A short ontological argument
I believe that God is a necessary being, a being such that (as Aquinas would put it), it’s existence follows from it’s essence.
But then there’s a sound ontological argument, right?
It’s been years since I’ve started thinking about an ontological argument with premises that everyone can accept and therefore, is immune to parodies.
Every single one I could think of required axiom S5 of modal logic, which states that if there is a possible world W in which proposition A is true, then for every possible world W’, W is accessible from W’, or in other words: A is possibly true in W’.
Sounds plausible, right? Well it’s actually rather controversial but that’s a different story.
Right now, out of all my attempts I remember, the following argument is the one I think is closest to having rather obvious premises (I remember having formulated an argument that was better in that sense, all I did was tweak my definitions but I don’t remember that right now). The problem is that this argument (as well as the other) have (in my eyes) a completely obvious parody (you might decide for yourself), so I still consider this a failure, but I do have a feeling it works against most other parodies (of course that feeling could turn out to be just nothing more than my initial intuition).
I posted this in a recent Prosblogion-entry, it’s actually a hybrid of arguments by Plantinga and Goedel inspired by Robert Maydole’s argument that uses a logical system noticably more controversial than S5.
Anyway, here is the argument:
Property P is a perfection := For any being X, if X has P, then the nature of X is such that X is more worthy of worship than X if it wouldn’t have P.
NOTE: I tread “nature” as a being minus it’s actions, it’s used to make a distinction between what a being is and what it does. A rich man who travels around and gives money to the poor supposedly has the same nature as the same man who travels around, wants to give money to the poor but for some reason doesn’t meet any poor people or meets poor people who aren’t willing to accept his gifts.
Being maximally great := Being maximally excellent in all worlds.
X is maximally excellent := Having a nature such that there can be no being Y with a nature such that Y is more worthy of worship than X and there can be no other being Y with a nature such that Y is equally worthy of worship than X.
P1 – “Being maximally great” is a perfection
P2 – If P is a perfection and P entails Q, then Q is a perfection
By definition, the negation of a perfection is not a perfection and a property is possibly exemplified iff it does not entail it’s negation.
Therefore, a maximally great being exists.
Tell me what you think.