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Questioning the Ontological Argument

F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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2/26/2013 3:21:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

Depends on how you define possible. According to google, possible is defined as:

Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or something.

A person or thing that has the potential to become or do something.

Obviously this doesn't seem to be the definition of "possible" here. If it is, then the OA uses equivocation to take this definition of possible and apply it to premise 2.

Equivocation is a logical error where the multiple meanings of a word or label are exploited in an attempt to transfer logical inferences based upon one meaning to the other, hidden behind the use of the same word or label for those meanings.

IF premise 1 is not equivocating and does indeed claim that maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it is a bare assumption. Why must a maximally great being exist in some possible world?

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.

Why does this have to be the case? The only explanation I can find in that this is included in the definition of "maximally great being." Maximally great being itself is defined as an entity that exists in all possible worlds if it exists in some possible world. If we replace the MGB with god, we have the definition of god as this:

God: An entity that exists in all possible worlds if it exists in some possible world. The Ontological Argument defines god into existence. It defines god in a way such that god must exist. Of course this is BS.

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

Agreed.

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

Agreed.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

Disagree with premise 1 to 3, so disagree with the conclusion as well.
TSH
Posts: 260
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2/26/2013 3:59:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Disclaimer: I am self-plagiarizing (lol) from http://www.debate.org....

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

I would prefer to use the following functionally equivalent premise instead: "Our understanding of God is a being than which no greater can be conceived."

Do you agree that in this case, God would be "maximally great" since no greater being can be conceived?

Now, given that our definitions of God are logically equivalent, it follows that substituting my version of the ontological argument, which arrives at the the same conclusion as your potentially incorrect one, is acceptable (if a single version of the ontological argument is correct, then the conclusion holds).

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. B serves as the definition for the word "greater." Finally, point C is the logical conclusion of A and B.

If any links between A,B,C are unclear, I can explain the logical connections.
~tsh
muzebreak
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2/26/2013 5:21:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 3:59:17 AM, TSH wrote:
Disclaimer: I am self-plagiarizing (lol) from http://www.debate.org....

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

I would prefer to use the following functionally equivalent premise instead: "Our understanding of God is a being than which no greater can be conceived."

Do you agree that in this case, God would be "maximally great" since no greater being can be conceived?

Now, given that our definitions of God are logically equivalent, it follows that substituting my version of the ontological argument, which arrives at the the same conclusion as your potentially incorrect one, is acceptable (if a single version of the ontological argument is correct, then the conclusion holds).

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. B serves as the definition for the word "greater." Finally, point C is the logical conclusion of A and B.

If any links between A,B,C are unclear, I can explain the logical connections.

Understanding of something implies that there is something to be understood. The concept of god is just that, a concept, one which you and every other theist created in your mind, so understanding is a meaningless concept here. All you're doing is defining god into existence by defining the word god as maximally great being. But here is a few questions.

Why is existence greater then non-existence?

How does the concept of a maximally great being entail the existence of a maximally great being?

And, if you haven't, you should look at Gaunilo's lost island refutation.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
SovereignDream
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2/26/2013 12:29:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 3:21:11 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

Depends on how you define possible. According to google, possible is defined as:

Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or something.

A person or thing that has the potential to become or do something.

Obviously this doesn't seem to be the definition of "possible" here. If it is, then the OA uses equivocation to take this definition of possible and apply it to premise 2.

Equivocation is a logical error where the multiple meanings of a word or label are exploited in an attempt to transfer logical inferences based upon one meaning to the other, hidden behind the use of the same word or label for those meanings.

IF premise 1 is not equivocating and does indeed claim that maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it is a bare assumption. Why must a maximally great being exist in some possible world?

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.

Why does this have to be the case? The only explanation I can find in that this is included in the definition of "maximally great being." Maximally great being itself is defined as an entity that exists in all possible worlds if it exists in some possible world. If we replace the MGB with god, we have the definition of god as this:

God: An entity that exists in all possible worlds if it exists in some possible world. The Ontological Argument defines god into existence. It defines god in a way such that god must exist. Of course this is BS.

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

Agreed.

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

Agreed.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

Disagree with premise 1 to 3, so disagree with the conclusion as well.

The sense of "possibility" at play here has to do with metaphysical/logical possibility/necessity. Thus your concerns with premise 1 seem misguided. Ultimately, the central question to whether the ontological argument succeeds or not is whether the concept of God is logically coherent or not.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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2/26/2013 1:24:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 12:29:56 PM, SovereignDream wrote:

The sense of "possibility" at play here has to do with metaphysical/logical possibility/necessity. Thus your concerns with premise 1 seem misguided. Ultimately, the central question to whether the ontological argument succeeds or not is whether the concept of God is logically coherent or not.

Okay, it is not equivocation.

How exactly would you define god and what attributes would you give to it?

Ultimately the argument boils down to defining god as something that MUST exist and goes onto prove that something that must exist does indeed exist.
KeytarHero
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2/26/2013 7:26:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 3:21:11 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

Depends on how you define possible. According to google, possible is defined as:

Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or something.

A person or thing that has the potential to become or do something.

Obviously this doesn't seem to be the definition of "possible" here. If it is, then the OA uses equivocation to take this definition of possible and apply it to premise 2.

Equivocation is a logical error where the multiple meanings of a word or label are exploited in an attempt to transfer logical inferences based upon one meaning to the other, hidden behind the use of the same word or label for those meanings.

IF premise 1 is not equivocating and does indeed claim that maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it is a bare assumption. Why must a maximally great being exist in some possible world?

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.

Why does this have to be the case? The only explanation I can find in that this is included in the definition of "maximally great being." Maximally great being itself is defined as an entity that exists in all possible worlds if it exists in some possible world. If we replace the MGB with god, we have the definition of god as this:

God: An entity that exists in all possible worlds if it exists in some possible world. The Ontological Argument defines god into existence. It defines god in a way such that god must exist. Of course this is BS.

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

Agreed.

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

Agreed.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

Disagree with premise 1 to 3, so disagree with the conclusion as well.

Actually, *you're* the one equivocating on premise 1 by trying to define "possible" in a way not intended in the argument. Premise 1 argues that God's existence is logically possible, then argues from the rules of modal logic to argue that since God's existence is possible, then we can see that he exists. The only way to disprove the existence of God is to prove his existence is logically incoherent.
Illegalcombatant
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2/26/2013 7:58:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
1) I dispute the logic that goes something like.........If X is possibly necessary therefore X is necessary.

2) What if we change MGB to MGP, Maximally Great Pizza. Using the same argument we get the conclusion therefore a maximally great pizza exists.

Objection 1) But pizza's are physical and therefore..........

Not necessarily, if you can have a metaphysically, maximally great being, why can't I have a metaphysically maximally great pizza ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
TSH
Posts: 260
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2/26/2013 7:59:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 5:21:49 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 2/26/2013 3:59:17 AM, TSH wrote:
Disclaimer: I am self-plagiarizing (lol) from http://www.debate.org....

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

I would prefer to use the following functionally equivalent premise instead: "Our understanding of God is a being than which no greater can be conceived."

Do you agree that in this case, God would be "maximally great" since no greater being can be conceived?

Now, given that our definitions of God are logically equivalent, it follows that substituting my version of the ontological argument, which arrives at the the same conclusion as your potentially incorrect one, is acceptable (if a single version of the ontological argument is correct, then the conclusion holds).

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. B serves as the definition for the word "greater." Finally, point C is the logical conclusion of A and B.

If any links between A,B,C are unclear, I can explain the logical connections.

Understanding of something implies that there is something to be understood. The concept of god is just that, a concept, one which you and every other theist created in your mind, so understanding is a meaningless concept here. All you're doing is defining god into existence by defining the word god as maximally great being. But here is a few questions.

Why is existence greater then non-existence?

How does the concept of a maximally great being entail the existence of a maximally great being?

And, if you haven't, you should look at Gaunilo's lost island refutation.

"All you're doing is defining god into existence by defining the word god as maximally great being"

NO. What I'm doing is defining God as a maximally great being and then PROVING that God exists.

How is the lost island argument a refutation? I believe that a lost island greater than all other islands does exist. In fact, I suspect that this lost island is a manifestation of God. (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

"Why is existence greater then non-existence?" I am greater than the contents of my imagination; I exist; therefore, existence is greater than non-existence.

"How does the concept of a maximally great being entail the existence of a maximally great being?"

As explained in the referenced debate:

The following have been established:
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.

Now, all that must be proven is point C: God exists.

First, bear in mind that "maximally great" is a meaningful, nonparodoxical phrase. A priori, there is no reason that a maximally great being cannot exist.

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
~tsh
TSH
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2/26/2013 8:01:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
*How is the lost island argument a refutation? I can see how a lost island greater than all other islands might exist. In fact, this lost island could be considered a manifestation of God. (http://en.wikipedia.org......).
~tsh
Illegalcombatant
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2/26/2013 8:12:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I want my maximally great pizza, and I want it now damm it.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Apeiron
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2/26/2013 8:43:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 3:21:11 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

Depends on how you define possible. According to google, possible is defined as:

Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or something.

A person or thing that has the potential to become or do something.

Obviously this doesn't seem to be the definition of "possible" here. If it is, then the OA uses equivocation to take this definition of possible and apply it to premise 2.

What a strawman that is based off an uncharitable understanding of "possible." First, I don't know why folks on here try to tackle philosophy armed with nothing but an online dictionary. The ONTOLOGICAL argument is a metaphysical one, and hence the word possible here is subjunctive possibility, that is, metaphysical or logical possibility.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

This is in terms of a modal type of logic. Where "Possible" means true in some non-actual or actual world. If P possibly implies Q, then we're saying that "If it were the case that P, then it might be the case that Q."

Whereas when we're talking about what's "necessary" we mean true in all possible worlds. If P necessarily implies Q then we're saying that, "If it were the case that P, then it would be the case that Q."

There's two types of necessity

1) Necessity de dicto (of word), which is like saying, "Necessarily, some X is such that it is A. " This is true or false in all possible worlds. Then there's;

2) Necessity de re (of thing), which is like saying that "some X is such that it is necessarily A" ... so here we're talking about the necessity of a thing"s possessing a property or having it essentially.

Equivocation is a logical error where the multiple meanings of a word or label are exploited in an attempt to transfer logical inferences based upon one meaning to the other, hidden behind the use of the same word or label for those meanings.

IF premise 1 is not equivocating and does indeed claim that maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it is a bare assumption. Why must a maximally great being exist in some possible world?

You're mischaracterizing the premise. It's proposing that an MGB exists in some possible world, it's not saying it MUST exist in some possible world. (Again, necessity). Rather this is using possible world semantics just to say what's possible.

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 exists is 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.

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.

Why does this have to be the case?

It cashes out from your conception of maximal greatness. The thought is, that once you intuitively 'see' what God is, then you can see how it's impossible for him NOT to exist.

If God is unlimited in some possible world, then God is greater than any other being in that world; otherwise God would be limited by not possessing a great making property possessed by something else. Hence it is true in that "some possible world" that God is greater than every other being. Since that "some possible world" is an arbitrarily selected possible world, it follows that it is true in every possible world that God is greater than every other being. Consequently, it is necessarily the case that God is greater than every other being.

The only explanation I can find in that this is included in the definition of "maximally great being." Maximally great being itself is defined as an entity that exists in all possible worlds if it exists in some possible world. If we replace the MGB with god, we have the definition of god as this:

God: An entity that exists in all possible worlds if it exists in some possible world. The Ontological Argument defines god into existence. It defines god in a way such that god must exist. Of course this is BS.

More mischaracterizations. The assumption that's inherent in your objection is that existence isn't a predicate, it's not a property by itself. And that's true, but it's true of contingent existence. Existence isn't a property, yes, but necessary existence is a property. The idea of a maximally great being in every possible world is intuitively coherent and so it follows that God"s existence is either possible or impossible, take your pick. Again, this conclusion is spread out over premises that follow in inferential order in accordance with the rules of logic. If one is possible, and 2 is possible, then three follows in this valid argument.


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

Agreed.

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

Agreed.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

Disagree with premise 1 to 3, so disagree with the conclusion as well.
Apeiron
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2/26/2013 8:51:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Think premise one as stating the implications of a very difficult math problem on a chalkboard. If it's beyond our ability to grasp, we may say that it's possible that the equation is true and it's possible that it is false. But we thereby merely confess our epistemic uncertainty concerning the equation's truth value. But the equation itself is either necessarily true or necessarily false. We just don't know which. But if it is true, it's necessarily true, and therefore it's not possible for it to be false. It"s the same case with God, if he exists then he does so necessarily, and so if he"s possible, it follows that he must exist
phantom
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2/26/2013 9:10:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 7:58:48 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
1) I dispute the logic that goes something like.........If X is possibly necessary therefore X is necessary.

2) What if we change MGB to MGP, Maximally Great Pizza. Using the same argument we get the conclusion therefore a maximally great pizza exists.

Objection 1) But pizza's are physical and therefore..........

Not necessarily, if you can have a metaphysically, maximally great being, why can't I have a metaphysically maximally great pizza ?

There's no such thing as a maximally great pizza. The term is incoherent and lacking in meaning.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Polaris
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2/26/2013 9:12:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The idea that we could conclude what exists from what is possible or conceivable should immediately smell like fishy logic.

Let's see if we can use the same argument form to come to an obviously false conclusion, by simply replacing "Maximally great" with "maximally horrible"

1. It is possible that a maximally horrible being exists.
2. If it is possible that a maximally horrible being exists, then a maximally horrible being exists in some possible world.
3. If a maximally horrible being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a maximally horrible being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a maximally horrible being exists in the actual world, then a maximally being exists.
6. Therefore, a maximally horrible being exists.

For giggles you could even replace "maximally great" with "maximally tasty" or "maximally smelly" without changing the argument form at all. The crux of the argument is that a "maximally ______" entity must exist in conception and in reality, as it wouldn't be "maximally _____" if it only existed in conception. Just another specious argument.
phantom
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2/26/2013 9:22:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 9:12:15 PM, Polaris wrote:
The idea that we could conclude what exists from what is possible or conceivable should immediately smell like fishy logic.

Let's see if we can use the same argument form to come to an obviously false conclusion, by simply replacing "Maximally great" with "maximally horrible"

1. It is possible that a maximally horrible being exists.
2. If it is possible that a maximally horrible being exists, then a maximally horrible being exists in some possible world.
3. If a maximally horrible being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a maximally horrible being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a maximally horrible being exists in the actual world, then a maximally being exists.
6. Therefore, a maximally horrible being exists.

For giggles you could even replace "maximally great" with "maximally tasty" or "maximally smelly" without changing the argument form at all. The crux of the argument is that a "maximally ______" entity must exist in conception and in reality, as it wouldn't be "maximally _____" if it only existed in conception. Just another specious argument.

*Sigh*
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
TSH
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2/26/2013 9:29:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 9:12:15 PM, Polaris wrote:
The idea that we could conclude what exists from what is possible or conceivable should immediately smell like fishy logic.

Let's see if we can use the same argument form to come to an obviously false conclusion, by simply replacing "Maximally great" with "maximally horrible"

1. It is possible that a maximally horrible being exists.
2. If it is possible that a maximally horrible being exists, then a maximally horrible being exists in some possible world.
3. If a maximally horrible being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a maximally horrible being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a maximally horrible being exists in the actual world, then a maximally being exists.
6. Therefore, a maximally horrible being exists.

For giggles you could even replace "maximally great" with "maximally tasty" or "maximally smelly" without changing the argument form at all. The crux of the argument is that a "maximally ______" entity must exist in conception and in reality, as it wouldn't be "maximally _____" if it only existed in conception. Just another specious argument.

"Let's see if we can use the same argument form to come to an obviously false conclusion, by simply replacing "Maximally great" with "maximally horrible""

That the devil exists is neither specious nor false...
~tsh
TSH
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2/26/2013 9:32:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"The idea that we could conclude what exists from what is possible or conceivable should immediately smell like fishy logic." - Polaris

It's the opposite; we are concluding what is possible/conceivable from what exists. This is not fishy...
~tsh
TSH
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2/26/2013 9:40:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 9:32:37 PM, TSH wrote:
"The idea that we could conclude what exists from what is possible or conceivable should immediately smell like fishy logic." - Polaris

It's the opposite; we are concluding what is possible/conceivable from what exists. This is not fishy...

That which doesn't exist is not possible/conceivable at the moment. It follows that what is conceivably a conceivable maximally great being will exist at that particular point in time, and furthermore, that this maximally great being is alive/exists.
~tsh
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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2/26/2013 9:46:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 7:26:40 PM, KeytarHero wrote:

Actually, *you're* the one equivocating on premise 1 by trying to define "possible" in a way not intended in the argument. Premise 1 argues that God's existence is logically possible, then argues from the rules of modal logic to argue that since God's existence is possible, then we can see that he exists. The only way to disprove the existence of God is to prove his existence is logically incoherent.

I am not equivocating. I presented two options of how the argument can define possible. If it is defining possible as used in the everyday sense, then it is equivocating. If it is defining possible as existing in a possible world, then it is not and the second premise flows from the first. However, the issue then is the first premise. There is no reason to believe that god exists in one possible world.

There is also an issue with the third premise: if god exists in one possible world, then it exists in every possible world. The premise is based off the assumption that god is a necessary being. So, it is defining god into existence by saying that it must fulfill this criteria.
Apeiron
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2/26/2013 9:49:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 9:12:15 PM, Polaris wrote:
The idea that we could conclude what exists from what is possible or conceivable should immediately smell like fishy logic.

Let's see if we can use the same argument form to come to an obviously false conclusion, by simply replacing "Maximally great" with "maximally horrible"

1. It is possible that a maximally horrible being exists.
2. If it is possible that a maximally horrible being exists, then a maximally horrible being exists in some possible world.
3. If a maximally horrible being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a maximally horrible being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a maximally horrible being exists in the actual world, then a maximally being exists.
6. Therefore, a maximally horrible being exists.

For giggles you could even replace "maximally great" with "maximally tasty" or "maximally smelly" without changing the argument form at all. The crux of the argument is that a "maximally ______" entity must exist in conception and in reality, as it wouldn't be "maximally _____" if it only existed in conception. Just another specious argument.

Nope, doesn't work, horrific or tasty isn't the same as great. The parallels fail because there is nothing about being horrific that causes one to think that it can be exemplified in all possible worlds. Greatness on the other hand, by definition, does- it's it's maximal. Refer to why above.
Apeiron
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2/26/2013 9:51:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 9:46:25 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 2/26/2013 7:26:40 PM, KeytarHero wrote:

Actually, *you're* the one equivocating on premise 1 by trying to define "possible" in a way not intended in the argument. Premise 1 argues that God's existence is logically possible, then argues from the rules of modal logic to argue that since God's existence is possible, then we can see that he exists. The only way to disprove the existence of God is to prove his existence is logically incoherent.

I am not equivocating. I presented two options of how the argument can define possible. If it is defining possible as used in the everyday sense, then it is equivocating. If it is defining possible as existing in a possible world, then it is not and the second premise flows from the first. However, the issue then is the first premise. There is no reason to believe that god exists in one possible world.

There is also an issue with the third premise: if god exists in one possible world, then it exists in every possible world. The premise is based off the assumption that god is a necessary being. So, it is defining god into existence by saying that it must fulfill this criteria.

This was answered by my posts. Your notion of equivocation is based off of a hokey understanding of possible world semantics.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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2/26/2013 9:53:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 8:43:15 PM, Apeiron wrote:

This is in terms of a modal type of logic. Where "Possible" means true in some non-actual or actual world.

And why is there a reason to believe that god exists in a possible world? There is no reason to assume that god is logically coherent.

It cashes out from your conception of maximal greatness. The thought is, that once you intuitively 'see' what God is, then you can see how it's impossible for him NOT to exist.

If God is unlimited in some possible world, then God is greater than any other being in that world; otherwise God would be limited by not possessing a great making property possessed by something else. Hence it is true in that "some possible world" that God is greater than every other being. Since that "some possible world" is an arbitrarily selected possible world, it follows that it is true in every possible world that God is greater than every other being. Consequently, it is necessarily the case that God is greater than every other being.

So, you are simply defining god in a way that he should be logically necessary. This is what I call defining god into existence.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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2/26/2013 9:54:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 8:51:09 PM, Apeiron wrote:
if he exists then he does so necessarily, and so if he"s possible, it follows that he must exist

This proves my point exactly.
Apeiron
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2/26/2013 9:56:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 9:54:31 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 2/26/2013 8:51:09 PM, Apeiron wrote:
if he exists then he does so necessarily, and so if he"s possible, it follows that he must exist

This proves my point exactly.

Yeah that's the whole argument in a nutshell. If you want to make your "point" you've got to deal with the validity of the argument. But your point doesn't go through since it all follows in inferential order.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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2/26/2013 9:57:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 9:51:29 PM, Apeiron wrote:

This was answered by my posts. Your notion of equivocation is based off of a hokey understanding of possible world semantics.

I have explained why even if granting that the argument isn't equivocating, it still defines god as necessary and so defines it into existence through word play.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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2/26/2013 10:00:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 9:56:34 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 2/26/2013 9:54:31 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 2/26/2013 8:51:09 PM, Apeiron wrote:
if he exists then he does so necessarily, and so if he"s possible, it follows that he must exist

This proves my point exactly.

Yeah that's the whole argument in a nutshell. If you want to make your "point" you've got to deal with the validity of the argument. But your point doesn't go through since it all follows in inferential order.

You don't seem to be getting it. Let's try it with an example. I'll define a pig with wings as a necessary being such that if it exists in one possible world, it must exist in all possible worlds. Then we can use the ontological argument to prove that it exists.
Apeiron
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2/26/2013 10:05:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 9:53:33 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 2/26/2013 8:43:15 PM, Apeiron wrote:

This is in terms of a modal type of logic. Where "Possible" means true in some non-actual or actual world.

And why is there a reason to believe that [G]od exists in a possible world? There is no reason to assume that [G]od is logically coherent.

Things are prima facie coherent until proven otherwise by either thought experiments or whatever. And, a priori, 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 at least there exists a prima facie warrant for premise one. For a maximally great being seems intuitively coherent and therefore possibly instantiated

Nevertheless we can still give a posteriori reasons for thinking God IS in fact a coherent notion. If we carefully ponder 1 and objections the to it and if we consider its connections with other propositions we accept or reject and we still find it compelling, then we"re within our rational right to accept 1. So even if we cannot come to a priori warrant, we"re rational in accepting 1 by a posteriori warrant from arguments like the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument, which demonstrates a metaphysically necessary being who grounds contingent things,

Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

1) Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause
2) If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God
3) The universe exists
4) Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1, 3)
5) Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God (from 2, 4)

Warrant for Premise One
One is a modest version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR): Anything that happens does so for a reason. One merely requires any existing thing to have an explanation, which is compatible with their being brute facts about the world. Think of a translucent ball in the forest, that ball would require an explanation, now imagine that same ball the size of the universe, the universe is no exception to explanation, you cannot just dismiss the universe needed an explanation like a taxi cab.

Warrant for Premise Two
Two is the logical equivalent to what atheists often affirm, that if atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence. For the transcendent cause must be immaterial, and there are two things which fit such a description: abstract objects or Minds. But abstract objects don"t stand in causal relations, they don't fit our criteria for existence, hence the cause of the universe must be an ultra-mundane mind. The universe clearly exists, so therefore it follows logically that the universe has an explanation, that explanation being God.

So there you have it, in a priori it's prima facie justified (just like math) and a posteriori justified by a cosmological argument that proves God as a metaphysically necessary being that grounds reality.


It cashes out from your conception of maximal greatness. The thought is, that once you intuitively 'see' what God is, then you can see how it's impossible for him NOT to exist.

If God is unlimited in some possible world, then God is greater than any other being in that world; otherwise God would be limited by not possessing a great making property possessed by something else. Hence it is true in that "some possible world" that God is greater than every other being. Since that "some possible world" is an arbitrarily selected possible world, it follows that it is true in every possible world that God is greater than every other being. Consequently, it is necessarily the case that God is greater than every other being.

So, you are simply defining [G]od in a way that he should be logically necessary. This is what I call defining [G]od into existence.

And that "defining God into existence" objection was answered a couple posts up. God is by definition a maximally great being, just like the number 5 is by definition odd. Take the oddness away and you no longer have 5. Same with God, take away his maximal greatness and we're no longer talking about God now are we? For suppose God exists and we discover that a maximally great being exists, wouldn't we think the first "god" was an imposter?