The Instigator
KingDebater
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TSH
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

The Ontological argument is failed, and should NEVER BE USED EVER AGAIN.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
TSH
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,215 times Debate No: 30237
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

KingDebater

Pro

I will be arguing that the ontological argument is flawed. I'll be using the following one:


  1. Our understanding of God is a being than which no greater can be conceived.

  2. The idea of God exists in the mind.

  3. A being which exists both in the mind and in reality is greater than a being that exists only in the mind.

  4. If God only exists in the mind, then we can conceive of a greater being—that which exists in reality.

  5. We cannot be imagining something that is greater than God.

  6. Therefore, God exists.

TSH

Con

Since some commentators found the ontological argument in Pro's speech confusing, I will use this round to clarify it. Points 2, 4, and 5 are redundant. Removing them, the argument is as follows:

A. Our understanding of God is a being than which no greater can be conceived.

B. Beings that exist are greater than beings that do not exist.

C. Therefore, God exists.

A serves as the definition of God for this debate. B serves as the definition for the word "greater." Finally, point C is the logical conclusion of A and B. To avoid confusion, I have used "exist" to mean what Pro referred to as "exist[ing] in reality" and "not exist" to mean "exist[ing] only in the mind."
Debate Round No. 1
KingDebater

Pro

I do see a major flaw in your argument.

i) The illogical leap between B and C
Imagine this. A magical box that is omnipotent, omniscience and omnipresent. This box has all possible power. It also has the amazing ability to prevent any deities from existing. The Ontological argument states that no GREATER being can be conceived, but it doesn't say anything about a being of equal power. We can therefore use the Ontological argument in favour of me.

A. Our understanding of the magical box is a being than which no greater can be conceived.
B. Beings that exist are greater than beings that do not exist.
C. Therefore, the magical box exists.
D. Therefore, God does not exist.

I'm interested to hear Con's response.
TSH

Con

Pro's logic is incorrect. Since God is defined solely in terms of power (our understanding of God is a being than which no greater can be conceived), the magical box he describes that "is omnipotent, omniscience and omnipresent[,] has all possible power[, and] has the amazing ability to prevent any deities from existing" is a manifestation of God.

Now, God (aka the magical box) can either choose to prevent himself from existing or to allow himself to exist (this is his amazing ability). If he prevents himself from existing, then the next greatest being will be God; otherwise, he is God. Either way, at any point in time, there will always be a God that "is a being than which no greater can be conceived."

Also, Pro notes that "the Ontological argument states that no GREATER being can be conceived, but it doesn't say anything about a being of equal power." However, this is irrelevant, since by definition, God is all beings for which no greater being can be conceived. Indeed, each individual omnipotent being could be considered a manifestation of God.
Debate Round No. 2
KingDebater

Pro

I don't think that Con has replied to my argument though. Even if you consider the magical box a God, the argument can still be put forword by saying that the magical box prevents any OTHER Gods from existing, and thus the argument stands.

A. Our understanding of the magical box is a being than which no greater can be conceived.
B. Beings that exist are greater than beings that do not exist.
C. Therefore, the magical box exists.
D. Therefore, other Gods do not exist.

I'd also like Con to clarify the leap between B and C.
TSH

Con

The ontological argument is as follows:
A. Our understanding of God is a being than which no greater can be conceived.
B. Beings that exist are greater than beings that do not exist.
C. Therefore, God exists.

A justification of the leap between B and C is included below in the form of a proof by contradiction:
1. Let God not exist
2. I am a being that exists and can be conceived.
3. According to (B), I am greater than God.
4. That I am a being that can be conceived and is greater than God contradicts (A).
5. Therefore, God must exist (since there is a contradiction if God does not exist).
QED

Pro mentioned how the "the argument can still be put forword by saying that the magical box prevents any OTHER Gods from existing." However, the ontological argument implies that there is only one God. This does not preclude the possibility of God taking on different forms. For there to be multiple Gods, (A (aka point 1)) could have been phrased as follows: Our understanding of a God is a being than which no greater can be conceived.

Given that there is only one God, Pro's argument does not result in any contradictions; God would have no problem preventing any other Gods from existing, since he is the only God. Of course, if God prevented himself from existing, then as soon as God ceased to exist, another existing being would become God so that at any point in time, there always exists a God that "is a being than which no greater can be conceived" as explained in the previous round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by gilgil 4 years ago
gilgil
God as a concept apart from it being the greatest thing poss to imagine is not defined.

I say god means the culmination of all the laws of nature, so involved in every action, timeless, at all places at once etc etc (just like God)

Ontological argument does not lead to a loving interventionist god so could really just be as I described so it does not add any thing.

Why do we need any thing more than the amazing eternal deep laws of the universe anyway,

I see no incompatibility with the laws of nature and

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious

Spinoza said it better than me
Posted by makhdoom5 4 years ago
makhdoom5
if GOD is that much difficult understand and to be found. that definitely that GOD do not exist.
whenever debate about GOD or ALLAH come with the sense of common lay man.
if you find him than he is real GOD or ALLAH which actually exist
Posted by TSH 4 years ago
TSH
In my R2 speech, the last sentence of the second paragraph should say "Either way, at any point in time, there will always exist a God that "is a being than which no greater can be conceived.""
Posted by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
I would take this, but this isn't the version of the Ontological Argument that I defend.
Posted by Connoisseur 4 years ago
Connoisseur
Everything made sense until 5 and 6...
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
KingDebaterTSHTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument was a standard argument against the OA which denotes a misunderstanding of the argument. Con clearly showed that Pro did not refute the OA because he was describing God, just by another name. Arguments to Con.
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
KingDebaterTSHTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's magic box argument was refuted.The magic box that prevents all gods from existing would by definition be God until it zapped itself out of existance and, when it did, would leave room for another God. The magic box that only prevents other Gods from existing would simply by definition be God. Thus, the argument doesn't use the Ontological Argument to create a contradiction as he claims. He asks Con to clarify the leap from B to C, and Con does so. This leaves Pro with no standing arguments against the Ontological Argument. While it was a creative try, the "logically incoherent" argument seems to have held up better in other debates.
Vote Placed by Billdekel 4 years ago
Billdekel
KingDebaterTSHTied
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Reasons for voting decision: King didn't back up his argument. A box can't logically fit, since it has a property of space and can't be the greatest. When Con pointed out that box would have to be God, king just said he didn't answer.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
KingDebaterTSHTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument was quite weak; as Con rightly pointed out. An omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent box is impossible, but if such a thing was to exist it would be God.