The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

My argument for a god will be more convincing than my opponents.

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Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,797 times Debate No: 99071
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (50)
Votes (0)




Let's each stick to one main argument for a god/gods and related arguments that we can argue apply in support. Con will open with a single argument and post a null round at round 4.

Let me know if you object to my God definition. I'm fine with standard dictionary definitions:


(in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
synonyms:the Lord, the Almighty, the Creator, the Maker, the Godhead; More

(in certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.
"a moon god"
synonyms:deity, goddess, divine being, celestial being, divinity, immortal, avatar
"sacrifices to appease the gods"


I accept the debate and definitions. Thank's to Unstobbaple for instigating and to the judges for voting. I will open with my first argument for the existence of God.

Modal Ontological 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.

C1) Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

This argument uses the laws of modal logic and is similar to a mathematical proof. So if at first this argument made no sense, bear with me. I will attempt to simplify it and make it easier to understand.

When philosophers speak of “possible worlds,” they mean a hypothetical situation (a possible description of reality)

Premise 1. The 5 previous arguments support this premise.

Premise 2. This is just a restatement of P1 in a “possible worlds” format.

Premise 3. There are 3 types of entities that can be spoken of when talking about possibilities: An impossible being (that which can't exist in any possible world, such as a three-sided square), a contingent being (that which could exist in some possible world, but not every world, such as a unicorn. It could exist, as there are no logical incoherencies, it just doesn't in reality), and a necessary being (a being which has to exist in all possible worlds). A maximally great being would be necessary, as being necessary is greater than being contingent or impossible. So a being that necessarily exists is greater than one that exists in some possible worlds, or one that doesn't exist at all.

Premise 4. This premise is obviously true as the actual world, what we would call “reality,” is possible.

Premise 5. This premise is also obviously true. To suggest the opposite, that if something exists in reality, then it doesn't exist, is illogical.

Conclusion 1. Thus a Maximally Great Being exists.

There is a modified version of this argument that is easier to understand:

1) God is that which nothing greater is possible, i.e. the greatest possible being.

2) It is at least possible for God to exist in reality. That is, whether or not God actually exists in the real world, He at least exists in some possible set of circumstances. So, God might have existed in the real world.

3) If something exists only in the mind but is possible, then that something might have been greater than it is. For example, a majestic mountain that exists only in the mind might have been greater: the mountain existing in reality.

4) Suppose God exists only in the mind and not in reality.

5) Then there is a possible being that is greater, namely God existing in reality.

6) So it is possible for something to have been greater than God.

7) Since God is that which nothing greater is possible, then it is possible for something to be greater than that which nothing greater is possible.

C: Premise 7 is not possible and therefore its negation is true, God exists.

Argument in logical symbolism:

Gaunillo's Island

A monk named Gaunillo objected to Anselm's modal ontological argument not long after its formulation. He created the Gaunilo's island response, which claims that the term God was interchangeable with any 'greatest possible thing,' therefore rendering the argument invalid. There are several flaws in this objection, the biggest being that it is wrong, but also that it does nothing to invalidate the argument. Technically, the Modal Ontological Argument is still sound, and thus the conclusion necessarily follows. So what is wrong with Gaunilo's island? The modal ontological argument is invalid with anything other than a greatest possible being. To refute the objection:

P1) There exists an island greater than the perfect island.

P2) Such an island has no physical boundaries or forms.

P3) Such an island is capable of thought and being.

P4) Such a being is tri-omni

P5) This tri-omni being is God.

The island parody simply proves God. A “greatest possible island” is impossible; there will always be something greater until the “island” exhibits God-like qualities. It is similar to claiming there exists the greatest possible integer, no such thing.

There is another objection that is as follows: Presumably, a perfect island is one with an abundance of lush palm trees and pristine beaches. The more of these an island has, the better it is. There is, however, no intrinsic maximum number of trees or beaches that an island could have; for any island that can be imagined, there is another, greater island, with one more palm tree and one more beach. There is, then, no island than which no greater island can be conceived. The concept of the perfect island is incoherent; there can be no such thing."

Kant's Objection

In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant claims that existence is not a predicate, so the modal ontological argument fails. This objection is undermined by Godel's Proof, a formal proof that concludes with God's existence. It only uses mathematical functions to create following premises. The principles that many of the axioms pre-suppose to be true don't need to be debated if we are to assume that both parties agree on things like positiveness is relative to our moral aesthetic sense.

The following is Godel’s mathematical proof:

The following is a worded version:

D1) X is God-like if and only if X has as essential properties those and only those properties which are positive.

D2) A is an essence of X if and only if for every property B, X has B necessarily if and only if A entails B.

D3) X necessarily exists if and only if every essence of X is necessarily exemplified.

A1) Any property entailed by—i.e., strictly implied by—a positive property is positive.

A2) If a property is positive, then its negation is not positive.

A3) The property of being God-like is positive.

A4) If a property is positive, then it is necessarily positive.

A5) Necessary existence is positive.

A6) For any property P, if P is positive, then being necessarily P is positive.

T1) If a property is positive, then it is consistent, i.e., possibly exemplified.

C1) The property of being God-like is consistent.

T2) If something is God-like, then the property of being God-like is an essence of that thing.

T3): Necessarily, the property of being God-like is exemplified.

Conclusion: Inferring X as God is justified as God-like properties are exhibited.

This formal proof is also a justification for premise 3 in the Modal Ontological Argument (see arg. above). This proof is also supported by Godel's Temporal Modal Logical Proof:

MN = Modal Negation

FR = ◊R

HR = `33;R

(H ψ → (ψ • G ψ))

(T1) ~ (H ψ → (ψ • G ψ)) (n) NTF

(T2) H ψ (n) 1, PC

(T3) ~ (ψ • G ψ) (n) 1, PC

(T4) ~ψ (n) 3, PC

(T4) ~G ψ (n) 3, PC

(T5) F~ ψ (n) 3, MN

(T6) nBk 5, FR

(T7) ~ψ (k) 5,6, FR

(T8) kBn 2, HR

(T9) ψ (k) 2,7, HR

Verbal Equivalent:

(T1) = It is not true that if it always has been the case that a God-like being exists then a God-like being exists and it is always going to be the case that a God-like being exists in (n).

(T2) = It always has been the case that a God-like being existed in (n).

(T3) = It is not true that a God-like being exists and it is always going to exist in (n).

(T4) = A God-like being does not exist in (n)

(T4) = It is not the case that a God-like being will always exist in (n).

(T5) = In sometime in the future it will be the case that a God-like being will not exist in (n).

(T6) = (n) occurred before (k).

(T7) = A God-like being does not exist in (k).

(T8) = (k) occurred before (n). (Reflexive Rule)

(T9) = A God-like being exists in (k).

The negation of the formula creates a contradiction.
Debate Round No. 1


Since Con was not able to provide or even anticipate my argument I’ll only present a framework for my rebuttals here:

Like most god arguments it could be used to argue for virtually any creative force. My definitions were more specific. If the argument worked in the first place it would also support multiple contradictory claims so in the end it provides you with no conclusive information.

The argument assumes advanced knowledge of physics while the most successful Physicists believe in a god or gods at a far lower rate than others.

It is essentially a baffle with BS argument.

Those who do not understand the knowledge needed to accept or deny the premises tend to agree that it is correct but cannot defend said premises. Those most qualified to understand it do not agree that it is evidence for a god. Especially not a supreme being or moral authority.

Since these arguments are posted and rehashed ervery where I’ll post some quotes to illustrate various theories that our universe is likely a simulation and the god’s are the programmers (likely other AI at this point). I’ll elaborate next round.

“it is, in principle, possible to simulate a universe in some way, at some point in the future, then we have to assume that on an infinite timeline some species, somewhere, will simulate the universe [1]. And if the universe will be perfectly, or near-perfectly, simulated at some point, then we have to examine the possibility that we live inside such a universe.

And, on a truly infinite timeline, we might expect an almost infinite number of simulations to arise from an almost infinite number or civilizations — and indeed, a sophisticated-enough simulation might be able to let its simulated denizens themselves run universal simulations, and at that point all bets are officially off.
In such a reality, simulated universes might outnumber real ones by an infinity to one, and so to assume we live in the one and only real universe would be the height of arrogance.”


In 2003, philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed a trilemma that he called "the simulation argument". Despite the name, Bostrom's "simulation argument" does not directly argue that we live in a simulation; instead, Bostrom's trilemma argues that one of three unlikely-seeming propositions must be true [2]. The trilemma points out that a technologically mature "posthuman" civilization would have enormous computing power; if even a tiny percentage of them were to run "ancestor simulations" (that is, "high-fidelity" simulations of ancestral life that would be indistinguishable from reality to the simulated ancestor), the total number of simulated ancestors, or "Sims", in the universe (or multiverse, if it exists) would greatly exceed the total number of actual ancestors. Therefore,

At least one of the following three propositions is almost certainly true:
"The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero", or"The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero", or"The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one"
Bostrom goes on to use a type of anthropic reasoning to claim that, if the third proposition is the one of those three that is true, and almost all people with our kind of experiences live in simulations, then we are almost certainly living in a simulation.

That’s a start anyway. See you next round and thanks for accepting this debate!



That’s a start anyway. See you next round and thanks for accepting this debate!


Thanks to Unstobbaple for the quick response.


Anslem's Modal Ontological Argument argues for a maximally great being. For a being to be maximally great, it must have God-like attributes. For example, the greatest possible attributes of existence are to be tri-omni, omnipotent, omniscient, transcendent, and the source of moral authority. It therefore does not simply argue for any creative force, but for a maximally great being that has maximally great attributes (i.e., the Judeo-Christian God).

Also, an advanced knowledge of physics is not required to understand such an argument; the only area any form of mathematics is involved is in the mathematical representation of Godel's Mathematical Proof, which has been proven correct [1], which has been translated into words, and which only supports the argument and is not an argument itself. The rest of the argument is purely modal logic, which is outlined in the logical proofs provided.

With regards to many physicists not believing in a God: this has no bearing on whether the MOA makes sense, and is merely an argumentum ad verecundiam -- the appeal to authority -- due to physicists' thoughts being irrelevant to philosophical/modal thought. As well, of those most-qualified (being philosophers) to understand the arguments often debate this topic, showing that some do indeed believe it correct. For example, Dana Scott argued in favor of the Proof, and any objection to it rests solely in debating the definition of a positive existence [2], but this definition can be implicitly conveyed through the axioms of the Proof [2].

Simulation Argument

My opponent provides Bostrom’s Simulation Argument (henceforth SA) as his support for the existence of a God. One immediately evident problem is that the argument assumes a simulation that ultimately results from a post-human civilization, which the simulation we may currently be in replicates, that existed in an actual universe [3]. The problem here is that the title of God does not apply to this civilization, since the definitions of civilization [4], human [5], and post-human [3] are not synonymous with the provided definitions of God [6]; therefore, my opponent’s argument is irrelevant. However, for sake of argument, I will illustrate why the SA is false.

Before I delve into the SA, I would like to point out that the conclusion of the SA is that any of the 3 possible scenarios are likely [3,7], but Pro asserts that the third is most likely, thus it is his burden to prove so.


The SA has two basic parts: the Foundation and Core. The Foundation is that an extremely advanced posthuman civilization would be capable of running perfect or nearly-perfect simulations of the universe, with f1 being the fraction of civilizations that would be interested in running these simulations, and N1 being the number of simulations run by the civilizations. The Core is where Bostrom calculates this fraction of simulations being run:

(3) implies that we live in a computer simulation, so we can conclude that:

With F being reliant on the laws of physics and conjectures on the technical feasibility of computer simulations [7].

Incompatibility of (3) with Foundation

Suppose there exists evidence (S) that leads us to think (1) and (2) false while (3) true, then:

If a theory makes a prediction, then it is logical that the prediction can be known, and thus the confidence of the theory doesn’t waver; however, (**) is doubtful argumentation because, if (S), then our confidence in the laws of physics is greatly reduced. In the SA, Bostrom asserts that the laws of physics may be very different than what we know -- if we are simulated -- and that it is “very possible that there is an automatized procedure that detects any human-made experience which would reveal an intrinsic granularity of space or time…” [3,7]. Such a granularity violates Lorentz invariance, as minimal lengths cannot be Lorentz contracted [7,8,9], and such predictions have been made via experimentation [7,9]. Therefore, according to the SA, these results were forged by the simulator, so skepticism naturally follows, and any prediction about what can happen in the future is unreliable; i.e. the rising of the sun can be disrupted at any time. In light of this, the credibility of (**) is significantly less than that of (*), so (*) becomes even less credible as its predictions are realized [7]. Simulation would only be contingent on (S), not the SA.

It appears the SA is false if (1) and (2) are false. Of the possible truth values (1), (2), and (3) can take, one of them (false, false, true) is false. This doesn’t necessarily disprove the SA, but it shows that it is flawed, for instance:

This is perfectly logical; however, this disjunction is incomplete and misleading as it forces us to consider an impossible scenario, but once the incompatibility is found, the conclusion can be refined. So too with the SA: every step is compatible with (1) and (2) being false, but perhaps this is not the case. If so, then the SA can be refined to point where (1) and (2) are true, therefore removing (3) from the SA, doing away with the idea of simulation altogether. There is then a flaw within the argument that is somewhat reminiscent of the liar’s paradox.

Problems with the Core

To calculate all variables in the main equation, we must find the cardinality of all sets, and must ask if these sets are finite. The largest set is that of all possible civilizations, which can be called the multiverse (M). (M)'s structure doesn’t need to be known if it is finite, but if it is infinite we would have to place a law of probability on it, so its structure needs to be known. It is crucial for the SA that (M) be finite, but in some cases it isn’t. Based on the recursive application of the SA within simulated civilizations, (M) would be shaped like a forest:

Bostrom says we can’t know for sure what the laws of physics at each point (being civilizations/simulations) are. If they differ from we know, the possibility that a simulation can generate infinite branches can’t be dismissed. In this case (M) is infinite and the SA is flawed [7]. Suppose (M) is finite, then the amount of simulations that can stem from (M) is finite as well and there is no path of infinite progression in the simulation. The simulation has finite computing power as it can’t uphold an infinite simulation or an infinite progression of simulations.

The definition of (M) has no reference to time, so the root simulation could run a simulation (s1) from its begining to its end, then a simulation (s2) ad infinitum. The resulting tree (representing all the simulations ever generated by the root simulation) would have infinite branches. The root simulation could also simulate an infinity of infinitely long lasting simulations, just by running (s1) for a unit of time, then (s1) and (s2), etc. The simulations would run slower as the progression continues, but nothing could be suspected from within the simulation itself. There is no reason to exclude the possibility that a post-human civilization can live forever, so (M) is again infinite [7]. We conclude that an infinite computing power and infinite existence are the same for a post-human civilization. The SA fails.







6: See opponent’s R1



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Debate Round No. 4
50 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 9 months ago
See Godel's Proof, which refutes the idea that existence is predicate outlined in Kant's Objection.
Posted by tejretics 10 months ago

How do you justify P3 of the MOA? The only means is to say "maximally great" implies "necessary existence." In which case, you could say *anything* exists by simply adding the definer "existent," e.g. "the Flying Spaghetti Monster is by definition existent, so it exists."
Posted by Unstobbaple 10 months ago
Great, I've actually had a serious illness that was going untreated/undiagnosed so this has been a rough month. Getting the right pills now and feeling great. I can check with Max if you're still up for this.
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 11 months ago
We can restart if Molon's suggestion doesn't work.
Posted by 21MolonLabe 11 months ago
@ Unst, you can try getting Max to reset the debate so this one isn't frozen for all eternity.
Posted by Unstobbaple 11 months ago
Dammit! Sry, I'm on prescription meds for a chronic ear infection and I've been on antibiotics for like 15 days... Still in pain but I'm willing to restart if Con can forgive my arguably terrible conduct.

I also missed an appointment this morning but ironically still killing it at mafia. I would obviously use the exact same weak 'argument' round 2 and we can keep or delete this debate at Con's discretion.
Posted by dsjpk5 11 months ago
I'm slightly upset that the person who instigated the debate, and asked me to be a judge, would forfeit a round (thereby freezing the debate).
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 11 months ago
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 11 months ago
4 minutes oh lawd
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 11 months ago
this is going to be interesting lol, i can't wait to see how you respond to this.
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