Belief in God is rational
Rational means to be in accordance with reason or logic.
First round is for acceptance.
Is it reasonable to suppose that everything had an origin from nothing? Well, all experience indicates that from nothing, nothing comes. So everything must've come from some thing.
When I refer to "everything" I mean the universe. There is nothing that exists necessarily (except for maybe abstract objects such as mathematical entities). If everything exists contingently, then there is an actual infinite regress of contingent causes. If there is an actual infinite regress of contingent causes this is logically absurd because in order to begin the infinite chain of contingency it presupposes its own non-necessary existence. This is true whether the A or B theory of time is true. Nothing in the universe under either theory exists without a cause.
So we've established that (1) something did not come from nothing and (2) that there is not an infinite chain of contingent causes. Note: when I say "nothing" I actually mean no thing. Nothing at all. Nada.
What can reasonably be determined by the elimination of (1) and (2) is that there exists a necessary cause that began the chain of contingency. This thing must exist necessarily and be eternal to be the thing from which everything else came from. What is the most reasonable candidate for a "necessary cause"?
Well first, the most plausible explanation is that this necessary cause is transcendent of the physical universe. Stephen Hawking admits that the Big Bang is the moment in which space-time and energy came into being from a singularity of infinite density. Since all experience indicates that contingent causes occur with an explanation, and since the beginning of the universe was contingent (it didn't need to exist necessarily), then it must have an explanation. Since the *physical* universe began to exist, therefore, this requires a metaphysical explanation. The notion that the physical caused the physical to exist is incoherent. So what possible candidates are metaphysical and causally-able? Abstract objects are metaphysical but not causally-able. Minds are the only plausible candidate for something metaphysical and causally-able. Therefore the Big Bang was most plausibly caused by a transcendent mind (that was necessarily timeless, spaceless, immaterial, powerful). We call this mind God.
Piggybacking off of that, just what kind of universe do we live in? Apparently one that is fine-tuned for life. The cosmological constant is the set of values that determined what kind of universe we live in. If the mass-density ratio were different in as little as 1 part in 10^59 no matter would've formed. If the ratio of electron to proton mass was different in as little as 1 part in 10^37 there would be no chemistry. If the expansion rate of the universe were off in as little as 1 in 10^55 either no galaxies would've formed or the universe would've immediately collapsed on itself. The cosmological constant is 1 part in 10^120 and is just one of various constants allowing a very narrow possibility of any life forming. Without that 1 life-permitting variable life would've been impossible. That is a 1 in 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 variable (10^120) that *even possibly* ANY form of life could be supported in this universe let alone intelligent life.
Now, if there is an intelligent designer of the universe, a universe that is fine-tuned for life is very likely. If there isn't an intelligent designer of the universe, the odds that this universe came into being by chance is incomprehensibly small. The most plausible explanation, therefore, is that it was designed by an intelligent designer. This intelligence designer is God.
Now, piggybacking off of the previous argument, what is the probability of the emergence of life? Harold Morowitz of Yale has estimated the probability of the formation of the simplest and smallest organism to be 1 in 10^340,000,000. Anything that has a greater chance than 1 in 10^50 of occurring is basically deemed impossible since the universe only had billions of years to arrange anything. Information that is specified and complex infers intelligent design. The original DNA molecule (required for the first forms of life) had specified-complex information embedded within it (as specific sequencing of ATCG). If such information is that unlikely to have arranged by chance, and that type of information infers intelligent design, it is most plausible that an intelligent designer was responsible for the emergence of the information in all simple life forms.
We find ourselves as sentient, moral, and intelligent beings asking ourselves whether belief in an intelligent designer is rational. I think the answer is obviously, of course.
Thank you pro.
I will be taking the point of view that belief in god isn’t rational, and that to have faith is actually suspension of logic.
Let me begin by pointing out the fundamental flaw in my opponents’ argument. “Something must be the thing from which everything else came from.” The problem, logically, with this argument is that you can’t explain what created the creator. You can’t have a double standard. Your argument hinges on this kind of ladder: a universe requires a big bang, and a big bang requires a creator. Well then what is the next logical step in your theory? We can’t stop at creator. What was the big bang for the creator?
Your defence of this point was hardly adequate; mostly mathematical babble. The model for the creation of the universe exists perfectly fine without the addition of a creator. I apologize for any mistakes I make, as I am a bit of an obsessed amateur in this field, but I’ll give it a shot.
From what I understand, you run into some interesting roadblocks when you apply Einsteinian physics to the period before the singularity that supposedly birthed to universe via the big bang. Quantum mechanics and E. relativity don’t comingle in this realm. This was incredibly troubling. When math doesn’t work physicists get freaked out. As a livescience article said (more eloquently then I could):
“Das and his colleagues wanted a way to resolve at least some of these problems. To do so, they looked at an older way of visualizing quantum mechanics, called Bohmian mechanics. In it, a hidden variable governs the bizarre behavior of subatomic particles. Unlike other formulations of quantum mechanics, it provides a way to calculate the trajectory of a particle. Using this old-fashioned form of quantum theory, the researchers calculated a small correction term that could be included in Einstein's theory of general relativity. Then, they figured out what would happen in deep time. The upshot? In the new formulation, there is no singularity, and the universe is infinitely old.”
And here is the published paper: (http://www.sciencedirect.com...)
This new idea would essentially completely exterminate any need for a creator.
Aside from cosmological ideas, belief in god is highly illogical. There is no proof for god. If there was proof for god, we wouldn’t need the foundation of most organized religions; faith. If pro can name one thing that unequivocally proves god exists he will be the first in history to do so. It is logical, therefore, that believing in something with no proof is just suspension of logic.
Just because we don’t fully understand something doesn’t mean we should tie a supernatural or metaphysical deity to it. The classic example for this, of course, is that neat period in the renaissance where the church persecuted Galileo for assuming that the earth wasn’t the center of the universe. Just look at the countless examples where religion persecuted new scientific beliefs, then, as time went by, adopted them. This is why the Catholic Church officially supports evolution.
100 years ago that would have never happened, because god created humanity, so how could we have evolved? Now it is so painfully obvious that evolution is real. It is so universally believed and consistently proven correct by the scientific community, that to oppose them in any kind of scientific, honest way is to alienate oneself from the serious scientific community – a field built to encourage new theoretical revelations.
So, in logical terms, look at how many times we’ve said:
This proof, paired with the rampant inconsistency in organized religion, makes belief in a supernatural god incredibly illogical. I’m not arguing that there is zero reason to assume that there might be a god. What I am saying is that the chances are so slim that it just doesn’t make logical sense to parade oneself around as a ‘believer’. The ‘god of the gaps’ argument is just so dreadfully tired.
Many of my arguments have been skimmed or dropped. My opponent simply argues past my previous round.
If "Something must be the thing from which everything else came from" there is no double standard. I said:
"What can reasonably be determined by the elimination of (1) and (2) is that there exists a necessary cause that began the chain of contingency. This thing must exist necessarily and be eternal to be the thing from which everything else came from."
If something exists necessarily, that means that it had no cause and has always existed. My opponent's point that a necessary cause (such as God) must have a cause too is moot.
My opponent dimisses my points as "mathematical babble" and spends a good chunk of his argument on a livescience article proposing an alternative theory to the Big Bang that would "completely exterminate any need for a creator." Two problems:
(1) The Big Bang is the most widely supported and evidenced theory showing that the universe had a beginning.
(2) There's no reason to believe that the universe has a necessary existence even if it was eternal. Everything that we observe in the universe is contingent on the actualization of a prior state of affairs. This means that it does nothing to rebut my argument.
1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause).
2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
3. The universe exists.
4. The universe has an explanation of its existence.
5. Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God
I've argued in the previous round that the universe wouldn't have an explanation by the necessity of its own nature and why the conditions surrounding the Big Bang shows God to be the most reasonable explanation.
My opponent says that there is "no proof" of God. There are logical arguments for God's existence that merit rational belief. I've provided 3 in the previous round that went virtually uncontested.
I've provided no "God of the gaps" arguments in this debate so his critique that belief in God is simply based on what we're scientifically ignorant about is not true.
Extend all arguments.
(1) God is the most plausible necessary cause.
(2) God is the most plausible explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe
(3) God is the most plausible explanation for the origin of specified-complex information in first life forms.
Thank you Pro.
My opponent has chosen to stick primarily to his argument that God is the ‘mover’ and therefore must exist. He ignores my arguments outside of the realm of cosmology – and accuses me of arguing “past my previous round” – If you mean that I set up my own arguments, then yes, that is what I have done.
If something is the cause of everything, then what is the cause of something? If we assume that a metaphysical entity is the something then we must logically assume that he/she/it had a beginning. Why should it be a god? Why does this god have to be eternal? Why not aliens? How do you know that everything that exists had an explanation of its existence? Why assume such a thing? Why don’t we just assume that we don’t fully understand the deepest origins of the universe yet - and not tie an obviously man-made entity to it?
Your points are faulty – even if we assume that “everything that exists has an explanation” and that the universe requires some kind of explanation, (which is defiantly an assumption – not a law) why choose a ‘god’ to explain such a theory? It seems far less logical to me that there is some kind of metaphysical wizard in the sky who perhaps sent a son to die or maybe throws lightning bolts!
Why would he even bother to create life and the universe in the first place? Did he just get bored one day? Was he created by an even bigger entity and destined to create us? Who knows? It’s all so ludicrous! An alien lifeform, or maybe some strange future version of ourselves could work just as well as an explanation.
Edward Witten proposed in the complex mind-warping M-theory, (in a nutshell) that there is a multi-verse of universes and upon the collision of two such universes a ‘big bang’ might take place.
There is so much we don’t understand about the nature of the universe that to be certain that some kind of a god made a big bang is just ignorance.
This logical tie-in with god happens not because of true logical reasoning, but because that is the explanation you have culturally been taught. If you were an Aztec you might say the Earth Mother Coatlicue set the big bang in motion. Or if you were Hindu, you might say the Universe is simply on an infinite cycle of big bangs and big crunches – stemming from the Brahman.
You just dismiss the new eternal universe theory, and so I suppose that did little to convince you of how limited our understanding of the universe is. It’s changing all the time! We don’t have a bulletproof origin theory! There are gaps! Yet you are convinced that god is the answer – and that is troubling.
I don’t know why you claim your points were uncontested. I challenged them fairly clearly. A one sentence answer to my challenge to find proof outside of the gaps in science was hardly acceptable. “There are logical arguments for God's existence that merit rational belief.” Yes, I know, you showed me them in the first round – If it is so rational, then why don’t I, or more importantly, why doesn’t a great mind like Stephen Hawking believe?
As Hawking once joked “What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?”
Why can’t we find real, honest proof for god – and I don’t mean some theoretical nonsense about cosmology; I mean literal scientific measurements? Why would he make it impossible to substantially detect him? Which god do you think it was? There are many different gods, after all. The noticeable lack of reason or logic is palpable.
And so, again how many times have we said:
Darwin destroyed the proof of god through the human species and I’m sure in time we’ll have a similar revelation that without a doubt proves that god didn’t create the universe. We aren’t that far off. So, as of right now, you are forced into ‘god of the gaps’ because that is all the little logic in the world that is left for the argument for god.
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