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ontological argument 2nd premise

critical_mind
Posts: 12
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3/2/2013 9:38:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
it goes as follow
"If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exist in some possible world"
if a maximal great being exist in some possible world then he must not exist in other
therefore not maximally great
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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3/2/2013 9:41:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2013 9:38:35 AM, critical_mind wrote:
it goes as follow
"If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exist in some possible world"
if a maximal great being exist in some possible world then he must not exist in other
therefore not maximally great

This premise is actually a tautology. It's just translating the ordinary statement, "It is possible a maximally great being exists," into possible world semantics. Saying "A maximally great being exists in some possible world" means exactly the same thing as, "It's possible that a maximally great being exists." So this statement is true by definition.

It does not follow that if a MGB exists in some possible world that it must not exist in another.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Nur-Ab-Sal
Posts: 1,637
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3/2/2013 11:23:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Like philochristos said, this premise is just a tautological restatement of premise 1. The possibility of some proposition being true is, in possible world semantics, that proposition being true in some possible world.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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3/2/2013 11:59:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2013 11:41:40 AM, KingDebater wrote:
But if it is possible (not certain), doesn't that mean that there's a possible world where the maximally great being doesn't exist?

No. "Possible," in modal logic, does not mean "maybe," or "uncertain." It just means "not impossible."
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Apeiron
Posts: 2,446
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3/2/2013 12:16:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2013 9:38:35 AM, critical_mind wrote:
it goes as follow
"If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exist in some possible world"
if a maximal great being exist in some possible world then he must not exist in other
therefore not maximally great

How in the world does your objection follow? What is it about maximal greatness that constrains maximal greatness to just one possible arbitrarily picked world from that of another?
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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3/2/2013 4:39:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2013 11:41:40 AM, KingDebater wrote:
But if it is possible (not certain), doesn't that mean that there's a possible world where the maximally great being doesn't exist?

Yeah I think along these lines, X is possible = X may or may not be

Sometimes to get around this the argument is that X is possibly necessary = Therefore X exists.

This is based on some axoim that goes If X is possibly necessary then X is necessary

I don't buy 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
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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3/2/2013 4:54:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2013 12:28:20 PM, KingDebater wrote:
So Philochristos, does 'possible' in modal logic mean 'certain'?

No. The arguments makes use of "possibility" in the metaphysical sense, not in the epistemic sense.
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DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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3/2/2013 8:06:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2013 9:38:35 AM, critical_mind wrote:
it goes as follow
"If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exist in some possible world"
if a maximal great being exist in some possible world then he must not exist in other
therefore not maximally great

You should take some time to learn the jargon of modal logic before raising objections to any such argument. The premise (as previously stated by my fellow members) basically says "If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then it is possible that a maximally great being exists".
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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3/5/2013 10:08:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2013 9:38:35 AM, critical_mind wrote:
it goes as follow
"If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exist in some possible world"
if a maximal great being exist in some possible world then he must not exist in other
therefore not maximally great

Impossible: Exists in no possible world.
Necessary: Exists in every possible world.
Possible: Exists in at least one possible world.

Thus, if something is necessary, it is also possible.

What you're thinking, I believe, is that "possible" would be defined as "neither necessary nor impossible," which is to say it means "exists in more than zero worlds but less than all worlds." If it were defined that way, then something couldn't be both necessary and possible.

But it's not defined that way.

So you want to start off your argument with,
P1: It is possible that god does not exist.
That has these advantages:
- it is true;
- it is true even if god is impossible, even if god exists in no possible world;
- it parallels their P1, challenging their justification of their P1;
- it leads inevitably (if we either use S5 or define god as one who exists in all worlds if he exists in any) to the conclusion that god does not exist.

This way, when they attack your logic, they'll be attacking their own logic, since your argument is built on their logic. If they succeed in dismantling your case, they'll have also destroyed their own.