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Ontological Argument

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Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2012, 05:41:12 pm »
Necessity is the maximal expression of anything's ontological status. An omnipotent being is fully powerful. A necessary being is fully existing - It exists in all possible constructions of reality as opposed to just a few.

Another question, can I use the ontological argument to demonstrate the existence of a maximally evil God as well ?  If I can, then how can 2 maximally great beings exist, if I can't then why not ?

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Fianchetto

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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2012, 09:57:48 pm »
jbiemans wrote: If necessary means fully existing,  then aren't you either begging the question, or simply defining this  maximally great being into existence.


No I don't think so. When one considers what a maximal being would be like, one concludes that it's better to exists in every possible world then to only exist in a few. This is no different then concluding that having all-knowledge is better then being ignorant (of at least some truths).

jbiemans wrote:
Another question, can I use the ontological argument to demonstrate the existence of a maximally evil God as well ?  If I can, then how can 2 maximally great beings exist, if I can't then why not ?


It's not possible to have more then one maximally great being. If such a being exists, then there can only be one The old immovable object vs. unstoppable force thought experiment shows why.

Adjudicating between an evil or good maximal being would require the addition of extra premises. One may be able to combine some kind of moral argument with OA to prefer the good maximal being over the evil. Furthermore, on the understanding of evil as a privation of good, then evil doesn't really make sense except on light of the good. Good would be more ontologically foundational the evil and therefore, preferable to an evil maximal being. I would imagine something like this being a possible approach (I think something like this has been done).

Anyways, defending the OA is not really my task or concern in this thread.

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Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2012, 07:50:11 am »
But you are defining greatness to include the property of existing in actuality.  There is a difference between 'existing' in the actual world and 'existing' in a possible world.  You are also assuming the evil is the pervation of good, when it could easily be the other way around, that good is the pervation of evil (they are opposites aren't they ?)  The only reason that you say that good should be prior is your preference for good.

Since we are using definitions of greatness here, it seems to make sense to me that the greater the handicap for a creator, the greater the creator, right ?  The greatest handicap of all is not existing.  Therefore the greatest conceivable creator is a non-existent one.

Also, does a greatest conceivable being posses the greatest of all traits ?  Does it posses the greatest knowledge, as well as the greatest ignorance ?  If not, what criteria do you use to determine which greatest properties it does posses?