The Instigator
CiRrO
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points
The Contender
kgantchev
Con (against)
Losing
24 Points

A metaphysical Supreme Being exists.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/24/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,762 times Debate No: 4486
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (18)

 

CiRrO

Pro

A metaphysical Supreme Being exists.

I affirm.

Definitions:

1) Metaphysical: Not-physical, supernatural.
2) Supreme Being: A being greater then humans or any natural being
3) Exists: In actuality of some form

Debate Outline:

Pro/Con burden - Since proving or disproving the existence of a Supreme Being is directly impossible (At this time, then the burden to win is simple. Break the scale to one side. This is not an absolutist resolution, its a scale resolution. I.e. Neither the aff or neg needs to prove or disprove the resolve totally.
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*I'll let Con make the first move* (Since he/she is the guest)
kgantchev

Con

Thank you for posting this debate… Good luck!
I'll start with actually providing the dictionary definitions of the terms (from dictionary.com):

[DEFINE-metaphysics]
1.the branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology and cosmology, and is intimately connected with epistemology.

[DEFINE- metaphysical]
1.pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics.
2.Philosophy.
a.concerned with abstract thought or subjects, as existence, causality, or truth.
b.concerned with first principles and ultimate grounds, as being, time, or substance.

[DEFINE- supreme]
1.highest in rank or authority; paramount; sovereign; chief.

[DEFINE- being]
1.the fact of existing; existence (as opposed to nonexistence).
2.conscious, mortal existence; life: Our being is as an instantaneous flash of light in the midst of eternal night.
3.substance or nature: of such a being as to arouse fear.
8. Philosophy.
a.that which has actuality either materially or in idea.
b.absolute existence in a complete or perfect state, lacking no essential characteristic; essence.

[DEFINE- exists]
1. To have actual being; be real.
2. To have life; live: one of the worst actors that ever existed.
3. To live at a minimal level; subsist: barely enough income on which to exist.

BY DEFINITION if something is metaphysical it can't be supreme, it can't be a being and it can't exist. Metaphysical things, from a philosophical standpoint, are abstract thoughts or subjects, as such they're non existent beyond the mind in which they're conceived. Even if one shares that thought with another person, even if the other person accepts it to be true, it still remains nothing more than a concept which does not exist beyond the minds of those people.

I would also like to point out that one might argue that NOTHING exists beyond the mind of a person, but existence of the world around us is not in question and is an ENTIRELY different debate.
Debate Round No. 1
CiRrO

Pro

My opponent gives a bunch of definitions. However this is the breakdown, metaphysical also includes the atemporal aphysical. I.e. metaphysical. My opponent says that:

concerned with abstract thought or subjects, as existence, causality, or truth.

-I agree

He then says: BY DEFINITION if something is metaphysical it can't be supreme, it can't be a being and it can't exist. Metaphysical things, from a philosophical standpoint, are abstract thoughts or subjects, as such they're non existent beyond the mind in which they're conceived. Even if one shares that thought with another person, even if the other person accepts it to be true, it still remains nothing more than a concept which does not exist beyond the minds of those people.

My opponent is indeed false. I can conceive the idea of a supreme frog, the king all frogs. Since its an abstract thought, and I conceive that its supreme, then its possible to be both.

You can drop my opponents whole argument. Also, as an observation of his argument, he is debating topicality rather then the actual substance. He has not disproved the idea of a Supreme Being.

I will now explain how the scale tips to the side of the existence of a supreme being by using logic and science.

Contentions:

I. Motion

It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand.

II. Causation

The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false.

Syllogism:

1) The universe had a beginning, i.e. the Big Bang
2) This event needed a cause
3) A Supreme being was the catalyst of the big bang

Going back to a phrase my opponent said:

"but existence of the world around us is not in question and is an ENTIRELY different debate."

My Response: Exactly, my opponent claims that the existence of the world is not in question. He says however its a different debate. It is not, on the fact that something aphysical and atemporal is NECESSARY for that existence. Link my 2 contentions to this assertion of my opponent. You can affirm right here.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
kgantchev

Con

Perhaps next time my opponent would like to provide some sources, I find it rather humorous that my opponent would be able to come up with an original idea which EXACTLY (word for word) matches that of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), "The Five Ways" http://www-phil.tamu.edu...

Aside from the fact that my opponent TOTALLY forgot to mention the source of his argument, my opponent has failed to disprove my argument, possibly his only truly original thought in the previous round was this:
"My opponent is indeed false. I can conceive the idea of a supreme frog, the king all frogs. Since its an abstract thought, and I conceive that its supreme, then its possible to be both."

My opponent has done nothing more but to demonstrate his ability conceive of an abstract idea, the "supreme frog" still doesn't exist, nor is it supreme in any way shape or form. This is the perfect example showing how one can conceive something and it won't exist beyond his or her mind.

Oh, it looks like my opponent had a second original thought:
"It is not, on the fact that something aphysical and atemporal is NECESSARY for that existence. Link my 2 contentions to this assertion of my opponent. You can affirm right here."

First and foremost, those are not my opponent's own contentions, as I showed in the beginning of this round. I'm left with the task not to actually address my opponent's contentions, but those of Aquinas. Contrary to my opponent's implied intention, Aquinas is specifically arguing the existence of a Christian God, not of any randomly conceived "metaphysical supreme being".

To counter Aquinas' argument I will offer my opponent's own idea of a "supreme frog", the "supreme frog" is equally capable of fulfilling the purpose of a Christian God which attempts to fill a gap in the scientific knowledge (basically what Aquinas is arguing with "motion"). A "supreme frog" is just as likely to put the world in motion as a Christian God… I'm only entertaining this idea to show that conceiving of a useless idea to fill a gap in knowledge is, well, USELESS!

Furthermore, the idea of causation is contradictory, because Aquinas argues that the universe needs a cause for existence and that cause is God (efficient cause), but fails to answer what is the efficient cause for the existence of God. I would argue the efficient cause for the existence of God is people: humans created the concept of God :), this leads us to a sort of "chicken and the egg" problem, which is precisely why Aquinas' is incorrect.

Back to my original argument: regardless if you conceive a "supreme frog" or God, the conception of such metaphysical "creature" is just an idea that does not even come close to being supreme or existent… at the end it's ONLY an abstract idea which does NOT exist beyond one's own imagination.

If my opponent would like to offer his original ideas for the next rounds, I'll be glad to debate them too :).
Debate Round No. 2
CiRrO

Pro

Ok, I'll go through the major ideas of the round.

*I apologize, I never cited the Summa Theologica.

1) My opponent says that Aquinas is only arguing a Christian God.
2) If causation was true, it would have to apply to God as well.

I will go through each.

#1 My Response: This is indeed false. The 5 ways only argue the existence of "A" God. Only until after he proves the only logical way for the universe and its laws to have existed; he will then explain how the Christian God is logical as well. I did not go to that point, I'm just defending the existence of a supreme being.

#2 My Response: My opponent says that if causation was true, it would have to apply to God as well. Here is why that is untrue (Taken from my previous God debate): My opponent is very true when saying this. My opponent is being logical. However, there is a difference. We both agree that this "Supreme Being" is out of the physical world, i.e. aphysical and atemporal. Therefore, the laws in the natural world, i.e. Argument of Motion and Causation, don't apply. This is where my opponent makes a flaw. She is saying that the laws of the natural world are the same no matter what time/space or dimension. Let me go further. These natural laws, according to Thomas Aquinas (One of the founders of natural law theory), explain that the natural laws proceed from non-contingency. Non-contingency is a word meaning, no cause. Therefore, this "Supreme Being" is the only non-contingent being. The natural world, as we know, because of the big-bang is contingent. Thus, a non-contingent being, i.e. the necessary being, had to have started the 2 fundamental principals of natural law, i.e. Motion and causation.

You can drop my opponents 2 arguments.

Extension: He failed to attack Contention 1, extend this.

Ok, now my opponent makes his argument again by imagination vs. existence.

I have 2 response: 1) Just link my 2 points. The universe could not have A)Created itself, or B) Have previously existed, because this would be infinity, which is scientifically, and mathematically impossible. 2) This idea can affirm my side. This is argument of ontology. It states that nothing conceived by the human mind could not exist in some form. Like, people cannot conceive or even make a new color, on the fact that color derives from light. The mind cannot conceive a new color, only a straight forward color, like red, or a mixture like sea-green. We, as people, since the beginning of human history, have conceived the idea of some sort of "god". From the polytheists, to the monotheists, etc. Therefore, you can use my opponents argument against him, since I have proven for a conceived idea to be true, it either is straight forward, or mixture.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
kgantchev

Con

"*I apologize, I never cited the Summa Theologica."
Apology accepted.

"#1 My Response: This is indeed false. The 5 ways only argue the existence of "A" God. Only until after he proves the only logical way for the universe and its laws to have existed; he will then explain how the Christian God is logical as well. I did not go to that point, I'm just defending the existence of a supreme being."

You can argue the existence of "A" God, but Aquinas specifically argues A CHRISTIAN God. In my previous argument I clearly state that what Aquinas is ultimately arguing is different from what my opponent is arguing, and my opponent agrees. Since my opponent has given me his own contention, I'll offer rebuttals of his arguments below.

"#2 We both agree that this "Supreme Being" is out of the physical world, i.e. aphysical and atemporal. Therefore, the laws in the natural world, i.e. Argument of Motion and Causation, don't apply. This is where my opponent makes a flaw. [He] is saying that the laws of the natural world are the same no matter what time/space or dimension. Let me go further. These natural laws, according to Thomas Aquinas (One of the founders of natural law theory), explain that the natural laws proceed from non-contingency. Non-contingency is a word meaning, no cause. Therefore, this "Supreme Being" is the only non-contingent being. The natural world, as we know, because of the big-bang is contingent. Thus, a non-contingent being, i.e. the necessary being, had to have started the 2 fundamental principals of natural law, i.e. Motion and causation."

First and foremost I'd like to clarify that I NEVER argue that "the laws of the natural world are the same no matter what time/space or dimension", I NEVER even imply that.

Second, Aquinas is arguing that contingent things don't come in existence from non-contingent things, but rather the necessity for a non-contingent things, the necessity of something does NOT equal the existence of something ABSTRACT and METAPHYSICAL! In fact Aquinas may be completely wrong, the cause of contingent things can be in itself something which exists in the real universe and not in the metaphysical/abstract and we haven't discovered it yet (this would imply a cycle of contingent things creating each other).

The problem is that one can conceive of a non-contingent thing, but the fact that the person actually conceived it makes it contingent... therefore something non-contingent can in fact be produced from a contingent source. That's how we perceived of the existence of a God, or a "supreme being"... so in fact that being by default cannot be non-contingent!

"I have 2 response: 1) Just link my 2 points. The universe could not have A)Created itself, or B) Have previously existed, because this would be infinity, which is scientifically, and mathematically impossible."

In fact infinity is mathematically and scientifically possible, if anybody has ever had to divide a number by 0 they would notice the result goes to infinity... one can argue that the existence of the universe is an infinite cycle which doesn't have a beginning nor does it have an end. It neither requires a beginning, nor does it require an end, it's just INFINITE. That's a hard concept to grap, and one will ask: "What started the loop" and that question is not valid, because we can't define the end of infinity nor can we define the start of infinity... what the question is asking for is the start of infinity: there is NO SUCH THING!

"2) This idea can affirm my side. This is argument of ontology. It states that nothing conceived by the human mind could not exist in some form. Like, people cannot conceive or even make a new color, on the fact that color derives from light. The mind cannot conceive a new color, only a straight forward color, like red, or a mixture like sea-green. We, as people, since the beginning of human history, have conceived the idea of some sort of "god". From the polytheists, to the monotheists, etc. Therefore, you can use my opponents argument against him, since I have proven for a conceived idea to be true, it either is straight forward, or mixture."

The idea of a God is truly common amongst people, but the commonality only speaks to the failure of people to explain natural events and they come up with an abstract idea of a being which (in many cases looks like a person) has power that's greater than human power. Again, the lack of knowledge is no reason for the assumption of magic :), none at all. If nothing else history has shown us that we have ALWAYS asserted something supernatural in areas which we lack knowledge, that's the actual pattern; eventually knowledge is gained and that idea is dismissed. If we follow that pattern we can safely assume that the idea of a "metaphysical supreme being" will be dismissed eventually, so why not just do it now?

I would agree with my opponent if we conceived of something which wasn't inspired from a previous conception in our mind, God is not one of those things. God, according to the descriptions we've seen, is an old white man with a white beard and in most images he's depicted as such (just search google): http://images.google.com...

God possesses things which we have intimate knowledge of: power! God is supposed to be "all powerful", and ontology proves exactly that, we come up conceptions of what we consider "unique" based on "non-unique" ideas which previously existed in our head.

To summarize my arguments:
1. A "non-contingent supreme being" is in fact contingent because it was conceived/created by people, which are also contingent.
2. Ontology only proves that people can't come up with truly unique concepts, even if something seems unique, it's still drawn from previous experience and/or knowledge.
3. The universe could be infinite, requiring no beginning and no end, therefore no need for the existence of a "non-contingent" thing.
4. Lack of knowledge in some area does not constitute the need for a supernatural explanation, on the contrary, history has shown us that every time we gain more knowledge we eliminate yet another supernatural explanation (perhaps that's why God banned Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, because they ate the apple from The Tree of Knowledge which threatened his existence). So why not just cut to the chase and seek the knowledge rather than to pacify ourselves with abstract ideas which will eventually be replaced anyway?

Thank you!
Debate Round No. 3
CiRrO

Pro

Ok, I'll attack my opponents summary:

1) A "non-contingent supreme being" is in fact contingent because it was conceived/created by people, which are also contingent.

My Response: My opponent is saying that this "Supreme Being" is in fact contingent, because the idea comes from people, which are contingent. Then you can turn my opponents argument. You can say that the NON-Existence of a Supreme Being is therefore a fallacy because people conceived this idea. This is really a circular argument which neither affirms or negates, it pretty much neutral.

2) Ontology only proves that people can't come up with truly unique concepts, even if something seems unique, it's still drawn from previous experience and/or knowledge.

My Response: My opponent doesn't seem to understand the WHOLE idea of what im trying to say. The idea of god is yes drawn from peoples understanding, like, the picture from Google. However, according to the ontological argument, this doesn't matter because god in essence is the greatest of which cannot be truly conceived. Since our mind cannot grasp a total creator, we make adjustment. But the idea of a greater creator is there. Like when I think of God, I don't think of an old man. I think of nothing really, but I see his works, i.e. the universe.

3) The universe could be infinite, requiring no beginning and no end, therefore no need for the existence of a "non-contingent" thing.

My Response: This cannot be possible because all events occur from a beginning one. By saying this my opponent, indirectly, is saying that time doesn't exist. Time is based on a first prime event, then moves to intermediate events, then to an end. Link to Argument of Motion. Time can only exist if there was a beginning. Also, use the "House" example. This is: Say a hotel manager had a hotel with an infinite amount of space. All the rooms are full. A guest comes in and wants a room. Now, its possible to put that guest, however impossible. All the rooms are full, but since its infinite the hotel manager just has to push another room into it. But remember the rooms are full. See that logical dilemma? Something contingent, CANNOT be infinite.

4) Lack of knowledge in some area does not constitute the need for a supernatural explanation, on the contrary, history has shown us that every time we gain more knowledge we eliminate yet another supernatural explanation,

My Response: This is indeed true. However all the examples, like gravity are all natural laws. Its impossible for natural laws to have begun by itself. The beginning is the question. My opponent still has not explained how its possible for either: A) The universe to have created itself or B) The possibility of a pre-existing universe. since he has not done this, and I have provided logical evidence to point to a Supreme Being, u can affirm this resolve.
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Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
kgantchev

Con

Thank you for your last argument, I'll offer my rebuttal again:
1) "You can say that the NON-Existence of a Supreme Being is therefore a fallacy because people conceived this idea. This is really a circular argument which neither affirms or negates, it pretty much neutral."

That was precisely my point, believing that something is non-contingent is circular logic, because it was conceived by a person, in essence that person created the non-contingent being thus putting it in "motion". Regardless of how you look at it, I wouldn't advocate the necessity for the existence of things, I was merely entertaining the idea proposed by my opponent to show the circular logic within it.
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2) "Like when I think of God, I don't think of an old man. I think of nothing really, but I see his works, i.e. the universe."

The reality is that you still perceive God as something familiar, all powerful, etc. We ascribe things to God which we have identified before, they seem more than human because a human can't perform them but they're still actions which are observed in humans, yet scaled to a greater position. There was a time when people couldn't fly, people couldn't go in outer space, and there was a time where people couldn't do a lot of things which we considered magical at the time. Again, this doesn't help my opponent because it's more likely than not that eventually humans will gain the knowledge needed to do what's considered impossible now. The inevitability of that occurrence is what allows us to remove God from the picture.
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3)
a."By saying this my opponent, indirectly, is saying that time doesn't exist. Time is based on a first prime event, then moves to intermediate events, then to an end. Link to Argument of Motion. Time can only exist if there was a beginning."
As a matter of fact time does not exist; it's a concept or a frame of reference, in a sense, which we have devised to measure the change of state of things. People say that we can measure time, but in reality we measure the change of state, the most accurate clock is the atomic clock, which measures the atomic resonance of microwave signals emitted from electrons when they change energy level. Time does not need a beginning, because if the hypothesis of infinite cycle is correct, then time will not have a beginning, yet it can ALWAYS measure the change of state of the infinite universe.

"Also, use the "House" example. This is: Say a hotel manager had a hotel with an infinite amount of space. All the rooms are full. A guest comes in and wants a room. Now, its possible to put that guest, however impossible. All the rooms are full, but since its infinite the hotel manager just has to push another room into it. But remember the rooms are full. See that logical dilemma? Something contingent, CANNOT be infinite."
The dilemma does not exist, if something is infinite, then it can't be full by default... my opponent's argument shows a logical fallacy. It's like saying: "I found the last number!" and then adding +1 to get the next last number… that's not the concept of infinity, the concept of infinity is that there IS NO LAST NUMBER!
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4) "However all the examples, like gravity are all natural laws. Its impossible for natural laws to have begun by itself. The beginning is the question."
Gravity does not need a beginning, "natural laws" don't need a beginning either, they're just the relationships which occur between the things that exist in the universe at the moment.

" My opponent still has not explained how its possible for either:
A) The universe to have created itself or B) The possibility of a pre-existing universe. since he has not done this, and I have provided logical evidence to point to a Supreme Being, u can affirm this resolve."

That's not necessary since an infinite universe would neither have a beginning nor an end, it infinitely exists, it changes state, but it still exists from infinity to infinity!

[CONCLUSION]
My opponent has done nothing more than to demonstrate that he can conceive of an idea which is neither real, nor necessary. I have shown that throughout history people have done the exact same thing and have inserted God in every place where human knowledge is insufficient, yet every time human knowledge expands then the idea of God shrinks!
I say we remove the pacifier and we go directly for the knowledge which will deliver us to the answers of our questions, skip the unnecessary mythical creatures and imaginary beings.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by surfride 8 years ago
surfride
It's mind-boggling, humanity's ability to offer explanations that are totally illogical. The Great Pyramids, for example. Even now, although it was a much more popular theory a few hundred years back, people offered ridiculous ways that the pyramids could have been constructed, like extraterrestrial assistance, or divine assistance, because they simply couldn't believe that people thousands of years ago could build the pyramids. The simplest explanation for the Pyramids is that the Egyptians built them with incredible manpower and architectural ability, but people just don't want to believe that earlier people could have such knowledge, so they concoct stories to protect their own self image. That's how it seems to me anyway.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
CiRro It was very clever of you to require your opponent to make the first argument.

That's a kin to me formulating a debate around my belief that a teapot is orbiting a planet in the Andromeda galaxy and requiring my opponent to prove that it isn't.
Posted by Maya9 8 years ago
Maya9
I never understood why people can't accept the idea of a causeless universe, then turn around and embrace the idea of a causeless God. Completely illogical. If you demand that one thing in an argument obey the rules, all things in the argument must obey the rules.
Posted by kgantchev 8 years ago
kgantchev
I know, it's a bad habit from other posts, when there are too many people posting I have to quote who I'm responding to... sometimes people think I'm responding to them when I'm actually responding to other people...
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
Lol, ok, but thats annoying, u keep quoting my posts...
Posted by kgantchev 8 years ago
kgantchev
"Opps my bad. I didn't check your profile. O well."
It's no big deal :) you're taking this too personal :), I get a sense that you're a respectful person, don't worry about anything :).
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
Opps my bad. I didn't check your profile. O well.
Posted by kgantchev 8 years ago
kgantchev
"Lol, I called you a "She", excuse me, unless you are a girl, but I don't know."

My profile says male, and last time I checked I was a male, but I take no offense to that at all :).
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
Lol, I called you a "She", excuse me, unless you are a girl, but I don't know.
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Vote Placed by flatwhite 8 years ago
flatwhite
CiRrOkgantchevTied
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