The Instigator
shift4101
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
izbo10
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

The Ontological Argument is sound.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
izbo10
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,047 times Debate No: 18878
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (7)

 

shift4101

Pro

I challenge Izbo10 to debate the Ontological Argument. The original discussion comes from the forum topic "Ontological Argument..." http://www.debate.org...


Round 1. Acceptance and Ad Hominen from my opponent. (Gotta let him get it out..)
Round 2. Opening Arguments / Refutations
Round 3. Rebuttal / Rebuttal
Round 4. Rebuttal & Conclusion / Rebuttal & Conclusion

The argument goes as such. I will explain the argument in R2.

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

If my opponent rejects the presented argument, he may either not debate or ask for a change in the comments section.

Good luck!
izbo10

Con

accepted and a link for a definition of sound, so we understand that. The idiots reading this still won't understand the concept of sound. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
shift4101

Pro

Getting to it:

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

Breakdown:

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

This is pretty simple, saying that it is possible that a maximal being exists. To make this assertion false, you need to show that it is impossible for a maximally great being to exist.

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

The basis of this premise asserts that if something is possible, then it is possibly true. Following that, if something is possibly true it must exist in at least one of an infinite series of worlds. I see no reason why being "maximally great" imposes on this premise, so as long as P1 is true, then P2 must also be true.

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

Let it be noted that if a maximal being is possible, it is also possibly neccessary. Following modal logic, if something is possible necessary, then it is necessary. That is what P3 asserts.

4) If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, a maximaly great being exists in the actual world.

Our world is apart of all possible worlds. Therefore, if something exists in all possible worlds, then it must exist in ours.

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

Simplified, this states "If it exists, it exists." This is true.

6) Therefore a maximaly great being exists.

This is what we conclude. Given the premises, it holds true.

Breakdown #2

If we do not transition from possibly to neccessary, then the maximally great being is no longer maximal. So for the being to be maximal, we must conclude that a maximally great being must have all the qualities of a maximally great being. More simply put, if a maximally great being is restricted in any ways, it is not maximally great. So for a maximally great being to be maximally great, it cannot be held back by restrictions. So a maximally great being must not only exist in a handful of possible worlds, but every possible world to maintain its maximality.

Aditional Statments

I would like to put forth a simple assertion, that if a Maximally great being exists, then it is impossible for no miaximally great being exists.

Other than that, I can think of nothing else to do but to turn the ancient fire stick to Izbo, let him present his case and rebuttals, and wish him luck.
izbo10

Con

My opponent has presented the ontological argument for god. He is yet to understand my rebuttal. Even if the ontological argument was valid, I have a problem with premise 3, but for this debate we will assume it is valid. There still is a big problem. When Plantinga started his discussion on this, he brought up a no maximality.

Define: No Maximality: This is the property of being such that there is no maximally great being.

So we have a second syllogism:

1. It is possible that a "no maximality" exists.
2. If it is possible that "no maximality exists", then a "no Maximality" exists in some possible world.
3. If a "no maximality" exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a "no maximality" exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a "no maximality" exists in the actual world, then no maximality exists.
6. Therefore, a "no maximality" exists.

Ok, so now that we have the second syllogism, we can look at things. With no further investigation it would look like at best either possibility is 50/50. As neither of us has proven that our first premises is true or more likely true. Again assuming the argument is valid, only 1 of our first premises can be true. I have present J.L. Mackies argument as t why it is possible that a no maximality exists is more likely then it is possible that a maximally great being exists. Here it is:
The no maximality premise is less restrictive and hence preferred.

Even if we don't buy that, my opponent is the one making the claim and at best right now we are 50/50 that his argument is sound. He seems to be confused thinking that since he heard it for god first, that makes it sound for god, the maximally great being. He does not understand that I am contending premise 1, is in no way proven true. Therefore it is not proven sound, since being sound is to say that all the premises are true
Debate Round No. 2
shift4101

Pro

Thanks to Izbo for his reply!

First off, his counter argument isn't really a counter argument. The first 3 premises:

1. It is possible that a "no maximality" exists.
2. If it is possible that "no maximality exists", then a "no Maximality" exists in some possible world.
3. If a "no maximality" exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

With P1 unchallenged, this looks seemingly alright at first glance, but with just a few seconds of thought, we can deduce there is absolutly no reason to trasition from P2 to P3. There is nothing powering "no maximality" to assert itself from one world to every world.

With P3 debunked, The logic we are left with is:



1. It is possible that a "no maximality" exists.
2. If it is possible that "no maximality exists", then a "no Maximality" exists in some possible world.

P2 simply stems from P1, so we are left with this:



1. It is possible a "no maximality" exists.

Voters, this isn't an argument. This is a simple claim, which the Ontological Argument makes false. There is a failure to understand by some end that asserting something similar (i.e. the cheese is gray, unicorns exist, we don't really exist) to this argument is not like this argument at all, because there is (so far) sound logic behind the argument that makes P1 impossible, which is the Ontological Argument.



Conclusion

All my opponent is required to do is logically prove that it is possible for "no maximality" to exist (thereby proving his P1), logically prove it impossible for a maximality to exist (thereby falsifying my P1,), or find a logical fallacy in the Ontological Argument (thereby making it unsound) he can effectively prove his arguments. He has yet to do so, and I now give him the opprotunity.
izbo10

Con

My opponent is blatantly attempting to shift the burden of proof here. I don't have to prove that no maximality exists, I only have to bring it up as an equal option as a maximality existing. He is the one making the claim that his argument is sound. It is his burden to show that the first premise of his argument is true. The default position is to with hold belief.

He has yet to prove that his first premise is true. Instead my opponent wasted the last round trying to break down every other part of the opposing argument instead of dealing with the important premise, that it is possible that no maximality exists.

The problem really also comes back to premise 3 in his argument. The argument claims that a maximally great being must exist in all possible worlds. Yet, this seems odd, based on there would be possible worlds where by default this being would be less great. For instance, this maximally great being would be less in this world where he has not stopped child rape, then in a possible world where he has. The maximally great being would have hard time in some worlds seeming all that great.
Debate Round No. 3
shift4101

Pro

Izbo, the burden of proof was shifted to you at your round 2. I "proved" the Ontological Argument is sound, and it is up to you to disprove it. If you don't believe you need to provide any proof to why it cannot be true, I urge you not to, and I will accept this free win.

It is not up to me to "prove" P1 is true. Even if I suggest something is true, such as a maximally great being exists, it becomes possibly true. And thats what P1 says, "It is possible that a maximally great being exists." It is still up to you to prove that it is not possible for a maximally great being to exist. Notice how you phrased your counter argument, "It is possible that a "no maximality" exists." This is suggesting the opposite is possible as well, thus you stated "It is possible that a maximally great being exists." P1 remains entact.

However, if I assert something is necessary or impossible, I have to use logic to assert that position, thus the Ontological Argument.



Izbo's rant about my P3 is absurd.

"there would be possible worlds where by default this [maximally great] being would be less great."

This is utterly wrong. A maximally great being doesn't exist in finite terms. Maximality IS maximality. Lesser maximality is just a contradiction of terms.



For the child rape argument, I provide this:

MGB desires: x, y, and unlustful sex to occur.

MGB cannot contradict himself.

MGB must allow: -x, -y, and rape to not contradict himself.


My opponent might argue "What if I can imagine a more maximal being who can contradict himself?" Well, then the being is a contradiction of terms, and is not logically applicable to the argument. (Much like, say, the pinland?)



Conclusion


I have defended the Ontological Argument and debunked every argument my opponent has so far shown, so I don't think losing this debate is a realistic possiblity. If Con presents arguments in his next round, he shows bad conduct, and the argument should be thrown out, giving me +4 points (Conduct + Arguments) from each voter. If not, I still win probably. And then there is spelling and grammar if a voter sees fit. I don't know what else to say.

Haikus are easy
But they don't always make sense
Refridgorator
izbo10

Con

I will be making a rebuttal and conclusion as those are the rules of the debate.

My opponent merely asserts he proved the ontological argument sound. He keeps looking at the possibility that a maximally great being exists. If the ontological argument is valid and sound after the first premise like he is first claiming, then it is impossible that no maximality exists, where as if it is possible that no maximality exists then it is impossible for a maximally great being to exist.

My opponent has blatantly asserted that a maximally great being is possible. My opponents argument about rape is off base as well. He says nothing about rape until the conclusion, it plainly is non-sequitur to say that if a being wants x,y, and unlustful sex to exist, he must allow rape(lustful sex). This in no way forms any type of contradiction.

In conclusion, we are left with this, it is either true that it is possible that no maximality exists or it is possible that a maximally great being exists. Only one can be true. My opponent has only started with the assumption that the first is possible, when we don't know that it is. He has failed to demonstrate that it is possible. Of course this is all assuming the ontological arguments form is valid( it does not appear to be).

To state this another way we have this;

1. it is possible that a maximally great being exists.

2. it is possible that no maximality exists.

If 1 is true then 2 cannot be true.

If 2 is true then 1 cannot be true.

My opponent starts with the assumption 1 is true, and has not set out to prove this. So, therefore at best we are left thinking 1 is true is 50/50 proposition as well as it is 50/50 that 2 is true. Therefore we cannot say that the ontological argument is sound being premise 1 is still in dispute.
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Renascor 5 years ago
Renascor
Maybe I just don't like izbo10?
Posted by TeenageApologist 5 years ago
TeenageApologist
I do not like using the Ontological argument, it isn't the most convincing.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
Shift, I'm started a explanation here: http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Debater17 5 years ago
Debater17
I must admit that I didn't like Izbo10's performance in pervious debates, but he has done a great job here, guess that he's getting better and better :)
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
One of the problems with your own argument shift is that, if we accept premise 3 for the maximally great being, it defines a maximally great being into needing to exist in every possible world. This makes the 3 premise in the no maximality argument valid, through reductio ad absurdum, it can't be true that a maximally great being would exist in all possible worlds, but no maximality can exist in one at the same time. This makes both positions all or nothing.
Posted by shift4101 5 years ago
shift4101
Go for it.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
Hey, not many people will admit to doubt about their own arguments. Kudos, shift.

If you'd like, I'll explain what's wrong with your argument in the forums.
Posted by shift4101 5 years ago
shift4101
No thanks, I read more into it and the logic used is over my head guys. Sorry. I don't believe in my arguments posted in this debate anymore, either.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
No, challenge me! I want it!
Posted by Mr.Infidel 5 years ago
Mr.Infidel
Surprisingly, izbo did win this debate.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Mr.Infidel 5 years ago
Mr.Infidel
shift4101izbo10Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Renascor's bomb is countered. If he had read the debate, he would have seen that izbo obliterated the onto-illogical argument and pro changed his views about it (comments).
Vote Placed by Renascor 5 years ago
Renascor
shift4101izbo10Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Excellent job Pro. Con, I don't see where you properly refuted the Ontological argument.
Vote Placed by jewgirl 5 years ago
jewgirl
shift4101izbo10Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Sorry Shift, but I never did like the ontological argument.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
shift4101izbo10Tied
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Total points awarded:11 
Reasons for voting decision: - Pro: silly ontological argument. - Con refutes it utterly: The same logic will produce a contrary result. - Pro's confused about how Con gets to P2. Claims victory based on that confusion. - Con doesn't straighten him out. -- This debate is hard to judge by the standards of this site. Can Pro win because he doesn't understand his own argument when it is parroted back at him? I'll call it a draw. -- Often, definitions are dead weight, but here they'd have been useful.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
shift4101izbo10Tied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Both did a great job, but izbo had greater conduct and shift convinced me more (personally)
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
shift4101izbo10Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro really doesn't prove that Con's argument is false and relies on shifting the BOP on his opponent. Let's be clear. Pro's BOP is to show that the O.A. is sound. Con's is to show that it is not. Con shows that both scenarios of "maximality" and "no maximality" fit into the argument equally well. This creates a contradiction making it unsound.
Vote Placed by Cerebral_Narcissist 5 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
shift4101izbo10Tied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Con loses conduct for insulting the entire site. S and G: Fairly tied. Arguments: Con presents a syllogism of equal validity to that of Pro, Pro's only defence is to assume qualities to maximality that are not self-evident. The two positions can not be of equal validity therefore Pro has failed to meety his BoP.