a problem with the ontological argument
« on: August 26, 2012, 04:33:01 am »
Here's a problem i have with the ontological argument

Assuming we lived in a possible world where we knew for sure that there was no God, at the same time, the ontological argument exists.

Now, in this scenario the ontological argument would make sense, but at the same time it wouldn't work because we already knew that God didn't exists.

any answers?
The Fool has said in his heart 'there is no God' - Psalm 14:1

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lehmar

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a problem with the ontological argument
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 05:06:55 am »
In such a world, the ontological argument would make sense, but it wouldn't be sound. For if it were sound, there would be no possible world where we knew God didn't exist.

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a problem with the ontological argument
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 03:05:46 pm »
The world you describe is logically possible only if the OA is false. Hence to assume this world possible to prove the OA false is circular.


Charles Davey

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Apparition

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Re: a problem with the ontological argument
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 04:54:29 pm »
I would have to agree with the above responses.

The only 2 explanations are either:

1. The OA would be false and by definition there would not exist a MGB
 
or

2. We are mistaken in our belief that God does not actually exist in our possible world x.

Necessary existence would entail existence in every possible world, including world x where the population believes MGB does not exist. The population would not simply know that to be true, and therefore mistaken.
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Jesus4Life

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Re: a problem with the ontological argument
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 07:05:46 pm »
That is a very interesting objection. The fact is, we simply can't know for sure there is no God. At the same time, the Ontological argument itself is not a self-existing entity. It is a series of premises with a conclusion. Premises don't have material value. I think your objection assumes that which is the problem. In order for there to be a world where we know that God does not exist, then the Ontological argument would be meaningless. But since we know that it is possible for God to exist, then we need not worry of such possible worlds where God does not exist.

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John M

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Re: a problem with the ontological argument
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 09:34:37 am »
The fact is, we simply can't know for sure there is no God.

Actually, the OA is not requiring you to say if you know for sure (or not know for sure) if there is no God. That isn't the question premise 1 is attempting to address. In fact, Dr. Craig, when he explains the OA, tries to make it clear that this concept you raise is not germane to the OA - this is asking for epistemic possibility when we should be asking for God's metaphysical possibility.

To explain: when thinking about the possibility of the existence of God, we could say something to the effect of “It is possible that God exists, and it is possible that God does not exist”. That statement is true only in the sense of epistemic possibility because, “for all we know” God may or may not exist. However, if our concept of God is as Plantinga describes – a “maximally great being” – then regardless of our epistemic uncertainty God either necessarily exists or it is impossible for God to exist.

To apply this to the Ontological Argument's question as to the possibility of God's existence, we can say that our epistemic uncertainty about God's existence does not guarantee God's metaphysical possibility. In other words, regardless of our uncertainty of the question, God's existence is either necessary or impossible. Either he must exist or it is impossible that he exists – is has to be one or the other. Only one of the two can be true. So - the question the OA ultimately asks is: do you think the concept of a maximally great being is logically incoherent? (asked another way, "is it impossible for God to exist?"). It is up to us to justify what we think the answer to that is.

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Yuzem

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Re: a problem with the ontological argument
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 09:26:37 pm »
Assuming we lived in a possible world where we knew for sure that there was no God, at the same time, the ontological argument exists.

The problem I see is that we can only know something if that something is true.
For instance, lets assume that "A" is false. If "A" is false I can't know that "A" is true, I can believe that I know that "A" is true but I wouldn't be knowing it since there isn't such a thing to be known.
A world where we knew there is no God is only possible if there is no God.
To say "a possible world where we knew for sure that there was no God" is the same as: "a possible world where there is no God"
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 09:34:10 pm by Yuzem »