The Instigator
Con (against)
13 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

A Personal First Cause/Necessary Being Exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/31/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,354 times Debate No: 64099
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (2)




*Leave message to accept*

Yay, another God debate (kinda). This one is a little different as I will make some concessions for my opponent.

I will concede:

1. The universe has a cause for it's existence
2. There is an explanation for the existence of the universe

Obviously these grant premises in the Leibniz and Kalam Cosmological arguments. My opponent can choose to either use those or any other argument of his preference to affirm the resolution.

Pro does not need to affirm any superficial attributes of the First Cause/Necessary being except that it is personal, and by extension, intelligent.

Pro will start in the first round and will type "No round" in the final round to ensure an equal number of rounds.


72h, 10,000 Char, 3 Rounds
BoP on Pro

Round 1: Rules, Pro's arguments
Round 2: Rebuttals, arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals (no new arguments)


1)Whatever begins to or already exists has a cause/explanation for its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or an external explanation.
2) The Universe has an explanation/cause for its existence, and that is grounded in God (a necessary being).
3) The Universe exists.
4) Therefore the Universe has a cause/explanation to its existence.
5) The cause/explanation of the Universe can only be a necessary being.
C) God exists.

The 1st premise of this argument uses the same reasoning as Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz"s Principle of Sufficient Reason which is considered to be an actual Law of Thought/Logic.

If we deny that anything that has existed in the past, exists currently in the present or will in the future, do not require a cause/explanation for their existence; that would make conducting Scientific experiments using the Scientific Method impossible or very difficult to apply in the natural world since things could cause their own existence and not have a cause/reason/explanation for how they came to be. Predicting anything would be very difficult if not impossible to conduct which nullifies multiple forms of reasoning such as Deduction (the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logically certain conclusion), Induction (reasoning in which the premises seek to supply strong evidence for (not absolute proof of) the truth of the conclusion) and Abduction (a form of logical inference that goes from an observation to a hypothesis that accounts for the observation, ideally seeking to find the simplest and most likely explanation).
While the conclusion of a deductive argument is supposed to be certain the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is supposed to be probable, based upon the evidence given and similar can be said for abduction. Aren"t the logical conclusions you form about anything are backed by sufficient reason?

Premise 2 : Many Atheists agree with Theists is that the Universe does indeed exist necessarily because it is the foundation for matter, space, time, energy, this planet which we live that is able to support life, the fact that the stream of consciousness exists etc. Without the Universe, none of these things (because they"re all inside of it) would be able to work in the way they all do today, yesterday and tomorrow. If the Universe was necessary in itself, it would have to be eternal (never failing to exist and always was) and changeless (never changes, correlates with eternal). This would also mean it has no cause, but as everything else must have an explanation for its existence and proving the Universe is eternal is the first step in doing so. The philosophical idea of Hard Determinism would also follow this as well because if nothing in the Universe can change, everything would have to be the same forever.
But if the Universe was changeless and eternal, why is it undergoing this Redshift (the widening of the Universe at some velocity that"s supposed to be greater than light) that Edwin Hubble "discovered" that cosmologists say "the Universe is infinitely inflating" (Cosmic Inflation) ? There seems nothing illogical about theorizing about some parts of the Universe being different instead of claiming everything was the same (especially since the 8 planets of our solar system & the various celestial bodies are apart of the Universe. Why I do not believe this to be the case is because of theorems like the Kochen-Specker Theorem which states that the outcome obtained depends on the setting/environment at the time of the experiment/action and can"t be predicted prior (unless it was preordained).
Also the Borde-Guth-Vilekin Theorem of 2003 explained that the Universe which is believed to be expanding cannot be past eternal (which is the implication since there had to have been a moment in the finite past where the Universe to have been formed for it to be expanding or been experiencing a stage where that was not happening). Then questions like "why is Earth the only planet known to man the one that can support and has life (assuming this is the case)?" are asked (this brings up the topic of Fine-Tuning). Someone might try to combat the idea of a necessary being with propositions such as the Multiverse Theory. I do not believe the Multiverse Theory especially since it looks to be a theory crafted that can be neither proven nor disproven in hopes to save the Big Bang Theorem. What I mean is this, it cannot be proven to have been seen because of the fact that our Universe has been going through Cosmic Inflation since it"s beginning and to expand at a velocity greater than Light itself. The issue with this is, even with the best equipment possible, we could never potentially view outside our Universe if it expands faster than light can travel, and telescopes would have to be ridiculously good enough to view trillions upon trillions of miles just to see "the next Universe" or outside our own, this is a never ending problem thus cannot be proven nor disproven unless we can escape this Universe which atm, is impossible. This is called the Horizon Problem. Also check out the Flatness Problem.
So people then might try to make the argument that the Universe doesn't need to have been created by a necessary being (God) but a necessary substance instead, since they might think the necessary substance sounds like it could avoid the problem of infinite regression (which can be caused by Event Causation). But to be able to do something, as mentioned before the substance would have to be conscious, have the ability to do something by itself, because something without a mind or being alive for that matter, it cannot act on its own or be able to create something contingent (Agent Causation) and it would not be made up of anything in the Universe so it would most likely be immaterial, intelligent enough to know how to craft/formulate things, the power to act accordingly and independent of space, time, the cycle of life, energy, hyper-dimensional (more than 3 dimensional since our Universe is 3 dimensional, it lesser than anything it creates/causes), the laws of physics that apply to this Universe etc. But this just sounds like a Necessary Being anyways because a substance cannot do these things without influence from something that matches all these characteristics.

Premise 3 : Is a statement of fact, if you're one of those guys who suggests Solipsism, the Boltzmann Brain Hypothesis or whatever illusionary type idea, I can address any of those if you want to include that (if you were to object to premise 3 which people have actually done before) . It would be a case of special pleading to say the Universe caused itself. The people that argue that particles come into existence from nothing via Quantum Fluctuation have simply misunderstood Science, the entire Universe is filled with energy contained in a vacuum (not as much as before though since the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy explain that the Universe is constantly moving to a phase called Thermodynamic Equilibrium where there"ll be no more usable energy for us and we"ll all cease to exist due to there not being any usable energy required for us to live).
Particles probably come from the energy that is in the Universe, and I"m sure anyone who knows that Energy = Mass X (3x10^8 aka Speed of Light)^2 (which I would assume is true regarding examples such as the way an atomic bomb works) can understand that this energy conversion is more logical and possible than something that violates logic itself (i.e Something From Nothing. For an event to occur, there must be a conscious being present that has the capability to do something by itself (Agent Causation). If you or anyone were to make the argument like using wind moving a ball for example, this would not work because Wind is a collection of gases that moves from areas of high concentration to lower, and last time I checked, things cannot move by themselves without some form of consciousness, which even though this is off topic, I believe molecules could very well be conscious beings, alive, idk about that. And the ball (a sphere like object/body) was probably crafted by someone/thing, things do not create themselves without existing prior to self-creation but that argument is nonsensical making it invalid (that would mean if a dog for example named Sakajuiah wanted to cause it"s own existence somehow can just from wanting to). So nothing brought forth life, all material things that have existed in the past, exist now & will in the future, the laws of physics, space, time, energy etc. by colliding with nothing is the biggest leap of faith I"ve ever heard of . So if this Universe which I believe to be all there is, and caused by something, that something would be the 1st cause to cause anything else to exist.

Premise 4 : I did my best to explain.

Premise 5 : Explained through 2.

Conclusion : This is my current scientific/philosophical argument for God.
Debate Round No. 1


Pro's Argument:
This is more of a FYI, but Pro's well-formed formula is a complete mess, and is hence logically invalid. I assume that premises 1, 3 and 5 are the premises with information (I.e. Require positive support) and premises 2 & 4 and the Conclusion follow deductively somehow from these 3. I can only assume the logical format is something as follows:

P1) Whatever begins to exist or already exists has a cause/explanation for it's existence
P2) The universe exists
P3) Therefore the universe has a cause/explanation for it's existence (From 1 & 2)
P4) The cause/explanation of the universe can only be a necessary being (God)
C) God caused/explains the universe (From 3 & 4)

I would kindly like to ask Pro to clarify his argument here to make sure that's exactly how the argument deductively follows. One will quickly realise that Pro's original premise 2 is completely useless and nothing follows from it. So IF Pro wishes to clarify his argument, he will also need to demonstrate exactly how the argument is logically valid, otherwise the conclusion doesn't follow even if all the premises are true (!).

In any case I will only be contesting P4, that the cause/explanation of the universe is a necessary being (God), which is a valid portion of the argument, and is how I would argue the case myself.

The Cause/Explanation of the universe can only be a necessary being (God):

Please note the definition of God I set in the rules:

"...personal, and by extension, intelligent"

Pro adds the additional attribute of necessary existence to these attributes, which is fine, only that it makes his job harder. Here we need to unpack the notion of personal, which generally implies the following:[1]

Free Will

Indeed, personal directly implies consciousness on some level, of which our own consciousness is a type of personal entity. So when Pro argues for a necessary 'being', he is directly alluding to these concepts I have listed, which clearly is a very specific type of concept, and not equivalent to a 'necessary *something*'. As such we need to assess Pro's reasons for favouring a necessary being over a necessary *anything else*.

Moreover we also need to assess why it needs to be a 'necessary anything' at all, rather than a 'contingent anything' (the diametrically opposed alternative), I will address this in a later section.

Pro's *only* defence of this in Pro's rather verbose first round is in the paragraph attacking the notion of a necessary substance over a necessary being. His following point

"...But to be able to do something, as mentioned before the substance would have to be conscious, have the ability to do something by itself, because something without a mind or being alive for that matter, it cannot act on its own or be able to create something contingent..."

Is made with zero evidential support. Despite providing lots of evidence for his other, rather minor points, THIS point is literally the most important one of this debate (!!). Because it answers the question of 'Why God??'.

Why doesn't something need to have/be conscious to act by itself? We clearly have one exception to this rule (conscious things), therefore to postulate this arbitrary exception to this 'rule' is and can only be conscious things without any good reason to believe this to be the case is simply a basic special pleading fallacy, and Pro's entire case fails. To make this argument Pro needs to argue the following:

"All non-conscious necessary entities are inanimate"

Or some form of this, however I do not see how Pro can possibly demonstrate this to be the case without undermining God at the same time, for every argument to why a necessary substance is inanimate can apply equally to a necessary being (God).

Moreover we have very good putative entities which do effect causes/changes, whilst being just as reasonable postulation as to a necessary 'something' as God. One example is the Quantum Vacuum, from which it is speculated that the universe arose from via. a series of quantum fluxuations and inflation events within this quantum vacuum.[3] It's not important that this is what happened, but rather that if it could be a coherent 'necessary substance'. Since:

It has 'causal power'
It's not contingent upon the universe
It's eternal

The second we grant that such an entity is a possible necessary substance, then Pro's entire argument that mandates a necessary being fails.

Such observations are possibly being observed today. For example two U238 atoms can be placed side by side, with identical temperature, mass, spin, etc. All physical properties identical, however at one moment in time one atom may undergo radioactive decay while the other does not. This would strongly imply that there are non-conscious things that do act on their own accord (and hence animate).

Pro makes several other (bare) assertions, with no justification as to why the attributes of a necessary substance would match a necessary being:

Intelligent enough to know how to craft/formulate things
A-spacial/time/cycle of life/energy/hyper dimensional/laws of physics

Why should we believe that such an entity requires *any* of these attributes? #1 is false from both God and atheist explanations, as this unjustifiably rules out pantheism (who would argue that god IS as material as the universe), but also conflates with my example of the quantum vacuum, where the universe would be a contingent part of it (assuming modal collapse is false, more on this later).

This could *only* be the case IF the universe was literally created ex nihilo, and that God is only the efficient cause, and a material cause is not required.

However this ignores explanations that posit both a material and efficient cause, or that the material and efficient cause are the same thing. Pro has given zero reason to believe that the universe was literally created ex nihilo, hence this can be rejected out of hand. Moreover this goes against virtually all our notions of causation (all creations require a material cause), which counts strongly against Pro's case given that he is using similarly dated philosophy to justify why there is a cause in the first place (PSR).

#2 can be rejected out of hand as this presupposes that the universe was ever intentionally caused, and that things were ever the 'target' of causation. This is an unjustified assertion, and seems equivalent to 'the rain must have known where to fall for it to fall there'. Whereas the correct answer lies in statistics, chance and weather mechanics.

Similarly, everything in 3 & 4 can be dismissed with Hitchen's Razor. Prima facie plausibility isn't sufficient in determining how the world objectively is.

Further, if we grant EVERYTHING within 1-4, we have still gotten no closer to a necessary being over a necessary *anything else* because none of this differentiates between a conscious, personal entity over a non-conscious one. Further, it would violate Occam's Razor to postulate a being over anything else as it 'tacks on' the additional attribute of personal/conscious unnecessarily.

A 'being' as an explanation:

Pro assumes that consciousness is immaterial, and not contingent upon time within his arguments last round, but gives zero justification for this being the case. To the contrary, briefly I am going to positively argue that this is false.

First, the notion that consciousness is not contingent upon time is absurd, all experience of our 'inner movie' and subjective experience of reality is grounded within the passing of time. Thoughts are not instantaneously generated, they require a progression of events and take a period of is mimed to complete. Without time we would lack many of the core qualities we associate consciousness with, including free will, awareness and thought.

Free will itself according to our experience requires a progression of events, such as the realisation of the situation, choosing and executing a possibility. Without time, postulating that consciousness would exist is dubious.

All consciousness we are aware of requires interaction via. physical intermediaries, with no experience of a bare thought conjuring any effect. Pro can argue for either an idealistic take on reality (where consciousness is fundamental), or for a substance dualistic take (where both consciousness and material exist as separate substances).

Against Substance Dualism:

P1) If substance dualism is true, then the mind interacts with the material
P2) The mind can not (and therefore does not) interact with the material
C) Substance dualism is false

Logically valid via. Modus Tollens.

P1 I hold as obviously true, unless Pro is going to assert our minds do not have any causal control over our bodies, and our minds do not receive information/sensations from the world around it. Even extreme dualism philosophies such as epiphenomalism hold that interaction must occur.

P2, By definition, mind is not matter, and hence cannot share any properties with matter. This in turn causes a divide in how they interact, all things require some shared property, be it language, electromagnetic fields, presence in the same dimension, etc. Given that consciousness is explicitly defined to not possess any of these properties in substance dualism, it follows that interaction is impossible without involving some sort of third substance, which is necessarily ad hoc, and given it would share material properties it would also be detectable scientifically, which is clearly not the case.

Against Idealism:

P1) If idealism is true, then consciousness is fundamental
P2) If consciousness is fundamental, then it is necessarily incorruptible
P3) Consciousness is corruptible
C) Idealism is false

Logically valid via modus tollens.

P1 is true by definition. In defence of P2, if consciousness was corruptible then reality cannot be contingent upon it since reality will continue to exist as-is regardless of whether or not you are perceiving it. It's for these reasons planets continue to orbit according to physical laws regardless of whether or not any human is perceiving it, the items in your bedroom do not morph or change because you will to perceive it differently, and you cannot imagine having a million dollars and it becoming 'real'.

In defence if P2, every single aspect which we can meaning describe consciousness with we know to be corruptible via. Brain damage. Amnesia corrupts memory/knowledge, personalities are mutable, and awareness and identity are commonly corrupted in Alzheimer's disease.



Ramos-7 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I can't attempt to find flaws in my opponent's rebuttals if my opponent doesn't provide rebuttals.....


Ramos-7 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Vote Con.


Ramos-7 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
What a waste of time....
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Just make them up as you go along, that's what I usually do :-p
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
I was thinking about it. I'd have to work on my arguments though before I could have accepted. :P
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
zmike you wanted this?
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
3 days.
Posted by Ramos-7 2 years ago
Before decide to accept, how long do I have to post my argument?
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
lik me
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
@Ramos If I opened the debate to everyone, then a newbie would most likely have accepted it.
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
HmmmMmMmmmmm... This looks interesting.... hmmmMmMmMmmm....
Posted by Ramos-7 2 years ago
If you opened the debate for everyone, I would have joined this one days ago.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Tweka 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture. Con provides argument and sources. And, they are not refuted.