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An argument is presented for the truth of the conditional, ‘If New York is not in the United States, it's in California’. Several possible objections to this argument are then examined and evaluated. Further argument establishes that if the argument for the truth of ‘If New York is not in the United States, it's in California’ is sound, it follows that an indicative conditional is true if and only if it has either a false antecedent or a true consequent.
The focus of this chapter is on the question whether modal ontological arguments are question-begging. I assume – on the basis of material that I have published elsewhere – that all other arguments that have been grouped together under the title ‘ontological arguments’ are irremediably flawed for reasons other than their begging the question. (Perhaps some of them are also question-begging; but the issue is clearly not pressing.) I conclude that whatever value the modal ontological argument may have, whatever philosophical rewards may attend a careful study of the argument, this value and these rewards are not epistemological: they will not provide the student of the argument with any sort of reason for believing that a perfect being exists, and nor will they provide the student of the argument with any sort of reason for believing that it is rationally permissible to believe that a perfect being exists.