The Instigator
pr.Daniel_Jordan
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Talkingisfun
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Could the universe have come out of nothing without a cause

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
pr.Daniel_Jordan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/13/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 684 times Debate No: 78641
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

pr.Daniel_Jordan

Con

State your arugment.
Talkingisfun

Pro

I would like to thank pr.Daniel_Jordan for initiating this debate.
In this first round I will briefly introduce my arguments. I must note that I am not a physicist or any sort of expert in the subject. I will try my best to clarify my arguments with the help of what people who actually understand physics said about the subject. With that said, let's get to the argument part:

First of all, for the universe to have come out of nothing we must first establish that the universe is not infinite. This is currently widely accepted among many physicists, but I would like to give some evidence nonetheless. Some really strong evidence is the so called 'cosmic background radiation'. This is radiation that was emitted by the big bang, and it was predicted by theoretical models. In 1996 scientists, with the help of COBE (the Cosmic Background Explorer) found this radiation, proving that there was a beginning. In 2006 John C. Mather and George F. Smoot won the Nobel prize for physics for this discovery [1]

So the universe had a beginning, but that doesn't show that the universe could have started without a cause. We don't know why the universe exists, so I can't give proof for a way for the universe to exist without a cause. What I can and will do however, is show that the universe could not have had a cause. If we agree that the universe has come out of nothing (see my previous paragraph) and also agree that the universe could not have a cause, the only logical conclusion is that the universe must have come out of nothing without a cause.

This seems like a good point to define the word cause, to prevent annoying disagreements. I propose to use the definition from the oxford dictionary [2]: "A person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition:" From this definition and all other definitions that I could find one thing becomes clear: The cause necessarily comes before the effect. A cause can't possibly follow the effect. (If you'd like I could expand on that, but I will accept is a given fact until any evidence for the contrary is given.

If we indeed accept that a cause must exist before the effect, we must also conclude that the cause for the universe existed before the universe existed. However, that is impossible, because there is no 'before the universe existed'. Einstein 's theory of special relativity shows that time and matter are not separate .They are in fact both connected in spacetime [3]. Time does not exist without matter. This theory is supported by loads of evidence from observations in space. This is because Einstein's theory predicts that we can observe distortions in space caused by massive objects. Astronomers use this theory to be able to look around massive objects, something which would be impossible if Einstein's theory was incorrect. [4]

To summarize this paragraph: Time and matter are interconnected. Because there was no matter before the universe started to exist there was also no time before the universe began to exist. If no time exist the concept of 'before' is non-existent. There is nothing before the universe began to exist, which means that there can't have been a cause either.

I'll try to summarize in a deductive argument:
Premise 1: The universe began to exist
Premise 2: There was no matter before the universe existed
Premise 3: Time and matter are connected in spacetime
Premise 4: A cause precedes an effect
Premise 5: Preceding something requires time to exist
Conclusion 1: Based on premise 2 and 3 we can conclude that time did not exist before the universe began to exist
Conclusion 2: Based on premise 4 and 5 we can conclude that a cause could not exist before the universe began to exist.
Conclusion 3: Based on premise 1 and conclusion 1 and 2 we can conclude that the universe must have come out of nothing without a cause.

I hope that my argument made my position clear, and I am very interested in pro's reply. If there are any questions or concerns about the definitions used I'd be happy to address them, and if anything in my argument is unclear or appears unsubstantiated I'd like to hear that too. I'm looking forward to Pro's reply. Good luck!

Sources :
[1]: http://science.nasa.gov...
[2]: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[3]: https://einstein.stanford.edu...
[4]: http://www.space.com...
Debate Round No. 1
pr.Daniel_Jordan

Con

You: First of all, for the universe to have come out of nothing we must first establish that the universe is not infinite. This is currently widely accepted among many physicists, but I would like to give some evidence nonetheless. Some really strong evidence is the so called 'cosmic background radiation'. This is radiation that was emitted by the big bang, and it was predicted by theoretical models. In 1996 scientists, with the help of COBE (the Cosmic Background Explorer) found this radiation, proving that there was a beginning. In 2006 John C. Mather and George F. Smoot won the Nobel prize for physics for this discovery [1]

Answer: I certainly agree that the universe had to come out of nothing and is not eternal, but there is a big difference between an universe form nothing without a cause and an universe from nothing caused by someone -- a creator.
________________________________
You: So the universe had a beginning, but that doesn't show that the universe could have started without a cause. We don't know why the universe exists, so I can't give proof for a way for the universe to exist without a cause. What I can and will do however, is show that the universe could not have had a cause. If we agree that the universe has come out of nothing (see my previous paragraph) and also agree that the universe could not have a cause, the only logical conclusion is that the universe must have come out of nothing without a cause.

Answer: I accept that approach.
________________________________
You: This seems like a good point to define the word cause, to prevent annoying disagreements. I propose to use the definition from the oxford dictionary [2]: "A person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition:" From this definition and all other definitions that I could find one thing becomes clear: The cause necessarily comes before the effect. A cause can't possibly follow the effect. (If you'd like I could expand on that, but I will accept is a given fact until any evidence for the contrary is given.

Answer: I accept the definition.
________________________________
You: If we indeed accept that a cause must exist before the effect, we must also conclude that the cause for the universe existed before the universe existed. However, that is impossible, because there is no 'before the universe existed'. Einstein 's theory of special relativity shows that time and matter are not separate .They are in fact both connected in spacetime [3]. Time does not exist without matter. This theory is supported by loads of evidence from observations in space. This is because Einstein's theory predicts that we can observe distortions in space caused by massive objects. Astronomers use this theory to be able to look around massive objects, something which would be impossible if Einstein's theory was incorrect. [4]

Answer: The one who created time space and matter has to be outside of time space and matter, therefore, the laws of time space and matter do not apply to that someone. And therefore, that someone could have been uncaused and eternal in nature. The operation of the computer does not explain the origin of the computer, the operation of the universe does not explain the origin of the universe.
________________________________
You: I'll try to summarize in a deductive argument:
Premise 1: The universe began to exist
Premise 2: There was no matter before the universe existed
Premise 3: Time and matter are connected in spacetime
Premise 4: A cause precedes an effect
Premise 5: Preceding something requires time to exist
Conclusion 1: Based on premise 2 and 3 we can conclude that time did not exist before the universe began to exist
Conclusion 2: Based on premise 4 and 5 we can conclude that a cause could not exist before the universe began to exist.
Conclusion 3: Based on premise 1 and conclusion 1 and 2 we can conclude that the universe must have come out of nothing without a cause.

Answer: Your premise number five is false. The creator would not necessarily need time to exist, because the creator created time itself. See my answer above for more detail.
________________________________
Talkingisfun

Pro

I was already afraid that the debate would take this turn. By using a being outside of spacetime, con has conveniently made any rational argument impossible. This is because the laws of nature or even logic itself can be argued to be invalid by simply invoking a supernatural being. The only way I can counter that argument is by arguing that this creator does not exist, but since proving that god doesn't exist is impossible (because of him being outside of nature or logic), that is not a possible approach.
What remains is asking for proof. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and if con is going to claim that a supernatural being exists outside of reality, he'd better have some amazing evidence.

With that in mind, let's look at the arguments that con made: " I certainly agree that the universe had to come out of nothing and is not eternal, but there is a big difference between an universe form nothing without a cause and an universe from nothing caused by someone -- a creator."
What evidence do you have that a creator exists?

"The one who created time space and matter has to be outside of time space and matter, therefore, the laws of time space and matter do not apply to that someone. And therefore, that someone could have been uncaused and eternal in nature. The operation of the computer does not explain the origin of the computer, the operation of the universe does not explain the origin of the universe."
The analogy with the computer is completely irrelevant, because both the cause and the effect both happened after the big bang. Time exists, so a cause can exist. The big bang is radically different from the creation of anything else, because there was nothing before the big bang while with anything else that ever began to exist there was something prior to it. There simply are no good analogies.

Then Con said "Your premise number five is false. The creator would not necessarily need time to exist, because the creator created time itself. See my answer above for more detail."
For this I would like to refer to my first 2 paragraphs: the claim that a being exists outside of the laws of nature, outside of time and space and even outside of logic is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence. That evidence is non-existent.

All in all, I reject con's assertion that a creator is a cause, because there is no evidence for such a claim. Until that evidence exists the only logical conclusion is that that universe has come out of nothing without a cause.
Debate Round No. 2
pr.Daniel_Jordan

Con

Now that I have made possible the existence of the Cause, I will provide my argument for the Cause.

(1) Every existing thing has an explanation of it's existence, either in the necessity of it's own nature or in an external cause. (necessary: things which exist necessarily exist by a necessity of their own nature e.g., numbers, sets, and other mathematical entities. contingent: things which exist contingently have causes of their own existence e.g., people, planets, galaxies etc.

(2) If the universe has an explanation of it's existence, that explanation is God (if atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of it's existence, if the universe has an explanation if it's existence, atheism is not true)

(3) The universe exists

i. Therefore the universe has an explanation of it's existence (1 - 3)

ii. Therfore the explanation of the universe is God (2 - 4)

_________________________________________
What premise would you disagree with?
_________________________________________
Talkingisfun

Pro

Unfortunately Con entirely ignored my argument. He starts of by claiming "Now that I have made possible the existence of the Cause, I will provide my argument for the Cause.", while he still hasn't made a convincing argument for the existence of the cause (God). As long as there is no evidence for this extraordinary claim, you still haven't made it possible.

After that, Con made an argument and asked with which premise I disagree. I disagree with both the first and the second premise. We simply don't know enough about quantum physics and what happened in the beginning to know for certain whether or not it was caused by something or necessarily exists. Perhaps some things just randomly happen in quantum physics. We simply don't know.

I also disagree with the second premise. Once again, we don't know enough to make that claim. Especially quantum mechanics is just a big unknown, and there may still be other forces that we know nothing about. Why bring god into it? God is so complex that he is incredibly improbable.
Debate Round No. 3
pr.Daniel_Jordan

Con

I do not know what kind of manipulation game you're playing here, but it will most certainly not work on me. (1) You have made the claim that since there was no time before the beginning, there could be no Cause, and I have responded to that -- but then you claim I have given no evidence.. failing to realize that not everything can happen immediately: sure enough, I provided my argument for the existence of the Cause in my previous post, after defending it from you.

Now, what premises will Pro disagree with? He says that he disagrees with the two first premises, justifying: 'We simply don't know enough about quantum physics and what happened in the beginning to know for certain whether or not it was caused by something or necessarily exists.' Of course, the Pro does not realize that we're talking about ANY object in existence, not the universe specifically - even footballs! If you see a football infront of you, you immediately conclude that there is an explanation as to how that football arrived there, that is the point of this premise.

Then, the second premise he also disagrees with.. again, telling us that we do not know enough. I would say, yes we do know enough. We know that there is no explanation if atheism is correct, and if there is an explanation, atheism is most certainly not correct -- and therefore theism is correct, and therefore, there is a God.

You have given no reason for your denial of the two premises, as I have shown. Therefore, your denial is rejected and the argument stands firm. If you would like to extend your disagreement, please state your reason and refute what I have said about your previous denial. Thank you.
Talkingisfun

Pro

I did not intent to play a manipulation game, so if I gave that impression I apologize.

I don't understand what Con meant with the first paragraph ("failing to realize that not everything can happen immediately: sure enough, I provided my argument for the existence of the Cause in my previous post, after defending it from you."), so I can't really respond. All I have to say is that no evidence for a god is given.

Then go to the premises. This time Con uses the analogy of a football. However, that is once again not a good analogy. If a football is made, nothing happens except that energy which already exists moves matter that already exists to form something new. When the universe started to exist, there was nothing. It came out of nothing. The two can't be compared.

The argument you gave for the second premise makes even less sense. If atheism is correct (which it most likely is), there is indeed no explanation (yet). If your (unsubstantiated and extremely unlikely) theory of god is correct there would indeed be some sort of explanation. Granted, it's a pretty terrible explanation (On par with the flying spaghetti monster or magic), but it is an explanation nonetheless. I am arguing that it is more likely that the universe came into existence without a cause than that an all powerful being exists outside of space and time, while still being able to influence space and time.

I have given reasons for denying the premises, and the explanation is that you suppose that the only possible explanations are an external cause or that something necessarily exists. I am arguing that there may be more than that, and that that must be true because the alternative (god exists) is so incredibly unlikely.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. God's existence is an extraordinary claim. There is no extraordinary evidence for god. Therefore it is unlikely that he exists. That only leaves the option that the universe is uncaused.
In essence, all your claims and premises only work from the basic assumption that god exists. Until that assumption is proven, all your arguments are completely pointless and my first argument still stands:

Essentially, your conclusions only follow when you add the premise that god exists.

Premise 1: The universe began to exist
Premise 2: There was no matter before the universe existed
Premise 3: Time and matter are connected in spacetime
Premise 4: A cause precedes an effect
Premise 5: Preceding something requires time to exist
Conclusion 1: Based on premise 2 and 3 we can conclude that time did not exist before the universe began to exist
Conclusion 2: Based on premise 4 and 5 we can conclude that a cause could not exist before the universe began to exist.
Conclusion 3: Based on premise 1 and conclusion 1 and 2 we can conclude that the universe must have come out of nothing without a cause.
Debate Round No. 4
pr.Daniel_Jordan

Con

When I post an argument, and my opposition comes to conclusions rather quickly before I have the proper time to respond, the impression is that something other than honest play is going on. But I may have been wrong. This has been the case in other debates I had where the opposition was definitely manipulative, but I may have been wrong about you.

You: I don't understand what Con meant with the first paragraph ("failing to realize that not everything can happen immediately: sure enough, I provided my argument for the existence of the Cause in my previous post, after defending it from you."), so I can't really respond. All I have to say is that no evidence for a god is given.

Answer: When you gave your argument for the non-existence of a cause (no time before beginning therefore no cause) I responded by telling you that the cause is not governed by time because the cause created time, therefore your arugment is not valid. Then, you told me that I gave no evidence of a cause.. the reason I did not was because I was going to do it in my next post, and I did it in my next post.

You: Then go to the premises. This time Con uses the analogy of a football. However, that is once again not a good analogy. If a football is made, nothing happens except that energy which already exists moves matter that already exists to form something new. When the universe started to exist, there was nothing. It came out of nothing. The two can't be compared.

Answer: Look at it this way: if you find an unidentified round object infront of you, you immediately conclude there is an explanation of it's existence (f.ex., brought by wind). If you were there with someone, and you said "don't worry, I am sure it does not have an explanation, it's just there" That person would think you are crazy.

Then, if we increase the size of the object to the size of the planet, it still needs an explanation, then if we increase the size of the object to the size of the solar system, it still needs an explanation, if we increase the size of the object to the size of the universe, it still needs an explanation. Size is irrelevant, the fact that it exists requires an explanation. In other words, if you require an explanation of the existence of an unidentified round object in front of you, then you also require an explanation of the universe, it follows logically -- if you say that the universe DOES NOT require an explanation, you have said that the round object that you have seen earlier does not either, which is absurd.

You: The argument you gave for the second premise makes even less sense. If atheism is correct (which it most likely is), there is indeed no explanation (yet). If your (unsubstantiated and extremely unlikely) theory of god is correct there would indeed be some sort of explanation. Granted, it's a pretty terrible explanation (On par with the flying spaghetti monster or magic), but it is an explanation nonetheless. I am arguing that it is more likely that the universe came into existence without a cause than that an all powerful being exists outside of space and time, while still being able to influence space and time.

Answer: The universe came out of nothing and nothing is not only empty space, it is not even space. It's quite literally nothing. Therefore, either it does have an explanation of it's existence or it does not have an explanation and it just popped into existence from nothing. If it does have an explanation, that explanation is required to be timeless, spaceless, immaterial and with free will. The reason it can't have time is because time was not created, the reason it can't have space is because space is was not created the reason it can not have matter is because matter was not created and the reason it has free will is because it could choose to make the universe rather than not. This sounds exactly like the God presented in the three major Abrahamic religions.

You: I have given reasons for denying the premises, and the explanation is that you suppose that the only possible explanations are an external cause or that something necessarily exists. I am arguing that there may be more than that, and that that must be true because the alternative (god exists) is so incredibly unlikely.

Answer: I have given reasons for denying the premises, and the explanation is that you suppose that the only possible explanations are an external cause or that something necessarily exists. I am arguing that there may be more than that, and that that must be true because the alternative (god exists) is so incredibly unlikely.

Answer: It's not possible for anything physical to 'necessarily exist', that is only possible for numbers, sets, and other mathematical entities. When you say 'there may be more than that' you are arguing from ignorance, not only that, but since the universe is literally everything that exists by definition, there is nothing more than that.

You: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. God's existence is an extraordinary claim. There is no extraordinary evidence for god. Therefore it is unlikely that he exists. That only leaves the option that the universe is uncaused.

Answer: I find the claim that the universe just popped into existence and then a pondscum formed and then we came from that pondscum way more extraordinary than that it was made. Indeed, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so hand it over. I have given one philosophical argument for God, and I would have given way more if there were time, but there is simply not. I could have given you the argument of irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagella, I could have given you the logical argument that since every piece of information we know of was made by intelligence, then also the information in our cells was made by intelligence, I could give you the utter impossibility of random chance accidents to have brought this place into existence, even the extraodinary chance of a single protein itself which is at 10^130 and life way more than that. In other words, I have the evidence and I am providing it, even though your claim is more extraodinary than mine. Your denial of the premises is not due to reason, it's due to your lack of understanding of these premises, and I do not blame you, perhaps I'm a terrible writer, let the audience be the judge -- and I certainly hope a fair one at that.

Then you repeat your argument which I have refuted eariler, woah.
Talkingisfun

Pro

Talkingisfun forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Talkingisfun 2 years ago
Talkingisfun
Sorry for forfeiting. I've been very busy and then I just forgot about it. I aplogize. Thanks for the debate!
Posted by pr.Daniel_Jordan 2 years ago
pr.Daniel_Jordan
No, let's do it now? :-)
Posted by pr.Daniel_Jordan 2 years ago
pr.Daniel_Jordan
Tejretics, invite me after this debate. You choose the topic.
Posted by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
@pr.Daniel_Jordan -- I can debate you on any of these topics: (1) the existence of a "first cause", (2) dinosaurs are "young".
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cook123 2 years ago
Cook123
pr.Daniel_JordanTalkingisfunTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Pro forfeited; the Conduct point goes to Con. Spelling and grammar - tie. Convincing arguments- Pro's main argument for the universe not having a cause is that a cause needs to precede the effect, which requires time, and time didn't exist before the universe was created. Con has rebutted this, explaining that the creator of time was not limited by time, and therefore could be the cause. He uses analogies to strengthen his argument. Pro accepts Con's explanation, but states that no evidence for a creator outside of time has been observed. He uses the phrase "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Con responds to Pro's argument saying that the claim that there isn't a God is even more extraordinary since matter had to come from nothing, life had to come from non-life, etc, and implies that there isn't evidence for such a claim. Since Pro forfeits his next argument, Con's argument still stands and Con wins the convincing arguments point. Sources- Tie