The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Nzrsaa
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Ontological Argument For God's Existence Is Sound

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/26/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 916 times Debate No: 39488
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

In this debate, Pro has to prove that God exists with the Ontological Argument for God's existence, and my job is to simply undermine his/her arguments sufficiently. Pro can use any version of the argument he/she wishes; the first round is for Pro's first argument. However, to make sure we get the same amount of rounds, in the last round, Pro must simply put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed."

Good luck.
Nzrsaa

Pro

Hi!

The Ontological argument is one of the oldest arguments for the existence of God, originally formulated by Anslem of Canterbury. It has never been a particularly powerful argument and has faced much criticism over history. But there has been advancements with the argument in recent times, and I will present a more modern version.

The argument goes as follows:

1) It is possible that a maximally great being 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 a maximally great being 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

I think this is a fairly solid argument, and I will eagerly await my opponent's response on these matters.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

I thank my opponent for presenting the argument. Although he did not really defend the crucial premise, or show that the argument is even valid, 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 exists, 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 win 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.

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 win the debate.

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

Sources
Nzrsaa

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.
He seems to concentrate his objections on the first premise. He mentions three alternative possibilities - of which, if possible, would disprove the existence of a maximally great being.

I will divide my response into two sections.
I will start with attempting to prove that the possibility that God exists is much more probable than the possibility that he doesn't.

The first premise states: 'it is possible that a maximally great being exists'

If I am successful, then the weight of the argument will fall on the theist side, as it will be more probable that a maximally great being exists than not, making the Atheist's argument redundant.
I will then show why his objections are not successful in disproving the first premise.

So why is a maximally great being's existence more probable than not?
Well to attempt to prove this, I will divide my response into two separate arguments: a Cosmological argument and an argument from Fine-Tuning. In order for my opponent to show that the Atheist's position on the Ontological Argument is more probable than the Theist's, he will have to refute both these arguments.

#1: Cosmological Argument
This has three premises.
1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause to it's existence.
How do we know this? Well, by scientific method and immediate experience. For example, Human life begins at fertilisation in the womb. But how do we know that this applies to the universe? Well if it applies to universes, why not random objects? Why don't we see tables and houses come into existence uncaused?
I don't think that any reasonable person can deny that whatever begins to exist has a cause - to deny it would be unscientific and illogical.

2) The Universe began to exist.
This is fairly obvious. The consensus among any serious scientist is that the beginning of the universe was at the big bang, where the Universe began to expand at a finite point in the past and is continuing to expand to this day.
Again, this point is fairly explanatory that I don't think anyone thinking scientifically can deny.

3) Therefore the Universe, which began to exist, has a cause.
This follows from premises 1 and 2

But why was this cause likely to be a Maximally Great Being?
Because the cause will have had to have had a number of qualities. These include: timelessness, changelessness and immateriality - because as the creator of space and time, it has to also transcend space and time; and it has to be a personal being by the mere fact that it brought the universe into existence.
The only 2 possibilities that possess these qualities are either abstract objects - i.e numbers, or sets, or an unembodied mind - i.e a Maximally Great Being.

#2: Argument from Fine-Tuning
This argument states that the universe would had to have been so fine tuned at it's original conditions in order to be permit intelligent life that even if it expanded 1/10 of a millimetre too quickly of too slowly, It would have collapsed back onto itself and cease to exist. (source: 'A Brief History Of Time by Stephen Hawking') There are only two possible explanations for this miraculous event - it happened either by chance; or a Maximally Great Being brought the universe into existence. And through the laws of probablity, the most probable explanation for the remarkable fine-tuning of the universe is through a Maximally Great Being.

Obviously these two arguments are separate to the ontological argument, but I think that they are certainly inter-related, and help show the soundness of the ontological argument if argued together.

Now in my opponent's response, the main criticism he had was that there are other values that you can put in for 'God'. He mentions three, and I shall address them.
1) Omnipotence not being actualized in the actual world.
My opponent seems to think that this is a possibility - and therefore it follows that God does not exist.
However, I think that it is obvious that this is an impossibility; as the definition of omnipotence means that it is necessary for it to be actualised in ANY world - a maximally great being BY DEFINITION has omnipotence actualized in any world as for it NOT to be actualised would mean that the being is NOT maximally great. Therefore, were a maximally great being to exist, it is not possible for omnipotence to not be actualized in the actual world.

2) That all sentience is physically realized
Similarly, if a maximally great being existed, then it would transcend space and time - not be independent of it. Therefore, were a maximally great being to exist, it is not possible for it to not experience physical sentience.

3) If there is gratuitous suffering
Equally, if a maximally great being existed, it would be morally perfect and any 'gratuitous suffering' would therefore be the most moral eventuality possible. Therefore were a maximally great being to exist, it would be impossible for gratuitous suffering to also exist.

I think that con's biggest downfall is the fact that the adjectives 'Maximally Great' go seemingly unnoticed in his argument - he still asserts that there are alternative eventualities that are possible we're a maximally great being to exist.
Any 'plug' that implies that it is possible that a maximally great being cannot do something (as my opponent has suggested) is self-contradictory and therefore invalid as an argument. What my opponent needs to do is prove that it is not possible that a Maximally Great being exists in order to show the version of the ontological argument that I provided is false.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

Pro says that he is going to outline reasons as to why is it more probable that God is possible, over any of my plugs for p. First of all, I would like to qualify the different types of possibility, and the possibility relevant to this debate:

(i) Epistemic Possibility[1]

(ii) Subjunctive Possibility (Modal Possibility)[2]

To say something is epistemically possible is to say that it may be true. It might even be subjunctively impossible; we just do not know. This is how most people use the word. However, to say that something like a maximally great being for example, is subjunctively possible (which the Modal Ontological Argument necessitates) is to say that a maximally great being is definitely not impossible. Or, more precisely; it is not possible for it to be subjunctively impossible that a maximally great being exists. That is a basic modal inference. This means that even if Pro shows that God being possible is more probable for any of my plugs for p, he still hasn't met his burden of proof on the first premise. To meet the burden of proof on the first premise, Pro must show that any plugs which would make God impossible, are impossible (not merely improbable). Thus, my plugs for p (assuming they would make God impossible if possible) must be shown to be impossible. After all, the first premise doesn't say that it is more probably true than not that God is possible, it states as a matter of fact that God is indeed possible. In any event, I will examine Pro's two arguments and see if they even raise the chance of God being possible, I will also address Pro's claims that my plugs for p really wouldn't make God impossible in the first place.

The Cosmological Argument

Premise 1: Everything That Begins To Exist Has A Cause

Pro claims that we know this due to science and immediate experience. The problem with this is that science only assumes causality at the macroscopic scale and assuming classical mechanics, and all of our immediate experience is at the macroscopic scale. At the sub-atomic scale though, quantum mechanics (not classical mechanics) rules. It is commonly held by physicists that quantum mechanics does radical damage to causality:

"Quantum events have a way of just happening, without any cause, as when a radioactive atom decays at a random
time." - Taner Edis. Department of Physics Truman State University Kirksville[3]

"Uncaused, random quantum fluctuations in a flat, empty, featureless spacetime can produce local regions with positive or negative curvature" - Victor Stenger. American Particle Physics[4]

"As a result of the tunnelling event, a finite-sized universe, filled with a false vacuum, pops out of nowhere ("nucleates") and immediately starts to inflate...Remarkably, the answer is that no cause is required." - Alexander Vilenkin.Director, Institute of Cosmology, and. L. and J. Bernstein Professor of Evolutionary Science[5]

So, I clearly disproved the notion that any reasonable person would accept the first premise, as I cited plenty of reasonable and respected people in their field who find it false. Causality is also not a scientific principle, if it was, the then scientists I quoted wouldn't be rejecting it. Either way, Pro must show why the common view in science that causality doesn't always hold at the sub-atomic scale is wrong, as he has the burden of proof in the debate.

Premise 2: The Universe Began To Exist

We know scientifically that the universe had some type of beginning, but not that it came into being, or "began to exist".

Conclusion: The Universe Has A Cause

This as not been established.

Must The Cause Be A Maximally Great Being?

Pro says that the cause must be timeless, changeless, and immaterial. The issue is that this means the cause cannot be a mind, because a mind would have to think. Thinking by definition is a process, and a process is an event (which requires time). Thus, the idea of a "timeless mind" is incoherent. Also, Pro hasn't shown why only a mind and an abstract object can be the only two options.

The kicker is that even if we grant the Cosmological Argument, it does not help Pro's case. If a mind created the universe, the mind might not be omnipotent, omniscient, or omnibenevolent. Maybe the mind that created the universe was evil (which would mean it is not maximally great at all!). Pro must show why this mind would raise the probability of a maximally great being; he has not done so, and just presupposed it.

The Fine-Tuning Argument

If there enough universes, then the odds of a universe with the specific qualities we have become quite high. Pro hasn't even shown that one God is more likely than multiple universes (sometimes, even one of something adheres to Occam's Razor more than multiple objects). Even if an intelligence fine-tuned the universe, how do we know this being is maximally great? Maybe it could have only fine-tuned the universe 6 ways, while a maximally great being could have fine-tuned many more universes.

Do My Plugs, If Possible, Show God Impossible?

"Omnipotence is not actualized in the actual world"

Pro argues exactly what I argue without even knowing it. He states:

"[W]ere a maximally great being to exist, it is not possible for omnipotence to not be actualized in the actual world."

I agree with the above, which is why if omnipotence not being actualized in the actual world was possible, a maximally great being could not exist! Thus, he basically proves my point that this plug would make God impossible. He hasn't shown however, why we should believe a maximally great being is possible, over the idea that omnipotence is not actualized in the actual world. He just begs the question.

"All Sentience Is Physically Realized"

By physically realized, I mean dependent on the physical realm. Pro admits that God wouldn't be dependent on the physical realm (if God existed, then it would be impossible for all sentience to be physically realized). So, if it was possible for all sentience to be physically realized, then God couldn't exist, because if he did, then in every possible world it would be false that all sentience is physically realized. Thus, this plug, if possible, clearly makes God impossible.

"Gratuitous Suffering Exists"

If there existed a morally perfect being, then all suffering would be for a benevolent reason, which means it wouldn't be gratuitous by definition. It would hold necessarily that there exists no gratuitous suffering. Thus, this plug would definitely make God impossible.

Conclusion

Pro commits straw-man argument below:

"Any 'plug' that implies that it is possible that a maximally great being cannot do something (as my opponent has suggested) is self-contradictory and therefore invalid as an argument."

This above is logically fallacious, as the plugs show God cannot exist; not that he cannot do something. Also, God would actually have to exist for us to expect that there was nothing he cannot do in reality, but this presupposes that God is possible (which is what Pro is trying to prove in the first place). Thus, this is simply begging the question. He also states that I have to disprove the first premise. This is a fallacious shifting the burden of proof. Pro has to show his argument is true, I do not need to show it false (the rules clearly state that I only have to undermine the argument).

None of Pro's support for the Ontological Argument goes through. They were all based on false premises, or logically fallacious argumentation. I mentioned possibilities which make God impossible, which sufficiently undermines the argument until Pro can show them impossible without beginning the question, and assuming God is possible already.

Sources

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://atheism.about.com...
[4] http://www.infidels.org...
[5] Alexander Vilenkin: "Many worlds in one: The search for other universes" (P. 181)
Nzrsaa

Pro

I will go back to the original argument as it seems as though we have wandered off the point.
The first premise states that 'it is possible that a maximally great being exists'. Now if this is true, then the rest of the points follow necessarily. And in my two arguments, I have shown that indeed, is is possible that a maximally great being exists. So it logically follows that a maximally great being exists.
In order for con to refute this, then he has to assert that it is not possible for a maximally great being to exist and I don't think that he has succeeded.

In an attempt to reverse the argument, he gives us a counter-argument. And the issue is have is with P4. This is because in P1 we need to look at it the context of a maximally great being existing as opposed to the context of it not existing which is what con is suggesting; for example he uses the example of gratuitous suffering existing - where if a maximally great being existed, it would not be possible. In which case, any plug he puts in for 'p' will not be possible by definition, which means the conclusion does not follow.
The argument should end at P3, but instead there is a fourth premise which does not follow from the rest of the argument. If it is not possible that 'p' is true, then that is where the argument should end. It certainly shouldn't suggest that God does not exist.
In other words, If it is the case that God exists, then premise 1 will be redundant and the conclusion doesn't follow. The argument gives bigger priority to premise 1 than it does God exists.
There is a big assumption in this argument that atheism is the only possible worldview. But con hasn't given an argument for this thus far.

My opponent then proceeds to counter my two arguments.

Premise 1
The objection he has to the first premise is that the laws of cause and effect do not apply quantum mechanics And therefore not everything has a cause.
However, I think my opponent will find that when scientists say that these things are 'uncaused', That is not at all what they mean. After all, it is absolutely logically impossible for ANYTHING to exist with no previous cause. Rather, the cause is defined as a non-material cause. These so called uncaused events are usually due to Fluctuations in the quantum vacuum which is NOT nothing! As for the fluctuations themselves, they will have come into existence at the time of the beginning of the universe (so the cause of the fluctuations will have been they cause of the universe). The cause of these quantum events have a cause and so con has not achieved anything by bringing uncaused quantum events into the argument.

But for the sake of argumemt, Let's say we grant con his argument. But it would nevertheless be worthless, as we could then re-arrange my argument to state the following:
1) If the universe began to exist, then the universe has a cause of its beginning.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause of its beginning

As you can see, this makes con's point redundant as quantum mechanics have nothing to do with this argument.

Moreover, I see no reason why one cannot hold that everything that begins to exist has a cause of its beginning (including virtual particles), but allowing movements or changes in already existing things to occur without causes. This is a position from a single, first cause from which everything came from.

Premise 2
Con says that 'the universe had some sort of beginning'. So he agrees with me and there is no issue here.
The universe could not exist in any form for an infinite amount of time as it is a logical impossibility - if you subtracted 10 trillion years from the time the universe has been in existence, then it would result in the same amount of years as before. No rational person could accept this to be true. So this means that the universe, and everything the universe is composed of, will have to have come into existence a finite time ago.

Premise 3
I think the argument has been established

Why a Maximally Great Being?
I think we have to dish out some definitions here. 'Timeless' does not mean that time does not apply to the being. Rather it means that the being transcends time - abiding by it but not bound by it. The same with space and materiality. 'mind' simply means a conscience - a being that is not dead. So it is entirely possible that there is a 'timeless mind' as a creator of the universe, as it would simply be a conscious being that transcends the universe.
The reason why there are only two Options - abstract objects: so numbers, properties, laws etc. and an 'unembodied mind or conscience' is because these are the only conceivable entities that could transcend the universe. If con could provide alternatives, I am more than willing to listen to them. But as it stands, the only of the two that could possibly create ANYTHING is an unembodied conscious.
I do not argue the properties of this being in the argument itself; rather I get to the conclusion that the being is maximally great essentially due to many other arguments, Namely:

Moral Argument
1) If Objective moral values do not exist, then a Maximally Great Being does not exist
-this is explanatory; if morals are not objective then there is no objective source for morals: therefore if a maximally great being does not exist then morals are subjective rather than objective.
2) Objective moral values do exist
-we know this because of our own immediate experience. For example, we know that child abuse is wrong - if someone else thinks child abuse is morally alright, then we consider them as morally inferior people.
- If morals are subjective, then one person's moral opinion is of an equal moral standard to another's. Someone who thinks child abuse is morally wrong is on a same moral standard to someone whose moral opinion it is that child abuse is morally good.
Now it doesn't take much to realize that morals are objective - we simply need to look at our own moral opinions to see that morals are objective.
3) Therefore a maximally great being exists

The Leibnizian Cosmological argument

1. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause).
2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
3. The universe exists.
4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence. (from 1, 3)
5. Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God. (from 2, 4)

I have explained before the premises of this argument so there is no need to go through them again.
This proves that a maximally great being is the cause of the universe because of P1. The cause of the universe exists; and therefore has an explanation for itself. Since the explanation cannot be an external cause, the being has to exist in the necessity of it's own nature. This means that this being is maximally great as there is no greater cause and therefore no greater being.

I think that these two arguments firmly establish that the cause of the universe, if it exists, must be maximally great.

The fine-tuning Argument

My opponent's main objection is to do with the multiverse. Not to mention that this is a highly controversial theory that lacks much proof, these universes would be part of a 'motherverse' - to which my arguments would still be applicable.

Conclusion

Overall, my opponent doesn't show any serious objection to any of my arguments. The conclusion of the Ontological argument for atheism he provided does not follow from the premises - and his objections to my arguments do not succeed in refuting them. I think that, for the reasons I have explained, that the ontological argument is indeed sound to prove the existence of God.

Sources:
Metaphysical Disputations 20-22, St Augustine's press 200
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

Con states that he showed it was indeed possible for God to exist, but of course he hasn't, as I countered all his arguments for this notion sufficiently. I showed that it is not possible for God to exist based on the Modal Argument for Atheism, because the plugs for p make God impossible. Since the two arguments (the Modal Argument for Atheism and the Modal Argument for Theism) seem to be in a stale mate, he must show why those plugs for p are impossible without begging the question and assuming God is possible already. Asking me to prove the first premise false is not needed on my behalf, as my only job is to undermine his arguments, not falsify them.

Begging The Question Fallacy

In order for Pro to be able to meet his burden of proof on the first premise of the Modal Ontological Argument, he must show that any plug for p is impossible. However, he argues that any plug for p is impossible by default because a maximally great being exists in every possible world, which makes those plugs for p impossible. However, to say a maximally great being exists in every possible world, he has to presuppose already that a maximally great being is possible! Therefore, what Pro is doing is presupposing that maximally great being is possible as part of his defense for a maximally great being possible. Thus, his support for the first premise is circular, and entails the begging the question fallacy.

This is basically a huge logical blunder. He cannot just presuppose that my plugs are impossible because God exists and that makes them impossible, he has to show my plugs are impossible before God can even be possible.

Is The Modal Argument For Atheism Valid?

Pro states that D does not follow from C in the Modal Ontological Argument. However, this is clearly not true as it follows Modens Ponens.

Uncaused Events In Quantum Mechanics

There is only one essential definition of "uncaused" (not caused), so when scientists say uncaused, they mean uncaused. Pro says it is logically impossible for an event not to have a cause, however there is no law of deductive or inductive logic which states this. Pro must actually prove it is logically impossible, which he has not. He says the cause of the virtual particles are the fluctuations, but the virtual particles fluctuations are the vacuum fluctuations. An effect cannot be its own cause, so Pro is mistaken. Also there can be no cause of these quantum events (hidden variables), as they have been ruled out by Bell's inequalities and Leggett's inequalities[1][2].

Is The Argument From Quantum Mechanics Futile?

Pro presents a reformulated argument, but the first premise of this argument relies on the premise from the original argument (which I successfully undermined by citing quantum mechanics). Thus, my argument from quantum mechanics still undermines the first premise. He cannot just claim that everything that has a beginning has a cause of existence, because I just proved in this round that there can be no cause of the beginning of vacuum fluctuations.

Has the Cosmological Argument Been Established?

Pro believes the answer is yes, but I disproved this. If there are any hidden variables doing any causing of these fluctuations, then would either have to be local, or non-local. Bell's inequalities rules out local hidden variables, and Leggett's nequalities rules out non-local hidden variables. So we know that virtual particle fluctuations begin to exist without a cause, thus falsifying the first premise. They would still depend on a necessary condition (the quantum vacuum), but without any sufficient causation, and just necessary conditions, we can hardly call that a "cause".

Why A Maximally Great Being?

God would have to be timeless causally prior to the universe, thus, atemporally prior to the first moment of time. Therefore, if God created the universe, there would have to be a state of affairs at which time did not apply to him (as time wouldn't exist). Therefore, my claim that a "timeless mind" is incoherent still stands. A mind must think, and thinking is a process; which requires time.

The Appeal To Ignorance Fallacy

Pro says that the reason his dichotomy is a true dichotomy (between a disembodied mind and abstract objects), is because he cannot think of, or conceive of anything else. This is a classic appeal to ignorance fallacy. Just because he cannot think of another option, doesn't mean there couldn't be one.

The Non-Sequitur Fallacy


A maximally great being existing does not follow from the notion that mind created the universe. For all we know, this mind would posses qualities that do not fit comfortably with maximal greatness. Either way, I showed a "timeless mind" (by "timeless" I mean, not within time) is incoherent.

The Moral Argument

Pro has not proven that only a maximally great being can ground objective morality (perhaps they are grounded in the nature of existence itself, or a being who is omnibenevolent, but not omnipotent: meaning not maximally great). He also hasn't proven that morals are objective. He mentions are own immediate experience, but my experience lets me know that my morals are based on my subjective wants (I don't want people to get raped), which seems to make them subjective. Even if someone thinks child abuse is good, I would have strong subjective feelings against this, but it wouldn't follow that morality was objective. Since Pro didn't sufficiently support either premise of this argument sufficiently, the argument doesn't go through.

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

Premise 2 is the crucial premise, and Pro has not supported it. However, this entire argument was essentially refuted when I refuted the previous cosmological argument.

The Fallacy Of Equivocation

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument only argues for a being that is factually "necessary" to ground all contingent beings, not a being logically "necessary" due to being a maximally great being. Since Pro is equivocating, this Cosmological Argument, even if true, does not show a maximally great being exists.

The Fine-Tuning Argument

He says there is no evidence for a multiverse, well there is no evidence for God either (and remember, Pro has the burden of proof). His argument wouldn't apply to a "mother verse" (or multiverse), because it doesn't matter how unlikely our universe is by itself, if there is enough universes, then at least one universe like ours is likely. The fine-tuning argument, even if it goes through, only shows some type of intelligence; not a maximally great being.

Conclusion

The Modal Argument for Atheism shows the fatal flaw in the Modal Ontological Argument. In the Modal Arguments for Atheism, a simple possibility shows the first premise of the Modal Ontological Argument false. There are countless plugs for p. For example, "all sentience is contingent". It seems at least possible that all sentience is contingent, but this means God is impossible, and thus the Modal Ontological Argument fails. This is because if God existed, then it would hold in every possible world that at least one sentient being is necessary. Since that is not the case (it is possible that all sentience is contingent), then God is impossible. Atheism is demonstrated off of a simple possibility. However, it really isn't, as it cannot both be true that "a maximally great being is possible" and "all sentience being contingent is possible" and both of them do indeed seem intuitively plausible, so Pro had the burden to show the latter false. He attempted this by:

a) Begging the question

b) Using external arguments for God

Since begging the question entails an invalid argument, and I undermined all arguments for God from Pro:

The first premise of the Modal Ontological Argument has not been established as true. Pro loses the debate.

Sources

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


PS. As per the rules, Pro cannot argue next round, he must simply put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed."

Nzrsaa

Pro

No argument put here as agreed :)
Thanks for the debate
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
That last comment is for another debate and has nothing to do with this debate, my bad lol
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
If something is tenselessly eternal, then that is not the same thing as something existing for an infinite amount of time in the past (eternal in a tensed sense). Thus, you are confusing the two, making your argument in valid.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Also, I said Modus Ponens when I meant Modus Tollens in my last round.
Posted by marcusmoon 3 years ago
marcusmoon
Pro says,
"...the cause will have had to have had a number of qualities. These include: timelessness, changelessness and immateriality -... The only 2 possibilities that possess these qualities are either abstract objects - i.e numbers, or sets, or an unembodied mind - i.e a Maximally Great Being."

What could the phrase 'timeless unembodied mind' possibly mean? I can build an argument around it, but it is really just gibberish.

'Unembodied; is problematic. My mind is my experience of what my brain does physically. Without the brain, I have nothing to experience. Even if I accept my experience at face value, divorce the mental from the physical experiences that attend it, I cannot make that experience sensible without time.

What are thoughts and self-awareness without before, during, and after? There can be no reaction, anticipation, memory, hope, learning, anger, etc. None of my mental experiences happen without time, so the concept of timelessness is meaningless to me. I can abstract from an image of a line, a sphere, or a plane to being at all times at once, but that leaves intact the basic temporal relationships, before, during, and after. Without time, I have none of these three. I can conceive of what it means to have no before or after, but without during, I have no idea how there can be any relationships of any kind.

I can manipulate the parts of the idea in language, but so what? "`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe." Just because I know the toves were slithy, and that the wabe is the place they were gyring and gimbling does not mean that the statement makes any sense. We do this a lot in philosophy. We come up with a phrase and build arguments around it, and think that because the sentences are grammatically correct, and the logic is valid, somehow we have said something meaningful. Often, as in this case, I think we have not.

I am rooting for you, Pro. Say something comprehensible AND logically valid.
Posted by Ethankershner 3 years ago
Ethankershner
I think Con made an excellent rebuttal. I am curious as to what Pro will say in response.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
Rational_Thinker9119NzrsaaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Wow! What truly EPIC debate, guys! I must admit I was undecided (or telling myself that) when this was instigated, but Con was successful in convincing me. Well done, Con! Conduct was remarkable for both Pro and Con - particularly for a God debate - and it shall remain tied. Spelling and grammar were good, too. Arguments go to Con, but only by content. Both were well presented and put forward. Sources go to con, also, because he used more ones (and all were reliable). Amazing debate, both of you! I enjoyed it greatly!