The Instigator
David.McIntosh
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

There is no proof that God exists

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
David.McIntosh
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,478 times Debate No: 34268
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

David.McIntosh

Pro

For the sake of this argument, I will be referring to the Christian god.

I thank my opponent in advance for taking on this debate and hope that we both enjoy it.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Logical proof is a form of proof. Thus, there is proof of God.

The Modal Ontological Argument

In Christian philosophy, God is commonly adhered to as a maximally great being (of the most perfect being possible).

"When they speak of God, people have traditional meant a personal being; The most perfect one possible." [1]

Thus, if the idea of God is the idea of the greatest conceivable or maximally perfect being – it must be the idea of something that is absolutely independent and unlimited. If we are not thinking of an absolutely independent and unlimited being, we are not thinking of God at all.” – P. Dawson [2]

Modal Logic

In modal logic, we infer that if some entity is possible then this entity is exists in some possible world. To exist in some possible world however, there must also contain no type of contradiction involving this entity [3].

Maximally Great Being

A maximally great being is a being with all of what we would call great making properties (Omnipotence, Omnibenevolence, Omnipotence ect.). Now, it is self evident that it would be greater to exist in all possible worlds rather than simply just one possible world (3 > 2, 4 > 3 ect.). If another being existed in more worlds than another, then that being would be greater. Thus, if a maximally great being exists in at least one possible world, then necessarily, this being exists in all possible worlds (or else, there would be no way to claim this being was maximally great). [4]

The Argument

Lets take a look at the premises of the Ontological Argument to see if the premises follow logically:

P1: "It is possible that a maximally great being exists."

There is nothing contradictory in the concept of God.

P2: "If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world."

This follows from Modal Logic, as I already explained previously.

P3: "If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world."

This follows from the very concept of a maximally great being, as I explained previously.

P4: "If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world."

If there is not a possible world where this being does not exist, then the being must exist in the actual world. This is because our world is possible (if it was impossible, we would not exist). So, since this being exists in everypossible world, the being necessarily exists in the actual world.

P5: "If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists."

This is self-evident.

C: "Therefore, a maximally great being exists."

This conclusion follows logically from all the preceding premises, showing that this argument is a logical proof for the existence of a maximally great being.

Parodies

Some people are under the false impression that this argument can prove anything. For an example, some people think this argument can prove the existence of a maximally great cell phone. However, a cell phone is a contingent but to be maximally great is be necessary. Some may think that it can prove the existence of a maximally great alien, but once again; an extraterrestrial is contingent to nature and we are discussing that which is completely necessary.

Conclusion

Premise 1 of the Modal Ontological Argument is true, thus the argument logically proves the existence of a maximally great being ("God"). The logic is very simple once you understand it, and most objections to the logic seem to be misunderstandings of it. It seems as if we have logical proof of God.

Sources

[1] http://www.youtube.com...;
[2] https://vle.ucs.org.uk...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.doxa.ws...
Debate Round No. 1
David.McIntosh

Pro

I thank Rational_Thinker9119 for his opening round. This is the first debate I have taken part in, on Debate.org or any site similar. I just wanted to point this out in advance incase I miss any normal debating etiquette and say that it is not meant.

I would like to comment first on the contradictions of a "maximally great being" as has been put forward, after which I will deal with the Modal Ontological Argument put forward.


To Begin

Premise 1 asserts that "It is possible that a maximally great being exists."
because "There is nothing contradictory in the concept of God."

If you are asserting that it IS possible, that in itself is a positive claim and you have a burden of proof that you must meet to prove it. At best, until proof is shown, we can only state that "We do not know whether it is possible or not.".I say this because we cannot take it that just anything is possible.

For example,If I have in my hand a number of coins, and I tell you I will put an unknown number of them on the table, and you say its possible that I can put down 8 coins. This is false as I infact have 4 coins in my hand. You may have believed it to be possible, but it never was. When you gain better knowledge (e.g. by looking in my hand etc.) then the greater knowledge will tell you it was not ever possible. Until proven, it is simply an "I do not know whether it is possible or not."

As stated in your opening round the God of the Christian Bible (since that's the one we are both speaking about) is omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (in all places at the same time), omniscient (He knows everything), and omnibenevolent (He only does things that are all good). My reasons for rejecting both parts of premise one are as follows.

I reject premise one, and think that there are indeed contradictions within the concept of the God in which we are talking about.

Omnipotent

Premise 1 states that he is Omnipotent. This is backed up in the Bible"With God, all things are possible.". However the bible then contradicts this withinJudges 1:19: "And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." An all powerful god cannot triumph over Iron?

It also contradicts with Proverbs 30:5, saying that God cannot lie, even though he can do anything. And in 2 Thess. 2:11 "for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."Does he lie? Or doesn't he? Can he? Or can't he?

Can God destroy the Devil? Or take away original sin? Or remove the tree from the garden of evil? If he can, then why hasn't he? It would save alot of people from sin and would back up his Omnibenevolence. But he does not, or cannot.

Epicurus posed the following problem in the Second Century BCE

Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot.
Or he can, but does not want to.
Or he cannot, and does not want to.

If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent.
If he can, but does not want to, then he is wicked.
If he neither can, nor wants to, he is both powerless and wicked.


Omnipresent

Premise 1 also states that God would be Omnipresent, yet in Deuteronomy 23:12-14,God walks. Walking requires moving from one place where you are, to another which you are not, otherwise you would already be there.A god who is everywhere, should not have to walk from one place to another.

The same is true in Genesis 3:8-10 when God walks through the Garden, from one place to another (even though he is already everywhere). And Adam and Eve hide (even though he is everywhere), and God asks where they are (even though he is everywhere).

If God is omnipresent, he would not have to walk anywhere. The same for if he is omnipotent. If he was omniscient he would not have had to ask their whereabouts.

Lets also look at Exodus 33:20-23.God says not to look at his face, and that you will die if you look at gods face (even though it later states people saw his face and lived). This implies physical presence of body parts which a god who is everywhere has chosen to show there, at that exact time and place. To kill anyone who looks at his face, which he has chosen to show them, and knows in advance
who would see them, and how it would affect their life, would be preconceived murder, and goes against Gods Omnibenevolence. Even if we say it is free will to look or not,God knows your choice in advance, and there for still decides to confront you with a choice which he knows will resultin your death.


Omniscient

As stated, God cannot lie, nor can he change his mind, for he knows everything.But the bible is full of instances where God either lies or changes his mind. In Exodus 32:14. After the incident when God's Chosen People worshipped the Golden Calf, God decided that He would destroy them all, and raise up some other nation, but Moses begged and pleaded on their behalf, and God repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. If God knows all things, past and present, including his own future decisions, did He really intend to destroy the Israelites? Or did he just bear false witness?

In Jonah 3:10 ". . . and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not." If He "did it not", then He knew from the beginning that He would not do it, and if He told someone that He was going to do it, then He was lying.

The same could be said true of the contradictions with Genesis and the Great Flood. When he first created man he saw that it was good. He saw this knowing everything that was, is and ever would be, for he is God. But by the time of the great flood, he had changed his mind about humanity and saw fit to wipe most of it from the face of the earth. Was he wrong during Genesis? and not all knowing?Or did he know, and was not fussed that he would one day have to massacre most of the planet? And lied that what he created was good.


A Maximally Great Being

Is God powerful enough to create something that He Himself cannot understand? If yes, then he is not all-knowing. If no, then he is not all-powerful. God, as described as both all-knowing and all-powerful, is a contradictory entity and cannot exist. Therefore, Premise one that it is possible, is false.

- - - - - - - - - -



The Modal Ontological Argument

Moving on to the logical argument proposed. I could say the following;

We'll call this the great fire breathing evil daemon.

P1: "It is possible that a maximally evil being exists."
This being would be omnipotent, omniscient and wholly evil in nature.

P2: "If it is possible that a maximally evil being exists, then a maximally evil being exists in some possible world."
Following your modal logic from the opening round.

P3: "If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world."
It would be more evil for the being to exist in more worlds, therefore, a maximally great being would exist in all worlds.
P4: "If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world."
By your own logic, it must exist in every world, and by extension, necessarily exist in our actual world.

You cannot have 2 omnipotent, omnipresent etc. Beings. But this logic can easily back up both and there for contradicts itself logically.



Conclusion

In conclusion, I have shown that an omnipotent, omnipresent etc. God cannot exist, refuting premise 1.
This is backed up by the characteristics contradicting each other to the core, and furthermore in terms of a Christian god by way of what is said in the Bible.

On top of that, even if we can agree that premise one was possible, your modal ontological argument gives for multiple greatest beings, which cannot happen. This proves the logical argument is flawed and therefore not proof that god does exist.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I thank my opponent for his response, however it does not require much room to defeat.

To Begin

One does not have to show that a world where a pig flies is logically or metaphysically possible, there is clearly nothing impossible with it and Pro's objection is delving into radical logical and metaphysical skepticism. God is clearly logically possible because it is not like a perfectly spherical cube (the concept contains no contradiction and is consistent). This is all that is needed to show that a maximally great being is possible and exists in some possible world.

Omnipotent

Even if The Bible claims he cannot do something, omnipotence is a great making property. Therefore, a maximally great being would have omnipotence independently of any Bible verses.

A logical problem of evil is provided here, but this problem is not taken seriously in philosophy as Plantinga's Free-Will Defense shows that beings with free will is good, and beings with free-will entail the ability to do evil. It would be wrong to interfere with our free-will, so it is no shocker than evil exists and that Theism is true.

Omnipresent

This is a great making property. This holds regardless of The Bible.

Omniscient

This is a great making property. This holds regardless of The Bible.

A Maximally Great Being

This section fails because it assumes a version of omnipotence most Theists do not adhere to. If God is omnipotent, then he can only do what is logically and metaphysically possible and things which do not contradict other aspects of his nature.

The Modal Ontological Argument

This parody argument fails because evil is not a great making property, omnibenevolence is (which negates the possibility of God being evil). Therefore, the term "maximally great""evil" being is logically contradictory.

In conclusion

Pro misunderstands what it means to be possible in Modal Logic, thus his first objection failed. Also, him pointing out Bible contradictions means nothing because the great making properties would be so regardless. The logical problem of evil fails as it does not incorporate free will, and the parody argument fails because a "maximally great""evil" being is incoherent.

My argument stands. I apologize for not taking more time on this, but in reality Pro's misunderstanding of the argument did not give me much to work with.
Debate Round No. 2
David.McIntosh

Pro

I once again thank my opponent for his response. However he has failed on many points, especially since we have specified that we are talking about the Christian God.

To Begin

Con states that “
One does not have to show that a world where a pig flies is logically or metaphysically possible”. This is true, and I feel he is missing the entire point. My point wasn’t saying that a world in which a god exists is impossible, in fact I think I even said “We do not know whether it is possible or not”. I did not make any claim that something was impossible. My point was that, like any positive claim ever made, it must meet a burden of proof. His only proof was that “There is nothing contradictory in the concept of God”, which within the confines of the God in question, there clearly is. Therefore it has still not met its burden of proof.

This argument isn’t for any God, as we have both agreed, it is for the Christian God. As Con has stated, there cannot be any contradictions to the concept of the Christian God. In fact, for the Christian God to possibly exist in any possible world he must be, as agreed on both sides, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, etc. And he must also be, the Christian God, as stated in the Bible. Otherwise he is simply not that God. If he is not that God, then this is not proof for that specific God in which we have agreed on. This is why, although Con disagrees, what is stated in the Bible about this God must be very much taken into consideration.

Omnipotent

Con states that “A maximally great being would have omnipotence independently of any Bible verses”. I agree, If a God were to exist, that god would have to be all powerful, regardless of any bible verses of any religion. However, If the Bible of the Christian God states that the Christian God cannot triumph over Iron, then he is clearly not relatable to the Great Being of your logic, and is clearly not omnipotent. Even if we were to take on board that a god can only be powerful to the limit that it doesn’t contradict his other characteristics, it does not explain why he is weak to Iron.

Con puts forward that “
free will is good, and beings with free-will entail the ability to do evil. It would be wrong to interfere with our free-will, so it is no shocker than evil exists”. However, If God is all creating, he CHOSE to create this specific world, with this specific outcome. If he is all knowing, then he already knows our choices, thousands of years before we are created. The very notion of free will would be an illusion at best, for if we have the ability to do evil through free will, he already knows if, when and how we would act upon it and chose to create this specific world where we make these specific choices.

Omnipresent & Omniscient etc.

Con simply states that God has these qualities ”regardless of The Bible.“. This clearly backs up my case that the Christian God within the Bible is contradictory to these properties right off the bat, because otherwise, we would not find contradictions all the way through the bible. Either we are talking about the Christian God which adheres to the Bible, or we are not.

There are contradictions with all of the “great properties” when it comes to the Christian God. Another very obvious example would be omnibenevolance. When God can be held directly accountable for well over 2.3 million deaths in the Bible, and Satan can be only be held accountable for 10 and those are with gods permission[1], can we really call God omnibenevolant? In day to day life, would we consider someone who kills 2.3 million people to be a good person? More good than someone who killed 10 with the first persons permission? What about when we then consider that he knew his choices when creating the world would lead to having to kill 2.3 million. He could have created a world that would result in less death, for he can do anything, and knows how all of his choices will play out.

A Maximally Great Being

Lets try this another way, without bringing in contradictions with any other aspect of Gods nature, we’ll keep it to the aspect in question itself.
Can God create a rock so heavy that even God himself cannot lift it? If so, then the rock is now unliftable by God, limiting the Gods power, and meaning that he is not omnipotent, not because it conflicts with any other aspect.

I would also like to interject that you have added restrictions to Gods power regarding the any conflict with the other aspects of gods nature, while in your opening round stated “
If we are not thinking of an absolutely unlimited being, we are not thinking of God at all”. This creates a problem simply based on your own assertions that God is absolutely unlimited (Round 1) and that God is limited by his own aspects of nature (Round 2).

The Modal Ontological Argument

Con asserts that this part had failed as evil is not a great making property and God could not be evil. I think he has missed the point entirely as I was not asserting an evil god, I was asserting a perfectly evil being who was omnipotent and omnipresent. Where the God you are asserting would be omnibenevolant, the perfectly evil being would be
omnimalevolent. It would still be a being to the highest of powers, but grounded in evil rather than good. There is no moral argument here as good and evil are just opposite ends of the spectrum. Some people would put forward that evil is just the absence of good, but good could quite as simple be the absence of evil, and neither allows for morally neutral actions. We could just as easily put the logic to this being, and would come to the same conclusion that it must exist. And as stated, you can’t have 2 omnipotent beings. You could do it another way and use this logic for any number of Gods grounded in other religions, morally good or bad, they cannot all exist side by side, but by your logic they could exist. Therefore, again, your logic is not proof that this God exists.

Possible to Actual

I would like to add something else here. In premise 2 Con has stated: "If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.". For this to be PROOF, you would have to prove the possible worlds in question are more than just philosophical thought. It seems you are mixing up that which is possible with that which is actual.

You have no proof that such a thing exists somewhere, and to say that it MUST, needs proving, beyond the fact that you just accept it to be true. At most, you could say that if a being is possible in some world, it is at most, POSSIBLE in all worlds. Above that, you need proof. To say that if God is possible, God must be actual, is a logical fallacy. It in itself is certainly not proof of existing.

In conclusion

There is no evidence that
it is possible that a maximally great being exists.
There are direct contradictions between the maximally great being and the God of Christianity.
Premise 2 is a logical fallacy, being possible is not an evidence of actual existence.
The overall argument is flawed, and allows for multiple greatest beings.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I was just trying to play devil's advocate. However, I feel kind of silly defending this argument is it so bad. I'll concede.
Debate Round No. 3
David.McIntosh

Pro

I would like to thank Con for this debate. It made an interesting first debate for me on here and I will certainly be taking part in more. Up until not I actually hadn't heard of the arguement proposed!

I would also like to apoligise as I missed putting in my source link at the end of round 3 and even though the debate has reached an end, I would like to include it as I genuinly meant to before.

The link regarding the amount of deaths attributed to God and where they are through the bible is at;
http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.co.uk...

Other than that, I look forward to watching Cons future debates, this was fun.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Speeding things along.
Debate Round No. 4
David.McIntosh

Pro

Thanks, Same.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by MathandScienceprodigy 3 years ago
MathandScienceprodigy
@Rational_Thinker9119

If there is proof that a Gode exists, in that case, why are YOU an atheist?
Posted by younes 3 years ago
younes
https://www.youtube.com...

Why You should Believe in One GOD ?

thanx
Posted by David.McIntosh 3 years ago
David.McIntosh
nyost, because we must define what we are debating, and each religions god is defined differently. god can be different things to different people. The Christian god is the most recognized god in the world with 1/3rd of the world following Christianity, so it was the obvious choice. :)
Posted by nyost 3 years ago
nyost
Referring to the "Christian God"? Why not any other gods? If the God is fake, wouldn't all the other ones be?
Posted by David.McIntosh 3 years ago
David.McIntosh
Rhett, coincidence and proof are two very different things. I am open to having my opinion changed, just as anyone else on this site should be.
Posted by Rhett_Butler 3 years ago
Rhett_Butler
Is this a debate where you just want to be right? The 'proof' we cite you will simply dismiss as coincidence, and that'll be all.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
David.McIntoshRational_Thinker9119Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: concession.
Vote Placed by Skeptikitten 3 years ago
Skeptikitten
David.McIntoshRational_Thinker9119Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession by con. It IS rather hard to defend the ontological argument, as it makes little sense.
Vote Placed by AgentRocks 3 years ago
AgentRocks
David.McIntoshRational_Thinker9119Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: God does exist because I believe it. Stupid David. -.-