Pumpkin King

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Ontological Argument Meets "Evil god"
« on: January 28, 2016, 03:04:26 pm »
I have a question concerning the potential relationship between the ontological argument and Stephen's Law's Evil god argument.

Stephen Law, in his argument, provides a parody version of conventional, theistic theodicies in attempts to show that they can all be reversed to support the existence of a God that is maximally evil. For example, this evil god allows children to be born (which is usually a wonderful and joyous thing) in order to cause more pain when they die or later on have to watch their parents die. Obviously, argues Law, such reasoning doesn't hold up, and we would dismiss the existence of evil god based on the amount of good in the world. Likewise, we ought to dismiss the existence of the theist God based on the amount of evil in the world.

Dr. Craig has replied to this argument by saying: "we’re just not in a position to make these kinds of probability judgements with any sort of confidence." In other words, the imaginary evil god may in fact have sufficiently evil reasons for allowing good. Likewise, the theist God may have morally sufficient reasons for allowing evil. We, as finite human beings with a limited scope of reality, are not in a position to judge such matters.

Craig then goes to show that to be evil is to break one's moral obligations, which means there would have to be a morally supreme being above this 'evil god' in order for evil god to be evil (thus, it requires the existence of God).

However, when I look at the evil god argument, I cannot help but notice that it sounds exactly like the quasi-maximally great being objection to the ontological argument. The quasi-maximally great objection has been well refuted by doctor Craig when he said:

“Maximal greatness is logically incompatible with quasi-maximal greatness. Since a maximally great being is by definition omnipotent, no concrete object can exist independently of its creative power. As an omnipotent being, a maximally great being must have the power to freely refrain from creating anything at all, so that there must be possible worlds in which nothing other than the maximally great being exists. But that entails that if maximal greatness is possibly exemplified, then quasi-maximal greatness is not. A quasi-excellent being (that is, a being which has lots of excellent properties but which does not exist in ever possible world) may exist in many worlds (worlds in which the maximally great being has chosen to create it), but such a being would lack necessary existence, and thus not be quasi-maximally great. Hence, if maximal greatness is possibly exemplified, quasi-maximal greatness is impossible. Thus, our intuition that a maximally great being is possible is not undermined by the claim that a quasi-maximally great being is also intuitively possible, for we see that the latter intuition depends on the assumption that a maximally great being cannot possibly exist, which begs the question.”

Could this refutation of the quasi-maximally great objection also work against the evil god argument? Furthermore, could it be used to refute other religions' conceptions of God that say God is not all-loving or all-knowing, etc.?

Thanks,

Nathaniel

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Re: Ontological Argument Meets "Evil god"
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 10:42:39 am »
Well, the only problem I see with the ontological argument is that it provides no information about the nature of God other than his omnipotence.

So the ontological argument allows the omnipotent entity to be holy, evil, crazy, fluffy or whatever you like. It only needs to be omnipotent.

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D. Alexander

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Re: Ontological Argument Meets "Evil god"
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 06:03:24 pm »
“A maximally excellent being is a being with such excellent-making properties as omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection.”

“A maximally great being is a maximally excellent being that exists in every possible world.”

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Re: Ontological Argument Meets "Evil god"
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2016, 02:24:22 pm »
“A maximally excellent being is a being with such excellent-making properties as omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection.”

“A maximally great being is a maximally excellent being that exists in every possible world.”

There is nothing in the laws of modal logic that prevents us from defining evil as great making property.
You see a grammar or spelling error in my post? Feel free to point it out, I'm still learning.

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lucious

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Re: Ontological Argument Meets "Evil god"
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2016, 12:45:32 am »
Ed Feser dismantles him here