Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God

Here is a brief, clear summary and explanation of the ontological argument for the existence of God, i.e. a maximally great being, along with a response to the common refutation attempt of the argument through parody.


  1. David, I just read Nabeel Qureshi's awesome book (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) and was amazed how you were powerfully used by God in leading him to Christ. What a gift you both already are and will be to the Body of Christ. Then I saw one of your debates with Shabir Ally on Jesus as the Son of God. Then I saw the video of your testimony, which brought me to tears. And then that of the former french atheist. Awesome stuff, brother! Looking forward to checking out your other stuff and what you'll continue to put forth.

  2. Thought provoking. So, what I'm taking away is not only God real, probably unicorns, too. Huh. Who knew?

    1. Translation: "I can't understand simple arguments, and I make no attempt to understand them. I prefer to mock them based on my own inability to understand them. Welcome to the new atheism. We're champions of reason." LOL!

    2. Unicorns? Really? Were you even paying attention? Marie did share a thought-provoking video, but you have to do the thought part. ��

  3. David Wood- been enjoying your clips on YouTube, as I've been aware of Nabeel's Biola Univ talks for quite some time. Having read his first book & your exploration of & rebuttals of the Quran, I think you will enjoy reading this new article from Stratfor. I'd love to know your thoughts on it.
    Of Murder, Men and God is republished with permission of Stratfor."

  4. This was an awesome video David. Well done!

  5. 'm a Christian and a student of apologetics, and I've always had three problems with the argument that I've never quite resolved. Perhaps you can shed some light on the matter.

    Problem One: Equivocation
    As I've heard the argument used in debates, premise one is typically defended by saying something to the effect of, "So what do you think? Do you think it is possible that God exists?" This is an appeal to epistemic possibility. The response to this question might be something like, "For all I know, God exists." The problem is that this is an epistemic possibility. When we get to premise two, however, then we get to ontological (or is it ontic?) possibility. Since premise one and two equivocate on the type of possibility they refer to, then the argument becomes invalid.

    Problem Two: Burden of Proof
    Oftentimes the argument is presented, and then the challenge is issued to the critic to prove that it is impossible that God exists. This is backwards, however, as the burden of proof falls on the person making the claim. In other words, it is the proponent of the argument who bears the burden of proof for its premises. Unless we have some reason to think that it is more probable than not that God possibly exists, then I don't see that the argument gets us anywhere. If we are to use other arguments (such as the cosmological or moral argument) to show that it is more probable than not that God possibly exists, then why not just use those arguments from the beginning? Why use the ontological argument if you must first prove God's existence with other arguments before running it?

    Problem Three: Maximal Greatness
    If God does not exist, then it seems the concept of maximal greatness is incoherent. One of the premises, in fact, of the moral argument is that if God does not exist then there can be no objective value. If God does not exist then life is absurd and meaningless. But here lies the problem. If the value of all objects is zero then it is not an improvement in value to go from non-existence to existence. In other words, it isn't "greater" to exist rather than not to exist, because nothing is greater than anything else. All things are absurd and meaningless, whether they exist or not. If this is all true, then it seems to me that you need God to exist in order to establish objective values by which his existence can be deemed of "greater" value than his non-existence. In this case, the argument is begging the question by appealing to a value system that presumes God's existence.

    I don't present these comments to be contrary. As I have said, I am a Christian and an apologetics student. I believe that there are good reasons to believe that God exists and that he raised Jesus from the dead. I've just always struggled with the ontological argument. Any thoughts?

  6. Anyway to get the quotes of the pioneers reasons for engaging in science, you quoted in the debate with michael shermer? Thanks