfection? Pro states "My personal interpretation is that there is nothing to compare the of state “x” of the universe because state “x” is perfect at being state “x”. But then this asks the question, why does a lack of comparison imply perfection? I can compare an existing x to a non-existing x; the only properties that are different is that existing x exists, and non-existing x doesn't. Since there is no valid evidence of the second premise, the argument is negated.
Conceptual Ontological Argument
So, both Pro and I have come to the consensus that premise one must can only be accepted if the proposition is that one believes, or one is thinking; one gives cancellation and the other doesn't. Pro accepts that the version that does not give cancellation is invalid. I will now elaborate to why the other proposition is also invalid.
It begs the question... It can be conveyed with this syllogism:
P1: Billy is thinking about God
P2: Billy cannot think of things that do not exist
C: Therefore, God exists
This clearly begs the question; without accepting the fist premise, the conclusion falls. Since I have proven why both propositions are invalid, the argument itself is also invalid.
" I believe that the definition of “greatness” that Anselm put out was the validity of existence. Therefore, an object that does necessarily exists is “greater” than an object that does not necessarily exists."
Please explain what the "validity of existence" is.
"If we pick a child that loves its mother, the child can only love its mother if it exists. Same with any other trait. Therefore, the existing child is greater because it can possess that trait."
But there is no objective rule to why that rendition must be greater. Why is something that possesses traits is greater than something that cannot? I could easily say the same thing: a war that didn't happen is a greater one that did. Still, this is still only subjective intuition.
Now, my opponent takes on the comparison of the MOA and the RMOA. I agree that that I will need to advocate why the MOA is superior.
When we take the likelihood of god's existence, we are not talking about definitive proof. While both arguments are valid (RMOA and the MOA), then we both need to advocate why one is greater than the other. Otherwise, we are getting nowhere. In order to advocate why the MOA is superior than the RMOA, I will do so in the rebuttal attacking the MOA.
Defense of the MOA
"From this, God is defined as having possible existence - if God is defined as having possible existence, then God does not exist necessarily... This 'God' can be represented as 'p'."
Then, in the next premisses. . .
"Subsequently, in premise 3, the definition changes to necessary existence - this can be represented as 'q'."
My opponent states the reason why the argument is invalid is because of its change in definition, therefore making it Non sequitur. The reason why this is not the case is because if it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then it exists on some possible world. In the next premises, we replace in some possible world to every possible world making god necessary in a possible world. This seems odd, but an eternal being is only existing in possibility. Now, we can take this further stating that reality is within possibility. This does not make the argument non sequitur since, the necessity is implying only within possibility-or in a possible world that we do not know that exist, however may. Which then makes reality within possibility.
Argument of the Righteous:
The reason why the lack of comparison implies perfection is because it is perfect-in its state. For an example (Assume the cut is an imperfection)
-The red dress has has a cut
-It is the only red dress
-That dress is perfect since there is no other dress to compare to, making it the best dress with a cut
-The red dress as a cut
-There is another red dress with no cut
-The red dress is without the cut is perfect
Now, notice how the red dress without the cut is no longer a perfection, since we can compare it to another red dress. The cut hints an imperfection, but even the imperfection is the perfect imperfection because it is the only imperfection, therefore making the imperfection perfect.
I will now elaborate the definition of "validity of existence" as my opponent requested. In my definition, the validity of existence is the likelihood, or the possibility of the existence. For an example, the red dress that is currently in front of me (exists) is greater than a red dress that may or may not exist. Only because, the red dress that is in front of me more likely exists than the dress that may not.
usernamesareannoying forfeited this round.
Thanks for an intriguing debate
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