MOAN

Modal Ontological Argument for Naturalism

1.) If Naturalism is true, then God is not possible.
2.) Naturalism is possibly necessary in one world, so it is necessary in all worlds. (from axiom S5 modal logic)
C.) Naturalism is true (and by premise 1. God does not exist.)

Premise 1. is an axiomatic statement. The only thing we have to know about Naturalism and God that they are not compatible.
This premise will not be defended, as it cannot be defended, without giving a coherent definition for God, beyond that it is not compatible with naturalism.
You can reject this axiom as not sound and this is the only way this argument can be defeated.
But, it will cost you! Namely, if you say that premise 1. is not true, then the word God can only refer to a naturalistic god; e.g. like the Sun is god, or a totem pol is god.

Premise 2. relies on a form of modal logic S5, which states that if something is possibly true (it is true at least in one possible world), then its possibility is necessary (it is possibly true in all worlds) therefore it is necessary (true in all possible world, including the actual world).
This is because in S5 we have reflexivity, symmetry and transitivity Accessibility Relation. That is, there are no access restrictions between possible worlds.
In other words: If something is not inherently contradictory (i.e. it is possibly true), then it is true in all worlds (including the actual world).
To reject this premise, you have to demonstrate that modal logic S5 is invalid.


Detailed version of the argument:

1.) If Naturalism is true, then God is not possible. (axiom)
2.) Naturalism is possible. (it is true as least in one possible world)
3.) Naturalism is possibly necessary. (it is necessary at least in one possible world)
4.) If something is possibly necessary then it is necessary. (from S5 axiom)
5.) Naturalism is necessary. From 2. 3. and 4. (it is true in all possible worlds, including the actual world)
C.) Naturalism is true (and by premise 1. God does not exist.)


Symbolic version:

Legend: N = Naturalism, G = God;

Operators: The box [] stand for NECESSARILY and the diamond <> POSSIBLY. ~ = NOT; -> = IF ; v = OR ; & = AND ; <-> = IF AND ONLY IF ;

1.) N -> ~G; 2.) <>[]N -> []N; C.) N


Possible Refutation:

Since only premise 1. can be attacked. Some smart Alec may think that all he has to do is replace Naturalism with God in the argument.

Well, it is not going to work. Lets see how premise 1. would look like:

1.) If God is true, then Naturalism is not possible.

Can this work? No! This is a Modal Logic argument. In modal logic some thing is not possible if in that possible world it creates a contradiction. Also, a totally empty possible world is invalid.

While we can have a possible world where there is only one subatomic particle exists, because there is no contradiction in that possible world. We cannot have a possible world where only God exist, as God by itself cannot be a possible world. It is meaningless to say that God by itself is a possible world, unless we are talking about a pantheistic or panentheistic god. That of course would negate premise 1.

 

6 thoughts on “MOAN

  1. This is the premise that I have an issue with
    2.) Naturalism is possible. (it is true as least in one possible world)

    What is meant by possible? I would agree that naturalism is logically possible. I can conceive of a metaphysics in which the ultimate metaphysical stuff of reality are some type of matter and energy relations that does not allow for the possibility of God. The question is whether or not this is ontologically possible. I think there is a serious problem in moving from what is logically possible to what is ontologically possible. To do that we will need to answer these ultimate metaphysical questions, or this argument just smuggles in a worldview without proving it. The theist begs the question by presupposing that God exists, which allows for God to be ontologically possible, whereas the naturalist begs the question that the ultimate explanation, principle, or substance of reality is something that cannot allow for the existence of God, therefore God is not ontologically possible.

    To make this simple, both you and the theist that use this argument will have to show that either God or naturalism is ontologically possible. This is not done by showing that it is logically possible. Also, when I am stating naturalism as a metaphysics, I mean that the bottom level reality or explanation of everything would consist of matter-energy relations along with certain physical laws, not that these matter-energy relations exists, or that these physical laws exist in some sense, but that they are the ultimate foundation or stuff of reality. Both you are the theist will have to prove a certain metaphysics to determine what is ontologically possible, not just show that it is logically possible.

    I think it would have to be something like this
    2) Naturalism is logically possible
    Needed premise to follow: If some state of affairs, s, is logically possible, then s is ontologically possible

    And as I said, this will be based upon what type of metaphysics you have. In a theistic worldview, god is ontologically possible, but in a naturalistic worldview God is not metaphysically possible.

    Like

    1. Your comment shows that you have no clue what Modal Logic (ML) is. In ML something is possible if it is True at least in one Possible World (PW). And something is True, if it is not generating contradiction in its PW.
      Please study ML and come back, with a relevant objection.

      Like

  2. And as I said, this will be based upon what type of metaphysics you have. In a theistic worldview, god is ontologically possible, but in a naturalistic worldview God is not metaphysically possible.

    I should have said:
    And as I said, this will be based upon what type of metaphysics you have. In a theistic worldview, god is ontologically possible, but in a naturalistic worldview God is not ontologically possible.

    This is just so confusion would not arise, but in this sense, both ontologically and metaphysically can be used synonymously.

    Like

  3. Also,
    “Both you ARE the theist will have to prove a certain metaphysics to determine what is ontologically possible, not just show that it is logically possible.”

    Should be

    “Both you AND the theist will have to prove a certain metaphysics to determine what is ontologically possible, not just show that it is logically possible.”

    Like

    1. Again Nyklot, you are not addressing my argument, but commenting on someone else paper which has nothing to do with this Modal Logical argument. You must understand as in all logic systems, in ML key words like Possible, Necessarily are well defined and has one meaning only. You cannot use an other definition for the word and still think it is ML.

      Like

  4. Again, my accusation against you is true, you are more concerned with philosophy as a video game, rather than the truth. A serious person reflects on possible problems with these sorts of arguments, and then might come up with the intuition that the concept of possibility is what is problematic here. That if we think of the concept, we can further subdivide it into three concentric circles with the outer one being logical possibility, the middle one being metaphysical or ontological possibility, and the inner one being nomological possibility. The latter is not important for this discussion, but the first two are. Just because something is logically possible, does not entail that it is ontologically possible. That is the key issue. That is what the paper I reference deals with. Let me spell this out.

    p = proposition affirming s
    s = some state of affairs

    s is logically possible = the proposition affirming that s obtains is syntactically and semantically consistent
    s is ontologically possible = s is self existent and self-accounting or s is existent, but produced or emerged, or s is non-existent, but producible or emergible

    We have spelled out the difference between logical and ontological possibility. Now the author of the article makes the point, and does a very good job that all forms of any ontological argument are commited to this as an implicit premise

    A: if p is logically possible, then s ontologically or really could obtain

    There is also a more explicit version which he calls the OPP, where you just state that something is ontologically possible. Let us see how this works out.

    Here is the beginning of your argument
    1.) If Naturalism is true, then God is not possible. (axiom)
    2.) Naturalism is possible. (it is true as least in one possible world)
    A: If Naturalism is logically possible, then it is ontologically possible
    OPP: Naturalism is ontologically possible

    The point is that to force the conclusion of this as a real metaphysics, you will need to make this movement from what is logically to what is ontologically possible. So, is naturalism logically possible, the answer is yes. Is naturalism ontologically possible, that depends on the nature of ultimate reality. This is also the same problem that theists have when using this argument.

    Also, as far as not understanding modal logic, when I did take my logic course years ago, I did analyze the validity of arguments using truth trees from propositonal calculus and also predicate calculus. I can actually claim to have a formal background whereas you don’t. So, if you are going to be a rude jerk, then I can as well. Let us try to cut that out, this is not Paltalk, have some manners. Modal logic would just add operators that deal with modality, whereas predicate logic adds the all or some, and propositional is just whether something is true or false. Yes, I know that in modal logic if something is possibly necessary it is necessary. This reinforces my claim against you and many of the paltalk “philosophers”. You google up modal logic, and how when something is possibly necessary it must be necessary, and treat as if you have some kind of game strategy, rather than reflecting on the deeper issue, which here is the idea of logical and ontological possibility. Try to behave in a more respectful and dignified manner, you should be able to shift, and not behave in the Paltalk way.

    Paulsen, David L. 1984. “The logically possible, the ontologically possible and ontological proofs of God’s existence”. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion. 16 (1): 41-49.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s