Thursday, October 18, 2007

Modal Ontological Argument for the Existence of God

Some definitions:

A necessary being is a being which must exist, a being which cannot not-exist. It would exist and be exactly the same as it is in any possible world. It woulld exist and would be exactly as it is, in this world, no matter how history had happened to work out.

An absolute God (the traditional G-d of Christianity, Judaism and Islam) is by definition a perfect being: omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, eternal, immutable, and necessary.

A contingent being is a non-necessary being, a being which can not-exist. It is a being which may happen to exist, and to have certain characeristics, but which might not have existed, or which might have been different that it is, if history had worked out a little differently.

The Argument.

1. An absolute god by definition is a necessary being.

2. By definition, if a necessary being is possible, then it must exist.

3. A necessary being is possible (i.e., the concept of a necessary being involves no contradiction or category mistake).

4. But if a necessary being were merely possible and did not in fact exist, then the necessary being would not be necessary; and this is a contraditction, and therefore impossible.

5. Since the non-existence of a necessary being is logically impossible, a necessary being must exist.

6. Therefore, an absolute G-d must exist.

This idea also holds firm the notion that an objective morality exists.



Giancarlo said...

the ontological argument doesn't hold up to formal deductive logic in terms of validity... we went over it in epistemology and logic last year.

existence is not a real predicate.

Mr. Barbarian said...

i'm not sure what you mean.