The Instigator
Envisage
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
tahir.imanov
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

A Cosmological Argument for God is Sound

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
Envisage
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 981 times Debate No: 59150
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

Envisage

Con

This debate is closed, leave a message if you want to accept.

This debate is somewhat unique in it's format. Pro needs to present one, or at most two cosmological arguments for the existence of God, and then defend them over 4 rounds.

The burden of proof is shared in this debate, although Pro has the responsibility of presenting the argument(s) he wants to use in use first place. Pro wins he he can show at least one of them is most likely true, and vice versa.

I have designed timing and character limit to allow for more back and forth debating and shorter & more concise rounds, should be a more more fun than reading 6x10,000 character essays.

The format is reversed, therefore Pro needs to leave the last round empty, as depicted in the rules:

7,000 Words, 48 hours.

Round 1: Rules, Arguments
Round 2: Rebuttals
Round 3: Rebuttals (No new arguments)
Round 4: Rebuttals (No new arguments)
Round 5: Rebuttals & Pro will type "No round"

The format is to ensure the same number of argument/rebuttal rounds.

Good Luck!
tahir.imanov

Pro

One thing we all can agree is that universe had a beginning. If universe had a beginning, then there must be a pre-existing eternal transcendent cause.
There must be cause because nothing happens without a cause, and it is an empirical fact. And this cause must be eternal and transcendent, because time and space started with the beginning of universe, therefore this cause existed above and before space and time.
This cause must have some sort of consciousness (or self-awareness), simply because an unconsciousness things cannot give consciousness to itself (or material sum of universe cannot give consciousness to itself), and it is an empirical fact. But we as human beings have consciousness, and this consciousness can be given by consciousness being.
Therefore the cause of universe is eternal, transcendent, and have consciousness, which indicates this cause also has a will.

There may be an objection such as who created God. But it is non-sense. Because if you say what caused the cause of universe, then we can go ad infinitum, which means universe doesn't exist, but we know universe exist, therefore there must be an uncaused cause in that chain of causes.

Other objections, such as multiverse, string theory is fallacious, because there is no evidence for them.



Thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 1
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.

I. Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is clearly on Pro, therefore it is he who needs to justify the arguments he makes in order to fulfil the burden if proof required for him to win this debate. This is an important distinction since we can already see from Pro's opening round he has made numerous assertions without providing any reason to accept those assertions.

II. Structure - Transcendent Cause

Pro's first argument is a straightforward modus ponens, which is as follows:

P1) If universe had a beginning, then there must be a pre-existing eternal transcendent cause.
P2) The universe had a beginning
C) There must be a pre-existing transcendent cause

Contradiction:
The first thing I must note, is that the argument is self-defeating given Pro's justification. This is because Pro affirms that time and space started with the beginning of the universe, yet attempts to affirm there must be something before it.

This is a massive contradiction, it's like saying "There must be something north of the North Pole", which is nonsensical, since the North Pole is defined as the northmost point. If a cause must pre-exist the universe, then the proposition is contradictory and hence cannot exist.

Rebuttal of P1:

First, let's see Pro's justification for P1:

"There must be cause because nothing happens without a cause, and it is an empirical fact. And this cause must be eternal and transcendent, because time and space started with the beginning of universe, therefore this cause existed above and before space and time."

The most significant issue one must take is that Pro is performing a fallacy of composition, of extrapolating from parts-to-whole. [1] While it might be true that events that occur within the universe we observe all have causes (even this is debatable) it simply does not follow that the universe itself must have a cause. It's akin to saying "each sheep has a mother, therefore the flock of sheep has a mother", or "each piece of literature has an author, therefore the entirety of literature has an author". The logic simply does not apply.

There are excellent reasons to doubt that things not bound within the universe do have a cause, too.

Within the universe we have 2 important things that are necessary for us to speak of causes in any meaningful sense.

Natural laws (including time)
Entropy, which gives the directionality of time.

Sans these two things, which are only present within the universe it is impossible for us to talk about causes in any meaningful way.

Moreover, we have excellent reasons to doubt that our held notions of causality even apply within the universe, given that as we go into quantum physics we see events occurring rather randomly and spontaneously. Nothing 'causes' each of these events to occur, there is no reason why a radioactive atom would decay at time x instead of time y except for sheer luck.

Therefore, I can assert with absolutely no confidence that all things that appear to begin to exist do so with causes.

Rebuttal of P2:

Pro has given absolutely no justification for this premise either, how do we know that the universe itself had a beginning? Especially given we have a multitude of physical models that predict stuff 'before' the Big Bang, such as eternal inflation, cyclic models etc, and it is not clear which of them is true, in fact the evidence suggests that eternal inflation is the best candidate given how well it naturally explains the uniformity of the CMB as well as the geometric 'flatness' of the universe.

Moreover early direct evidence of this has been compiled from studies of CMB polarisation, although it requires confirmation.[3] Why should we accept that the universe actually has a beginning?

III. Conscious transcendent cause:

I am rather confused by Pro's justification:

"This cause must have some sort of consciousness (or self-awareness), simply because an unconsciousness things cannot give consciousness to itself (or material sum of universe cannot give consciousness to itself), and it is an empirical fact. "

Really? Does that mean chicken embryo's are all conscious? Even as a single cell? We have abundant evidence of conscious beings arising from non-conscious states without any obvious 'insertion' of consciousness so I simply do not see how Pro's logic follows.

Moreover we have absolutely no experience of there being a non-physical consciousness, what does it even mean to have one? Empirically, it seems to be necessary that all conscious beings are physical, and necessary that they have a physical brain. Pro can contest this may not necessarily be the case, but in doing do he undermines his justification for his other premises which he has states are 'empirical facts'.

IV. Occam's Razor

Pro's assertion that the cause must be conscious heavily violates Occam's razor, as several assumptions need to be made in order for the theory to fly. It requires far fewer assumptions to just affirm a spontaneous immaterial substance as a cause, if anything, or even creation ex nihilo (which I may discuss later). A conscious cause needs to provide explanatory power over an unconscious one, which clearly it does not.

Back to Pro!

V. References
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.science.uva.nl...
3. http://bicepkeck.org...
tahir.imanov

Pro

I think I should first define universe for Con. Universe is all of space-time and everything in it. And our space-time had a beginning. Simply because there cannot be infinite chain of past events.

Universe must have a cause, because everything has a cause. Contention is there are some subatomic events which occur randomly and spontaneously. Well, that doesn't mean it doesn't have a cause, and if you do some research, you would know that there various explanations for it (reason may be we are more illiterate about quantum mechanics than literate). And, also quantum mechanics doesn't work in the world of atoms ad molecules[1], so you can not just generalize events in subatomic level into whole existence. (That would be fallacy)

And also, there is no empirical evidence for eternal inflation, and there are many speculations about eternal inflation, and eternal inflation leads to multiverse, and there is no evidence for multiverse.

Fact is there cannot be infinite chain of causes, whether it is multiverse or quantum vacuum, or etc, at some point in the chain of causes there must be an uncaused cause. And if this cause is uncaused, it must be eternal. And because of this cause existed before space-time, therefore this cause is non-spatial, and atemporal. Which means this cause transcends space and time.

Consciousness - I think you should do some research on consciousness (Hard Problem of Consciousness). Fact is consciousness is not a physical entity. And I do not know for chicken embryo, but we humans (or at least me) have consciousness, and we made of matter, the matter cannot give consciousness to itself, so our consciousness must come from somewhere else.

[1] - http://dailym.ai...

Debate Round No. 2
Envisage

Con

Preface

I don't think Pro has addressed many of my objections, so I will spend this round responding to what he has objected to.

II. Counter-rebuttals to P1

Pro asserts:

"Universe must have a cause, because everything has a cause."

I would like Pro to actually substantiate this statement rather than flatly asserting it, moreover if EVERYTHING has a cause, then his God too, must have a cause. So he must include an exception somewhere, to which I give the following horned dilemma:

P1) Either everything has a cause or not everything has a cause
P2) If everything has a cause then God too must have a cause, which is a contradiction
P3) If not everything has a cause, then the universe doesn't necessarily have a cause
C) God must be either contradictory or unnecessary

He has not addressed my fallacy of composition objection from my last round, which is a very significant problem for the KCA. One that really needs to be taken to heart. To give another analogy which is easier to grasp. Every piece in a chess game can only move in specific ways, but it doesn't follow that the chess game itself can only move in specific ways. It's a nonsensical statement, akin to saying "The time is yellow".

On my spontaneity of quantum mechanics:

"Contention is there are some subatomic events which occur randomly and spontaneously. Well, that doesn't mean it doesn't have a cause".

It would be monumentally hard to prove a negative, but there are good reasons to accept this is true. I present the following argument:

P1) All things caused occur predictably
P2) Quantum events occur unpredictably
C) Quantum events are uncaused

Pro accepts P2, and P1 seems rather obvious. If there were preceding causal events then we would expect to see a traceable pattern in how they occur. We would expect to see a footballer kicking before the ball moves, or the wind to blow before the tree falls.

.... "You would know that there various explanations for it (reason may be we are more illiterate about quantum mechanics than literate)."

Please actually provide these explanations and the evidence that supports them. The burden of proof is on Pro. I gave good reasons to accept the antithesis, from indeterminism especially, where radioactive decay or other events cannot be predicted and can only be given as probability wave functions.[1]

"And, also quantum mechanics doesn't work in the world of atoms ad molecules"

This is flat out false. Quantum mechanics underpins all of chemistry, which is the world of atoms and molecules. Molecular bonds and electron motions are entirely described by quantum mechanics.[2] Even if that was true, it is irrelevant, it falsifies the first premise, which necessitates that everything has a cause.

"so you can not just generalize events in subatomic level into whole existence. (That would be fallacy)"

It's amusing that Pro claims a fallacy of composition for uncaused quantum events yet ignores it when it applies to his own position. Pro also ignores the contradiction I pointed out to Pro, that it's impossible to have a pre-existing cause before time exists.

III. Counter Rebuttals to P2:

Pro has still given absolutely no reasons to believe the universe has a beginning, so by all rights he has still failed to meet his BoP. Pro also ignores the evidence I presented last round for multiverse hypothesis, and misses the point. There are many possible explanations for the universe the way it is, and there is absolutely no reason to accept Pro's assertion that the explanation that proposes an absolute beginning is the correct one.

Not only did I give evidence for eternal inflation I also gave other reasons why it's the best hypothesis, given that it solves the issues of geometric 'flatness' and the uniformity if the CMB extremely elegantly, with minimal assumptions regarding relativity, which is our current best theory of gravity and spacetime. I include a quote from Alan Guth:

"It's hard to build models of inflation that don't lead to a multiverse. It's not impossible, so I think there's still certainly research that needs to be done. But most models of inflation do lead to a multiverse, and evidence for inflation will be pushing us in the direction of taking [the idea of a] multiverse seriously." - Alan Guth

The multiverse portion is not as important as the implication that the universe simply has no beginning if it's eternal.

"Fact is there cannot be infinite chain of causes, whether it is multiverse or quantum vacuum, or etc, at some point in the chain of causes there must be an uncaused cause."

Please actually support this statement instead of just asserting it. And who is to say that the multiverse is caused or quantum vacuum itself is caused?

"And if this cause is uncaused, it must be eternal. And because of this cause existed before space-time, therefore this cause is non-spatial, and atemporal. Which means this cause transcends space and time."

If voters look carefully. We have something to hat is both eternal and atemporal, which is a contradiction as I already pointed out. Moreover he has given negative attributes, and nothing positive. Stating it's not X Y or Z doesn't say anything about what it IS.

Take the following example.

1. It' not yellow
2. It's not round
3. It's not a solid

These give virtually no information of what the object in question is, and this doesn't even include the things we don't know about yet.

IV. Counter Rebuttals to a Conscious Cause

Pro again hasn't fulfilled his BoP on why the cause must be conscious. So I see no reason to respond this in detail. Moreover it seems rather apparent that minds are not atemporal, and not eternal. Thinking requires time, as does perception and awareness, the mind is not timeless in any sense of the word. Moreover I would like to ask Pro what he was like before he was born, which would be the rather obvious problem for an eternal mind.

Given that it's quite clear that a mind cannot be the cause of the universe, moreover we have absolutely no experience or evidence of minds working outside of a physical body, ergo there is no reason to assume that a mind can be physically causal sans a body, assuming it can even exist without a body.

Please actually present your case instead of assuming it.

V. References

1. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...
2. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: With Applications to Chemistry (Dover Books on Physics) Paperback " 1 Nov 1985
tahir.imanov

Pro

"If not everything has a cause, then the universe doesn't necessarily have a cause," - CON. This is obviously a fallacy. You have to show how universe fits into "not everything". It is a faith based jump. And if universe doesn't have a cause then it has infinite chain of past events, but it is obvious that it doesn't have infinite chain of past events. Can cause of universe have a cause itself? May be it has, but my contention is there must be an uncaused cause in the chain of causes also, it cannot go ad infinitum. If the last cause is uncaused, therefore it is eternal.

"All things caused occur predictably," - CON. It is false. Read about Unpredictable Solar Flares.

"Molecular bonds and electron motions are entirely described by quantum mechanics," - CON. It does, because it involves electrons, protons which are particles. But quantum mechanics itself doesn't work for molecules, take a ball and throw it somewhere, it will act accordance with Newtonian mechanics, not quantum mechanics.

" And who is to say that the multiverse is caused or quantum vacuum itself is caused?" - CON. Where did they come from, are they eternal, and etc? Point is there is no evidence for them. So arguing for multiverse, as a fact, is just non-sense. (But it is a nice theory, and has some degree of plausibility.)

"We have something to hat is both eternal and atemporal" - CON. Actually, I said non-spatial, which means transcends space, atemporal, which means transcends time.

"Stating it's not X Y or Z doesn't say anything about what it IS." - CON. Well, it is also fallacy. Not immortal means mortal. Not temporal means eternal. And I can give "infinite" number of examples. You just chose the examples which suits you.

Consciousness - Fact is, mental and material properties does not intersect. Consciousness is not material, and matter does not give consciousness to itself. Interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. It is The Introspective Argument. We can doubt existence of anything, and just call them illusions, but except consciousness, as Sam Harris said, "Consciousness is the one thing in the universe that cannot be an illusion". If there is no interaction between immaterial and matter, therefore matter cannot be cause of immaterial, therefore universe or anything in the universe cannot be cause of consciousness.
And unconsciousness things cannot give consciousness, therefore the cause for consciousness must be immaterial and conscious.
Debate Round No. 3
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.

I. Preface

Pro has still yet to affirm P2, that the universe had a beginning, moreover Pro has yet to give reasons to accept P1, too. As such he has already failed to demonstrate his argument. I will attempt to finish off my argumentation in this round and save next round for summaries.

II. If universe had a beginning, then there must be a pre-existing eternal transcendent cause

To round back to my quantum mechanics example, currently big bang theory depicts the universe was at some point smaller than an atom.[3] At these scales quantum effects become extremely significant, and hence we have excellent reason to believe that before this point the universe would not obey our common notions of causality.

Furthermore, macroscopic ‘stuff’ DOES behave according to quantum mechanics, the only difference is that the summation of all these numerous quantum effects naturally yields effects that are identical to those given by Classical (Newtonian) mechanics. Newtonion physics is nothing more than a macroscopic generalization of all the quantum effects that occur.[1,2]

z88;

III. The universe has a beginning

z88;

Furthermore, Pro has given absolutely no reason to believe an infinite chain is impossible, nor any reason to reject that the ‘substance’ behind the universe, such as the quantum vacuum cannot itself be eternal. Remember Pro applies this reasoning to his own proposal of God, but exactly the same reasoning can be applied to a physical cause which would also remove the ‘extra assumptions’ of this cause being a mind. So we have no fewer than two possible explanations:

1. The universe is eternal (such as in eternal inflation)

2. The universe is an infinite regression

There is nothing illogical about either, Pro needs to more than baldly assert that it is, and do so in a way in which applying the same logic to God is not special pleading. Pro does try to address this:

""Where did they come from, are they eternal, and etc? Point is there is no evidence for them. So arguing for multiverse, as a fact, is just non-sense. (But it is a nice theory, and has some degree of plausibility.)"

Pro seems to be committing a fallacy of ‘favouring the hypothesis’ here, since exactly the same points he makes about naturalistic explanations can be applied to his own explanation of God (no evidence, cannot be eternal, etc) with just as much justification, if not more. Moreover Pro ahs ignored my evidence for eternal inflation.

Furthermore there is another option:

3. The universe spontaneously generated ex nihilo

Which is a speculative idea, yet is another possibility that Pro needs to rule out. Especially given there are existing proposals for just a beginning.


IV. Conscious Cause

This doesn’t seem to be going away, so I will present an argument against an immaterial mind. But remember Pro has given zero reasons why the cause should be a mind in the fist place, and I argue it violates Occum’s Razor.

The Interaction Problem:

P1. If mind and matter are not one in the same, then mind interacts with matter
P2. Mind can not interact (and does not) interact with matter
C. 1 & 2 form a contradiction, therefore mind & matter are one in the same.

P1 must be true if Pro is to argue a mind can cause the physical universe, moreover if our own minds are immaterial then they need to interact with out bodies to make us move. To defend P2 any 2 substances which interact need to also share properties. For example a magnet needs to share a disturbance in the electromagnetic field to move an iron nail. Or a planet needs to share a disturbance in space-time to affect a star. Similarly a mind needs to share a property with the body to interact with it, however Pro has ruled this out by definition, since they are defined as completely different materials (apparent immaterial, atemporal, aspacial etc). Ergo if mind is immaterial, then it would not be possible for it to interact with matter.

V. Conclusion

I will save my summaries for next round, back to Pro!

VI. References

1. http://www.yalescientific.org...

2. http://en.wikipedia.org...

3. http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com...

tahir.imanov

Pro

Eternal infaltion, Multiverse - There is no point on discussing them, because there is no evidence for them.

Infinite regression - If there is infinite number of past events, or infinite number of causes, that means present does not exist, but we live now in present, therefore there is no infinite regression of past events, or infinite number of causes. I will give an example for Con to understand:
Let's assume you want to do and action A. But to do it you have to ask permission tfrom your chief, but he (or she) has to ask his chief, and his chief has to ask for permissionto his, and etc., if this goes forever up to infinity, that means you will not be able to do action A. That means if the chain of causes of universe is infinite then this universe does not exist. Or if universe does not have beginning, that means there are infinite number of past events, which means present cannot exist.
That means, universe has a beginning, and there must be an uncaused cause in the chain of causes.


Sorr for keeping it short, I am at work now.
Debate Round No. 4
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.

I extend my previous arguments, which have remained completely unaddressed by Pro. All three of Pro's premises are both unsupported and likely false. I find it astonishing that Pro would keep attacking the lack of evidence for an alternate hypothesis when it's the precise lack of evidence for his desired hypothesis (God) that he's trying to fulfil with this argument.

I thank Pro for the debate, Vote Con!
tahir.imanov

Pro

No argument.......
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by tahir.imanov 3 years ago
tahir.imanov
I can debate this topic, tomorrow.
Posted by Grayneer 3 years ago
Grayneer
So who created god?
Posted by Ajabi 3 years ago
Ajabi
I am a new member on this site, I dont really know philosophy but I might be interested.
Posted by adontimasu 3 years ago
adontimasu
Which cosmological argument are you arguing in favour of? Kalam? Modal?
Posted by Mike_10-4 3 years ago
Mike_10-4
To elaborate, I"ll accept this challenge with a scientific "argument."
Posted by Mike_10-4 3 years ago
Mike_10-4
I"ll accept this challenge.
Posted by ricksterpr0 3 years ago
ricksterpr0
I accept your challege.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Codedlogic 3 years ago
Codedlogic
Envisagetahir.imanovTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro completely failed in their BoP. Pro consistently made claims but did not provide any evidence to back them up.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
dsjpk5
Envisagetahir.imanovTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments concerning an infinite regression were illogical. Occams razor is not a compelling argument.
Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
Envisagetahir.imanovTied
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used A LOT of sources.
Vote Placed by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
Envisagetahir.imanovTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO argues that there is no alternate theory to counter the KCA, therefore it's ok, and CON points out how this doesn't work. CON articulated how all the presides of the KCA lack support, and CON couldn't overcome this. Arguments to CON.