tonyenglish7 wrote:I agree that it is difficult to convince a skeptic using the ontological argument. But that is no reason not to defend it. I have to tell you a story. I was taking a graduate class in philosophy which was taught by one of my hero's Dr. Francis Beckwith. This was many years ago and it was the first time I studied the Ontological argument. I really liked it because it seemed so simple and was fun to me to follow the logic. After going through the whole thing he concluded that it was a circular argument.
I disagreed and we went at it for about 2 hours back and forth. Of course, he was the doctorate and I was a 87 IQ student. So I had to capitulate but I never really did deep down. Then I read some William Lane Craig, also a doctorate in theology and philosophy and he said it is circular if you claim that God cannot exist and it is circular if you argue in that context and attempt to prove that God exists to someone who is convinced he doesn't.
So I understand your view that it is circular. However, I think that unless you can make an argument that God doesn't exist, it is not circular. I mean, if you start with the premise accepted that the existence of God is possible. Than the Ontological argument is not circular but is powerful. It takes some deep thinking but simple ideas. Namely that if God is possible, he must exist.
You have made a logical fallacy here equating the inability to prove something with the antithesis being possible. This does not follow. Just because we cannot prove that mathematics is consistent does not actually mean that the inconsistency of mathematics is a logical possibility. Surely you know that a thing can be true even when it is not provable, but more than that, the antithesis may actually be an impossibility even though cannot prove this.
Thus there is not only no reason to conclude that this statement, "if God is possible then he must exist" is a true statement, but also there is no way to prove that a God which you define God as self-existent, is actually a logically consistent possibility. All you accomplish with the this property of necessity is to give the question of whether God exists, the alternate form of whether this self-existent God is a logically consistent possibility, for if this being doesn't exist, we would have to conclude that such a God is not a logically consistent possibility.
The question then is why even attribute this property of necessity or self-existence to God? Well that a conclusion that one comes somewhat naturally if one believe that God is the origin of everything.
tonyenglish7 wrote:A god that doesn't have necessity is not God
Again, that may be what makes God, God for you, but this is not the case for me. It is in fact very low on my list of the most important attributes of God, for I can easily imagine that the my attributing this particular thing to God is the product of a misunderstanding on my part. As I said before, making this particular attribute so essential as this, smacks of turning God into a tool of rhetoric.
tonyenglish7 wrote:Just like any other rational entity must exist if it is necessary. Because, if God could exist in some possible world, he would not be God unless he existed in all possible worlds, including this one the actual world.
And I repeat also that tacking on this attribute of necessary to the God you believe in does not prove that the God you believe in exists any more than my doing so proves the existence of George, the pink elephant.
tonyenglish7 wrote:All you have to do to defeat this argument make the assertion that God is not possible in any possible world, but that seems a little fideistic and beyond reasonable.
It is perfectly reasonable if you do not believe that such a God exists. Likewise it is perfectly reasonable to assert that such a necessary self-existent God exists if you in fact believe that He does. What is beyond reasonable is someone asserting that they only believe things that are proven. I know for a fact that they are deluding themselves. The living of ones life simply is not possible on such a basis.