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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:30 pm  Shadow Thread for MOA H2H version 2 Reply with quote

Okay, this is the shadow thread for the debate currently underway between For_The_Kingdom and Wiploc on the Modal Ontological Argument.
Just anyone interested in what I think about this debate, about it occurring so soon after my own against the very same opponent? Perhaps people can guess what this makes me think about FtK.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 31: Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:03 am

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If you read the Bible, and you are unable to draw the conclusion that God is the greatest conceivable being, then you (not personally, but in general) need to see a doctor.

In terms of ability, I can conceive of beings greater than the feller in the Bible. I can conceive of someone who does whatever it is Jesus is supposed to accomplish without having to resort to Jesus being nailed to a piece of wood. I can conceive of a feller who isn't stupid enough to tell a man and woman not to eat from a certain tree...then leave them all alone with said tree.
Now of course I've been told that such things are merely my opinion...but guess what? So are those of the theist who says that the Bible God character is the greatest conceivable being. Just because the theist is limiting his imagination doesn't mean mine is.

Which makes my point or me. In both debates on this subject (with you and Rikuo), I maintained that mere existence is necessary, which is the same as saying "a world is necessary"...because mere existence is "a world".

So, thanks for agreeing to something that I've been saying since my opening argument.

Second, you are equivocating "world". First you said "a world" is necessary. Then you said "therefore, the world (this world) is by definition, necessary.

A world: In general.

The/This world: Specifically.

This is an equivocation...and not only that, but it is demonstrably false. The universe (this world) is contingent. It didn't have to be here...and something that didn't have to be here can hardly be considered to be necessary.

Is FtK considering God to be something separate, distinct from 'the world'/'a world'?

wiploc says
It is about a category (called "possible") that includes both necessary things and contingent things.

FtK responds
Which is basically saying, "there are some things that are necessary, and some things that are contingent".


This is where the mask comes into play, the sleight of hand. The category called 'necessary', can it have objects other than God? If we have two categories
1) Contingent
2) Necessary
but after discussion with the theist, we're told that the only thing in the category called 'Necessary' is God, and that there can be nothing else...why bother with that name? Why not just change the name to God?
So we have
1) Contingent
2) God
and the begging the question is revealed once again.

I have no problem conceding that non-physical things other than God exists: angels, demons, concepts, etc.

Does FtK allow anything else, anything at all, other than God, to fit into the category called 'Necessary'?

A past-eternal universe is logically absurd.

Yet for some reason, God can exist for past-eternal just fine no problem.
Why the different rules?

And since you can't logically use the universe (or anything within the universe) to explain the origins of the universe, you have to appeal to something beyond the universe to explain its origins.

And here is where the soundness part of the MOA fails. We at present (or potentially ever) cannot look beyond the universe, to check if anything the theist says is correct. So of what use is 'appealing' to something that cannot be verified?

Yet, I clearly defined what "greatness" entails.

Yes, greatness among other things includes existence (not something I agree with, byt the way). Wasn't the MOA supposed to prove existence?

Its funny, because again, as I told rikuo..the entire argument hinges on Step 1, and I would have loved to discuss it. However, you did the same thing he did, get off track and start talking about irrelevancies.

Yup...showing how a philosophical argument is logically invalid by revealing that it begs the question is an irrelevancy...when it was the person who said this who revealed a desire to get off track by starting to talk about a different philosophical argument altogether.
Gotta love it Wink

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 32: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:18 am

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I see that now it seems that both debators are splitting up their replies into multiple comments. At the time of my last reply on this thread, FtK had only posted the one reply, but now that I go back to the debate, he's put up something more, so I shall comment on it now and then get my sorry ass to work.

I can imagine God existing in a perfecting stationary state (never being in motion). In this case, time is nonexistent.

Notice that what is missing here is an explanation for how and/or why God changes from a perfect stationary state to creating the universe.

God can be known, but what/how much we know is a different story.

What can be known about God changes from person to person, it seems, and so nothing objective is ever established. If I ask somebody from the Westboro Baptist Church, they only ever seem to be talking about an angry vengeful God who hates sinners, especially homosexuals.

Kind of like the same concept that naturalists use with science, you know, such as how we "know" life came from non-life, yet we don't know "how".

It's fact, that we came from non-life. Our physical bodies are made up of non-living elements such as carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. So either FtK disagrees with this well known scientific fact...or he means something altogether different.

Science isn't in any position to make moral or ethical judgments

Whereas theism can? This is a tactic that I see quite often from the theistic side. Try to knock down science, naturalism, atheism and (assuming they succeed), they then pretend like this means that whatever their own particular brand of theism says on moral or ethical matters wins by default.

Yet, I explained in the OP what I meant by "great".

Yes, great includes necessary existence, which is what the formal Modal Ontological Argument supposedly sets out to prove!
Begging. The. Question.

Actually, what I said was; on NATURALISM (your view) we don't have an objective standard as to what benevolence is.

Neither in FtK's brand of theism. In his Christian theism, if we use set theory, we have two sets
1) Benevolent Actions
2) Non-benevolent Actions
According to FtK's Christianity, Set Number 1 (Benevolent Actions) includes anything up to and including drowning an entire planet, killing off 99.9999% of living things.

If this is benevolent or good...what is there left to be called non-benevolent/evil?

What about marriage? In Christianity, we have the patriarch Abraham, who takes multiple wives and concubines, including his own half-sister! At no point is there ANY mention of God wagging his finger at Abraham over this. Yet, I hear from most Christians that marriage is one man, one woman, and today they would shy away from incest. This is an objective standard? One that changes with the situation?

On naturalism, there IS no objective standard.

As I've just demonstrated, neither in theism, at least not FtK's theism.

The only thing that matters in this case is if these attributes (omnis) are possibly true.

Here we go again, the mis-use of the term 'possible'. In the MOA, is there a possible world, a set of cirumstances, is it possible for the MGB to fail to exist?
If FtK says no, then he is misusing the term possible. If he says yes, then the argument falls apart.

Is it possible for a being to have magically objective greatness? On naturalism or otherwise? The answer is yes, and so far I haven't seen anything to say otherwise.

Someone actually argues for MAGICALLY something or other in what is supposed to be a logical argument?
Please readers, just pretend you can hear my laughter over this.

If Godless world's are possible, the universe is eternal...but it is impossible for the universe to be exist eternally...therefore, a being we call "God" is necessary.

No. False. FtK here doesn't even entertain the notion that the cause of the universe is something other than a 'God'.

Any contemporary text book on cosmology will tell you that the universe began to exist.

The its current form. What happened 'before' the Big Bang is still up in the air, if before can even be a valid term to use, considering that time as we know it began at the BB.
For all we know, there is an eternal cycle of universes, with their own timelines, that begin and end, and begin anew, with each timeline being separate from the ones that 'preceded' it.

Sure, but if that were to happen, there would be no way to naturally explain Vincent's existence. You can't put that kind of thing in a test tube and conduct an experiment, and that's the point; it would be beyond nature...supernatural.

Another area where this debate falls apart for FtK. He has just admitted here that one cannot test for a supernatural being, whether a mayfly or the MGB. This then means that the MOA cannot be considered logically sound since for an argument to be considered logically sound entails testing it via the methodology of science.

Actual infinities don't exist in the real world, but potential infinities. Google actual/potential infinities the difference.

Is God an actual infinity? If yes, then he doesn't exist at all, since FtK's definition of the MGB has him existing at every point in space and time.

Non sequitur. There could be a supernatural reality, beyond the scope of the physical universe. Now, I know that is an option that you'd rather not entertain, but it is an option, nevertheless.

And since we cannot hope to examine such a reality, I would have to discard any and all claims made about it by other humans as being without merit. We're here, in the natural world, and certain people claim to be able to tell us what this supernatural reality is all about?

I am not aware of any non-physical universes.

Wait...did FtK, the theist in this argument, JUST SAY HE IS NOT AWARE OF NON-PHYSICAL UNIVERSES?

A godless world is not possible, because a world without God would be past-eternal. But a past-eternal world is logically absurd. Therefore, a timeless cause is necessary.

God=timeless cause.

Again, FtK assumes that the only possible thing that can belong on the other side of that equals sign, next to 'timeless cause' is God.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 33: Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:13 pm

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Might as well give wiploc some love in my thoughts on the on-going debate. I wonder where everyone else has gone though. Am I the only one still interested in the debate?

If you actually believed in the logic of the MOA, you would believe that Jenny the Necessary Flying Sea Turtle (NFST) exists. The MOA says she exists; if you believe in the MOA--and you're not being inconsistent--then you believe in Jenny.

In my own debate against FtK, he said that even if we were to define ME as being necessary and run ME through the MOA, this would somehow NOT mean that I actually am a necessarily existent being in the same vein as he claims the MGB.
I challenged him on that, but I don't think he ever responded (just double checked, I challenged him on this point in my last post on that debate, prior to which FtK had forfeited).

(from my debate with FtK)
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.

Does FtK actually believe that everything that can be called "necessary" exists? I can't imagine that he does.

If you don't believe in the existence of Jenny the NFST and in everything else that can arbitrarily be called "necessary," then you should believe that the MOA is fatally flawed.

The MOA produces garbage; the MOA is garbage.

Agreed. In my own debate, FtK claimed ONLY the MGB/God exists when defined as necessarily existing and when it is run through the MOA, and other proposed object or entity can.
The absolute purest case of special pleading I've ever seen. A dragon in a cave was defined as having maximal attributes, and yet the dragon doesn't exist in reality...but God can be defined as having maximal attributes, and according to FtK this means he really does exist!

So step 1 of the MOA is a false premise. It is an obviously false premise, indisputably so.

At the absolute least, Step 1 is unknown. It depends on what actions the person proposing the MOA takes. If, like FtK, he defines the MGB in a pre-amble prior to the formal argument as not failing to exist, then we can use this to show (as I did) that the MOA is invalid (equivocation fallacy over the meaning of the term 'possible').
If the proposer only rattles off the steps of the argument, with no preamble spoken, then we strictly speaking cannot say it is possible for the MGB to exist. In that case, we don't know what an MGB is. It would be like someone showing their clenched fist, saying they have a die in it, and saying it is possible for them to roll a twelve. can I grant that possibility? I don't know how many sides the die has (or whether they're holding a die at all)!

So either I'm told what the MGB is prior to the argument, in which case I can point out equivocation fallacy...or I can not be told and I can point I cannot measure possibility, I can't grant it. Some things I know cannot be granted possibility, like 'It is possible a square circle exists'. That statement I would reject flat out.

In my introductory remarks, I pointed out that Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig equivocate on the meaning of "possible." In step 1 of the MOA, they want people to think something is "possible" if, "Duh, I dunno." But by step 2 of the MOA, "possible" doesn't mean that anymore. If something is possible in step two, it definitely exists in one or more possible worlds.

Exactly. So let's re-write Step 1. We can say any number of phrases that all mean the same thing

Step 1: There is a {set of circumstances where the following is true; there is a set of circumstances where the following is untrue}
or just to drive it home for FtK (if ever he reads this)
Step 1: There is a {possible world where the following is true; there is a possible world where the following is not true}, where the MGB exists.
FtK, if he wants to be logically consistent, HAS to grant this re-write of Step 1. He talked a lot about possible worlds in his preamble, both in my debate, and here with wiploc.
So there HAS to be a possible world where the MGB fails to exist.
Dun dun dun!!!

If FtK rejects the rewrite, then it is basically a blatant admission of an equivocation fallacy. Possible in Step 1 means something different to what he talked about in the preamble.
So wiploc, I don't even need to go as far as Step 2. I just used Step 1.

He said I spent too much space on Plantinga and Craig. He asked why I don't debate him instead of them.

Strange. I have a fuzzy memory of someone on this site recently (not necessarily FtK, could be someone else) saying to ME that I haven't read up on Plantinga and Craig when it comes to the MOA. I'll have to look for it.
UPDATE - I found the post I was thinking of, and no, I wasn't being told I hadn't read up on Plantinga and Craig. The other person (not FtK) said that he was citing Plantinga and Craig, among others, when it comes to support of the MOA.
And then he brought up an old thread. He bragged about how he got people to agree that gods are possible before they realized that he was talking about necessary gods. He implied that those people were disingenuous because they didn't think necessary gods were possible even after granting that some gods were possible.

If that's the 50+ page thread from 2016, those people who agreed that gods are possible said of it that they didn't realise what FtK had said in his OP. Granted, FtK did say it in his OP, but not everyone read everything there. Not everyone was paying attention.
I pointed this out, said that this is basically a way of doing 'idiot says what?-

sorry what?
- AHA! You said what, therefore you're an idiot!"

and he suckered people in by not defining MGBs until after they had agreed that MGBs might exist.

If that is indeed the same thread as I'm referencing, he actually DID define the MGB in his OP.

he tries to shift the burden of proof to me:

Yup. Did the same with myself. I smelt that coming a mile away when I was preparing for my own debate. Which is why I went with a completely different tactic than what he wanted. I wasn't going to play by whatever arbitrary rules he sets forth IN the debate (and not ask me about PRIOR), so I guess my line of argumentation threw him completely off balance. So much so that he couldn't handle it and forfeited.

That's an absurd argument, not appropriate to an omnipresent god. Omnipresent gods are everywhere. If you find any single place where they don't exist, then they don't exist at all.

Can't believe I never thought of that myself. Then again, I expect FtK to say something along the lines of "Oh, God is invisible".
In which case, the claim of omnipresence is unfalsifiable and he cannot establish the logical soundness of the MOA.

For the Kingdom undertook to prove that the MOA is sound. This debate is about whether the MOA is sound. The MOA is not sound.

Count yourself lucky that he did do that with yourself.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 34: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:18 am

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Cmon now. God could be invisible, yet present. Or, he could be invisible some places (still present) and visible other places (and still present).

Someone pick up the phone, because I called it!

Did I make false statement? No. Why? I will tell you why; because for all we know, a MGB could exist.

Not only did I make a true statement, but it is a true statement that any modest unbeliever would make (before they are presented with the MOA, of course).

I don't know about any random non-believer, but if someone walks up to me and says "It's possible the MGB could exist", I'd ask them what the heck an MGB is. I can't grant possibility (either it does or it doesn't) unless I know what we're talking about.

You've never been behind the sun, so you don't know whether God is behind visibly present behind the sun.

I FtK's mind, does hell exist? What is hell, according to FtK? Depending on who I ask, hell is supposedly a separation from God, which can only work if God is not present in some location.
So if FtK wants to preserve hell in his own theology...then he has to jettison the definition he gives God in the MOA.

Whats that? Oh, when he stated something along the lines of "worlds without gods are possible worlds"...which is like saying; "the number of elephants in the room is zero" zero, you don't mean that there are ACTUALLY elephants in the room that equal to a total number of 0.

That's actually what happens in the realm of quantum physics. Virtual particles and anti-particles come into existence and annihilate each other so fast that the law of conservation of matter and energy is considered not violated.
As I write, trillions of particles and anti particles pop into existence in my room, then pop right back out of existence, such that they total zero.

I'd like my opponent to describe to me the concept of a godless world, and to explain how an omnipresent being wouldn't exist in this world.

As I mentioned above, for most Christians, hell is in some way Godless. So even in Christian theology, we already have this concept of a godless world that is possible (and according to them, actually real, it's not just a hypothetical or imaginary).

But is IMPOSSIBLE for the universe to be the universe must be contingent, owing its existence to an external, necessarily existing timeless cause.

And here is where Kalam fails. How does FtK or people like him get from "an external necessarily existing timeless cause" to describing the God of his religion?
It could be Jenny the NFST.

I forfeit this debate. Not wasting any more time. Too many falsehoods, inaccuracies, and refusals to address points. You can have the last word, sir.

This is getting to be a trend. Two debates in a row, both about the MOA, and both are forfeited.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 35: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:56 pm

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Debate's over, so I'm back.


[off topic]I just watched The Hateful Eight. I don't see the appeal. Heck of a cast though.[/off topic]


I expected FtK to try to establish that his god and/or the MGB is actually necessary, not just labeled necessary.

I've never seen that accomplished, but I thought he'd try. Somehow.


I invited him to show how his god is begun without the rest of the world being begun. He went right up to that point. Maybe he'll talk more about it here. Or maybe he's unhappy with me. Maybe someone else will discuss it.

Often enough, they say that god is unbegun because there is no time before god's first moment. And they say that the rest of the universe is begun because it has a first moment with no moment when it existed before that.

Two different definitions of "begin." If you apply the first one to god, and the second to the rest of the universe, then god is unbegun and everything else begun. But if you do it the opposite way, then god is the only begun thing. (Which would make god the only caused thing, to hear Christians tell it.)

But, if you are fair, even-handed, then you apply one definition of "begin" to everything. In which case, if god is unbegun, the rest of the universe is too. And if the rest of the universe is begun, then god is too.

First cause arguments are based on this equivocation, this surreptitious two-stepping between two incompatible definitions of "begin."

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 36: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:53 pm

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In the debate, I had an explanation of why the modal ontological argument is important. I think I totally messed that up.

I now believe that it was Plantinga's free will defense to the problem of evil that made Christianity respectable in the nation's philosophy departments.

Nonetheless, the MOA is important. Theists think it works. They think it's a legitimate argument. They are used to seeing the mountebank William Lane Craig winning public debates with it. He wins because he is a flamboyant charlatan, not because the argument is logical, but his followers don't recognize that.

So, knowing how to refute the MOA will make you beneficial to your society.

Knowing how to slam-dunk it is important.


Saw a nice slam-dunk today, a photograph from the science march. A poster: "If Protestantism evolved from Catholicism, why are there still Catholics?"

I don't think it's as technically accurate as my own version: "If you are descended from your grandparents, why do you still have cousins?" but may be emotionally better. The point is to make it instantly clear that, "If humans descended from apes, why are there still apes?" is a dumb argument.

It's a stay-off-my-side quality argument, and you want to be able to make that manifest instantly, confidently, effortlessly.

And the more bad arguments you can do that to, the better the world will be.


FtK wrote, "If God's existence isn't possible ... the universe would HAVE to exist necessarily."

Does anybody know what the basis for this claim would be?


Christians believe in a magic-throwing god, so they believe in magic. If they believe in magic, then why do they have trouble with the rest of the universe (the non-god part) coming into existence without a cause. Why isn't magic a sufficient "explanation" of that?

I'm not saying the universe came into existence, but they seem to think it did. My question is this: Is an uncaused universe akin to a square circle or a married bachelor? Or is it more like turning water into wine or raising the dead. Is it a logical contradiction, or just a practical difficulty?

Or put it this way: Are there possible worlds in which the universe was uncaused and/or came from nothing?


And let me repeat that I don't believe that the universe began. I don't have an opinion on that, regardless of how much FtK tried to impute one to me.

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