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Problem of Non-God Objects

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By JV-Stalin | Nov 11 2013 5:54 AM
This is a new and interesting argument proposed by Justin Schieber. Here's how it's formulated

1. There is a possible world (P) that is God existing alone, and nothing else existing.
2. God is a perfect being.
3. Therefore P is the best possible world. A world in which all that exists are all the greatest goods maximized.
4. God always desires the best possible world over all other possible worlds.
5. Therefore, God always desires P over all other possible worlds.
6. If any non-God objects were to exist in the actual world, God desired some other possible world over P such that he made it the actual world.
7. Non-God objects exist in the actual world.
9. Therefore, God desired some possible world over P.
C. It is impossible for God to always desire P over all other possible worlds AND to desire any possible world over P.

A simpler formulation

Godworld is a possible world where God never creates anything.

Proposition P1: If the Christian God exists, then GodWorld is the unique best possible world.
Proposition P2: If GodWorld is the unique best possible world, then the Christian God would maintain GodWorld.
Proposition P3: GodWorld is false because the Universe (or any non-God object) exists.
Conclusion: Therefore, the Christian God, as so defined, does not exist.

My objections to the argument are an attack on complex formulation premise 4 and simple formulation premise 2. If God exists, he would love us enough to create us. However, this seems to make love an incompatible property with greatness. If God is great, then any type of non-god object would be degrading ontological purity. A great, perfect being would not degrade ontological purity because degrading is the very opposite of what it means to be great and perfect.

Here's more info on it



Anyway, thoughts? Feelings?

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By admin | Nov 11 2013 6:55 AM
JV-Stalin: Interesting, but not the strongest of its type I've heard.

I've never liked "possible worlds" arguments because they always seem to hinge on one world being better than another, in which case you have to ask "better for what". And since you're dealing with a possible world, if you're talking about maximal goodness you have to answer "good for all possible things" - but even if this were possible, it would not be benevolent to make things maximally good for evil. A maximally good world for only good things is circular. So the arguments generally end up stuck.

In this case, I don't like the assumption that GodWorld, even if it contains a perfect entity, is a perfect world. And moreover I don't think the concept of "perfection" makes much sense without a reference point, kinda like infinity doesn't make sense without numbers.
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By JV-Stalin | Nov 11 2013 5:50 PM
admin: It wouldn't be benevolent for evil at all to exist, so there would be no evil in this world. I don't know if a theist would agree on this, because God is suppose to be the best possible being, the source of good itself. It wouldn't be maximally good for good things because god would be the source of good. If there can be no possible world where maximally good alone exists, then it would seem like a theist would kill his own position.

If we can't state a GodWorld is the best because it contains the best, then what meaning does possible world have? It would seem that a possible world describes the things within it. A world where everyone suffers is worse than one where no one suffers. Randal Rauser brought a similar objection up, and Schieber answered it like this

"If we take God to be the ONLY instance of essential and absolute moral perfection, moral grounding and the standard of all possible value, then a world where there exists something ontologically distinct from God is a world where there exists something that isn’t morally or ontologically perfect. A world containing just one non-god object is a world whose overall quality can now be improved as it has been degraded. In GodWorld however, it simply makes no sense to talk about the improvement of absolute ontological perfection."

I would agree, it doesn't make sense to talk about perfection without reference points. And even if there were reference points, then whose reference point do we go by?
"He who stand on toilet is high on pot"- Confucius
By admin | Nov 11 2013 11:37 PM
JV-Stalin: I feel like you've missed the point of my comment, so let me put it another way.

"Would two perfect entities in a perfect world be better than one?"

There is no objective answer to this question. If we were to change that question slightly to:

"Would one perfect entity be better than one perfect entity plus all possible things?"

Most people would change their answer from "no difference" to "big difference", because of course everything else isn't perfect. But the question wasn't what world would be more perfect, the question was what world is better. Better indicates the superiority of one thing to another. So what we're really comparing is the superiority of all possible things across all possible worlds. What's better, a non-existent sparrow or an existent one? It's perfectly plausible to construct a case that this is the best of all possible worlds - in fact Liebnitz did, and many philosophers who have followed him.

So Schieber's answer misses the point. A perfect world doesn't necessarily imply exactly one copy of a perfect entity. The best world may have non-perfect things, because that would be best for sparrows who otherwise wouldn't exist.

"A world where everyone suffers is worse than one where no one suffers."
Can the world be improved through ending suffering? Now that's a different argument. The issue at hand here, though, is whether better should only apply to things that are good, where good is defined by God's standard of omnibenevolence (which inevitably is characterised by human values for no good reason). As I've pointed out, this is circular. You're using God as a standard to prove God.
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By FREEDO | Nov 16 2013 3:53 AM
"Perfect" is not a coherent concept to use in logical deduction.

That there exists "Non-God objects" is another baseless assumption.
By TheAntidoter | Dec 4 2013 3:30 PM
FREEDO: Reminds me of the Kantian refutation of being being a property.
So this is how it works!
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By Pinkie | Jan 13 2014 8:10 PM
TheAntidoter: Haha.
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