Total Posts:5|Showing Posts:1-5
Jump to topic:

RFD for Anselm Ontological Argument Debate

Danielle
Posts: 21,330
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/6/2016 3:50:52 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
I wasn't sure where to post this, but it's my RFD for this debate:

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

Anselm's Ontological Argument for God is Sound.

I voted for CON.

Since Pro is the one making an assertive, positive claim, he has the BOP.

Round 1 was used by Pro to state Anselm's argument. Con responds that we have no reason to accept the first premise of Anselm's argument - the definition/quality of God that states "God is a being than which none greater can be imagined." Con says that we have not/cannot experience this phenomenon, and therefore do not know it to be true or applicable to God.

In response, Pro says that science in the realm of our existence does make it impossible to know this about God. He writes, "Anything less than the 'that which no greater thing can be thought' is not God. Even our own concept of God is not God, He or She is beyond all of us." Yet this does not address Con's argument at all; Con is challenging the legitimacy of this supposition.

Pro then accuses Con of a fallacious red herring which is not the case. Indeed Con is challenging the first premise of the argument which is perfectly relevant. Con states that observational evidence is required for a valid definition (Pro must refute this). Con repeats that the definition of God given by Anselm cannot be supported by evidence.

Pro does refute Con's claim by responding that not all knowledge is based on observable facts. He argues that if we have reason to accept something, then even if it has not been observed, we can still have knowledge i.e. justified true belief. Pro presented some examples such as the assumption that other minds exist; beliefs about animal sentience; etc. In the next round, Con responds to each of these examples and explains how some type of observation was directly linked to all of those examples that we presume to "know."

In Round 4, Pro again accuses Con of a red herring in trying to turn this debate into a discussion over empiricism. And yet that is not true -- empiricism is directly linked to this debate. After all the empiricist David Hume argued that nothing can be proven to exist using only a priori reasoning which is what Con is saying.

Pro then uses R4 to provide some (irrelevant and quite distracting) conversation on naturalism, etc. Yet he comes back to the same conclusion: "I don't feel like repeating myself since my opponent cannot grasp the idea of 'that which no greater thing can be conceived' is God and must exist." This is a fallacious bare assertion which Con keeps pointing out. Con mentioned that Pro must prove (it is his burden) that we should accept this definition of God, yet Pro simply keeps repeating this statement as if we MUST accept it (by his own words, we must). This is a bad strategy, but Pro wraps up R4 by repeating sensory data is not required for knowledge, which is what this debate has ultimately come down to.

In his round 4 response, Con attacks empiricism which he explained is inextricable from this debate. Con presented 5 critiques in response to Pro's examples, arguing that the senses are not infallible; that we cannot prove anything that exists outside of our mind; etc. Con repeats that Pro's definition of God is based on an arbitrary definition that might not be possible and that we have no reason to accept as possible, which discredits the soundness of Anselm's entire argument.

Con goes on to respond to Pro's criticisms of science and naturalism. He points out that Pro uses the concept of casualty to discredit casualty which is ironic. Yet I disagree with Con's defense of evolution here, saying that "all scientists accept evolution" as if that somehow negates Pro's point. It does not. Pro was correct in pointing out that the scientific method is not infallible and Con's appeal to authority (the majority but not ALL of the science community agree on evolution anyhow) is not relevant.

At the beginning of Round 5, we can see where Pro's head is at: "Nothing is infallible, but Anselm's ontological argument for God is, since it is the greatest thing ever thought." Again this is just a bare assertion. Pro writes, " To the first point, what doesn't make sense about the greatest thing ever though? Please explain how that doesn't lead to a perfect God." This ignores all of Con's reasoning throughout the entire debate. Con's objection to Anselm's first premise has been that it is not a conceptual truth that God is a being than which none greater can be conceived, because that definition is not based on any observed facts. Therefore Pro must prove why that description of God must be accepted, despite not being based on observable facts.

Pro writes, "No one knows for sure if what their senses are telling them is true, even if everyone agrees with the person stating the fact." Again Con repeats that it would be "absurd" to doubt the scientific method which most people agree on, which I don't think is true. Pro has done a sufficient job explaining how our senses and the scientific method aren't perfect. If Con had to defend that notion, he definitely would have lost the debate. However it's not his burden in this debate. As he pointed out, this debate isn't on the scientific method, evolution, etc. Rather it is Pro's burden in this debate to prove why Con's empiricist criticism is invalid or at least inferior.

But Pro used the last round to go on a tangent about rationality. He says, "Rejecting rationality puts you in the 'la-la land' of philosophy, because you can't make sense of facts without rationality." Yet Con is the one arguing for the necessity of factual evidence, and 2 paragraphs above this quote, Pro says "Facts don't undoubtably prove EVERYTHING." Once again he seemingly contradicts himself and the methods he uses to derive knowledge.

Con explains in R5, "Empiricism doesn't deny that reason is necessary to make sense of evidence, it just says that our reasoning always has to be based on evidence at bottom."

Conclusion

Con's criticism of Anselm's argument comes from challenging the first premise and the definition of God as being the greatest conceivable being. Pro insists that we "must" simply accept this definition of God. Con argues that (via science and possibly logic) we have no reason to accept this. Yet while Pro does argue why science and logic are not perfect, he doesn't prove with conviction why his standard is #1 any better or #2 proving the ultimate supreme greatness of God in the first place. He repeats that it's logical to conclude this definition simply because we can conceive it, yet doesn't explain why. Con argues that not everything conceivable is possible or valid by definition. Rather than attack empiricism as being flawed, Pro should have shown why his a priori reasoning was satisfactory to validate Anselm's description of God. However he was frustrated and kept insisting that this was automatically true which it is not; indeed it was the meat and potatoes of this debate. Pro did not fulfulled his burden in proving why a priori knowledge was sufficient in making presumptions about God that cannot be tested or observed.
President of DDO
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,863
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/6/2016 8:33:39 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/6/2016 3:50:52 PM, Danielle wrote:
I wasn't sure where to post this, but it's my RFD for this debate:

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

Anselm's Ontological Argument for God is Sound.

I voted for CON.

Since Pro is the one making an assertive, positive claim, he has the BOP.

Round 1 was used by Pro to state Anselm's argument. Con responds that we have no reason to accept the first premise of Anselm's argument - the definition/quality of God that states "God is a being than which none greater can be imagined." Con says that we have not/cannot experience this phenomenon, and therefore do not know it to be true or applicable to God.

In response, Pro says that science in the realm of our existence does make it impossible to know this about God. He writes, "Anything less than the 'that which no greater thing can be thought' is not God. Even our own concept of God is not God, He or She is beyond all of us." Yet this does not address Con's argument at all; Con is challenging the legitimacy of this supposition.

Pro then accuses Con of a fallacious red herring which is not the case. Indeed Con is challenging the first premise of the argument which is perfectly relevant. Con states that observational evidence is required for a valid definition (Pro must refute this). Con repeats that the definition of God given by Anselm cannot be supported by evidence.

Pro does refute Con's claim by responding that not all knowledge is based on observable facts. He argues that if we have reason to accept something, then even if it has not been observed, we can still have knowledge i.e. justified true belief. Pro presented some examples such as the assumption that other minds exist; beliefs about animal sentience; etc. In the next round, Con responds to each of these examples and explains how some type of observation was directly linked to all of those examples that we presume to "know."

In Round 4, Pro again accuses Con of a red herring in trying to turn this debate into a discussion over empiricism. And yet that is not true -- empiricism is directly linked to this debate. After all the empiricist David Hume argued that nothing can be proven to exist using only a priori reasoning which is what Con is saying.

Pro then uses R4 to provide some (irrelevant and quite distracting) conversation on naturalism, etc. Yet he comes back to the same conclusion: "I don't feel like repeating myself since my opponent cannot grasp the idea of 'that which no greater thing can be conceived' is God and must exist." This is a fallacious bare assertion which Con keeps pointing out. Con mentioned that Pro must prove (it is his burden) that we should accept this definition of God, yet Pro simply keeps repeating this statement as if we MUST accept it (by his own words, we must). This is a bad strategy, but Pro wraps up R4 by repeating sensory data is not required for knowledge, which is what this debate has ultimately come down to.

In his round 4 response, Con attacks empiricism which he explained is inextricable from this debate. Con presented 5 critiques in response to Pro's examples, arguing that the senses are not infallible; that we cannot prove anything that exists outside of our mind; etc. Con repeats that Pro's definition of God is based on an arbitrary definition that might not be possible and that we have no reason to accept as possible, which discredits the soundness of Anselm's entire argument.

Con goes on to respond to Pro's criticisms of science and naturalism. He points out that Pro uses the concept of casualty to discredit casualty which is ironic. Yet I disagree with Con's defense of evolution here, saying that "all scientists accept evolution" as if that somehow negates Pro's point. It does not. Pro was correct in pointing out that the scientific method is not infallible and Con's appeal to authority (the majority but not ALL of the science community agree on evolution anyhow) is not relevant.

At the beginning of Round 5, we can see where Pro's head is at: "Nothing is infallible, but Anselm's ontological argument for God is, since it is the greatest thing ever thought." Again this is just a bare assertion. Pro writes, " To the first point, what doesn't make sense about the greatest thing ever though? Please explain how that doesn't lead to a perfect God." This ignores all of Con's reasoning throughout the entire debate. Con's objection to Anselm's first premise has been that it is not a conceptual truth that God is a being than which none greater can be conceived, because that definition is not based on any observed facts. Therefore Pro must prove why that description of God must be accepted, despite not being based on observable facts.

Pro writes, "No one knows for sure if what their senses are telling them is true, even if everyone agrees with the person stating the fact." Again Con repeats that it would be "absurd" to doubt the scientific method which most people agree on, which I don't think is true. Pro has done a sufficient job explaining how our senses and the scientific method aren't perfect. If Con had to defend that notion, he definitely would have lost the debate. However it's not his burden in this debate. As he pointed out, this debate isn't on the scientific method, evolution, etc. Rather it is Pro's burden in this debate to prove why Con's empiricist criticism is invalid or at least inferior.

But Pro used the last round to go on a tangent about rationality. He says, "Rejecting rationality puts you in the 'la-la land' of philosophy, because you can't make sense of facts without rationality." Yet Con is the one arguing for the necessity of factual evidence, and 2 paragraphs above this quote, Pro says "Facts don't undoubtably prove EVERYTHING." Once again he seemingly contradicts himself and the methods he uses to derive knowledge.

Con explains in R5, "Empiricism doesn't deny that reason is necessary to make sense of evidence, it just says that our reasoning always has to be based on evidence at bottom."

Conclusion

Con's criticism of Anselm's argument comes from challenging the first premise and the definition of God as being the greatest conceivable being. Pro insists that we "must" simply accept this definition of God. Con argues that (via science and possibly logic) we have no reason to accept this. Yet while Pro does argue why science and logic are not perfect, he doesn't prove with conviction why his standard is #1 any better or #2 proving the ultimate supreme greatness of God in the first place. He repeats that it's logical to conclude this definition simply because we can conceive it, yet doesn't explain why. Con argues that not everything conceivable is possible or valid by definition. Rather than attack empiricism as being flawed, Pro should have shown why his a priori reasoning was satisfactory to validate Anselm's description of God. However he was frustrated and kept insisting that this was automatically true which it is not; indeed it was the meat and potatoes of this debate. Pro did not fulfulled his burden in proving why a priori knowledge was sufficient in making presumptions about God that cannot be tested or observed.
So give an example of a being greater than God if you agree that there is a greater being that can be conceived. After all, that seems to be what you think is cons argument. Where is your idea of a greater being than that which we call God and then show what additional attributes your conceived of being has that makes it a being greater than God. Anyone who denies that humanity thinks of God as a being in which nothing greater can be conceived is either in a coma or is living in a jungle and currently part of a troop of monkeys.
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/7/2016 1:10:58 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/6/2016 3:50:52 PM, Danielle wrote:
I wasn't sure where to post this, but it's my RFD for this debate:

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

Anselm's Ontological Argument for God is Sound.

I voted for CON.

Since Pro is the one making an assertive, positive claim, he has the BOP.

Round 1 was used by Pro to state Anselm's argument. Con responds that we have no reason to accept the first premise of Anselm's argument - the definition/quality of God that states "God is a being than which none greater can be imagined." Con says that we have not/cannot experience this phenomenon, and therefore do not know it to be true or applicable to God.

In response, Pro says that science in the realm of our existence does make it impossible to know this about God. He writes, "Anything less than the 'that which no greater thing can be thought' is not God. Even our own concept of God is not God, He or She is beyond all of us." Yet this does not address Con's argument at all; Con is challenging the legitimacy of this supposition.

Pro then accuses Con of a fallacious red herring which is not the case. Indeed Con is challenging the first premise of the argument which is perfectly relevant. Con states that observational evidence is required for a valid definition (Pro must refute this). Con repeats that the definition of God given by Anselm cannot be supported by evidence.

Pro does refute Con's claim by responding that not all knowledge is based on observable facts. He argues that if we have reason to accept something, then even if it has not been observed, we can still have knowledge i.e. justified true belief. Pro presented some examples such as the assumption that other minds exist; beliefs about animal sentience; etc. In the next round, Con responds to each of these examples and explains how some type of observation was directly linked to all of those examples that we presume to "know."

In Round 4, Pro again accuses Con of a red herring in trying to turn this debate into a discussion over empiricism. And yet that is not true -- empiricism is directly linked to this debate. After all the empiricist David Hume argued that nothing can be proven to exist using only a priori reasoning which is what Con is saying.

Pro then uses R4 to provide some (irrelevant and quite distracting) conversation on naturalism, etc. Yet he comes back to the same conclusion: "I don't feel like repeating myself sin

You make good points.
Meh!
Ockham
Posts: 19
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/7/2016 1:27:50 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
Pro writes, "No one knows for sure if what their senses are telling them is true, even if everyone agrees with the person stating the fact." Again Con repeats that it would be "absurd" to doubt the scientific method which most people agree on, which I don't think is true. Pro has done a sufficient job explaining how our senses and the scientific method aren't perfect. If Con had to defend that notion, he definitely would have lost the debate. However it's not his burden in this debate. As he pointed out, this debate isn't on the scientific method, evolution, etc. Rather it is Pro's burden in this debate to prove why Con's empiricist criticism is invalid or at least inferior.

You're the judge, so I accept your decision. However, did you consider the following point, which I made in Round 3?

"Fourth, my opponent argues that we can't know by observation that the scientific method yields truth. This is false, however, since the scientific method is defensible by means of self evident philosophical principles like the law of causality. Moreover, the scientific method has had overwhelming practical success, which serves as a strong reason to think that it is a valid epistemology."

I think the problem could have been either that I didn't elaborate on this point enough, or that I didn't put enough emphasis on it in the subsequent rounds. Either of those factors could have been a good reason not to consider it in judging the debate.
Maryland_Kid
Posts: 32
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/16/2016 8:43:56 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
You guys completely ignored the fact that I was saying that those things were not ENTIRELY outside the realm of possiblity. We accept these things to be true based on rationality, along with empiricism. Empiricism is just facts. You also ignored that I gave the example of the person who is a good friend of yours who is sentient and good, but not the greatest thing ever thought. Empiricism is just facts and nothing else.
The defender of Christianity, Calvinism, Creationism, and Conservative politics.