The Instigator
mattrodstrom
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
popculturepooka
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

The Ontological Argument as Proof of God

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after 3 votes the winner is...
popculturepooka
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/17/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,065 times Debate No: 14411
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (3)

 

mattrodstrom

Con

The Ontological Argument is seemingly one of the more popular arguments which Rationalistic theists like to employ in trying to prove the existence of God.

The rudimentary version, as written by Anselm, essentially goes like this:

-P1- One can conceive of something which is "Most Great"
-P2- Existence is greater than non-existence
--Conclusion--> the "Most Great" thing which was conceived of Must be existent, as existent things are more great than non-existent things.

It has been around for quite some time, and has been controversial, and so attacked, since it's inception, but it still seems to be kicking through people's minds a bit.

My goal now is to show that it shouldn't have ever had any kick in the first place :)

- - -

Now, although this argument has received much critical attention in it's history, and there have been several different kinds of objections to it, I believe that the most striking problem with using this argument to try to prove the existence of God has not been paid enough attention to.

For what is most immediately clear (with this formulation of the argument) is that it doesn't make what is intended to be it's reference to God clear enough to show that what's purportedly been proven is God, rather than something else.

Additionally this lack of clarity in regard to what it means to conceive of something "Most Great" undermines the merit of the argument he actually makes. In order for his argument to hold water he needs to show that "greatness" is an objective standard.
He needs to show that the conception of "something that is Most Great" does not differ from person to person, for, if it were to, then the argument would purportedly prove the existence of multiple different "Most Great" things, and would be nonsense.

Anselm suggests that we can conceive of something that is Most Great, but doesn't, within this argument, explain what "Most Great" means, beyond (his conclusion) that it must include existence, as he says (-P2-) that existent things are "greater" than non-existent ones.

So, the only characteristic his "Most Great" has, to this point, been suggested to have is existence.

"Greatness" has yet to be objectively defined, and why existence is necessarily characteristic of it (-P2-) has not been explained.

Given that only this one characteristic of "Most Great" has been suggested, it seems that by "Most Great" Anselm could have simply meant conceiving of something "Most Existent"
But then his argument would only prove that something which is "Most Existent" exists.

- - -

So, in order for this argument to be legitimately used in an effort to prove the existence of God, and avoid being taken as either uselessly tautological, or being so vague as to turn to nonsense through purportedly proving multiple different "Most Great" things;

the term "Greatness" needs to be shown to be an objective standard,

and "Most Great" needs to be shown to be the equivalent of "God", which can only be done by explaining why the characteristics of God are (according to that necessary, objective, standard) "Most Great"

{the "characteristics of god", for the purposes of this debate, including Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omni-Benevolence}

- - -

I do not believe that this argument can be satisfactorily supplemented in such a manner, and would love to debate it (or my above evaluation of it) with a willing opponent.
popculturepooka

Pro

Thanks to mattrodstrom for challenging me to this debate. This should be fun.

First let's take a look at what Anselm really presented as his ontological argument (OA):

"Hence, even the fool is convinced that something exists in the understanding, at least, than which nothing greater can be conceived. For, when he hears of this, he understands it. And whatever is understood, exists in the understanding. And assuredly that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, cannot exist in the understanding alone. For, suppose it exists in the understanding alone: then it can be conceived to exist in reality; which is greater. Therefore, if that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, exists in the understanding alone, the very being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, is one, than which a greater can be conceived. But obviously this is impossible. Hence, there is no doubt that there exists a being than which nothing greater can be conceived, and it exists both in the understanding and in reality." [1]

=========
The Objections
=========

If one carefully reads that they will see that much of Con's objections immediately fall flat and border on straw-manning Anselm, even.

For example: Con's P2 is attributing a position to Anselm that he never takes. He was not contrasting existence and non-existence and then saying that existence is greater than non-existence; he was contrasting existence-in-the-understanding (mental) with existence-in-reality (non-mental) and claiming that existence-in-reality is greater (is a great-making property) than the former.

Con's second point is that is one commonly raised against OAs - the problem of the "subjectivity" of the term "greatness" or of a great-making property - but it is entirely due to the ignorance of medieval metaphysics. Many problems modern audiences have with OAs are simply due to moderns' reading assumptions into the arguments that the original arguer would never have assumed and probably would have explicitly rejected.

The truth is, presupposing medieval metaphysics, there IS an objective way to measure varying degrees of greatness. It was quite common during the middle ages (the time during which Anselm lived) for philosophers and thinkers to place everything into a "great chain of being." [2] The higher up on the chain that one goes the more great-making properties something had. Great-making properties would be knowledge, power, goodness, love, rationality, existent-in-reality and so on and so forth. Under this understanding it's easy to see how a normal, adult human would objectively be considered greater than a blade of grass; a human has more great-making properties after all. Even further one could see how there are degrees of knowledge, power, goodness, love, existence (etc) and that would admit that there seems to a limit or an upper-bound on these great-making proper-making. One can see where this is leading, necessarily, God, by definition, would be the upper-bound of these degrees of great-making properties; he would be all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good, perfectly loving, existent-in-reality, etc.

Con says: "He needs to show that the conception of "something that is Most Great" does not differ from person to person, for, if it were to, then the argument would purportedly prove the existence of multiple different "Most Great" things, and would be nonsense."

But it should be evident by now that I need do no such thing. People differ on their conceptions of a lot of things - it doesn't follow that there is no objective truth of the matter. That'd be like me arguing that since there are different conceptions of the term "good" or "moral obligation" in ethics it follows that there is no objective truth of the matter.

==========
Anselm's OA
==========

So, I will use a much more fair, plausible and rigorous version of Anselm's OA proposed by Robert Maydole:

(1) The definite description "that than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater" is understood.
(2) "That than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater" refers to that than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater.
(3) The concept of whatever a definite description that is understood refers to has existence-in-the-understanding.
(4) It is conceivable that something is greater than anything that lacks a great-making property that it conceivably has.
(5) Existence-in-reality is a great making property.
(6) Anything the concept of which has existence-in-the-understanding conceivably has existence-in-reality.
(7) It is not conceivable that something is greater than that than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater.
(8) That than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater exists-in-reality. [3]

I conclude that as of right now Anselm's OA properly construed stands.

=========
Sources
=========

[1] http://wadsworth.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland, The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, pg 567
Debate Round No. 1
mattrodstrom

Con

First I'd like to Thank PCP heartily for agreeing to extend the time I had available to post, and Apologize for taking advantage of that extended time to be a lazy bum and not post right away as I had said that I would. Conduct.. PCP! That said, I'm still fighting for Arguments ;)
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -



I agree that I misunderstood and accidentally misrepresented Anselm’s argument. This was due to a hasty review on my part, and, as PopculturePooka has cleared up, Anselm did not say that existence is greater than non-existence, but rather that Existence in Reality is greater than Existence in the Understanding.

This difference is in some ways an important one and will in fact require me to re-word one of my objections so as to properly address the argument which Anselm actually made. However my having misrepresented Anselm and having leveled objections upon that misrepresentation does not itself show my objections to “fall flat”. For the objection that I made regarding the possible subjectivity of the label “Most Great” is not in any way reflective of the misunderstanding and stands just as well with the argument properly construed, and, with a little bit of re-wording, so as to use the proper terms, my other objection as to the argument being uselessly tautological will also be shown to stand.

If the reader will but review the first round they will see that the following, rewritten, objection is of the same nature as that which I made previously, the terminology is just replaced and accommodated for through further explanation.

Anselm suggests that we can conceive of something that is Most Great, but doesn't, within this argument, explain what "Most Great" means, beyond (his conclusion) that it must Exist in Reality, as he says that that which exists in reality is greater than that which exists only in the understanding.

So, the only characteristic his "Most Great" has, to this point, been suggested to have is Existence in Reality.

"Greatness" has yet to be objectively defined, and why “Existence in Reality” is necessarily a manner of evaluating it has not been explained.

Given that only this one characteristic of "Most Great" has been suggested, Anselm’s argument only proves that: That which Exists in Reality must exist in reality. This fundamental version of the ontological “argument” proves nothing, as it doesn’t explain what it’s discussing (that “most great” thing) beyond that it “must exist in reality”. And then it’s conclusion is that : that which must exist in reality must exist in reality.

Now that the housecleaning is out of the way, having cleaned up the mess I set up for myself, I will address PCP’s response to my request for a fuller, meaningful, version of the argument.

Having shown the fundamental argument to, on it’s own, fail at proving any substantial God figure, relying upon the unexplained, unsupported, assumption that “Greatness” in things entails Existence (“In Reality”, as I corrected this round) in order to show only that some conceptual “Most Great” thing must not only be a conceptual thing, but Exist in Reality too.

I argued that even Given this unexplained assumption that this argument fails to prove any substantial “God” figure, remaining a simple, useless and uninteresting, tautology showing that that which must have existence in reality has existence in reality. What “Most Great” supposedly means was left almost entirely unexplained, and what it was claimed to mean was unsupported.

Now giving it one aspect, that of necessary existence in reality, I would be willing to grant without argument, and without support, as this is only a matter of definition; a matter of semantics; a matter of assigning the name “Most Great” to the idea of having existence in reality; a way of referring to that idea.

If only that one aspect is discussed in reference to the label “Most Great” then there’s really nothing objectionable, or meaningful, being said. This is what I’ve claimed is the case with the fundamental Ontological Argument, as outlined.

It is only in assigning more than one aspect to the label “Most Great”; it is in claiming that there is some kind of necessary relation (“greatness”) between different aspects of things (like Existence in Reality, Benevolence, and Ability perhaps) claiming that they are identifiably similar, such that the various aspects can all be shown to fall under one label, such as “Aspects of Greatness”; that the naming of things becomes important, and more than an issue of semantics.

It is only through providing a more substantive meaning to “Most Great” that the ontological argument can make claims to being more than mere tautology, or make claims to proving any substantive God figure.

Now, I had asked for an argument in support of a more substantive idea of what is “Most Great”, I asked for an argument supplementing the fundamental ontological argument in such a way as to make it meaningful.

I hoped for an explanation of what “Greatness” means and an argument attempting to show that the purported attributes of God are all necessarily related to each other in that each exemplifies that objective “Greatness”, such that any conceptual “Most Great” thing would necessarily have those attributes.

In response to my request for an argument supporting such a position, PopCulturePooka apparently declined, opting instead to “presuppos(e) medieval metaphysics”, presuppose a manner of ranking the “greatness” of things.

He has opted to presuppose a system asserting what attributes are or are not “Great” rather than explain what “Greatness” supposedly means and explain how various things may be judged to necessarily be in keeping with or exemplify that “Greatness”.

His dismissal of my request for an explanation of what “Greatness” means, and how various attributes can be judged to necessarily exemplify that characteristic is made most clear in the very first premise of his new formulation of the argument.

(1)The definite description "that than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater" is understood.

I have made it quite clear that what “Greatness” means has not been explained, and it is not clear that one thing may be judged as objectively, or necessarily, greater than another.

For, as I said in my first round if Greatness is dependant upon various subjective valuations then what “Great” means would be dependent on the context, dependant upon the valuations of the one calling it “great”, which may be unique to the individual, perhaps even varying within that individual over time.

It has not been explained what “That than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater” is, and it is not understood.

So, as my argument was basically ignored I finish this round with the same words I summed up my initial argument with:

In order for this argument to be legitimately used in an effort to prove the existence of God, and avoid being taken as either uselessly tautological, or being so vague as to turn to nonsense through purportedly proving multiple different "Most Great" things;

the term "Greatness" needs to be shown to be an objective standard,

and "Most Great" needs to be shown to be the equivalent of "God", which can only be done by explaining why the characteristics of God are (according to that necessary, objective, standard) "Most Great".

popculturepooka

Pro

Thank you to Con very much for clearing up his argument for me.

The Objections

It seems Con has two basic points of contention:

1) Con argues that either there is either no objective measure of greatness or that the measure of greatness is a matter of subjective opinion in conjunction with "greatness" not having an objective standard to which we could compare it to.

And,

2) Con also argues that even if he were to grant that existence-in-reality is a great-making property this does nothing the argument does nothing to establish that the greatest conceivable being is God because it fails to establish all the properties that God is purported to have. He is asking why something "that than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater" is identical to God.

The Rebuttals

I'll take these points in succession:

1) I argued in my earlier round that Anselm assumed a medieval metaphysics and within that system there is the "great chain of being" where things could be ordered in accordance to the degree and volume of great making properties that they possessed.

As an aside, my noting that Anselm did assume these things should be fairly unexceptional. All philosophical arguments rely on assumptions and the question is whether their assumptions are justified/reasonable are not is often the question. Pointing that out does nothing to undermine my point - Con must show how Anselm's assumptions about the great chain of being are open to reasonable doubt or are false. To just say that it seems as if people have different conceptions of the term "greatness" misses he point. If there really is an objective standard of greatness (great chain of being) that fact that people have a different conception than Anselm's just means those people are wrong - it doesn't meant that there isn't a standard.

Anselm understood the predicate "greater than" to mean "objectively better or more worthy than". [1] What that means, in accordance with presupposition of medieval metaphysics, is that possessing properties like goodness, or knowledge, or power would be, objectively speaking, better than not possessing them. And even further, it would be even better for the things possessing these properties to have them to a greater degree than something else. I.E. More powerful, more knowledgeable, and more powerful. Anselm states this,

"Furthermore, if one considers the nature of things, one cannot help realizing that they are not all of equal value, but differ by degrees. For the nature of a horse is better than that of a tree, and that of a human more excellent than that of a horse . . . It is undeniable that some natures can be better than others. None the less reason argues that there is some nature that so overtops the others that it is inferior to none." [2]

Clearly he is referring to the greatest conceivable being which he took to be God.

Note: even some of us modern people usually have something like this in mind when we say a person is worth or better than a rock. When pressed to give a reason people will normally say because persons possess properties that rocks don't (capacity for emotion, reason, moral standing etc). This doesn't seem so outlandish. It's a hard pill for most people to swallow that there are really no objective facts that accord us more worth than a rock.

So, here I have given an objective standard to measure greatness - the great chain of being - and I have given a way to determine it. It seems Con's objection fails.

2) From the first round Con writes, "{the "characteristics of god", for the purposes of this debate, including Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omni-Benevolence}". I'll focus on these three characteristics for purposes of this rebuttal but it is undeniable more properties are usually described to God. If one takes a careful look at these properties and performs a conceptual analysis one can easily see that these concepts admit to a limit or a "maximal degree". Omniscience would be knowing all truths (the most truths); omnipotence would be having all power (the most power); omnibenevolence would be being all good (the most good). Anselm clearly viewed the properties of knowledge, power, and goodness to be great-making properties and he thought that they also admit to degrees which should be obvious. One can have more knowledge, more powers and abilities, and be more good than something else. Anselm also thought that it was clearly insane to say there were no limits on these properties. Indeed he said, "For if the difference of levels is infinite - so that there is no level so that an even higher level cannot be found - reason is brought to the conclusion that there is no limit to the multitude of these natures. But everyone thinks this is absurd..." [3] If this is true, and it seems to be, than necessarily, "that than which it is not conceivable for something to be greater" (the greatest conceivable being) would have these properties of omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenevolence (amongst other properties). It has already been established that these are great making properties so if one were to say the greatest conceivable being lacked some great making properties that would be nonsense. Now, take a look again what Con defines as the characteristics of God. So, by definition God would have to be the greatest conceivable being as God possess the same characteristics that the greatest conceivable being has. By Leibniz's' law of identity, any two things that posses all the same properties are identical. Therefore, God is the greatest conceivable being.

Anselms' OA emerges unscathed.

The Sources

[1] William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland, The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, pg 567
[2] ibid
[3] http://books.google.com...,


Debate Round No. 2
mattrodstrom

Con

Instead of explaining what is actually meant by the term greatness, and explaining why particular aspects of a thing (such as, in this case, consciousness, ability and power) fall under that title, Popculturepooka has decided to re-affirm his bare assumption of Medieval Metaphysics; his assumption that certain characteristicsare objectively of the same type such that they fall under the heading "Great"; and suggested that the burden to show that this may not be the case lies upon me, the doubter of Medieval Metaphysical conceptions/valuations.

In order to directly cast doubt upon the Medieval conception, as PCP has suggested I ought to be expected to do, I need only show that there are other plausible ways of conceiving of "Greatness", different things which can be meant by it, and then in order for Popculturepooka's favored Medieval conception of greatness to continue to be reasonably assumed as the objective truth of the matter, he would have to show how his Medieval conception of "Great" is of more merit than another conception.


Now, I will give an example of what I take to be an alternative conception of greatness in order meet that burden that PCP has suggested that I have, and hopefully in forcing him to argue that that Medieval "Great" is more objectively valid than another conception, he will be required to finally be forced to give some reasoning to support those medieval assertions. However being that this is the final round, and I will not get a chance to respond to his response, I will also explain again why it is that I cannot see his Medieval "Great" being proved to be any more of an objectively valid standard than the one that I suggest.

My competing conception of what is most great will be based upon the understanding that when someone speaks of degrees of “Greatness” they are discussing degrees of breadth, that is they are referring to how much the given thing encompasses. As such, with a greater thing being more encompassing, the greatest conceivable thing would have to be that which is all encompassing.

Given this idea of greatness, it might be defensible to suggest that that “greatest conceivable thing” which encompasses all things must also be conceived to encompass existing things, but there is absolutely nothing within this idea of greatness that would support the idea that this “Greatest Thing” is, as an entity itself (as a whole), intelligent, able/powerful (as to “act” as an individual), or benevolent.

Given such a meaning for “Great” the ontological argument could do no more than prove the existence of “The Universe”, and falls far short of proving God.

Now, there is no particular “objective” reason to affirm this meaning of “Great” over others. Although this is among the most common thing which is meant when someone calls a thing “Great” there are other, separate, ways in which the word great is often used.

Often “Great” is used as a personal, clearly subjective, valuation like in saying:

“Well though you may not like Joan’s pumpkin pie.. I think it’s Great!”

Now, with cases like this one the speaker doesn’t mean it’s objectively ranked in a particular spot of greatness in a Great Chain of Being, though they might pretend to, instead upon further questioning most people will admit that although they happen to enjoy the pie, that others may plausibly have a naturally different taste in pies, and that even if it would seem that most people would very much enjoy it, as we’re all seemingly pretty similar, the valuation of “greatness” might still be subjective in that it might not be tasty to the pallet of a tiger.

Then there’s this other use of the term “Great” which PCP discussed, that in which things are evaluated to be better or worse than other things. As with Anselm’s example of a Horse being greater than a tree.

This kind of ranking, if left unexplained, can be taken to be one of those subjective uses of great to convey that something carries your personal approval, or taken as truly worthless as one cannot tell what is meant. Now if the person has explained to say that what they mean by “Greatness” is “intricacy of systems” then the statement about horses and trees is comprehensible, meaningful, and correct, as horses are more intricate than trees.

However, without any further explanation as to what is meant the statement can at best be understood as a subjective affirmation of approval, as was that regarding Joan’s pie.

Now, given the complete lack of explanation as to what “greatness” means, and lack of explanation as to how the attributes of Benevolence, Ability, Existence, and Intelligence qualify to fall under the heading of “Greatness”, it would seem that, as with the pie, calling these things “great” is seemingly either completely meaningless, or is an affirmation of personal/subjective approval.

If, as I’ve requested from the beginning, PCP can explain what it is meant by “greatness”, and say how the supposed attributes of God all epitomize that characteristic (as opposed to their opposites, like Capriciousness), then he may have successfully made Anselm’s argument meaningful (though I won’t get an opportunity to respond to it). If not, then not.

popculturepooka

Pro

Thanks to Con for the debate.

Con asserts that I have never explained what greatness is and how it should be "measured" even though I did point to it my first round with explanation of what some great-making properties would be and in my second round I explicitly wrote: "Anselm understood the predicate 'greater than' to mean 'objectively better or more worthy than.'" Not to mention I gave several examples how and why something would be considered greater than something else and I even gave a modern day example of people implicitly assuming that there is some objective fact of the matter that makes humans greater than rocks and that precisely consists in properties that humans have that rocks don't have (knowledge, moral value, abilities, etc). Which I then related, repeatedly, with God as God would possess more knowledge, more moral value, and more abilities than mere humans.

I'm not sure how this isn't clear. Given my previous rounds and which properties we were focusing on (goodness, knowledge, power) "objectively better", which I explicitly said is what "greater than" means in this context, means to appromixate the ideals the best ore the closest. As I showed in my previous round very clearly Anselm thought there was a maximal degree (i.e. "the ideal") to which certain properties admitted an upper-bound to. So, obviously he thought there are such things as most knowledgeable, most powerful, most good, etc. This was never challenged. It's also clear he thought that the closer one got to the ideal the greater it was. Which shows why he thought a horse was greater than a tree as it possesses more of these properties to a greater degree than a tree does. I also showed why this has primafacie intuitive support with my example of modern day people and them comparing the greatness/worth of humans and rocks. As far as I can tell Con hasn't done anything to challenge this intuitive support except to point out there are other conceptions of greatness out there.

The closest thing that Con has to criticizing this notion of greatness is his alternate conception of what greatness means by conceiving in terms of degrees of encompassment or breadth. The truth is, it isn't readily clear to me that I couldn't use his conception "greatness" and still argue to much the same conclusion as Anselm's OA. For example: let's say that God is omniscient; I could argue that that means that God's knowledge covers all truths (i.e. it encompasses all truths). Omnipotence: Gods power is all encompassing or that this power spans the breadth of all abilities. Omnibenevolence: God's morality spans the breadth of all possible goods or that his nature encompasses all that is good. To be fair, Con may mean "encompass" as a sort of spatial or temporal term but even then I'm not sure his conception would support his case. For example, if one took another property that the God of classical classical theism is supposed to posses, omnipresence, then that would mean God is present in all places at all times. His presence is all-encompassing. So, looking at Con's counter-example it seems it actually lends support to my argument and not to Con's.

I think Con misses the point with his pie example. For one, I don't ever remember hearing included in any definition of God one of his properties of having to do with taste. So, in that respect, his counter-example isn't analogous to the properties that are in question here. The OA isn't arguing for "the tastiest being possible." It's arguing for an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing being. In this, mirrors what I had stated in my first round when this kind of debate in certain ways mirrors ethics. It does no good against a moral objectivist or realist to point out that people consider different foods "good" and then from this innocuous fact triumphantly point out this must mean that there is no objective moral standard. What's precisely at issue there is the issue of whether "good" in that sense of good is the same as subjective as "good" in the sense giving to charity. The same thing is at play here: Con points out how people could consider pie great while others do not and that shows there is some issue with the notion of great - and the supposed subjectivity of it - presupposed in Anselm's OA. He's not answering the issue with a salient counterexample - he's just restating the problem being discussed and question-beggingly assuming his notion of greatness somehow defeats Anselm's OA! He never explains how it does. In other words, he's assuming Anselm's OA is false from the get-go. That is begging the question which is a logical fallacy.


At the end Con says that unless I can show that God characteristics exclude their opposites that only then will I have show Anselm's argument meaningful. All I can say is I admit to being thoroughly puzzled. This is a matter of simple logical implication. If God by definition is perfectly good then necessarily that would exclude him having bad characteristics. It makes no sense that God could have a "bad" characteristic like capriciousness if he is perfectly good! Furthermore, look at what I gave as a definition of "greater than" - one of part of that is more worthy. Who in their right mind thinks that a capricious being is worthy of worship?!

I conclude Con has not defeated Anselm's OA. Thanks for reading.

Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 4 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
No Cons argument was sound. !! it the education of the voters.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Fairly clear, against many other debaters Con would have likely fared well, but pop does this class of debate very well, among the best here, and was in solid form in this discussion. While there are many objections to this argument, there was not a strong one put forth here which pop did not negate readily. My favorite objection to this argument attacks (as a parody) the use of existence as a direct property of existence. In short, a being which could achieve what God could achieve but has less (is handicapped) is obviously greater than God, the greatest challenge would be to achieve what God has achieved and to not exist, thus the greatest being obviously does not exist.
Posted by Yvette 5 years ago
Yvette
IMO, the ontological argument is an example of written logic sounding nice but not actually proving anything.

Good luck to you both, however!
Posted by popculturepooka 5 years ago
popculturepooka
I really should stop procrastinating and writing these things in an hour. :S

Thanks for the debate, Matt.
Posted by popculturepooka 5 years ago
popculturepooka
Thanks for your enlightening opinion there, Toronto.
Posted by TorontoGavin 5 years ago
TorontoGavin
Guys, learning this argument and numerous refutations is first year philosophy material. You should try to start INTERESTING debates, not debates that were already a snooze 400 years ago.
Posted by popculturepooka 5 years ago
popculturepooka
Matt, I know what you are talking about now. I had my argument halfway done and saved it but then when I came back most of it was gone. So I had to try and bang this one out real fast. :/
Posted by popculturepooka 5 years ago
popculturepooka
You believe the OA is infallible? :P
Posted by NomadJD 5 years ago
NomadJD
My belief in the infallibility of the ontological argument is simple. The belief of something being "Most Great" is an opinion and therefore has no real substantialness in everyday life. Many things can be believed to be the most great and still have no possibility of becoming real.
Posted by vardas0antras 5 years ago
vardas0antras
"You should ask the owners of this site to delete the previous debate."
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Cliff.Stamp
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Alchemistress
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SurvivingAMethodology
mattrodstrompopculturepookaTied
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