The Instigator
Pro (for)
21 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

This House Believes Ontology Necessitates God!

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Started: 9/1/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,590 times Debate No: 61111
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (70)
Votes (3)




Shalom Aleichem!


The Judges are: Subutai, Envisage, n7, popculturepooka, phantom, Danielle, Raisor, Sargon, and bladerunner060.

Spelling and grammar, unless out right horrid, will not count in voting.

The idea of this debate started with me contacting Roy for a debate. Given a list of topics he believed that the best topic to discuss is the Ontological Argument. I believe I should mention the Spirit of the Motion is whether the study of Being, with relation to the studies of Ideas can make God a necessary conception.

There are some rules which both parties must accept:

1. The first round for my opponent is acceptance only, and to share any pleasantries. He accepts the definitions, and rules set herein.

2. The onus rests on the Proposition who must show that there is a logically sound Ontological Argument.

3. The order of the debate is such that the maximum limit is 10, 000 characters, there will be 48 hours given to post an argument, and only Judges may vote.

4. Any and all sources must be linked, and a referencing number should be provided in the argument. Sources must be easily available, and paginations must be cited.

5. All the respective definitions may be taken from the Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy or any other well reputed text such as A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume, or A Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant. These definitions of course can be debated.

Here are some of the fundamental definitions:

1. God: God is a transcendental entity, who escapes the boundaries of human cognition, and holds the answer to key metaphysical concepts. God here is a Being who is different than Nature or the Universe, and it would not do that I universalize God. It should be clear that He is a separate entity/being/phenomenon which exists independent of any physical element.

2. Ontology: Ontology is the study of Being where one tries to prove phenomenon from a completely rational perspective, starting out with nothing but the conceptualization of a Being.

3. Necessitates: Makes necessary, when I talk about necessitating God I make it clear that the argument must prove that God exists.

I wish the best of luck to my opponent!

Faithfully Yours,


Thanks Ajabi, I look forward to a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Double_R for accepting, I forgive him for accepting this debate before time. With that let us begin, I should note that I use some technical language, while I will define everything, I will link sources only for extra knowledge or better understanding. They are in no way necessary, and are allowed by round five.

Now to start off I would like to explain that there are three modes of existence. We will use the process of elimination in this debate to reach the logical conclusion that God exists. The first mode is of existence in reality, that is the existence of an Object in itself, so real. The second is the one most important for us, it is the mode of existence in cognition. This mode has two divisions an a priori existence, and an a posteriori existence. Since the first warrants naught but truth let us discuss only the second. For atheists it is the second that holds all the keys. Of the a posteriori second mode there are two divisions: a pure empirical idea which we define as such an idea that is gained due to sensations, or sense experience, or an impure empirical idea which is a false idea which is born from the faculty of Imagination, and is therefore an untrue idea. For any atheist all our ideas regarding God are related to the a posteriori impure cognitive idea. The third mode is in communication, and therefore that of proposition but we need not discuss it.

We should specify what we mean by an idea. Immanuel Kant defines an idea as: 'the species of representation which gives rise to metaphysical beliefs. Ideas are special concepts which arise out of our knowledge.'[1] If this is yet unclear then let us mention Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy's definition: 'In philosophy, ideas are usually construed as mental representational images of some object.' It is then clear that ideas are representations of Objects. When we say an idea is true then we mean that the object that is represented exists as a real object, when we say an idea be false it means that the representation is illusory and the object is not real.

We break these ideas into simple and complex ideas. Simple ideas are those ideas which are irreducible and are therefore not distinguishable into parts using sensations. Complex ideas are those which may be distinguished into parts, through the method of sensations. So the idea of an apple is complex for an apple has a color, a taste, a scent and is therefore made of many distinguishable parts.[2] Any idea of Imagination is a complex idea for what else is imagination but a machine which takes in many ideas, changes its form and presents a new idea.[3] As Hume tells us Imagination cannot yield a simple idea for no matter how you twist and turn a simple idea you will get the same result.

My proof then will rely on the process of elimination keeping in our modality of existence. I will attempt to show that the idea of God could not have come as an impure a posteriori idea, nor is it an idea of sense experience, and so, seeing no other form of existence, or any other faculty of the mind, I conclude that the idea of God is not false. I will use the law of the extended middle (third law of thought) that I will show the negation to be absurd and therefore prove God's existence. By showing that the idea of God could not have existed any other way.

I should have liked to write out the argument in formal logic, but is not kind to such things and replaces everything with I will only post it in a valid premise-conclusion format:

1. The idea of God exists in cognition, independent of experience.
2. If an idea of cognition which exists independent of experience exists, it is either false or necessarily true.
3. If an idea of cognition which exists independent of experience is false then it is imaginative.
4, The idea of God cannot be imagined.
5. Ergo: the idea of God is necessarily true.

I shall now go on to defend each individual premise.

Defense of Premise 1:
> I believe this is fairly obvious, we know we have an idea of God, for how else would the word God have any meaning for us? As for this belief not to be purely empirical that we can say simply because we cannot feel God. Ex ve termini God is transcendent of time, space, and number, and since the sensation depends on these three, it follows we cannot feel God. This premise means there has been no impression of God.
> If it is said that the idea of God has been given to one by parents, family members, or books then an easy rebuttal could ask the question of where the first person came up with the idea of God. The only answer an atheist can give is that the idea of God was imagined, on this we shall give our thoughts soon.

Defense of Premise 2:
> This needs no proof other than that I quote the Third Law of Thought. The Law of the Extended Middle states that if I can disprove the negation, then the above my conclusion is correct. I should note while I express this in propositions, the argument itself is Ontological, insofar as it deals with the nature of ideas.
> In any case what third option could there be? Either an idea is true and the object it refers to is real, or the idea is false, and the object it refers to does not exist. Please do not mistake ideas for being propositions.

Defense of Premise 3:
> I say this confident that the mind has no other faculty which would yield false ideas. The ideas of sensations are true, and in any case we have currently ruled out. The faculty of reason provides but correct ideas, so the only faculty that can yield false ideas is the faculty of imagination. If my opponent knows of any other faculty, then let him so mention it.

Defense of Premise 4:
> We must remember that Imagination can only yield complex ideas, we know this for the imagination takes simple ideas from sensations and combines them. Since it is sensation that allows combination, the reversal, or distinction is also through sensation.
> My first argument is that the idea of God is a simple idea. Remember we are talking about the being of God. Can you divide the idea of God into any sensation? Can you tell me the tast of God? Or (remember we are talking only about the idea of the Being of God) the color? One cannot because the idea of God is a simple idea. And we can see ex vi termini that imagination cannot come up with simple ideas, and thereofore just as two elements however mixed together cannot create but a compound, imagination cannot create the idea of the Being of God. We have therefore proved our premise. The idea of God could not be an imagined idea.
> The other proof regarding our premise is this that the idea of God is an a priori construct. Which mean that God is above space, time and number. We attribute to God atemporality, aspaciality and hence call Him omnipotent and omniscient. All our sense ideas are a posteriori ideas. No a posteriori idea can be combined in any form to create an a priori idea. For an a posteriori idea can be combined only to form similar ideas. The idea of state, and the idea of perfection can be combined to form the idea of a perfect state. We cannot however do that with a priori ideas such as God. There is another proof of this statement. We can imagine a perfect state, but even now if we consider or try to look at the finer points in the idea of God we cannot. The idea of God is hidden and no amount of thinking upon it reveals anything such as color or taste as an idea of the perfect state would. While we can imagine the idea of a perfect state, we cannot pretend to imagine the idea of God or God in our minds, other than attributing to him an a poteriori form (Morgan Freeman). We then need to realize that we cannot think of God as an a priori substance. The simple reason is because God transcends the human faculty of reason, and can therefore not be thought off.

It is here that I now boldly claim that I have indeed shown that Ontology necessitates God's existence. Remember it is not that Ontology is unconcerned with physicality, so Physics has been called the Ontology of the Universe. So long as I do not appeal to any experience to prove God i.e. I have felt God and so God exists this proof is Ontological. I once more note that all the terms are sufficiently defined in this passage. If however one wants advanced reading, a better knowledge then I suggest reading through the first 6 pages of the Treatise, and the Introduction of the Critique. I have also linked a longer essay that I sent to Prof. Peter J. King if anyone wants extra knowledge, and a deeper explanation of the argument. The terms are there explained in a lengthier way and the modalities of existence are explained better. (

[1]Critique of Pure Reason, Transcendental Logic
[2]A Treatise of Human Nature, Of Ideas, Their Composition, Connexion, and Abstraction
[3]Ibidium, Section 3, Of the Ideas of the Memory and Imagination

I wrote this in a bit of a hurry, having just gotten home from school.

Faithfully Yours,


The Resolution is a Non-Starter

The resolution states that Ontology necessitates God, which is a fancy way of saying that by simply using your mind to ponder the question, one can reach a justified conclusion that God exists. This immediately forces us to question what counts as being justified. Fortunately, that question has already been answered.

In any debate or formulized setting where one is expected to convince others of the truth of a proposition, the golden standard to achieve this goal is the use of sound argumentation. A sound argument is one with two necessary characteristics: 1) The premises are true, and 2) The premises lead to the conclusion.

For a premises to be true it must be consistent with reality. This is where the notion of using thought alone to discover truth falls apart, for the very attempt leaves Pro with a dilemma; To use thought alone is to not use known reality as a basis. However, a premise not based in reality cannot be accepted as true given the definition. On the other hand, a premise based in reality does not meet Pros definition of an ontological argument since it requires nothing more than a conceptualization as the starting point. Therefore, Ontology by Pros definition cannot be sound, and thus cannot be used as justification to prove the existence of God.

Of course despite all of this, Pro has laid out his arguments for why he disagrees. My job in this debate is to negate his arguments. The above was simply given as a basis to explain my viewpoint, which may come into play later in the round and throughout debate.

Pros Syllogism

Pro sums up his argument with a syllogism that he believes, leads us to the conclusion that God necessarily exists. I laid it out below for easy reference:

1. The idea of God exists in cognition, independent of experience.
2. If an idea of cognition which exists independent of experience exists, it is either false or necessarily true.
3. If an idea of cognition which exists independent of experience is false then it is imaginative.
4, The idea of God cannot be imagined.
5. Ergo: the idea of God is necessarily true.

The biggest flaw in this syllogism is going from point 4 to point 5. I don't know how Pro finds this justifiable, however just by reading the points and looking back at his argument the problem seems apparent; Pro is misusing the word "imagined" to be synonymous with "false". Therefore his syllogism is simply stating "the idea of God cannot be [false], Ergo: the idea of God is necessarily true". This of course would be a true statement, however the statement "God cannot be false" is what Ontology is supposed to be proving thus it cannot be a premise.

To further support my assessment let's simply look at the premises. In point 3 Pro states that a false idea independent of experience is imaginative. Here, he is creating a necessary link between the terms "false" and "imaginative" simply by calling it that. Next he states that God cannot be imagined. That alone does not confirm how he meant the word imaginary, but his conclusion then states that God is necessarily true. That conclusion only follows if being imagined = being false. This is a classic fallacy of equivocation.

The idea of God exists in cognition, independent of experience - The idea of God cannot be imagined.

I find that Pros premises one and four demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of what the concept of God is. In Pros defense of premise one he expands: "God is transcendent of time, space, and number, and since the sensation depends on these three, it follows we cannot feel God. This premise means there has been no impression of God".

The problem however is that every possible understanding we have of God comes directly from our experiences. We would not be able to understand what it is to transcend time, space, or numbers, if we did not already experience time, space, and numbers. Each of these concepts along with any other possible explanation of what God is cannot be understood without our experiences and it is only our experiences that we use in our attempts to understand it.

When it comes to not being able to imagine God Pro explains: "God is a simple idea, imagination cannot come up with simple ideas, and therefore just as two elements however mixed together cannot create but a compound, imagination cannot create the idea of the Being of God". I agree that imagination cannot create the idea of God, because the idea is actually nothing more than a non-idea. To illustrate this allow me to use Pros definition of God, broken into points:

1. a transcendental entity,
2. escapes the boundaries of human cognition
3. holds the answer to key metaphysical concepts.
4. God here is a Being who is different than Nature or the Universe

Note that every single point Pro uses to define God only describes only what God is not. A transcendental entity is one that does not exist within the specified realm (transcends time, transcends space, etc...). To escape the boundaries is to not be within them. Metaphysical is best explained as "not physical". And being different than Nature or the Universe... that's self-explanatory. In order to imagine something you need to know what it is, not what it is not. If I stated that I am not running, that does not tell one what I am doing. I could be walking, standing, sitting, etc... There is nothing remarkable about not being able to imagine something when you don't know what that something actually is. And not knowing what something is has no tie to the truth of whether that something exists.

Because of all of this, Pros premise one is just plain wrong, and his premise 4 is meaningless when used in the way he argues it.

Law of Excluded Middle

Pro argues that if an idea is not false then it must be true. It is important to note that the 3rd law of logic refers to reality, not ones belief about reality. In other words the actual truth of a claim will always be limited to two options, but when it comes to what one believes about that truth there are 3 options (belief in the positive, absence of belief, and belief in the negative), therefore the law does not apply because in that scenario there is a middle.


While I disagree with many things Pro stated I felt it best to address only the parts I found relevant to this debate. Pros argument is a fallacy of equivocation stemming from a lack of understanding of how our experiences tie to our understanding of what God is.

Also, one quick note about sources; Pro states that sources must be referenced but I remind Pro and the judges that this is a philosophical debate and therefore sources may not be necessary. I did not look up any of my arguments and do I foresee myself doing so, so I do not anticipate needing to reference any. This should be considered before any points are awarded either way.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank Double_R for his reply. it does sadden me because it seems that my opponent could not get the crux of my argument. I shall first of all answer the general criticisms and then move on to address the individual claims put out. To start of with the minor things: I agree that it is not necessary to provide sources, I only provide them for further clarification of my arguments. Also I never provided a syllogism, to say that my premise-conclusion is a syllogism is a straw-man. A syllogism uses all, no, not, some, and other connectives like these. What I have is a wff (pronounced woof), that is all. My phrasing, however, directly follows. On to the most important point. I feel that people on have no idea what Ontology is.

Ontology is the study of Being (henceforth Sein), and of the Being Structure (hence forth Seinstruktur). An Ontological Proof, or to say that Ontology necessitates something means that the study of the Seinstruktur of a certain Sein will reveal that Sein to be Real. This confusion was in my previous debate with RoyLatham as well, and this is precisely why I clarify the modes of existence this time. I find that my opponent gives me a false dilemma because he assumes reality to be physical. It seems he is attacking Reason in itself. He states: "To use thought alone is to not use known reality as a basis. " without giving any proof of this statement.

So long as I can prove God's existence without appealing to empirical knowledge I have proved God ontologically. It is the same with Physics (that is why Physics is often called the Ontology of the Universe) where phenomenon are proven using though alone, or using Mathematics (which being the Ontic of the Universe) is in itself a theoretical discipline. It is barbaric for Double_R to give such claims, and then to leave us without any proof of these claims. I repeat, unless my opponent can show that I appealed to empiricism my proof is Ontological. If my opponent argues that this theoretical proof is meaningless without physical verification-ism then let his say so also about Physics, and Mathematics. If he says this, it would be Logical Verification-ism and let him prove it before he uses it.

Once more my opponent is committing the fallacy of straw-maning my arguments. I know not whether he does this purposely or not, but he commits many a fault here. I do not use Imagination synonymous with falsity. Not all that is false is imaginative. However if any idea in cognition is false, then it must be imaginative. For what does imagination do? It takes ideas and randomly joins them together to form false constructs. As I said, there is no other faculty of the mind.

Will my opponent argue that those ideas which are imagined are true? Then he concedes the entire debate. For then he implies that the idea of God is true for there is no other faculty of the mind which could make the idea of God. In any case the reason why I state that all false constructs are imaginative is because Imagination is the faculty which combines and forms new ideas. These new ideas are obviously false: such as the young boys imagining themselves with Emma Watson.

This point of my opponent, to be honest, seems rather muddled. I urge the readers to go back and give a read to my analysis on the faculties of the mind. I already informed all of how there is no other faculty of the mind which can provide false concepts. If we can show that the idea of God exists, and it has not been imagined, then we win this debate.

This all seems redundant however, because my opponent concedes premise four, he himself states that he agrees that the idea of God cannot be imagined.

Pro starts off in this part of his argument with another misintepretation. It is clear that he is misunderstanding my case. He says: "The problem however is that every possible understanding we have of God comes directly from our experiences. We would not be able to understand what it is to transcend time, space, or numbers, if we did not already experience time, space, and numbers. Each of these concepts along with any other possible explanation of what God is cannot be understood without our experiences and it is only our experiences that we use in our attempts to understand it."

The problem here is two fold. Firstly it assumes that time, space and number are a posteriori, that we learn these qualities empirically. For this Double_R provides no proof. Instead as Kant argues: I say these properties are a priori, or pre-existenct of any experience. Secondly Double_R's statement is against Physics. You see for us to be able to empirically realize Time, Space and/or Number they would have to be absolute entities which could be sensed, turns out that all three of these are in fact abstractual either to the mind, or the gravity and mass.

Again for Double_R's contention to hold he needs to provde a proof which might make us consider that we learn these three a posteriori. Until such a proof is provided, I have no need to provide a counter proof.

On a second level while God's Sein may possess the characteristics, that its Seinstruktur is in such a way that it is atemporal, aspatial, and anumerical, the Being is is not atemporality, nor is it aspaciality, nor anumericality. It holds these characteristics, but it is more than these characteristics. Also these characteristics of God are given from a pure subject-object relationship, where the subject here is considered the human mind. Therefore Double_R's contentions fail.

Now my opponent states that all we know about God is that which we know God is not. I see no problem with this, however again my opponent talks about the qualities of God, not the Being in itself. Existence is not a quality. It is not a property.

If we did not have the idea of God the word God for us would be meaningless. It turns out however that this word means something to us, if it means something to us that means that the word when uttered arouses in our senses, through memory therein, a particular sensation, or image, no matter how distant, foreign or vague.

Similarly the word "paani" means nothing to the readers. Now let me inform you that the word "paani" is Urdu for water. Bring me paani. This sentence made sense, it could only do so for the idea of water was aroused in you. Therefore because the word God means something rather than nothing, the idea of God must exist in cognition.

What Double_R did can be done with anything: take the example of an apple. An apple may be called: a fruit, sweet, and red (not granny smiths). A fruit is just something which is not a vegetable, dairy product, or a herb. Sweet is just something which is not sour, salty, or bitter. Red is something which is not pink, blue, or magenda. This is literally what Double_R did with the meaning of God.

In any case he fails to show that the idea of God does not exist, for as I said, then God would be a meaningless word, as meaningless as "roti". (Which is a form of bread).

I should clarify what the name of the Law of the Extended Middle is. It is called "The Third Law of Thought". Imagine my surprise when I am told by my opponent that a law of thought cannot apply to thought. The premise which this law is quoted to support is this: something is either false, or its negation is true. How does this premise use belief? It does not, all my opponent's contentions are strawmans and nothing more. It does not say one either believes one thing to be false or true. It says something is either true, or its negation is true. As simple as that.

The entirety of my opponent's case is made out of strawmans or misrepresenting my arguments. I have honestly lost the will to argue this, and I put of writing this to the last minute because of this. I am now eager to end this debate, even if the voters felt I lost. How can an idea be a non-idea and yet comprehensible? How does imaginative equal false, if imaginative yields ideas which are false? I mean these are basic distinctions which are failed to be made.

In any case I wish my opponent the best of luck for future rounds.



Pro devotes quite a bit of time claiming that I am strawmanning him yet fails to show where any of my errors are. I hate to waste time with this but I feel it necessary to get these points clarified before moving onto the more important arguments.

Pro begins by alleging that my calling his argument a syllogism is a strawman. I fail to see how laying out 4 premises that lead to a conclusion is not a syllogism, and I more importantly fail to see why any of this matters.

Pro claims that I am strawmanning his argument when I stated that he is using imagination to be synonymous with false. Pro however completely ignores the fact that I laid out a point by point argument to support my interpretation. Rather than to complain about it Pro should have spent time pointing out the error in my analysis which he did not even bother to address.

Pro states that I was misrepresenting his argument when I talked about the necessary tie our experiences have with our understanding. Pros rebuttal however only addressed why he disagreed with my argument. Disagreeing with my argument does not mean that I misrepresented his.

As far as the third law of thought argument goes, Pro did not read my point carefully. More on that later.


Pros detailed explanation of ontology is not relevant to this debate. It is a branch of philosophy and has nothing to do with empirical testing, therefore to describe it as “thought alone” is certainly accurate. Pro says I must prove that using thought alone is to not use known reality as a basis. No I don’t. The statement is self-evident because that is how we would define “using thought alone”. This is not an attack on reason. Reason is simply one tool we use to understand reality. The other… is reality. Pro claims I must prove this. Basic philosophical points do not need to be proven. If Pro rejects it he can explain why, but he can’t just sit there and say “prove it” if he doesn’t like what I have to say, otherwise I can just do the same thing to his entire argument.

As far as Pros point on physics and mathematics, I really don’t get what he is trying to say. Physics and mathematics are proven the same way everything else is, by demonstration.


I think it is certainly time for Pro to provide a definition of “imagine” because whatever he is talking about does not seem consistent with English. Pro claims that imagination takes ideas and randomly joins them together to form false constructs. This is not true because it can also form true constructs. The truth of those constructs has nothing to do with it, imagination is when there is no basis in reality for them. In other words, something which is imagined can be true or false. I can for example imagine that I will win the lottery. The fact that I am imagining it doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Idea of God/ God Imagined

Pro seems to layout his argument in the simplest possible terms by stating: “If we can show that the idea of God exists, and it has not been imagined, then we win this debate”. There are two major problems here:

1. God is either a non-idea or can be imagined.

In the last round I argued that Pros definition of God only told us what God is not. Pro responds by saying this can be done with anything and uses an apple in an attempt to illustrate. Pro completely misses the point. Yes, we can list things that an apple is not, but that does not define what an apple is. Saying an apple is not a vegetable, dairy product, or an herb does not accomplish that. By that definition I am also an apple. And even if you can rule out every other possibility of what an apple is not, then you still haven’t made any distinction between an apple and nothing. A Negative trait by definition does not tell you what something is, and without knowing what something is you cannot have an idea of it.

On the other hand Pro can provide us with a definition that tells us what God is. I will correct myself in that Pro did give us a positive trait of God in his last round by referring to him as a being. But this is Pros dilemma here; as soon as God is defined by using positive traits we can now imagine him, which negates Pros premise 4. Calling him a being is a positive trait. It only has meaning if we know what a being is, in which case we must necessarily be able to imagine it. And this is what I find most bizarre about his point here. In round 1 Pro states: “we cannot pretend to imagine the idea of God or God in our minds, other than attributing to him an a posteriori form (Morgan Freeman).” How on earth can Pro argue that an idea can simultaneously exist in our cognition while we are unable to imagine it? He can’t, that is nonsensical.

I still however maintain that God is a non-idea, because conceptualizing him requires us to encompass all of his traits as defined, which is not possible with negative traits such as those in our working definition. An idea that can’t be conceptualized is not an idea. And the only way we can conceptualize a non-idea is to fill in the blanks with things we know, aka imagine them as Pro’s Morgan Freeman point explains.

Either way, it is either not an idea or can be imagined. And if it can be imagined then Pros argument that it was not imagined has no substantiation in this debate.

2. Ontology alone necessitates that any idea of God is imagined.

In order for God to qualify as not being imagined we must have some external experience with him, yet the resolution states that we can conclude his existence without external experience. Any idea of reality not based in external experience can literally be used as the definition of “imaginary”, which clearly fails as a means of concluding its existence necessary.

The Third Law of Thought

Pro claims that I strawmanned his argument by referring to belief when I stated how the third law of thought cannot be used. I did not use the law to refute anything he said, it was a general statement to ensure that both Pro and the readers understand it properly. It was necessary for me to throw that clarification in because of Pros sloppy language.

Pro stated “if I can disprove the negation, then the above my conclusion is correct”. However the word “proof” is necessarily tied to belief, since proving something requires that people believe it. This creates a middle ground where the readers can not accept the negation (making it disproven) while not accepting the positive assertion either, in other words no belief in either side. This should result in Pro losing since he has the burden of proof, but if this point is accepted as written then the burden is placed on me to prove the negation which is not my responsibility.

This is why, as I stated, the law applies to reality not our beliefs. Pro seems baffled at this and I am not sure why. I am simply stating that the subject of the law is reality, beliefs are what result from proper use of it.


Not much to say, none of Pros relevant arguments have been substantiated and his main argument seems to be self-contradictory.
Debate Round No. 3


I want to start of by apologizing to Double_R, I was very tired when I wrote this and my tone was less than appropriate. I understand that this is a conduct violation, and once more my deepest apologies. I also thank my opponent for his round. I have decided to write this round using Rich Text to enable easier reading, and comprehension. I too shall devote some time to the clarification of some main issues before I begin answering individual rebuttals.

1. General Clarifications:
(1.1) In general a syllogism is one which uses the following connectives: all, some, not, and no. If what I gave was an attempt at a syllogism it would have been logically invalid. What I presented before the House was a wff or a well-formulated formula.
(1.2) If one would be so kind as to go and re-read my earlier argument one will note that I do give counter analysis. I think my opponent has a misconception of this entire matter. To help resolve it I feel that it is best to display what I will with a Venn Diagram, and I can go on to explain it more in depth later.

I do not dispute that there are ideas of the imagination which may be true, or may become true. Nor do I say that false and imaginative are synonymous. What I do say is this: there are some ideas which are false, all these false constructs are of the faculty of imagination. For this I have provided a proof which was never tackled. Simple though it is, seeing how the utmost left category only features (other than the Ideas of Imagination) an idea one may have gained from another (so an idea of another's imagination) it all falls back to Imagination. All of our false ideas then have their roots in Imagination, showing that God cannot be imagined then ensures that the idea of God is necessarily true.
(1.3) As for the necessary tie our experiences have with our understanding, it is a point that Double_R brought to the House, it then falls on him to prove it, and to show how this ties in with his analysis of Ontology.
(1.4) We can discuss the Third Law of Thought as it comes as my opponent does not talk about it right now.

2. Ontology:
(2.1) This is perhaps the first time that I have heard that to assume that all a priori/purely theoretical knowledge is meaningless/pointless is a law of Philosophy. I did not even hear it from Hume, and he was the one who initiated modern scepticism. If anything then after Kant it is generally known that a priori/purely theoretical reason can yield correct conclusions.
(2.2) What Con seems to be arguing is some sort of Logical Positivism, that is in itself a self-refuting theory. Also regarding Mathematics, it is quite clear that Mathematics is a priori. If not then I ask Double_R what the demonstratable proof is for x^2+3x-4=0 yielding x=1 or x=-4. Or what pray tell is the demonstratable proof of derivation.
(2.3) My opponent is inherently stating that anything which cannot be physically demonstrated is meaningless; this is the essence of Logical Positivism. Ayer the father of Logical Positivism states: "Only that which is empirically verifiable can be logically necessary"[4] The theory that for something to be proven it needs to be empirically verifiable is in itself not empirically verifiable. This contenion was enough for Ayer himself to admit: "the problem is, nearly all of it is wrong" about his theory.[5] So unless my opponent can prove Logical Positivism his contention that reason alone cannot yield proper conclusions is unsound.

3. The Definition of Imagination:
(3.1) The Venn Diagram provided above should make this part easier to understand. In essence when we take about impure empirical/imaginative ideas what we said was that all the false constructs of the brain are impure empirical ideas. If I imagine I am winning the lottery it is not real until I have won the lottery, for all intents and purposes, untill I win it is a false construct. If I have already won it, the idea is of memory. Our premise simply states this: if an idea is false, it is imaginative. The only form of contention that can be raised is that there is another faculty of the mind which provides us with false ideas, since the name of such a faculty has not been provided, my opponent's contention fail.
(3.2) Seeing how the premise states what it does, its soundness depends on two points: a. there exist false concepts, b. only imagination can create these false concepts. The first seems self-evident, for otherwise everything would be true. For the second I have provided analysis which was never attacked: mainly there exists no other such faculty of the mind.

4. The idea of God is a non-idea:
(4.1) This is the point where I feel Double_R's contentions are most muddle-headed. Firstly I should point out that Double_R dropped a major point of mine when he gives his contention. I gave an excellent analysis on how if you do not possess the idea of something, that something is meaningless. I do not see any reply from Double_R on this tier. Instead he goes off on a rant about negative traits. This should be taken into consideration: we cannot comprehend anything if we do not have a mental construct to align this word with. Please refer to my original discussion.
(4.2) After the above analysis I really do not see any room for debate here. In essence though I fail to see how transcendent is a negative property; not to mention that I already stated that the idea of God we are debating is the idea of the Being of God. This idea, as I postulate, is not an imaginative idea, and so it is an innate idea.
(4.3) Now Double_R uses Circular Logic. He states that since a priori ideas (ideas which cannot be conceptualized but exist) do not exist, and so a priori ideas do not exist. He gives absolutely no argument, but empty claims. After all one has the idea of Space and one cannot conceptualize space one can but imagine an object which posses space. Since Double_R brought this to the Floor it is his burden to prove this claim.
(4.4) So it is in fact ridicolous to say that the idea of God could be imagined if the idea of God exists. This is particularly true because imagination can only yield complex ideas (something I proved in the original round), and was never attacked by Double_R.
(4.5) My opponent also presents a False Dichtomy, as he says that any idea which is not empirical is necessarily imaginative. Well this is another thing he never substantiated on: this also presents a problem to ideas which are: of reason, of reflection and/or of connexion as Hume says.

5. The Third Law of Thought:
(5.1) If you study my premise it will reveal nothing in relation to belief. My argument states: an idea is either false or necessarily true. It does not state an idea can be believed so, or a statement is so, or anything else. It is as simple as this: either an idea represents an object which is real or an idea represents an object which is illusory.
(5.2) It then follows that this premise stands because there is no other concluion: it cannot be that the object is both real and false, either the object is real or false; let my opponent show the third conclusion if he can find one.

My opponent's argument relies heavily on Logical Positivism. All the way from making empirical science as the only form of verification, to creating false dichtomies in relation to imagination and empirical ideas. He constantly appeals to outdated and silly theories, and while he offers a plethora of statements I am hard pressed to see any proof provided. The idea of God as a non idea is absolutely ridicolous and cannot be entertained, for without the word God would be a meaningless word. Using circular logic does not help Double_R's case either. He states in his summary that my argument seems to self-contradictory. This is perhaps the funniest part of his argument because if this were so my argument would not be Logically Valid, however I have shown that it can be phrased perfectly. His analysis of "positive qualities" is also flawed, as transcendence is a quality, while Being is not a property, Dasein is Being in itself. The Seinstuktur would reveal that the idea of God would be an innate idea, and that is what I try to show. I do so however using a system of elimination which, I believe has succeeded. I therefore feel that Double_R could not, and did not provide any sufficient contention. I should remind the readers that when Double_R brings up a positive point to contend my argument, the onus falls on him to prove his point. With that I urge the voter to support the resolution.

The resolution holds, the contentions collapse!




Since Pro laid out his arguments in a structured format I will follow the same layout. Some of Pros points I either agree with or don't find necessary to address, so if I skip them then it can be considered a concession to the point.

1. General Clarifications:

(1.2) I do not necessarily dispute Pros contention that all false ideas are imaginary. What I dispute is Pros argument that if God can't be imagined then he must be true. I explained why in detail in my "God is a non-idea" argument, which I will uphold below in section 4. However, recall that I also argued the alternative which is that God can be imagined. I find it curious that Pro did not address this argument in the past round as this was my major contention. Either he cannot be imagined for reasons other than being true (non-idea), or he can be imagined. And if either of those options are true, Pros entire argument in this debate collapses.

So once again, depending on how you define God, he can absolutely be imagined. But since Pro did no refute that point I will simply extend my arguments.

(1.3) Pro still does not accept my claim that experiences are necessarily tied to understanding. This is about as simple a concept as it gets. I brought up time for example. When we refer to time, what are we talking about? To try and describe time one might say it is a set of events happening one after another. But what is an event? What does "after" mean? Asking these questions one after another is a futile exercise which will only result in reaching the problem of infinite regress. Words can only take us so far in describing reality. Sooner or later the only thought we have left is that of some experience we had in reality. There is no other means of having the thought. If Pro disagrees then he needs to provide a counter argument. I can't make it any simpler than that.

2. Ontology

(2.1) I never argued that a priori/purely theoretical knowledge is meaningless. I argued that it alone is an insufficient means of determining what is consistent with reality. To illustrate this point imagine that there is a new stadium being built in your city or town. Now imagine we decide that we are going to determine what this stadium will look like, however rather than seeking out the blueprints or trying to walk into the construction area to see how big it is, we instead decide that we are going to sit around and conceptualize the stadium until our minds determine what it will necessarily look like. As absurd as this sounds, this is exactly what Pro is trying to do with God. The statement "God exists" means that God's existence is consistent with reality. How can anyone determine what is consistent with reality without comparing our conclusions to reality? Simple, we can't. The very idea is completely nonsensical.

(2.2) Pro seems to think that using math can get around this idea of requiring demonstrable proof to accept something as true. It does not. There are two different tools that allow us understand reality. One is reality itself (as our senses perceive it), the other is logic. This creates two possibilities when talking about truth. Truth can be that which is consistent with reality, or that which is consistent with its own concept. The latter is a logical truth.

Earlier I used an example to illustrate how we can use reality to determine if 2+2=4 by taking two marbles in one hand and two in the other and combining them. This time, I will ask you all to try it at home and see if 2+2 can actually =5. Continue reading once you have tried"

So did it work? You might say no, however that depends on what you meant by 5. If you actually tried this then you probably did what anyone would do and begin with a concept of 5, then counted the marbles to determine whether your held concept matched the result. In that case you used reality to determine whether your concept was consistent with reality. Now if on the other hand, if you are defining 5 as "the result of 2+2" then in that case you are allowing reality to determine what the concept is, therefore reality cannot prove it logically false. The only way that the statement can be logically false is for the person conceptualizing 5 to conceptualize something not 5 at the same time, which is of course absurd. Thus the proof that the statement is true is the fact that the person doing the conceptualizing is only thinking of that one concept.

So to answer Pros question, whether x=-4 is true depends only on what we mean when we say "x". Reality itself has nothing to do with it, therefore it can never be determined to be true or false if we are talking about truth in the sense of being consistent with reality. Until we assign a reality based definition of X, the statement can only be true or false according to logic.

3. The definition of Imagination

Pro still fails to provide us with a reasonable definition and instead focuses on affirming his point I already agreed with that all false idea are necessarily imaginative. A quick Google search gives us the following:

im'ag'ine: form a mental image or concept of.

I fail to see how Pro can dispute this simple definition. Moving on...

4. The Idea of God is a Non-Idea

First of all I no longer have any idea what Pro is talking about when he says that God cannot be imagined. If his argument is that God cannot be imagined because the concept in our minds was not in fact made up, then he has to prove that case. He has to prove that the actual being placed the idea in our mind or that our idea was picked up by our senses in response to reality. Pro has not argued any of this.

The only other way for Pro to make this point is to say that we cannot imagine God because God is necessarily true, therefore our ideas do not qualify as being imaginary. That would be begging the question, which is insufficient for Pro to uphold his burden.

I see no other options, Pro needs to enlighten myself and the readers what he has actually argued and how he has justified it.

(4.1) Pro does not understand my argument. As I made clear, the reason the word God has meaning to us is because we give it meaning by attributing positive traits to it. Most of us think of some bearded guy in the clouds sitting on his throne. Whatever comes to mind, it is necessarily positive traits and it necessarily resembles something that we already understand. If, on the other hand we do not attribute such traits to the word then we have nothing to conceptualize, aka a non-idea. Once again, if I say I am not walking, there is nothing to conceptualize because in order to do that you must necessarily conceptualize something I am doing, which would not be logically consistent with the statement because whatever you are thinking is not what the statement refers to.

(4.2) The word "transcend" alone is not a negative trait. It becomes a negative trait when you combine it with something that is all we know, time for example. We know of no other form of existence because we are necessarily tied to this reality in which time is based. To say that God transcends time is to say he does not exist within it. In other words, not time, aka a negative trait.

(4.3) Pro seems to be debating in his sleep and arguing with the opponent the dreamt up. Nowhere have I argued anything close to: "that since a priori ideas (ideas which cannot be conceptualized but exist) do not exist, and so a priori ideas do not exist". Pro needs to explain his made up circular argumentation allegation.

(4.4) I never attacked Pros "imagination can only yield complex ideas" argument because I found it nonsensical and irrelevant. To say that we cannot imagine simple ideas is absurd. I am imagining myself being happy. Was that complex? Either way Pro answers that question, if he holds his contention then he is not speaking English.

(4.5) Way too much to say about this one point. I will simply state that any idea about reality that is not empirical is imaginative. This all follows from the definition of empirical and imaginary.

5. The Third Law of Thought:

(5.1) I explained in detail how Pros argument connected to belief. Pro should read my argument.

And no, an idea is not merely limited to true or false as demonstrated by the proposition: "this statement is false". This is exactly what I was talking about when I referred to the law of excluded middle not applying to thought. Since the statement does not qualify as either true or false, we must create a 3rd or "middle" category to place it in. In order to now turn this into a binary proposition we have to change the options to "true" or "not true". Or we can go with "false" or "not false". This is why I brought up this point in the first place. Pro tried to claim that disproving the negation makes the statement necessarily true. No, it doesn"t. Because disproving something is entirely about the minds perception, which is not limited to those two options. Accepting Pros argument there would effectively force me to prove the negation true, which is nothing more than a clever way of shifting the burden of proof.

(5.2) The third option does not exist in reality, that"s why the law applies to reality.


Pro claims it is funny that I find his argument self-contradictory. I find it funny that Pro makes such a claim without responding to the argument I made to show this. Pro describes his burden as beginning with a conceptualization of a being, and then proving that being exists without using empirical evidence. In other words, he is beginning with a thought and then using only his thoughts to reach an image of this being. In English we have a word for that, it's called imagination. Yet Pros entire claim in this debate is that the image he has reached cannot be imagined. That is alogical contradiction, aka self-contradictory.
Debate Round No. 4


I would like to write the reply, but my back hurts too much. I would for Double_R to also skip the round and the judges can vote with regards to the first four rounds. I realize however that Double_R would not want this, and in that case I concede. So it falls to Double_R what he wants; will he allow this to end at round 4, or will he want the concession.

I thank Double_R for this debate. I am very sorry, but for my pain my doctors give me some *ahem* powerful pain meds, and I am not in a state to write an argument.


Very well, but this debate was long enough. I am more concerned with honest feedback then cheap victory points so the readers are encouraged to disregard round 5 in the voting.

Thanks to Ajabi for the debate, and good luck.

Debate Round No. 5
70 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Double_R 4 years ago
I'd be fine with redoing this debate, same resolution but this time please provide explicit dictionary style definitions in round 1 for the following: God, Imaginary, Simple idea, Complex idea, A priori, A posteriori. I want to make this as simple as possible so we are both on the same page with your argument. Also, I assume you will use the same wff. No need to defend P2 & P3. We'll just focus the debate on P1 & P4.

I don't care who the judges are, I may have disagreed with most of what they said but I chalk that up to my failure to communicate my point. The one thing I would demand this time around is 72 hours between rounds. During the week is very difficult for me because I work long hours with a long commute so I am mentally drained by the time I get home. And I think 5 rounds is too much, 4 is better. 5 only worked out because of the forfeit but if we had 72 hours that probably would have been avoided.
Posted by Ajabi 4 years ago
You have to combine them of course, but that is besides the point. The idea of God, even combined by these ideas of characteristics, will remain simple.

You see simple ideas are those which are distinguishable by "sensation".
Posted by Ajabi 4 years ago
I would happily re-do this debate. You can chose the Judges this time. As long as they are fair judges I am fine. Here is a list you can chose from if you would like: Raisor, whiteflame, Wylted, phantom, Danielle, n7, Toviyah, MadaraUchiha, Blade-of-Truth, Envisage, Sargon, Subutai, popculturepooka, phantom, socialpinko, YYW (with whom I had a flame war, but what the hay one vote wont make a diff), airmax, Mikal, Ragnar, bsh1, thett3, Maikuru, Lucky_Lucario, zmikecuber, and larztheloser.

If you have any one else in mind name them. To be honest these are the highest people on the site. I included YYW who I believe knows nothing on this topic. I even included Mikal who while is my friend, is bad at profound philosophy to be honest. Love you Miki. <3

That is if you want to do this debate again. If you want to change a rule, tell me. Its just pointless arguing in the comments though.
Posted by Double_R 4 years ago
In round 1 you provided a definition of God, with no less than 4 separate characteristics. Each characteristic clearly being a different idea:

- A transcendental entity
- Escapes the boundaries of human cognition
- A Being
- Different than Nature or the Universe

Then a few comments ago you defined imagination as: "that faculty which takes empirical ideas, and then switches them around, changes their forms, and combines them in unique ways to present you with new ideas"

So my question is" Can you conceptualize these 4 ideas as one without combining them? Yes or no?
Posted by Ajabi 4 years ago
Sorry did not see your question. :P
Could you rephrase your question please?
Posted by Double_R 4 years ago
I'd still love to continue, otherwise I will just have to accept your silence as telling me all I need to know about this debate.
Posted by Double_R 4 years ago
It seems you are avoiding the question, and begging the question on top of it.

Once again, can we conceptualize the definition of God you gave us in round 1 without combining these ideas? Yes or No?
Posted by Ajabi 4 years ago
Since the combination of these ideas is not imaginative, rather fundamental they escape the boundary here.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
I will vote on this...eventually.
Posted by Double_R 4 years ago
I don't see how that address the point I just made.

In R1 you gave a definition of God which listed 4 separate traits. Does each trait come along with its own idea?

If yes, then can we conceptualize that definition without combining these ideas?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Envisage 4 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
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Vote Placed by n7 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Raisor 4 years ago
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