The Instigator
AnthraSight
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
autodidact
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

The Ontological Argument is Sound

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
AnthraSight
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/8/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,261 times Debate No: 29012
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (27)
Votes (3)

 

AnthraSight

Pro

Most philosophers agree that if God’s existence is possible, then he must exist. That is, God's existence is necessary, and necessary existence is a property. A well known and well defended argument is below where steps 2-5 are uncontroversial. The key premise is 1.



Ontological Argument

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 it exists in every possible world.

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

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

6. Therefore a maximally great being exists.



Definitions

A Possible World is a Maximal Description of Reality, not planets or a universe. It's just a way reality might be. Imagine a huge conjunction where propositions, p, q, r, s … and worlds, W1, W2, etc:

A possible world is a conjunction which comprises every proposition or its contrary. Such a conjunction yields a maximal description of reality—nothing is left out. So by negating different conjuncts in a maximal description of reality would yield different worlds:



W1 = p, q, r, s …
W2 = p, ¬q, r, ¬s …
W3 = ¬p, ¬q, r, s …





Only one of these worlds can be the actual world, that is a world with all true conjuncts. Possible world conjuncts must be capable of being true individually and together. For example, The prime minister is a prime number isn’t even possibly true
Saying God exists in some possible world means the proposition: God existsis true in some maximal description of reality. Thus God is ‘maximally excellent’ in every possible world: God has ‘maximal greatness.’


To have Maximal Excellence is to possess great making properties. Great making properties are things like omniscience, omnipotence, moral perfection, etc. But we can gradually discover what a great making property is, without undermining the objective notion that God would, by definition, possess all such properties.

Maximal Greatness is thus possibly exemplified. But then it must exist in a maximally excellent way in every possible world, including the actual world, therefore God exists.


a priori Warrant for P1

A maximally great being is intuitively coherent and so therefore possibly instantiated. Thus in order for the argument to fail the concept of God must be logically incoherent. But a maximally great being doesn’t seem even remotely incoherent, so we have at least prima facie warrant for thinking it’s possible that a maximally great being exists.



a posteriori Warrant for P1

Plantinga says that if we “carefully ponder” 1, and objections to it and if we consider its connections with other propositions we accept / reject and we still find it compelling, then we’re within our rational right to accept 1.


This recommendation is a far cry from the a priori speculations decried by modal skeptics. For even if we cannot come to a priori warrant, we’re rational in accepting 1 by a posteriori warrant from successful arguments such as the cosmological and moral arguments for the existence of God.

Consider the Conceptualist Argument,

1. Abstract objects, such as numbers & propositions, are either independently existing realities or else concepts in some mind

2. Abstract objects are not independently existing realities.

3. If abstract objects are concepts in some mind, then an omniscient, metaphysically necessary being exists.

4. Therefore, an omniscient metaphysically necessary being exists.



Premise 1
would simply require a refutation of Nominalism (view of non-existing abstract objects), which has already been accomplished and can be found,


http://philmat.oxfordjournals.org...



Premise 2
simply requires a Platonism Refutation, which has already been accomplished in the literature by showing not only how abstract objects are causally isolated, but are also irrelevant to what transpires in the world.



Premise 3 excludes abstract objects as grounded in a human mind, for there are just too many abstract objects to be grounded in anything less than an infinite mind; and since many of these objects exist necessarily, they can’t be grounded in any contingent mind.



Thus this leads us to a conclusion which supports premise 1 of the ontological argument. Surely, though, it just seems obvious that a metaphysically necessary being is the ground for abstract objects which are themselves metaphysically necessary; at least more obvious than any negation offered thus far. Hence we’re within our rational right to affirm the possibility of God, from which it follows God must exist.

autodidact

Con

I would like to thank AnthraSight for pointing me in the right direction and giving me this chance to make this my first debate.

It is my position that the Ontological argument is not sound.

The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy states:
"A deductive argument is sound if and only if it is both valid, and all of its premises are actually true. Otherwise, a deductive argument is unsound."[1]

The Ontological argument relies on the first premiss it is then argued that all follow validly from there. The first premise relies on definition stacked on top of definition the root of which is "great making properties" poorly and incompletely defined as: things like omniscience, omnipotence, moral perfection, etc. This is where i will focus.
The assertion: "But we can gradually discover what a great making property is, without undermining the objective notion that God would, by definition, possess all such properties. "
there are 2 ways of looking at this.
The simple way:
Items noted to be great making properties are only asserted as such and not demonstrated to actually be as such, thus premise 1 can not be shown to be true or false and as a result by definition is unsound

the complex way if falsified, it would show that no being could be maximally excellence and maximally great.

We should be aware of the paradoxes behind the idea of omnipotence, but there are 2 definitions in Websters dictionary for omnipotence. The one the pro may favor is "the quality or state of being omnipotent". One of the definition of omnipotent ": having virtually unlimited authority or influence". This negates the paradoxes including the paradox created by omniscience limiting power.
I will therefor focus on the fact that omniscience can not exist. If it can not exist then god can not have it and thus not be maximally excellent or great because he would be missing one of the great making properties.

OMNISCIENCE
: the quality or state of being omniscient [2]
OMNISCIENT
1: having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight
2: possessed of universal or complete knowledge [3]

the problem:
Unknown unknowns.[4]

A being conventionally labeled as omniscience would still be unable to know how many or what things it did not know that it did not know. Even if all that it did not know what that the set of unknown unknowns was an empty set save for the fact that it would not know that it was. As a result no being could be said to have infinite knowledge or possess universal or complete knowledge. as a result could not actually be omniscient by definition. the label is therefore false

No being can escape the paradox of omniscience. It follows that god would be lacking one of the known great making properties, falsifying "God would, by definition, possess all such properties. " God can not be, by refute, what god is said to be, by definition. The law of non-contradiction comes into effect. God can not be a maximally great being and not maximally great being at the same time. this paradox can not possibly exist.
The first premise is proven false.
As stated at the start soundness requires the reasoning to be valid and the premises to be true.

The first premiss fails, the argument is unsound.

(I will note there is a rebuttal that suggests that this maximally great being may only exist as a concept in ones head or be the non interacting deist God but this argument is not about soundness but rather importance.)(also the lack of specification means that the specific actions are unknowable since we can not look at the immoral actions of any particular god and refute the moral perfection claim, this also means one can not use this argument to prove the god of any particular religion. )

[1]http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[2]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4] http://www.brainyquote.com...
Debate Round No. 1
AnthraSight

Pro

Recall the controversial premise, that "It is possible a maximally great being exists."




a priori
Warrant for P1


Definitions for God's properties are found in the first post- here,

http://www.debate.org...




Con focusses his case against the coherency of the great making properties. But he simlpy asserts that such properties aren't actually great,



"Items noted to be great making properties are only asserted as such and not demonstrated to actually be as such..."



But it just seems obvious that the property of knowing all true propositions is great (omniscience). Likewise it is clearly greater to be all good rather than all evil, for an all good being is worthy of worship, whereas an evil being is avoided, and therefore is not what we mean by "great." Do you avoidn great things? Certainly not.




But let that pass, Cons objection does nothing to undercut the notion of our finite ability to gradually discover what great making properties there are. Just because we might not know yet, doesn't imply such properties are incoherent. We simply havent discovered what they are yet.



Rather what Con must do, is show is that a maximally great being is logically incoherent, like a married bachelor, or a round square. But a greatest concievable being is just that, conceivable! Hence his burden of proof here is more than he can bear.





Con next tries to show paradoxes concerning omnipotence compared to omniscience. He attempts to show that a maximally great being exists if it lacks a great making property. But surely that doesn't follow. For since we may not yet know what a great making property is, then the definition of a maximally great being doesn't stand or fall with our knowing its great making properties in full. Hence the ontological argument.


But in fact there's just no reason to give up such properties as not great or incoherent. First, omnipotence is admitted by theologians to be poorly understood. Second, asking God to do what is logically impossible is like asking your teacher a meaningless question. If something is a logical impossibility, then it's not a thing. Therefore, you're not asking God anything when you ask him to know something that is impossible to know.



But notice this isn't what Con is asking! He simply says that there are things which are "unknown" ... but unknown by whom? Surely it's coherent that a being who knows all true propositions would know what is unknown to us.


Third, if we take a conceptualist model of divine knowledge that also includes Molinism, then omniscience means God has natural knowledge of what could happen, middle knowledge of what would happen (given the combination of different possible circumstances), & free knowledge of what will happen.



For the first type, natural knowledge, God"s knowledge here is self-contained like a contingent mind's ideas: God knows all true propositions, including ones about future contingents, the range of possible worlds, etc.



In middle knowledge, God also has knowledge of all contingently true counterfactual propositions, including those of creaturely free actions. Thus God not only knows of the range of possible worlds, but then also the range of feasible worlds. The basis of middle knowledge here, is that God knows the individual essence of every possible creature so well that He knows what that creature would do in any possible combination of circumstances that God may actualize him in, and also that God simply discernes all truths including counterfactual truths.



Then for His knowledge of the actual world, God follows the knowledge of his own decree, the actual world.


Here we see that Cons paradox dissolves, for simply knowing all true propositions rules out, by definition, the notion of not knowing what it didn't know. Why? Because "all true propositions" includes no unknowns! Thus Con presents a false paradox.



This is a coherent notion of all power,


Omnipotence- God is all powerful just if he can actualize any state of affairs that isn"t described by the counterfactuals of the free acts of others and that is broadly logically possible for someone to actualize, given the same hard past and the same true counterfactuals about the free acts of others.



Lastly, Con says that because God's actions are somhow unknowable, then it follows we wouldn't know if he is all good or not... But this is confused, even if God is unknowable, He isn't determined to be good because of any obligation he fullfills. Rather God is good and to be praised in the sense of adoration for his axiological perfection, not in the sense of commendation for fully executing his duties. God by definition is singularly worthy of worship, and only a being that is the locus, source, and standard of all value is both worthy of worship and greater than an evil being. It is greater to be good than not, therefore God is good.




a posteriori
Warrant for P1

Case dropped by CON





Citations


(Definitions of God's properties): [Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview], WL Craig, JP Moreland
autodidact

Con

I have never spent so much time thinking about the ontological argument as I have since my last post. I slept with it last night, ate breakfast with it this morning, and it shadowed me at work as well.
Given your definition of omniscience, I do see the validity of your argument against my paradox. Given only my definition one can see the paradox as possible.

"Rather what Con must do, is show is that a maximally great being is logically incoherent,"
This would be true if I was staying on that line of attack, but it is clearer to me than it was yesterday that upon reaching a logically incoherent version of maximally great that it crosses the boundary of counter-factual as well. Given that no guideline was set forth by the creator of this debate I find it both reasonable and prudent to change my opening point of focus.
In my opening I noted "...it is then argued that all follow validly from there."
For an argument to be sound it must be valid and the premises must be true.

The more I think about this the more I find my self looking at all the possible meanings of "possible".
POSSIBLE
1
a : being within the limits of ability, capacity, or realization
b : being what may be conceived, be done, or occur according to nature, custom, or manners
2
a : being something that may or may not occur
b : being something that may or may not be true or actual
3
: having an indicated potential [1]

:edit
Just about to post this I, see pro has answered my request in the comment. I thank you pro for this.
The definition of possible in line 1 is said to be
"Something that's true in some non-actual or actual world."

...What is a non actual world? an actual world exists, a non actual world would be fiction. So possible is some thing that is true in reality(the name for our actual world) or it is true in some fictional world. I see no difference between this and definition 2. The "or" in pro's definition does not show that a MGB must actually exist. MGB like Santa may only actually exist in a non-actual world. (see argument below)
end of edit:

It would seem this word is used many times here with different meanings.

In line 1 possible may mean definition 1a realization 1b conceived, in other words one may think...but what good is this one may think many false things too.

In line 1 possible may mean definition 2b if it means this the reasoning is fallacious as the premise would be both true and false, law of non-contradiction.

In line 1 possible may mean definition 3 but then what is the indicated potential? the only level of potential that would show this to be sound would be 100% since any less would be suggesting the first premise may or may no be true. Also the ontological argument references no other outside ideas and the only way indicated potential could reach 100% would be to reference the conclusion, line 6, circular reasoning.

It would seem to a self taught man like myself that the use of definition 1 can not lead to premise 1 being seen as actually true, but rather only believed to be true. the use of definition 2 and 3 seems to create a conflict with the law of non-contradiction with god both having an incalculable likelihood of existing and not existing.

It boils down to, the first line of the argument, both "could god actually exist" and "could god actually not exist" line 1 allows both to be answer yes. Contradictory claims can not both be true.

I find it hard in my mind to see how the pro will defeat my argument and show that line 1 does not have issue with the law of non-contradiction. pro having a graduate degree according to his profile is may have knowledge on how the law of on contradiction does not come into play here and be able to show my case to be wrong, if done i ask that pro show which usage of possible is use in each line.

It is at this point that I hope to remind the voters the what the pro and con positions mean. The statement is "The ontological argument is sound". The pro position therefor should be the assertion that it is indeed sound. the con position should be that it is not sound. Has pro shown it to be actually sound or has pro decided to forgo his BoP and taken the much weaker stance that it may be sound until otherwise proven?

(If need be I do have an argument that focuses mainly on line 3 not presented at this time due to limited character space left, that I may present in the next round if the above argument is refuted and I find no fruit among the usage of possible in the 6 lines)

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 2
AnthraSight

Pro

I thank Con for his sincerity here- I appreciate his dedicated thoughtfullness throughout his personal time!


Recall the controversial premise, that "It is possible a maximally great being exists."





Definitions

Con questions the meaning of the word "possible" in order attempt to refute premise one. First, this is an extremely weak retreat. Since Con originally attempted to show God as impossible by way of (failed) paradoxes, then it's obvious that his understanding of possibility is mine. Second, I use what's called possible world semantics in order to speak clearly about the Ontological Argument. Recall then what a "possible world" is:




A Possible World is a maximal description of the way reality might be or actually is. For example, there is a possible world in which Romney was elected president instead of Obama. This fact would be contingently true if it was actualized. But when discussing maximal excellence it's a different case, for maximal excellence, by definition, can't be contingent but necessary if it exists. That means that if there is some possible world in which maximal excellence is exemplified, then by virtue of being maximally excellent, it is exemplified in all possible worlds, which includes the actual world!



I never equivocated with 'possible.' Something is possible just if it's true in some non-actual or actual world. In the case of maximal greatness, if it is true in some world, then by definition it can't be non-actual, for maximal greatness is a necessary property, which follows that it must be in the actual world, not the non-actual world.


Now Con fails to see the distinction between one's imagination, and the coherency or possibility of a thing. One can certainly imagine an incoherent thing, but it would be impossible for that thing to exist. For example, I can imagine an actually infinite set of things, but only potentially infinite things exist- actual infinity is an impossibility given the paradoxes elucidated by Hilbert's hotel,


http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_paradox_of_the_Grand_Hotel



Another example, the statement, "the prime minister is a prime number" isn’t even possibly true! But surely we can imagine David Cameron as the number five! (I actually think he plays a role as 7 in a childrens book ;-)



What Con mistakes is that my argument is predicated on imaginiation, and not possibility / impossibility (hence the modal logic used). Simply put, imagining something isn't the same as concieving of something. If something is concievable or coherent, then it is possible. Therefore, Con's charge that it could both be true that [maximal excellence could actually exist and could actually not exist] is predicated on imagination potential, not potential of possibility. Hence his charge is a straw-man argument.



So Con's charge of the violation of the Law of Non-Contradiction falls by the wayside, for the question isn't can maximal excellence be imagined or not. But rather the question is, can maximal greatness be possible? In other words, is maximal excellence incoherent or not? But The idea of a maximally great being in every possible world is intuitively coherent. It follows that God’s existence is either possible or impossible, take your pick.






a priori
Warrant for P1


Con accepts that his initial case has been successfully rebutted. Con then confuses necessary existence (a property) with contingent existence (not a property). He compares a necessarily existing maximal great being to a contingently existing Santa.





But this is a failed parody, maximal greatness is such that it is exemplified in all or no possible world. If maximal greatness is possibly exemplified in some possible world, then it follows logically and necessarily that it's exemplified in all possible worlds, including the actual world. Whereas Santa-ness is only possibly exemplified in some world: I can concieve of some possible worlds in which Santa can’t exist, say, a world in which only singularities exist. Pick any fictional character you like, or faries or river sprites- none of these possible beings have the property of maximal greatness, and so cannot logically parody God.





Thus the idea of God differs crucially from such parodies, for properties comprising maximal excellence possess intrinsic maximum values. Things like contingent charaters don’t possess these values.





My BoP

Con asks if I'll bear my burden of proof in the debate by demonstrating that maximal excellence is possibly exemplified. First, not only did I give rational and empirical warrant for thinking that maximall excellence is possible, but also the very fact that we're able to discuss great making properties, each of which cohere with each other, evidences the fact that maximal excellence is in fact possibe, from which it follows that it's necessarily existing in the actual world too!



Second, coherency is such that it need not be proved further by more basic means than what we can 'see' is possible. This is part & parcel of what something means to be intuitive.
autodidact

Con

It is conceivable that a possible world where only one being (B2) currently exists, but previously there were 2 and only 2 beings. The second one (B2) murdered the first (B1) and is why currently there is only one being.
B1 was sarcastic, extremely intelligent(sufficient only to the levels needed for the following argument to be true), imaginative, and creative
B2 is impulsive, emotional, not creative or imaginative.

B1 had decided to make a device so that B2 could have some basic perception of what imagination is. This device temporarily removes all previous memories and supplies false memories in such a way that B2 would be convinced as having existed in this synthesized world for an unknown period of time. It is so well made that while allowing the affixed no free agency it creates the illusion of free agency. The affixed is only "along for the ride"

Having completed the device B1 affixes it to B2, and starts it warming up, B2 indicates that it is envious of B1's skills. B1 lacking complete knowledge replies sarcastically "would stabbing me make you feel better?" to which, B2 impulsively decides yes. B1 dies of its wounds just as the device boots up.

Reader you are B2.

You just don't remember that you are.

The very first moment you experienced in this device was when you read this sentence.

It may seem to cross your mind that you can imagine things, that you could be creative

These idea were planted by the device. The device is designed to be compatible. The memory-thought interface will not present what you would rebel against, while the rest of the device presents a reality that is internally consistent. Think of a city you "remember" hold it in your head now think of a different city. Why did you think of the first city first and not the second city first?

Reader from your point of view you seem to stand at the crossroads of input and output. You may feel as if you are the author of your own thoughts and action, an agent acting of its own freewill. however no account of causality leave room for the reader's free will. Thoughts that seem to be self-generated, moods, and desires only spring into view as the device implants them. They move you or fail to move you for reasons, that from a subjective view are inscrutable

So reader what are you witnessing here? The device has placed you in a synthetic world where you are reading a debate on the ontological argument to vote on it, you may have a memory that you had read this before when voting was not an option... but you can recall the device implants memories to generate this world.
The world that you exist in, in reality, is identical to the synthetic possible world that con can imagine would be self consistent with the synthetic reality .

Pro has said, according to your memory "What Con mistakes is that my argument is predicated on imagination," As noted by con above, in this conceivable possible world only one being exists now, a being that can not imagine in this world. To ask B2 to conceive of a possible world one would be dealing with itself, the device . The device has just generated a possible world in cons post, in which only one being actually exists to suggest the ontological argument was true in this possible world would be to say 2 beings exist in this possible world which is noted as only having one being the current maximum beings existing. To say that currently 2 beings actually exist in this possible world would be to talk about a different world where 2 beings actually exist

"Therefore, Con's charge that it could both be true... is predicated on imagination potential, not potential of possibility. Hence his charge is a straw-man argument. "
Actually it would be the potential of possibilities. I had suggested and now presented a possible world in which the only existent beings are not MGB. the concept of a MGB that necessarily exists can exist with out actually being actualize. As Russell might argue it, "the essence of a person can be described and their existence still remain in question"

There is one question I must ask. It would seem to me that all powerful is only limited by what is counter-factual. Not having this idea in me till i read it what is your thoughts on
Himma claim "that omniscience and omnipotence may be incompatible: if God is omnipotent, then he should be able to create a being with free will; if he is omniscient, then he should know exactly what such a being will do (thus rendering them without free will). This analysis would render the ontological argument incoherent, as the characteristics required of a maximally great being cannot coexist in one being, thus such a being could not exist."

Would this mean that free will does not exist if the ontological argument is sound? When you note middle knowledge it would seem to me god would know the initial conditions as part of natural knowledge and as such the feasible worlds would only number one, the actual world,
"He knows what that creature would do in any
Debate Round No. 3
AnthraSight

Pro

Recall the Ontological Argument (OA),



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 it exists in every possible world.

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

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

6. Therefore a maximally great being exists.




a priori Warrant for P1

Con has dropped all of his arguments from the last round, as well as the round prior. This failure to manage a sustained attack is itself evidence of Cons inability to refute the OA.


First, his new objection seems to be against 3, but is really parasitic against 1 since it rests upon the assumption that 1 is false. For his alternate reality world is assuming the impossibility of a maximally great being. But if God’s existence is possible then such a world isn’t possible! And Con has not demonstrated any incoherence of maximal excellence, nor has he rebutted my a priori and a posterior warrant for the possibility of maximal excellence. Therefore, the resolution is won.



Secondly, Con forgets that I anticipated objections from imagination, and his alternate reality world is just a product of human imagination. Just because we can imagine things, it doesn’t follow that they’re possible. For example, I could imagine a world in which things pop into being un-caused, but that's metaphysically impossible! Nothing comes from nothing.


So, sure, we can imagine possible worlds which are incompatible with maximal excellence, but are those really possible worlds or are they products of the imagination? To think that Con's alternate reality is possible is to assume the impossibility of maximal greatness: This assumes a denial of 1, it doesn't successfully negate 1.



Third, our intuition of God’s possibility has priority over intuition of the possibility of some alternate reality, for this possibility depends upon God's possibility! And this means that the prima facie warrant remains for 1.


Fourth, Con uses contingent beings who are just assumed to have existed as necessary beings (albeit a confused set of such beings), and since there is a possible world in which these un-created confused contingent beings don't exist then they would lack necessary existence, unlike God. Therefore, they would require God, a prime-mover, to actualize their being! Con's argument actually presupposes God in order to undercut the existence of God. This makes his argument self-refuting.



In sum, even Descartes, when he came up with the axiom, "I think therefore I am," built the rest of his epistemology on the basis that God would not deceive him about what he perceives in the external world. Also, the Russellian quote Con referred to, "the essence of a person can be described and their existence still remain in question," was intended to be in the proper context of contingent beings, not necessary beings. For necessary beings- their essence just is their existence, whereas contingent being's essence is separate from their existence.





Compatibility of Omniscience & Omnipotence


Con then objects that, "omniscience and omnipotence may be incompatible." He justifies this by asserting that mere middle knowledge of how a person would freely choose something, actually determines them to choose that thing.


But how does my knowing how my girl-friend will freely choose in an option between ice-cream and spinach, actually determine her free choice? Surely there's still a possible world in which she could have chosen otherwise, I just knew that world wouldn't be actualized! ... In what way does this fate her to choose ice-cream? What mysterious force is used between my knowing? God's knowing? ... Con is making a jump of causal logic here. In order for Con to sustain this attack he would have the burden of proof of showing that the possible world in which my girl-friend chooses something else is literally impossible, somehow due to God's knowledge. But knowledge, as such, isn't a force, much less a determining factor. How then can he reasonably meet this burden?



Also, if one looks at the definitions given for God's attributes, one can easily cash out that none of these are incompatible as a whole. For I said that omnipotence doesn't include determining free choices, that would be a meaningless property to not have.



Conlusion


Thanks Con for debating this with me! I hope you've learned as much as I have :-)
autodidact

Con

I would like to thank AnthraSight for this debate. I have learned much. I wish we had a few more rounds and a longer post.

"This failure to manage a sustained attack is itself evidence of Cons inability to refute the OA. " I am a bit insulted here, as it would seem pro seems to think that if a boxer fails to knock out by missing on his first punch that some how mean a knock out for the other guy. Pro is trying to pull a fast one, this debate is not about the ontological argument it is about is it sound? To which i have been at that target from the get go.

"Con has dropped all of his arguments from the last round, as well as the round prior." If one notes the comment section pro notices that i may have ran out of room, this is the truth. Had i had more space i could have dealt with stating that some of pro's reasoning has no rational to back it up

A proposition is a declarative sentence that is either true or false.[1] this whole debate is about the proposition "The ontological argument is sound"
Now pro thinks that we must look a the idea of a maximally great being first, as stated "But if God"s existence is possible then such a world isn't possible!"
so here it is simply put:
If the ontological was sound then it would be sound in every possible world.
"The ontological argument is sound" is a proposition
"A possible world is a conjunction which comprises every proposition or its contrary."
Pro wants us to accept that possible worlds that do not conform to the Ontological argument do not exist.
It is this idea that causes a paradox
If the proposition, "the ontological argument is unsound" can not exist then the proposition the ontological argument is sound can not either
Now of course there is a third option the soundness of the ontological argument is indeterminable. Pro says it is sound, pro's problem is the only way to make line 3 work is to exclude possible worlds that conflict with OA. The Solipsistic worlds, (I noted but one) which while illogical to argue that you are the sole being is illogical (because who would you be argue with?) reader, tell me, where did pro negate that world or did he just dismiss it as a world that cant exist? Put your self in the place of the solipsist are you convinced that your world isn't real? last time i checked while solipsism is indefensible it remains irrefutable. So pro excludes it.

The soundness of the ontological argument is indeterminable. this is inline with my original stated view. "It is my position that the Ontological argument is not sound." Not sound can mean unsound it can also mean indeterminable.

The Ontological argument works only if one starts from the hypothesis that it is sound. if one starts from the null hypothesis, its soundness is indeterminable then these problems of possible worlds that the OA asserts do not exist become a problem.

"So, sure, we can imagine possible worlds ..., but are those really possible worlds or are they products of the imagination? "
"I never equivocated with 'possible.' Something is possible just if it's true in some non-actual or actual world."
"What Con mistakes is that my argument is predicated on imaginiation, and not possibility / impossibility (hence the modal logic used). Simply put, imagining something isn't the same as concieving of something. If something is concievable or coherent, then it is possible"
(I am a horrible speller so i would like to thank Firefox for showing me 3 spelling errors in the last quote)
the solipsistic world is conceivable and coherent. and is exactly why it is irrefutable.

"But how does my knowing how my girl-friend will freely choose in an option between ice-cream and spinach, actually determine her free choice? Surely there's still a possible world in which she could have chosen otherwise," well sure but given the knowledge of the initial conditions and being all knowing you would know that possible world would not be a feasible one. The very fact that pro did not note it as a feasible world speaks volumes to this,
" For I said that omnipotence doesn't include determining free choices, that would be a meaningless property to not have."
pro also said " God knows the individual essence of every possible creature so well that He knows what that creature would do in any possible combination of circumstances"

I have run out of space again.
Who made more convincing arguments?

Do any of Pro's arguments make you think the proposition "The Ontological Argument is Sound" is more likely to be true? To evaluate this you must start from the view that it is yet to be determined as sound or unsound, whether you hold the view that it is or is not. The only argument that pro has made is the argument itself. If you think that sufficiently convincing then don't vote for pro it is not his argument vote for Craig it is his.
on the other hand if you think that the solipsistic world is not refuted vote Con
Debate Round No. 4
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
anthrax-in-my-minds-sight, it is you being introduced to the Genie. People rarely meet the Genie, they are always introduced :)

The Theory of evolution is more sound than your ontological jibberish. This is 2013, its embarrasing some humans still resort to superstition when they dont have an answer to something :)

Delusional 2:18--Religion, where knowledge is evil, faith is evidence, and fear is love, its no wonder we shun scientific evidence, smear the queer, and blame the gun. Nice work christian nation, well played :)
Posted by AnthraSight 3 years ago
AnthraSight
Whatever that was
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
DevientGenie 2:7--For those who are smarty pants, the Genie is not deviant in any evil way, the second 'e' is testament to that fact. He is merely splashing a glass of ice water on the world :)

Secrets 2:41--The Genie was infected with religious delusional thoughts in his past, then he turned 12 yrs old :)

Recognize 12:9--Humans live longer, better, and more comfortable lives, when they use their science to advance mankind, religions are zits and hemorroids all over advancing mankind :)

BigKids 12:49--There are many ways to describe the tool known as science, however, the best way to describe science is by David Guetta, Sexy B-I-T-C-H :)

Ouchies 11:6--Proliferating a religious fairy tale in front of the Genie has been compared to jumping off a high dive platform into an industrial sized wood chipper :)
Posted by AnthraSight 3 years ago
AnthraSight
Bladerunner just voted because he's sour against me. I can care less. His RFD was pathetic.
Posted by autodidact 3 years ago
autodidact
I am really hoping more people vote on this, even if they vote against me.
Posted by autodidact 3 years ago
autodidact
philochristos, were there any parts of AnthraSihts argument you fond convincing that the OA is actually sound?
"there must also be a possible world in which maximally greatness is NOT instantiated." was the main idea behind my third round post of the solipsistic world it was covered more broadly in my last post.
I guess if i had to boil it down to one sentience, instead of discarding all the possible worlds that OA does to mmake it work why not discard the OA?
Posted by AnthraSight 3 years ago
AnthraSight
I see...
Posted by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
The suffer bunny scenario is not the reason I said "there must also be a possible world in which maximally greatness is NOT instantiated." In fact, I disagree with that reason.
Posted by AnthraSight 3 years ago
AnthraSight
You said,

"there must also be a possible world in which maximally greatness is NOT instantiated"

suffering bunny world is one such world.
Posted by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
AnthraSight, are you talking to me? Because that's not the objection I raised.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Apeiron 3 years ago
Apeiron
AnthraSightautodidactTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's spelling and grammar were obviously more carefully considered. And his sources included a philosophical paper, which if course is what I personally look for rather than just dictionary sources (anyone can look up words). Now regarding the arguments, Pro did a fantabulous job here. He not only showed that maximal greatness is possibly exemplified, but also probably exemplified to by more arguments including a conceptualist argument. And, of course, it seems to me that maximal greatness is itself a coherent notion. Something I can't argue for by more basic considerations, and so therefore one needn't "prove" that a thing is coherent by more basic considerations of what's already been clearly defined. Superb job by AnthraSight here.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
AnthraSightautodidactTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments for the Ontological Argument failed in my opinion. The argument from possibility is simply unsound. Pro failed to establish that god was possible, except through his definition of possible which was a laughable abstraction by which ALL things are possible, including a world where god did not exist. S&G to Pro, sources to Con, for what should be obvious reasons.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
AnthraSightautodidactTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate centered around the truth of the first premise--that God's existence is possible. Pro gave a few arguments for why God is possible which I don't think Con adequately refuted. Con attempted to show that God's existence is impossible, but Pro refuted those arguments, and Con dropped them. After that, Con pointed out problems with the notion of "possibility," but Pro showed that the notion is well-defined in possible world semantics. Finally, Con made an argument from solipsism, which Pro argued was question-begging. Although I don't think the modal ontological argument is sound (or can be known to be sound), I have to give arguments to Pro. I'm also giving spelling and grammar to Pro because Con made numerous punctuation mistakes, capitalization mistakes, and unclear quotations.