The Instigator
salam.morcos
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Deucalion
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Ontological arguments make God's existence at least slightly more likely

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
salam.morcos
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/11/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,688 times Debate No: 76463
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (52)
Votes (2)

 

salam.morcos

Con

The topic of this debate: Ontological arguments make God's existence at least slightly more likely

I've presented this debate before, but no one accepted it. So I'll try again.

The Burden of Proof is on me. I must prove that either one of the premises is not sound or not necessary or that the logic doesn't follow (non-sequitur). Pro has up to 3 OA's to present. I must refute all of them or show that the arguments are not sound.

Definitions

God – An intelligent, omnipotence and omniscience supernatural being that created the universe(s) or is the universe itself, existed before all things and was not created. [No citation – My definition]

Rules
4 rounds, 72 hours, 10,000 characters

1. No forfeits.
2. All arguments must be visible inside this debate. Sources may be in an external link or within the debate.
3. No new arguments in the final round.
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere.
5. No trolling.
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (i.e. arguments that challenge an assumption in the resolution).
7. No deconstructional semantics.
8. The BoP is on Con
9. Pro must present their case in round one and waive the final round.
10. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate.

I look forward for an exciting debate.

Deucalion

Pro

Thank you very much for the challenge and sorry for the wait, here is my only OA. I didn't have time for pictures or links to the works of supporting philosophers but I did manage to produce an ontological argument for the existence of God, with some serious thought, from my brain. I would consider this a success for my first post here on Debate.org. Please enjoy!

Let's begin by trying to imagine a time before the universe, an era of nothing at all; no matter, no space, no light, no dark, no up, no down. I tried and couldn"t do it, but give it a shot and you will fail too. What we are trying to do is perceive nothing while perception is by definition "the awareness or consciousness of something." so to perceive nothing is to stop perceiving altogether which defeats the purpose of the exercise. Having deemed it impossible for us to look directly at nothing; perhaps we should take just one step back and do our best to think of something that is as close to nothing as it can get, redefining "nothing" as whatever is just the smallest bit simpler than that. To do this I will isolate an apple from the rest of the universe and remove pieces from it in my mind, one by one so as not to get ahead of myself, until I have reached a point where I personally cannot remove anymore from it. In a few moments I have hit the cellular level, then the molecular, the atomic, subatomic, and finally the infinitesimal, which is where I begin to question whether or not something of this "Infinite smallness" can actually exist.

Everything we observe in nature has some length in all three spacial dimensions. (with the exception of concepts, as well as the photon, and electron, which seem to behave as point particles in certain situations) and so it is intuitively maddening to consider something thoroughly and materially existent that does not posses extent in these dimensions. This irritation arises from an insufficient definition of "Existence" or "Being" with which to judge something"s potential for being. Unsurprisingly, webster"s definitions of "existence" and "being" are of no help to us here and so we are left with no better option than to determine our own deeper definitions of these words.

So what does it mean to exist? This I believe should be the largest, if not the only point of contingency in my argument, and so it hurts to do this but I am quite rushed writing this portion and so in leu of a proper explanation I will give you my definition as clearly as I can, as well as a thought experiment to back it up, and if there is any confusion or disagreement I am sure we can work that out in future rounds of the debate. Simply put: To exist, is to effect another existent thing. If something is effecting me, I know that it exists. If it is not directly effecting me however, I simply cannot know one way or another until it, though some chain of causes and effects, comes to effect me or my immediate environment, whereupon I can register it"s existence with my senses and/or my intellect. If something were to suddenly stop effecting the world around it then it does not exist as far as the world is concerned.

The isolated apple on the other hand, although nonexistent in the system of the universe, can indeed exist in it"s own sub category of reality, because it is composed of a practically infinite number of smaller parts, which are in turn their own existent things, which qualifies the apple as a whole universe in itself, even apart from the far greater reality that we all enjoy. The infinitesimal on the other hand is necessarily comprised of only a single, infinitely small part. It stands to reason then, that when this infinitesimal is considered apart from any other thing it simply cannot exist on the condition that "To exist is to effect another existent thing.". The Isolated Infinitesimal does not exist.

So what does this mean about the TRUELY atomic? This means that the most basic thing that can be said to exist independently of other existent things consists of 3 fundamentally immaterial elements; A member (in this case a singularity of infinitesimal dimensions), another member, and an abstract medium through which they may interact and so fulfill the condition they must effect to exist. (Think "logic" or "natural law" rather than the more familiar mediums of water, air, or space.) These elements, which necessarily lack physical properties and individual meaning, constitute an independently existent triad that does indeed possess physical properties (via the behavior of it's immaterial components) which should be observable only by observing the triad's behavior with other such things. Most notably: These members do not exist independently but only conjunctively and therefore lose any small degree of thing-ness if the larger system is disrupted.
[Harry Potter does not exist, neither does Hermione Granger, and if even just one of them isn't there then they certainly can't speak to each other. If I were to say "Harry talked to Hermione." however, then something certainly does exist, the story of Harry Potter, which indeed has had a significant effect on the world around it.]
[Although I do not personally subscribe to all of the catholic junk associated with the Holy Trinity, this idea does seem to suggest that if God were in fact the simplest possible existent being then he is necessarily in this strange condition of being simultaneously three inextricable parts and one part-less thing.]

Now for the final step, what happens when we remove a part from this triad and make the system of the universe just a tad bit simpler? Nothing happens. Once a member of this triad is removed the two left behind are left with no way to fulfill the conditions sustaining mutual existence and so cease to be things altogether. Now we have nothing, and as I stated passingly earlier in the argument, the "abstract medium" of this triad, the medium which has just ceased to exist is natural law or logic itself. We wanted nothing and we got it, we were prepared to give up the world, but little did we know that would mean relinquishing logic as well. So what happens now? If logic/natural law truly is that medium through which things happen and so must also be the governing force responsible for separating those things which may and those which may not happen, then shouldn"t nothing... and everything happen? This is paradoxical, obviously, but what does it matter anymore now that God is dead? I insist that everything and nothing could have happened and in fact did happen. Nothing literally exploded into everything and not-thing that could ever be and/or should never ever happen, instantaneously. The moment that there was nothing there came every-bloody-thing.

Now then what does this everybloodything look like? Let"s give it some properties;

-Because this is "everybloodything" and there is no logic present to say that one thing cannot be simultaneously itself and another very different thing, this chaos would be pretty thoroughly (even infinitely) omnifarious (to say possessing of all forms.)

-It is not only unrestrained by the laws of nature, but is also free of even logic itself and so must be omnipotent.

-To say that "nothing created it" is the same as saying that it is "Uncreated", and nothing sure did create it!

-We have determined that this thing is infinitely omnifarious and so it isn"t so hard to imagine that his thing may possess infinite minds. (or even just a single infinite mind.) If this is the case then it must also be infinitely intelligent or "omniscient" and because at least a few minds amongst this infinite horde must be vaguely human thinking, we can say that this thing is probably personal to an infinite degree.

God - A personal, omnifarious and omnipresent, as well as "intelligent, omnipotent and omniscient supernatural being that created the universe(s) or is the universe itself, existed before all things and was not created."

Time is ticking so I am afraid I will have to hit the brakes pretty hard, but I hope what I put out there is at least comprehensible, seeing as "pleasant to read" may be a bit much to ask for. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading.

You"re move Salam!
Debate Round No. 1
salam.morcos

Con

I want to thank Pro for accepting this debate.

I'll be honest; I am not sure where to start. The proposition of this debate is that "Ontological arguments (OA) make God's existence at least slightly more likely". Pro claims that he provided an OA, but what he provided is hardly an OA, but I will do my best to address his claim.

What are the Ontological Arguments?
Ontological Arguments are philosophical arguments for the existence of God that uses ontology [1]. Here is an example of an ontological argument (Anselm's) [2]:

1. Assume God does not exist.
2. 'God' is defined as "that than which no greater can be conceived"
3. "That than which no greater can be conceived" must therefore not exist. (From 1 & 2)
4. "That than which no greater can be conceived" exists only in imagination, not in reality. (From 2 & 3)
5. If "that than which no greater can be conceived" were to exist in reality as well as in imagination, it would be even "greater".
6. But that would mean "That than which no greater can be conceived" is not "that than which no greater can be conceived". (From 4 & 5)
7. "That than which no greater can be conceived" must exist in imagination and also exist in reality for it to be the greatest thing conceivable.
8. That means 'God' both does and does not exist (from 1 & 7).
9. Premise 1 cannot be true (reductio ad absurdum).
10. 'God' exists.

There are many other Ontological Arguments, and I asked Pro to use up to three OA's for this debate. I ask Pro to try again.

Prelude
I want to start by saying that I believe in God, and may be even considered an apologist. The reason I am debating this is to show that these OA's are outright awful. Most Pro God debaters lose the majority of these debates!

Rebuttal to Pro's Ontological Argument
As I mentioned earlier, Pro didn't really provide an Ontological Argument, but I'll try to address his claim.

R1. Existence and Elements of existence

Pro defines to exist as "to effect another existent thing" [sic]. But to affect another existent thing, requires the other thing to already exist, which would be a circular definition. Why complicate the definition of existence when it's a very simple definition? The precise definition is to have objective reality or being [3].

Pro continues that an "an infinitesimal [small part] is considered apart from any other thing it simply cannot exist on the condition that "To exist is to effect another existent thing."" [sic]. Pro's claim is invalid, because there's no reason to rationally and logically believe that an infinitesimal small part doesn't actually exist. It can even exist physically. Size is not a precondition for existence.

Pro continues that for something to exist independently, it requires three fundamentally immaterial elements: A member (infinitesimal thing), another member and a mean of interactions. First of all, this is based on the fallacious definition of existence. Second, the infinitesimal small member can be physical and material. Third, this argument is a bare assertion! Why can't something exist by itself?

These arguments (or contentions) are invalid and should be dismissed.

R2. The Harry Potter Argument

Excuse the title, but I didn't have a better definition. Pro argues that even though Harry Potter doesn't actually exist, "If I were to say "Harry talked to Hermione." however, then something certainly does exist."

But Pro is simply mistaken. Harry Potter exists imaginative, but doesn't actually and objectively exist. Do I really have to explain that my proposition is to prove that God exists actually, and not imaginatively? According to Pro's claim, the probability of God's existence is just as likely as the existence of the 12 turtles that hold the universe (I made that up). It's just as likely as the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster if one talks to a Pastafarian [4]. This argument should be dismissed.

R3. Every-bloody-thing

Pro argues that nothing could have happened. No, it can't. Nothing, by definition, doesn't happen! But since it's irrelevant to the debate, I won't get too philosophical here.

Pro argues that "Nothing literally exploded into everything and not-thing that could ever be and/or should never ever happen, instantaneously". This is a bare assertion and hardly tenable.

R4. The Ontological Argument?

I think I'm detecting some kind of an Ontological Argument. Let me try to write it down:

1. Because this is "everybloodything" and there is no logic present to say that one thing cannot be simultaneously itself and another very different thing, this chaos would be pretty thoroughly (even infinitely) omnifarious (to say possessing of all forms.)

Response: Pro is driving me crazy here! Yes, it's illogical that something can be simultaneously two different things. Pro is arguing that such a thing actually exists? This is a bare assertion, not to add that it's illogical and there's no reason for me or anyone to believe such a thing. This premise is false.

2. It is not only unrestrained by the laws of nature, but is also free of even logic itself and so must be omnipotent.

Response: Pro fails to show that such a thing actually exists. Pro also fails to show that a thing can be free of logic or unrestrained by the laws of nature. And even if such a thing does exists, it doesn't follow that it must be omnipotent! This premise is also false.

3. To say that "nothing created it" is the same as saying that it is "Uncreated", and nothing sure did create it!

I agree with the definition that if "nothing created it" means it's "uncreated". But why does it entail that "nothing sure did create it"? This is non-sequitur and therefore is also false.

4. We have determined that this thing is infinitely omnifarious

This is based on the Part 1 which is fallacious by itself, therefore there's no reason to agree to this.

5. This thing possesses infinite minds (or a single infinite mind)

Pro didn't provide any explanation to why this is the case. It was a bare assertion.

6. If it has an infinite mind, then it's omniscient

I will let this one go. Sure, why not!

7. Because a few minds must be vaguely human thinking minds, then this thing is probable personal

Is Pro pleading that God has the sum of all the minds? (Similar to pantheism) Regardless, why "a few minds must be human thinking", and even so, why would it follow that this thing is personal?

8. Therefore God Exists

The majority of these premises are simply false or invalid. It doesn't help the argument for God's existence infinitesimally more likely. As I said before, following this kind of thinking you'll end up making everything and anything more likely including the flying spaghetti monster. I therefore negate.

Sources


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://rationalwiki.org...
[3] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[4] http://www.venganza.org...

Deucalion

Pro

R1: Rebuttal to Salam's assertion that my argument is not an ontological one:

Salam stated;

Ontological Arguments are philosophical arguments for the existence of God that uses ontology.” [sic] -Con

this is entirely true. However, this definition is only helpful if we know what the word “ontology” refers to;

  • The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (my personal favorite) defines “ontology” as “a branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being” or “a particular theory about the nature of being or the kinds of things that have existence” [1]

  • According to Google.com “ontology” is “the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.” [2]

  • And finally, Wikipedia describes “ontology” like so:

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. Although ontology as a philosophical realm is academic in the sense that it is inseparable from each thinker's epistemology, it has practical application in information science and information technology, where it informs ontologies with chosen taxonomies. “ [3]

The argument I supplied opens by defining the nature of “existence”, proceeded to determine whether or not an infinitesimal can exist by the resulting criterion, used that judgment to give us that simplest thing I believe to be capable of existing outside of every other being, and closed by describing the time before anything existed at all by exploring what happens when this criterion for existence is not met. To say that my submission is not a thoroughly if not exclusively ontological argument one would need to supply their own special definition of the word “Ontology”.

As far I now know, I submitted something based on novel material, and so although it is indeed an ontological argument I am not surprised to find that it is not one of “the ontological arguments” [sic] with which Salam is familiar.

R2: Clarification of Existence and the Elements of the Simplest Existent Thing:

Pro defines to exist as "to effect another existent thing" [sic]. But to affect another existent thing, requires the other thing to already exist, which would be a circular definition. Why complicate the definition of existence when it's a very simple definition? The precise definition is to have objective reality or being .” [sic] -Con

There are a number of things wrong here, however, I do believe that the explaination given for my conclusion was insufficiently thorough, and so I will clarify my reasoning before I begin my defense.

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word “exist” as a verb meaning to “Have objectivereality or being” however, this is a circular definition because the definitions for “being” and “reality” are quite miserably “existence” [4] and “The state or quality of having existence or substance” [5] respectively.

I referred to this inconsistency in my original argument;

This irritation arises from an insufficient definition of "Existence" with which to judge something's potential for being. Unsurprisingly, Webster's definitions of "existence" and “being" are of no help to us here and so we are left with no better option than to determine our own deeper definitions of these words.” [sic] -Myself

Proof of “Existence by Effect”:

  1. To Exist is to have “objective reality”. (Oxford Dictionary)

  2. If something possesses the quality of “objective reality” then it is necessarily part of Reality. (to mean the material universe)

  3. To be part of Reality is to participate in the chain of Cause and Effect.

  4. To participate in the chain of Cause and Effect is to effect and be effected by other participants in the chain of Cause and Effect.

  5. Therefore, to Exist is to effect (and be effected by) another existent thing.

I challenge Salam to prove my reasoning flawed and/or give an example of something that exists and yet does not effect another existent thing. If he succeeds; then my greater argument crumbles and I will concede immediately. If he cannot provide such an example (or deems my reasoning sound) then I propose we consider this an established point from which we may continue the debate.

Rebuttal to Pro's “R1. Existence and Elements of existence”:

Salam dismisses the definition of existence as fallacious on the grounds that “to affect another existent thing, requires the other thing to already exist, which would be a circular definition.” [sic] and (ironically) supplies an even more obviously circular definition to replace it. The statement “to exist is to effect another existent thing” is no more fallacious than the statement that “to play basketball is to interact with other basketball players”. Basketball is a strictly multiplayer game, and so if there is only a single person in the world who wants to play basketball, then that one player simply cannot play a proper game of basketball. (Even though a lone person could play basketball, he will never find himself actually playing basketball.) In the same way, existence, as defined, cannot occur with less than 2 conceivable things. (Even though a lone thing could exist, it will never find itself actually existing.)

Furthermore, I believe what you say here, Salam, is absolutely true;

there's no reason to rationally and logically believe that an infinitesimal small part doesn't actually exist. It can even exist physically. Size is not a precondition for existence.” [sic] -Con

Although I did refer to the concept as “intuitively maddening” I never once suggested that an infinitesimally small thing cannot exist in the grander universe, In fact I said they actually do!

Everything we observe in nature has some length in all three spacial dimensions. (with the exception of concepts, as well as the photon and electron, which seem to behave as point particles in certain situations)[...]” [sic] -Myself

Let me say this once more, this time with feeling; Science has accumulated extremely strong evidence to suggest that the electron and photon actually are spatially infinitesimal. As far as we know; neither one has volume and so physical size is quite obviously not a prerequisite for existence. However, this is not true for all infinitesimals and I took great care to say exactly what kind of infinitesimal cannot exist; The Isolated Infinitesimal.Isolated” (with a capital “I”) meaning separate from every other thing; and “Infinitesimal” (with a capital “I”) to mean “that which is indefinitely small in any conceivable dimension” not just the 3 spatial ones. (An electron in this case may be an “infinitesimal” (lower-case) because it does not occupy space, but it may not be an uppercase “Infinitesimal” because it does have a definite, non-infinitesimal value in the dimensions of say “Charge” and “Mass”)

To clarify my reasoning more formally:

Proof of The Nonentity of The “Isolated Infinitesimal”:

  1. Assume that to “exist” is to effect another existent thing. [ See: Proof of “Existence by Effect”]

  2. If something does not effect another existent thing, then it does not exist. [see point 1]

  3. To be Infinitesimal is to be “That thing than which no smaller thing can be conceived”.

[or something of indefinitely small dimensions]

  1. If it is conceivable to divide something into smaller parts than that thing is not the smallest conceivable thing. [see point 3]

  2. Therefore, to be an Infinitesimal is to be composed of a single conceivable thing which cannot be separated into smaller things. [see point 4]

  3. If the Infinitesimal is Isolated from every other thing, then there is only one conceivable thing. [see point 5]

  4. If there is only one conceivable thing, then that thing cannot effect another thing.

  5. Therefore, the Isolated Infinitesimal cannot exist. [see point 2]

The isolated apple [Or any other Non-Infinitesimal object] on the other hand, although nonexistent in the system of the universe, can indeed exist in it's own sub category of reality, because it is composed of a practically infinite number of smaller parts, which are in turn their own existent things, which qualifies the apple as a whole universe in itself, even apart from the far greater reality that we all enjoy. The infinitesimal on the other hand is necessarily comprised of only a single, infinitely small part. It stands to reason then, that when this infinitesimal is considered apart from any other thing it simply cannot exist on the condition that "To exist is to effect another existent thing.". [Therefore] The Isolated Infinitesimal does not exist.” [sic] -Myself


And with that, I am afraid I am out of characters and time, and so my conclusion will have to be justified in the future. I would however like to draw attention to Con's “R2. The Harry Potter Argument” where he says Pro argues that even though “Harry Potter doesn't actually exist, "If I were to say "Harry talked to Hermione." however, then something certainly does exist."” Where he uses a gross misquotation, cutting the last sentence short where it would have clarified that it is not Harry Potter that exists but rather just the story of Harry Potter which certainly does exist in reality as well as Imagination. Furthermore, If you read carefully you will see that this was never even an argument, but rather a colorful illustration of the effect of a preceding argument. I now realize that I simply cannot afford to take such tangents however tempting they may be.

Afraid I must adress my conclusion seperately in the next round. Turnover Con.

  1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
  2. https://www.google.com...
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org...
  4. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
  5. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Debate Round No. 2
salam.morcos

Con

I am not sure what Pro intended from this meeting, but it appears that Pro didn't defend the OA, but rather some of the initial assertions he originally made. I will address those comments and also show why Pro's OA is not sound.

R1: Ontological or Not Ontological, that's the question!


I don't want to complicate this debate for the reader unnecessarily. Pro's first round was very unclear, and it was hard to decipher the argument. However, I did detect some kind of an OA in the end, so I'll simply concede this point to Pro. The problem remains: Pro's OA as I explained previously (and again here) is simply not sound.

Rebuttal: Existence by Effect

Did Pro just concede the debate? Pro argues that he provided a proof of "Existence by effect". If this is true, then Pro simply proved that God doesn't exist! How? I'll show it here:

P1: God existed before all things (Definition – See Round 1)
P2: Existence is by effect (Pro's assertion)
P3: If God exists, then God existed by effect (from P2)
P4: If God existed before all things, the God didn't exist by effect (because there was no effect before it to effect it)
P5: God didn't exist by effect (P1, P4)
C1: God doesn't exist (P3, P5)

R2: Clarification of Existence and the Elements of the Simplest Existent Thing

Pro struggles with the definition of existence, arguing: "irritation arises from an insufficient definition of "Existence" with which to judge something's potential for being". I think the reason it's difficult to define is simply because the definition is very basic and very intuitive. We don't need to explain to the reader what actual existence is. However, the best definition to existence is "to have an objective reality" [1].

Pro again defines "to exist" is "to effect (and be effected by) another existent thing". This is not the definition of existence. What Pro is attempting to argue is that all objective things have the property of cause and effect. I wish that Pro explained this plainly.

So I'll add an initial premise to Pro's OA:

All existent things (or beings) effect other existent things (or beings)

This premise actually proves that God is not a creator! Why? Because if God only affects "existent things" then He couldn't have created them, since they already exist. Again, for the sake of Pro, he should redefine his premise:

All existent things (or beings) effect other existent things (or beings)

Pro can argue that this argument is valid (or likely) by pleading to the law of causality. However, Pro made a poor defense point. He challenged me to give an example of something that exists and yet does not affect another existent thing. If I fail to do so, he argues that his argument would be true. I want to caution Pro and the reader from this type of argumentation. First, Pro is attempting to shift the Burden of Proof but he's the one who's making the truth claim. Second, his argument is called an argument from ignorance [2] (When one argues that something is true because it's not proven false).

However, for the sake of this debate, I will simply concede to Pro that the law of causality is true. Why not? This doesn’t change anything!

R3: Elements of Existence

The basketball example is a terrible example. Pro argues that "Even though a lone person could play basketball, he will never find himself actually playing basketball". The same applies to his argument "Even though a lone thing could exist, it will never find itself actually existing". That's completely absurd! It doesn't make any sense whatsoever! If a lone thing exists, then it simply exists (objectively, rationally and actually)! Pro's argument should be completely dismissed. And by Pro's assertion, it means that God couldn't have existed entirely by Himself if He chose to! I don't know any theist whatsoever who believes such a thing. Please dismiss this argument.

R4: Isolated Infinitesimal

Pro argues that an isolated infinitesimal simply cannot exist. He provides a long syllogism which is completely unnecessary. Basically, Pro argues that something cannot exist entirely by itself (which I explained what that's a bare assertion and doesn't make sense). He follows than an isolated infinitesimal couldn't exist, because well… it's isolated! I mentioned the example of God, and because He is omnipotent, He could exist entirely alone (Isolated from anything else). Anyways, this argument is not only absurd, it's completely irrelevant!

Conclusion

How does Pro's argument show that God exists! His OA was filled (and still filled) with fallacies. Please see Round 2. Pro didn't challenge any of my arguments there. I am baffled!

Sources

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://rationalwiki.org...

Deucalion

Pro

To begin, I would like to thank Con for responding so promptly (affording a courtesy that I have been unable to reciprocate) and to say that this point here has really opened my eyes;

Pro simply proved that God doesn't exist! How? I'll show it here:

P1: God existed before all things (Definition – See Round 1)
P2: Existence is by effect (Pro's assertion)
P3: If God exists, then God existed by effect (from P2)
P4: If God existed before all things, the God didn't exist by effect (because there was no effect before it to effect it)
P5: God didn't exist by effect (P1, P4)
C1: God doesn't exist (P3, P5)”

No, I have not just conceded the debate, I am actually rather happy where we are right now. The point above demonstrates to me that my premises are at least well understood, if not accepted (albeit, reservedly) by Con. With this last round I will address some of Con's assertions, and provide a final summary of my argument.

R1:

I think the reason it's [to mean Existence] difficult to define is simply because the definition is very basic and very intuitive. We don't need to explain to the reader what actual existence is. However, the best definition to existence is "to have an objective reality"[sic] -Con

If a lone thing exists, then it simply exists (objectively, rationally and actually)![sic] -Con

What Con is arguing here can be simply stated “To exist is to exist and nothing more can be said about it!” Although I will grant that this assertion may not be entirely indefensible, he certainly has made no effort to defend the statement here and so it remains a baseless assertion. With that said, I would like to make something very clear, I do not believe things cannot exist on their own, in fact I believe that all things in the world would be perfectly fine separated from the rest of reality, with the exception of exactly one special variety of thing: Those things which are not composed of parts.

R2: Argument From Ignorance.

However, Pro made a poor defense point. He challenged me to give an example of something that exists and yet does not affect another existent thing. If I fail to do so, he argues that his argument would be true. [...] his argument is called an argument from ignorance [2] (When one argues that something is true because it's not proven false).” -Con

Although Con does ultimately concede the point, he first makes sure to inform us that my challenge was an Argument From Ignorance, and this is simply untrue. Had I neglected to provide evidence for my claim, demanded evidence to the contrary, and proceeded to declare the point won when no contradictory data was provided, that would've been a blatant abuse of logic. However, I provided a straight-forward 5 point syllogism to support my conclusion before presenting Con with three options; expose a flaw in my logic, provide a counterexample to my conclusion, or concede the point so that we may move on. Is this not reasonable?

R3: I disproved God.

P1: God existed before all things (Definition – See Round 1)
P2: Existence is by effect (Pro's assertion)
P3: If God exists, then God existed by effect (from P2)
P4: If God existed before all things, the God didn't exist by effect (because there was no effect before it to effect it)
P5: God didn't exist by effect (P1, P4)
C1: God doesn't exist (P3, P5)
” [sic] -Con

Con's reasoning would be sound if only this argument could not be just as well applied to the law upon which it is built.

Proof That The Law of Existence By Effect Did Not Exist Before All Things:

  1. 1. Assume that the Law of Existence by Effect exists.

  2. 2. To exist is to effect another existent thing. [P1]

  3. 3. If something does not effect another existent thing, then it does not exist. [P2]

  4. 4. If the Law of Existence by Effect existed before all things, then there is only one thing that exists.

  5. 5. If there is only one existent thing, then that thing cannot effect another existent thing.

  6. 6. Therefore, The Law of Existence by Effect cannot exist before all things.

God is defined as that which “existed before all things and was not created.” As you can see in my original argument, I suggest that the rule “To exist is to effect another existent thing.” as well as natural law in general, also cannot exist alone and so also are things before which God must exist;

Now for the final step, what happens when we remove a part from this triad and make the system of the universe just a tad bit simpler? Nothing happens. Once a member of this triad is removed the two left behind are left with no way to fulfill the conditions sustaining mutual existence and so cease to be things altogether […] as I stated passingly earlier in the argument,the "abstract medium" of this triad, the medium which has just ceased to exist is natural law or logic itself. We wanted nothing and we got it [...]” -Myself

So what happens now? If logic/natural law truly is that medium through which things happen and so must also be the governing force responsible for separating those things which may and those which may not happen, then shouldn't nothing... and everything happen? [Now that we have removed them to achieve “Nothing”] ” -Myself

Summary of My Argument:

  1. 1. Assume that Natural Law is a thing that exists.

    (Natural Law in this case is simply that which says what may and may not happen.)

  2. 2. Natural Law dictates that “to exist is to effect another existent thing”. [see Proof of Existence by Effect]

  3. 3. If something does not effect another existent thing, then it does not exist. [P2]

  4. 4. If Natural Law existed before all things, then there is only one thing that exists.

  5. 5. If there is only one existent thing, then that thing cannot effect another existent thing.

  6. 6. Therefore, Natural Law can not exist before all things.[P3]

  7. 7. Therefore, all possible and impossible things happen. [P1]

What does this conglomerate of all possible and impossible things look like?

  • +If it exists before all things, even natural law, then it is uncreated.

  • +If it exists before natural law, then it is free of the restrictions of natural law. It is omnipotent.

  • +If all impossible and possible things happen, then everything may exist and this conglomerate, as well as every part of it, must be all things, or at least have all forms of all things. It is omnifarious.

  • +If it possess all forms, and minds are things that can be had (and even if they aren't) than it possesses all minds. It is omniscient.

  • +If it possesses ALL minds, and humans have minds, then it possesses all if not infinite human-like minds. It is personal.

    If God is; A personal, omnifarious and omnipresent, as well as "intelligent, omnipotent and omniscient supernatural being that created the universe(s) or is the universe itself, existed before all things and was not created." and this conglomerate is all of those things, then this conglomerate is God.

Jesus is good, Satan is bad, and Hitler was bad too. Vote pro!

Debate Round No. 3
salam.morcos

Con

I want to thank Pro for this debate.

1. To exist is to effect another existent thing

Pro again insists that the definition of "To exist" is to effect another existent thing. I don't approve the definition change, and I've shown that it's not logical and not necessary. I trust that the reader will simply dismiss this claim.

2. If something does not effect another existent thing, then it does not exist

Again, this is untenable. Pro's proof is not sounds and therefore should be dismissed. And I want to remind Pro that "just because something has an effect on something else", it doesn't mean that its existence is depended on what it effected (caused). This premise is based on the previous one and should be dismissed.

3. Pro's logic disproves God

I've shown that if Pro's assertion were true (And they are not, just to make it clear), then God couldn't possibly exist (as per the syllogism that I provided). Con disagreed with my argument saying that "Con's reasoning would be sound if only this argument could not be just as well applied to the law upon which it is built."

As an advice for Pro, to refute my argument he must show that my logic doesn't follow (non-sequitur) or that one of the premises is false. So Pro argues that the Law of Existence by Effect didn't exist before all things (i.e. created). What? What does Pro mean by the law of existence didn't exist before all things? If that's the case, the God didn't exist before all things, because that law doesn’t exist. I find this argument again working against Pro. Or may be Pro is pleading for God that had a beginning at what point?

4. Pro's OA argument

1. Assume that Natural Law is a thing that exists – exists now? Or always existed? If it's always exists, then it contradicts the sixth point. So I'll just assume that it exists now.

2. Natural Law dictates that “to exist is to effect another existent thing”. [see Proof of Existence by Effect] –This is invalid as I mentioned earlier.

3. If something does not effect another existent thing, then it does not exist. [P2] - This is invalid as I mentioned earlier.

4. If Natural Law existed before all things, then there is only one thing that exists. – This is non-sequitur. Why only one thing?

5. If there is only one existent thing, then that thing cannot effect another existent thing. – Follows from P2 and P3. But according to Pro, it doesn't exist. Anyways…

6. Therefore, Natural Law can not exist before all things.[P3] – This logic used by P3 is invalid.

7. Therefore, all possible and impossible things happen. [P1] - This logic is invalid, and honestly I have no idea if my opponent really believes in that he's saying.

And even if all possible and impossible things happen… So what? How does that prove my opponent's claim.

I want to thank my opponent for this debate. My opponents fails to make a logical argument. Therefore, please vote Con.

Deucalion

Pro

Thank you for your competition Salam, it has been a pleasure! As ruled, I will waive this final round.
Debate Round No. 4
52 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@bsh1: It *is* an entirely valid ontological argument. I don't think Con's objections really covered it, because what Pro presented was clearly and entirely an ontological argument, i.e. it used ontology. Even outside of that vague definition, it still was one that used philosophical ontology as commonly conceived in an ontological argument.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
--- continued ---

... you introduces a new argument that I can refute. And as I said earlier, the more you allow Con to challenge, the weaker your argument will be. So if you try to focus your explanation to show why God is the "transcendent" of all effects and all existence, then you have only one argument to defend, instead of many.

A case can be made that God is the transcendent of all existence. It's harder to prove of course. One could argue that if everything existed by effect, then the effect also existed by effect and so on. One can argue that the number of events is reducing, which means that it has to converge to a singularity. If that's the case, you can demonstrate that there's an initial thing or being that's the "father" or "mother" of all events. You can derive from these a case for God. This is called a cosmological argument, not ontological argument. But I hope I helped, not confused.

Best of luck on future debates.

And take this advice from me, and I mean this sincerely. Just look at a couple of bsh debates, and you'll see what "organized debate and argumentation" is about. I'm still trying to master it, but I'm still far from getting there.

Good luck!
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
My friend, please accept my criticism as advice. You appear to be new hear (I'm not that of a veteran myself), but here are some tips:

- Keep your arguments short and concise.
- Keep your statements very clear
- Challenge your arguments before you type them. Ask: "how would someone challenge me?" Now you don't have to defend yourself immediate, but design your argument in a way so you can defend it.

Now back to your argument.

You initially stated that existence is by effect, and you spent a long time explaining it. Later, you explained that it doesn't apply to God. This is confusing. And you're forced to defend yourself twice: The first time to defend why existence is by effect, the second is why God doesn't apply. The more situations you allow Con to challenge the weaker your argument. Con (I) only have to refute one of the two to break down your argument, so why complicate it.

I think I understand your argument. It's considered a cosmological argument, but I don't want to go to the detail. I actually have my own argument for God's existence called "Pool Table Argument" which I have in my blog. But if you don't mind, let me recommend another path for your argument. It's your argument, so you decide what you like.

Instead of saying "To exist is to effect another existent thing" (It doesn't make much sense), you should explain that "All things existed by effect". They seem the same, but there's a big difference. To support your argument, you can say that the law of causation supports your argument. You can also show that "every action has a reaction" also supports your argument. You're still faces with dilemma that if "all things existed by effect" the it follows that God existed by effect. So you have to show that God is an exception, as he's the "transcendent" of all effects. It's harder to prove, but possible

Proving that God exists before "laws of nature" weakens your argument because even if it's true, you introduced another argument that I c
Posted by Deucalion 1 year ago
Deucalion
That's basically what R3 of my last rebuttal was all about. It seems that I failed to get my point across as directly as I should have. The Law of Existence by Effect rules out ONLY those things which are Isolated from all other things, and so the ONLY things which may not exist on their own are Isolated Infinitesimals because they are the only things that are not composed of other things, and therefore incapable of interacting with themselves. (Unless God is Infinitesimal, he can exist independently.) In this new light though, think you should be able to see what I was trying to say with R3. In a sentence or two; If the Law of Existence by Effect is to be internally consistent, then it has to follow it's own laws, and if it does this then that means that the Law cannot exist in the absence of all other things, which means that God could indeed exist in the absence of all things, even if he were but one part.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
Another modification to your logic that may help you, would be to sat that: Existence is by effect, except for God. But you'll have to explain why the "exception"
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
My advise would be to challenge P3. I have no idea how you can fight it, but it's your best chance.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
I'm on my phone so I'll give only quick feedback. To refute an argument, you have to challenge one of the premises (there were 5 of them) or that the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises. Unfortunately my logic is valid, so your only change is to defeat one of my premises. You only need to defeat one.
Posted by Deucalion 1 year ago
Deucalion
Help me out here, what can I do better?
Posted by Deucalion 1 year ago
Deucalion
Fair judgement. Might I ask what exactly was wrong with my refutation?
"R3: I disproved God.

"P1: God existed before all things (Definition " See Round 1)
P2: Existence is by effect (Pro's assertion)
P3: If God exists, then God existed by effect (from P2)
P4: If God existed before all things, the God didn't exist by effect (because there was no effect before it to effect it)
P5: God didn't exist by effect (P1, P4)
C1: God doesn't exist (P3, P5)" [sic] -Con

Con's reasoning would be sound if only this argument could not be just as well applied to the law upon which it is built.

Proof That The Law of Existence By Effect Did Not Exist Before All Things:

1. Assume that the Law of Existence by Effect exists.

2. To exist is to effect another existent thing. [P1]

3. If something does not effect another existent thing, then it does not exist. [P2]

4. If the Law of Existence by Effect existed before all things, then there is only one thing that exists.

5. If there is only one existent thing, then that thing cannot effect another existent thing.

6. Therefore, The Law of Existence by Effect cannot exist before all things.

God is defined as that which "existed before all things and was not created." As you can see in my original argument, I suggest that the rule "To exist is to effect another existent thing." as well as natural law in general, also cannot exist alone and so also are things before which God must exist;"
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
Essentially, by successfully arguing that your OA negated the topic, he refuted all OAs that you argue, thus meeting his BOP.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
salam.morcosDeucalion
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: While this debate has many interesting--and often fascinating--points, it really comes down to whether Pro can actually affirm the topic with the kind of ontological argument he advances (though I am not convinced it's truly ontological, but this was murky enough that I am not going to vote off topicality.) Con's syllogism successfully illustrates the illogic of Pro's claims. If existence is by effect, then something must have existed before god, in order to effect god into existence. Since god existed before all things, there would've been nothing to effect god into existence, ergo, Pro's argument actually negates the topic. It's a very straightforward turn of Pro's case. Pro's 1-line rebuttal was under-explained, not developed, and, frankly, wholly unconvincing because of his failure to really flesh it out. Pro says existence requires effect, so NL (or God) cannot exist alone, before all things, because there is nothing else to effect. Pro's case is a non-sequitur. Thus, I Vote Con.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
salam.morcosDeucalion
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.