The Instigator
Pro (for)
9 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
14 Points

A creator of the universe exists.

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Post Voting Period
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after 5 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/8/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,610 times Debate No: 29000
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (5)




A challange extended to my bro, Sheldon :)
Resolution:A creator of the universe exists
No semantics
No intentional fallacies
No ad hom
Dropped arguments are considered concessions
BOP shared.


Your bro, Sheldon, accepts gladly.
Debate Round No. 1


1. Argument from Reason[1][2]

If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. —J. B. S. Haldane, Possible Worlds, page 209

1) Naturalism is true
2) Naturalism entails that there is not an original purpose, or aboutness (intentionality) of the universe.
3) But there is aboutness (intentionality) now.
4) Either aboutness “emerged” or it did not.
5) Aboutness did not emerge.
Therefore, Naturalism is not true

This is a reformulation done by the blog Rational Perspectives. This argument is also deductively sound, if the premises are true the conclusions naturally follow. Now premise one is assumed for argument, I am not making the biggest concession ever :). Now naturalism will fundamentally entail that there is no purpose or teleological explanation about the universe, no intentionality, no Qualia, etc. Now this apart of the definition of Naturalism along with what it entails because such things could not be discovered by sciences at least in principle. It would be a strange form of physicalism/naturalism, in deed not one worth the name, that conceded that there exists purpose in the universe while similarly affirming that their aboutness existed along with intentionality without affirming dualism. You see intentionality is the ability for something to about something else, for example I might have beliefs about the cake(its a lie) I have a representation of reality that is either true or false. However physical states aren't really about anything. For example, a rock lying in the sun isn't really about anything. So aboutness exists now, we know simply by having true beliefs or meaningfully asserting something. The denial of which is self-defeating, if your beliefs are not about anything then they do not have determinate content and therefore we cannot know whether they are true or not. To illustrate that point I will give a example. 1 + 1= 2 this belief is about mathematics. If one is to deny intentionality it really isn't about mathematics. Its not about anything specifically. Therefore, how do we know the concept always applies? Concepts such as formal logic and mathematics fall apart if intentionality is false. Now if that's true, aboutness exists now and it cannot have been here since the beginning of universe as Naturalism entails no initial purpose or aboutness exists for the universe. But Aboutness couldn't have emerged, because it would be unreasonable to affirm it emerged, there is no coherent possibilities on how this could happen and non-rational sources do not produce intentional causes. Non-reason cannot produce reason. Humans are the result of billions of years of random and mindless processes working through natural selection. Why should we think that these mindless processes have been able to yield a being who is able to think rationally? How can we meaningfully say that intentionality simply emerged on Naturalism. Unless my opponent can justify Aboutness emerged, then this argument stands and Naturalism is false.
2.The Teleological Argument[3][4]
“Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed
in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater and more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation” -William Paley

My next argument is the teleological argument in which was originally proposed by Islamic writers but most popularly by William Paley.

1. The fine tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design

2. It is not due to either physical necessity or chance

3. Therefore it is due to design

When laws of nature are expressed, there are certain constants that are independent of the laws of nature. Furthermore, there are only certain values of ranges in which it could be life-permitting, for example the cosmological constant (also called dark energy) exactly makes up for the lack of matter in the universe. As Dr. Hugh Jones said "One part in 10^37 is such an incredibly sensitive balance that it is hard to visualize. The following analogy might help: Cover the entire North American continent in dimes all the way up to the moon, a height of about 239,000 miles (In
comparison, the money to pay for the U.S. federal government debt would cover one square mile less than two feet deep with dimes.). Next, pile dimes from here to the moon on a billion other continents the same size as North America. Paint one dime red and mix it into the billions of piles of dimes. Blindfold a friend and ask him to pick out one dime. The odds that he will pick the red
dime are one in 10^37. Now can it be due to necessity? No because they are independent of the laws of nature. My opponent might respond, How? The constants are consitant for a vast range of values within the laws of the universe. He might say what about the theory of everything? Such a argument presupposes that constants are affected by the laws of nature, because if their not then the argument doesn't work. What about chance? Well, the fine-tuning of universe has a combination a pattern and a sense of randomness, similar in a way that a code for spies or something sinister, therefore we can successfully conclude that it is design. It seems much more probable that a designer exists; Paley's watch seems to suggest that God exists. The analogy helps to support the assertion that it is not chance. We don't assume a watch on a beach is simply made by chance. While it is not a perfect analogy nevertheless no analogy is perfect and this still supports the second premise. Therefore the fine tuning of the universe is due to design. Design implies designer.

3. Kalam Cosmological Argument[5]

My second argument is the Kalam Cosmological Argument, from which was first stated by Al-Ghazali. I will be defend the contemporary argument by William Lane Craig.

William Lane Craig formulates the argument as follows:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

2. The universe began to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

There are good reasons, mathematic and philosophical, to believe infinite is a idea rather than a actual number. Suppose I have an infinite amount of coins and you take away all the odd ones. I would still have infinity. So infinity minus infinity equals infinity, now what about if you take away all coins after 3, now I have 3, so infinity minus infinity is equal to 3. The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater 1 that system had to have a finite beginning. The first premise is arrived at by any form of reasoning and causation; we don't see pizza's popping into existence. Why would universes be exclusively what comes out of nothing? Try to imagine something coming out of nothing prior to the existence. As David Oderberg once said the existence of nothing followed by something is ridiculous because the words followed by cannot be understood since followed by is incoherent for a time when there was no time. This is premise is follows the metaphysical principle out of nothing, nothing comes. Even if the first premise were false we simply cast the KCA into inductive terms saying its more likely everything beings to exist has a cause. Truly my opponent has the burden of proof in defeating premise one since it seems to be a properly basic belief. Beliefs such as these are true without justification because to prove would be impossible. Such as the universe exists or you exist. From the conclusion, we can conclude a cause that is spaceless and timeless having created space-time, immensely powerful having created the universe, and a agent having created a universe(abstract objects don't bring things into being) and personal for how could a impersonal cause give rise to a temporal effect.
I thank my opponent for this debate I hope we have a good discussion. My sources will be posted in comments.Vote Pro


I thank my opponent for presenting his arguments. In this debate, I shall state my case through the refutation of my opponent's arguments and prove that a creator of the universe does not exist, and isn't to be accepted as a valid explanation for the origin of the universe.

Without further ado, I shall begin my refutation.


What this argument claims is that if naturalism (according to which there was no purpose of/in the creation of the universe) is true, aboutness/intentionality cannot exist.

Intentionality, of course, exists. Human beings can think rationally, make claims and validate said claims. However, this does not in any way refute naturalism.
There was, indeed, no purpose in the creation of the universe. The universe was created in chaos, not in order, as the result of an instantaneous expansion called the Big Bang (which most surely happened, as I will show in this exposition).
The problem with this argument is the statement that aboutness "could not have emerged" and that "non-reason can't produce reason".

This is very much a bare assertion. Why could it not have? It is a matter of evolution - just as organic chemical compounds were created from non-organic ones to start the evolution of life (the possiblity of said creation was proven by the Miller-Urey experiment in 1952.) [1], humans have evolved through natural selection to be able to think rationally and validate claims.
Indeed, of the many living species we encounter today, some can, to a certain extent, think rationally, some have primitive instincts as guidance, while some are organisms with no ability of thought at all. This represents the chain of natural selection. Through time, humans have risen to the top of this chain and developed rational thought.

The thought processes in the human brain are indeed based on chemical reactions.
For example, take the emotion of interpersonal love, and its associtaed feelings. Human beings feel it, it is an emotion. They also think about it. They are able to validate that they are in love. However, that feeling, and the realization of said feeling, is a results of chemicals being released in the human brain. [2]
The same is with ordinary human thought processes.

Finally, there is no reason why "mindless" processes cannot lead to rational thought. Why should the correlation not stand? The AfR simply calls the correlation wrong, providing no reason why it should be so. It is necessary for such an argument to give evidence as to why its premises are a valid way to refute naturalism - otherwise it fails. Thus, it fails in the very assertion of the premise, while I have shown through examples that there is no reason why "mindless processes" couldn't produce rationality/aboutness.


The teleological argument attemps to state that the universe is fine-tuned to support life, and as such implies a creator. This is false, as I will show.

First, I must address the issue of probability, which was mentioned by my opponent.
Low probability does not imply a creator. For example, there are 17x10^9 know exosolar planets in the Milky Way galaxy [3]. That is Life has appeared only on one. We are talking about a ratio of 1 :, which implies incredibly low probability. However, life appeared, naturally, and only by happenstance at that.

This brings us to where the teleological argument fails - the universe is not fine tuned. Not counting our Solar system, we know of, as stated, 17x10^9 planets, out of which life exists on only one planet. Said planet, Earth, went through a long path of trial and error to reach the creation of life as we know it now.
If a creator created the universe to contain and fit life, then he did a pretty lousy job; and had to rely on chance.

Furthermore, let us take a look at natural forces and constants. I'll take the four most important forces as an example - the gravitational, electromagnetic, weak nuclear and strong nuclear force. Research has shown that a universe without the existence of the weak nuclear force would still support life. Even certain values of the gravitational and electromagnetic forces could be changes significantly, and still allow the existence of life.

Finally, even if we do allow ourselves the luxury of considering this argument true, why should the answer be a creator? How does this imply one? For a theory to be considered an acceptable explanation, it must be falsifiable, which this one is not. There is no evidence that any of these arguments (especially the first) being true would imply a creator, and such evidence must be given if those arguments are to stand (see Russell's teapot [4]).

Thus, we cannot take the idea of a creator to be a valid explanation for the origin of life.

"What is asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."
- Cristopher Hitchens


This argument asserts that all that began to exist has a cause, and thus, the universe has a cause of existence. This statement is false, as I will show.

To begin with, the first premise is a fallacy of bare assertion. Just because, indeed, on Earth, everything has a cause, that doesn't mean it must in the entire universe. Something being so-called "common sense" doesn't make it true. Also, I must address the problem of infinity. Infinity cannot exist quanitatively or be reduced to a number. However, it was observed to be possible. Not only is it utilised in everyday mathematics according to all laws and principles, but it also existed in the Big Bang singularity. The singularity was a point with an infinite potential mass which would infinitely slow (effectively stop) time. Thus, temporally, the singularity existed infinitely long prior to the Big Bang, and would continue to exist infinitely had it not happened. [5]

According to Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty [6], it is perfectly possible that, in the quantum vacuum, virtual particles materialize and dematerialize at random with no cause. This happens in a vacuum, which contains no matter, and yet, we observe these particles simply materializing, and even emitting detectable energy. Such materializations are known as quantum fluctuations, and, to quote Taner Edis, they " [quantum events] have a way of just happening..." [7].

This, finally, leads us to how we know the Big Bang happened and how we know the universe came from nothing. Three types of universes exist: flat, open and closed. The flat type allows the possibility of a universe materializing ex nihilo, by means of quantum fluctuations.

It was proven that the universe is flat by the same means by which we know that the Big Bang occured - cosmic microwave background radiation. The Big Bang requires a visible emission of radiation coming at the Earth from all sides (fitting the definition of microwave background radiation), and analysis of this radiation has shown an expansion compatible with what we call Big Bang indeed occured.

This radiation was used to prove which type of universe we live in. As is known, due to the laws of the speed of light, we can see emissions that occured in the past. The "wall" of CMB radiation is an emission approximately 10^5 light years away. As matter enters this wall, it collapses. In a flat universe, the scale of entrance of matter before its collapse is equal to 1° (in open and closed universes, it is 0.5° or 2°). [8]
An experiment was conducted to measure this scale and the result found was that the scale of entrance of matter into said wall in our universe is exactly 1°.

We are thus sure the universe is flat. We are sure it could have begun from nothing, by means of a quantum fluctuation in the Big Bang singularity. When we know this possibility exists, as well as the cause of the Big Bang, to quote Stephen Hawking:
"Science makes God unnecessary." [9]

After this point, it is irrelevant who considers what to be "ridiculous".

Back to pro.
Sources in comments due to lack of space.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent has yet to post a case, refuting my arguments do not fulfill the BOP that he was given in the rules and confirmed in PM. While my opponents refutations are obviously false, it doesn't matter because my opponent has failed to justify his position. He must either offer arguments for the probability of atheism or lose this debate. Remember voters unnecessary doesn't equal contradiction.
"Within me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?"-Charles Darwin
There is a problem with my opponents assertion that intentionality is simply the result of millions of years of blind processes. One he needs to argue why its not only possible but likely, and furthermore, if it is possible it's unlikely. Why one might ask? It is called the Evolutionary argument against Naturalism which shows that a combination of evolution and naturalism don't lead to rational thought formation. The formal form of the argument appears thus:
R is the proposition that are cognitive faculties are reliable, N and E stand for the conjunction of naturalism and evolution. This argument shows that naturalism and evolution in conjunction is self-referencely incoherent. Or at least incoherent to saying that to say that your belief is justified in believing said proposition. You see Naturalism isn't aimed toward really anything. It isn't interested in anything, while evolution is only interested in survival enhancing traits. These together do not entail the rationality of our cognitive faculties.

The best way out of this is to say that survival enhancing traits have some kind of connection with truth however there is absolutely no evidence for this, because for every example that we pose I can pose a equally effective behavior that does the same thing. There is no particular reason to see a snake as the dangerous creature rather than another type of lizard. There is no particular reason to think that the best way to pet a tiger is to run away as long as it produces behavior that leads to better survivability capabilities.

Now my opponent misunderstands what follows from this argument. It follows that Naturalism and physicalism is false. Oakum's razor tells us that we should favor the explanation that has the least number of assumptions in it as long as they have equal explanation power. If Dualism is true and Physicalism and Naturalism is false this leads to the conclusion that there are substances out there that are mutually exclusive of physical matter and energy, so I would argue this supports a theistic worldview far more than a atheistic worldview. Especially since the evolutionary argument shows that it couldn't have simply evolved. My opponent must show how consciousness either evolved or fall to Oakum and lose this debate.

Teleological Argument

I would like to address my opponent first on the constants. For the weak nuclear force, if there was none too little helium would be produced from big bang; hence, stars would convert too little matter into heavy elements making life chemistry impossible. If the gravitional constant was lesser than stars would be too cool to ignite nuclear fusion; thus, many of the elements needed for life chemistry would never form. If the electromagnetic constant was greater than chemical bonding would be disrupted; elements more massive than boron would be unstable to fission. My opponent simply doesn't understand the consequences of trying to edit these forces. There are at least 37 constants that are consistent with the laws of nature for a variety of values that if edited slightly could result in the impossibility of life.

Next my opponent seems to critique the creator, I would like to point out three things about my opponents chance argument. One even if my opponent were correct this simply doesn't follow. My opponent would have to why if the argument is correct there is some contradiction between a large number of worlds with one that has life on it and there is simply no reason to suggest this by chance or incompatible at all. And the another problem with my opponents objections is efficiency is only a problem for someone with limited time or limited resources in which God has neither therefore the argument doesn't follow. The last problem with this objection is that it simply shows the typical probability of a universe fine-tuned for life having a life-supporting system so it really just adds to the argument. The 37 constants I mentioned are finely tuned for life, and have a variety of values which are consistent that do not support life. Therefore given all the problems with my opponents reasoning the argument stands unscathed.

My opponent has not refuted Paley's watch therefore my opponent has not seen why I consider a creator being the correct answer but he blatantly contradicts himself when he says a creator isn't falsifiable. The reason why is because he has tried to falsify the creator through apparent non-necessity in the last paragraph(even though this doesn't prove anything), so my opponent has simply ignored the connection between design and designer and furthermore, doesn't understand the presupposition he must take in order to make his argument work. My opponent has not refuted this argument therefore it stands.


My opponent basically attacks both premises and has made incredible assumptions to do so. My opponent takes possible infinites and equivocates them with actual infinites. What I am saying is that no set of infinite anything can exist. For example, a infinite amount of time cannot exist because that would be a infinite set of years(or lightyears if you prefer). Of course its used for convenience in mathematics, but if we calculated out the equations they simply do not end therefore we use symbol(infinity) to represent the existence of continuous cycle of something that cannot be counted because immediately afterward you have a new number in which to count.

I have three refutation of the critique of the first premise. My opponent principle of uncertainty has nothing to do with quantum vacuums or virtual particles, as my opponents source says that the principle is "any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle" this has nothing to do with the appearance of virtual particles.

My next refutation is that the appearance of virtual particles from nothing depends on your interpretation of quantum mechanics, the only time when this is shown to be true is if we assume a indeterministic model such as Copenhagen however if we choose a De Broglie–Bohm or some other deterministic model of quantum mechanics than the appearance of virtual particles are in principle explainable. Furthermore, epistemic indeterminacy with ontological indeterminacy are very different things. Just because science cannot show a clear causation doesn't mean that the event is uncaused.

My opponent is mistaken with the his interpretation of a quantum vacuum. A quantum vacuum isn't nothing, its a sea of fluctuating energy. Its rich physical reality in which is governed by physical laws. Bernulf Kanitscheider emphasizes that in so-called quantum creation events we're dealing with "a causal process leading from a primordial substratum with a rich physical structure to a materialized substratum of the vacuum. Admittedly this process is not deterministic, it includes that weak kind of causal dependence peculiar to every quantum mechanical process".

But even granting my opponents objection to the first premise we simply cast the argument in inductive form and the KCA is unfazed. We simply say its more likely that whatever begins to exist has a cause.

Sources in the comments,Thank you to my opponent. Vote Pro. BOP fulfilled.


I thank my opponent for presenting his rebuttal, and shall now present mine.

First, however, I must address the matter of me supposedly "not posting" a case. Now, just because I don't have a huge title in bold capital letters saying "MY CASE", doesn't mean I haven't posted any argumentation whatsoever.
As far as I recall, I explained why we know the Big Bang occured and how it occured; as well as how we know our universe is flat and allows a creation ex nihilo. This also touches the problem of the unfalsifiability of a creator, which my opponent calls a contradiction.

In a moment when we know that the Big Bang indeed happened, as well as its cause, we need only prove that our universe allows creation ex nihilo to complete the theory and stipulate that it materialized from the Big Bang singularity, ex nihilo, by means of a quantum fluctuation - this is where a creator becomes unnecessary.
There is no need for a creator to create anything because we know it is possible and perfectly likely for the universe to create itself, on its own accord. There is no logical reason for a creator to exist - it would indeed be a "creator" whose creation is unnecessry, making such a creator almost definitely inexistent. This is what science can prove, and this is what I've proven.

However, science cannot definitely prove there is no creator. I shall paraphrase Russell's teapot - if I were to assert that an invisible magical teapot is, say, orbiting the Sun, undetectable to our senses and machinery; I have made myself impossible to prove wrong. This is a fallacy called reductio ad ignorandum. [1] That is why firm evidence as to the extence of a creator must be given. Should it not be given, proving a creator to be absolutely unnecessary is enough.


My opponent attacks my refutation by using the Evolutionary argument against naturalism, so I shall deal with it promptly.

He attempts to prove that due to the fact that naturalism claims there is no purpose in nature, and evolution is based on enhancing survival traits; their conjunction is incoherent. This argument states tha there is no connection between survival traits and belief/rational thought.

As I've already pointed out, what naturalism believes is that there is no true purpose in nature and life, but this has nothing to do with the existence of rational thought - this only means that there is no "higher meaning" in our existence or that of the laws of nature.

Furthermore, what this argument fails to address is that, as long as there exist conceptual links between belief and behavior, to quote Stephen Law: "Natural selection will favour true belief."
Why is this? This is because such conceptual links do exist. Belief and behavior are intricately intertwined. The greatest achievments of the human race were made by asserting a belief, and then behaving accordingly to validate said belief.The fact that the human race is capable of fully rational thought,while other species are not, represents a development in accordance with the chain of natural selection.

All species have evolved to survive. However, some are incredibly simple and surviv with no rationality, thought, or instinct; while some have developed extremely intricate systems of survival - like humans.

This argument hasn't proven the correlation between evolution and rational thought to be wrong, nor has it proven there exist no links between behaviour and belief. It only states, I quote: "There is no reason...". This remains a fallacy of bare assertion. [2] There is no "assumption" as to these conceptual links - Occam's razor favors the con side.


First, I must address the problem of fine-tuning. If we were to remove the weak nuclear force today, life could exist. Stephen Hawking has argued this to be true as well. I wasn't talking about the early universe.
Furthermore, concerning the gravitational force, I will quote astrophysicist Fred Adams: "You can change alpha or the gravitational constant by a factor of 100 and stars still form." [3]

Now, my opponent states that there is no reason to suggest life appeared by chance. The Earth itself formed through accretion from the Solar nebula [4], while life was a result of many chemical syntheses that just as well might not have happened. We are talking about a universe with 17x10^9 planets in a single galaxy - with only one planet having life, and only by chance. This doesn't indicate a "fine-tuned universe".

Also, as for the statement that a creator has neither "limited time nor limited resources" - not only is this again unfalsifiable and simply removing criteria of proof, but it would also either indicate a creator has infinite time (which my opponent claims to be impossible), or he is outside of time, which is a fallacy of removing criteria of proof.

I have already addressed the issue of the statement about a creator being unfalsifiable, so I shall conclude.
Even granted fine-tuning is true, this doesn't prove a creator. Low probability of fine-tuning would not mean its impossibility without a creator; and without proof that this implies a creator, the argument is a non sequitor and bare assertion. There is no connection between design and designer here, because there is no evidence for design in the first place.
To state it cannot be proven otherwise would be a reductio ad ignorandum.


I must again address infinity. We cannot reduce infinity to a "set" of anything - it would absurd and unreasonable to attempt to count infinity. However, it exists. For example, our universe has an infinite capacity of volume. This indicates its ability to expand infinitely given the non-appearance of thermodynamic death. Furthermore, infinite potential mass infinitely slows time - this is what happened in the singularity. Infinity is a concept used most logically in accordance to the laws of physics, only not quantitatively (reduced to a number).
The only mistake here is the fact that my opponent is literally trying to "count" infinity.

As for the refutations of my criticisms of the first premise:

a) This is what happens when one only reads the definition. Heisenberg's principle is most intricately connected to the creation of virtual particles. Due to the fact that Heisenberg's principle implies an uncertainty in the velocity and location of a particle, it follows that there is always an uncertainty in energy in even the purest of vacuums. [5] This uncertainty is manifested in virtual particles appearing in particle/antiparticle pairs. To adhere to the necessity of restoring energy to its previous state, these particles are subsequently annihilated. However, they appear in pure vacuums, which can contain no cause for their materialization.
Furthermore, our universe allows ex nihilo creation perfectly well, which implies that virtual particles materialize ex nihilo according to all principles of quantum mechanics, and this is taken as a well accepted fact.

b) I do not recall referring to the quantum vacuum as "nothing". There can, indeed, be no pure void, no true "nothing". However, the quantum vacuum is matterless, containing only fluctuating energy which is a consequence, NOT a cause, of the materialization of virtual particles. There doesn't have to be a certain energy causing that materialization - the net energy of the universe is equal to zero. To quote Stephen Hawking: "That only raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the energy of the universe is exactly zero. [6]
The "sea of fluctuating energy" inside the quantum vacuum is a consequence of virtual particles.

Finally, as for the statement that we shall simply say that what is more likely will happen - this proves nothing. There have been hundreds of thousands of examples where an event that was less likely happened. The statement is wrong and irrelevant.

Sources in comments.
Back to pro.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent doesn't realize he must post a case that supports his point of view(namely God doesn't exist). Proving God is unnecessary doesn't prove he doesn't exist, but even so I refuted those arguments as I will continue to do in this round.
Russell's Teapot
My opponent brings up a interesting analogy that seems to be the core of his case. He seems to think that positive truth claims bear a burden of proof while negative truth claims do not. He seems to use this false and misleading analogy to do it so if I must I will refute Russell's Teapot, but let me make one thing clear, negative truth claims have just a much burden of proof as positive truth claims, for example if I were to say the universe doesn't exist, I would have the burden of proof not you. Russell's Teapot while seems plausible on the face is really a false analogy. God may not falsifiable scientifically but God can be falsifiable philosophically. To assume that the criteria for falsifiablity would be to presuppose Scientism.
There are big problems with my opponents refutation of the Argument from Reason. Obviously I was ready for this objection as I put a reason that this probably isn't the case in my last round argument. My opponent begs the question in his argument because he must presuppose that these beliefs are true given naturalism and evolution, this is why it is important to analyze this in terms of if naturalism and evolution were true. Remember that my opponent simply asserts that the probability of evolution selecting for true beliefs. For example if we had a belief that produced a belief that water is in the south, as long as the behavior actually made you go north and the water be north, what does it matter the truth validity? As long as something increases survival ability it doesn't matter the truth of such belief. The underlying neurology of human being may select for particular beliefs and these beliefs may when put into a certain neurology produce behavior which is favourable from a evolutionary standpoint. But nothing inside of that information specifically selects for true beliefs. This is the core of the argument for the conceptual links, because my opponent failed to justify. Plus another presupposition my opponent makes is the internalist claim that beliefs are naturally appealing. I do not find that true by necessity, and my opponent failed to justify that claim. My opponent must justify the externalist outlook and the conceptual links, or allow this argument to go threw.
I should also mention my opponent has accepted(by not refuting) that Occam's razor(at least if the argument from reason stands) then it refutes the naturalistic/atheistic standpoint. So I would like make it clear even if one of my argument succeeds his core argument(which really isn't a argument for non-existence of God) fails. He says God isn't necessary but if God is necessary in one respect then my opponent loses.
Now I would like to point out that my opponent admits that the early state of the universe, if it we were talking about the early state of the universe than it wouldn't be relevant. I am unclear about the context of you quote, but since we are talking about the early universe producing the early conditions for life(which is what is important) he needs to clarify if this quote applies to the early universe as well as now. If it does, does it also apply to all 37 constants(entropy,electromagnetic,strong nuclear force,etc) in the early universe?

I am not saying it is impossible, it is simply highly unlikely. The premise only needs to be more likely than its denial to be considered valid. I have a sound deductive argument and my opponents assertions of infallibility to God or to my rebuttal of refutation can be seen as incoherent at best. The point of my opponents argument is too show some kind of inefficiency on the part of God. However, something outside a spacio-temporal realm cannot be bound by temporal reality and not by physical things as physical things did not exist yet. Remember this isn't begging the question I am just taking my opponents objection to its logical conclusion. With regards to the number he presses in this debate, I would like it would be really irrelevant if the universe never was conditioned for life at all. What I mean by this is that if this universe never was able to form the necessary elements for life or the formations of stars than the number of potential planets is irrelevant. Remember the number I gave at the beginning a figure, this figure applies to any universe. Furthermore, life requires many elements to exist. This number is debated(I have seen numbers up 24) but at least 5 elements is needed for sure(I am not explicitly talking about the construction of DNA).

Granting the fine-tuning(since my opponent isn't disputing any of the other premises) deductively it follows logically that the universe is designed. The truth is if my conclusion follows logically than Paley's Watch is a applicable thought experiment that we can visibly compare. My opponent is likely to bring up Hume but we can compare the universe reliably to a watch for several reasons. One would be that it is extremely complex, along with regulated by natural laws, and the last one is that it is fine tuned. Now I am not presupposing this it was part of my initial argument in the first round. So being finely tuned seems to imply creation via Paley's Watch. This is supporting argument for the final conclusion of the teleological argument.
My opponent seems to admit the second premise on the face at least. My opponent says we cannot reduce infinity to set of anything, this is correct. Infinity is a potential rather than a actual number, it is purely theoretical and has no qualitative value. My opponent mentions the volume of the universe, my opponent is right, the universe has a potential infinite volume. It would never actually reach a value of infinity as the concept is incoherent for practical applications. My opponent further puts his analogy even further with suggesting the mass is likewise infinite but unfortunately for my opponent this simply suggests the same thing. Infinity is introduced as a concept typical theoretical physics and mathematics not as a literal value in which it is suppose to suggest that infinity means actual number. But it doesn't matter in this case in which my opponent admits a beginning of the universe since my opponent affirms the big bang, he refute the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth theorem. My opponent has admitted fundamentally from a Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics that the universe began to exist. Now we confront that first premise once again.
I would like to point out that my opponent has dropped the point about depending on the interpretation of quantum mechanics one adheres too. Regardless of the uncertainty principle, the virtual particles are caused nonetheless regardless of whether we are unsure of position, amount, or velocity. My questioning of connection between the principle of uncertainty was to clarify the point of contention however this doesn't help his case because of his presupposition of non-deterministic quantum mechanics, which my opponent seems to concede since he doesn't answer it. Furthermore, my opponent has not addressed the issue of ontological vs epistemological justifications of causation with regards to virtual particles. As to quantum vacuums, it is important to point out, because a vacuum isn't nothing we know that while if my opponent is right they may not be causally necessitated, they may very well be causally conditioned, in fact they must be causally conditioned in that they are reproducible within the quantum vacuum. So this appears to have no effect on the KCA rather confirm it. My opponent seems to not understand inductive argument, as he says probability isn't relevant to truth value this is clearly nonsense.
My opponent has failed to justify his burden of proof while I have succeeded. Vote Pro.


To begin with, I'd like to thank my opponent for presenting his final exposition, as well as for the debate, which I've enjoyed thoroughly.

Now, again, just because I didn't have a title saying "my case"; doesn't mean I haven't offered my argumentation.
I have proven, scientifically, that the universe could have begun on its own accord, effectively making a creator unnecessary. A creator which needs not create anything is a very illogical idea, and not fitting to serve as an explanation.
An idea which cannot be proven and is, in the end, unnecessary, is also highly illogical and improbable.

As long as there is no evidence as to the probability of the existence of a creator, proving that he is unnecessary is enough.
On one side we have laws which explain the creation of the universe, laws we can observe, understand, and falsify scientifically; while on the other side we have an unproven, unnecessary theory of a creator.
It is obvious which, and why, serves as an explanation.

Now, onto my final rebuttal.


My opponent says this is the "core of my case", and a "misleading analogy", so he deemed fit to attempt to refute it.

First, I must say that Russell's teapot served to prove that showing how and why a creator is unnecessary is enough, as long as there is no observable proof as to his existence.
If that weren't the case, I might as well use the Flying Spaghetti Monster as an explanation, or maybe the Invisible Pink Unicorn; and then stipulate that proving them unnecessary isn't enough - you have to show they don't exist.

But you can't do that, can you? That's because you first need proof to be able to offer a rebuttal whatsoever.


My opponent suggests that my refutation of this argument is false, because he believes true belief isn't necessary as long as evolution increaes survivability.
He also accuses me of "simply asserting" that evolution and true belief are connected.

First, let us take the analogy with water my opponent used. We don't even have to use a human, let it rather be a monkey; a creature which has a primitive sort of rational thought, as well as instincts. Its animalistic instincts force it to go look for water when it is thirsty. Should it not find water in a certain place, say place X, it will now know, believe, that the water isn't there; and due to the validation of that belief, it will no longer go to place X to look for water.

Belief and rational thought are intertwined - they are both neurophysical processes. The example with the monkey simply describes the chain of evolution - the fact that a monkey can use rational thought to an extent as well as instincts puts it high on said chain. Humans are, of course, on the very top, due to them beling able to think and validate claims completely rationally.
This leads us to the conclusion that beings that are higher on the chain of evolution have more developed thought processes; and those with rational thought are the highest - evolution's survival of the fittest favors rational thought.

Finally, I didn't "simply assert" the connection - I've already elaborated on it in round three. In fact, the only fallacy of assertion is committed in the very AfR, whose only disproval of said connection is "there is no reason", without any evidence or arguments whatsoever.
Thus, Occam's razor favors the con side.


To begin with, my argument about the weak nuclear force refers to the present universe, while astrophysicist Fred Adams' claim refers to the universe in general.
I should have indeed been more precise, but I do not believe this will be very important to the outcome of this debate.

As for the constants - they were my opponent's example; it's up to him to know what he applied them to.

Now, again, a smaller likelihood does not indicate impossibility. It is perfectly possible that, even granting fine tuning, the universe is suited for life. We live in a small corner of space, so small compared to the rest. Even in comparison to the Milky Way, the odds of life forming were 0.000000000058824 (1/17x10^9). Yet Earth defies the odds. Evolution defies the odds.
I also didn't see the need to refute Paley's watch per se, as long as I refute the teleological argument, but since my opponent requests it - no, we do not assume a watch on a beach is made by chance. Yes, it was designed by humans.
However, this does not imply design on the cosmological scale, a non sequitur once again. The analogy cannot even be applied to a cosmological scale.

This argument is a non sequitur [1]. It doesn't imply a designer - indeed, it doesn't even imply design.

Furthermore, placing the creator outside the space-time continuum is removing criteria of proof. Hey, God is outside of time. Hey, he's outside of space. These arguments are simply retreats onto other criteria - the problem is, no proof is offered upon any of these criteria.

As for fine-tuning, the universe is not perfectly tuned. Nearly the whole observable universe is deadly to life, some of its constants could be subject to change, and life developed through chance. These are not the characteristics of a fine-tuned universe designed for life.
However, even granting the fine-tuning, the argument is still a non sequitur.


To begin with, let's deal with infinity for the final time.
Infinity can, and will, exist in nature. The universe could perfectly well expand infinitely in an indefinite amount of time, granted there were no thermodynamic death.
Furthermore, according to all calculations, the Big Bang singularity existed temporally infinitely. Infinity can exist, and is applicable to observation. However, it cannot exist quantitatively. Infinite time cannot be measured.

Next, of course I am not refuting that the universe began to exist - if it hadn't I wouldn't be here. Refuting premise 2 is refuting one's own existence; it's absurd to even mention this.

As for virtual particles - uncertainty in velocity and positin on quantum level does, indeed, mathematically lead to uncertainty in energy. That uncertainty is manifested in the creation of virtual particles in accordance with Heisenberg's principle.
The quantum vacuum can have its positive energy of matter increased along with its negative energy of gravity [2]. These two render each other null - they do not break the law of conservation of energy.
Our universe allows creation ex nihilo. In the quantum vacuum, that creation was observed in accordance with all known principles - there is no cause, or more important, no necessary cause for virtual particles. Due to the nature of quantum events, which Taner Edis explained (a quote was offered), virtual particles can, and will, materialize from nothing.

Also, the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth theorem focuses on inflation between 10^-36 and 10^-33 (or ^-32) seconds after the Big Bang. It doesn't refute the Big Bang, or the coming of our universe into existence. [3]

This is no longer a matter of interpretation - all the laws of quantum physics and mechanics point to this conclusion, and it was accepted by the modern scientific community, as well as many of the world's leading physicists, such as Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking, Lawrence Krauss, Richard Feynman* - the greatest modern minds. (*Richard Feynman is deceased, if one is to consider this information relevant [4])
The conclusion about virtual particles is no longer considered a mater of interpretation; rather an accepted fact.

The first premise of the KCA fails. Creation ex nihilo is possible, and I've shown throughout this debate that not only virtual particles, but our universe as well, can come ex nihilo.

Finally, again - a lower likelihood doesn't imply impossibilty. The KCA doesn't imply a creator, or refute my arguments by stating that "it is more probable that everything has a cause". More probable, maybe, but definitely not true in all cases.

To conclude, I've proven the lack of need for a creator, and refuted arguments against.
I urge all voters to vote con!
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zgb1997 5 years ago
Just to avoid any confusion, I simply wished to state that the B-V-G theorem follows an inflationary model (which accepts the Big Bang - even though it supports fine-tuning, see below), and does not refute premise 2 of the KCA.

The refutation of fine-tuning as per the stipulations of the B-V-G theorem is found in my refutation of the teleological argument and KCA.

Just so there are no problems concerning that :) I didn't have enough space to explain.
Posted by zgb1997 5 years ago
[2] Stephen W. Hawking: A Brief History of Time: from the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988), page 143
Posted by Center_for_Rationality 5 years ago
lol meant internalist outlook
Posted by Center_for_Rationality 5 years ago
Works Cited

BECKWITH, Francis J., William Lane CRAIG, and James Porter MORELAND. To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004. Print.

"Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism: The Debate." YouTube. YouTube, 25 Feb. 2011. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

"The Kalam Cosmological Argument." Debate Topic:. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

"Teleological Arguments for God's Existence." (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

"William Paley, "The Teleological Argument"" William Paley, "The Teleological Argument" N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.
Posted by zgb1997 5 years ago
[1] - Argumenntum ad ignorantiam, also known as reductio ad ignorantum (I accidentaly wrote ignorandum, excuse the typo)
[6] Stephen W. Hawking: A Brief History of Time: from the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988), page 129
Posted by Center_for_Rationality 5 years ago
Works Cited

"The Kalam Cosmological Argument." Debate Topic:. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2013.

"The Caused Beginning of the Universe: A Response to Quentin Smith." N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2013.

"Objections to the Causal Principle." N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2013.

Morris, Thomas V. Philosophy for Dummies. Foster City, CA: IDG Worldwide, 1999. Print.

"Evidence for the Fine Tuning of the Universeby Rich Deem." The Universe: Evidence for Its Fine Tuning. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2013.

" Quant-ph ArXiv:quant-ph/0506243." [quant-ph/0506243] The De Broglie-Bohm Pilot-wave Interpretation of Quantum Theory. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2013.

" - Science Christianity - Beyond the Big Bang." - Science Christianity - Beyond the Big Bang. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2013
Posted by zgb1997 5 years ago

[5] Stephen W. Hawking: A Brief History of Time: from the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988), pages 46, 61, 62
[8] Lawrence Krauss & Richard Dawkins, "A Universe from Nothing", lecture
Posted by zgb1997 5 years ago
I'll accept the shared burden of proof.
Posted by Center_for_Rationality 5 years ago
Just friend me :)

Once you do, then you get messages :)

I can't message you either for the same reason
Posted by zgb1997 5 years ago
By the way, it would be wonderful if you'd allow messages so we could discuss this in messages.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter Jarhyns vote, Which is very vauge and includes his own personal opinion. If you find a problem with this vote plz pm me.
Vote Placed by Deadlykris 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's most convincing points were simply appeals to authority - that is, the quotes with which he opened each argument. Whether they were included as part of the actual argument, or simply to set the tone, is irrelevant.
Vote Placed by philochristos 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro won the argument from reason, but didn't explain how that shows there's a creator of the universe. Pro also won on the teleological argument. Con said life in the universe is rare to show that the universe is not fine-tuned for life, but that is a misunderstanding of the argument. What Pro argued was that 35 or so constants must be finely tuned for life to even be possible in the universe. If there is any life at all in the universe, that shows that the 35 or so constants are finely tuned to make it possible. Pro also won the KCA. Since Con conceded the universe began to exist, the debate over the reality of infinities was moot. Con offered virtual particles as counter-examples to the first premise, but doesn't defend an indeterministic interpretation of quantum physics against the deterministic de Broglie-Bohm interpretation that Pro mentioned. Con also admits that there can be no pure 'nothing,' invalidating his claim that pair production is an example of creation ex-nihilo.
Vote Placed by Jarhyn 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Condict must go to CON, as PRO engaged in the dishonest accusation on various occasions that CON had no argument. As CON was arguing the negative to a positive claim, no such burden of proof exists, as CON explained repeatedly. PRO further made various arguments from ignorance, increduility, and bare assertion; just because PRO is unable to count an infinity does not mean an infinity does not exist. Finally sources go to CON, as PRO attempted to support the KCA from the oft-debunked and clearly irrational liar William Lane Craig, where CON used reputable scientific sources with strong primary support.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments are "arguments from incredulity" -- that he cannot believe it is other than he assumes. Con got to that immediately, and as the debate progressed it became more apparent that Pro as not getting above "bare assertion." A shared burden of proof means that the debate should be judged based upon a preponderance of evidence, rather than giving Pro a stronger burden of proving the resolution true. But how does one prove that unicorns or Zeus or anything else does not exist? There is a prejudice for non-existence since it is destructive to believe everything asserted. Disproof is only by a search being done and no affirming evidence being found. I prove that there is no elephant in my living room by searching there and not finding one. Pro defined the bounds of the search for the debate and did not prove existence. Con was somewhat easier to follow, but the S&G was good enough to make that a tie.