The Instigator
Valladarex
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Magic8000
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Deism vs Atheism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Magic8000
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/11/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,742 times Debate No: 35506
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (54)
Votes (5)

 

Valladarex

Pro

Welcome! This will be my second attempt to get a full debate on the topic of Deism vs Atheism. I hope this time I will get the full debate I desire, with someone who is knowledgable on the topic.

I will be taking the position that Deism is more reasonable than Atheism. My opponent will contest my Deistic beliefs and support his own.

Deism will be defined as this: The belief in an impersonal creator of the universe.

The debate will be 4 rounds, with an 8000 character limit. The standard DDO rules apply. First round acceptance only.

I made this debate acceptable for Magic8000. Please do not accept if you aren't him.

I hope for a great debate!
Magic8000

Con

Accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
Valladarex

Pro

Opening Statements

I thank my opponent for accepting my debate.

I will be using the arguments I posted in my first attempt at this debate, which was forfeited before any rebuttals.

The burden of proof will be on me to show that a Deistic god likely exists. The burden of proof will be on Con to show that it is more reasonable to remain secular than to believe in a Deistic God.

Arguments

First Cause

Today, there is evidence that this universe began about 13.8 billion years ago.(1) I expect that my opponent would agree on this. Since this universe began to exist, there was something that caused it to exist. This cause would be considered the creator of the universe, or the god of Deism.

So is there any other way that the universe could have started without the need of a creator? I will be talking about different ideas that people have asserted are alternatives to God.

Eternal Universe

If the universe always existed, then there would be no need for a creator. So, is there any evidence that points toward the universe always existing? The Big Crunch theory is one idea that would have allowed for this to happen.

The Big Crunch theory states that gravity will cause the universe to reverse its direction and begin to collapse under its own weight.(2) If this were to be true, it would make sense that the universe has been in an eternal cycle of expansion and compression. However, there is evidence that shows this probably isn't the case.

The problem with this idea is that we know that the universe is actually accelerating in its expansion. This means that instead of gravity slowing down the expansion, there is some form of energy, called dark energy, that is pushing the universe apart faster than gravity can pull it together.(3) Although we don't know for certain whether or not the universe will continue to accelerate apart, today it would be the most reasonable thing to believe in, given the evidence.

So instead of having an eternal universe, it is probable that we have a universe that began to exist, and will end in a big freeze, where all matter and energy will eventually dissipate and everything ceases to exist.(4)

Multiverse

Another theory that may allow for there to be no god is the Multiverse theory. This is the idea that there are multiple or an infinite amount of universes, yet we are only able to observe our own.(5) In the event that this is true, then there wouldn't be a need for an intelligent designer. This would not disprove Deism though.

Deism is actually compatible with the Multiverse theory. This is because the creator of the universe doesn't have to be a thinking entity. It only has to be an impersonal creator. So, if some type of physical force or reaction started this universe, and maybe even other universes, then that physical force/reaction would be the god of Deism.

To be clear, Deism doesn't define god in detail, outside of being an impersonal creator of the universe. This is because we simply don't know enough about God to make other claims about its properties.

Ex Nihilo Creation

A universe that comes from nothing, creatio ex nihilo, is an old idea that has been under scientific research for decades. A common example that many people use in defense of a ex nihilo creation is virtual particles. Virtual particles are subatomic particles that form out of "nothing" (vacuum fields conceptually analogous to lines of force between magnetic poles) for extremely short periods of time and then disappear again. Such particles permeate space, mediate particle decay, and mediate the exchange of the fundamental forces (electromagnetic, weak, strong, and—in accord with quantum theory—gravititational forces).(6)

Although it may seem like this helps show that the universe might have came out of nothing, there is a fundamental difference between virtual particles and the universe itself.

In order for the virtual particles to be created out of "nothing", there must be universal laws that allow for these things to occur. We know that the deterministic laws that govern the universe break down as time gets closer to the Big Bang.(7) This means that virtual particles would not have been able to exist before the big bang, unless there were still laws or properties of existence that existed before the big bang.

If there were laws or properties of existence before the big bang, then these may allow for a universe to come out of "nothing". But does this really mean nothing? Laws and properties can very well be considered things. These laws and properties would be the something that allowed the universe to exist.

If a law/property allowed the universe to come out of "nothing", then this law/property is what Deists would consider the creator of the universe, or god. Without this transcendent law/property, the universe would have never of existed.

Conclusion

The ideas I have talked about - an impersonal creator, an eternal universe, a multiverse, and a universe from nothing, are all candidates in our search for the truth about where the universe came from. The eternal universe idea seems to have failed, as we have found out that universe is accelerating apart. The multiverse is a possible idea that still demands a creator of this universe. A universe from nothing is actually not possible, depending on how you define nothing. It is evident that the universe came from something, and that something would be the impersonal god of Deism.

Deism has given a reasonable explanation for the existence of the universe. It would make more sense for a Deistic god to exist than for one not to exist. It is therefore a more reasonable belief than Atheism.

I await Con's response.

Sources

1. http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov......

2. http://www.windows2universe.org......

3. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu......

4. http://www.universetoday.com......

5. http://www.astronomy.pomona.edu...'s%20mutliverse.html

6. http://science.jrank.org......

7. http://www.hawking.org.uk......

Magic8000

Con

I'm not sure how Pro is defining God. Do you mean anything at all that created the universe is God or that a non personal sentient mind that created the universe is God? If the former is true, then this is more like pantheism than deism. If it's the former, I'd also feel as if I didn't get all the information before accepting. I will withhold an argument until this is cleared up.

First Cause

I feel that the biggest problem is that Pro never showed that a God caused the universe or that the universe needs a cause. He just attacked alternatives, but this doesn't mean his case is justified. To conclude a God exists because there's no other explanation is to commit the argument from ignorance fallacy. If one couldn't point to any other explanation other than God, this doesn't mean such a proposition is true.

A problem with Pro's argument is the simple fact that we don't know what was before. Say, there's a dimension behind a door and in this dimension there could be anything. Attributes, which we can't conceive. Things that are not possible in this world. Is it really rational to determine what's in it? Especially if it has no observational consequences on this world. This is what was before the big bang. Before has no observational consequences; otherwise we wouldn't be having this debate. It is like this dimension. We can try to speculate what was before by observing this universe, however we simply don't know if that's valid. If someone claims a unicorn exists in this dimension, we should lack belief in such a claim until it's proved. Same with before the universe. A unicorn, a god, nothing, could have existed before. We don't know if a casual principle existed before, we simply have to lack belief in such things until proved otherwise.

The Multiverse, Eternal universe, and much of Ex Nihlo sections, I will not dispute.

Ex Nihilo

First, I want to say we cannot reject creation from nothing -no thing, no laws, no virtual particles- just on face value. We've never observed nothing to see what it does. Nothing would mean no laws, including any type of law restricting it from becoming something. I don't want to be misunderstood here, I'm not saying this is how it happened, but I'm saying it's still an undisputed possibly. Pro said all laws are broken at the Big Bang. I feel he's killing his own case here, because then the universe could indeed be uncaused. Since such laws don’t exist.

I wouldn't say a vacuum itself is nothing, but even if the virtual particles obey laws, they do show us some things can be uncaused. Sure, the particles obey the laws of physics, but that doesn't mean they were caused. If a lion appeared from nothing, when it is in existence it has to correspond to the laws of physics. This doesn’t mean something caused the lion. Leading down this, brings me to my next point.

Occam's Razor

When the question of God comes up, one has to appeal to it being uncaused to prevent a regress. However, why not skip a god and just say the universe is uncaused? Occams razor suggests we take the latter.

Occam's razor is often cited in stronger forms than Occam intended, as in the following statements. . .

"If you have two theories that both explain the observed facts, then you should use the simplest until more evidence comes along"

"The simplest explanation for some phenomenon is more likely to be accurate than more complicated explanations."

"If you have two equally likely solutions to a problem, choose the simplest."

"The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct."

. . .or in the only form that takes its own advice. . .

"Keep things simple!" [1]

Let's apply it. Cutting an uncaused god out and stopping at an uncaused universe is simpler, shorter, and makes one less assumption than its opposing hypotheses. A God hypothesis says there’s an uncaused God that caused the universe, stopping at the universe is clearly simpler.

By the unintelligibly of before the universe and Occam's razor, we should be left with atheism. With the possibly of Ex Nihlo creation, we have no reason to accept a god. Pro's argument is effectively refuted.

I have another argument, but I need Pro to clear up what creator means. Hopefully he'll do that.

Sources

[1] http://math.ucr.edu...

Debate Round No. 2
Valladarex

Pro

The God of Deism

"I'm not sure how Pro is defining God... until this is cleared up."

I understand your confusion with what this god really is. I will try to clarify a bit.

In Deism, people are able to have various beliefs about this creative force that set the universe in motion. For example, some people will believe that this God is eternal, omnipotent, and intelligent, while others will think we don't have enough information about this god to assert that these characteristics are true. It gets even more complex when some Deists think that this god could interfere with the universe, but has not revealed himself in any religion. Some Deists will even think that God intelligently designed life, while others will think that he had no part in it or there is not good enough reason to presuppose that this is true.

I personally believe that we don't know enough about this God to presuppose other characteristics of him. I also don't think that the characteristics people infer about god, through our universe's nature, are sound. I don't have good enough reasons to believe that this god is either a sentient mind that created the universe or isn't. This leaves me with a definition of god that is very much like my definition of Deism: the impersonal creative force that set the universe in motion, and does not interfere with it.

The reason Deists can be so diverse in their beliefs about god is because we have no doctrine to follow. We are opposed to the establishment of religions with its own standards/rules/dogma. The one thing I noticed that the vast majority of Deists will agree on is that God is the impersonal creator of the universe. This is why I defined Deism in this way. It is the most basic definition that I could come up with, and is one which would be hard to fine disagreement with within the Deistic community.

To respond to your contention that I may be a Pantheist, I am certain that my beliefs fit more with Deism. Pantheism is the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God, or that the universe (or nature) is identical with divinity. I don't think we have enough evidence to believe that the universe is a creator unto itself, and thus I would not consider it God. If we were to find out that the universe did in fact create itself, then I would consider myself a Pantheist. But until that day comes, the most reasonable standpoint would be Deism.

First Cause

"I feel that the biggest problem is that Pro never... such a proposition is true."

I actually agree that the proposition should not be deemed absolutely true because there are no better alternatives to a creator of the universe. I also agree that stating this would be an argument from ignorance fallacy. What I have really concluded is it's the most reasonable belief today, with our current understanding of the universe. Sure, we do not know for certain if the universe was created by an impersonal god. I am just asserting that it is the best possible position for what we know.

"A problem with Pro's argument is the simple fact that we don't know...we simply have to lack belief in such things until proved otherwise."

I agree to a point with your argument. We can't know for certain what existed before the big bang. Maybe it's true that logically impossible things existed. I think we should lack belief in anything specific before the big bang, such as the unicorn. I also agree that the causal principle might not have existed at some point before the big bang.

As I said before, we should lack belief in a specific thing before the big bang, but I think it's reasonable to believe that something, as opposed to nothing, existed before the big bang. It could be some of the things you mentioned, such as a world with irrational attributes, things that are not possible, or a non-causal existence. Any of these things would be considered something. If something existed, then something started the universe. This is because a "nothing" world would have not been able to exist to allow a universe to begin. That something that allowed the universe to begin is what Deists would call God.

The difference between the skepticism of these things you mentioned and a creator of the universe is that we are pretty certain that the universe began at the big bang. Even if causality didn't exist before the big bang, causality existed at the moment of creation. It's evident that the universe had a cause, because it began to exist.

Ex Nihilo

"First, I want to say we cannot reject creation... such laws don’t exist."

If we consider that nothing is capable of creating a universe, then nothing suddenly becomes something. It is something in that it has properties which allow it to spontaneously form universes. Sure, the universe's laws break down at the big bang, but there must have been something in order to have a universe exist. Even if there were irrational laws that suddenly allowed the universe to form, they would still be considered laws, and thus something.

"I wouldn't say a vacuum itself is nothing, but even if the virtual particles obey laws, they do show us some things can be uncaused... This doesn’t mean something caused the lion. Leading down this, brings me to my next point."

I disagree with this idea that the lion or virtual particles were uncaused. I think what would be considered the cause of the virtual particle is the processes and laws which gave the virtual particle the ability to spontaneously form. To make it clearer, the virtual particle could not have existed if it weren't for something else. If something results from another thing's existence, then that other thing could be considered the cause/creator.

Occam's Razor

"When the question of God comes up, one has to appeal to it being uncaused to prevent a regress. However, why not skip a god and just say the universe is uncaused? Occams razor suggests we take the latter."

Actually, I don't think this creator has to be uncaused. Since I don't know all the properties of the creator that started this universe, I could not assert that it is uncaused.

For example, God could have been created by something else and then started this universe once created. Or maybe God somehow converted himself into the universe and ceased to exist after the process. I just don't know. I simply think that an impersonal creator was likely to have existed, no matter his other attributes.

"Let's apply it. Cutting an uncaused god out and stopping at an uncaused universe is simpler, shorter, and makes one less assumption than its opposing hypotheses. A God hypothesis says there’s an uncaused God that caused the universe, stopping at the universe is clearly simpler."

The problem with applying Occam's razor to this circumstance is we have evidence that the universe began to exist and probably isn't eternal. As I said in round 1, the universe is accelerating apart faster than gravity can pull itself in. This shows that a cyclical universe probably doesn't exist. Because of this, the universe will probably end in a big freeze.

I will even insist that a Deistic god is a simpler answer than an eternal universe. If we are to assume that the universe is eternal, that means we also have to believe our scientific understanding of universal expansion and the big bang are wrong. In an eternal universe, there would be no starting point. This is in contrast to our own, as the big bang is a well established starting point. An eternal universe would most likely be cyclical in nature. We have good evidence that this isn't true.

With a Deistic explanation, we don't have to assume any scientific understanding of our universe is wrong. The Deistic explanation doesn't assume any qualities of this God outside of being a creative force and impersonal. This view is also a simpler explanation than religions with revelation, as we don't have to assume any supernatural event occurred on Earth. It is the simplest explanation we currently have for our universe's exist. And as such, it is the most likely answer.

Magic8000

Con

Pro cleared up what he meant by God. I feel Pro should clear it up in future debates instead of using a vague definition of God that can be left up to interpretation. I still feel as if Pro is redefining God, away from the typical idea of “God”. That’s why I said it’s kinda like Pantheism. I didn’t mean for you to think my Pantheist comment was an argument. It wasn’t a contention at all and I didn’t say Pro was a Pantheist, I said Pro was like a Pantheist. Similar in the sense of redefining God away from the typical definition, but not completely. But I feel I still have a case against this God.


First Cause


My first objection wasn’t really responded to. He agreed with me somewhat and said


“What I have really concluded is it's the most reasonable belief today, with our current understanding of the universe”


However, I pointed out that Pro is only doing this by attacking alternate models. Pro never proved Deism was more reasonable, he just attacked the alternatives without proving his case.


Pro left my first objection untouched.


Pro then tries to respond to my unintelligible argument. He does pretty much the same thing as above, he agreed somewhat then disagreed by stating his position with no evidence to back it up. Pro says he thinks it’s more reasonable to think something existed as opposed to nothing. If Pro agreed with my argument, he wouldn’t take this position. We can’t make that claim if we have no idea what was before, so Pro is just agreeing with my argument, then turning around and disagreeing with it. Never responding to the argument in question, that since we don’t know we shouldn’t believe in Pro’s proposition.


The difference between the skepticism of these things you mentioned and a creator of the universe is that we are pretty certain that the universe began at the big bang. Even if causality didn't exist before the big bang, causality existed at the moment of creation. It's evident that the universe had a cause, because it began to exist.


Again, disagreeing with the argument without responding to it. The universe would have come from a state that’s not of our universe. Since we have no idea what this non-universe state was we can’t conclude it must have a cause and can’t conclude what existed before. Causality existing at the moment of creation is utterly irrelevant, because the moment of creation is not a non universe state!


My argument remains standing


Ex Nihilo


Pro ignores my argument. The reason why different things can’t do certain things is because they have a restriction on them. If something came from nothing, this would be because it lacks a property, not because it has one. If there was something restricting nothing, then it wouldn’t be nothing.So, why can’t something come from nothing? Pro said the universe's laws break down, then contradicted himself by stating some laws must exist


“Sure, the universe's laws break down at the big bang, but there must have been something in order to have a universe exist. Even if there were irrational laws that suddenly allowed the universe to form, they would still be considered laws, and thus something.”


According to Pro, those laws would have broke. Pro said the laws that allow virtual particles to form causes them. He gave no source for this and thus committed the bare assertion fallacy [1]. His source in his opening statement only said the particles interacted with laws once they were in existence and that vacuum fields are analogous to lines of force between magnetic poles.


Even if these particles were reliant on laws, this doesn’t mean the laws gave them the ability to come into being. Perhaps the could only exist with these laws, but this doesn’t mean such laws gave it the ability to come into existence. Another thing about virtual particles is that the particles are only reliant on nothing to exist. So, something did come from nothing.


Even in a perfect vacuum—a region of space containing neither matter nor energy—particle-antiparticle pairs (such as an electron and its antiparticle opposite, the positron) constantly appear and disappear in a time span too short to observe. Although it would seem impossible that a particle could materialize from nothing—not even from energy— it so happens that no laws of physics are violated because the particle is annihilated by its corresponding antiparticle before either one can be detected. [2] - Harvard.


A vacuum itself isn’t nothing because of these particles, but the particles do indeed come from nothing, uncaused.


Occam's Razor


Saying God could’ve been caused by something else only helps my case when dealing with Occam’s razor. Pro is complicating his case and thus helping mine here. I should’ve phrased it by saying that the deist must fall back on an uncaused something. Nonetheless, Pro just helped my case in the first part of this section.


Next, Pro commits the logical fallacy of the straw man [3]. Pro attacks the eternal universe, but my argument is not based on the idea that the universe is eternal. I’m curious why Pro brought this up, because I said I wouldn’t dispute the eternal universe section, so why would I build an argument that makes me dispute it? A god could be uncaused in the sense of being eternal, from nothing, or some other way we don’t understand. I’m saying it’s best to say the universe is uncaused by the last two via the razor.


My argument is unrefuted.


I feel all of my arguments are still unrefuted and still standing strong.



Sources

[1] http://fallacies.findthedata.org...

[2] https://www.cfa.harvard.edu...

[3] http://fallacies.findthedata.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Valladarex

Pro

First Cause

"However, I pointed out that Pro is only doing this by attacking alternate models. Pro never proved Deism was more reasonable, he just attacked the alternatives without proving his case."

I backed my case that Deism is the most reasonable explanation in round 2, when I stated that the universe began to exist, and so the universe was caused. This cause would be the God of Deism. This is the best explanation because it is completely compatible with everything we know about the universe and reality. It's the best explanation because there is reason to believe something existed, as opposed to nothing, before the universe. I can't prove it is 100% true, but it is acceptable enough to be a Deist, as opposed to an Atheist.

I'd also like to point out people can be agnostic and Deist, just as I suspect you are an agnostic and Atheist. This is important because it means that neither of us know for certain which is true. We can only lean toward one belief over the other based on evidence and our reasoning abilities. This is what I have been supporting in this Debate. That we should lean toward Deism because it is more reasonable than Atheism.

"Pro then tries to respond to my unintelligible argument... shouldn’t believe in Pro’s proposition."

I never said I completely agreed with your argument. I said that I agreed with your argument when it came to specific things before time, such as a unicorn, a personal god, energy, space, and matter. The reason I disagree with you when it comes to nothing vs. something was explained later. I will talk about this next paragraph.

"Again, disagreeing with the argument without responding to it... a non universe state!"

I still think there is confusion on what exactly is nothing. When we say nothing existed before the big bang, that means there were no characteristics/properties/laws/force in this non-universe state. To say that none of these things exist means that there is no way for a universe to start. This "nothing" would not have a characteristic which allows a universe to come out of it. Without this characteristic, then nothing would still exist, as there would be no way for something to come out of it. This means that some type of property existed in this non-universe state that allows for universes to form. Even if there was no matter, energy, and space, the non-universe state would need to have a quality that gave rise to our universe. To say that no quality/property is needed to have a universe come out of nothing is to similar to saying virtual particles can come out of "nothing" in this universe without our own universe's properties. It isn't reasonable.

Ex Nihilo

"Pro ignores my argument... by stating some laws must exist"

This is a fundamental flaw in your argument. Having a lack of a property doesn't give nothing the ability to do anything. It just means that it is truly nothing. In order for a "nothing" to do something, it must have a property that allows it to do something. Having a property actually doesn't necessarily restrict something either. On the contrary, lacking restriction (being able to do anything) would very much be a property of something. This property of being able to do anything could actually be the explanation of where the universe came from. If this "nothing" before the universe had the ability to do anything, and as a result started the universe, then it would be the Deistic God. It would not really be nothing though.

"According to Pro, those laws would have broke... of force between magnetic poles."

From my source, " Virtual particles are real and have measurable effects, but the same uncertainty principle that allows them to come into existence dictates that they cannot be directly observed." (1) The definition of cause is: a person or thing that acts, happens, or exists in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result; the producer of an effect.(2)

Since the Heisenburg uncertainty principle allows virtual particles to come into existence, it is a cause of virtual particles. It is a thing that exists in such a way that virtual particles is a result. Because of this, virtual particles don't come from nothing. They come from the universe's characteristics, which allow it to come from no energy and matter.

"Even if... the particles are only reliant on nothing to exist.. something did come from nothing."

"A vacuum itself isn’t nothing because of these particles, but the particles do indeed come from nothing, uncaused."

A perfect vacuum, a place with neither matter nor energy, is not nothing. This place in space is something because it is part of our universe, and thus the properties of the universe act upon this space. Nothing does not exist in any part of this universe, because the universe itself is something. Your quote from Harvard doesn't state that it came from nothing. It can from a place with neither matter nor energy. This is a big difference. And as I stated in the prior paragraph, the Heisenburg uncertainty principle is a cause of these virtual particles' existences. Thus, virtual particles come from something(the universe) and are caused by something(the universe's properties, like the uncertainty principle).

Occam's Razor

"Saying God could’ve been caused... part of this section."

Saying God could have been caused by something else helps my case because there is one less assumption. This makes it a simpler explanation than if I were to claim God has to be uncaused, because there are less variables to defend.

"Next, Pro commits the logical fallacy... the universe is uncaused by the last two via the razor."

My apologies. I read "why not skip a god and just say the universe is uncaused?" as "why not skip a step and just say the universe always existed?", just as the famous Carl Sagan used to say. But, this still doesn't change my position.

Deism is still a simpler explanation than Atheism. You are stating that an uncaused universe is the simplest explanation, yet this would not be reasonable because something doesn't come from nothing. An impersonal creator of the universe is simple because it is compatible with our understanding of our universe and reality. It makes more sense because something is allowed to have existed before the universe, as opposed to only nothing. It is a simple explanation because it doesn't assume anything about this creator outside of being impersonal. It is the simplest explanation that we have for our universe's existence.

Conclusion


The universe has various explanations for why it exists. Out of all these explanations, I have found that Deism is the most reasonable explanation for our universe's existence, while Con believes an uncaused universe is a more reasonable explanation. He asserts that something can indeed come from nothing. He claims that things even in this universe don't need a cause, so why not the universe itself?

I have shown that the universe, if not eternal, demands a cause. Some of the things many see as nothing are actually something. Properties, characteristics, traits and qualities are all different words that make things what they are. The thing that we call our universe has properties that allow virtual particles to be formed out of nothing. The universe itself causes things to happen.

Likewise, a non-universe state must have properties that allow universes to form. Nothing is not capable of doing anything, as pro believes. If he believes nothing is unrestricted, then this nothing is actually a thing because it has the property of being capable of doing anything. This "nothing" that he believes the universe could have risen out of would be the creator of the universe, and thus the God of Deism.

I thank my opponent for a thought provoking debate.

Vote Pro.



1. http://science.jrank.org...

2. http://dictionary.reference.com...

Magic8000

Con

First Cause

Pro says deism is the most reasonable because it agrees with everything we know. This commits the argument from ignorance fallacy.

An appeal to ignorance is an argument for or against a proposition on the basis of a lack of evidence against or for it [http://www.fallacyfiles.org...]

Any explanation at all doesn’t make it true or more likely. He then says it’s more reasonable to think so because something existed as opposed to nothing, but this is the very main point of the debate. It has not been shown yet.

Saying something existed is still claiming something specific. Pro goes on about nothing -literally-, but this is misunderstanding my argument and thus committing the straw man fallacy. My argument has nothing to do with nothing. Properly understood, the argument is saying since before is unintelligible, we should accept no claims until it’s shown before to be intelligible. Pro’s entire paragraph here is just skipping over the argument. We shouldn’t accept if something or nothing existed because we simply don’t know! Pro is using his reasoning he obtained from the universe to argue outside the universe, since it’s unknown what's before such reasoning is flawed and unjustified. Some type of nothing which we don’t understand could’ve existed, we don’t even know what nothing is, making statements about it and claiming you’ve proven something is again flawed and unjustified.

This argument still stands. Pro hand waves over it throughout the debate.

Ex Nihilo

Pro doesn’t respond to my argument about the laws breaking. It argues against him.

Lacking a property isn’t a property, because a property is what something possesses. I see no reason to accept that a possession is needed for something to come from nothing. For example, the reason why the Earth doesn’t rotate in an up and down motion is because of Kepler's laws. These laws are restricting the ability of the Earth and bounding it to an elliptical orbit. However without this restriction it’s free to do whatever. Not necessarily because it posses something, but because it doesn’t posses something.

I would like to note here I was only arguing from the possibility of Creation Ex Nihilo. Not that it actually happened, there’s no way to prove it actually happened nor do I believe that it happened anymore than I believe a god caused us. Just arguing from the possibility, I don’t want to be misunderstood. Nonetheless, my argument stands.


Vacuum particles

I’m not sure why Pro argued this way. I never disputed that there’s laws that allow these particles to exist. I was arguing that they had nothing for a cause and just because the laws allow them to exist, doesn’t mean it caused them. The uncertainty principle allows these particles to exist, but this doesn’t mean it causes them.


The uncertainty principle says

“The position and momentum of a particle cannot be simultaneously measured with arbitrarily high precision” [http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...]

All can see that there’s nothing casually significant about it. It’s not about causation at all. The uncertainty principle allows these particles to exist, but doesn’t cause them. The ground allows a house to exist, but the ground didn’t cause the house. My computer allows me to write this argument, run software, and play videogames, but this doesn’t mean the computer caused me to do any of this. In the same way, the uncertainty principle allows these particles to exist, because if we had nothing, we would know the position (0) and how fast it’s going (0).


I would like to bring up something very interesting from Pro’s own source.

The meaning of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is that "something" can arise from "nothing" if the "something" returns to the "nothing" after a very short time [http://science.jrank.org...].

Pro then goes on to say a vacuum isn’t nothing. I think it’s strange that Pro acted like I said a vacuum was nothing, when the very text he quoted was me agreeing with him, saying the vacuum isn’t nothing. Pro then says Harvard never said VPs come from nothing. I encourage everyone to read it again.

Although it would seem impossible that a particle could materialize from nothing—not even from energy— it so happens that no laws of physics are violated because the particle is annihilated by its corresponding antiparticle before either one can be detected. [https://www.cfa.harvard.edu...]

It clearly says so.


This argument still stands.

Occam's Razor

How in the world does adding another cause to the mix mean less assumptions? It makes more variables to defend, like what caused this cause. Pro here is saying an uncaused (or caused) something caused God that caused the universe. While I’m saying, the universe was uncaused. I think it’s clear what hypothesis is simpler. I have no layers of causation, while Pro has at least three.


Next, Pro tries to say Deism is simpler. He never uses Occam’s method of determining it.

He says Deism is simpler by these lines of evidences.


Something doesn't come from nothing

We’re using what we only know -something- to critique “nothing”. It would be simpler to say that something can come from nothing because we don’t understand what nothing is. Certainly we all would agree removing something removes tons of assumptions. This also doesn’t object to my other way of the universe being uncaused. In a way we don’t understand.

It is compatible with our understanding of our universe and reality

So is just claiming the universe was uncaused in an unknown way. As I said before any explanation at doesn’t make it true or simpler, Pro is committing an argument from ignorance. The belief that someone who can mimic my writing and reasoning style hacked into by DDO account and wrote this argument on my computer doesn’t contradict anything within our understanding. This doesn’t mean it’s the simplest explanation, nor does this meet a criteria of determining what’s simpler.

It doesn't assume anything about this creator

It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it assumes a creator.


Conclusion

I feel the most disheartening thing about this debate was the vague definition of “creator”. I thought going into this that creator meant the typical definition when applied to God. Only to find out that anything at all that created the universe is God. That’s just something I think should be considered.

Pro’s argument for Deism was mainly an argument from ignorance. He never proved virtual particles have a cause. Pro didn’t successfully respond to the intelligibility argument. He kept arguing from a property of nothing, never really addressing my objections to it. In the last round, he dropped his argument from the laws breaking down, because it doesn’t help him. With Occam’s razor, he never showed Deism was simpler by making less assumptions. He added assumptions and never proved it made least assumptions than Atheism, on top of that, he committed a straw man fallacy.


The unintelligible argument still stands, along with occam’s razor in showing Atheism is more reasonable than Deism. The Deistic argument commits numerous fallacies. I feel I have shown Atheism is more reasonable.


Go forth and vote.

Debate Round No. 4
54 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
Failure at connecting the dots:

If we cant answer a question that automatically means a super powered being has something to do with it :)

Deism is the result of exposure to theistic poison, much like stinking is the result of exposure to secondhand smoke :)
Posted by Atheistic 4 years ago
Atheistic
Btw for New World Encyclopedia did you read the Philosophy of Deism further down the page?
Posted by Atheistic 4 years ago
Atheistic
I disagree but fine Ill agree to disagree.
Posted by Valladarex 4 years ago
Valladarex
Looks like Luke Mastin might have gotten it wrong. "This website was created as a personal project by Luke Mastin. He has no official training in philosophy and this site is intended as an entry level resource by a laymen for the layman."

But to be fair there are also a few other sites I found that sometimes make this same mistake. There really is no solid definition of Deism. There is so much variation in the Deistic community that I don't see any reason to believe that any single person has got the correct form of Deism. Some Deists believe in intelligent design, while many others don't.

That's why I see the definition of Deism as the belief in an impersonal creator of the universe. This allows for a lot of interpretation for each individual to make. That's what Deism is about. Using personal experience and reason to discover the creator of the universe. Also, there are plenty of sites which don't have intelligent design as a requirement of Deism, which I hope I made clear.
Posted by Atheistic 4 years ago
Atheistic
http://www.philosophybasics.com...

The variations of deism posit a conscious creator.
Posted by Valladarex 4 years ago
Valladarex
Woah, I thought i ended this defining business with my 4 definitions with sources.

Atheistic, there are Deists who use arguments from intelligent design and there are Deists who don't. It isn't a requirement to believe in a arguments from intelligent design to be a Deist. Even the Britannica link doesn't state this. It says "The Deists who presented purely rationalist proofs for the existence of God,**usually variations on the argument from the design or order of the universe**, were able to derive support from the vision of the lawful physical world that Sir Isaac Newton had delineated." Saying this was the usual rational argument used back in the 1800s
doesn't mean it's the argument that is needed in order to be a Deist today.

For the Deism.com article, it does not say in the definition (which i posted in this comment section) that a belief in intelligent design is needed to be a Deist. It does, however, give a definition for intelligent design, which is used by some Deists in support of the belief.

For the newworldencyclopedia.org article, this is the definition it gives: "Deism has come to denote the theological belief that God created the universe according to scientific laws, but does not interfere in its daily operation." This doesn't say that Deists must also believe in intelligent design.

The www.philosophybasics.com link doesn't include intelligent design as a necessary argument as well. Their definition of Deism is : "Deism is a form of Monotheism in which it is believed that one God exists, but that this God does not intervene in the world, or interfere with human life and the laws of the universe." It even says "Deism derives the existence and nature of God from reason and personal experience, rather than relying on revelation in sacred scriptures (which deists see as interpretations made by other humans and not as an authoritative sources) or on the testimony of others." Doesn't say intelligent design must be the evidence of God, just
Posted by Magic8000 4 years ago
Magic8000
Yum.
Posted by Atheistic 4 years ago
Atheistic
LOL. You can have my cookie, Magic. d:
Posted by Mangani 4 years ago
Mangani
Magic, you'll have to get your cookie from Atheistic. He's the harbinger of reliable sourcing, and proper definitions.
Posted by Atheistic 4 years ago
Atheistic
Look, I didn't want to win anything I just, don't like it when things are mis defined it complicates things. Still, I commemorate you on your passion and conviction of your beliefs. No hard feeling, eh.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Skeptikitten 4 years ago
Skeptikitten
ValladarexMagic8000Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro never met his BoP that deism was in any way supported by available evidence, and either conceded that he committed several logical fallacies or ignored Con pointing out those fallacies. Honestly Con's argument seemed like one long Ad Ignorantium, never properly addressed Con's Occam's Razor argument, and never really addressed his main point of why deism should be more rational than atheism.
Vote Placed by Mikal 4 years ago
Mikal
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Reasons for voting decision: No way for me to vote on this. It was a virtual stalemate and both sides were in Gridlock. I am having this same debate myself. I am actually surprised morality or fine tuning did not come up. Pros essential argument is that because there is no evidence to show how the universe was created from nothing, fill the blank in with God. Cons argument would have essentially been mine. Just because there is no theory yet, does not mean play fill in the Gap Of course it was more deep than that, but that was the basis behind it. I am so tempted to give this to Con because he pretty much ripped down every one of Pros stances. Since this was a shared Bop though, I don't feel i can vote either way because both sides missed it.
Vote Placed by Inductivelogic 4 years ago
Inductivelogic
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments to pro on this due to fact Con was missing a fundamental point in his argument and derailed it. I am not sure if you guys were even looking at the sources you provided but one of them very clearly stated that the universe was not eternal. Pros argues that because the universe had to come into existence out of nothing. Think of it like halo, it spawned. No laws could have existed prior to this. Not just the laws of physics as con is stating but any law. There would be no laws to follow any rules because it all began at one time. I will state that pro always shot himself in the foot using the multiverse due to the fact this is a leading theory among many scientist to support atheism. They are combining this with the string theory to show that parallel universes do exist, but this would mean we could have been created by aliens or future versions of ourselves. In short I think Con derailed the point about laws beginning at the big bang itself.
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 4 years ago
TheHitchslap
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Reasons for voting decision: Sources to con: pro asserts we have evidence for his side of the argument several times, but infuriatingly never actually GAVE any, while con does. Arguments to con for several reasons: pro does seem to concede several times to con with regards to science as an explanation, however, he dropped several arguments con threw at him. For instance, the first cause argument was never really rebuttaled. In fact pro actually agrees with him and admits to the ignorance fallacy. Second is the selective definition of "god" from desim and how "complex" he makes it, but this as con points out isn't really deism until he actually defines the two, which then they can get into a debate, but pro asserts that it's just a "force of creation" while using the model of the KCA, as con points out: occams razor must come into play, along with quantum physics. Arguments to con. Pro, make sure you rebuttal ALL arguments head on, don't over-complicate your thoughts on this page in future debates.
Vote Placed by Mangani 4 years ago
Mangani
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Reasons for voting decision: To be clear, I am not only a Deist, but I oversee the largest Deist community on the internet. This debate came down to this statement: "I can't prove it is 100% true, but it is acceptable enough to be a Deist, as opposed to an Atheist." Atheism requires no proof to be rational. Pro did not prove Deism more rational than Atheism. Personally, I feel it is impossible to prove any position more rational than a default position, which atheism is. I gave conduct points to Pro because Con dwelled far too long on Pro's definition of God. Nobody can hold anybody to any definition of God- especially in a debate between a Deist and an Atheist. I disregarded minor spelling and grammatical errors, as they seemed to be attributed to fast typing. If I were not Deist, Pro's arguments would have brought me no closer to Deism. Con merely batted away Pro's arguments, but was not any more convincing. No relevant sources were cited. I think this was a bad debate on both sides.