This is a response to "Does God Exist," a debate between Dr. Victor Stenger and William Lane Craig, which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjOs62PJciI&sns=em
I am frankly amazed that Craig decided to use the thoroughly debunked ontological argument right off the bat. At the beginning of the debate, Craig employs a recycled version of Anselm of Canterbury's ontological argument. Recall that Anselm's argument begs the question insomuch as it begs to be granted what it should be proving. Craig's version of the argument is that if it is possible for a maximally great being to exist, then there must be a possible world where that being exists, and if so, this being must exist in all worlds because it is maximally great; therefore, God exists in this world. He further posits that a maximally powerful, all-knowing, maximally good being is coherent, and therefore, possible (why not posit a maximally powerful but evil being that works in mysterious ways, allowing good in the world in order to draw out our suffering? ). Now allow me to clear away the procryptic camouflage to reveal the quivering fallacy lurking underneath. Craig's argument can be summarized as follows: There is no objective, testable evidence for God, but Craig thinks there is a non-zero chance that a maximally great entity exists. And if we grant that such a being is possible, then presto!--God exists. I'm sorry Craig, but you can not simply will things into being by believing in them hard enough. The contents of reality do not depend for their existence on human opinion. The universe could care less what people believe. You can believe that the Jabberwocky is possible, but unless there is empirical evidence for such a thing, it is an empty name, i.e., we have not established that such a thing actually exists. Imagining a thing and then saying that you believe there is a non-zero chance that it exists fails as an argument for the existence of the thing in question. Purest imagination does not equal reality. What a horrifying world it would be if the trillions of things that can be imagined were real by virtue of our ability to conceive of them! And this is the problem with Craig's armchair philosophy. His logic is not grounded in reality. A logical inference is considered deductively valid if the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises, but an inference is only considered "sound" if the premises are true. And the truth value of the premises must necessarily be anchored in empirical reality if a logical argument is to say anything meaningful about the observable world. That means going out and looking at the evidence. Otherwise, you run the risk of having lots of neat, valid, but wholly meaningless statements about the world you've imagined in your head whilst munching on bonbons in your armchair and pronouncing on reality ex cathedra.