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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:13 pm
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The Modal Ontological Argument

Like this post (1): Blastcat
First off, let me take the time to thank both my opponent (rikuoa) for accepting my challenge to debate me on this issue. It is obvious to me that he loves nothing more than to offer refutations to the argument, and likewise, I reckon it is obvious to him that I love nothing more than to offer this argument as a valid/sound reason for the belief in God.

That being said, it is only right that we meet in battle. Let me also thank the creators and moderators of this forum for providing an excellent platform for such a debate.

However, I must say, the Modal Ontological Argument (MOA) is the only argument (of all the main theistic arguments), that is so abstract, so technical, that explaining it to someone is just as difficult as learning it yourself. It took me days to figure the argument out..but once I got it, I got it!!

So, on to it...

Oh, I forgot; 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: Donald Trump is the President of the United States.

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

So, in essence, there is a possible world (set of circumstances) at which Donald Trump is the President of the U.S. (and vice versa). In other words, it's possible. It could happen, which makes the truth value of President Trump contingently truth, since it is equally possible for Mr. Trump to NOT be President.


Contingent truths are not to be confused with necessary truths. What are necessary truths? 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.

Before we move on, just to rehash..

Contingency truths: Propositions that are true or false, based on circumstances (could be true, could be false.

Necessary truths: Propositions that are true or false, REGARDLESS of circumstances (if it is true, it is impossible to be false [vice versa]).

Now that our preliminary terms have been defined, let's turn the attention to the definition of God, and keep in mind that I will be using "God" and "Maximally Great Being" (MGB) interchangeably throughout the argument.

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, knowing the truth value of all propositions.
Omnipotent: Can do anything that is logically possible.
Omnipresent: Presence is manifested, whether physically or spiritually, everywhere, at any given time
Omnibenevolent: The ultimate source of goodness, morally perfect.

These "omni" properties (OP) are known as "great making" properties..as a being's greatness is measured based on these properties and the value of these properties. A MGB is a being of whom these properties are "maxed out" to such a degree at which there is nothing left to add, making it impossible to think of a "greater" being.

A MGB would also have to exist necessarily, meaning it would be impossible for such a being to NOT exist or fail to exist. Why? Because it is virtually impossible for one to gain possession of maxed out OP based upon contingent circumstances. So, if one was to possess these OP, then one would possess them necessarily.

A natural born human being or entity cannot possess MAXED out OP, but a necessary being whose existence is not dependent upon anything external to it, can indeed possess these properties, and these properties would be as necessary as the MGB himself (itself).

There are other reasons why it is necessary that there must exist a being whose existence is necessary (cannot fail to exist), which I will discuss later on in the argument.

So, now we've defined our terms, and we've even defined the MGB..now, on to the actual 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.



I will justify each premise, one at a time.

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

Justification for P1: In other words, for all we know, a MGB could exist. To "prove" that God doesn't exist, rikuo would either have to..


A. Possess the properties of omniscience and omnipotence and thereby be all knowing in knowledge, with a presence that is manifested at all possible locations within the universe or beyond the universe. Only then will he definitively be able to say "I know there is no God, because I am omniscient, and if that is not enough, I've been to every place there is to go in the universe, and there is no God ANYWHERE." But we know that that is beyond my opponent's capabilities (and anyone's).

B. Prove that God does not exist based logical absurdities that arise based on the definition of "God". So he would have to prove that God does not exist based on the simple fact that the mere idea of God is logically incoherent. In other words, the concept of God is absurd.

If my opponent feels this way, then the burden of proof is on him to demonstrate to us where the absurdity lies.

I maintain that the concept of God, as defined in the argument, does not violate any laws of logic and is a logically coherent concept, making such a being's existence conceivable and at the very least POSSIBLE.

So, until further notice, P1 (It is possible that a maximally great being exists) stands.

2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world:

Justification for P2: Remember, in Possible World (PW) semantics, when something is "possibly true," it means that there are a set of circumstances at which the proposition (X is true) has true value. For example, if there is a possible world at which Donald Trump is elected President, that is the same as saying "there are a set of circumstances that will allow for Donald Trump to reach 270 delegates to win the Presidency". Now, if that is to happen, that is a "world" (set of circumstances) that it is possible.

Likewise; if it is possible that a MGB exists, then there is at least some possible set of circumstances that allows such a being to exist.

P2 logically follows from P1, of course.

3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world:

Justification for P3: If there is at least ONE possible world at which a MGB exists, then it follows that a MGB's must exist in EVERY possible world. Why? Because a necessary being's existence can't be possible in one world, but impossible in another world. Necessary truths are true in all possible world. For example, 2+2 cannot equal 4 on planet Earth, but equal 14 on Jupiter. If 2+2 is 4 on Earth, it is 4 EVERYWHERE. So, if God's existence is possible in at least some set of possible circumstances, then it must be possible in all set of circumstances.

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

Justification for P4: The actual world that we live in is among the lists of "possible worlds". Necessary truths are true in all possible worlds, including the actual world (our world).

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

Justification for P5: Self-explanatory.

So, from P1-P5, it has been demonstrated that if it is possible for a MGB to exist, it follows that a MGB must actually exist. It is worth noting, as I'm sure I will repeatedly say throughout this discourse, is that ALL POSSIBLE NECESSARY TRUTHS must be ACTUALLY TRUE.

Why? Because a proposition cannot be possibly necessarily true, but actually false. So for example, it cannot be possibly necessarily true that 2+2=4, but yet 2+2 is actually 14. Because if 2+2 is actually 14, then it was never possible for 2+2 to equal 4. That is a fundamental point if we are to understand modal logic correctly.

So, in a nutshell, God's existence is either necessarily true, or necessarily false. There is no gray area. It is either impossible for God to cease existing, or, it is impossible for God to exist, period. Again, no gray area.

Before I give the floor to my opponent, I'd to briefly touch on this "necessary" business, as I mentioned I would do earlier. God's existence is necessary because it is impossible for it to be otherwise. Why? Because existence, in general, is necessary. Whether or not you believe the universe is necessary (existing eternally), or if you believe that God is necessary (existing eternally)…either way, mere existence is necessary. Something/Someone had to have always been here. Someone or something have to be eternal in its existence.

However, it is impossible for the universe to exist necessarily, based on the evidence that we have for a finite universe and the philosophical arguments we can give to negate the idea of infinite regress through time. So it follows that a timeless, immaterial being of astronomical power with free will exists..a being who doesn't owe its existence to no ONE or no THING besides its self.

As you can see, I sprinkled a little "Kalam" argument on the MOA, and I did it on purpose. Why? Because it supplements the MOA, as it demonstrates why God's existence is necessary, and a necessary existence is one of the attributes (for lack of a better term) of a MGB as defined in the argument (not by coincidence).

I will now wait for my opponents responses and address them accordingly.

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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:01 am
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Re: The Modal Ontological Argument

Like this post (1): Blastcat
[Replying to post 1 by For_The_Kingdom]

Greetings and salutations to both For_The_Kingdom and readers. Thank you FtK for agreeing to debate me on this topic, and thank you to the site owner, Otseng, for allowing us this space to have this debate.
Reaches across to shake FtK's hand. I promise this will be a nice clean argument. No muss, no fuss.

Now, on to the main portion of the show, shall we?

In reading my opponent's opening post, my eyebrow was raised, in that my opponent does not outline what exactly we are to discuss here. Oh sure, he mentions that it is a topic that I like nothing more to offer refutations to (not so, there are a whole host of activities I like more than debunking this argument, but I'll let that slide)...but what exactly, precisely, am I arguing with FtK over? I think readers can be excused for not knowing themselves.

This is the question that both FtK and myself agreed to argue over. I asked him for the question, for the precise wording, he gave it to me via PM and when I made the H2H request to otseng (site owner), FtK accepted the wording of the question in that he did not object to it.

The Modal Ontological Argument: Is it a logically sound/valid Argument for the Existence of God?

I ask readers to read that carefully, to see what exactly we were supposed to argue over. My opponent was to argue that the Model Ontological Argument is
1) Logically Valid
2) Logically Sound
3) Can prove the Existence of God (which would require (1) and (2) to be true)

In reading the OP...FtK does NOT do any of those. He does not go through the MOA to show that it is logically valid or sound. Indeed, in reading the OP, it is said that in order for myself to counter a point he has made, I would need to be omniscient myself.
Far from it. I only need to show that the MOA
1) Not Logically Valid
2) Not Logically Sound
3) Cannot prove the Existence of God (which would require (1) and (2) to be true)

-------
Before I get to discussing Points 1 or 2, I do have to discuss Point 3. Notice what is under debate here. FtK is trying to prove the existence of God, as in that is the very question under debate, so this means
Existence cannot be assumed prior to the argument .
In reading the OP, FtK committed the exact same mistake as he did in his infamous thread of 2016, namely, he defines his God as existing prior to the argument. This was something that I took FtK to task for in that thread, so I have to ask...why do the exact same thing here? Why assume the existence of God, instead of letting the argument 'prove' that organically?
It would be the exact same problem if we were trying to prove that Francis I is the Pope of Roman Catholicism and "Francis I" was defined, prior to the formal argument, as being the Pope of Roman Catholicism. What happens if we were to have THAT argument and the day after, the man named Francis I retires (as Pope Benedict XVI did)? Suddenly, we would be facing the situation where a man has been defined as being one thing, only that definition is not actually true in the real world.



So what does it mean for an argument to be valid or sound?
From wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Validity
Quote:
In logic, an argument is valid if and only if it takes a form that makes it impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion nevertheless to be false. It is not required that a valid argument have premises that are actually true,[2] but to have premises that, if they were true, would guarantee the truth of the argument's conclusion. A formula is valid if and only if it is true under every interpretation, and an argument form (or schema) is valid if and only if every argument of that logical form is valid.


Consider the following argument
P1) All men are mortal.
P2) Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
That argument is valid, even if it were not actually true in the real world (even if all real men in the real world were actually immortal).
Also, conclusions CANNOT be in the premises
My opponent has not shown where his argument is valid. I will show where his argument is invalid.

So let us consider the argument of MOA
For reader's sake, so they do not have to scroll back up, I will copy it verbatim from my opponent's post
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.


However, thanks to what my opponent did prior to the argument, I am going to do some substitution. I am going to replace the phrase 'maximally great being' wherever it appears in the argument, with what he defined it as (as existing).

1. It is possible that a being that cannot fail to exist, exists

2. If it is possible that a being that cannot fail to exist, then a being that cannot fail to exist exists in some possible world.

3. If a being that cannot fail to exist exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

4. If a being that cannot fail to exist exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world (our world).

5. If a being that cannot fail to exist exists in the actual world, then a being that cannot fail to exist exists.

6. Therefore, a being that cannot fail to exist exists.

Notice how point 6 (the conclusion) is basically identical to Premise 1, which renders the argument invalid (the conclusion is in the premise, which is a no-no in logical arguments).
Also I direct readers to notice that my opponent is playing fast and loose with the terminology of 'possible'. My opponent mentioned Possible Worlds (PW) and defined them as
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.
and gave the example where Donald Trump is the President of the United States, or is not in some other world.
This means that the statement "Donald Trump is the President of the United States" could be true or could be false. Donald Trump has NOT been defined as being the President prior to the making of that statement. The statement can be true at the time of writing, and could be false the next day (maybe Trump resigns).
Basically, that statement is one where my opponent allows for it to be either true or false.

However, I hope readers will notice what my opponent does NOT do with his Modal Ontological Argument. He does NOT allow for it to be either true or false. He defines the word God/MGB in such a way that it can only ever return a 'True' result. He does NOT allow for it to possibly return a 'False' result. This means that when in the formal argument, my opponent uses the word 'Possible', he does not use it to mean "Maybe it is true, maybe it is not true" (as most people would use it), but merely as a distraction from what he did when he defined God as existing a priori.

I think I will wrap it up for now. I invite my opponent to read carefully over what I wrote and await his reply. Thanks again to both my opponent and to readers.

EDIT - Edited 1 time to fix text color in the substitution portion.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:28 am
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Correction - Apologies, but the following section from my initial reply

Quote:
Far from it. I only need to show that the MOA
1) Not Logically Valid
2) Not Logically Sound
3) Cannot prove the Existence of God (which would require (1) and (2) to be true)


should be read as NOT having "(which would require (1) and (2) to be true)".

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:29 pm
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Re: The Modal Ontological Argument

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rikuoamero wrote:

In reading my opponent's opening post, my eyebrow was raised, in that my opponent does not outline what exactly we are to discuss here. Oh sure, he mentions that it is a topic that I like nothing more to offer refutations to (not so, there are a whole host of activities I like more than debunking this argument, but I'll let that slide)...but what exactly, precisely, am I arguing with FtK over? I think readers can be excused for not knowing themselves. This is the question that both FtK and myself agreed to argue over. I asked him for the question, for the precise wording, he gave it to me via PM and when I made the H2H request to otseng (site owner), FtK accepted the wording of the question in that he did not object to it.


True. My opponent asked me for the precise wording of the debate and I gave it to him, and we both agreed to it. Problem was, as we can all see: “The Modal Ontological Argument: Is it a logically sound/valid Argument for the Existence of God?” is a very lengthy title, and when I attempted to type the complete title into the “title” entry, the character limit was exceeded.

So instead of revising the title, I simply did what I did. I apologize to my opponent and viewers if there was no clarity in that regard. But let me make it clear, that I am arguing “Pro”, in favor of the validity/soundness of the Modal Ontological Argument. If it wasn’t clear before, it is clear now.


rikuoamero wrote:

I ask readers to read that carefully, to see what exactly we were supposed to argue over. My opponent was to argue that the Model Ontological Argument is
1) Logically Valid
2) Logically Sound
3) Can prove the Existence of God (which would require (1) and (2) to be true)


Indeed.

rikuoamero wrote:

In reading the OP...FtK does NOT do any of those. He does not go through the MOA to show that it is logically valid or sound.


I hate to say this in a formal debate setting, but that is complete nonsense. Did my opponent not read the entirety of my post? It is one thing to disagree with my justifications of how/why the argument is sound/valid. It is another thing to falsely claim I did not “go through the MOA to show that it is logically valid or sound”.

That is just simply a false statement. I gave justifications as to why each premise is true, and I don’t know what more my opponent can ask for in that regard.


rikuoamero wrote:
Indeed, in reading the OP, it is said that in order for myself to counter a point he has made, I would need to be omniscient myself.


Sure, that was one of the criteria’s that I laid out for my opponent to match. I’d like to know if he knows the other one, or did he not read that part?


rikuoamero wrote:

Far from it. I only need to show that the MOA
1) Not Logically Valid
2) Not Logically Sound
3) Cannot prove the Existence of God (which would require (1) and (2) to be true)


Really, let’s see.


rikuoamero wrote:

Before I get to discussing Points 1 or 2, I do have to discuss Point 3. Notice what is under debate here. FtK is trying to prove the existence of God, as in that is the very question under debate, so this means
Existence cannot be assumed prior to the argument .


That is simply not true. I did not assume that God existed prior to the argument. I merely gave the definition of the being in question. Whether or not the being exists would depend on the truth value of the premises of the argument.


rikuoamero wrote:

In reading the OP, FtK committed the exact same mistake as he did in his infamous thread of 2016, namely, he defines his God as existing prior to the argument.


Again, simply not true. I defined a “concept” of a particular alleged being. Now, whether or not this concept reflects reality would depend entirely on the truth value of the premises. Nothing is being “defined” into existence.


rikuoamero wrote:

This was something that I took FtK to task for in that thread, so I have to ask...why do the exact same thing here? Why assume the existence of God, instead of letting the argument 'prove' that organically?


Here, rikuoa is continuing the same misnomer from above. He has absolutely no basis for claiming that I am “assuming the existence of God”, when all I did was define the being that is in question.

I’d like my opponent to tell me if he would have rather that I not gave a clear/concise definition of the being in question (MGB)?


rikuoamero wrote:
It would be the exact same problem if we were trying to prove that Francis I is the Pope of Roman Catholicism and "Francis I" was defined, prior to the formal argument, as being the Pope of Roman Catholicism.


Still, the same misnomer. I gave the definition of the being in question, which says nothing about the truth value of the being’s actual existence.


rikuoamero wrote:
What happens if we were to have THAT argument and the day after, the man named Francis I retires (as Pope Benedict XVI did)? Suddenly, we would be facing the situation where a man has been defined as being one thing, only that definition is not actually true in the real world.


Here rikuoa makes my point for me. If the definition is not “actually true in the real world”, then how the being was defined becomes irrelevant, doesn’t it?


rikuoamero wrote:

Consider the following argument
P1) All men are mortal.
P2) Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
That argument is valid, even if it were not actually true in the real world (even if all real men in the real world were actually immortal).
Also, conclusions CANNOT be in the premises


I agree, conclusions cannot be in premises. But since that is not the case with the syllogism that is the MOA, let’s not waste any more time on red herrings.


rikuoamero wrote:
Thanks to what my opponent did prior to the argument, I am going to do some substitution. I am going to replace the phrase 'maximally great being' wherever it appears in the argument, with what he defined it as (as existing).


Ok.


rikuoamero wrote:

1. It is possible that a being that cannot fail to exist, exists

2. If it is possible that a being that cannot fail to exist, then a being that cannot fail to exist exists in some possible world.

3. If a being that cannot fail to exist exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

4. If a being that cannot fail to exist exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world (our world).

5. If a being that cannot fail to exist exists in the actual world, then a being that cannot fail to exist exists.

6. Therefore, a being that cannot fail to exist exists.

Notice how point 6 (the conclusion) is basically identical to Premise 1, which renders the argument invalid (the conclusion is in the premise, which is a no-no in logical arguments).


Here, my opponent is accusing me of fallaciously begging the question. What is begging the question? It is “when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it.” (www.txstate.edu/philosphy/resources/fallacy-definitions/Begging-the-Question.html).

To prove his accusation, he compared Premise 1 of the MOA to its conclusion, and claims that they are identical. Well, in that case..

1. More voters voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump
2. Therefore, Donald Trump lost the popular vote

Notice that this is the SAME concept/ idea that my opponent renders as invalid, yet, both statements are obviously true and the conclusion of #2 follows from #1.
As the actual definition of “begging the question” indicates, an argument is fallacious when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it”, and my opponent cannot accuse me of not supporting the premises, because I gave justifications for EACH premise of the argument (except 5).


rikuoamero wrote:

Also I direct readers to notice that my opponent is playing fast and loose with the terminology of 'possible'. My opponent mentioned Possible Worlds (PW) and defined them as
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.
and gave the example where Donald Trump is the President of the United States, or is not in some other world.
This means that the statement "Donald Trump is the President of the United States" could be true or could be false. Donald Trump has NOT been defined as being the President prior to the making of that statement. The statement can be true at the time of writing, and could be false the next day (maybe Trump resigns).
Basically, that statement is one where my opponent allows for it to be either true or false.


Readers should take the time to notice the complete irrelevance of the above paragraph. It has nothing to do with anything. Even if Donald Trump was defined as President prior to making the statement, the possibility of him being President would not be lessened in any way, shape, or form. Whether or not he actually President is irrelevant. The point is, is it possible? He may or may not be President, but is it possible for him to be, or not to be.

The idea was to give an example of a contingent proposition, which is what I did.


rikuoamero wrote:
However, I hope readers will notice what my opponent does NOT do with his Modal Ontological Argument. He does NOT allow for it to be either true or false.


Here, my opponent accuses me of not allowing for the MOA to be either true or false. I find that funny, considering all one would have to do is offer adequate refutation of Premise 1, which would bring the entire argument down in shambles. I gave premises that, if proven false, would make the MOA irrational. So how am I not allowing for it to be either true or false when it is right there, waiting to be debunked?? Makes no sense.


rikuoamero wrote:
He defines the word God/MGB in such a way that it can only ever return a 'True' result.


Hmm. If it can “only ever return a “True” result”…doesn’t that make it…true??


rikuoamero wrote:
He does NOT allow for it to possibly return a 'False' result.


My opponent is giving me way more credit that I deserve. It is simple; if you can debunk any one of the premises, do so. If you can’t, then the conclusion just logically follows, whether we like it or not.


rikuoamero wrote:
This means that when in the formal argument, my opponent uses the word 'Possible', he does not use it to mean "Maybe it is true, maybe it is not true" (as most people would use it), but merely as a distraction from what he did when he defined God as existing a priori.


Here, my opponent accuses me of doing magic. And it isn’t just him, as this is a common quip by most opponents of the MOA. They accuse proponents of the MOA of “defining God into existence”, as if proponents of the argument have magical powers and anything that we can “define”, it will come into existence. Again, wayyy too much credit.

What it all boils down to is simple; I defined a concept, and claimed that it is possible for this concept to exist in reality. When you take away all of the abstract, technical talk, that is all I did. It just so happens that, for reasons I have absolutely nothing to do with, that if it is merely possible for this being to exist, then it logically follows that this being exists in reality.

Now, my opponent and others don’t like the sound of that, but when it comes to truth, it doesn’t matter what we like/don’t like. Truth will always prevail.

I’d like readers to notice that my opponent spent almost his entire post making irrelevant points that has nothing to do with the meat and potatoes of the argument. All of the justifications for the premises went unanswered. He did not tell us why the existence of God is not possible, which is the holy grail of the entire argument.

Nevertheless, I’d like to thank him and I’d ask that he address the premises of the argument, particularly P1. That is, in my opinion, where the real argument lies.

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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:07 pm
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Re: The Modal Ontological Argument

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[Replying to post 4 by For_The_Kingdom]

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, to round 2 of the debate. I hope I still have everyone's attention.

Before I get back into things, no apologies needed Ftk. However, now that FtK has acknowledged the precise wording of the question, there is a little something from Post 1 I want to point out.

Quote:
As you can see, I sprinkled a little "Kalam" argument on the MOA

I would most appreciate it if my opponent could stick to the argument in question. Kalam is a separate argument to Modal. I will NOT discuss Kalam at any point in this debate.

I will now proceed.

In reading my opponent's latest response, he acts as if he has not done what I said he has done, which again raises an eyebrow in that it is plain and simple. He even admitted to it in Post 1.
In Post 4, FtK says
That is simply not true. I did not assume that God existed prior to the argument. I merely gave the definition of the being in question.
Perhaps there is a language barrier of some sort? I don't know (honest. I don't know if English is even FtK's first language). Assuming the existence of something is the exact same thing as defining that very thing as existing.
From Post 1
A MGB would also have to exist necessarily, meaning it would be impossible for such a being to NOT exist or fail to exist.
and again from Post 1, towards the end
a necessary existence is one of the attributes (for lack of a better term) of a MGB as defined in the argument (not by coincidence).

The entity in question, whose existence my opponent and I are arguing over, has already had its existence built into it by definition. It's existence is assumed (by my opponent, not by myself) prior to the laying out of the formal Modal Ontological Argument proper.
Indeed, my opponent says
Nothing is being “defined” into existence.
Readers I invite you to re-read the quotes in blue up above. It looks to me like something has indeed been defined into existence. Existence is one of the attributes of the MGB, according to my opponent. FtK, I invite you to explain to myself and readers how this is NOT assuming the existence of the MGB, or defining it into existence.

Quote:
I’d like my opponent to tell me if he would have rather that I not gave a clear/concise definition of the being in question (MGB)?

To answer this I will say: when arguing over an entity, over one of the attributes or properties of an entity, the specific attribute/property cannot be held by the entity by mere definition. If we want to argue over my weight, we cannot define rikuoamero as being 130kg prior to any argument or investigation.
Curiously enough, my opponent went back to the example of Donald Trump
Even if Donald Trump was defined as President prior to making the statement, the possibility of him being President would not be lessened in any way, shape, or form. Whether or not he actually President is irrelevant. The point is, is it possible? He may or may not be President, but is it possible for him to be, or not to be.
So, let's define Donald Trump as POTUS. Among other things, Donald Trump is defined as POTUS. In order for Donald Trump to be Donald Trump, he has to be POTUS, it is an intrinsic part of his being, his identity.
I invite my opponent to explain then how possibility enters the arena here? Apparently then, this means Donald Trump, from the moment of his conception, from his birth up until today and beyond, has always been POTUS and always will be. This line of reasoning would mean that Donald Trump was POTUS long before he even entertained the thought of running for office, before he won the election, and will be even after he leaves the White House in 4 or 8 years time.

Now back to the MOA, back to premise 1.
I hold that my opponent is misusing possibility. Here's Premise 1 again.
P1) It is possible for a maximally great being exists.

Previously he talked about possible worlds, and how things can either be true or not real. So if I substitute words again
P1) It is {either true or not true} for a maximally great being to exist
Hmm...either true or not true. For this statement to make sense as it is written right now, my opponent would have to concede that there is indeed a possibility for the entity in question to not exist (or a possible world where it doesn't exist).
Oh but wait...remember how my opponent defined MGB? Part of its definition is that it necessarily exists, it cannot fail to exist. So let's do some more substitution shall we?
P1) It is {either true or not true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists.

I don't know about my audience...but I'm seeing some massive problems there. Let's split P1 into two opposing statements
P1a) It is {true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists
P1b) It is {not true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists

P1b doesn't make sense. It's not true for a being that can't fail to exist, to exist? That doesn't sound right. Does my opponent agree that P1b is a mal-formed statement? Should we chuck it?
Assuming my opponent agrees, all we're left with then is P1a. It is true that a being that cannot fail to exist, exists. Apparently, {not true} was never a real possibility to begin with.
Which is what the conclusion is. Let's put P1a and the conclusion of the MOA together.

P1a) It is {true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists
Conclusion: 6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

(remember, part of the definition of MGB is being that cannot fail to exist).
My opponent agreed in his latest reply that such a thing is question begging.

Quote:
I agree, conclusions cannot be in premises.


Ladies and Gentlemen, the Modal Ontological Argument is logically invalid. Its premise 1 is identical to the conclusion.

I invite my opponent to respond.
Thank you for reading.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:24 pm
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Re: The Modal Ontological Argument

Like this post (1): Goose
Lets get right into it..

rikuoamero wrote:

I would most appreciate it if my opponent could stick to the argument in question. Kalam is a separate argument to Modal. I will NOT discuss Kalam at any point in this debate.


My opponent's opinion is well noted. However, I disagree with his sentiments, for the same reason I gave in the OP. I have the right to appeal to whatever I need to in order to justify the premises of my argument.

My opponent may not want to "discuss the Kalam in any point in this debate", however, what he SHOULD want do is address the justifications for the premises of the argument which I laid out, and if the justification (particularly P1) have sprinkles of KCA in it, then so be it.

I am simply justifying the premises of the argument, and I would hope that my opponent be more concerned about the truth value of the premises, and LESS concerned about what method is used to get there.

rikuoamero wrote:

In reading my opponent's latest response, he acts as if he has not done what I said he has done, which again raises an eyebrow in that it is plain and simple. He even admitted to it in Post 1.
In Post 4, FtK says
That is simply not true. I did not assume that God existed prior to the argument. I merely gave the definition of the being in question.
Perhaps there is a language barrier of some sort? I don't know (honest. I don't know if English is even FtK's first language). Assuming the existence of something is the exact same thing as defining that very thing as existing.


This strikes me as puzzling. I can only hope that readers don't share my opponents sentiments that "assuming the existence of something is the exact same thing as defining that very thing as existing".

Not only is this false, but it is demonstrably false. For example, again, there is no scientific evidence that Sasquatch exists. Yet, the concept of what the being is, is defined..and even people that DON'T believe in the existence of this creature can recognize/accept the definition while at the same time refusing to acknowledge the creature's existence.

I don't understand why my opponent continues to maintain such a false notion.

rikuoamero wrote:

The entity in question, whose existence my opponent and I are arguing over, has already had its existence built into it by definition. It's existence is assumed (by my opponent, not by myself) prior to the laying out of the formal Modal Ontological Argument proper.


Again, same false notion. Those that believe in Sasquatch, when they define it, "has already had its existence built into it by definition". But whether or not the creature exists is a separate question from how it is defined (unless the definition defies logical reasoning).

No one ever accuses Sasquatch believers of "defining the being into existence", do they? No, they don't. I truly hope that this isn't my opponent's best "refutation" of the MOA.

And not only that, but even if my opponent is correct, and I am "defining a MGB into existence", what does that say about the truth value of such an entity's existence? Does that mean that the being exists? No. Does it mean that the being doesn't exist? No.

It just has no barren truth value whatsoever. Yet, such an false (and irrelevant) notion is what I am spending time responding to, instead of more relevant and important matters of this subject.

rikuoamero wrote:

Indeed, my opponent says
Nothing is being “defined” into existence.
Readers I invite you to re-read the quotes in blue up above. It looks to me like something has indeed been defined into existence.


Ok, I am defining a 3-headed, green, 70ft long dragon that now lives in a cave in China.

Does how I define the beast have ANY barren on whether or not the beast exists, or whether it is POSSIBLE for the beast to exist?? No, it absolutely doesn't.

This is all just silly.

rikuoamero wrote:

Existence is one of the attributes of the MGB, according to my opponent. FtK, I invite you to explain to myself and readers how this is NOT assuming the existence of the MGB, or defining it into existence.


Because a non-believer of Sasquatch can give you the definition/concept of the creature without ASSUMING the existence of it. I just don't understand how this is so difficult for you to understand.

I can give you a definition of Ganesha (Hindu God) right now...and not only can I give you this definition without "assuming the existence" of it, but I can give you the definition while flat out DENYING the existence of the entity altogether.

Is this what the debate will continue to be about?

rikuoamero wrote:

To answer this I will say: when arguing over an entity, over one of the attributes or properties of an entity, the specific attribute/property cannot be held by the entity by mere definition.


My opponent makes this assertion without explaining why. I'd like my opponent to justify his assertion.

rikuoamero wrote:

If we want to argue over my weight, we cannot define rikuoamero as being 130kg prior to any argument or investigation.


If one of the individuals partaking in this debate has good reasons to believe that rikuoa is 130kg, then the reasons are justified. And that is the point, I gave good reasons in the OP as to why a MGB is rightfully necessary in its existence...and none of these reasons have been addressed by my opponent as of yet, and he has made two posts since then.

rikuoamero wrote:

Curiously enough, my opponent went back to the example of Donald Trump. So, let's define Donald Trump as POTUS. Among other things, Donald Trump is defined as POTUS. In order for Donald Trump to be Donald Trump, he has to be POTUS, it is an intrinsic part of his being, his identity.


First off, my opponent did not define "POTUS". I have no idea what that is/means.

rikuoamero wrote:

I invite my opponent to explain then how possibility enters the arena here? Apparently then, this means Donald Trump, from the moment of his conception, from his birth up until today and beyond, has always been POTUS and always will be. This line of reasoning would mean that Donald Trump was POTUS long before he even entertained the thought of running for office, before he won the election, and will be even after he leaves the White House in 4 or 8 years time.


Still don't know what POTUS is.

rikuoamero wrote:

Now back to the MOA, back to premise 1.
I hold that my opponent is misusing possibility. Here's Premise 1 again.
P1) It is possible for a maximally great being exists.

Previously he talked about possible worlds, and how things can either be true or not real. So if I substitute words again
P1) It is {either true or not true} for a maximally great being to exist
Hmm...either true or not true. For this statement to make sense as it is written right now, my opponent would have to concede that there is indeed a possibility for the entity in question to not exist (or a possible world where it doesn't exist).


My opponent is using a bit of a "reverse" MOA argument here, implying that "there is also a possibility for the being in question to NOT exist". I have two things to say to that, as my opponents objections fail because..

1. If the concept/definition of the being in question is logically sound, then such a being's existence is possible. In order for my opponent's objection to work, he would have to show that there is a logical contradiction based on the mere concept of the said being. My opponent has as of yet to make any attempt to do this.

2. I've argued that existence (in general) is necessary, and based on the fact that the universe is contingent (doesn't have to be here), then it follows that the must have come from a non-contingent, immaterial, NECESSARY entity. It could not have been otherwise. My opponent merely dismissed this without failing to realize its importance as it relates to this "necessary" business that is so key to the the argument.

So no, it isn't that easy for my opponent to just shrug off in such a "Well, it may also NOT be possible for this said entity to exist". If my opponent feels this way, then I'd like him to address #1 accordingly.

rikuoamero wrote:

Oh but wait...remember how my opponent defined MGB? Part of its definition is that it necessarily exists, it cannot fail to exist. So let's do some more substitution shall we?
P1) It is {either true or not true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists.

I don't know about my audience...but I'm seeing some massive problems there. Let's split P1 into two opposing statements
P1a) It is {true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists
P1b) It is {not true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists

P1b doesn't make sense. It's not true for a being that can't fail to exist, to exist? That doesn't sound right. Does my opponent agree that P1b is a mal-formed statement? Should we chuck it?
Assuming my opponent agrees, all we're left with then is P1a.


We can chuck it (P1b) because the premises is false.

rikuoamero wrote:

It is true that a being that cannot fail to exist, exists. Apparently, {not true} was never a real possibility to begin with.


And?

rikuoamero wrote:

Which is what the conclusion is. Let's put P1a and the conclusion of the MOA together.

P1a) It is {true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists
Conclusion: 6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

(remember, part of the definition of MGB is being that cannot fail to exist).
My opponent agreed in his latest reply that such a thing is question begging.


It can't be question begging if my opponent was given REASONS/JUSTIFICATION for the argument.

rikuoamero wrote:

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Modal Ontological Argument is logically invalid. Its premise 1 is identical to the conclusion.

I invite my opponent to respond.
Thank you for reading.


My opponent has yet to explain to us why it isn't possible for a MGB to exist. Instead, he has complained about irrelevant stuff that has nothing to do with the premises of the argument. He has also offered counter-syllogisms which also doesn't undermine the truth value of the premises.

Again, I'd invite my opponent to address the premises of the argument. Thanks, until next time.

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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:29 pm
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Re: The Modal Ontological Argument

Like this post (1): Blastcat
[Replying to post 6 by For_The_Kingdom]

Hello people, welcome back to the debate. Apologies for the delay, real life intruded. I was busy preparing for my youngest sister's birthday.

Quote:
I am simply justifying the premises of the argument, and I would hope that my opponent be more concerned about the truth value of the premises, and LESS concerned about what method is used to get there.

Given that the question we are debating here, I am very concerned about the method, not just the truth value of the premises. Indeed, the method itself is what we use to determine truth.

In reading my opponent's reply, it seems that he honestly does not understand just what he was doing when he defined the MOA as necessarily existing.

Quote:
I can only hope that readers don't share my opponents sentiments that "assuming the existence of something is the exact same thing as defining that very thing as existing".

Not only is this false, but it is demonstrably false. For example, again, there is no scientific evidence that Sasquatch exists. Yet, the concept of what the being is, is defined..and even people that DON'T believe in the existence of this creature can recognize/accept the definition while at the same time refusing to acknowledge the creature's existence.

The difference between Sasquatch and the MGB my friend is that no-one defines the Sasquatch as necessarily existing/not failing to exist before either investigation or a formal argument is made. Someone may define the Sasquatch as being eight feet tall, furry and carnivorous, but they don't say that it meets some vague standard of maximal excellence and that it cannot fail to exist.

Quote:
I don't understand why my opponent continues to maintain such a false notion.

Because the MGB is rigged to return a 'true' result. My opponent conceded this when he agrees that P1b
P1b) It is {not true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists
should be discarded. This reveals the sleight of hand my opponent was doing, either wittingly or unwittingly (I presume unwittingly). My opponent talks about possibility, possible worlds, but with how MGB is defined, there quite simply is no possibility of it not existing from the get go. Premise 1 looks like it means that it may be true, it may not be true, that the MGB exists, but as I showed through breaking it down, and as my opponent agrees, that is not actually what Premise 1 means. It means simply that the MGB exists. It doesn't allow for the MGB to not exist, even as a possibility.

Quote:
Again, same false notion. Those that believe in Sasquatch, when they define it, "has already had its existence built into it by definition".

No they do not. Do people think of the Sasquatch in the same way as MGB, as it possessing maximal attributes? That is what my opponent defines the MGB as, as possessing maximal attributes, and then saying that this means it cannot fail to exist. Is my opponent suggesting the Sasquatch is maximally powerful, for example?

Quote:
But whether or not the creature exists is a separate question from how it is defined

Does my opponent not realise that this then means the entire MOA is rendered null and void with this admission? That there is now no point to it? My opponent has previously expressed an admiration for the MOA, said something along the lines of how it serves to justify the existence of God. However, if defining a creature (or MGB or God) as necessarily existing does not actually entail that the entity in question exists in reality...then what's the point of the MOA? Is the conclusion of the MOA to be ignored then?

Quote:
No one ever accuses Sasquatch believers of "defining the being into existence", do they? No, they don't.

Agreed, they do not. It might have something to do with the fact that Sasquatch is not defined as possessing maximal attributes that (in my opponent's mind at least) mean it cannot fail to exist.

Quote:
And not only that, but even if my opponent is correct, and I am "defining a MGB into existence", what does that say about the truth value of such an entity's existence? Does that mean that the being exists? No. Does it mean that the being doesn't exist? No.

It just has no barren truth value whatsoever. Yet, such an false (and irrelevant) notion is what I am spending time responding to, instead of more relevant and important matters of this subject.

Again, this only helps my side of the argument, in that this renders the MOA utterly pointless. In fact, in a bit, I will show how even without defining the MGB as necessarily existing, the argument still fails.

Quote:
Ok, I am defining a 3-headed, green, 70ft long dragon that now lives in a cave in China.

Does how I define the beast have ANY barren on whether or not the beast exists, or whether it is POSSIBLE for the beast to exist?? No, it absolutely doesn't.

This is all just silly.

My opponent does not define said dragon as possessing maximal attributes of one kind or another that somehow translate to it not failing to exist. Going by that definition, I could theoretically explore every cave in China and conclude the dragon does not exist once I am done.

Quote:
Because a non-believer of Sasquatch can give you the definition/concept of the creature without ASSUMING the existence of it.

How does the non-believer know that any description he gives of the Sasquatch is accurate? He doesn't believe it exists. I don't believe God exists, so how do I know any definitions I give for the term 'God' are accurate? What if the 'real' God is not omniscient, for example? If it isn't, then my opponent's definition of it possessing maximal knowledge is flawed (and thus, so would be the MOA).

Quote:
I can give you a definition of Ganesha (Hindu God) right now...and not only can I give you this definition without "assuming the existence" of it, but I can give you the definition while flat out DENYING the existence of the entity altogether.

How do YOU know that your definition is accurate? Sure you may hear about Ganesha from Hindus but unless they can demonstrate the existence of their god, all you'd have to go on is their word. They could be mistaken about it being an elephant god for example.

Quote:
My opponent makes this assertion without explaining why. I'd like my opponent to justify his assertion.

Simple. If I define an entity as necessarily having Attribute X (in this case, existence), it means I do not allow for the possibility of it not having Attribute X. In my mind, the entity has that attribute and there is no way for it to not have it.

Quote:
If one of the individuals partaking in this debate has good reasons to believe that rikuoa is 130kg, then the reasons are justified.

Reasons are not given. If I am curious about my weight, my methodology to find out what I weigh is flawed if I start out by defining myself as necessarily being 130kg. This would mean that I would have to discard any alternate results my bathroom scales might give me.
As shown by my opponent agreeing to discard P1b), this isn't a case of "let's see if the entity exists or not", as one normally would elsewhere.

Quote:
First off, my opponent did not define "POTUS". I have no idea what that is/means.

POTUS = President of the United States.

So if one defines Donald Trump as POTUS, we define Donald Trump as being President. So instead of saying "Let's check the election results to see who won", this means Donald Trump is necessarily President of the United States, even before he won the election and after he leaves the White House in 4/8 years.
Considering that this is quite obviously bizarre and counter to reality, this is yet another reason why defining an entity as having a certain attribute before investigation, as stating flat out that it does have it, that it cannot fail to have it, does not bear fruit.
One may propose an attribute, and investigate, but to say it necessarily has it/cannot fail to have it?

Quote:
1. If the concept/definition of the being in question is logically sound, then such a being's existence is possible. In order for my opponent's objection to work, he would have to show that there is a logical contradiction based on the mere concept of the said being. My opponent has as of yet to make any attempt to do this.

Not so. I just have to show how, when my opponent claims that he's talking about possibility as most people would (i.e. contingency, it may be true or it may not be true), the MOA doesn't actually do that. P1b) has been shown, and rejected by my opponent, so possibility doesn't really enter the picture. The being in question is declared flat out to exist.

Quote:
I've argued that existence (in general) is necessary, and based on the fact that the universe is contingent (doesn't have to be here), then it follows that the must have come from a non-contingent, immaterial, NECESSARY entity. It could not have been otherwise. My opponent merely dismissed this without failing to realize its importance as it relates to this "necessary" business that is so key to the the argument.

Again, I am not going to discuss Kalam.

Quote:
So no, it isn't that easy for my opponent to just shrug off in such a "Well, it may also NOT be possible for this said entity to exist".

My opponent is not paying attention. I actually did not do the above. What I did was show how one (not myself) may attempt to refute the MOA by doing the above, but that doing so leads to a malformed statement, thus showing the sleight of hand being done with Premise 1.

Quote:
And?

Thus revealing the misdirection in the MOA. Contingency is talked about in a preamble, but is not actually used in the argument proper.

Quote:
It can't be question begging if my opponent was given REASONS/JUSTIFICATION for the argument.

The reasons are assumed. Remember, no-one actually demonstrates the existence of the MGB. It is given various proposed characteristics (the various omni's) and declared to necessarily exist.
As far as I am concerned, there are no actual justifications. Just proposals at best. So the argument becomes question begging. P1a can be shortened to
P1a) The entity that cannot fail to exist, exists
and if we toss in the conclusion
Conclusion: The entity that cannot fail to exist, exists
Classic question begging.

Quote:
My opponent has yet to explain to us why it isn't possible for a MGB to exist.

Because technically, I don't have to. The question for debate, as proposed by my opponent, is whether or not the MOA is logically valid or sound for the existence of God.
It seems strange to me why my opponent is complaining that I have not attempted something that strictly speaking has nothing to do with the debate.

-----
As promised earlier, I will show how the MOA fails even when we don't assume the MGB to exist. So let's take my opponent's definitions
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, knowing the truth value of all propositions.
Omnipotent: Can do anything that is logically possible.
Omnipresent: Presence is manifested, whether physically or spiritually, everywhere, at any given time
Omnibenevolent: The ultimate source of goodness, morally perfect.

These "omni" properties (OP) are known as "great making" properties..as a being's greatness is measured based on these properties and the value of these properties. A MGB is a being of whom these properties are "maxed out" to such a degree at which there is nothing left to add, making it impossible to think of a "greater" being.


Notice what I am leaving out. I am leaving out all mention of it not failing to exist. Let's pretend for a moment that it was never defined as existing to begin with.

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.


Okay, let's do some substitution.

1. It {may be true or may not be true} that a maximally great being exists

2. If it {may be true or may not be true} 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.


Now, instead of question begging, we have a non sequitur. Notice how we never establish that the MGB actually DOES exist. Notice how we cannot show that it actually does exist, even in a possible world. The conclusion does not flow from the premises.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:49 pm
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Re: The Modal Ontological Argument

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Back to business..

rikuoamero wrote:

Given that the question we are debating here, I am very concerned about the method, not just the truth value of the premises.


As readers can see, my opponent is not addressing the reasons I gave as to why a necessary being must exist. He would rather waste more time on irrelevancies.

rikuoamero wrote:

In reading my opponent's reply, it seems that he honestly does not understand just what he was doing when he defined the MOA as necessarily existing.


Again, yet another irrelevant point. Either a necessary being exists, or a necessary being doesn't exist.

I gave reasons as to why a necessary being exists, and in three replies, my opponent has yet to engage in my justifications.

rikuoamero wrote:

The difference between Sasquatch and the MGB my friend is that no-one defines the Sasquatch as necessarily existing/not failing to exist before either investigation or a formal argument is made.


This is the third irrelevant point in a row from my opponent. We are talking about about the evidence/lack of evidence of an entity. It doesn't matter if the given entity is labeled as "necessary" or not. Either the being exists, or it doesn't exist. Either there are reasons to believe that the being exists, or NO good reasons that the being exists.

This rather futile point leads me to believe that this is simply a red herring tactic from my opponent. No basis whatsoever.

rikuoamero wrote:

Someone may define the Sasquatch as being eight feet tall, furry and carnivorous, but they don't say that it meets some vague standard of maximal excellence and that it cannot fail to exist.


Even if the Sasquatch was defined as necessary, that STILL doesn't mean that it is being "defined" into existence, especially given the fact that it isn't possible for the Sasquatch to exist necessarily.

See how that works? A necessarily existing Sasquatch would not make it pass P1 of the MOA..unlike a MGB.

rikuoamero wrote:

Because the MGB is rigged to return a 'true' result. My opponent conceded this when he agrees that P1b
P1b) It is {not true} that a {being that cannot fail to exist} exists
should be discarded. This reveals the sleight of hand my opponent was doing, either wittingly or unwittingly (I presume unwittingly). My opponent talks about possibility, possible worlds, but with how MGB is defined, there quite simply is no possibility of it not existing from the get go.


There is also no possibility of 2+2 to equal anything besides 4...but I doubt my opponent will claim "there is no possibility of it not equally 4 from the get go", and if he does, he will not make such a statement as a critique, but rather, as an accepted fact of life.

My opponent accuses me of "sleight of hand" tactics. But why?

It is possible for MGB to exist. <---this is pretty much all I claimed in the argument. Anything else besides this (in the argument), just logically follows from the truth value of it (P1).

rikuoamero wrote:

Premise 1 looks like it means that it may be true, it may not be true, that the MGB exists


My opponent shows a misunderstanding of necessary truths. To say God's existence "may be true" is the same as saying "It is possible for God to exist". However, if it is possible for God to exist, then it is impossible for God to not exist.

All possible necessary truths must be actually true. I already addressed this point in the OP. Just thought I'd mention that.

rikuoamero wrote:

, but as I showed through breaking it down, and as my opponent agrees, that is not actually what Premise 1 means. It means simply that the MGB exists.


Because it is possible for a MGB to exist.

rikuoamero wrote:

It doesn't allow for the MGB to not exist, even as a possibility.


Is't it my opponents job to state why the argument doesn't "allow for the MGB to not exist"?

So, my opponent wants me to make his case for him? That is his job. He is suppose to tell us why the argument doesn't allow for the MGB to not exist, not me.

rikuoamero wrote:

No they do not. Do people think of the Sasquatch in the same way as MGB, as it possessing maximal attributes?


Even if they did, they still wouldn't be defining the Sasquatch into existence. The Sasquatch won't magically begin to exist because someone throws a "necessary" label on it.

rikuoamero wrote:

Does my opponent not realise that this then means the entire MOA is rendered null and void with this admission? That there is now no point to it? My opponent has previously expressed an admiration for the MOA, said something along the lines of how it serves to justify the existence of God. However, if defining a creature (or MGB or God) as necessarily existing does not actually entail that the entity in question exists in reality...then what's the point of the MOA? Is the conclusion of the MOA to be ignored then?


Ok, so I am defining rikuoamero as a human who exists necessarily. That is how he is defined. Now, does it follow that rikuomero exists necessarily, because he was just defined as "necessarily" existing?

No, it clearly doesn't. Yet, my opponent just gave an implication otherwise, when he asked "if defining a creature/God as necessarily existing does not actually entail that the entity in question exists in reality...then what is the point of the MOA?".


Yet, I just defined him as necessarily existing, which in fact does not "actually entail that he exists necessarily in reality".

Newsflash: rikuoamero doesn't necessarily exist, because it isn't POSSIBLE for him to exist necessarily.

And on the flip side, God exists, because it is possible for God to exist necessarily. My opponent has yet to make a case otherwise.

rikuoamero wrote:

Agreed, they do not. It might have something to do with the fact that Sasquatch is not defined as possessing maximal attributes that (in my opponent's mind at least) mean it cannot fail to exist.


I already addressed this point as irrelevant...above, you, rikuomero, were defined as a necessary being...yet, you don't exist necessarily. The fact that in reality, you DON'T exist necessarily should supersede any definition of you which says otherwise.

So all of this "define x into existence" is futile.

rikuoamero wrote:

Again, this only helps my side of the argument, in that this renders the MOA utterly pointless. In fact, in a bit, I will show how even without defining the MGB as necessarily existing, the argument still fails.


I had hoped that you would do this in your first post.

rikuoamero wrote:

My opponent does not define said dragon as possessing maximal attributes of one kind or another that somehow translate to it not failing to exist.


Irrelevant. If I defined said dragon as possessing maximal attributes, the question is still open as whether it is possible for the said dragon to exist. I don't know what part of that my opponent doesn't understand.

rikuoamero wrote:

Going by that definition, I could theoretically explore every cave in China and conclude the dragon does not exist once I am done.


But that doesn't answer the question of whether it is POSSIBLE for the said dragon to exist (P1).

Readers notice: I am continually trying to get my opponent to deal with P1 of the argument.

rikuoamero wrote:

How does the non-believer know that any description he gives of the Sasquatch is accurate?


He who?

rikuoamero wrote:

He doesn't believe it exists. I don't believe God exists, so how do I know any definitions I give for the term 'God' are accurate? What if the 'real' God is not omniscient, for example?


If the "real" God is not omniscient, then the real God is not a MGB...but since it is possible for a MGB to exist (as P1 indicates), then "what if" scenarios are irrelevant, considering all possible necessary truths must actually be true.

rikuoamero wrote:

If it isn't, then my opponent's definition of it possessing maximal knowledge is flawed (and thus, so would be the MOA).


So, "if the real God is not omniscient, then my definition of it possessing maximal knowledge is flawed".

Well, by the same token; "If the real God is omniscient, then my opponent's concept of a non-omniscient God is flawed".

See what I did there? That is the kind of logic we are dealing with, readers.

rikuoamero wrote:

How do YOU know that your definition is accurate? Sure you may hear about Ganesha from Hindus but unless they can demonstrate the existence of their god, all you'd have to go on is their word. They could be mistaken about it being an elephant god for example.


I would base their inaccurate view of God based on the background information I have regarding the truth value of Christianity. Let's just leave it at that, because I can already see you are trying to get off topic.

rikuoamero wrote:

Simple. If I define an entity as necessarily having Attribute X (in this case, existence), it means I do not allow for the possibility of it not having Attribute X. In my mind, the entity has that attribute and there is no way for it to not have it.


There is a way out of it...all one would have to do is PROVE that it isn't possible for the entity to have necessary existence.

Again, you make it seem as if definitions have magical powers or something. Just because something is "defined" a certain way doesn't mean that it reflects reality.

rikuoamero wrote:

Reasons are not given. If I am curious about my weight, my methodology to find out what I weigh is flawed if I start out by defining myself as necessarily being 130kg.


And that is EXACTLY the point!!! You can "define" yourself as necessarily being 130kg, but once you step on the scale and see a result of 170kg, does it matter how you were previously defined? No, it doesn't.

The former definition doesn't reflect the latter result. That is the point that you continually fail to understand, or should I say, fail to accept.

rikuoamero wrote:

POTUS = President of the United States.


Ok, gotcha.

rikuoamero wrote:

So if one defines Donald Trump as POTUS, we define Donald Trump as being President. So instead of saying "Let's check the election results to see who won", this means Donald Trump is necessarily President of the United States, even before he won the election and after he leaves the White House in 4/8 years.
Considering that this is quite obviously bizarre and counter to reality, this is yet another reason why defining an entity as having a certain attribute before investigation, as stating flat out that it does have it, that it cannot fail to have it, does not bear fruit.
One may propose an attribute, and investigate, but to say it necessarily has it/cannot fail to have it?


I fail to see my opponent's point.

rikuoamero wrote:

Not so. I just have to show how, when my opponent claims that he's talking about possibility as most people would (i.e. contingency, it may be true or it may not be true), the MOA doesn't actually do that.

P1b) has been shown, and rejected by my opponent, so possibility doesn't really enter the picture. The being in question is declared flat out to exist.


The MGB in the MOA is declared flat out to exist based on the truth value of P1 of the argument, which my opponent has yet to refute.

rikuoamero wrote:

Again, I am not going to discuss Kalam.


Readers notice: In my prior post, I gave my opponent what I thought was a very informed reason as to why used "sprinkles" of the KCA in this debate. Instead of addressing my justification, he is simply giving a plain statement of "I am not going to discuss the Kalam", which is blatantly ignoring my reasons by not even explaining why.

That, to me is unacceptable. And not only that, but my opponent still hasn't adequately address any of the premises of the argument which I laid out.

Therefore, I am going to stop wasting my time and forfeit this debate. My opponent can have the last word, but I am done.

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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:48 pm
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Re: The Modal Ontological Argument

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[Replying to post 8 by For_The_Kingdom]

Hello dear readers, welcome back to what may be the final round. It looks like my opponent is throwing in the towel. Why is that?

Quote:
As readers can see, my opponent is not addressing the reasons I gave as to why a necessary being must exist. He would rather waste more time on irrelevancies.


It seems that my opponent is getting annoyed that I am not doing what he thought I would do when we agreed to have this little palaver.

FtK...perhaps in the future, if ever you do another head to head, you might pay attention to the question being debated, especially when you were the one who proposed it.
For both your and reader's consideration, here is the debate question.

The Modal Ontological Argument: Is it a logically sound/valid Argument for the Existence of God?
In case it has escaped my opponent's attention, my efforts to date have been centered on whether or not the MOA makes a logically valid argument. I have not as of yet explored whether or not it is logically sound. My opponent it seems was planning to discuss the MGB that is mentioned in the argument, and was woefully unprepared to debate the MOA itself.
To be absolutely clear - my focus was on the argument, as predicated by the question.
To give an analogy
Major premise: All humans are mortal.
Minor premise: All Greeks are humans.
Conclusion: All Greeks are mortal.
If we were debating that argument, my opponent would be wanting to discuss solely the Greeks mentioned in the argument, and not the entire argument itself.

Quote:
Again, yet another irrelevant point. Either a necessary being exists, or a necessary being doesn't exist.

As I have shown through breaking down Premise 1, and in my efforts to date, this is nothing more than a declaration, a defining of the entity in question into existence. My opponent defines his entity, the MGB, as being necessary, and voila! In his mind, it exists in the real world.
I of course take umbrage with this, and have explained it already.

Quote:
I gave reasons as to why a necessary being exists, and in three replies, my opponent has yet to engage in my justifications.

In my replies, I have been focusing on how the argument dubbed Modal Ontological is logically invalid. Perhaps my opponent can explain to us how my responses in that area are somehow not pertinent to the question?

Quote:
This is the third irrelevant point in a row from my opponent. We are talking about about the evidence/lack of evidence of an entity. It doesn't matter if the given entity is labeled as "necessary" or not. Either the being exists, or it doesn't exist.

My opponent is now contradicting himself. Earlier, he said
Either a necessary being exists, or a necessary being doesn't exist.
Now apparently it doesn't matter if the entity is labelled as necessary?

Quote:
Either there are reasons to believe that the being exists, or NO good reasons that the being exists.

This may be where my opponent has chosen to hang his hat, but I have to remind him to re-read the part in red up above. Perhaps my opponent can read the question we were supposed to debate?

Quote:
See how that works? A necessarily existing Sasquatch would not make it pass P1 of the MOA..unlike a MGB.

I'd like my opponent to explain this. Someone defines the Sasquatch as existing necessarily...and yet somehow it doesn't pass Premise 1? (Neither does the MGB, but if my opponent wants to continue, I'll happily divulge my reasons for saying so)

So let's see shall we?
Premise 1: It is possible for the MGB to exist
Premise 2: It is possible for Sasquatch to exist

Hmm...both entities in question have been defined as necessarily existing, so thanks to my earlier breakdown of Premise 1, I have
Premise 1: The MGB exists
Premise 1: Sasquatch exists

Can my opponent show where I have made an error, if any?

Quote:
There is also no possibility of 2+2 to equal anything besides 4

Really? How sure is my opponent of this? I know for a fact that 2+2 can equal something other than 4 in certain cases. I will give a challenge to my opponent: falsify his own claims (or attempt to), in order to see if they pass muster.

Quote:
My opponent accuses me of "sleight of hand" tactics. But why?

It is possible for MGB to exist. <---this is pretty much all I claimed in the argument. Anything else besides this (in the argument), just logically follows from the truth value of it (P1).


How can I put it any simpler? I'll give it a try.
FtK...you talk a great deal about possibility, about possible worlds. You gave an example of a statement that is either true or false, such as "Donald Trump is the President of the United States".
You then proceeded to talk about your MGB and inserted it into the MOA, and used the word 'possible' several times in the premises. However...the meaning of the word 'possible' in the premises (P1, P2 and so on) is not the same meaning as when you used it before.
I have examined Premise 1, and shown how when attempting to use 'possible' in terms of contingency, Premise 1 is actually NOT talking about a statement that is either true or false, as we normally would use the word possible for. If we attempt to examine whether Premise 1 is not true, it leads to a malformed statement, a sentence that does not make sense, it contradicts itself. Remember P1b?
It is not true that a being that cannot fail to exist, exists
So no, Premise 1 does not use 'possible' in the contingent sense, as you tried to lead readers to believe.
There is your sleight of hand.

Quote:
My opponent shows a misunderstanding of necessary truths. To say God's existence "may be true" is the same as saying "It is possible for God to exist". However, if it is possible for God to exist, then it is impossible for God to not exist.

Again, is my opponent using 'may be true', 'possible' in a contingent sense? If yes, he has to allow for the possibility that his God/MGB does not exist...which I can guarantee he won't. If no...then we have the actual misdirection (unlike what my opponent accuses myself of).

Quote:
All possible necessary truths must be actually true. I already addressed this point in the OP.

Does my opponent still not realise that I can see through the misdirection? If possible here is being used in the contingent sense, then his statement makes no sense. "All necessary truths that may be true or may not be true, are actually true".
If not, it is a rigged result. Much like showing someone a dice with 6 faces, but is loaded only to land on the one specific number.

Quote:
Because it is possible for a MGB to exist.

My opponent declares the MGB to exist, and is actually NOT going through a process of possibility.

Quote:
Is't it my opponents job to state why the argument doesn't "allow for the MGB to not exist"?

My job is to show how the Modal Ontological Argument is
1) Logically invalid
2) Logically unsound

I think that I have number 1 covered. My job is actually NOT to show that the argument 'doesn't allow for the MGB to exist'

Quote:
Even if they did, they still wouldn't be defining the Sasquatch into existence. The Sasquatch won't magically begin to exist because someone throws a "necessary" label on it.

So...somehow a Sasquatch can have maximal attributes, such that it becomes the MGB (as that is what the MGB is, a being with maximally great attributes)...and yet Sasquatch wouldn't begin to exist, wouldn't be defined into existence?
But God as an MGB...THAT exists necessarily. Somehow it manages to exist in its own special category.
I think my opponent quite honestly does not understand what he is doing. He is contradicting himself.

Quote:
Ok, so I am defining rikuoamero as a human who exists necessarily. That is how he is defined. Now, does it follow that rikuomero exists necessarily, because he was just defined as "necessarily" existing?

In the confines of the MOA...yes, I exist necessarily. The MOA returns a rigged result, thanks to my being defined as existing necessarily. According to the MOA, there is no way, none whatsoever, not even the slightest shred of possibility for rikuoamero to not exist. I quite simply cannot fail to exist.
Given what both my opponent and I are familiar with (the real world), we know that this is not true however. The MOA does not line up with reality, since we both know that I happened to have been conceived and born, and will one day die.

Quote:
Yet, I just defined him as necessarily existing, which in fact does not "actually entail that he exists necessarily in reality".

So if we define rikuoamero as existing necessarily, put rikuoamero through the MOA and end up with the conclusion of 'Therefore, rikuoamero exists' (and ignore the question begging)...are we to ignore the conclusion? The conclusion does NOT actually say anything true about reality?
What about God/MGB? If I put that through the MOA, read the conclusion (and ignore the question begging), is there a statement being made about actual reality?


Quote:
Because it is possible for a MGB to exist.

Misdirection, sleight of hand. Does my opponent mean possible in the contingent sense, or no?

Quote:
The fact that in reality, you DON'T exist necessarily should supersede any definition of you which says otherwise.

Correct. We are applying what we already know about myself, and rejecting anything that does not conform, that contradicts it.
However, with the MGB, or God as others may call it...? I don't know anything about that. All I have to go on are quite literally my opponent's definitions.

Quote:
If I defined said dragon as possessing maximal attributes, the question is still open as whether it is possible for the said dragon to exist.

Again, this would render the MOA a null and void argument, in that even an MGB (a being that is maximally great) wouldn't necessarily exist, according to my opponent.
If my opponent disagrees, care to explain how the above does NOT apply to the MGB?

Quote:
Readers notice: I am continually trying to get my opponent to deal with P1 of the argument.

Readers notice: Perhaps it has escaped my opponent's notice that I HAVE dealt with P1. Just not in a fashion that he likes. I have explored how P1 is basically the same as the conclusion, thus leading to question begging, thus satisfying what I set out to do with the debate question.

Quote:
If the "real" God is not omniscient, then the real God is not a MGB...but since it is possible for a MGB to exist (as P1 indicates), then "what if" scenarios are irrelevant, considering all possible necessary truths must actually be true.

Readers, please notice that my opponent is not entertaining even the slightest doubt towards the MOA.

Quote:
So, "if the real God is not omniscient, then my definition of it possessing maximal knowledge is flawed".

Well, by the same token; "If the real God is omniscient, then my opponent's concept of a non-omniscient God is flawed".

See what I did there? That is the kind of logic we are dealing with, readers.

Perhaps my opponent will realise that I am not actually putting forth an entity and claiming it to exist. Perhaps my opponent will realise that his argument, despite using the word possible does not deal in possibility.

Quote:
I would base their inaccurate view of God based on the background information I have regarding the truth value of Christianity. Let's just leave it at that, because I can already see you are trying to get off topic.

Readers, please notice the hypocrisy of my opponent. He defined the question for debate, and has admitted to trying to get me to discuss the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which is off topic.

Quote:
There is a way out of it...all one would have to do is PROVE that it isn't possible for the entity to have necessary existence.

Perhaps my opponent doesn't realise the trap that happens once an entity has been defined as having Attribute X from the get go.
What proof can I offer to FtK that he would accept that his MGB does not in fact exist?
Is he open to the possibility? Can his MGB fail to exist, in other words?

Quote:
And that is EXACTLY the point!!! You can "define" yourself as necessarily being 130kg, but once you step on the scale and see a result of 170kg, does it matter how you were previously defined? No, it doesn't.

So let me get this straight. Let's see if I understand my opponent. He seems to be suggesting that he can define the MGB as necessarily existing, as not failing to exist, and if I happen to investigate in the real world and come to a conclusion that the MGB does not exist (or at least hasn't been found)...my opponent will accept my findings over what the MOA says?

I'd like my opponent to explain how, in a hypothetical world, I can define myself as not failing to be 130kg and yet let weighing scales say that I fail to be 130kg (perhaps the number on the scales is 140kg).

Quote:
I fail to see my opponent's point.

How much clearer can I be? Donald Trump has been defined as being something, and yet investigation reveals the definition to be untrue (as my opponent has himself just said). Where and how can I investigate the MGB to see if it actually IS omniscient, or should I accept that as a matter of pure definition?

Quote:
Instead of addressing my justification, he is simply giving a plain statement of "I am not going to discuss the Kalam", which is blatantly ignoring my reasons by not even explaining why.

How much clearer can I get other than by pointing to the question for this debate that we both agreed to, and that my opponent provided?

Quote:
That, to me is unacceptable. And not only that, but my opponent still hasn't adequately address any of the premises of the argument which I laid out.

Premise 1 is the same as the conclusion, and I have shown how. This leads to question begging. Does my opponent disagree?

Quote:
Therefore, I am going to stop wasting my time and forfeit this debate. My opponent can have the last word, but I am done.

IF my opponent says so, very well. However, to ape Blastcat from this forum, I shall close off this post with a series of questions.


1) When my opponent uses 'possible' in the Modal Ontological Argument, does he mean 'it may be true, or it may not be true' as most people would use the word?
2) How is it Sasquatch can be defined as having maximal attributes, as necessarily existing, and yet somehow it does not actually necessarily exist in the real world...yet if we do the exact same thing for this other thing we call God, God really does exist?
3) Why is it my opponent seems to have been completely unprepared for the actual topic of debate? My opponent seems to have been prepared to discuss the existence of the MGB, and not the logical validity/soundness of the Modal Ontological Argument.

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