The Instigator
JonathanCrane
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Just-Your-Average-Atheist
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Big Bang cosmology supports atheism over theism.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
JonathanCrane
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/1/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 858 times Debate No: 34404
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

JonathanCrane

Pro

Ave.

Topic: Big Bang cosmology supports atheism over theism.
Position: Pro/For
Category: Science
Rounds: 4
Voting Period: 1 Week
Time to Argue: 72 Hours
Argument Max: 8,000 Characters
Vote Comments: Yes

I am taking the Pro position. It is my burden to prove that Big Bang cosmology supports atheism over theism. It is the burden of Con to prove that Big Bang cosmology supports theism over atheism. The winner of the argument will be the side that demonstrates their case beyond a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, if 51% of the evidence favors one side, that side should win arguments.

There are four rounds in this debate. The first round is for acceptance of the rules and framework. I will present my opening statement in the subsequent round, and the next rounds will be devoted to rebuttals.

The voting period will be one week. Each side will have seventy-two hours to post each round.

The maximum number of characters is eight thousand.

Using pictures in order to demonstrate concepts is allowed. General expectations of conduct should be followed.I will be taking my argument from a debate I instigated with a different account. Please do not accuse me of plagiarism. It is my own work.

God is defined as the personal being which causes the initial state of the universe.

Vale.
Just-Your-Average-Atheist

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
JonathanCrane

Pro

Ave.

Contemporary theists such as William Lane Craig argue that BB cosmology affirms the existence of god. Dr. Craig formulates it as follows. [1]


1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.


2: The universe began to exist.

3: The universe has a cause of its existence.

By deductive reasoning as to what that cause would be, that cause is therefore god. I will argue in my opening statement that, even if those three statements are granted, it does not entail the existence of god. It will be my position that Big Bang cosmology supports the idea of the universe causing itself. I do not mean this in the sense that X caused X. It is logically impossible for the universe to have caused itself in that way. Rather, I am arguing that the universe caused itself in the sense that Z was caused by Y, which was caused by X, which was caused by W, ad infinitum. Allow me to state the premises of my argument, which is based on Quentin Smith and what is called 'cosmological atheology'. [2]


1: Every state of the universe is caused by another state.


2: If every state of the universe if caused by another state, then an initial state is logically impossible.

3: From 1 and 2, an initial state is logically impossible.

4: From 3, there can be no cause of the initial state.

5: According to the definition of god, god cannot exist.


1: Every state of the universe is caused by another state.



Assume that each of these are a state of the universe, where time equals something different in each state. T=4 is caused by T=3. T-3 is caused by T=2. T=2 is caused by T=1. T=1 is caused by T=.9, ad infinitum. If you assume that we are living in the trillionth state, or some such large number, you can perform the same exercise, but I prefer to keep this simple. The conclusion of this argument is that there is something because there is something else to cause that something, there is no initial state for god to cause, and therefore, god cannot have caused the universe.


Theists argue that the BB singularity represents a state where T is 0, so there is indeed an initial state that cannot be explained by prior states. They point to the Hawking-Penrose theorem which posits a singularity that the universe came from. However, Hawking and Penrose have withdrawn this theorem a long time ago. Why? They realized that, once you take quantum mechanics into account, there is no need for a singularity. Hawking has this to say in his book A Brief History of Time. [3]


It is perhaps ironic that, having changed my mind, I am now trying to convince other physicists that there was in fact no singularity at the beginning of the universe--as we shall see later, it can disappear once quantum effects are taken into account.”


Quentin Smith, professor of the philosophy of physics as West Michigan University, also says more.


"
The cosmic singularity is a hypothetical time t=0 at which all the laws of nature, space and time break down. It is hypothetical or merely imaginary because if it did exist, it would be a physically impossible state, due to the breakdown of all laws, even the laws required for time to exist. This breakdown at the hypothetical t=0 implies there is no first instant t=0 of the finitely old time-series and that each instant is preceded by earlier instants."

Therefore, there is no T=0. There are only an infinite number of states that are less than one but not exactly zero.


One may ask how, if the universe began to exist, such an infinite regress of states is possible. I believe that this question can be satisfactorily answered. The universe began in the sense that there is no state that existed before thirteen billion years ago. There are states that existed after thirteen billion years, but there is no state that existed before thirteen billion years ago. That is the sense in which the universe began to exist.


2: If every state of the universe if caused by another state, then an initial state is logically impossible.


The initial state is a state of the universe. It is distinct from the other states because it is the first one. We’ve established in premise one that every state is caused by another state. It logically follows from this that there cannot be a state that exists which was not caused by another state. If an initial state existed, it would not be caused by another other state. Therefore, an initial state is logically impossible.


(This is my support for premise three as well.)

4: From three, there can be no cause of the initial state.

God is defined as the cause of the initial state of the universe. The initial state is logically impossible given the other premises. God couldn’t have caused the initial state because the initial state is a logically impossible state. In fact, there is nothing that could have caused the initial state, because it’s a logically impossible state.

5: According to the definition of god, god cannot exist.

God is defined as the cause of the initial state. From 4, no such cause can exist. Therefore, god can not exist.

Conclusion
BB cosmology removes the need for a singularity, or a T=0 state. This allows every state of the universe to be cauesd by another state, since there is no initial state that requires explanation. This means that it is logically impossible for god to exist, because there is no initial state for god to create. It also means that the universe is explained naturalistically. Once you have explained every part of the universe, you have explained the whole of the universe. My argument does such a thing without reference to god. Therefore, BB cosmology makes god logically impossible, and allows the universe to be explained naturalistically.

Vale.

References
1: http://plato.stanford.edu...
2: http://plato.stanford.edu...
3: http://en.wikipedia.org...
4: http://www.infidels.org...
Just-Your-Average-Atheist

Con

My goal today is to educate my opponent. The typical theistic argument goes like this:

1) Began

Everything that BEGAN to exist had a cause

As you see, there is a word in there that changes the definition: began. While you are asserting that god had a beginning, this is simply not so. God is infinite in time. God created time, and has no beginning or end. It is a being of such power that can not be passed by our own conception, the ultimate being, a timeless spaceless being. He creates all, destroys all, survives all. There is nothing greater than him. [1]

2) The universe

The universe has no conceivable cause? Really? So it just came out of nothing? Wouldn't it need materials to even be here? If so, tell me where the materials came from. And more importantly, tell me how the universe could come of nothing. You see, it is impossible for the universe to come out of nothing. It must have had a cause. And that cause must be something beyond the limits of conceivable existence, otherwise it would not be able to come before time. [2]

3) God could have set the initial state in motion

Now that I have shown how the universe could not have come of nothing, I must show that god could create the state.

God could, as always, create things of nothing, being the unlimited being that he is. As he made materials of nothing, made life of nothing, he could also make the universe of nothing.

As shown earlier, the word began is crucial. As god is eternal, he never began.

1) Everything that BEGAN to exist had a cause.
2) The universe began to exist
3) The universe has a cause

References:

[1] http://thoughtfulfaith.wordpress.com...
[2] http://www.gotquestions.org...
Funny Story by an atheist
http://www.flemminghansen.com...
Debate Round No. 2
JonathanCrane

Pro

Ave.

Con starts off his argument by saying 'My goal today is to educate my opponent'. This struck me as a rude remark that was not called for. But, I will leave it to the audience to decide if this was a violation of the conduct rules.

Let's analyze the first section of Con's argument called 'Began'. This entire section is based on a strawman of my opening statement. Con says I asserted that god had a beginning. I have not asserted this a single time. The only assertion I made in regards to god was that he can't exist because an initial state can't exist. Con has not provided a single quotation from my opening statement where I said that god had a beginning. If Con tries to find such a quotation, he will be sorely dissapointed, because it does not exist. Explaining why god always existed is irrelevant, because I have not asserted to the contrary.

The second section, which Con calls 'The universe', is similarly filled with strawman attacks on my opening statement. I never stated that the universe had no conceivable cause. I actually argued that the universe had a cause, and the cause of the universe was itself in an Z caused by Y, caused by X, sense of the term. I also never argued that the universe came from nothing. Much to the contrary, I argued that every something (or state of the universe) is caused by a prior something (or state of the universe). There was not a single point in my opening statement where I argued that one of these states came from nothing. Section two, just like section one, is based entirely on strawman arguments.

The third section is useless because it ignores everything I said in my opening statement. My opening statement demonstrated that an initial state cannot exist for god to cause. Con completely skipped over this argument in order to focus on his strawman attacks. At this point in the debate, my argument against an initial state existing have not been addressed by Con. Therefore, there is no reason to think an initial state existed. Therefore, there is no room for god.

Stating the premises of the KCA is also useless. The purpose of my opening statement was to demonstrate that, even if the universe began to exist and had a cause, such a thing does not entail the existence of god. I don't doubt that the universe began to exist. I don't doubt that the universe had a cause. Asserting that I doubt those statements is nothing more than a strawman argument, the type of argument that plagues Con's argument.

The amount of content that Con skipped is stunning. Every state of something is caused by a prior state of something? Completely ignored. There is no T=0 state, so there is no initial state? Completely ignored. There is no T=0 state, so god could not have created it? Completely ignored. When Con barely scratches my arguments, he does so by setting up straw men that don't relate to them at all.

Con's argument was dissapointingly short. I typed several thousand characters, while Con's argument probably didn't come close to 1200. Because of this, I'm left with very little to respond to. I'll devote the rest of my round to showing that Con has strawmanned me extensively.

Con and Strawman Arguments
Con: While you are asserting that god had a beginning, this is simply not so.

I never asserted that god had a beginning. My challenge to Con in the next round is to quote the part of my argument that asserted this. He can't, because I never did.

Con: The universe has no conceivable cause?

This implies that I stated the universe had no cause. However, I explicitly states in my opening statement that I would try to show how something other than god could have caused the universe. 'It will be my position that Big Bang cosmology supports the idea of the universe causing itself. '

Con: Really? So it just came out of nothing?

I never stated that the universe came from nothing. I stated the exact opposite in my opening round. 'The conclusion of this argument is that there is something because there is something else to cause that something...'

Now, this may be three examples, but these three examples form the basis of everything Con said in his argument. I'll turn this debate over to Con, and hopefully we'll get more substance and less strawman attacks.

Vale.


Just-Your-Average-Atheist

Con

I thank pro for his chance, think he failed to see my intentions for this debate and thus will use the argumentetum ad argumentetum.

Since I can argue, this is proof that there is a reasonable doubt. Since there is reasonable doubt, it is possibly wrong. If it is possibly wrong then it is wrong. Thus, god did it.
Debate Round No. 3
JonathanCrane

Pro

Ave.

In a last ditch attempt at winning this debate, Con gives what he calls an argument from argument. This argument is incredibly sophomoric and fails to recognize a vital distinction. Primarily, the distinction between epistemology and ontology. Epistemology is how you come to know something is true, and ontology is what there is to know. Stating 'for all we know, X may be wrong' is an epistemological statement. It does not mean 'X may be wrong' in the ontological sense. Con's argument fails.

Con gives me even less substance to respond to than the last round. He has dropped every single point made in the debate so far. Therefore, the preponderance of evidence massively favors Pro, leading to a vote for me.

Vale.
Just-Your-Average-Atheist

Con

If pro accepts that argumentetum ad argumentetum is wrong, then he gets hit
If he gets hit, it is as punishment for being ignorant
Thus pro is wrong.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"Since I can argue, this is proof that there is a reasonable doubt. Since there is reasonable doubt, it is possibly wrong. If it is possibly wrong then it is wrong. Thus, god did it."

That was the most retarded thing I have ever heard....
Posted by StevenDixon 3 years ago
StevenDixon
That vulpes kid had a really queer avatar.
Posted by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
ARe you this guy or his fan in anyway?

http://www.debate.org...

You should use "salve" in place of "ave", since "salve" relates more to greeting. If it's some kind of trend I don't know about it.
Posted by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
I don't think that the BBT supports either. It is easily just an event that occurred. The CA relates much more to theistic arguments.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Skeptikitten 3 years ago
Skeptikitten
JonathanCraneJust-Your-Average-AtheistTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: I think this is pretty self explanatory. Con basically ignored every argument Pro made, while simultaneously throwing out logical fallacies and insults. I suspect he's trolling.
Vote Placed by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
JonathanCraneJust-Your-Average-AtheistTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's condescending manner was curious considering how little he offered in the way of argument. He dropped almost every relevant point made by Pro. Since Con's sources, name, and overall thinking seems to be in line with atheism, I'm suspicious that he may have deliberately thrown the debate, which makes me wonder why even bother to accept in the first place; it wasn't clever and doesn't accomplish anything. It was an interesting topic, and I would have better liked to have seen a stronger defense of Con's position. A shame. I especially agree with Bullish about the last two rounds.
Vote Placed by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
JonathanCraneJust-Your-Average-AtheistTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Read last 2 rounds.