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A Simplified Variant of Gödel's Ontological Argument. Benzmüller, C. 2022. Accepted for publication.

Abstract: A simplified variant of Gödel's ontological argument is presented. The simplified argument is valid already in basic modal logics K or KT, it does not suffer from modal collapse, and it avoids the rather complex predicates of essence (Ess.) and necessary existence (NE) as used by Gödel. The  variant presented has been obtained as a side result of a series of theory simplification experiments conducted in interaction with a modern proof assistant system. The starting point for these experiments was the computer encoding of Gödel's argument, and then automated reasoning techniques were systematically applied to arrive at the simplified variant presented. The presented work thus exemplifies a fruitful human-computer interaction in computational metaphysics. Whether the presented result increases or decreases the attractiveness and persuasiveness of the ontological argument is a question I would like to pass on to philosophy and theology.