Symmetry Breakers for the Modal Ontological Argument

Abstract

The modal ontological argument (MOA) proceeds from God’s possible existence to God’s actual existence. A prominent objection to the MOA is that it suffers from a symmetry problem: an exactly parallel modal ontological argument can be given for God's non-existence. Several attempts have been made to break the symmetry between the arguments. This draft is a mostly comprehensive survey of those attempts. The draft was initially written as a supplement to the 2024 Summer edition of the SEP entry on Ontological Arguments. However, the draft is not included in the SEP entry.

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Joseph Schmid
Princeton University

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