The Instigator
Majesty85
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Modal Ontological Argument

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,390 times Debate No: 39977
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Majesty85

Pro

I accept the Modal Ontological argument as logically sound. This argument argues the existence of God based on the mere concept/definition of God. No science is needed, just good logical thinking.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I accept the debate. Pro must not only show that the argument is structurally valid, but that the premises are true. If he succeeds, then he has demonstrated God's existence.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Majesty85

Pro

I would like to thank Rational_Thinker9119 for accepting this debate. I will be arguing Pro for the Modal Ontological Argument, which is Christian philosopher Alvin Plantiga's version. The argument is as follows..

Definition of God: I am arguing in favor of the traditional monotheistic God, which is a being that has certain attributes. These attributes are omniscience (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (present everywhere at any time), and omnibenevolent (morally perfect). These attributes are called "great making" properties, as "greatness" is typically correlates with power, presence, and sometimes character. This being is also supernatural and eternal, whose existence is necessary.

From this point on, we will call God a maximally great being (MGB).

1. God, by definition, is a maximally great being that exists necessarily (based on traditional definition).

2. It is possible for a maximally great being to exist in some possible world.

3. If it is possible for a maximally great being to exist in some possible world, it follows that it is possible for a maximally great being to exist in all possible worlds.

4. If it is possible for a maximally great being to exist in all possible worlds, then it is possible for a maximally great being to exist in our world (in reality).

5. Based on 1-5, a maximally great exists in all possible worlds (including our world)

6. Conclusion: A maximally great being exists.

Explanation of #1: Just gives the generic definition of the traditional monotheistic God. Either such a being exists, or such a being doesn't exist. Law of excluded middle: {either A or B, if not A, then B, if not B, then A.}

Explanation of #2: Simply means that we can imagine a world at which a maximally great being could exist. If such a being "could" exist, then its a least possible for it to exist.

Explanation of #3: A maximally great being cannot exist in some worlds and not others. If a maximally great being exists in a world that we know nothing about, then a maximally great being must exist in all and any world that we know nothing about.

Explanation of #4: Logically follows from #3, if a maximally great being must exist in all possible worlds, including possible worlds which we know nothing about, then this maximally great being must exist in our world (reality), since our world is included amongst the "possible worlds".

Explanation of #5 and #6 (Conclusion): Therefore, God exists in our world as a living reality.

Since my opponent immediately jumped at the opportunity to accept this debate challenge, I will assume he has at least a novice understanding of modal logic. With the many characters that are remaining, I will give a brief sketch on what is meant by "possible worlds". We can think of possible worlds semantics as a way to describe the way things could have been. For example, if I say "There is a possible world at which Barack Obama will not be President of the United States". That just mean that Barack Obama could have easily NOT been elected as President under right circumstances. So he is President in world A, but he may not be President in world B, or C, D, etc. His presidency is contingent on him getting elected, but every circumstance is not equal, so while he may be President in our world, in another world he may have been caught in a scandal and thus not elected, he may have died unexpectedly and thus not elected, he may have quit the race and thus not elected, or he may have been elected and became President as he did. So all of these are "possible worlds"/"possible scenarios" at which things may have been different. So if you tie that line of reasoning in with the argument, you will see where the argument is coming from.

So now the argument is officially made, and I will patiently wait on the response from my opponent to see his objections and refutations. Good luck.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

I thank my opponent for presenting the argument. I will still show why the argument fails to prove that God exists.

Is The Argument Logically Valid?

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 a maximally great being exists in every possible world
P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world
P5: Therefore a maximally great being exists in the actual world
P6: Therefore a maximally great being exists
C: Therefore God exists

Obviously, I will grant that a maximally great being is what God as defined as. Also, the argument follows modal logic just fine, and makes use of the S5 axiom. Even though Pro did not argue for the validity of the argument, I will concede that the argument is indeed logically valid.

What Is The Problem?

The problem with the argument seems to be P1. One might think right off of the bat; why is this a problem? It certainly seems reasonable enough to think that its at least possible that a maximally great being exists. Since the rest of the argument flows logically, then God has to exist. The problem is that there are other possibilities which seem just as plausible as the possibility of God existing, if not more plausible, that make God impossible if possible. Thus, I will be presenting a counter-argument by Ryan Stringer[1]:


A. It is possible that p.


B. Necessarily, if it is possible that God exists, then it is necessary that God exists.


C. Necessarily, if God exists, then it is not the case that p.


D. Therefore, it is not possible that God exists. (from A, B, & C)

This is the Modal Ontological Argument for Atheism, and it follows modal logic just like the Modal Ontological Argument for Theism.

Defense Of A

So, what can we plug for p? Lots of things! For instance, we could plug p with "omnipotence is not actualized in the actual world". It certainly seems at least possible that omnipotence is not actualized in the real world and is just a concept. We can also fill the variable p with "all sentience is physically realized". I mean, all sentience we know of depends on brain activity, so it seems at least possible that this is the case, even if we don't know it to be the case. Another plug could be "gratuitous suffering exists". The list can go on and on and on, but all these seem at least possible.

Defense Of B

This is a premise of the Modal Ontological Argument for Theism, so Pro must accept this premise or else he forfeits the argument.

Defense Of C

Lets consider my plugs for p. What about these possibilities makes God impossible? Well, take the possibility of omnipotence not being actualized in the actual world for instance... If a maximally great being existed, he would be omnipotent, as this is a great making property. He would also have omnipotence in every possible world (be necessary). This means that omnipotence would be actualized in every possible world, and it wouldn't be possible for omnipotence not to be actualized in the actual world. Since it is possible for omnipotence to not be actualized in the actual world (based on A), then it follows necessarily that God does not exist. Also, God wouldn't have a brain, or have sentience physically realized if he existed. God is conceived of as an immaterial being, and this would hold true in every possible world if he was a maximally great being. Since it is possible that all sentience is physically realized (based on A), then it follows that God cannot exist, because if he did, then all sentience wouldn't be physically realized, and this would be the case necessarily (God would be excluded from that category). Additionally, God is conceived of as an omnibenevolent being, and this cashes out from maximal greatness. However, if it is possible that there is gratuitous suffering, then God cannot exist. This is because, if God existed, then it would hold in every possible world that any suffering would have a morally sufficient reason for it (it would not be gratuitous). Thus, no possible world would have gratuitous suffering if God existed, and this would be a necessary truth. Since it is possible that there is gratuitous suffering (based on A), then it follows logically that God cannot exist.

Defense Of D

This conclusion follows inescapably.

Stalemate

It seems the Modal Argument for Atheism and the Modal Argument for Theism are at a stalemate. I can say that God cannot be possible, because all those plugs for p are possible, and they make God impossible if they are possible. Pro could say that none of those plugs for p are possible, as God is possible, and those things wouldn't be possible if God is possible. There are arguments to support the notion that the Modal Argument for Atheism is stronger than the Modal Argument for Theism, but all I have to do is undermine the Modal Argument for Theism to be favored in the debate. Both arguments follow modal logic perfectly, and both of the things they propose as possible seem reasonable, but they both cannot be true. Pro has to show why we must go with the Modal Argument for Theism, because a stalemate doesn't prove God exists, and he has the burden to prove God exists.

What Pro Must Do To Establish The Resolution

Pro must give valid warrent for the notion that God is possible that cannot also be used as warrent for any of the plugs for p mentioned. If any of those plugs for p are possible then God is impossible. If God is possible, then the plugs for p are impossible. Pro has to give us a reason to hive him the "leg up" without begging the question and assuming God exsts in every possible world already.

Conclusion

I countered the Modal Argument for Theism with a Modal Argument for Atheism. They seem to be at a stalemate, which means that Pro hasn't met his burden of proof. I only have to undermine Pro's argument, not show it false. However, he has to show the Modal Argument for Atheism false to accomplish his task.

Since my rebuttal was sufficient to undermine the argument at hand, I believe the debate is in my favor.

Sources

[1] http://www.infidels.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Majesty85

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for his response to the argument. Did he offer a defeater of the argument that I presented? I don't think so. It is worth mentioning that he accepting my definition of God, and he also accepted the validity of the argument. So, where do we disagree?

He said "the problem with the argument seems to be P1". So let us be reminded of P1.

P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

So what is the problem?

He said "The problem is that there are other possibilities which seem just as plausible as the possibility of God existing, if not more plausible, that make god impossible if possible". Then he presented a counter-argument by Ryan Stinger, at which is titled "The Modal Ontological Argument for Atheism", and I will get to that in a second.

But what about my opponents claim that "The problem is that there are other possibilities which seem just as plausible as the possibility of God existing, if not more plausible, that make god impossible if possible".

My response: Remember, the argument makes at the very least a minimum case for a maximally great being. The argument says nothing about who or what such a being is. So these "other" possibilities that my opponent is referring to is granted, but what he fails to realize is ANY possibility that he thinks of, that "thing" or that "being" is....God. So for example, lets say my opponent imagines a flying spaghetti monster as the possibility. Well, that flying spaghetti monster is God. See my point? It doesn't matter what you postulate the being to be, that being will be God, because remember, my opponent already granted the definition of God as defined in the argument, so any being that he wants to assume such a being to be (by names and titles), would be God. The argument DOES NOT make any claims of who the being is, the argument makes a minimum case for a MGB (maximally great being). So these "other" possibilities that he is referring to does NOTHING to negate the argument, as it stands.

Now, on to his "Modal Ontological Argument for Atheism". He has P1 (A):

A. It is possible that p.

He then went on to defend P1 (A) by saying "we can plug the p with lots of things". He gave an example on what the variable p could be plugged as, "We could plug p with "omnipotence is not actualized in the actual world".

My response: If omnipotence is not actualized in the actual world, then that would be a direct attack on my P4, which states that it is possible for God to exist in the actual world. What my opponent doesn't seem to realize is, if it is possible for a MGB to exist, then it cannot be impossible for it to exist. If a MGB's existence is even POSSIBLE, then my opponents P1 (A) is immediately false, because all possible necessary truths must exist in reality, based on the nature of "necessity".

He then said "It certainly seems at least possible that omnipotence is not actualized in the real world and is just a concept".

My response: Not so fast. God, by definition (that you also granted), is a necessary being, whose attributes are also necessary. If such a being exists, then its omnipotence MUST be actualized in the real world. If its omnipotence is not actualized in the real world, then it is not a maximally great being. Once you grant that the existence of a maximally great being is possible, you are granting that such a being exists, because all possible necessary truths must exist in reality. Either God's existence is necessarily true or necessarily false, and to negate one is to grant the other. So if a MGB's existence is even remotely possible, it must be true.

He then went on to state the possibilities of other things, such as "gratuitous suffering" and all sentience being "physically realized". Gratuitous suffering would contradict the character of an omnibenevolent being, which is one of the attributes that my opponent granted in the definition of God, and "all sentience being physically realized" is not a necessary truth, and all I need to do is use myself as an example, as I do not experience all sentience so therefore there is at least one possible world at which all physical sentience is not possible, which is the actual world.

I will accept my opponents "Defense of B" and move right along to "Defense of C".

He stated: "Since it is possible for omnipotence to not be actualized in the actual world (based on A), then it follows necessarily that God does not exist."

My response: To say it is possible for omnipotence to not be actualized in the actual world is to state that it is impossible for a MGB to exist. My opponent was given a definition of a MGB, that he granted. If it is possible for such a being to exist, then my opponent is in error when he postulates possible worlds at which such a being DOESN'T exist. A maximally great being is a necessary being, and if a necessary being's existence is even possible, there can be no scenario or possible world at which such a beings existence is impossible. So what he is doing is stating "there is a possible world at which a maximally great beings power is not actualized". But how can there be a possible world at which a MGB's power is not actualized? That would make such a being NOT so maximally great, now wouldn't it? But at least the definition of a MGB was granted, and once that has been granted, if such a being DOES exist, then it is irrational to think of an actual world at which such a being's power is not actualized.

In reference to his D, he stated "it is not possible that God exists".

My response: My opponent's premises were false, so there is no need to accept the conclusion as true. Why? Because he fails to give reasons why there isn't at least one possible world at which a MGB's existence is true. In order for him to successfully refute the argument, he has to point out some kind of logical incoherency based on the concept of God, which I don't think he can do. The concept of such a being certainly seems logical. There are no logical absurdities based on the concept, so it is not irrational to think that there is a possible world at which such a being could exist, at the very least. The problem is, if it can be true in some possible world, it can be true in all possible worlds. And if it can be true in all possible worlds, it must be actually true in all possible world, including the actual world, because all possible necessary truths must be actually true.

My opponent then concluded that it is a stalemate between both of our arguments.

He states "I can say that God cannot be possible, because all those plugs for p are possible, and they make God impossible if they are possible".

My response: I've offered refutation of my opponents "p's", and I will wait for his response.

He states "...all I have to do is undermine the Modal Argument for Theism to be favored in the debate. Both arguments follow modal logic perfectly, and both of the things they propose as possible seem reasonable, but they both cannot be true. Pro has to show why we must go with the Modal Argument for Theism, because a stalemate doesn't prove God exists, and he has the burden to prove God exists".

My response: I must maintain that my opponent offered no good reasons why his premises were true, and I believe I've stated why.

Conclusion: The Modal Ontological argument remains valid. I believe I've successfully refuted the Modal Ontological Argument for Atheism. What Con must do to refute Pro is to demonstrate how the concept of a MGB is logically absurd, as that is the only way the argument can be refuted. I don't think neither he nor anyone can do this. But I would love to see them continue to try.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

In my last round, I presented a counter-argument to the Modal Ontological Argument which devastatingly undermines it. In this round, I am going to demonstrate why all of my opponent's objections to the counter-argument completely miss the mark, and fail to stand up to critical scrutiny.

Are possibilities That Make God Impossible, God?

Pro states that any possibilities I that I can think of that make God impossible, are God himself. This makes no sense for two reasons:

(i) It violates the Law of Noncontradiction

(ii) None of the possibilities I mentioned were "beings"

If it is the case that there is a possibility which makes God impossible, then clearly it cannot be God because that would mean God is possible. Since this is a logical abomination, this argument can be dismissed. Pertaining to the plugs for p, I can say that it is possible that:

. All sentience is physically dependent
. Gratuitous suffering exists
. Omnipotence is not actualized
. The total sum of information there is, is unknown

None of those are "beings". Thus, Pro's objection here fails.

Pro Misunderstands Ryan Stringer's Argument

Pro re-iterates that if we grant that God is even possible, then he has to exist. I never contested that so this is a fallacious red-herring. He says God is either impossible, or necessary. The argument from Ryan Stringer claims that if any of those plugs for p is possible, then God is not possible. Thus, Ryan Stringer's argument shows that P1 of the Ontological Argument ("it is possible for God to exist") is false, not P4. I completely accept P4 of the Modal Ontological Argument, it is P1 I do not accept. If any of those plugs for p is possible, then God is not possible and P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument is false. Thus, the rest of the argument does not follow.

In order for Pro to meet his burden of proof and show P1 of his argument true, he has to show that all the plugs for p are impossible without begging the question by assuming God exists in every possible world already (that would assume God is possible, which is the premise Pro has to prove in the first place).

Ryan Stringer's argument demonstrates that P1 of Pro's argument ("it is possible for God to exist") is false if we grant the initial possibility claim, not P4.

Pro Begs The Question

He claims:

"Not so fast. God, by definition (that you also granted), is a necessary being, whose attributes are also necessary. If such a being exists, then its omnipotence MUST be actualized in the real world." - Pro

I agree 100% with the above. This is what Pro doesn't understand. If God exists, then it would be impossible for omnipotence not be actualized. Since it is possible for omnipotence not to be actualized, then God is not possible and P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument is false. This follows Modens Tollens. Pro has to assume that God is possible already, to assume that he exists in every possible world making my plugs for p impossible. However, it is Premise 1 Pro has to prove and defend in the first place! Since this is circular reasoning and begging the question, Pro's argument fails.

Pro then states:

"Gratuitous suffering would contradict the character of an omnibenevolent being." - Pro

I agree 100% with the above. This is why if gratuitous suffering is even merely possible, then God is impossible. Basically, if God is possible then God exists and is omnibenevolent; every possible world would contain no gratuitous suffering. Thus, if there is a possible world with gratuitous suffering; God is impossible. This is what Pro doesn't understand. His objections only work if you presuppose God is possible. He assumes God is possible, thus my plugs all fail by default. However, I can just presuppose that those plugs for p are possible, thus God's possibility fails by default. He has given no reason to grant God's possibility over any of the plugs for p.

If we grant God is possible, then all my plugs for p are impossible. I agree. However, if we grant that any of those plugs for p are possible, then God is not possible. Pro must give us a reason to accept the possibility of God, over any of the plugs for p without begging the question as he has the burden of proof in the debate. He has not done this.

He then states:

"'all sentience being physically realized" is not a necessary truth'" - Pro

I agree 100%. Ryan Stringer's argument only argues that "all sentience being physically realized" is merely possible, not necessary. Pro is all over the place here...

Expanding On Ryan Stringer's Argument

Pro claims:

"To say it is possible for omnipotence to not be actualized in the actual world is to state that it is impossible for a MGB to exist." - Pro

Exactly. If it is not possible for a maximally great being to exist, then P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument is false, and God's existence does not follow. This is why the Modal Ontological Argument fails. Pro hasn't given us a reason to accept God's possibility over any of the plugs for p.

"
If it is possible for such a being to exist, then my opponent is in error when he postulates possible worlds at which such a being DOESN'T exist." - Pro

Yes, if it is possible for such a being to exist then Pro is correct. However, it is not possible for such a being to exist based on Stringer's Argument. Thus, it is completely fine to postulate worlds in which God does not exist, because he is not even possible in the first place. I thought Pro was catching on but he went further into the deep end.

Pro is just assuming God is possible. If he does that then of course, he exists in every possible world, and all my plugs for p fail. But I can just assume that all those plugs for p are possible based on the same type of presupposition. This means that God not being possible is true necessarily, and P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument is false.

Pro needs to give us a reason to accept the possibility of God, over any of the plugs for p. He is just assuming God is possible and begging the question.

The Conclusion of Stringer's Argument

My opponent claims:

"My opponent's premises were false, so there is no need to accept the conclusion as true. Why? Because he fails to give reasons why there isn't at least one possible world at which a MGB's existence is true." - Pro

Pro has not shown my plugs for p are false. Pro can only assume they are false, if he assumes God is possible, and exists in every possible world making my plugs for p false by default. However, this is what he has to prove, not presuppose. I can just say that P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument is false because all those things I mentioned are possible, and they make God's existence impossible.

He then says I failed to give reasons why God cannot exist in one possible world. However, I gave reasons. If God exists in some possible world, he exists in all of them. Since those plugs for p are possible, then God cannot exist in all possible worlds. If he was possible though, he would exist in all possible worlds. Thus, those plugs for p show God is not possible, and P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument is false.

It was also said:

"I've offered refutation of my opponents 'p's', and I will wait for his response." - Pro

His refutation committed the exact fallacy I knew he was going to commit. In my first round I said:

"Pro has to give us a reason to hive him the 'leg up' without begging the question and assuming God exists in every possible world already." - Me

Pro's only refutation of the plugs for p, is that God exists in every possible world so they cannot be true in any possible world. However, I can say that those plugs for p are the case in some possible world. Therefore, God's existence cannot be true in any possible world.

Overall Conclusion

Pro claims that since every possible world has God in it, because he is possible, then those plugs for p are false. I can just say that because those plugs for p are possible, then God's possibility is false. Pro just begged the question and assumed the crucial premise without valid warrant.

Debate Round No. 3
Majesty85

Pro

In my last round I responded to my opponent"s objection to my argument. Let"s see his response.

First, he mischaracterized my statement by saying "Pro states that any possibilities I that I can think of that make God impossible, are God himself."

But what I said was "It doesn't matter what you postulate the being to be, that being will be God".

Now as he pointed out below, none of the possibilities he mentioned were "beings". But I assumed that "beings" were included, because after all, he did say "So, what can we plug for p? Lots of things! For instance, we could plug p with omnipotence is not actualized in the actual world". The list can go on and on and on, but all these seem at least possible." So if "beings" were not included with this "lots of things", and also not included in the "list" that can go "on and on and on", then I apologize. Second, notice that I directly responded to the specifics that he did give, such as gratuitous suffering and his "omnipotence" argument.

Con: "If it is the case that there is a possibility which makes God impossible, then clearly it cannot be God because that would mean God is possible."

My response: The only way the existence of God can be impossible would be for there to be a logical contradiction based on the concept of God. That is what Con has to demonstrate. If there are no internal contradictions based on the concept of a MGB, then a MGB must exist in some possible world. So until Con can demonstrate this absurdity, it makes absolutely no sense to speak of God"s existence as being impossible, given the fact that all possible necessary truths must be in fact, TRUE.

Con said
" Since this is a logical abomination, this argument can be dismissed.

Pertaining to the plugs for p, I can say that it is possible that:

. All sentience is physically dependent
. Gratuitous suffering exists
. Omnipotence is not actualized
. The total sum of information there is, is unknown

None of those are "beings". Thus, Pro's objection here fails."

My response: I agree, none of those are "beings", but notice that I"ve already responded to his p"s, so my responses remain untouched.

Now here are the meat and potatoes of the whole discussion. My opponent stated that I misunderstood Ryan Stringer"s Argument.

Con: "Pro re-iterates that if we grant that God is even possible, then he has to exist. I never contested that so this is a fallacious red-herring."

My response: If by "never contested" it means that Con grants the premise, then he has subconsciously admitted that God exists, and here is why: For God to exist, he would exist necessarily, which means that if God DOES exist, it is impossible for him to NOT exist. It means that there are no circumstances at which God doesn"t exist. So if it is possible for God to exist, he must actually exist. There is just no logical way that Con can maintain that it is possible for a MGB to exist, but that such a being doesn"t exist. If it is possible for God to exist, but God doesn"t exist, then how can that possibility be actualized? Necessity is not something that you can acquire; you must have it as the essence of your very being, and if Con does admit that the existence of God is possible, he is saying that it is possible that a necessary being exists, and since a necessary being cannot "NOT" exist, then such a being must actually exist.

He then said, "He (Pro) says God is either impossible, or necessary. The argument from Ryan Stringer claims that if any of those plugs for p is possible, then God is not possible."

My response: But I"ve already responded to that and gave reasons WHY those plugs were not necessary (at the very least).

Con: "In order for Pro to meet his burden of proof and show P1 of his argument true, he has to show that all the plugs for p are impossible without begging the question by assuming God exists in every possible world already (that would assume God is possible, which is the premise Pro has to prove in the first place). "

My response: Notice that he keeps mentioning the "p"s". What he has to do is demonstrate how these p"s are not only possible, but necessarily true. Remember, P1 makes the case for the existence of a necessary being. If Con is not making the case for any "p" to be necessarily true, then we are comparing apples and oranges, and thus far his p plugs have not been shown to be necessarily true and neither one can serve as a defeater of the argument.

My opponent quoted me as saying: "Not so fast. God, by definition (that you also granted), is a necessary being, whose attributes are also necessary. If such a being exists, then its omnipotence MUST be actualized in the real world." " Pro"
In response to this, he said "I agree 100% with the above. This is what Pro doesn't understand. If God exists, then it would be impossible for omnipotence not be actualized. Since it is possible for omnipotence not to be actualized, then God is not possible and P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument is false. "

My response: I think this is a rather weak response by Con. First of all, omnipotence not being actualized does not mean that God is not possible. Suppose God, if such a being existed, decided not to create anything? Is it safe to say that omnipotence is not being actualized? Suppose God existed for all eternity and NEVER ONCE used his power for anything? Does that mean that omnipotence is not actualized? Suppose the very fact that such a being exists is in fact a demonstration of its omnipotence? Is not the concept of a self-contained omnipotent being in itself a demonstration of omnipotence? Con has not given me/us any reasons to believe that just because omnipotence is not actualized, then God is not possible. In fact, quite the contrary, as I just pointed out, God"s existed may not be actualized, and he could still exist, or the very essence of God"s existence could be said to be part of his omnipotence, so either way, Con has not presented a defeater.

Con: "This follows Modens Tollens. Pro has to assume that God is possible already, to assume that he exists in every possible world making my plugs for p impossible."

My response: But is my assumption a good assumption, or bad assumption? I maintain it is a good assumption, due to the fact that the mere concept of a MGB is logically valid. I have good logically grounds to believe that the concept of a MGB is at least possible. The concept doesn"t violate any laws of logic. If it does, I would like for my opponent to enlighten me on the irrationality of such a concept. If it doesn"t violate laws of logic, then it is at least possible in some world.

Not only that; but the good thing about the argument is the fact that it starts off neutral. The argument basically says we don"t know whether God exists, but if it is possible for God to exist, God must exist. The only way to refute the argument is to show a logical absurdity based on the concept, and I just don"t think Con can demonstrate such.

Con: "However, it is Premise 1 Pro has to prove and defend in the first place! Since this is circular reasoning and begging the question, Pro's argument fails."

My response: Does P1 defy logic? In order for my opponent to refute P1, he has to find some kind of logical absurdity with the concept/definition of God, but remember, he has already granted the definition! He accepts the definition/concept of God, and I will assume that he doesn"t accept the definition as absurd. So if the definition is logical, the only question is whether or not such a being actually exists. But just by admitting that a MGB is POSSIBLY necessarily true, Con admits that a MGB is necessarily true. To admit that it is possible for something to be necessarily true, but actually false, is a categorical error on the part of Con.

His response: I agree 100% with the above. This is why if gratuitous suffering is even merely possible, then God is impossible.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

This stalemate I have demonstrated between the Modal Argument for Atheism and the Modal Ontological Argument shows that God's existence has not been logically demonstrated. Thus, Pro loses the debate as he has the burden of proof.

God's Impossibility

I apologize, but Pro doesn't seem to understand Modal Logic at all. He claims that if there are no internal contradictions in the idea of God, then he exists in some possible world. This is dead false. If there is an external fact about the world which is incompatible with God's existence then God is still impossible. If the plugs for p are possible, then God is incoherent. Pro also commits the appeal to ignorance fallacy by saying that until I show God is incoherent; God is coherent. Additionally, Pro also has a self-refuting case! He claims that something is possible if there are no internal contradictions with it. Well, his only real argument against my plugs for p was that there was an external fact (God existing in every possible) world which makes them impossible. If only the lack of internal contradictions are sufficient, then my plugs for p are possible based on Pro's same reasoning.

He then says that all possibly necessary facts are true. This is true, and I do not contest that premise. The problem is that Pro hasn't shown God is possible in the first place.

Pro's Misunderstanding Expanded

Pro claims that I admit God exists if I grant that he is necessary if he is possible. This is embarrassing, as it is clearly a non-sequitur. Even if I grant that God's existence is necessary if possible, I don't grant that God's existence is possible.

Remember the 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 a maximally great being exists in every possible world
P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world
P5: Therefore a maximally great being exists in the actual world
P6: Therefore a maximally great being exists
C: Therefore God exists"

Pro claims that because I accept P2, that means I accept C. This is clearly nonsense because I don't accept P1. The conclusion is only established if all the premises are true.

Plugs for P

Pro engages in the red-herring fallacy. He claims that he has shown that the plugs for p aren't necessary. This is irrelevant. The plugs for p need only be possible, not necessary and God's impossibility is established. Also, I already showed why his arguments against p are invalid. He is saying that God exists in every possible world, which entails that my plugs for p are false. Remember though, this is only true if God is possible (Pro has not proven that God is possible). I can just presuppose my plugs for p are possible just like Pro presupposes God is possible, and derive the conclusion that God is not possible. Thus, P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument is false based on that logic. Pro gives us no reason to accept the possibility of God over the possibility of any of the plugs for p.

More evidence arises that Pro doesn't comprehend Modal Logic when he claims:

"What he has to do is demonstrate how these p are not only possible, but necessarily true." - Pro

The above is self-evidently ridiculous. If any of the plugs for p are the case in even one possible world, then God's impossibility follows via Stringer's argument. Remember the plugs for p:

. All sentience is physically dependent
. Gratuitous suffering exists
. Omnipotence is not actualized
. The total sum of information there is, is unknown

Any of the above only need be merely possible, not necessary for God to impossible. Take for example "the total sum of information there is, is unknown". If God exists, he is omniscient and knows the total sum of information there is, and this would be true in every possible world. Thus, if there is even one possible world in which it is true that "the total sum of information there is, is unknown" then God isn't in every possible world. Therefore, God wouldn't be possible. Since there is no internal contradiction with any selected plug for p, then it is possible according to Pro's own standard. But if so, then God is not possible! If the plugs for p are false in some possible world; Ryan Stringer's argument still holds as long as one of plugs holds in one possible world. Pro has not given us even a hint of a reason to accept God's possibility, over the possibility of any of the plugs for p. He presumes God is possible because of no internal contradiction is entailed by his possibility, and then derives the impossibility of the plugs for p off of that. But I can just presume the possibility of any one plug for p because there is no internal contradiction with any of them, and derive the impossibility of God off of that. Pro is special pleading by arguing that we can accept God's possibility, over the possibility of any plug for p even though they are both internally consistent, and that is the only reason he gives for God being possible in the first place.

Omnipotence Being Actualized

Pro's argument against this plug making God impossible fails. He asks "what if God does not create anything, or act on his omnipotence?" Even in that case, God would still have omnipotence. Thus, omnipotence would be actualized in any world in which God exists.

Pro confuses:

(i) Omnipotence

with

(ii) Acting based on what omnipotence allows one to do

If (ii) is not actual, or actualized, (i) still would be if God exists. Therefore, Pro's rebuttal here is a non-starter.

Pro's Assumption

Pro argues that even if he is just assuming that God is possible to derive the conclusion that the plugs for p are impossible, that doesn't mean his assumption is a bad one because God's existence is logically valid. Once more, this is logically fallacious. I can just say the same thing in reverse for my position. I can just assume that the plugs for p are possible. Thus, making God impossible via Stringer's Argument. If he asks why can I assume the plugs for p, I can just say because they are all internally consistent. Any argument Pro gives, I can just reverse in favor of the Modal Argument for Atheism (but they both cannot be true). Even if God is internally consistent, he may be externally inconsistent (and exists in no possible world). In order to defend P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument, Pro has to argue that the plugs for p are false without presuming God is possible already. Once more, that would be begging the question and circular reasoning.

Switching The Burden Of Proof

Pro says that if I cannot show God is impossible, then I haven't defeated the possibility of God. This is false. I only need to undermine the first premise to defeat it in context, and show that Pro hasn't met his burden of proof. I do not need to falsify it. Since I showed a stalemate between the Modal Argument for Atheism and the Modal Ontological Argument; the resolution has not been established. Unless Pro pulls out a miracle in the last round, he has clearly lost this debate.

More Reversal

I can say that I have shown God is incoherent. Because those plugs for p are internally logically consistent, and lead to the impossibility of God. Thus, God is impossible. This is the same logic, but in reverse that Pro uses to say the plugs for p are impossible!

He claims:

"But just by admitting that a MGB is POSSIBLY necessarily true, Con admits that a MGB is necessarily true." - Pro

I don't admit that God is possibly necessary, just that if he is possibly necessary, he is necessary. It is simply fallacious to say that "x" follows from "if x". Even though I accept P2 of the Modal Ontological Argument, I do not accept P1.

Conclusion

All of Pro's arguments for P1 of the Modal Ontological Argument are logically fallacious. He must show that the plugs for p are not possible, without assuming God is possible.
Debate Round No. 4
Majesty85

Pro

Majesty85 forfeited this round.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Correction

In “round 3” when I was referring to the premise “If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then a maximally great being exists in every possible world”, I referred to it as “P4” when it was really “P3” in the syllogism of the Modal Ontological Argument I posted. In “round 4” I said “P2” when I meant “P3” as well. My apologies for any confusion; the only premises that should have been mentioned in my arguments with regards to the earlier rounds were “P3” and “P1”.

I just wanted to clarify that, because parts of my rounds probably wouldn't make sense if I hadn't. Either way, my opponent gave up and forfeited. Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
In "round 3" when I was referring to the premise "If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then a maximally great being exists in every possible world", I referred to it as "P4" when it was really "P3" in the syllogism of the Modal Ontological Argument I posted. In "round 4" I said "P2" when I meant "P3" as well. My apologies for any confusion; the only premises that should have been mentioned in my earlier rounds were "P3" and "P1".
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