This is my attempt to show that the Ontological Argument fails because it confines itself to Theological therefore Monotheistic Concepts.
OK I think I failed in the setup here. Below is my argument for a Necessary Being or God as defined by Pantheism.
The point was not to try to establish an irrefutable Ontological Proof but to show that Metaphysics has more in common with Scientific Reasoning then Theology.
In other words Theological Arguments are made so as to dismiss serious objections to skepticism by making reasoning purely abstract or esoteric or even subjective.
They do this by using modal logic and using words like possible and necessary. Then just to add insult to injury many variations are invented completely independent of each other such as Descartes argument from Perfection.
I have in my mind the notion of a perfect being
An imperfect being, like myself, cannot think up the notion of a perfect being
Therefore the notion of a perfect being must have originated from the perfect being himself
A perfect being would not be perfect if it did not exist
Therefore a perfect being must exist
I likehow the writer sums up Descartes view and then provides how this argument works even better with Polytheism.
2. A Multitude of Perfect Gods
If Descartes was correct, then, everyone would actually imagine the same perfect God, as the vision of perfectness must come from outside (point 3). But we can see in the world that populations differ greatly in their conception of god, and, individuals even within the same culture rarely describe this 'perfect' god in the same way as each other. Many people have different views on what God is or should be. Either the whole plethora of gods is true or Descartes' argument is false. The Ontological Argument is a proof for polytheism not monotheism.
The author of the site makes clear the absurdity of accepting "Perfection" as anything more than a subjective idea that has no relation to Reality.
That leaves us with Alvin Plantinga's modal ontological argument for God
Premise 1: It is possible that God exists.
Premise 2: If it is possible that God exists, then God exists in some possible worlds.
Premise 3: If God exists in some possible worlds, then God exists in all possible worlds.
Premise 4: If God exists in all possible worlds, then God exists in the actual world.
Premise 5: If God exists in the actual world, then God exists.
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.
Obviously this argument fails on many levels. Just replace God with X and anyone with any training in logic will find numerous flaws.
Premise 1: It is possible that X exists.
Premise 2: If it is possible that X exists, then X exists in some possible worlds.
Premise 3: If X exists in some possible worlds, then X exists in all possible worlds.
Premise 4: If X exists in all possible worlds, then X exists in the actual world.
Premise 5: If X exists in the actual world, then X exists.
Conclusion: Therefore, X exists.
This argument fails even more dramatically when you take into account the perfect being argument. If you define "God" as a perfect being then you have to first accept that a perfect being is possible. And the more Theological Premises you add the more the argument crumbles under it's own weight.
So for those of my Atheists fans that were disappointed in this essay because you think I was making yet another Ontological Argument for God to strengthen the Theologians position I have to say you missed the point entirely. Not only do I not strengthen the Theologians position
... I actually close the door on all future Ontological arguments by showing that the strongest possible Ontological Argument possible is one that is devoid of all Theological Premises.
Worse than that the strength of my argument relies on testable and observable premises that can be subjected to scientific tests.
This means that if scientific analysis shows that awareness does not and can not exist independent of consciousness as I define it below then I freely admit that my thesis is weak.
Unlike a faith based argument I am defining all my terms as clearly as possible and avoiding using any abstract reasoning or subjective concepts such as perfection. I do argue from Necessity but I make this conditional.
When a Theologian argues for God as a Necessary being they try very hard to hide a circular form of reasoning.
So the basis of their argument is something like this.
It is necessary that God exists because necessary beings exists. It is necessary that perfection exist so that good can balance out evil. Only a perfect being could allow for perfection to exist. Morality would be impossible without such a perfect being. Morality is necessary for civilization to exist. Civilization exists. Therefore God exists.
When allowed to use subjective reasoning and poorly defined abstract terms I can make up in an almost infinite amount of variations of these types of arguments proving nothing.
Richard Dawkins came up with a funny one that proves God DOESNT exists.
It is explained on the website I have quoted from before.
Also it may be impossible for something perfect to exist, in which case existence would be contradictory to perfection. Therefore if God is perfect it must exist strictly as a concept only and cannot exist in reality - to actually exist is to tarnish the concept of perfection with the complications of reality. A slightly different argument for the non-existence of God is explained by Dawkins (2006):
“The most definitive refutations of the ontological argument are Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Kent identified the trick card up Anselm's sleeve as his slippery assumption that 'existence' is more 'perfect' than non-existence. [...] Another philosopher, the Australian Douglas Gasking, made the point with his ironic 'proof' that God does not exist (Anselm's contemporary Gaunilo had suggested a somewhat similar reductio).
The creation of the world is the most marvellous achievement imaginable.
The merit of an achievement is the product of (a) its intrinsic quality, and (b) the ability of its creator.
The greater the disability (or handicap) of the creator, the more impressive the achievement.
The most formidable handicap for a creator would be non-existence.
Therefore if we suppose that the universe is the product of an existent creator we can conceive a greater being - namely, one who created everything while not existing.
An existing God therefore would not be a being greater than which a greater cannot be conceived because an even more formidable and incredible creator would be a God which did not exist.
God does not exist.
We can 'imagine' a perfect god, or, a more powerful idea: the creation of the world by a non-existent being. What a feat! Impossible... but no more impossible that God creating the universe from nothing. Dawkins concludes with the following remark: "Gasking didn't really prove that God does not exist. By the same token, Anselm didn't prove that he does. The only difference is, Gasking was being funny on purpose".
Ok I hope I have made it crystal clear that I do not see Ontological Arguments as Scientific proof of God let alone support Theologians.
Now for my argument...
So here is my Ontological Argument free of Theological Concepts for a Necessary Being or God as The Ultimate Necessary Being.
God Exist as the ultimate necessary being.
an omniscient being could be awareness itself with access to all information
If I create a virtual reality I can have access to all information in that system
What happens when a human being gains access to all the information in Reality itself?
Some would say this would be impossible
So the question then becomes is awareness itself limited or is human consciousness limited?
An omnibenevolent being would have compassion and love for all living beings and would act on that compassion and love in all ways possible. Such a being could only develop a compassion for all suffering if that being can relate to all beings suffering.
Such a being would have to be able to not only suffer for itself but to take on the suffering of all beings. This is not possible by taking on merely one or two or even three aspects of suffering such as death, physical pain, or ridicule.
Proof. All human beings have suffered physical pain at one time or another. All human beings will suffer death and most human beings already know this. All human beings have suffered ridicule of some type.
Yet not all human beings are compassionate for all living beings nor do all human beings seem to be capable of love on the deepest unconditional level.
Omni-Benevolence would require a being to be able to suffer. A Perfect Necessary Being could not exist as an Imperfect therefore Unnecessary Being.
Therefore a Perfect Necessary Being can not suffer and therefore can not be Omnibenevolent.
An Omnipotent being would require that this being could interact with an infinite potential to create any possible outcome and bring in to existence any actuality
This requires anything to be possible including square circles.
In Universes that include square circles as possible potentiality may be more powerful then the actual. If you want a reality in which actual entities exist certain potential possibilities must become very improbable such as square circles.
Omnipotence should not be confused here with Theological Omnipotence in which an Omnipotent being uses it's will to influence or even over take another beings will.
Such an act would be completely incompatible with Omni benevolence.
This leaves us with only two possibilities.
No such Necessary Being exists.
The proof of such a Necessary Being is only obtainable by seeing that this being is actually The Source of All Living Things or The Ground of All Being.
That is the source of Reality is Awareness itself. And therefore ALL Awareness is God.
If Awareness does not exist independent of Consciousness then God does not exist.
Since consciousness includes all the attributes of thinking emoting reasoning etc except awareness...
And awareness can be observed without these qualities then awareness can be said to exist independent of consciousness.
Therefore God exist as a necessary being only if we all exist as necessary beings. All living beings must exist necessarily.
Therefore God exist if we exist. If there is any being that is not God then God is not necessary.
All beings are aware. The ground of all being is awareness itself.
Therefore God Exist as the ultimate necessary being.