The Instigator
Lucky_Luciano
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Romanii
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

DDO Olympics Philosophy and Morals: Round 2

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Romanii
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,838 times Debate No: 48863
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (41)
Votes (3)

 

Lucky_Luciano

Pro

Resolved: The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is Sound.

Rounds:

1. Presentation of the LCA/Initial Refutation
2. Clash
3. Weighing/Clash

No new arguments should be presented in round 3 unless in direct response to a new argument presented in round 2.

God is defined as the necessary, personal first cause of the universe.

We should rationally accept an argument as sound if the affirmation of its premises is more plausible than the negation.

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
  1. 1. Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
  2. 2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
  3. 3. The universe is an existing thing.
  4. 4. Therefore the explanation of the universe is God.

Premise 1

An Overview of Modal Logic

Modal logic is a typology of argumentation that bases its premises in the contingency or necessity of their content. Something is necessaryif it could not have failed to exist. The laws of mathematics are necessarily true; it seems reasonable that mathematical truths such as one plus one making two hold true irrespective of how the world may function. The world could exist in the exact opposite manner as it does now and one plus one would still make two.

Something is contingent if it could have failed to exist. Most things exist contingently. Each human might not have existed, their respective parents may not have met or had children. Thus, our existence is contingent. The universe appears to exist contingently as well. It seems that the universe may have developed in such a way that the planets were created in different positions, with different respects to habitability. The stars we observe may have been blindingly bright or too dim to see. The Earth itself may not have come into existence. As the universe is contingent, it cannot explain its own existence, for if its own nature entails its existence then it must have necessarily existed.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

The Principle of Sufficient Reason claims that all contingent beings must have explanations. I will defend several arguments that support the PSR.

First, it would seem that the PSR requires no defense. All evidence gathered by our sense perception seems to support the universal and undeniable affirmation of this principle. Indeed, if we admit the first premise to be invalid, then there seems to lack any logical reason that things do not simply pop into and out of existence. However, it appears that there is no evidence to prove that this happens. For every existing thing there must also be an explanation of its existence.

I would also like to present a seemingly stronger argument in support of the PSR: The Explanation of Negative States of Affairs. I feel this argument is best articulated by Alexander R. Pruss [1] in his book The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment:

Here is a pattern of explanation we all accept [...]“Why did the yogurt fail to ferment? It failed to ferment because none of the usual explanations of fermentation, namely, the presence of bacteria, were there to explain it, and there was no unusual cause. Why did the dog not bark? It did not bark because no stranger approached it and none of the other possible causes of barking caused it to bark.” These are perfectly fine explanations, and they are not elliptical for longer explanations, though of course they are not ultimate explanations since one may ask why no stranger approached the dog.

In these explanations, we explain a negative state of affairs by noting that the positive state of affairs that it is the denial of lacked an explanation. But now observe that this form of explanation presupposes a PSR, at least for positive states of affair, for if such a PSR does not hold, then one has failed to explain the negative state of affairs. If it is possible that a dog should bark without cause, then in saying that there was no cause for the dog to bark we have not explained why the dog did not bark. We may have explained why a nonbrute barking did not occur, but we have not explained why a brute, or unexplained, barking did not occur.

Our acceptance of the preceding explanations as nonelliptical is thus a sign of our tacit acceptance of the PSR.

With these arguments, I hold that the PSR is sound.

Underview of Premise 1

It seems apparent through modal logic that things exist either necessarily or contingently. Necessary existence is explained by its own nature. The same cannot be said for that which exists contingently. However, the PSR successfully provides that all things which exist contingently must have an explanation. Thus, premise 1 holds true.

Premise 2

If the universe exists, it must exist contingently as detailed in my overview of modal logic. The PSR holds that all contingent beings must have explanations. The existence of a contingent being cannot be explained solely by other contingent beings, for those contingent beings would require explanations from other contingent beings ad infinitum. Thus, there must be a first cause, a necessary being that explains the existence of all contingent beings. Bruce Reichenbach [2] argues, "the necessary being cannot provide a natural explanation for [the universe], for we know of no natural, non-contingent causes and laws or principles from which the existence of the universe follows. What is required is a personal explanation in terms of the intentional acts of some eternal supernatural being. Since the argument proceeds independent of temporal considerations, the argument does not propose a first cause in time, but rather a first or primary sustaining cause of the universe."

The argument is not that God must exist because we do not currently have evidence of natural, non-contingent causes but rather that the idea of natural non-contingent causes is irrational. Consider this: a completely material cause is the first cause. This cause, known as N1, or the first natural cause, sparked the creation of the entire universe. N1 is a necessary being because as previously explained, an infinite number of contingent beings cannot explain their own existence. N1 is the reason the spacio-temporal world as we know it was created. It is the reason matter came into existence. But how is this possible? How can N1 create space and time? By definition, natural beings require space to exist within and are temporal. Also by definition, natural beings are composed of matter. How can that which is composed of matter also account for the creation of matter? On the other hand, suppose P1 is a necessary, personal first cause. Now we can logically explain the creation of space, time, and matter because a personal being may posses the qualities of being eternal, and may transcend the physical. Its will allows for the creation of that which it is not, the physical world. As demonstrated a necessary, natural first cause is logically contradictory. Due to the inability for it to be anything but God, God himself must serve as the explanation of the universe's existence.

Premise 3

I do not believe that this premise will be contested by my opponent. If he, however, decides to raise the question of whether the universe exists I will gladly provide evidence in the following round.

Conclusion

The conclusion that the explanation of the universe is God cannot be logically denied if the 3 premises in support of it hold true. As a result, for my opponent to reject the conclusion he must ascertain the negation of any of the 3 premises of the LCA.

Sources

1. Pruss, Alexander R. The Principle of Sufficient Reason: An Explanation. 2006.
2. http://tinyurl.com...
Romanii

Con

Thanks to Pro for challenging me to this debate.

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REFUTATION OF PREMISE I

"Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause."

Pro uses modal logic and the principle of sufficient reason to defend this premise.


Modal Logic: every existing thing is either necessary (MUST exist no matter what) or contingent (does not HAVE to exist). It is very important to note that "necessary" beings do NOT need external causes.

Thus, the question, in this context, is whether the Universe is necessary or contingent.

The Oscillating Universe Cosmology theorizes that the Universe is eternal and that it has been going through a cycle of Big Bangs and Big Crunches forever due to the pull of gravity [1].
Being eternal and without a beginning, the Universe does not have a chance to "fail to exist" and is thus necessary.
Necessary beings do not need external causes, and so, if this cosmological theory holds true, the Universe does not need an external cause.


Principle of Sufficient Reason: the idea that all contingent beings have an explanation/external cause

I'd first like to note that, by definition, contingency only implies that the universe could have failed to exist; that a being's existence is not guaranteed.

Now, for the purposes of refuting this principle, we must push aside the Oscillating Universe Cosmology in favor of Big Bang Cosmology and assume that the universe IS contingent.

Pro's defense of the PSR is completely reliant on evidence gathered by our sensory perception. However, recent developments in physics, particularly in the fields of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, have falsified numerous old assumptions/intuitions about the nature of our universe, showing that our current sense/experience-based intuitions about the universe are not at all guaranteed to be correct, either.

This is especially true since the conditions that were present at the "time" of the Big Bang singularity are almost certainly radically different from any conditions humans have ever experienced [2][3]. Time and space did not exist back then. For all we know, in such a setting, it could have been possible for things to happen entirely at random and without cause. Physicists are currently discovering all sorts of things like that at the level of elemental particles.

Thus, the Principle of Sufficient Reason is not at all sound, as it ignores the fact that the Universe may not be contingent at all, it relies solely on our own limited sensory faculties, and it assumes far too much about pre-Big Bang conditions.
The Universe does not need an explanation, even if it is contingent.

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REFUTATION OF PREMISE II

"If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God."

This premise, at its core, is nothing more than a baseless assumption.

"there must be a first cause, a necessary being that explains the existence of all contingent beings"

First of all, as I established before, the Universe may not be contingent at all; it may be eternal and necessary.

"The argument is not that God must exist because we do not currently have evidence of natural, non-contingent causes but rather that the idea of natural non-contingent causes is irrational... By definition, natural beings require space to exist within and are temporal... natural beings are composed of matter. How can that which is composed of matter also account for the creation of matter?"

Pro has needlessly inserted the word "natural".
The necessary, NOT-divine first cause of a contingent Universe could be nothing more than a non-temporal process of which we have no knowledge due to our own temporal existence and limited sensory perception.
One such process which scientists have theorized is simultaneous causation.

"As demonstrated a necessary, natural first cause is logically contradictory. Due to the inability for it to be anything but God, God himself must serve as the explanation of the universe's existence."

That is false. To automatically assume that God is the only explanation is closed-minded.

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CONCLUSIONS

1) The Universe does not have to be contingent; it can be eternal and thus "necessary".

2) Even if the Universe is contingent (i.e. might never have existed), it does not need a "necessary" external cause

3) Even if the contingent Universe DID need a "necessary" external cause, that cause does not have to be God.


SOURCES
[1] http://www.universetoday.com...
[2] http://science.howstuffworks.com...
[3] http://superstringtheory.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Lucky_Luciano

Pro

I'm going to start by re-iterating the definition of God from the first round, keep it in mind for later: the necessary, personal first cause of the universe.

Premise 1

An Overview of Modal Logic

Con Rebuttal: Oscillating Universe Cosmology (OUC)

My overview of modal logic simply states definitions. Arguments pertaining to the contingent or necessary nature of the universe are in response to the LCA's second premise. I moved my answer to this argument down below.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

Con Rebuttal: Reliance on Sensory Perception

The PSR does not necessarily rely on sensory perception. Yes, my first argument in favor of the PSR does cite sensory perception. However, that is not the entirety of the argument. The PSR has its foundation of the philosophical principleex nihilo nihil fit, from nothing comes nothing. Lets assume the falsity of this principle and the PSR. Imagine a world in which happenings do not need reasons. If existence did not require explanation then why do objects not simply pop into existence? The very fact that things no not pop into existence without reason is proof that things that do exist have reason.

Furthermore, I continue with a much stronger argument in favor of the PSR, the implicit justification of negative states of affairs. If a dog does not bark then our explanation is that it lacked cause to bark. This explanation inherently accepts the validity of the PSR. If my opponent would like to reject the PSR then he must explain why dogs do not always bark.

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Con Rebuttal: Quantum Physics

My opponents states that, "recent developments in physics, particularly in the fields of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, have falsified numerous old assumptions/intuitions about the nature of our universe, showing that our current sense/experience-based intuitions about the universe are not at all guaranteed to be correct, either."

It is my opponents burden, if he wishes to support this argument, to specifically state what discoveries have been made and what precisely their implications are. If we do not hold academic claims to this standard then any argument can be refuted by somebody shouting out that, "recent discoveries in the fields of biology, agriculture, physics, mathematics, and art have proved this argument wrong" and the defense of any argument would be impossible as one would be forced to find arguments that may not even exist in order to refute them. I'll allow my opponent to introduce new arguments in the next round pertaining to quantum physics, granted that he explicitly states what the arguments are.

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Con Rebuttal: The conditions prior to the Big Bang were radically different - Part 1

I'm not entirely sure what my opponent is trying to argue. Yes there was a lack of space and time, this is addressed in my second premise as a reason in favor of the LCA. This argument precludes the possibility of a physical explanation of the universe, ergo an abstract explanation is required. I'll refer back to this below. For now let's address the possibility of universes creating themselves independent of space and time, without regard to the PSR. If that is the case, then why hasn't another universe created itself on top of our own? If a universe can, through physical, i.e. brute action create itself without reason, and this occurs independent of space and time, then at any seconds of our lives there ought to be an infinite number of universes creating themselves and in an infinite number of universes an infinite number should come into existence precisely where ours did. This does not happen so we know that the universe did have reason to come about, i.e. there was a cause. This proves that the origin of the universe followed the PSR. As I promised I will prove that this cause was not natural below.

Perhaps more importantly, my opponent explicitly states that he is defending the BBT and claiming that the laws of physics were different prior to the Big Bang Singularity (BBS). However, the second source he links in defense of this claim, his third citation (http://superstringtheory.com...) poses arguments that reject the BBT entirely. It specifically states, "This exploration is guided by three outstanding problems with the Big Bang cosmological model" and does not explain how these objections are resolved using the BBT. My opponent has thus far proposed 2 cosmological theories. He uses the OUC as refutation to the LCA, then dismisses the OUC in favor of the BBT, and in his defense of the BBT he links an article that refutes the validity of the BBT. I haven't a clue as to what my opponents position is.

Premise 2

Con Rebuttal: Oscillating Universe Cosmology

The OUC, if true, does not prove that the universe exists necessarily. Yes, the universe would be eternal in the future direction, however in the past the universe would still have a cause. Let me explain: The OUC is essentially the same thing as the BBT except after the universe collapses, it uses that collapse in order to cause another bang and reform the universe. In other words, the OUC and the BBT both argue for the same origin of the universe, where they differ is how the universe acts upon its collapse. As such, we can address the origin of the universe for both theories with the same arguments. The OUC allows the universe's existence to explain every universe after the first, however it does not explain the existence of the first universe, or the cause of the first big bang. There was no prior universe to collapse and cause the first universe to form, or it would not be the first universe.

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Con Rebuttal: This premise is a baseless assertion, the universe could be necessary

I addressed this above

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Con Rebuttal: Needlessly inserting the word Natural

My opponent misunderstands my argument. All things exist physically or non-physically. That's pretty simple and is a tautological truth, either it has a physical form or it does not. Solid objects are physical, the laws of logic and mathematics are not. Brains are physical, minds are not. You can replace the word Natural in my argument with physical and arrive at the same conclusion, they mean the same thing in terms of the LCA. My opponent then denies the possibility of there being a divine first cause. Nobody is talking about divinity. The God I defend is defined as, "the necessary, personal first cause of the universe." There are three conditions for a being to be defined as God. (1) It exists necessarily, not contingently. (2) It is personal. Nonphysical beings are either personal or abstract. For example, the laws of mathematics have no intent or thought, they are abstract. A mind would be able to think, ergo it would be personal. (3) It is the first cause. The LCA holds that the first cause of the universe must exist necessarily and must be personal, ergo the first cause must be God. Remember that I am not assuming that God is the only explanation. The LCA addresses types of explanations. Because every other type of explanation is impossible, we know that the final explanation must be true through the process of elimination.

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Con Rebuttal: The conditions prior to the Big Bang were radically different - Part 2

If the universe is contingent, which I proved above, then it must have a first cause that is necessary. As said last round, "The existence of a contingent being cannot be explained solely by other contingent beings, for those contingent beings would require explanations from other contingent beings ad infinitum. Thus, there must be a first cause, a necessary being that explains the existence of all contingent beings." Now extend everything I wrote under my second premise from last round in order to exclude the possibility of a natural first cause. The warrants are not directly addressed, so I do not need to respond to any rebuttals for them to stand.
Romanii

Con

I apologize if my argument is too brief this round. Due to unfortunate time constraints on my part, I have just over an hour to write this.

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DEFENSE OF CONCLUSION I : The Universe can be a Necessary Being

"The OUC, if true, does not prove that the universe exists necessarily. Yes, the universe would be eternal in the future direction, however in the past the universe would still have a cause. Let me explain: The OUC is essentially the same thing as the BBT except after the universe collapses, it uses that collapse in order to cause another bang and reform the universe."

This is false. Pro misunderstands the OUC (Oscillating Universe Cosmology).
In the OUC, all existing matter/energy is the necessary, eternal being.
The Universe and the Singularity are just forms that matter/energy takes, and the Big Bangs and Big Crunches are nothing more than transitional phases between those forms, brought on by the pull of gravity.
There is nothing about one universe being caused by the previous universe ad infinitum.
If the OUC holds true, the Universe is not a contingent being, as it is merely an elaborate arrangement of eternal and necessary matter/energy, thus refuting one of the LCA's fundamental premises.

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DEFENSE OF CONCLUSION II :
A Contingent Universe does not need a Necessary External Cause

Again, note that "contingency" implies nothing more than that the Universe COULD have failed to exist.

"The PSR has its foundation of the philosophical principle ex nihilo nihil fit, from nothing comes nothing. Lets assume the falsity of this principle and the PSR. Imagine a world in which happenings do not need reasons. If existence did not require explanation then why do objects not simply pop into existence?"

Pro is taking this out of context.
The reason we don't see things pop into existence at random is because we exist in space and time, and the PSR/"ex nihilo nihil fit" does hold true AS FAR AS WE KNOW.
However, in this context, we are talking about Big Bang singularity, which existed when there was no such thing as space or time. We have no experience at all with existence outside of space-time, and thus cannot assume that our pre-conceptions based on sensory perceptions within space-time hold true outside of space-time, especially since we have suggestive evidence that conditions were far different, leading me into my next point.


"My opponent has thus far proposed 2 cosmological theories. He uses the OUC as refutation to the LCA, then dismisses the OUC in favor of the BBT, and in his defense of the BBT he links an article that refutes the validity of the BBT."

Criticism does not equate to refutation.
I was merely trying to show that we know very little about pre-Bog Bang conditions, and that the fundamental assumptions we currently accept as true could very well turn out to be completely false in such a setting.


"I'll allow my opponent to introduce new arguments in the next round pertaining to quantum physics, granted that he explicitly states what the arguments are."

I apologize for not going into specifics about how modern science has shown that our sensory perception-based assumptions about nature are often false. I will give 2 examples.

-- the theory of relativity disproved the notion that time flows at a constant rate for everyone [1]

-- the wave-particle duality as seen in quantum physics showed that something can be two radically different things at the same time [2]

The point is that we cannot trust our sensory perceptions, as those have been shown to be unreliable, especially since we are dealing with something completely alien to human beings (the lack of space and time).




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DEFENSE OF CONCLUSION III : God is not the only possible Necessary External Cause of a Contingent Universe

"There are three conditions for a being to be defined as God.... (2) It is personal. Nonphysical beings are either personal or abstract. For example, the laws of mathematics have no intent or thought, they are abstract. A mind would be able to think, ergo it would be personal..."

Why does it have to be personal? The Necessary External Cause can be abstract; a non-personal, non-physical process such as simultaneous causation.
This ties back into the idea that we have no knowledge of what is possible in absolute nothingness (no space, no time).

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SOURCES
[1] http://complexrelativity.com...
[2] http://physics.about.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Lucky_Luciano

Pro

Premise 1

The Principle of Sufficient Reason

Con Rebuttal: Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit is sound only because we exist within space and time, those conditions did not exist pre-big bang

If the principle of ex nihilo nihil fit, from nothing comes nothing, fails to hold in a dimension without space or time then that is reason why we would see an infinite number of universes appearing on top of ours at any given time. My opponent did not refute this argument from the last round, so allow me to reiterate. There is indeed a dimension without space nor time and it is from this dimension that the big bang came about. In other words, a non-spatiotemporal plane brought about the spatiotemporal plane that we exist on. However, there must still be a cause for the big bang. If the non-spatiotemporal plane would allow for the failure of ex nihilo nihil fit then that would lead us to the conclusion that big bangs can and do arise from nothing at all. If this is true then there is no reason why an infinite number of big bangs would not happen every second - there is no time in this other plane to limit the amount of big bangs that could happen for any given timeframe on our plane. If an infinite number of big bangs happen every second, then logically and infinite number of big bangs would happen in our universe at any given second. Because they do not, it must be deduced that the big bang had a reason. This upholds the PSR, my continuation of this line of reasoning will be in defense of my second premise. If the universe was caused by a big bang, and that big bang had a reason for happening, then that reason could not be natural for there definitionally cannot be a physical being in a plane of existence that does not have a spatial dimension. Therefore the cause of the big bang must be non-physical. If it is non-physical then it must either be abstract - i.e. a principle such as the laws of mathematics or logic - or personal, such as a mind. The laws of mathematics, logic, and other abstract beings cannot cause anything to happen. They do not exist physically to interact externally with other existences by mere chance, and they do not have a mind to form an intent to interact with the world around them. Only a mind could therefore cause action in a non-spatial dimension.

This is not an epistemic question, in that it does not pertain to whether or not we can perceive the validity of ex nihilo nihil fit, but an ontological one, whether or not things could at all exist without reason. An epistemic variation of the principle would be flawed for all the reasons my opponent states, its limited to our current sense perception. The ontological variation escapes my opponents criticisms because in terms of a dimension that lacks space and time, the additional lack of the principle ex nihilo nihil fit would indisputably cause an infinite number of big bangs at an infinite number of points in the universe for every second that passes in our time frame. When asking why did the big bang happen rather than not, we implicitly accept that the big bang had a reason for happening. If we answer that the big bang happened rather than not for no reason at all, then we concede that many more big bangs ought to happen for no reason at all. This does not happen, ergo there is some causal restraint on the big bang.

Premise 2

Con Rebuttal: The OUC

My opponent continues to explain in round 2 that the OUC explains how every universe after the first is formed. It is painfully obvious, however, that this reasoning only holds true in the future direction, and not in the past. He explicitly states that big bangs and big crunches are brought about by gravity, however gravity did not exist before the first big bang. My opponent admits that space and time did not exist prior to this point as well. The OUC can only use gravity to explain the second big bang, and the third, and so on, as it uses the energy provides by the collapse of the prior universe. This fails to account for how this chain started. As stated in round 1, an infinite chain of contingent explanations is impossible. Each universe under the OUC is contingent on the existence of the last. The OUC cannot be self-explanatory for it would require explanation from additional universes ad infinitum, and each of those universes would need to be explained by additional universes as well. Because the explanation fails does not mean we default to claiming it exists necessarily. Sure, universe 2 may not have failed to exist if universe 1 did indeed exist, but it could have failed to exist if universe 1 did not exist, and universe 1 did not necessarily exist, ergo every universe in the chain is contingent, not necessary.

Con Rebuttal: Quantum Physics

My opponents two objections via physics only matter epistemologically, in terms of how we perceive the universe. The entirety of the LCA is an ontological argument, one that addresses the universe's state of being. Let me explain this by quoting my opponents second citation (I'm wondering if he reads his sources at all), "The major significance of the wave particle duality is that all behavior of light and matter can be explained through the use of a differential equation which represents a wave function, generally in the form of the Schrödinger equation. This ability to describe reality in the form of waves is at the heart of quantum mechanics." His source continues, "While the mathematics, though complicated, makes accurate predictions, the physical meaning of these equations are much harder to grasp. The attempt to explain what the wave particle duality "actually means" is a key point of debate in quantum physics. Many interpretations exist to try to explain this, but they are all bound by the same set of wave equations ... and, ultimately, must explain the same experimental observations." What this means is that while our epistemic interpretations of wave functions are not yet perfect, we are dealing with the specific ontological existences of these wave functions, i.e. they exist in one and only one state of being. The theory of relativity interacts with the LCA in the same manner, on an epistemic level. The LCA makes this simple for you, beings exist contingently or necessarily. If they exist necessarily then their existence is self-explanatory and they could not have failed to exist. If they could have failed to exist, i.e. they have a cause for their existence, then they exist contingently. Even if we change our perception of reality to mathematical interpretations of wave functions it only leaves us unsure of what happens after a being starts existing, but we can still determine philosophically why that being existed. In layman's terms, if I look at you I am looking at an epistemic interpretation of your existence as displayed by wave functions (again, my opponent's source advocates that the heart of quantum physics is the description of reality via wave functions) which may or may not be accurate. However, I know that ontologically you exist in a state of being and that your state of being was caused by another state of being. The LCA need not account for the epistemic objections raised by quantum physics to prove the ontological nature of the universe.

Premise 3

Con Rebuttal: The universe could be caused by an abstract being

This is simply false. As demonstrated above, abstract beings such as mathematics and logic cannot interact with the rest of existence. Because they do not have a physical being, they exist separate from space and time, they cannot by chance interact with other existences. Because they lack a mind, they cannot intentionally interact with other existences. If the existence of the universe is non-physical, which we have determined that it is, then it must necessarily be personal, or a mind, in order to cause the universe to exist.
Romanii

Con


R1) Principle of Sufficient Reason

"If the principle of ex nihilo nihil fit, from nothing comes nothing, fails to hold in a dimension without space or time then that is reason why we would see an infinite number of universes appearing on top of ours at any given time"

This is a somewhat misguided viewpoint.
After a universe has been created, there is no longer nothing; there is something. Thus, a universe cannot simply come into being on top of ours, as the conditions necessary for that (absolute nothingness) are no longer there.
However, universes CAN potentially be constantly popping up in the nothingness AROUND our universe, causing an infinite number of universes to be in existence at the same time; this is an actual scientific theory known as the Multiverse theory [1].

"When asking why did the big bang happen rather than not, we implicitly accept that the big bang had a reason for happening. If we answer that the big bang happened rather than not for no reason at all, then we concede that many more big bangs ought to happen for no reason at all. This does not happen, ergo there is some causal restraint on the big bang."

As I have shown, more big bangs ARE probably happening, in accordance with the Multiverse theory; however, it is unreasonable to believe that they would be interfering with our own univere's existence.

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R2) Oscillating Universe Cosmology

"He explicitly states that big bangs and big crunches are brought about by gravity, however gravity did not exist before the first big bang."

False. The Big CRUNCHES are brought about by gravity's pull on the universe once it has gotten too large.
The Big Bangs are brought about by the natural tendency of the universe to expand [2].

"Each universe under the OUC is contingent on the existence of the last. The OUC cannot be self-explanatory for it would require explanation from additional universes ad infinitum"

Pro seems to have ignored what I said last round.
It is not about the Universes; it is about the matter and energy. The matter/energy is eternal and necessary; the univese is just a form that it takes due to the Big Bangs.
One universe's existence isn't contingent upon the last universe's existence; all universes are just forms of one necessary being: the matter/energy, and the changes in form are brought upon by the properties of that matter/energy.

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R3) Quantum Physics

I am dropping this point, simply because I am unqualified to be discussing the details of quantum physics when physicists devoting their lives to studying it barely understand it themselves.

It is unnecessary anyways, because the whole point of me bringing it up was to expand upon two contentions which are undeniable anyways:

1) Science is constantly revising our perception of the world; to say that we have already discovered all there is to know about the universe's properties is ignorant.

2) We know nothing about the properties of absolute nothingness, as we only have ever experienced existence IN space and time.

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R4) Personal vs. Abstract

"...abstract beings such as mathematics and logic cannot interact with the rest of existence. Because they do not have a physical being, they exist separate from space and time, they cannot by chance interact with other existences. Because they lack a mind, they cannot intentionally interact with other existences"

I misunderstood the meaning of "abstract", it seems.
However, in that case, we have a false dichotomy here.
Pro claims that the necessary, first cause must have been either conscious and having physical being (personal) or unconscious and not having physical being (abstract).
This completely ignores the obvious third choice of having physical being ("being able to interact with other existences") and being unconscious. I've named the simulataneous causation as an example of such a process in every round, thus far, yet Pro has failed to respond every single time.

.
.
.
.

CONCLUSIONS

I. If the Oscillating Universe Cosmology holds true, the LCA's premise that the Universe is a contingent being is false (R2)

II. The Principle of Sufficient Reason does not have to hold true in a Non-Spaciotemporal existence, so even if the Universe is contingent, it does not need a necessary external cause (R1, R3)

III. The necessary external cause of a contingent Universe does not need to be personal (i.e. God) (R4)

The LCA is completely unsound on every level.



Thanks to Pro for a very fun and challenging debate!


SOURCES:
[1] http://www.astronomy.pomona.edu...'s%20mutliverse.html
[2] http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu...


Debate Round No. 3
41 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
Honestly, Lucky, the OUC should have been very easy for you to refute. There's been some heavy doubt cast on that school of cosmology in recent years; the idea of a cyclic universe isn't accepted by most scientists, and pointing that out would have cast quite a bit of doubt on the soundness of my first conclusion since it is contingent upon the OUC's truth value.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
Thanks for the detailed RFD, MP!

I'll keep your criticisms in mind for future debates :D
Posted by MoralityProfessor 3 years ago
MoralityProfessor
By the way, Lucky, what would you have responded to Romanii's multiverse argument? Super curious.

And Romanii: Though I am proud of the win against Mikal, I feel that had more people voted, it would have gone his way. I was arguing against a pretty widely-accepted topic (sex before marriage), so the fact that I won also surprised me. He is a legitimately good debater.
Posted by MoralityProfessor 3 years ago
MoralityProfessor
Conclusion three literally had me changing positions each round. I initially agreed with Con's assessment that G-d being the necessary first cause of the universe was a baseless assumption. Pro's second round clarified his position for me - G-d, defined as the 'necessary, personal first cause' of the universe is no longer a baseless assumption. Con then hones in on the 'personal' aspect. Pro clarifies that. Con brings up a point in the last round - it could have been a physical and unconscious being. He also points out that Pro hasn't responded to his 'simultaneous causation' argument. I would give him arguments for that as well, except Con never explains what 'simultaneous causation' is and only points out Pro's lack of response in the last round - where Pro can no longer respond.

I felt there was a little bit lacking in Con's position - Pro went into more detail and gave elaborate responses, while there were contradictions in Con's refutations. Plus, Pro was at a disadvantage due to the debate structure - for that, I gave him an extra point, plus he argued his side very well.

Sources were tied. Pro barely used them, and I didn't agree with Pro's assessment that Con's sources were contradicting his arguments.

That's about it for now. Any questions, of course feel free to ask.
Posted by MoralityProfessor 3 years ago
MoralityProfessor
This was a very difficult debate to judge. Before I post my RFD, I'd like to make a disclaimer which, hopefully, should be obvious: Any criticism is meant to be constructive only. That's it.

After reading Pro's Round 1 argument, it seems that Con has the advantage here (something that still bothers me concerning the results) because all he must do is prove that any single point in Pro's argument isn't sound to win the debate.

I thought Raisor's method was a good one of establishing the winner because each of Con's final round conclusions were a summary of the points argued throughout the debate.

Using the OUC argument to demonstrate the necessity of the universe holds a few problems for me. One, the OUC is not a proven cosmology. Therefore, the proof itself is contingent on the OUC being true. Additionally, Con then uses the BBT to refute additional premises, which necessarily implies that OUC argument is no longer withstanding. But because Con only needs to successfully refute any one premise, if the OUC argument does withstand, then the arguments requiring the use of the BBT are no longer necessary. It is this integral point that made me give arguments to Con. I see this was discussed a lot in the comments, and I think Raisor and Zaradi pretty much summed it up. In regards to the OUC, Pro did not address Con's point clearly about matter/energy being the necessary first cause.

On the other hand, the OUC is still an IF. However, I feel that not awarding points for that argument would be too much of an intervention on my part.

Pro wins conclusion two, however, and a point for conduct was taken from Con due to the addition of the multiverse theory in the final round.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
Oh wow, I just realized that you are the only person to ever win against Mikal in a debate! :O
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
Lol I'm definitely being serious.
This is my first serious philosophy debate, so I'm looking for all the feedback I can get :D
Posted by MoralityProfessor 3 years ago
MoralityProfessor
Heh. Not sure if you're being serious or not, but I like to let people know how the progress is going on something I've committed myself to doing.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
The suspense is killing me, MP
Posted by MoralityProfessor 3 years ago
MoralityProfessor
Taking a little longer than I expected to go through this, but I will be voting tomorrow, G-d willing, before the deadline.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by MoralityProfessor 3 years ago
MoralityProfessor
Lucky_LucianoRomaniiTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 3 years ago
Zaradi
Lucky_LucianoRomaniiTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: In order to prevent arbitrarily stepping in and intervening on the debate, I have to vote con. His response that the OUC is explaining how matter/energy is the cause of everything and doesn't ever go away, just changes, not only functions ontologically, but just isn't ever clearly responded to by Pro. He's solidly winning pretty much everywhere else in the debate, just doesn't ever clearly respond to it. If he did, it's somewhere where I would have to intervene at a level that I'm far too uncomfortable doing. I do give conduct for the new multiverse argument, but that doesn't even really matter since I don't evaluate it.
Vote Placed by Raisor 3 years ago
Raisor
Lucky_LucianoRomaniiTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments