The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Coward
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Modal Ontological Argument Establishes God's Existence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/27/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,361 times Debate No: 35124
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (5)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

The Modal Ontological Argument is as follows:

1. It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists.

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

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

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

5. Therefore, a maximally great being exists in the actual world.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

7. Therefore, God exists.[1]


No petty semantics. Similarly, If one accepts this debate then they accept the type of modal possibility relevant to this debate.

Rules/ Stipulations

The burden will be on Pro to demonstrate that the Modal Ontological Argument is sound. The first round willnot be for acceptance, as my opponent will make his/ her opening argument in the first round. However, in round 4, Pro must simply put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed."

Source

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

Coward

Pro

I will try to bridge the gap between every jump in step from 1 through to 7 and let my opponent sever any bridges or links between them as I believe this is the fairest way to engage in this debate.

1-2

The jump from step one to two is possibly the easiest one to explain out of the six because it's purely semantic. The premise one is the undeniable premise that a maximally great being (also called God within the premise of this argument) is possible to exist. Then to get to step two all one has to realise is that it is therefore possible that some possible world will definitely have a maximally great being within it because it is definitely possible (premise one). In essence the possible world being proposed is equally possible to the maximally great being from step one.

2-3

If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, one can then realise that every possible world can have this maximally great being. Step three is often misinterpreted by an atheist reader as suggesting that every possible world must have a maximally great being present because it doesn't extend to mention that there are also some possible worlds with a maximally great being absent. It is however true to say that one could eternally imagine new worlds all having a maximally great being in common since the possibilities are literally endless. The key thing to not here is that if a maximally great being exists in some possible world then every possible world one can imagine can definitely have this maximally great being in it. If one can see how this works than one has successfully grasped the jump from step two to three.

3-4

The jump from step three to four is illogical at a first glance and the main jump at which atheists try to tear the argument apart. The reason for this is that, if taken at face value, step three does not warrant step four because the actual world might not be one of the set of possible worlds in which a maximally great being exists. This is actually not a problem with the ontological argument but with the way that step four is worded. The wording of step four is set up in such a way that what one would interpret on a first read will probably be that since every possible world can have a maximally great being in it that this means that the maximally great being exists in the actual world. On the other hand, if one actually observes the way step four is worded and flips it backwards they can see that what step four is actually stating is that if our actual world is one of every possible world then there is no doubt that it definitely can have a maximally great being in it. If you take the section of step four after the word 'then' and flip it around with the section before that and insert the word 'because' in the middle it reads "A maximally great being can easily exist in the actual world because every possible world can have one." the problem is that the formatting of step four indicates an assertive undertone which isn't present when you flip it around.

4-5

The problematic wording of step four is again raising a problem when we take the jump to step five because it doesn't seem to make sense the way it's been structured as a sentence. This is why one has to read deep into step four, as I explained in the step '3-4' section, and use this interpretation to understand how to get to step five. Step four is stating that since the actual world is one of every possible world (and every possible world can have a maximally great being in it) that the actual world can undoubtedly have this maximally great being present in it. Step five continues from that line of logic to state that if a maximally great being can undoubtedly exist in the actual world, it therefore exists in the actual world. Whilst this doesn't state the fact that it's possible that the actual world exists absent of a maximally great being it hasn't actually stated the latter argument to be false. It is stating that the possibility of the actual world having the maximally great being is completely undeniable if we go back to premise one that it therefore means that the actual world, which is merely one of every possible world, definitely has the possibility of having the maximally great being in it.

5-6

If you have agreed with everything said so far then you will understand why it is reasonable to assume that a maximally great being exists. It's reasonable to assume this because it's absolutely possible and no evidence against it (which would be probability as opposed to possibility) has been presented so far. step five to six is the jump which goes from accepting a fact to appreciating its validity. The fact I am referring to is that it is absolutely without any doubt that the possibility of the actual world exists with a maximally great being in it is one of undeniable validity and that there is thus no plausible case to defy this possibility at all.

6-7

God is a maximally great being so that is why seven is true if six is true.

Think of it like this:

A maximally great being = a cat
God = a cat named God

In conclusion, the Ontological argument establishes that the possibility of God existing is absolutely undeniable if one accepts the fact that it is possible that a maximally great being to exists in the first place. It is true that it doesn't deny that the absence of God is equally possible but it does establish the possibility God's existence with full validity throughout. It is very important to remember that there is absolutely no regard for the probability of God's existence because God has no evidence for or against it at all so this is purely in regards to its possibility and how valid it is to consider it possibility.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

I thank my opponent for his response. However, I am afraid that almost the entire argument put forward by Pro is meaningless. This is because he spends the bulk of his round explaining the logical steps of the argument, and how each premise follows from each other premise. However, I do not contest the logic of the argument. The argument follows S5 modal logic just fine, and I see no reason to reject a whole branch of logic. The problem I am going to be raising is that Pro has not met his burden of proof with regards to P1 of the argument. Without P1 established as true, Pro has not met his burden of proof.

Rebutting My Opponent

"The premise one is the undeniable premise that a maximally great being (also called God within the premise of this argument) is possible to exist." - Pro

This premise is not undeniable, as it is the most controversial premise of the whole entire argument. As William Lane Craig states:

"The principal issue to be settled with respect to Plantinga's ontological argument is what warrant exists for thinking the key premiss 'It's possible that a maximally great being exists' to be true." - William Lane Craig[1]

My opponent is going to have to do more than just deem P1 "undeniable", as that is not a sufficient defense of P1. We actually need warrent for P1 which Pro has not provided.

"It's reasonable to assume this because it's absolutely possible and no evidence against it (which would be probability as opposed to possibility) has been presented so far"

Once more, my opponent claims that a maximally great being is "absolutely possible" and runs an ontological argument based off of that, but does not support his initial premise. I could just claim that it's "absolutely possible" that a maximally great being does not exist, and run a reverse-ontological argument.

"Plainly enough, if you do not already accept the claim that there is an entity which possesses maximal greatness, then you won't agree that the first of these arguments is more acceptable than the second. So, as a proof of the existence of a being which posseses maximal greatness, Plantinga's argument seems to be a non-starter. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Plantinga himself agrees..."[2]

Conclusion


The resolution has not been affirmed, because we have been given no reason to think a maximally great being is actually possible (even esteemed defenders of the Modal Ontological Argument admit that this is a controversial premise). Pro just asserts that a maximally great being is possible without proper support for such a claim. Since Pro has the burden of proof, then in the context of the debate outline, the resolution has been negated.

Sources

[1] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...
Coward

Pro

A maximally great being would be capable of hiding its existence for eternity. I cannot prove it exists because it's too powerful at avoiding me.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

My opponent must show that a maximally great being is subjunctively possible, as the rest of the Modal Ontological Argument depends on the first premise being true. Since Pro has not done so; the resolution has been negated in context.
Coward

Pro

Con is using filthy tactics like a baby to make it impossible for pro to win. He should lose this for being a d!ckhead.
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

My arguments stand. Vote Con.
Coward

Pro

My arguments sit. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
That's fine.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Alright. However, it will just be over the truth of the first premise; with you holding the burden of proof to establish the truth of the first premise. As I accept the logical validity of the argument, I would not want to waste your time making you type out of a defense of logic, like I inadvertently did with my opponent in this debate. I simply thought the logical validity of the debate was assumed here, as my opening round specifically implied that I accept modal logic as valid.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Okay, we can debate it. I'll likely do better debating this argument than the KCA because I'm more well-versed in philosophy than I am in science.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Regardless, I do not want to debate this with you, because I would have to use points that I may want to use in this debate. After we are done with the Kalam, we can debate this too.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"The argument is actually an irrefutable argument for God's existence. The only way to disprove it is to prove that God's existence is logically impossible, but no one has ever been able to successfully do that."

The argument fails because it rests on a controversial premise that no theist has been able to defend properly. The above is switching the burden of proof. One only has to undermine an argument, not "disprove" it.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Torvald:

"I think fallacy means faulty reasoning or inconsistent logic, such as jumping to conclusions that are not supported by the evidence given, or reaching a conclusion based on supposition and incomplete information. If you could explain to me what part of the modal ontological argument is not describable by that definition, I would be fascinated."

That's not a fallacy. Fallacies are examples of faulty reasoning, but not all faulty reasoning is a fallacy. A fallacy is an error in logic that one commits in their argument. For example, an ad hominem fallacy is one in which you dismiss someone's argument based on some personal characteristic of theirs. Begging the question is when your conclusion is located in one or more of your premises, so that your only reason for accepting the premise is that you already accept the conclusion.

The Ontological Argument is logically airtight, following the rules of modal logic. It doesn't commit a fallacy anywhere.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Rational, I'm not being arrogant or condescending. I'm simply stating truth. I don't like to use the argument because so many Atheists misunderstand it. I never said whether you do or not. That remains to be seen from the debate. But for example, one of my atheist friends thinks the argument is bad because Christians are making up another planet in which God exists and using that to argue for God's existence. That's faulty reasoning. I try to explain clearly what "possible world" is and that many philosophers, Christian and otherwise, use the concept of a possible world to investigate many of their arguments and claims.

I'm only talking from personal experience. The argument is actually an irrefutable argument for God's existence. The only way to disprove it is to prove that God's existence is logically impossible, but no one has ever been able to successfully do that. I was actually planning on taking the debate (I'm much more well-versed in this one than in the KCA), but Coward beat me to it.
Posted by CanWeKnow 3 years ago
CanWeKnow
o.O Why though?

This kind of goes back to one of your debates I commented on before as well.
With these God debates we often are met with terms like maximally, infinitely, omni-ly. But Infinity is an idea. Infinity is a concept. Infinity is not physical or tangible. We can say infinity exists, but only as a concept.

What makes the God concept any less or any more believable than infinity? Why don't we worship infinity?

With this argument we can "prove" anything exists as long as it has infinite attributes. The infinite Can of Spam obviously exists. If the infinite can of spam can exist just as much as God then what the heck is the purpose of making that kind of argument? All we are doing here is saying that infinity means infinite possibilities and gosh darn it guess what one of those infinite outcomes was? God, teehee.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Lol I would suggest reading into this more CanWeKnow.
Posted by CanWeKnow 3 years ago
CanWeKnow
I read the argument. Maybe this just stems from my misunderstanding, but it seems like the ontological argument makes the same stretch that all arguments for God do.

IF this is possible. Then this is possible. Then this is possible. blah blah blah blah

It's just a slippery slope that ends up at God. We could go anywhere with this kind of argument.

It's possible a sexy lady exists.
If it's possible for her to exist then it's possible for her to want me.
If it's possible for her to want me then it's possible for me to get with her.
If it's possible for me to get with this sexy lady then it must be that she exists.
-_- idk im just messing around now.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Torvald 3 years ago
Torvald
Rational_Thinker9119CowardTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct is fairly straightforward, it obviously goes to the filthy, babyish dickhead. Convincing arguments is awarded to Con because of sound logic, whilst Pro's logic was largely comprised of straw men and was circuitous and difficult to follow. Sources goes to Con because Con actually had sources.
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Rational_Thinker9119CowardTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I was afraid of this. Coward's first round argument was a weak attempt to try and justify the argument. Con had the stronger case, and conduct to Con for Pro's personal attacks.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 3 years ago
airmax1227
Rational_Thinker9119CowardTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to con for Pro's R3.
Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
Rational_Thinker9119CowardTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro fails to engage in the debate after R1 and does not respond to Con's correct criticisms of the argument - that premise 1 of the ontological argument is the most controversial premise and by proposing the negation of premise 1 you could prove that God does not exist. Failing to support premise 1, Pro does not meet his burden of proof. I'm not sure Pro even understood what he was supposed to be proving; if the modal ontological argument only proves that it is possible that god exists (as Pro claims in R1), then it is nothing more than circular reasoning since this is assumed in premise 1 of the argument. Arguments and conduct to Con.
Vote Placed by CanWeKnow 3 years ago
CanWeKnow
Rational_Thinker9119CowardTied
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Reasons for voting decision: "Con is using filthy tactics like a baby to make it impossible for pro to win. He should lose this for being a d!ckhead."- Pro We know who is going to win the conduct category. As far as the debate goes Pro failed to logically justify P1. Con can just as easily say "It is not possible that a maximally great being (God) exists." o.O I mean how many things do we know about that are ACTUALLY infinite? P1 just remains an assertion. With the BoP on Pro to prove soundness of argument and Pro's failure to put out means Con wins.