The Modal Ontological Argument

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For_The_Kingdom
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The Modal Ontological Argument

Post #1

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Before I begin the actual argument, a few terms/concepts must be addressed. One of those concepts involves possible world semantics. What is a “possible world� (PW)?

A PW is a set of circumstances or any proposition that could be true, or could be false…or a set of circumstances or any proposition that could be necessarily true, or necessarily false.

Example: Barack Obama is the President of the United States.

If this statement is true, then there is a possible world at which Barack Obama is President of the United States. However, since Barack Obama could very well NOT be the President of the U.S., then it follows that there is a possible world at which Barack Obama isn’t President of the U.S.

So, in essence, there is a possible world (set of circumstances) at which Barack Obama is the President of the U.S. (and vice versa). In other words, it’s possible.

That being said; let’s turn our attention to the difference between contingent truths, and necessary truths. Contingent truths are circumstances or propositions that could be true, but could also be equally false (such as the example above).

Necessary truths are truths that are either true or false REGARDLESS of the circumstances. So in essence, necessary truths are true in ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS. Good examples of necessary truths are mathematical truths, such as 2+2=4 <--- this is true in all possible circumstances and can never be false under any circumstance.

Next, I’d like to turn the attention to the definition of God. God, at least as defined by Christian theism, is a maximally great being (MGB). By maximally great, we mean that God is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (present everywhere at any given time), and omnibenevolent (the ultimate source of goodness)…an ultimately, such a being is necessary in its existence (such a being cannot fail/cease to exist).

The four "omni's"that you see above, those are what we'd called "great making properties." A person is considered "great" based on accomplishments, power, influence, character, etc.

Being a maximally great being, all of those great-making properties are maxed out to the degree at which there isn't anything left to add. It is virtually impossible to think of a "greater being" than one that is all-knowing, all powerful, present everywhere, and the ultimate source of goodness.

Now, the Modal Ontological Argument makes a case that it is possible for such a being to actually exist. In other words; there is a possible world at which a MGB exists.

On to the argument..

1. It is possible that a maximally great being 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.

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

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

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.


Of course, most of you will agree that it is possible for a MGB to exist. The problem is, once you admit that it is possible for a MGB to exist, you are essentially saying “It is possible for a necessary being to exist�.

Well, if it is possible for a necessary being to exist, then it follows that such a being must ACTUALLY exist. Why? Because a proposition cannot be possibly necessarily true, but actually false (because if the proposition is actually false, then it was never possibly necessarily true).

Again, most of you admit that it is possible for God to exist. Well, if it is possible for God to exist, then God must actually exist, because God’s existence would be one of necessity, and no necessary truth can be possibly true, but actually false.

And under the same token, if it is possible for God to NOT exist, then it is impossible for God to exist. So, God’s existence is either necessarily true, or necessarily false. And again for the third time, at some point in each and every one of your lives, you’ve admitted that it is possible for God to exist.

Therefore, God must exist. And as I close this argument, just for the record, it will take more than you people putting your hand over your ears and shouting “The argument is not valid� or whatever you like to say when a theist bring forth an argument.

You actually have to address the argument (1-5), and explain why any of the premises are false. But I don’t think that you can, can you?

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Re: The Modal Ontological Argument

Post #181

Post by Furrowed Brow »

For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Furrowed Brow wrote:
For_The_Kingdom wrote: 3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world (our world).
It should also pointed out - if someone has not done already - that the modal ontological argument is only valid in modal system S5 and similar systems with the Euclidean condition on frames in what is called Kripke semantics. The Euclidean condition on frames admits that if world w can access some world v, then any other world accessible from w is also accessible from v. In other words every accessible world is able to access every other world. This is essentially what point 3 relies on to be valid.

A theorem of S5 is an argument in the form <>[]p ->p. In words: a possibly necessity implies actuality. This seems to be at the heart of For_The_Kingdom's defence of MOA. But <>[]p -> p is not a theorem of other competing modal systems like S4 or K.

So what the MOA is seeking is only true of a limited number of modal systems and not a general truth of all modal logics.

System S4 and S5 are both classed as standard modal logics and both are are regarded as plausible.
Man, you guys are doing everything in your POWER to negate this argument, and some of it is down right desperation.

As I asked before, please tell me a truth that is necessarily true on Earth, but untrue in any other planet, world, or universe. That would be like saying 2+2=4 on earth, but on Mars, 2+2 =17....or it would be like saying a squared circle can't exist on earth, but on Jupiter, the place is crawling with them.

It can't happen. The implications are inescapable, guys. There is no amount of Google searches you can conduct or videos that you can watch that will allow you to overcome the soundness and validity of the argument.

You can rebuttal a lie, but you can't rebuttal the truth. There is something about the truth that allows it to stand alone, regardless of any external considerations.
I'm sorry it is well known Plantinga's MOA is only valid in modal system S5. There are hundred of different modal logics. One of the most important alongside S5 is S4. S4 has a different definition of necessity and a smaller set of theorems. The implication on which you rely and which you are asserting can't be rebutted is not true in S4, along with many buy other alternative modal logics.

Here is a link to John Hallek's web page where he has collated dozens of the more notable systems. http://home.utah.edu/~nahaj/logic/structures/systems/

The problems with defining necessity have been known since the beginning of formal logic and the problem lead Bertrand Russell to deny necessity was a logical property and should be dropped from the study of logic all together. However, the later introduction of Kripke semantics brought a rigour to modal semantics previously lacking. Nonetheless it is still widely accepted there is more than one modal logic and it is not decided that anyone modal logic is the right one. Some are more plausible than others, but it is not decided S5 is the right description of necessity, though it is a leading contender, along with S4. A modal logic in which the MOA is not valid. So there are modal logics in which the MOA does not hold true and the result very much can be doubted as a result.

You are completely overstating the merits of the MOA and are making misleading claims regarding the inevitability of the result. THE MOA is a local result within one modal logic. To be true it is an interesting result within an important modal logic, but do not overstate it's significance - please!!

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Post #182

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Artie wrote: Why would others advocate the argument when even Plantinga hmself says that the argument proves nothing?
I don't know. Ask Dr. Craig, you know, a guy that advocates the argument.
Artie wrote: "Our verdict on these reformulated versions of St. Anselm's argument must be as follows. They cannot, perhaps, be said to prove or establish their conclusion."
http://counterapologist.blogspot.no/201 ... ument.html

Read the whole article and you will better understand what's wrong with the argument.
Plantiga is right, the argument has been reformulated over the centuries...I am not sure which version he is talking about...and unless there is something where he addresses specifically THIS ONE...then that quote is taken out of context.

And even if he doesn't agree with the argument...so what? What does that have to do with me?

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Re: P

Post #183

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Kenisaw wrote: No, because $0.00 broken up still equals $0.00. Send them $5 and a -$5. You will have sent them $0. It's not that hard a concept. In our universe everything offsets. The net spin is zero. The net charge is zero. The net momentum is zero. Add up all the positive energy (light, mass, kinetic, heat, etc) and subtract out the negative (gravity) and you zero. The universe is nothing, broken up into a lot of pieces. Don't take my word for it, look it up...
KCA :D

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Post #184

Post by Artie »

For_The_Kingdom wrote:^ The above quote is the price of atheism right there. If you want to be an atheist, it will cost you your common sense and sanity.
"GODLESSNESS: New study shows atheists as mentally healthy as believers." http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2015 ... believers/

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Post #185

Post by Artie »

For_The_Kingdom wrote:And even if he doesn't agree with the argument...so what? What does that have to do with me?
Did you read the whole article?

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Post #186

Post by rikuoamero »

Artie wrote:
For_The_Kingdom wrote:I've already stated why it is at least possible for God to exist, though. Once it is shown that God's existence is possible, then it is also shown the existence of God to be actually true. Two birds with one stone, basically.
And how do you get from possible to actually true?
By declaring his chosen entity necessary. Simple. Oh and not allowing the same to be done for anything else anyone else might propose.
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Post #187

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Artie wrote:
For_The_Kingdom wrote:Please explain what is illogical about a being that posseesses the four omni's.
For one, omnipotent is defined as "having unlimited power and able to do anything"
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/diction ... omnipotent
and omnipresent is defined as "present in all places at all times"
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/omnipresent

A being who is defined as being present in all places at all times can't make himself not present in some places and if he can't he's not omnipotent.
Is it possible for God to NOT be present in all places at all times? Go ahead...answer the question...

If it is possible, then God can do it....if it isn't possible, it can't be done. Omnipotence doesn't mean you can make squared circles, married bachelors, or subtract 2 from 4 and get 12. Those are logical absurdies. God cannot do something that is logically absurd...which is fine, because it means that God is in line with logic and reason.

But keep trying, Artie.

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Post #188

Post by Elijah John »

For_The_Kingdom wrote:
^ The above quote is the price of atheism right there. If you want to be an atheist, it will cost you your common sense and sanity.
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Post #189

Post by Artie »

For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Artie wrote:
For_The_Kingdom wrote:Please explain what is illogical about a being that posseesses the four omni's.
For one, omnipotent is defined as "having unlimited power and able to do anything"
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/diction ... omnipotent
and omnipresent is defined as "present in all places at all times"
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/omnipresent

A being who is defined as being present in all places at all times can't make himself not present in some places and if he can't he's not omnipotent.
Is it possible for God to NOT be present in all places at all times? Go ahead...answer the question...
Not if he's defined as being present in all places at all times.
If it is possible, then God can do it....if it isn't possible, it can't be done.
New International Version Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Does Jesus mention anything about logical impossibilities or are you just trying to limit what God can do?
Omnipotence doesn't mean you can make squared circles, married bachelors, or subtract 2 from 4 and get 12.
Well, then he's not omnipotent. The definition I quoted says "having unlimited power and able to do anything" and it doesn't go on to say "except those things Kingdom says is logically impossible."

Either he's omnipotent and can decide to not be in some places, or he must be omnipresent, that is present everywhere at all times. You are the one who has created the logical impossibility by claiming two contradictory things about God.
Last edited by Artie on Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post #190

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

rikuoamero wrote: When one is criticizing another's reading comprehension, one should check their own first.
In the second post you quoted from me there in your post 141, I acknowledged that it wasn't a literal "he never used the MOA". In the opening sentence, I use the word "almost".
So what was the point, rikuo? If you knew that I wasn't implying that...why even make the post? It was completely unnecessary.

If Kevin tells Steve "There isn't that many people in the building"...and Kevin and Steve enters the building...and they see two other people that are in the building and Steve says "You were saying?"

Like wtf??? Your post seemed to imply that I said something contrary to what you "corrected" me on saying, which I didn't.

So again, what was the point?

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