The Instigator
Magicr
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
RyuuKyuzo
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

It is Logically Impossible that a Maximally Great Being Exists.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
RyuuKyuzo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,156 times Debate No: 31995
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (32)
Votes (3)

 

Magicr

Pro


It is logically impossible that a maximally great being exists.

Just a few definitions:

Maximally great being (MGB)- A being greater than all other conceivable beings. A MGB is attributed omnipotence, omniscience, perfect moral goodness, and being the necessary creator of the Universe. Note, however, that this being must be subject to the laws of logic for the purposes of this discussion. The MGB we are discussing could not, for instance, create a square triangle or a married bachelor.

Logically Impossible- A proposition that leads to contradiction or incoherence.

Exists- To have actual being; to exist in the actual world.

Rules and Such Things

  1. Pro has the burden of proof in this debate, however Con must successfully refute Pro’s arguments to win the debate. Insufficient argumentation from Pro without Con pointing out any flaws does not grant Con a win.
  2. The first round is for acceptance. Clarifications regarding the resolution, definitions, or any other preliminary matters should be brought up in the comments before accepting the debate.
  3. No abusive and/or semantically abusive arguments.
  4. Drops shall count as concessions.
  5. No new arguments in the final round.

RyuuKyuzo

Con

I accept. I'd like to thank my opponent for setting up this debate. I anxiously await his argument on why the existence of a MGB is logically impossible.
Debate Round No. 1
Magicr

Pro

I’d like to thank RyuuKyuzo for accepting this challenge.


So, this is an argument that I’ve been playing around with a bit. It centers around the notion that a maximally great being cannot exist because a greater being is always conceivable, rendering the proposition of such a being existing illogical. The argument is as follows:


P1. If a maximally great being exists, it is greater than any other conceivable being.

P2. There must exist a finite number of stars in the galaxy at any given time.

P3. If there must exist a finite number of stars in the galaxy at any given time, then there must be a finite number of stars that a maximally great being could create.

P4. If there must be a finite number of stars that a maximally great being could create, then there is always another number greater than this number.

P5. If there is always another number greater than this number, I could then always conceive of a being that could create a greater number of stars than the maximally great being.

P6. If I could conceive of a being that could create a greater number of stars than the maximally great being, then I am conceiving of a being greater than the maximally great being.

P7. If I can always conceive of a being greater than a maximally great being, then a maximally great does not exist.

C. Therefore, a maximally great being does not exist.


The argument is logically valid as the conclusion follows from the premises. I find the premises to be fairly obviously true:


P1. If a maximally great being exists, it is greater than any other conceivable being.
This premise has already been agreed to by my opponent through his acceptance of my definitions.



P2. There must exist a finite number of stars in the galaxy at any given time.
The idea of an infinite number of stars existing in the galaxy at any given time is an incoherent one.


P3. If there must exist a finite number of stars in the galaxy at any given time, then there must be a finite number of stars that a maximally great being could create.
Clearly, if there must be a finite number of stars at any given time, then a MGB could not create an infinite number of stars, given that we have agreed that this MGB must by subject to the rules of logic.


P4. If there must be a finite number of stars that a maximally great being could create, then there is always another number greater than this number.
No matter what that finite number is that a MGB could create, there is always another number that is greater. For example, if an MGB could create 100,000,000,000 stars, 100,000,000,001 is a greater number.


P5. If there is always another number greater than this number, I could then always conceive of a being that could create a greater number of stars than the maximally great being.
It follows then, that a being that could create 100,000,000,001 stars is conceivable.


P6. If I could conceive of a being that could create a greater number of stars than the maximally great being, then I am conceiving of a being greater than the maximally great being.
And since this being can create one more star, this being is greater than the MGB.


P7. If I can always conceive of a being greater than a maximally great being, then a maximally great does not exist.
As a MGB is a being that is greater than all other conceivable beings and I can conceive of a greater being, a MGB does not exist.



C. Therefore, a maximally great being does not exist.
Since the conclusion follows from the premises, if the premises are true, the conclusion is true as well.


That’s all for now, folks. I turn it over to Con and look forward to his response.

RyuuKyuzo

Con

I thank my opponent for his opening case.

Before beginning, it's important to take a close look at the resolution: It is logically impossible that a maximally great being exists. Since my opponent has accepted the BoP, it is therefore assumed that a maximally great being (MGB) is logically possible, until such time that it is shown to be impossible. As Pro stated in round one, I have the burden of the rejoinder (I must find flaws in Pro's argument), however the assumption is that I am correct, and therefore I stand to win, until shown otherwise. Also note that we are speaking in terms of possibility, not probability. Therefore, if I can establish even one single way in which a MGB can be logically possible, I win this debate.

Let's look at what Pro's argument boils down to:

Pro's Arguments

Pro has given only 1 argument for why a MGB cannot exist. It is, essentially, that so long as we can conceive of something 1 quantitative value point greater than the MGB, we can conceive of a being greater than the MGB, which means it can't exist.

Pro asserts that his syllogism is logically valid, but I'm afraid there are numerous issues with it.

Firstly, let's simplify Pro's argument:

-P1: There is a limited amount of stuff in the universe
-P2: If there is a limited amount of stuff, then the creator must only be able to create a limited amount of stuff
-P3: We can always think of something capable of creating 1 more thing
-C: There can be no MGB

1) First problem, Pro is assuming that there is a limited amount of stuff (stars) in the universe. We don't know this to be the case. It is very much possible that the Universe is infinite:

"Since we cannot observe space beyond the limitations of light (or any electromagnetic radiation), it is uncertain whether the size of the Universe is finite or infinite." [1]

For Pro to say that "The idea of an infinite number of stars existing in the galaxy at any given time is an incoherent one." is a base-less assertion. While I can't say for sure the the Universe IS infinite, I don't have to. I need only to establish the logical possibility to fulfil my BoP, and since there exists the possibility that the universe is infinite, this point stands in favour of Con.

2) The second problem Pro has made is a logical fallacy where he states that a finite number of existing stars suggests a finite number of potential stars:

"P3. If there must exist a finite number of stars in the galaxy at any given time, then there must be a finite number of stars that a maximally great being could create."

This is an unwarranted assumption. Firstly, there very well may be an infinite amount of stars, but even if there isn't, the amount of stars that currently exists says nothing about how many stars the MGB could potentially create. It could very well be capable of creating an infinite amount of stars, but not willing. So long as this possibility exists, this point also stands in favour of Con.


3) Pro's third issue is stating that we can always conceive of a being capable of creating 1 more thing, therefore a MGB is impossible. As laid out in R1, the MGB is, by definition, omnipotent -- meaning it has infinite power [2]. So no, we cannot conceive of something capable of creating more stars, because this being is, by definition, capable of creating an infinite amount of stars if it chose to. This premise is in direct contradiction to the pre-agreed upon definitions Pro laid out in R1 and therefore voids Pro's argument.

4)
This argument also has an internal problem. Pro sets out to establish that there is a finite amount of potential stars that can be created. If this is true, then we cannot conceive of a being capable of creating more stars that the "MGB" in question, as this would violate the conclusions his previous premises were meant to establish. Pro's argument is self-contradictory. If it is possible for this supposed limit to be surpassed, then Pro has logically established the possibility of a maximally great being, thereby defeating his own position.

Conclusion

Pro's argument rests on 3 unsupported assumptions (fallacies) to make his case. Firstly, his argument assumes a finite Universe. Secondly, his argument assumes the amount of stars in the Galaxy in any way represents the potential amount of stars the MGB can create. Thirdly, his argument assumes that you can conceive of a being more powerful than an omnipotent being, which is tautologically impossible. Finally, Pro's argument contradicts itself by both attempting to establish a limit on the amount of potential stars that can be created, and by attempting to establish the logical possibility of a being capable of surpassing this limit.


Therefore, the logical possibility for a MGB remains. The resolution is negated.

Vote Con!

Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Magicr

Pro

I appreciate my opponent’s response, but I’m afraid he has misunderstood several aspects of my argument.

First, he challenges the validity of my argument, yet all of the objections he presents do not explain why he considers the argument to be logically invalid. Validity has nothing to do with whether the premises are true. All validity evaluates is whether the conclusion follows from the premises. In other words, if we assumed the premises are true, would the conclusion also be true? Although the following argument is not sound, it is logically valid:

P1. All cups are green.
P2. Socrates is a cup.
C. Therefore, Socrates are green.

So, although we know that both P1 and P2 are false, the conclusion does follow from the premises, so the argument can be said to be valid.

I encourage my opponent to look at my argument once again, and I hope he will find that the conclusion of the argument follows from the premises.


Next, my opponent simplified my argument, and in doing so changed some important wording. My original argument discusses the amount of stuff in the galaxy. My opponent has changed this to the amount of stuff in the Universe. The other change is the change from “must be” to “is” in the first and second premises. If we are using the word “is,” then the second premise is not true, but if we use “must be” then the second premise holds up.


Con Objection #1

Con’s first objection centers around the idea that it is possible that the Universe is infinite, so there is not a finite amount of stuff in the Universe. This is based on a couple of misunderstandings. The first misunderstanding is that my example discusses a galaxy, not the entire Universe. We know there is not a finite number of stars in the galaxy through scientific means, though, more importantly, I will explain in a bit why we know this to true philosophically as well.

Scientists have estimated the number of stars in the galaxy to be around 100 billion. Although this number is not exact, just an estimate, it does allow us to conclude that there is a finite number of stars in the galaxy.

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu...

Additionally, we can simplify the argument even farther to something like the number of socks in my house or really whatever you want. There is no question that there is a finite number of socks in my house any given time.

The second misunderstanding deals with what it means for the Universe to be infinite. Although we can say that the Universe, at any given time, the Universe must be of a finite size. The reasoning behind this is the same as the reasoning behind my claim that there must exist a finite number of stars.

So, we know the amount of stuff in the Universe is finite, but despite my opponent's rewriting of it, my argument posits that the amount of stuff in the Universe must be finite in every possible world.


Here's how we can arrive at that conclusion:


Logical and mathematical truths are necessary truths, in other words, things that are true in every possible world, including the actual world. 2+1=3 is true in every possible world. We know this because mathematical propositions are true by definition. The number two is defined, in part, by the fact that when added to itself, the number four is achieved. In know possible world can there exist a square triangle. We know this to be true because of the logical contradiction this would entail: Triangles are, by definition, not squares.

The existence of an actual infinity (an infinite number of stars, socks, space in the Universe,etc.) would contradict necessary logical and mathematical truths, meaning that such an infinity cannot exist, given that logical and mathematical truths are necessary truths.

One way to demonstrate the impossibility of infinities is using the law of identity, which states rather simply that everything is the same as what it is and is different from what it is not. This law is fundamental to both logic and math.

So, let’s apply this law using the number one. We can say that the number one can be identified in part by the fact that any one added to any number, is equal to one greater than that number. So:

2+1=3.

But, infinity defies this, as

∞+1=∞.

One added to infinity should be one greater than infinity, but it results in just infinity, thus defying one’s properties of identity, as well as the identities of all other numbers.

For, the equation expresses that:

0=1=2=3=..., since ∞+1=∞+2+∞+3=∞.

Yet, we know that one is not equal to two because the law of identity tells us that different things are different.

So, we can then rule out the existence of actual infinities because their existence would contradict necessary truths.

The impossibility of an infinity can also be seen through the example of Hilbert’s Infinite Hotel, which demonstrates the paradoxical nature of actual infinities. For anyone interested, a very short video explaning the paradox can be seen above.

What we can conclude from all of this is that actual infinities can exist in no possible world, therefore, the at any given time, there is indeed a finite amount of stuff in the Universe, and more importantly, there must always exist a finite amount of stuff in the Universe as the opposite of this would result in a contradiction, an impossibility.


Con Objection #2

Con’s second objection results from his changing “must be” to “is” in his simplification of my argument. As I have already demonstrated, not only do we know that there is a finite amount of stuff in the Universe, but that there must be a finite amount of stuff in the Universe.

So, given that a maximally great being could not do something that is logically impossible, and having an infinite amount of stuff in the Universe would be a logical impossibility, a maximally great being could only create a finite amount of stuff. In syllogism form:

P1. A MGB could not do something that is logically impossible.
P2. An infinite amount of stuff cannot exist.
C.Therefore, a MGB could not cause an infinite amount of stuff to exist.

The first premise was already agreed to by my opponent, and I justified the second premise in response to my opponent’s first objection.

Since this objection was based on a fallacious representation of the argument, needless to say, it does not stand.


Con Objection #3

Con’s objection here is that the argument fails since we agreed to the definition of a maximally great being including omnipotence, which he defines as infinite power. I would remind my opponent that we also agreed that this omnipotence is limited by what is logically possible, so it is inaccurate to say that we defined a maximally great being as having infinite power.

As I have already demonstrated, if it were possible for a maximally great being to exist, this being could not create an infinite amount of stars, even if it wanted to, because creating an infinite amount of stars is logically impossible.


Con Objection #4

Once again, we find a misunderstanding has led to an objection. My opponent argues that the argument is self-contradicting, and therefore fails.

What is actually self-contradicting is not the argument, but rather the concept of a maximally great being. In fact, this contradiction within the idea of a maximally great being that invalidates its possibility.

The key to understanding this is that the argument begins by supposing what could happen if a maximally great being could exist. The argument then demonstrates why such a proposition leads to contradiction and therefore concludes that a maximally great being cannot exist.


Conclusion

My opponent’s objections to my argument are based mostly on misunderstandings and misrepresentations of my argument.

I have clearly demonstrated why each of his objections do not stand.

In the end, it all boils down to this: Because we can always conceive of a greater being, no conceivable being is the greatest.


RyuuKyuzo

Con

Let's dive right in.

Pro opens by claiming I didn't present any issues with the validity of his argument. This is bizarre, as my "point 4" argument clearly demonstrates a logical inconsistency within his syllogism. Even if Pro disagrees that my argument points out a flaw in his argument, it clearly is an attack on his argument's validity and internal consistency rather than its truth value.

Pro continues by arguing for his argument's validity. Let's get one thing clear. This debate's resolution is NOT "This argument is valid", the resolution clearly states "It is Logically Impossible that a Maximally Great Being Exists." Given this resolution, the truth-value of his argument's premises must be taken into account. If his argument fails to match up with reality, then his argument fails to establish the logical impossibility for a MGB.

Pro takes issue with my use of the word "Universe" instead of "galaxy". This is a pointless distinction. The argument has to do with the ability to create stars, and since theirs no objective "boundary" to how big a galaxy can theoretically be, you can keep adding "stars" to the galaxy until it's scope matches the universe. Therefore, if the Universe is infinite, and the MGB's capacity to create stars is infinite, then the amount of stars that can potential be in our galaxy is also infinite.

Pro takes issue with my usage of the word "is" instead of "must be". This is a particularly petty semantical argument, especially considering he doesn't go into detail on why this is a problem. If there "must be" a necessary limit to the number of stars in the universe, then there also "is" a necessary limit to the amount of stars in the universe.

Now that we have this out of the way, let's get into the actual arguments:

Objection 1:

The crux of Pro's defence is that there is a finite number of stars in our galaxy. This is irrelevant to my objection. Our galaxy does not represent the entire Universe. We know there are around 100 billion stars in our galaxy, but we don't know how many stars are in the entire Universe.

Because the universe is only around 14 billion years old, we can only see objects 14 billion lightyears away (observable universe), but we also know that the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light [1]. Even though there is a finite number of stars in our galaxy, that says nothing about the amount of stars there are in reality, and if the potential exists for an infinite amount of stars in our Universe, then we must also agree that the potential for a MGB exists.

Pro then attempts to discredit the possibility of an actual infinity. Firstly, it must be made clear that the existence of actual infinities has no bearing on potential infinities. In other words, a MGB can have the power needed to create stars an infinite amount of times (potential) without actually having to create an infinite amount of stars (actual), so it is fallacious to argue that there cannot be a MGB simply because there are no observable infinities. Therefore, even if Pro's following argument is sound, it still fails to fulfill his BoP. Let's begin.

Pro argues that actual infinities are impossible because infinity violates the law of identity, pointing out that ∞+1 still equals infinity. This does not violate the law of identity, because by definition infinity is never ending. By definition, infinity can encompass all numbers and still be infinity. It's important to note that this means Pro is making a mathematical error. Infinity is not a number, it's a concept, in much the same way "blue" is a concept [3][2]. In essence, pro's argument is the same as saying "blue can't exist, because blue+1=blue". Obviously this is nonsense, and therefore this argument is moot.

Pro also presents a video on Hilbert's Hotel, however he does not explain its relevance to his argument within the debate itself and so this must be rejected as evidence for his case. I could link a hundred videos arguing that the Universe is infinite, but unless I actually explain their significance, they cannot be considered an argument for my position. In the same way, Pro must actually make the case he's presenting in order for it to be considered one of his arguments, and since he cannot make new arguments in the last round, he has lost this point.

To briefly make the case for infinity, Pro neglects the possibility of different cardinalities of infinity. That is to say, some infinities are larger than others [3]. M-theory is one such theory that utilizes different cardinalities of infinity. M-Theory posits the existence of 10 spatial dimensions +1 time dimension [4]. Each time we go up 1 spatial dimension, we have opened up the door to a potentially infinite amount of adjacent membranes in the dimension below. There's no experimental evidence backing up this theory, but since my opponent has the BoP I don't need any. All I need is for this theory to be logically consistent to establish the possibility of it being true, and since this is the case, modern theoretical physics successfully establishes the logical possibility of infinities.

Objection 2:

This is pretty much the same defence as before, so my response is the same. Having an infinite amount of power does not necessarily mean using an infinite amount of power. We can't determine how powerful this creator is simply by looking at the power he has chosen to spend thus far. Therefore, to argue that a MGB cannot exist because there is only a limited number of stars in our Galaxy is fallacious and, frankly, absurd.

Pro then presents a new syllogism:

P1. A MGB could not do something that is logically impossible.
P2. An infinite amount of stuff cannot exist.
C. Therefore, a MGB could not cause an infinite amount of stuff to exist.

This argument is a non-sequitur. Even if it is true that an infinite amount of stuff can't exist (which Pro has so far failed to establish), this in no way shows that a MGB is logically impossible. All this argues is that a MGB can't utilize an infinite amount of power at once in our universe without violating the laws he created this universe to have. This says nothing about his actual existence.

Objection 3

Pro says that omnipotence cannot = infinite power because we agreed that a MGB must be constrained by the limitations of logic. First, Pro gave no definition of 'omnipotence' in round 1, therefore the default assumption is based on the dictionary definition. I defined this term last round, so for Pro to attempt to re-define "omnipotence" ex-post-facto is a semantics argument and in violation of his own rules.

Furthermore, Pro has yet to establish that omnipotence is logically impossible. It is entirely possible that the Universe is infinite, therefore it is possible that there are an infinite amount of stars. Even if this is not the case, it is still possible that a MGB has the power needed to create an infinite amount of stars, but simply doesn't.

Objection 4

Pro doesn't actually bring up my objection once here. He merely asserts that I'm misunderstanding his argument and leaves it at that. He has failed to even acknowledge, let alone refute, my objection -- and since new argument aren't allowed next round, I'll take this as a conceded point.

Conclusion

Pro claims my arguments stem from a misunderstanding of his argument, but upon even brief investigation, it is readily apparent that my objections were spot-on, as Pro's defence amounts to little more than re-asserting his original argument, rather than actually countering my objections. Pro has failed to establish the impossibility of both actual and potential infinites, therefore he has also failed to logically prove that a MGB is impossible. As such, his BoP is unfulfilled.

The resolution is negated.

Vote Con

Sources

1. http://curious.astro.cornell.edu...
2. http://scienceblogs.com...
3. [video]
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Magicr

Pro

I must admit that it is slightly disappointing that my opponent has asserted quite a bit that I have not provided sufficient responses to his objections when I have done this, and then he proceeds to not even truly respond to the objections I have made.

Validity of the Argument

While I completely agree that my burden in this debate is to prove both the validity of the argument and the truth of the premises, I prefer to do one at a time.

Pro claims that his fourth objection attacks the validity of the argument. The argument has “internal problems,” my opponent claims, because I am acknowledging that a MGB could exist in order to say that the limit of this being has been surpassed.

He can say he has attacked the arguments validity and “internal problems” all he wants, but I don’t see that he has.

What he has done is ignored the “Ifs” at the beginning of most of the premises. Because these “Ifs” are there, his objection is not an objection to the validity of the argument, but to the accuracy of these “If” statements, since each premise following the first two makes its claim directly from the previous claim.

As I have already explained in the previous round, I am not saying in the beginning of the argument that a maximally great being could exist, I am saying that if a maximally great being could exist, it would be contradictory, therefore it cannot exist.

If Con thinks his fourth objection really tries to challenge the validity of the argument as opposed to the truth of the “If” statements, he has done a poor job justifying this.


Word Changes

As I have demonstrated that both a Universe and a galaxy cannot be infinite in size at any given time, I will go ahead and agree that the distinction is not significant since neither could contain an infinite amount of stars.

The difference between the “is” and “must be” is, however, much more than the petty semantics my opponent posits it is. This difference is a difference between the argument being sound or not. He also says I did not explain why this difference is so important. Yet, I clearly stated in the previous round “If we are using the word ‘is,’ then the second premise [the second premise of his simplified version of the argument, that is] is not true, but if we use ‘must be’ then the second premise holds up.”


Objection 1: Pro has not proven that there must exist a finite amount of stuff in the Universe.

No! No! No! The crux if my defense is not that there is a finite number of stars, but that there must be. I made it pretty clear in the previous round that not only was I proving that there is a finite number of stars, but that there must be a finite number of stars. Saying that there are around 100 billion stars proves that there is, my argument with in infinity proves that there must be.

Next, Con argues that infinity is not a number, rather it is a concept. He equates using infinity as a number to using blue as a number.

It is actually for this reason that there must exist a finite number of stars. Saying that there is are blue stars to describe how many stars there are makes very little sense indeed, and if we are to believe as my opponent has indicated that the two are equivalent in their relationship of concepts to numbers, then infinity as a description of an amount also makes little sense.

Yet, my opponent fails to fully respond to my analysis of infinity using the law of identity, given that my argument was not concerned so much with the identity of infinity, as it was with the different identities of numbers.

My video on the Hilbert Hotel was merely an extra, meant to provide another example of how paradoxical infinities can be.

Additionally, I fail to see how the existence of different cardinalities of infinity has any impact on the existence of an infinite amount of stuff, and given that he is using M-Theory as an example of different cardinalities of infinity, the same holds true for that.

I have clearly demonstrated using the law of identity that there must exist an infinite amount of stuff in the Universe.


Objection 2: A finite number of existing stars doesn’t mean a finite number of potential stars.

Here, Pro argues that having an infinite amount of power does not necessarily mean using an infinite amount of power. I agree, however the definition to which we agreed does not merely say that a MGB does not use infinite power, but that a MGB cannot use infinite power, as a MGB cannot do what is logically impossible.

He next challenges validity of the syllogism I presented to show that a MGB could not create an infinite amount of stuff, by saying that it is a non-sequiter. This is not the case as the syllogism follows the valid form:

P1. P cannot do anything that is X.
P2. Q is X.
C.Therefore, P cannot do Q.

I have demonstrated that an infinite amount of stuff cannot exist, and we agreed that a MGB cannot do what is not logically possible, so it is easy to conclude that a MGB cannot create an infinite number of stars at any given time.


Objection 3: A MGB has infinite power.

Though I gave no specific definition of omnipotence in R1, I did give the constraint on any possible definition that could be brought up that the omnipotence being discussed cannot exceed logical impossibility. This was accepted by my opponent. So, any definition proposed must work within this agreed upon constraint. This is not a redefinition after my opponent presented a definition, but rather a rejection of the definition based upon a previously agreed upon criterium.

Objection 4: The argument concedes that a MGB is possible.

My opponent asserts that I did not provide an actual rebuttal to objection in the previous round and that I have not even acknowledged the objection.

This is not the case. I clearly explained why this objection is an invalid one, and this explanation was reiterated earlier in this round.

It is my opponent who has failed to offer a response to my rejection of his objection, so this point must be counted in my favor.

Conclusion

I have sufficiently responded to all of Pro’s objections. Thus far, he has not provided sufficient responses to my objections.

I thank my opponent for this debate.

The resolution stands affirmed.

RyuuKyuzo

Con

Let's wrap this one up =)

Pro is still claiming that I'm misunderstanding his argument. The voters will have to decide for themselves if my counters hit the mark or not, but to satisfy Pro, all of my arguments will be in direct response to a quote from his last argument.

"He can say he has attacked the arguments validity and “internal problems” all he wants, but I don’t see that he has."

My #4 objection was clear. If there is a limit to the amount of stars the MGB can create at any one time, then we cannot imagine a greater being as by definition this new being would become the MGB. By arguing that we can always imagine a being that can create 1 more star contradicts his other argument about there being a limit to the number of stars that can be created. Either there is a limit and the MGB must abide by it, or there is no limit and so the MGB can create an infinite amount of stars. Either way, none of this shows that this being's existence is impossible.

Since my opponent has failed to address this argument, it stands as a dropped point.

"As I have demonstrated that both a Universe and a galaxy cannot be infinite in size at any given time"

Where? I've yet to see this demonstrated, and furthermore I've sourced webpages outlining how the universe can be infinite in size and many scientists agree the universe might very well be infinite in size. The possibility is there, and since all I had to do was establish the possibility, Pro has already lost this debate.

"Yet, I clearly stated in the previous round “If we are using the word ‘is,’ then the second premise [the second premise of his simplified version of the argument, that is] is not true, but if we use ‘must be’ then the second premise holds up.”"

Pro is now quoting his own assertions as evidence for his argument. This is nonsense. Pro, you have to actually demonstrate why your argument only works given the words "must be", because at this point no meaningful difference has been established. Like I said, this is petty semantics, and in violation of Pro's own rules.

"The crux if my defense is not that there is a finite number of stars, but that there must be. I made it pretty clear in the previous round that not only was I proving that there is a finite number of stars, but that there must be a finite number of stars."

Once again, if there "must be" a limit, then there "IS" a limit. << This is tautologically true. If there is no limit, then you have no grounds for saying there "must be" a limit. Also, you've just admitted that you were arguing for both, so you've just rendered your own objection moot...

"Saying that there is are blue stars to describe how many stars there are makes very little sense indeed"

Either Pro didn't understand what I was saying, or he's being deliberately facetious. Infinity =/= blue. Infinity still has a definition. It means "limitless/endless" [1]. You can have a limitless amount of stars if you allow for an endless universe. The concepts fit together, dare I say, logically. However, infinite is not a number according to mathematicians and so Pro's mathematical argument against infinities is patently fallacious.

"Additionally, I fail to see how the existence of different cardinalities of infinity has any impact on the existence of an infinite amount of stuff"

If it's logically possible to have an infinite amount of infinities, then I've established the logical possibility for infinities, therefore a MGB can be infinite, therefore the resolution is negated.

"I agree, however the definition to which we agreed does not merely say that a MGB does not use infinite power, but that a MGB cannot use infinite power, as a MGB cannot do what is logically impossible"

Once again, even if it's true that infinities can't exist (they can, according to physicists and mathematicians, but just for the sake of argument let's see where this goes), then all you've done is shown that a MGB can't use all his power at once, not that he doesn't exist.

"This is not a redefinition after my opponent presented a definition, but rather a rejection of the definition based upon a previously agreed upon criteria."

Pro hasn't even attempted to prove that infinite power is impossible (all he's argued for is that infinite execution of power is impossible), so for him to argue that the MGB can't be omnipotent because we agreed to constrain this being by logic means either he's changing definitions ex-post facto (rule violation) or he's rooting his argument in a point he hasn't even attempted to argue. Either way, pro loses this point.

"This is not the case. I clearly explained why this objection is an invalid one, and this explanation was reiterated earlier in this round."

No. All Pro did was assert that I misunderstood him, then he proceeded to re-cap his argument. a quick scroll to R3 verifies this. He never mentioned a single specific from my argument. Either he couldn't beat it, or he didn't understand it and just didn't have the sense to ask for clarification. Either way, this argument has been dropped.

I understand pro has to say something in his own defence here, but this is clearly a bluff.

Conclusion

Pro set out to prove that a MGB is impossible. This is an incredibly heavy burden to carry, and in the end Pro couldn't carry it. His argument rested on 2 points; 1: infinities can't exist 2: infinite potential can't exist.

Pro only attempted to prove the former, which alone fails to fulfill his BoP and therefore even if he established this, he would still lose. If that wasn't bad enough, he completely failed to prove that infinities were impossible. I've provided the framework for how infinities can be possible, so Pro's argument is not only insufficient, but also wrong.

As for point 2, the only thing he said about it was an assertion that a limit on the amount of stars that can be made shows a limit to the amount of stars the MGB has the energy to create. I pointed out time and time again that limitations on the universe (creation) is not enough to imply limitation on the MGB (creator). Pro has neglected to respond to this argument, and so he has failed to meet the standard he set for himself to win in R1. As such, the resolution is, once and for all, negated.

Let's end this on a quick point-by-point break down:

Conduct: Con. Pro dropped arguments and made semantical arguments despite these things being against the rules (rules he created nonetheless).

S/G: Tie.

Arguments: Con. Pro failed to even come close to fulfilling his BoP.

Sources: Con. Pro only sourced one of his claims, a claim he has admitted to be an irrelevant distinction in this last round. I provided both more and more relevant sources to back up my claims.

VOTE CON

Sources


1. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 4
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
A long RFD can still be bad. And Typho's vote, though long, discussed an obejection of his own apart from the objections raised in the debate.
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
typhlochactas' RFD was too large to even fit in the RFD section, I think that says enough. His RFD seems to indicate a deep understanding of this topic. Magic8000 on the other hand has a habit of making very short RFD's. He should do what I do, when the side you disagree with wins, don't vote. :) Preferable to voting on debates against your conscience.
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
Typho's RFD wasn't much better. Why didn't you counter him?
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
What is this horrid RFD by magic8000... size of universe was in contention and not a reason to vote for one or the other. Looks suspiciously like a rationalised vote. Sorry magicr, needs countering.
Posted by Typhlochactas 4 years ago
Typhlochactas
I knew this debate would be interesting to me the moment I read the resolution. In fact, I participated in a debate just like this one with KeytarHero a month ago. I gave an argument very similar to the one that Magicr gave, so I think I had a good perspective on what he was getting at. Ultimately I lost, and I realized the absurdity of trying to demonstrate the impossibility of a MGB. So, I was very interested to see what Magicr had to say.

Firstly, I think it"s important to note that Magicr has a large burden of proof. Demonstrating that it"s impossible for a MGB to exist is a very difficult task, and there is no argument against a MGB that has been widely accepted. Magicr is making an argument that, if true, would greatly impact the philosophical community.

That being said, I think there was an assumption in his argument that was never justified. We were never provided any reason to think that a being which can create 9 stars is greater than a being which can create eight stars. Since Magicr never justified this assumption, there is no reason to believe that you can always conceive of a great being (which can create more stars). That's why I'm going to give arguments to Con.
Posted by Typhlochactas 4 years ago
Typhlochactas
A MGB would have to be omnipotent for it to exist in all possible worlds.

I'd really like for you to give a brief answer to this in your next round.I knowyou're not debating me,butyour case is done for if you can't justify that assumption.
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
Tyhpho, by that logic, I don't see why it would be greater to be omnipotent than not omnipotent.
Posted by Typhlochactas 4 years ago
Typhlochactas
There's really no reason to think that a being that can create a million stars is better than a being that create 999.999 stars. Capacity to create stars is not a great making property.

It's rather like saying 'Inmate X13 can make more license plates in a day than President Obama, therefore he is greater'.
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
infinities*
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
Next to arguing against your assumption that there can be no actual infinited, it's almost literally the only thing I've said. >> "the amount of stars that currently exists says nothing about how many stars the MGB could potentially create " << I randomly scrolled and this was the first sentence I read. Over and over again, and in many different wordings, I've pointed out that you can't use the current state of the universe as a proxy for how powerful the MGB is. I've explicitly called this fallacious multiple times.

You should have gotten this objection out of my arguments, especially at this point.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
MagicrRyuuKyuzoTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: A good attempt by Pro, but Con picked apart the argument well enough for the convincing arguments vote. The argument which Pro used in support of the resolution had a very shaky premise that Con noticed and argued against. Premise 3: 'If there must exist a finite number of stars in the galaxy at any given time, then there must be a finite number of stars that a maximally great being could create.' Was difficult to justify as the conclusion did not follow the argument, that the amount of stars in the universe correlated with the maximum number the MGB could possibly make. And Con picking up on this unwarranted assumption turned the entire debate over to him. Pros defences changed the arguments somewhat and sent the rest of the debate into aimless parrying of arguments, in which Pro argued that his arguments were protected by his definitions, but a MGB by definition doesn't do logically impossible things as apart of his definition given by Pro in the first round himself. more in commen
Vote Placed by Magic8000 4 years ago
Magic8000
MagicrRyuuKyuzoTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con likes to argue for an infinite universe,however Pro's argument was from the finite galaxy. Con still argues for an infinite universe despite this. Objection 2 is pretty much the same as 1. In objection 3, the very name "maximally great" disagrees with Con. If something is maximally great then it must a capacity. In objection 4 Con ignores Pros response
Vote Placed by Typhlochactas 4 years ago
Typhlochactas
MagicrRyuuKyuzoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in Comments. Though, this was the knockdown argument against Pro: ' there is a limit to the amount of stars the MGB can create at any one time, then we cannot imagine a greater being as by definition this new being would become the MGB. By arguing that we can always imagine a being that can create 1 more star contradicts his other argument about there being a limit to the number of stars that can be created.'