All of reality and God's existence

The following logical argument against God's existence was offered on the CARM atheism discussion board.  I have reproduced it and shown where the argument is invalid.

  1. "Reality" is denotative of all of that which exists.
  2. Entity X is postulated to exist outside of reality.
  3. Statement 2 reduces to: entity X is postulated to exist outside of all that which exists.
  4. Statement 3 is a logical contradiction (semantically) and hence cannot meaningfully correspond to anything.
  5. Therefore, any entity attributed with such an "existence" cannot logically exist (since it is defined not to exist by placing it outside of reality).

I will break the argument down into its parts and deal with it accordingly.  The argument is reproduced with comments in an outline form.

  1. Premise"Reality" is denotative of all of that which exists."
    1. Response:  The atheist is simply stating a definition for what reality is.
  2. Premise: "Entity X is postulated to exist outside of reality."
    1. Response:  This is an illogical statement since it contradicts premise 1.  If reality is all that exists, then by definition, if God exists, God is part of that reality.
    2. The atheist cannot simply manufacture another premise in contradiction to the first and continue as if there is no contradiction.  Furthermore, the attempt to do so also commits the fallacy of equivocation where the meaning of "reality" is altered during the discussion.  In premise 1, reality is all that exists.  In premise two, reality is not all that exists.
      If a logical argument is then to follow, it cannot contradict the premises which go before it lest the argument be disproved.
      In this case, premise 2 contradicts premise 1.  Therefore, premise 2 is illogical, and the premises or conclusion based upon a self-contradictory set of premises is most probably incorrect.
  3. Premise: "Statement 2 reduces to: entity X is postulated to exist outside of all that which exists."
    1. Response:  Again, postulating that entity X exists outside of all that exists is self-contradictory.
    2. Premise: Statement 3 is a logical contradiction (semantically) and hence cannot meaningfully correspond to anything.
      1. Response:  Correct.  If it is a logical contradiction, then it is illogical.  The illogic is in the statement of the argument in premise 2, which contradicts premise 1.  Merely stating that premise 2 is as it is does not mean that it is, especially when it contradicts the previous premise.
    3. Premise: Therefore, any entity attributed with such an "existence" cannot logically exist (since it is defined not to exist by placing it outside of reality).
      1. Response:  This is correct.  And since God, by definition, would be part of reality since reality is all that exists, then this argument is invalid and has not disproved the existence of God.

The problem with the argument above is that it is self-contradictory.  Therefore, the proof that there is no God is invalid.

 

 

 

 
 
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