The Instigator
MaskedSpartan
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
tejretics
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Does God Exist?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
tejretics
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,161 times Debate No: 75992
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (22)
Votes (1)

 

MaskedSpartan

Pro

Hello Tejretics, like you asked, this debate is going to be the same as my previous debate. The topic is "Does God exist?" It is five rounds, first round is acceptance, second is opening arguments, third is rebuttals, fourth is second rebuttals and fifth is closing remarks. No arguments or rebuttals in the first or fifth round. No insults and let's do this!
tejretics

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
MaskedSpartan

Pro

Hello and thank you Tejretics for accepting this debate. I hold the stance that God does exist. I hope that throughout this debate you may see that belief in God is rational and I invite you at the end of this debate to give Christianity a try. Belief in God is backed by a plethora of both scientific and philosophical arguments. In this particular debate, I will run four arguments for the existence of God.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

To start of the arguments, let us go back to the beginning of the universe itself. In modern cosmology it is accepted by the grand majority of scholars that the universe began to exist. The evidence for the finite past of the universe is twofold; scientific data and mathematical proof. We now can see that cosmic radiation, stars, solar systems and even galaxies are in a state of expansion, they are moving away from each other each second. If we were to "rewind history" as if history was a movie (a lengthy movie at that!) we would see all matter collapse to a point of nothingness. This shows that the universe had beginning scientifically. Mathematically we know that the universe has to be past finite, not past infinite because actual infinites lead to contradictions; such as what is infinity minus infinity. This begging points to the existence of God and I will sketch the argument as follows:

1.Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2.The Universe began to exist
3.Therefore, the universe has a cause

Before I get into the implications of this argument, I want to explain what the first premise
means by "whatever begins to exist has a cause". This means that I do not have to worry about a lion popping into existence, eating me! To sum it, nothing that begins to exist cannot have a cause for its existence. No one seriously thinks that a city will just pop into existence, out of nowhere! But, what is this cause? Well, in order to cause to universe it has to be nonmaterial, and timeless. This is because the cause the universe, has to be outside of the universe and cannot have any qualities of anything within the universe. The universe contains time, space, matter and energy. Thus the cause would have to be timeless and non-material. There are only two things that match the description of being timeless and non-material; an abstract object such a number or an unembodied mind. Now, an abstract object such as the number eight can"t create anything, so the cause of the universe in an unembodied mind. Furthermore, this mind has to be incredible powerful in order to create the universe from nothing. We call this mind, God.

The Teleological Argument

Throughout the universe we find certain constant that are necessary for the existence of life. If
one of these constants were changed ever so slightly, life would be impossible. To give an example, if the gravitational constant was changed in one part of 10 to the 60th power, every living thing bigger than a pea would be crushed. These constants at least appear to be fine-tuned. The argument can be listed as:

1.The fine-tuning (or appearance) of the universe can be explained through physical necessity, chance or design.
2.It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
3.It is due to design.

The fine-tuning can"t be due to physical necessity because the universal constants are wholly
apart from natural laws. Next, it can"t be due to chance due to the fantastic improbability of it. Some have tried to save the chance hypothesis by invoking a multiverse or a many worlds theory stating that we are one universe in an infinite group of universe. This theory fails in two ways. First, there is no independent evidence of such a multiverse. Next, if we are living in a multiverse, it is overwhelmingly probable that we should be living in a much smaller universe. Since we are living in a large universe (trillions upon trillions of solar systems) it is highly probable that we do not live in a multiverse. Thus, design is the only option. This designer would have to be outside the universe (nonmaterial, and timeless) and incredibly intelligent in order to have design the universe. We call this designer God.

The Argument from Reason

In this debate there is two sides to the coin, theism and atheism. It would seem that if one of the paradigms could be shown to be self-defeating, then the other would be inevitably true. Let us look to the very existence of reason, we have to assume to validity of our ability to reason every day because if we didn"t, nothing would get done. The problem is on the atheistic paradigm at least, there is no reason to believe in the validity of our in reason. All that is going on in the head (on the atheistic view at least) is atoms shooting around and chemicals fizzing (like a Coke can does if shaken). But it gets worse. These processes are all due to a random process, with no regards to reason (and certainly not theological reasoning) called evolution. There is no reason on the atheistic view to belief in the truth of reason. Thus, if we are to take atheism seriously, we would not take atheism seriously because there is no reason behind it! Since atheism self-destructs, it follows that theism is true.

The Resurrection Argument

Arguably the most influential figure in history, Jesus of Nazareth can be the deciding factor in a debate such as this. If Jesus did in fact, physically rise from the dead as Christians traditionally claim then we have a divine miracle on our hands, thus evidence for God. Contrary to some belief, there are good historical reasons to believe in God"s existence. Before I can make a case for the Resurrection, I should lay out the three facts about the historical person Jesus of Nazareth that is accepted by the grand majority of scholars, both Christian and non-Christian.

1.Jesus died via crucifixion
2.Jesus" tomb was found empty three days after his crucifixion
3.Disciples, skeptics and enemies reported to see post-mortem appearances of Jesus

Jesus" crucifixion is recorded in books written close to the years of Jesus" life by non-Christians
and even in some cases, anti-Christians. Such books would be the "Antiquities" by Josephus (93 AD), a portion in "The Third Book of Histories" written by Tacitus (probably in the 60"s AD), and a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world prior to the Trojan War by Thallus (52 AD). There are additional books that I will provide if needed. Next, Jesus" empty tomb is actually quite commonsensical when you think about it. If the early disciples of Jesus went all around the world preaching the Resurrection, and Jesus" body was found in His tomb then the whole Christian movement would be falsified. Keep in mind that early Christians were seen as enemies by most Romans and some Jews, so there would be a strong incentive to falsify the movement. Some have resorted to the idea that the disciples stole the body and hid it, thus making the appearance of a resurrection. This makes no sense when you think about it, this is what you would have to believe: a group of Jesus" followers after being distraught and depressed about Jesus" crucifixion stole his body so that people would believe them and they could live a life of preaching. They lied even though they would be poor, hated, tortured and eventually killed for their preaching. Additionally, when given a chance to escape death by proclaiming their disbelief in Christianity, they chose to die a horrible death for a lie. This seems incredibly improbable, and it is reasonable to accept that Jesus" tomb was really empty.
Finally, Jesus was reported to be seen even after his death. The reports can be found in an early Christian creed that lists believers, skeptics and enemies that saw post-mortem appearances. The dating of this creed is estimated to be written at latest 48 months after Jesus" death. This is frankly, too short of a time for any legend to spread and was a short enough time so that those who could read the creed could talk to those who saw.
There is no naturalistic account that can account for explanatory scope and power for these three facts. The only plausible explanation is that Jesus rose from the dead, which implies not only that God exists but that the God revealed by Jesus exists.

Thank you again for partaking in this debate Tejretics. I just delivered four good arguments for the belief in God, what ( ) has to do is formulate his own arguments, but against theism. As well as tear down my current arguments. Until he does both of the following, theism is the most plausible worldview.
tejretics

Con

What is God?
Prior to my case, we must show which basis for God we are following in this debate. Pro’s arguments suggest a Christian apologetic interpretation of “God”, with some basic properties, generally conceived to be: maximal excellence and greatness, omnipotence, omniscience, transcendence, and perfect goodness. I’ll be fair and not call for an overly theistic interpretation of God, viz. an interventionist God, and stay with standard interpretations of God, with basis in monotheism.


Positive Argument
Non-Cognitivism
With the argument from non-cognitivism, I will attempt to demonstrate that the statement “God exists” is incoherent in its very nature, thus attempts of rational justification for this statement are illogical. The term “God” does not refer to a coherent concept, thus attributing existence to it is impossible.


The reason this is possible is because of a Plantingan interpretation of “God”, which refers to a being of maximal excellence and maximal greatness, wherein “maximal” is purely epistemic, thus a maximally great being would be the greatest epistemically possible being, viz. if a concept of “greatness” attributed to God is conceivable in at least one epistemic possible world, it would be ascribed to God. The property of “greatness” is inherently subjective, with qualities that determine greatness dependant on the subject.


One requires a standard for this conception of God to be considered “omnipotent”, i.e. all-powerful, where “power” is the inherently subjective term, or “perfect goodness”, where objective “perfection” must be justified, and, in this case, “greatness”. For example, in a universe consisting of only a pencil, one cannot call the pencil a “sharp” pencil, since the pencil lacks a standard to be justified objectively as sharp. Similarly, a property such as “maximal greatness” requires a standard to be justified objectively, and sans such a standard, the concept of God as defined is incoherent. Thus, “greatness” faces two basic problems:


1. A standard is required for the term “greatness” to become meaningful.
2. “Greatness”, and what basically constructs it, is inherently subjective.


For a being defined according to being great, the initial problem renders God meaningless unless an objective standard is present for greatness to be coherent. The latter renders God’s very nature a matter of subjective decision, thus God’s objective existence is not rationally justifiable, while “existence” depends on objective reality.


An objective standard derived for God must either be (a) internal to God, or (b) external to God. The former begs the question and leads to God being self-defined, the latter is incoherent since God is transcendent, and sans the universe there is nothing which has objective reality except God (if he exists).


Transcendental Argument against God
If the universe was caused by an omniscient God, then it logically entails the supposition that reason, logic and physical laws are contingent on the existence of God.


Logic presupposes that its principles are necessarily true, For logic to be contingent on God would imply that its principles are based on God, thus using logic to justify the existence of God would beg the question – thus no argument employing reason and/or logic can plausibly justify God’s existence without being fallacious to a critical assumption of religious belief. Science, via. special relativity, presupposes the uniformity of nature, but these, if contingent on the existence of God, can reduce supernatural capabilities of God to be self-contradictory to God’s nature.


Furthermore, if reason is contingent on an intelligent being such as God, then reason is contingent on an individual’s thoughts, thus is entirely subjective, and fails to justify anything objective.

Summary
Thus, “God” doesn’t refer to a coherent concept, and begs the question in all attempts at rational justification.


Rebuttals
Cosmological Argument
P1 is poorly justified. A lion cannot “pop into existence” because it’s bound by physical laws. Sans the universe we lack physical constraints and time directionality, thus we have no reason to believe things require causes. As physicist Sean Carroll notes, time and physical laws are required to coherently talk of any form of causality. Prior to the universe there is neither time nor are there physical laws, and sans these basic constraints the “law of causality” is incoherent. Furthermore, if eternalism is true (which is likely), coherent temporal “change” lacks coherence, thus causality is falsified.


Furthermore, this commits the fallacy of composition, viz. if parts of the whole need causes does not, in any way, imply the whole needs a cause. Conservation of mass does not apply outside the universe, thus hypotheses such as the zero-energy universe hypothesis remain logically consistent with existing laws and even likely. If the net energy of the universe indeed totals to precisely zero, which is justified by WMAP observations of a flat universe, the universe could have come into existence causelessly. [1-2]


Pro asserts that a disembodied mind is timeless, but no justification is given. Standard understanding of psychology suggests that all intelligence requires a process, and an atemporal process is incoherent, thus minds require the presence of time.


Teleological Argument
Dismissing physical necessity straightaway is illogical, and Pro’s dismissal of it is based on the bare assertion that it has nothing to do with physical laws, which, as Theodore Drange points out, is incorrect. Drange argues that it’s incoherent to conceive of a metaphysically possible universe without the same constants that enable life to form. [3] Michael Hurben backs this argument, and physicist Victor Stenger posits that life could have still formed with variations in the “fine tuning.” [4] Thus, it is highly likely that physical necessity is an explanation. Furthermore, theories such as chaotic inflation support a model that has a wholly naturalistic explanation for fine-tuning.


A simple reductio ad absurdum can also refute this, via. the random shuffling and blind alignment of cards in a line. The exact order arrived at could have the same three explanations, and chance would have been dismissed as extremely unlikely, albeit true. Why? Because the metaphysical possibility of intelligent design has not been justified, and since a caused universe is contradictory and “God” does not refer to a coherent concept, the probability of intelligent design is precisely zero, thus chance is more likely.


Argument from Reason
Pro’s logic is that there has to be a valid reason for anything happening, and a hypothesis without providing reasons is incoherent. This is (a) a bare assertion, and (b) self-refuting. It’s self-refuting as there is NO reason for God to have, for example, created what God *considers* immoral, or any suffering. Since reason does not exist for these, Pro’s own logic suggests we reject the God hypothesis.


Pro asserts that an undirected process such as natural selection has no “reason for happening”, thus is incoherent, but this logic can be rejected as an unwarranted and bare assertion. Pro is unclear on what he means by “reason”, and seemingly does not differentiate between causes and reasons. Atheism =/= random chance, since metaphysical naturalism is bound by physical laws that act as “reasons” for things to coherently happen. One may question the reason for physical laws, but that can be redirected to question the reason for God, thus is refuted.


Resurrection of Jesus
This argument rests on one assumption – that it’s relevant to the resolution, and the resurrection of Jesus could have only been caused by God. That assumption has no roots in logic.


There is especially low a priori probability that Jesus was actually resurrected. For instance, the first gospel, Mark, never mentions the resurrection. The resurrection fails Alder’s razor, which is generally used for historical reliability when it does seem to override scientific reliability. Reza Aslan writes, “the resurrection is not a historical event ... the event itself falls outside the scope of history and into the realm of faith.” [5] Helmut Koester contends that the more well-described sightings of the resurrection are based on untrustworthy sources, and are of questionable reliability. [6]


Ultimately, this argument is also irrelevant to the resolution. Thus, I negate. Over to Pro.


References
1. http://aether.lbl.gov...
2. http://www.astrosociety.org...
3. http://infidels.org...
4. http://infidels.org...
5. Reza Aslan (2013). Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. New York: Random House.
6. Helmut Koester (2000). Introduction to the New Testament, pp 64-65.

Debate Round No. 2
MaskedSpartan

Pro

What a though provoking opening! I have to admit, that although I don't agree with it that I do find Tejretics' Transcendental Argument terribly interesting. Let's first look at Tejretics' arguments for atheism.

The Argument from Non-Cognitivism

From what I understand this argument is saying, is that the concept of God being the greatest possible being is incoherent because perfection needs a standard. Now, my friend says that God's greatness cannot be internal because that begs the question. I have two remarks; first, the very questioning of God's greatness implies that God exists. Therefore by questioning God's greatness (thereby assuming God's existence) and then dismissing that God is all great because that assumes God's existence is fallacious. One cannot question God's attributes until one assumes that God exists. Secondly, the very definition of God is the most perfect being. If God does exist, then by definition He must be all great. Let's illustrate it like this:

1. If God exists, then by definition He is a maximally great being.
2. God exists.
3. Therefore God is a maximally great being.

We can only question the attributes of God really, until this debate is over and we see if premise two is true!

Transcendental Argument

To me personally, this is a very interesting argument, but I still find it to be false. Here is why: If this argument is true, then we shouldn't accept this argument! If it is true that we can't use logic or reasoning to construct arguments for/against God, then why is this argument allowed? We are clearly using our logic in reading the argument and comprehending it, so by the argument's implications, this argument is fallacious. Think about it, do you the audience really believe that no matter how convincing an argument is or even if all the premises are true that it would be false? That is what you would have to believe according to Tejretics' argument. An additional comment was made how since God is a mind, and reason is contingent (depended on for creation) on Him then reason is subjective and we should not believe it. Keep in mind that God is not an ordinary being, He is an all knowing being. A being which knows everything, including all objective truths. Thus, God's knowledge is objective not subjective.

Re-cap

God is a coherent concept, all one has to do is understand His attributes to realize such. Both of Tejretics' arguments have fatal flaws and fall as a result. The atheistic case so far, does not successfully disprove God by any means.

Kalam Cosmological Argument

Moving on to my arguments, there is a total of two objections with a question. Before I respond, here is the argument:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2. The universe began to exist
3. Therefore the universe has a cause

The cause of the universe would have to be outside itself because the universe cannot create itself in the way that a 1964 Ford Mustang cannot build itself. Thus the cause would have to be timeless (the universe contains time), non-material (the universe contains matter) and extremely powerful in order to create the universe out of nothing.

Firstly, Con states that we lack physical and time restraints so we have no reason to assume causality. The idea is that we need physical laws and time in order to have a cause. Before the universe existed, there was neither physical laws nor time, thus the universe has no cause. I want to remind Tejretics that "whatever begins to exist has a cause" is a metaphysical statement, not a statement from physics. What this means is that "whatever begins to exist has a cause" applies even without natural laws and time. Thus, the universe certainly does have a cause. Next, Tejretics asserts that eternalism is most likely true, thus causality is incoherent. To those who do not know, eternalism is the view that all points in time are equally real and existent. That is to say that George Washington exists right now but not present. Furthermore, it states that temporal becoming (movement in time) is an illusion, the past, present and future are all illusions. This view is not the common man's view and is one that is found in complex philosophy. I hold the view that eternalism is false and that temporal becoming is an objective feature. To show this I will provide one positive argument for temporal becoming. I hope this doesn't become a debate on time...

Positive argument for temporal becoming

The experience of temporal becoming is a part of our experience of the external world. Our experience of the external world is a properly regarded as true. Thus temporal becoming is a properly basic and true belief.

In the above I mentioned properly basic beliefs. A properly basic belief is a belief that does not need arguments to be seen as true. The example that I gave is that our experience of the external world is properly basic. We do not need to provide arguments for why the external world is a dream or a computer simulation. It is regarded as true.

Next, my atheist friend says that if the universe's net energy equals zero, then the universe could pop into existence out of nothing. There is a bit that Tejretics left out. The nothing he speaks of is a quantum vacuum, where virtual particles can pop into existence. This is confusing what is the definition of nothing is. Nothing means no-thing. It is not a subject and it means absolute no-thing. A quantum vacuum is really not a vacuum at all, it contains mass amounts of violent energy clashing. Therefore, the nothing of which Tejretics speaks of is not really nothing. It is a collections of energy.

Recap: Through some rather extravagant means, Tejretics tried to poke some holes in the Kalam Cosmological Argument, but none have succeeded. The argument remains iron-clad as ever

The Teleological Argument

1. The fine-tuning of the universe could be due to either physical necessity, chance or design
2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance
3. It is due to design

The first objection that Con makes is that the fine-tuning of the universe could be due to physical necessity. Although he drops some names, he does not actually make a case of his own. The reason why physical necessity could not be the cause for the fine-tuning of the universe is that the universal constants are completely unrelated to physical laws. It would not make sense that two things, which do not even interact with each other could affect each other so drastically in the manner of fine-tuning the universal constants just right.

Next, it was said that a different set of universal constants could lead to life. Of course it could. I am making the claim that if the universal constants were any different, then life bigger than a pea would not exist. This leads to humans not existing.

Finally, Tejretics says the probability of design is equal to zero because God is an incoherent concept as well as a caused universe. I shown that God is not self-contradictory and that a caused universe is a completely rational belief. Thus, this objection falls.

Re-cap: All three of the objections to the Teleological fail and as a result: The Teleological Argument stands tall.

The Argument from Reason

I am not going to go over this argument because of my character limit, but let's go over the objections. Con accuses me of saying that "there has to be a valid reason for anything happening". I did not say that at all. I said that on the atheistic side there is no reason to believe in our validity to reason. On the atheistic paradigm, we have reason to trust that we have the ability to reason. Con then goes on to exploit the position I don't hold, so I wont go over that.

Further more Tejretics claims that I said, the belief in natural selection has no reason for happening. Like the former, I did not say this and if I did it must have been a typo. I said (or thought I said) that with natural selection and only selection we should not trust our ability to reason (the power of the mind to come to conclusions). This is because with only natural selection, all that is happening in the brain is chemicals fizzing that fizz that way because of a random process that has no barring on reasoning. This is why the belief of the validity of our ability to reason an atheism is incoherent, therefore atheism self-destructs. Since atheism self-destructs then the other side of the coin, theism, is true.

The Resurrection Argument

I laid out three established facts on the historical person of Nazareth and explained how no naturalistic explication could account for those three facts. Tejretics says that the Resurrection has no barring in this debate. It has all the baring on this debate! If Jesus did rise from the dead, then we have a miracle which is evidence for God! Con says that the Resurrection is never mentioned in Mark. Well it is and can be seen in Mark 16:9-12. Con implies that the Resurrection could happen without God and I invite him to explain. It is said that the Resurrection is out of the scope of history, but if there are historical fact basing it, it is historical, no matter the theological implications. Finally Alder's razor is mentioned which basically states that if something cannot be observed then it is not worthy of debate. Well, in the historical sense it can be observed through facts and artifacts. This is how all history works,. The Resurrection does not fail Alder's razor my friends.

Tejretics made two arguments against the existence of God, which I have shown to be false. Both of these arguments seem solid at first, but when inspected they fall apart. Next, I made four good arguments for God's existence which have all stood up to scrutiny. No matter how many objections where thrown at them, the conclusion still follows: God exists. At this point in the debate where I have four standing arguments and Tejretics has two fallen arguments, it seems that I am on the wining side. Thank you.
Sources: See comment section
tejretics

Con

Positive Arguments
Non-Cognitivism
My argument’s structure can be put into a simple syllogism:


1. If God is not great, he does not exist.
2. God is not great.
C. Therefore, God does not exist.


The first premise is justified as God is defined as a “maximally great being”, thus every property of God’s must be clearly justified, else one begs the question. The second premise is true via. non-cognitivism, since a standard is required for greatness to remain coherent. Ergo, God does not exist. Instead of attempting to refute the core second premise, Pro attempts to refute the first premise - which, as I illustrated, is an example of circular reasoning.


Pro responds with this:


1. If God exists, God is great.
2. God exists.
C. God is great.


I outright reject the first premise, since it begs the question and is a bare assertion, thus is logically fallacious. God is defined as an MGB, thus the property of greatness must be justified by the arguments. The KCA, TA, argument from reason, and the resurrection of Jesus do not, in any way, justify objective greatness, thus the first premise is unfounded.


Otherwise, the same can be done for every single property of God. But then, one can say “I call this rock God”, and then assert the rock exists - thus, the rock is God, and, from 1, the rock is omnipotent and great, thus fulfills all properties of God. The flaw here is in begging the question and the sheer subjective derivation of the conclusion.


Thus, my own syllogism justifies the non-existence of God, thus the concept of “God” is, in nature, incoherent.


Transcendental Argument
Pro’s objection begs the question, assuming that IF God exists, then reason is incoherent, then saying God exists. But since the only way to justify the statement “God exists” is via. reason, if God is justified, then God doesn’t exist - if God isn’t justified, we still have no reason to believe God exists.


Pro may object to this saying he never assumed such, but he indirectly did - for the transcendental argument to refute itself, God would have to exist, but the coherence of God is attacked above, thus God’s existence is dubious and justification of God’s existence is impossible without the justification begging the question.


Pro entirely drops the idea that reason is subjective if contingent on God, thus God cannot be justified objectively. I extend it to this round.


Summary
Both my arguments attack the coherence of God, and Pro’s sole objections to these arguments beg the question, thus are logically fallacious and can be rejected.


Rebuttals
Cosmological Argument
Causality
Pro asserts that the first premise is a metaphysical statement, but then the statement is unjustified. If and only IF the statement were not a metaphysical statement, one could use the analogy of a lion “popping into existence”. This means Pro concedes he commits the fallacy of composition, since a lion is entirely physical, and metaphysical assertions do not affect physical objects. But the first premise is not justified - there is no reason to believe things need causes sans time. Perhaps causality may be coherent sans time directionality and physical constraint, but the lack of those implies that the causal principle breaks down.


Pro drops fallacy of composition. If the KCA does commit the fallacy of composition, the causal premise is unjustified, thus is a bare assertion that the universe needs a cause. Now, Pro says that when I say the universe could come from nothing if the zero-energy universe hypothesis is true, I mean the quantum vacuum. This is a strawman of my argument. The zero-energy universe hypothesis implies the universe has zero energy - and something of net value zero can arise from another thing of net value zero (“nothing”).


Pro also claims that our experience of the temporal world is regarded as true, but this is, once more, a bare assertion. Relativity entails eternalism. The concept of relativity of simultaneity is that there are various planes of simultaneity via. special relativity, i.e. different frames of reference attributed to individual observers. These individual frames of reference allow different temporal observation for each individual, thus it is impossible to determine an absolute moving reference point to determine the absolute “present”, “past” or “future”, ergo they are equally real and vindicate four-dimensionalism and eternalism. [1]



Eternalism is justified by experiments from quantum mechanics. Photons have been entangled through time. An experimenter can choose to entangle photons even when they don’t exist in the present anymore. Other experiments show time is an emergent phenomenon. An outside observer would view the universe as static. [2-3]


False Dichotomy
Pro entirely drops my rebuttal that only minds and abstract objects are timeless being a false dichotomy. As I illustrated in the previous round, intelligence and minds require processes, and all processes are temporal, since nothing can coherently “happen” or follow a process sans time.


Teleological Argument
Pro asserts that the “universal constants are completely unrelated to physical laws”. This is a bare assertion. Drange writes, “Whether those alternate worlds involve values for physical constants other than GPC or whether they involve initial conditions for the big bang other than the ones which actually obtained, there is still some need for support here. Why should we believe that the given worlds, whatever they may be, are not ruled out by some more basic law? Advocates of FTA have not adequately addressed this challenge, and so that is a place at which their reasoning is weak.” [4] Whether or not the universal constants are related to physical laws, they likely have physical necessity.


When I say the probability of God is zero, that is not because of my arguments, but rather because Pro has not established the metaphysical possibility of God. The assumption that God is possible is entirely epistemic, and possibility must be established before probability. I have upheld my arguments - I have shown that a caused universe is incoherent because of eternalism, and that the concept of God lacks coherence because of the property of greatness. If God is not possible, God cannot be probable, thus the objection of Pro’s fails.



Argument from Reason
It seems there was a typo that led to my misinterpretation of this argument, since Pro was very unclear as to what he meant by “reason”. Since Pro has now clarified this, I shall move on to my objections.


Reason may not be sound, but we have no reason to believe that reason and logic will gain soundness when being contingent on God. This creates a greater problem to theism than naturalism, since then reason is contingent on God and, thus, entirely subjective. Subjective reasoning means God is a subjective concept, thus objective qualities such as “existence” cannot be coherently attributed to God. The validity of reason is a major problem to theological belief, since sans reason even this argument is unsound since it’s based on reasoning. No argument for the assertion “God exists” is sound, and since Pro has the full BoP to show God likely exists, it is the positive assertion that fails if reason is invalid.


Furthermore, there is no reason to believe atheism is “chemicals fizzing randomly” or “all due to a random process”. Even if this was the case, it would entail belief against atheism, which doesn’t necessarily push one towards belief in God. This argument does not justify belief in God, rather it attacks atheism, which seems irrelevant to the resolution since my position is not one of “God does not exist”, rather merely to negate the proposition “God exists”, not necessarily by the exact opposite position.


Take the example of rocks. Rocks cannot “trust” their reasoning process, but they do not believe that God exists. But that doesn’t necessarily push them towards a statement of “God does not exist”, merely that the statement “God exists”, to them, isn’t rationally justifiable, e.g. a position of weak atheism.


To summarize, origin of manufacture is irrelevant to the validity of our ability to reason, and even if so, poses a greater problem to theological belief than secular belief.


Resurrection of Jesus
The resurrection of Jesus could have been through supernatural force, through his inherent supernatural power, or anything else, but that does not, in any way, justify the existence of God. To express Pro’s argument in a syllogism:


1. If Jesus was resurrected, God exists.
2. Jesus was resurrected.
C. God exists.


I question P1. We have no reason to believe that an omnipotent, maximally great being is necessary for Jesus to have been resurrected so much as simply a supernatural cell or genome that allowed for biological resurrection. The first premise has to be demonstrated and justified, else Pro does not fulfill BoP. Pro constantly drops the questionability of premise one, merely using an appeal to intuition and justifying it as “obvious”, albeit sans the first premise, the entire argument is incoherent. If I am able to question even one premise, I can refute the conclusion, and I have questioned the first premise.


Many descriptions of the sightings of Jesus were vague. Those that were indeed not vague and had high descriptive power have been dismissed as additions that are not original by Helmut Koester, thus the third fact is highly dubious - there were a few, extremely vague sightings, as Koester notes. [5]


Robert M. Price takes the position that 1 Corinthians 15:3-11 is a post-Paulian interpretation. [6]


Thus, there is no way to adequately justify that Jesus’ resurrection is the most likely explanation. Sources in comments.

Debate Round No. 3
MaskedSpartan

Pro

Argument from Non-Cognitivism

1. If God is not great, he does not exist.
2. God is not great.
C. Therefore, God does not exist.

My response to this argument is that we cannot judge the properties of God until we affirm God's existence. We cannot say that God is great or not great until we have God! In addition, God is the maximally great being, that is to say that He is the greatest (all powerful, all loving...) of any being. Just by this definition we see that God is great. But, Tejretics says that we need a standard for greatness. The standard for greatness is internal to God. By the very definition of God we see that He is great. This is not begging the question as tejretics says because as I stated above, we can only judge the properties of God until we affirm His existence. It would be ludicrous to say that a particular car is the best/worst car in the world by looking at its blueprints. We would have to build the car first! This is the same with God. We need to affirm His existence before we can discuss His attributes. Furthermore, the if Jesus of Nazareth did rise from the dead, then His teachings would be validated, one of which is an all great God, and therefore an all great God exists.

The Transcendental Argument

I extent all my previous objections but I want to add one more. Tejretics says, "For logic to be contingent on God would imply that its principles are based on God". This is confusing what contingent means at least in this sense, contingency means that one object relies on another object to exist. It is true that reason is contingent on God, because God created reason. It is not true that reason is based on God though. That is a faulty concept. That would imply that our reason is all perfect or close to it. Which it would not. Tejretics statement that, "For logic to be contingent on God would imply that its principles are based on God" is pivotal in his argument and if it fails then the argument fails. I shown that reason was not based on God, thus destroying Con's statement. Now that this pivotal statement buckles, the whole argument comes crashing down.

Re-Cap: Both arguments fail due to confused ideas about determining greatness and what reason is. My objections are not question begging, they are simply pointing out how Tejretics misunderstood some of the basic conceptions of God.

My Arguments

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2. The universe began to exist
3. Therefore the universe has a cause

Tejretics comments on how premise one being a metaphysical statement in unjustified, although it is in everyday life. If things could pop into existence un-caused, we should see a multiplicity of things popping into existence, un-caused. This is not the case, therefore the first premise is justified. Con objects to my analogy of a lion and would do so (probably) to the one above on the basis that my examples are physical examples and metaphysics don't deal with the physical universe. However, many, if not all, assertions in metaphysics use physics as a base. Metaphysics includes physics, but the focus is not on the physics. So the metaphysical statement that "whatever begins to exist has a cause" does apply to physical objects.

The second objection is about a net-zero universe can come into being out of nothing. I commented how this required fluctuating energy and thus nothing. Tejretics says that he was not referring to this, although the theory he is describing requires energy. Instead of pushing this objection, I will make another but keep in mind the past objection I made. Con is trying to say that a universe can come from nothing. This point is shutdown by the first premise of the KCA and one of the most basic philosophical principles: from nothing, nothing comes. What Con is saying goes against metaphysics, philosophy and physics.

Finally he made a comment on causality. He says, "Pro also claims that our experience of the temporal world is regarded as true, but this is, once more, a bare assertion". I want to interject one word and that is properly. Our experience of the physical world is properly regarded as true. As I said before, a properly basic belief, such as our experience in the physical world, is a belief which needs no argument for. It is the same to say that I exist. I need not to prove my existence, because it is a properly basic belief. So it is the same that we are really experiencing the physical world, is properly regarded as true. My argument still stands, meaning that a tensed theory of time, as of now, is the more plausible situation. My atheistic friend does mention general relativity, saying that it enforces eternalism. General relativity, only interpreted in a certain way yields eternalism. If one accepts Lorentz's interpretation, then tensed facts become obvious. Keep in mind that Einstein himself abandoned the tenseless view himself, later on in time.

Lastly, Con says that a mind can't be timeless because a mind requires processes. It seems to be that he is forgetting who we are talking about! God does not have brain processes, I dare say that He does not think, at least as we understand the word. God is traditionally described as omniscient, which means that He knows everything. If God knows everything, then He does not have to think, it would be an unnecessary process.

Tejretics has failed to invalidate any of the premises of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, due to it being a valid argument for the existence of God.

The Teleological Argument

1. The fine-tuning of the universe could be due to either physical necessity, chance or design
2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance
3. It is due to design

The thrust of Con's rebuttal, in terms of this argument, is this: "Whether or not the universal constants are related to physical laws, they likely have physical necessity". Read it out load to yourself. Let's look at this reasoning; even if the universal constants are wholly apart from physical laws, then they are likely to be physically necessary. If two things are wholly unrelated, they cannot affect each other, this is commonsense. Do I have to worry about gravity affecting the letters on this screen? No. Gravity has no affect on the letters on this screen. This is the same with the universal constants. The universal constants are NOT AFFECTED WHAT SO EVER BY PHYSICAL LAW, thus they HAVE NO EFFECT ON PHYSICAL LAW. This concept is not profound, it is common sense.

Second, it is entirely possible that God exists. Almost anything is possible. The few exceptions are contradictions such as a married bachelor. Tejretics tried to show that maximal greatness is self-contradictory, but in reality it is not and you can see why above. It then follows that the probability of God existing is not zero.

The Argument from Reason

It seems that Con mistakes this argument. He seems to think that reason is based on God. I did not say this. I said that with God, we have a reason to trust in the validity of our ability to reason. I have not the time to post my argument again, but, I want you, the audience, to re-read and see how Tejretics does not object to my argument. He is arguing against a straw man of his own creation.

Tejretics says that even if my argument defeats atheism then it wouldn't entail the belief in God. But, this is exactly the case! In this debate their is two sides: God exists and God doesn't exist. If one of these views fails, then the other would be true or at least highly probable. The Argument from Reason invalidates atheism, thus theism (God exists) is true.

Finally, he makes a comment on whether or not a rock believes in God. Its a rock for heavens sake! It doesn't think! With that bit of humor out of the way, The Argument from Reason has not really had any objections against it and the predicament seems to get worse and worse for the atheist and get better and better for the theist.

The Resurrection Argument

Con states that there is no reason to believe that God rising Jesus from the dead could be an option and that "a supernatural cell or genome" could be the case. I invite Tejretics to provide an example of a genome or cell that can rise people from the dead. It seems that due to all other naturalistic accounts failing to explain the three facts concerning the historical person of Jesus, then it has to be supernatural, ie. God.

My atheistic friend here says that "1 Corinthians 15:3-11 is a post-Paulian interpretation". I would say not. Paul himself uses the list of witness to Jesus' postmortem appearances. Secondly I question how else this passage can be interpreted: he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters [Jews] at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also. The genre of 1 Corinthians is historical, so there would be little room for wild interpretations.

Summery

Tejretics made some of the same arguments and objections that I already shown to be faulty, dropped some of the objections and made one or two new ones. His new objections also fail to do anything to my four arguments. Each of the four arguments I presented are un-rocked and provide a clear case for God. Throughout the past couple rounds I have shown that there are good reasons for believing in a God and there are no good reasons for believing in atheism. It would then follow that theism is the more plausible, rational and winning worldview in this debate.
tejretics

Con

Non-Cognitivism
Pro’s objection is the same as before – we cannot ascribe properties to x unless x exists. The only thing is, the property of “greatness” has not been affirmed by KCA, TA, Resurrection, or Argument from Reason. They only have affirmed an intelligent and powerful creator – the property of “maximally great” is not affirmed. Thus, this commits appeal to definition fallacy: unless definition is demonstrated, it’s useless in affirming sans begging the question.


Let’s take the example of the statement “1+1=3”, and let’s say there exists an entity x whose existence depends on the statement 1+1=3 being true. Let me list the properties of this hypothetical “x”:

  1. 1. The existence of x assumes 1+4=5.
  2. 2. The existence of x assumes 9+3=12.
  3. 3. The existence of x assumes 1+1=3.


There exist some logically sound arguments that suggest that a being with the properties 1 and 2 likely exists. IF the property of 3 is incoherent, as it is, then x cannot exist and the being with properties 1 and 2 is an entirely different being, and the existence of x fails to affirm.


The incoherence of maximal greatness is not challenged by Pro, thus IS incoherent, and God having this property is not justified by Pro, therefore Pro is not justifying a God of this definition, and the God of this definition entirely lacks coherence.


Furthermore, the if Jesus of Nazareth did rise from the dead, then His teachings would be validated, one of which is an all great God, and therefore an all great God exists.”


This is a bare assertion. Even IF Jesus did rise from the dead, we have no reason to believe that his teachings are validated, especially if logically incoherent.


Transcendental Argument
If God does exist, as Pro concedes, reason is contingent on God’s existence and God entirely grounds reason, i.e. he creates and rules reason, etc. If so, then all of reason is based on his will – he is the cause and ruler of reason, which means using what he rules to justify his existence begs the question, since it contradicts one’s own position.


Pro is backpedalling – if God doesn’t ground reason, then logic is ungrounded and arbitrary in theism. This entirely refutes Pro’s own argument from reason, thus Pro’s attempts to refute the transcendental argument also refute their argument from reason.

Cosmological Argument
Pro entirely drops and keeps committing fallacy of composition. Admittedly we keep seeing everything happening with a cause within the universe - this is because they are bound by physical laws and time, and without these, the causal principle breaks down, even IF it is coherent. The fallacy of composition applies here since properties of the objects that make up the universe don’t necessarily apply to the universe itself. Pro drops this.


The zero-energy universe hypothesis does not require quantum fluctuations – it just states that the net energy in the universe is zero, so zero can come from zero. Pro then uses the axiom of Parmenidean ontology, ex nihilo nihil fit, i.e. from nothing, nothing comes. This is referred to as the “causal principle”, but, as many philosophers note, only applies when the Conservation of Mass/Energy is at effect. Sans the universe, physical laws such as the Conservation of Mass and the First Law of Thermodynamics break down, so this axiom has no effect. Furthermore, if the universe has net zero energy, then the universe could have, at some point, had zero energy density, i.e. overall energy zero, thus it would act as “nothing” coming from nothing, but not empty [http://goo.gl...]


In defense of eternalism, the way we perceive time isn’t a “properly basic” belief. We perceive the past, present and future to be different because of the events of the past, present and future. But events don’t influence temporality. Imagine a universe with nothing happening – only the clock of time is ticking, i.e. time passes. Then, since there aren’t events, the past, present and future would be the same – the only reason we differentiate is because of events, but events don’t influence temporal passage. Pro only refutes general relativity, but not special relativity, e.g. Rietdijk-Putnam argument, which still stands.


Next, Pro attempts to say that God could have a timeless mind. But I’m not arguing that God cannot exist because of this – I’m attacking Pro’s own dichotomy, and such a justification of the KCA’s dichotomy is flawed. The KCA’s dichotomy is that only abstract concepts and disembodied minds can be timeless and spaceless – we have no reason to believe the latter is timeless and spaceless. Pro asserts that “God can be such that a mind is timeless and spaceless”, but then God can also be such that wood, rocks, and all things physical, and anything can be timeless and spaceless if that thing is omnipotent, e.g. an omnipotent rock can be timeless and spaceless. So Pro refutes their own dichotomy. Furthermore, to say “this is God we are talking about” means anything can be justified in “talking about God”. In that way, God cannot lack coherence because he’s God, but that means constant addition of properties which destroys the simplicity of such a concept, and makes it less and less likely via. principle of parsimony [http://goo.gl...].

Teleological Argument
The physical constants are physical, thus can be physically necessary. All physical constants are influenced by physical laws. Pro has given us absolutely no reason to believe that the constants could have been “tuned” otherwise in some possible worlds. The physical constants may not be effected by physical laws – but they have effect on the physical world, thus *can* be grounded as metaphysically necessary.


By Pro’s logic, if the physical laws don’t impact x, then x can’t be considered “physical” – but the universal constants interact with the physical world and are very physical, e.g. cosmological constant. They can be necessary, even if not “physically”. In other words, a possible universe with no life is probably as incoherent as one with no stones.


Pro asserts that “everything is possible … except contradictions like ‘married bachelor’.” This is an illustration of logical possibility, i.e. everything that doesn’t contradict itself is possible, and is entirely different from metaphysical possibility – both are subjunctive, but have broad differences in interaction with the material world [http://goo.gl...]. Nonetheless, my arguments from non-cognitivism, etc. entail that God is logically incoherent, so what Pro illustrates is entirely an illustration of epistemic possibility, i.e. an illustration of subjective possibility, or a statement of “possible for all I know” [http://goo.gl...] . A contrast between Pro’s interpretation of “possible” and mine is best illustrated in the statement “water =/= H2O”. The statement “water =/= H2O” is possible by Pro’s logic since it doesn’t entail a contradiction. But it is metaphysically impossible.


So until the metaphysical possibility of God is justified, my arguments are refuted, *and* Pro’s arguments are upheld, the probability of God is precisely zero, so even chance is more probable. An illustrated example where possibility majorly affects probability is my tossing of 52 cards randomly into a line – I would get a precise order, and the probability of getting that order by chance is especially low, so one can reach ID, but ID is incoherent in such a case.


Argument from Reason
Now, Pro asserts there are two sides to this debate: “God exists” and “God doesn’t exist”. This is making the assumption that BoP is shared. But via. Russell’s celestial teapot analogy, the one making the positive assertion has the philosophical burden of proof [http://goo.gl...] . Since the BoP is on Pro, even if I can show the statement “God exists” isn’t rationally justifiable, Pro fails to fulfill BoP. I’m not asserting that atheism is true – I’m asserting that the statement “God exists” isn’t rationally justifiable.


The rock analogy perfectly illustrates the position I need to take – rocks can’t think, so they are inherently atheistic – here, not a position that “God doesn’t exist”, but a position of “we have no reason to believe God exists”. If I can affirm the same position as the rock takes, I win the debate because the BoP is on Pro.


Nonetheless, the argument from reason remains unsound because it assumes reason can be valid if it’s contingent on God, but the assumption is not backed by evidence.


Resurrection of Jesus
I don’t need to provide examples – I can redirect the question to Pro and say “give me an example of a God who can do this”. It doesn’t need to be a “supernatural cell or genome” – I was merely illustrating that it doesn’t have to be God.


“It seems that due to all other naturalistic accounts failing to explain the three facts concerning the historical person of Jesus, then it has to be supernatural, i.e. God.


Note that I’m not defending naturalism – I’m defending atheism. Even the belief in angels and demons, but no God, would be considered atheistic. Epistemically, angels and demons could have resurrected Jesus – all I’m saying is, something that “has to be supernatural” is not necessarily God. Pro says “[something] supernatural … is God” (where “i.e.” is called “that is”). Something supernatural does not imply God.


Next, Pro entirely drops my argument that the majority of “eyewitnesses of Jesus” had vague descriptions that can be dismissed, and those few who claim with good description are not authentic, as Koester notes [6. Introduction to the New Testament, p 64].


Pro assumes 1 Corinthians 3-11 is reliable – but this isn’t demonstrated, and the Bible isn’t inerrant, e.g. flaws such as YEC, Exodus.


Now, to reject a priori probability of the Resurrection, one needs to analyze metaphysical possibility. Since the resurrection isn’t metaphysically possible, it logically follows that other explanations are a priori more likely, and also simpler, since the additional assumption of the supernatural isn’t required. The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 4
MaskedSpartan

Pro

This has been a very interesting debate. Although I am tempted to respond to the last remarks by Tejretics, I will not due to the debate rules. Over the course of this debate I made a case for theism on the basis of four arguments. To recap the arguments:

The kalam Cosmological Argument

1.Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2.The Universe began to exist
3.Therefore, the universe has a cause

The Teleological Argument

1.The fine-tuning (or appearance) of the universe can be explained through physical necessity, chance or design.
2.It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
3.It is due to design.

The Argument from Reason

In this debate there is two sides to the coin, theism and atheism. It would seem that if one of the paradigms could be shown to be self-defeating, then the other would be inevitably true. Let us look to the very existence of reason, we have to assume to validity of our ability to reason every day because if we didn"t, nothing would get done. The problem is on the atheistic paradigm at least, there is no reason to believe in the validity of our in reason. All that is going on in the head (on the atheistic view at least) is atoms shooting around and chemicals fizzing (like a Coke can does if shaken). But it gets worse. These processes are all due to a random process, with no regards to reason (and certainly not theological reasoning) called evolution. There is no reason on the atheistic view to belief in the truth of reason. Thus, if we are to take atheism seriously, we would not take atheism seriously because there is no reason behind it! Since atheism self-destructs, it follows that theism is true.

The Resurrection Argument

Three historical facts regarding Jesus of Nazareth:Jesus died via crucifixion, Jesus' tomb was found empty three days after his crucifixion and disciples, skeptics and enemies reported to see post-mortem appearances of Jesus. These facts cannot be explained by any naturalistic account but would make sense for a theistic explanation: God rose Jesus from the dead. This option has both the explanatory scope and power that all other theories don't. It then follows that Jesus' resurrection is a miracle, thus evidence for God.

Summery: Tejretics made some comments regarding causality, physical necessity and whether or not the resurrection is within the historical scope. I have shown all of these objections to be faulty and the other objections to be mere confusions. On the theistic side, in this debate, there are four strong arguments for the existence of God. Outside of this debate there is around twenty five additional arguments that have fared well in debate. We have a total of four good arguments of the existence of God, but what about the other side?

Non-Cognitivism

This argument basically says that God needs a standard to be compared to in order to be considered all great. The thing is that by the definition, God is all great; it is an internal standard. If God exists then He, by definition, will be all great. This is not begging the question because one can only question the attributes of God until one affirms that He exists.

Transcendental Argument against God

If the universe was caused by an omniscient God, then it logically entails the supposition that reason, logic and physical laws are contingent on the existence of God. Logic presupposes that its principles are necessarily true, For logic to be contingent on God would imply that its principles are based on God, thus using logic to justify the existence of God would beg the question " thus no argument employing reason and/or logic can plausibly justify God"s existence without being fallacious to a critical assumption of religious belief.

This argument fails in the manner that reason is not necessarily based on God. Through God's existence we have a reason to believe in the validity of our ability to reason, but it does not follow that reason is based off God. Very few people would admit that reason is based on God. But, many people would say that God grounds reason. These are two very different things that Tejretics confuses.

Final Summery:

Not only do my four arguments for God's existence stand up to scrutiny, both of Tejretics' arguments fail. Both the arguments are based off misconceptions about God and thus, do not even get off the ground. Even if Con's arguments are valid, we would be judging my four, sound arguments against his two, possibly sound (but more likely not) arguments. I think the choice is clear. In this debate, the victor is theism. Theism is the more plausible world view, has better explanatory scope and power as well as has better and more positive arguments in its favor. Thank you for tuning in to this debate and please vote, not based on your beliefs but on who honestly had the better cumulative case. Thanks you Tejretics and thank you audience.
tejretics

Con

Preface
I thank Pro for what has been an appealing and interesting debate. It was an amazing challenge, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I also thank Pro for being brief in his R5, and I shall do the same, and merely crystallize.


Voting Issues
I request voters to vote Con because of the BoP. Pro had full BoP to prove the resolution true, at least inductively. But their arguments have major problems that I’ve illustrated through the course of this debate, philosophical and scientific. I shall summarize the problems with Pro’s case and show how my case succeeds in negating.


Non-Cognitivism
The entirety of Pro’s objections beg the question – Pro says that if he justifies God probably exists, then one can entirely discount this argument, but that is a flawed objection, primarily because none of Pro’s arguments demonstrate a God who can be considered “great”. The sole sound objection proposed by Pro was in their R5 crystallization, that said the standard for greatness to be coherent is internal to God – but this possible objection was addressed in R2, since that would beg the question.


Ultimately, none of Pro’s arguments succeed in affirming the existence of an “immensely great” God, thus all of Pro’s objections are unfounded, and the concept of a “great” God automatically lacks coherence.


Transcendental Argument
God is the creator of the universe, and reason is part of the universe. If God created reason, then the functions of reason are *based* on God, since to create reason, the aspects of reason would be decided by God. This would mean that God grounds reason.


If God grounds reason, then the very idea of reason would be based on an *individual* mind, thus is subjective, and subjective reason can’t justify objective existence. Furthermore, using something that theological belief asserts is grounded by God to prove God begs the question.


Cosmological Argument
None of the two premises of the cosmological argument “stand[s] up to scrutiny”. The first premise commits the fallacy of composition. That was an objection I brought up in Round 2 itself, but has been constantly dropped by Pro, and Pro has not even attempted to address it.


Pro’s defense of presentism is weak, and Pro has frequently dropped the Rietdijk-Putnam-Penrose argument for eternalism via. relativity of simultaneity. The assumptions of P2 are, thus, weak and unfounded, since eternalism implies the universe cannot coherently “begin” to exist.


As I argue, Pro creates a false dichotomy to demonstrate that only abstract concepts and minds can be timeless – minds cannot be timeless unless saved by ad hoc. Pro concedes that minds cannot be timeless, and then says “this is God we are talking about” and says God can defy the impossible. Perhaps, but then anything else could also be timeless, so the dichotomy is, nonetheless, false, and Pro is using ad hoc claims in a failed attempt to refute my objections.


Teleological Argument
Pro only succeeds in demonstrating the epistemic possibility of God, and fails to demonstrate how God is metaphysically possible, thus the probability of God’s existence is precisely zero, so chance explains the fine-tuning better.


Even IF God is possible (and my positive arguments suggest otherwise), I have also demonstrated that the “tuning” is likely out of sheer physical necessity, as Hurben and Drange argue, and the “physical law =/= cosmological constants” objection fails to resist physical necessity of fine-tuning.


Argument from Reason
Pro fails to distinguish a position of “the statement ‘God exists’ is not rationally justifiable” to “God does not exist”, and Pro, using this argument, mistakenly shifts BoP to me, while the BoP is not even shared, and lies entirely on Pro to demonstrate that “God [likely] exist[s]”.


Furthermore, Pro fails to demonstrate how reason *would be* sound if God existed, since the validity of reason is questionable even with the existence of God. And if reason IS contingent on God, it would be subjective and, thus, objectively invalid.


Resurrection of Jesus
Unlike the other arguments, this argument fails to even come close to proving God, since it mistakenly equates atheism with naturalism and assumes that everything supernatural is God. Atheism is rejection of belief in only God, and not necessarily the supernatural. So, God is not the sole explanation for the resurrection, even IF it is true.


I have shown how the resurrection is still dubious via. an abductive inference to best explanation and low historical a priori probability, and one of the three facts Pro states is incorrect and questionable.


Thus, (a) the resurrection of Jesus does not necessitate God, and (b) it is unlikely.


Summary
The BoP is on Pro to prove that God probably exists, and Pro fails to fulfill BoP in demonstrating that God probably exists. All 4 of Pro’s arguments for God’s existence are deeply flawed, and fail to affirm, while my positive arguments against God are largely unchallenged. Thus, the resolution is resoundingly negated, and I urge all voters to vote Con.


Thanks for a fun debate.

Debate Round No. 5
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
==================================================================
>Reported vote: Philocat // Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (arguments), 2 points to Con (sources). Reasons for voting decision (relevant cut): Con gets the sources points because he used many sources from distinguished sources, including respected scientists, to support his arguments. Whilst Pro did present some sources, they were not used in all rounds and Con used them more. I did notice a few unsourced assertions by Pro, I would advise him to provide sources wherever possible.

[*Reason for removal*] Vague explanation for the sources. Quantity is not a sufficient reason to award sources. Lacks specifics about which of Con's sources outweighed Pro's and why Pro's sources were insufficient or what those unsourced assertions were. This RFD would have been easily sufficient if not for the sources point.
=============================================================================
Posted by AdithyaShark 1 year ago
AdithyaShark
RFD (Pt. 1)

Non-Cognitivism

The affirmative misunderstood the impact here. Con first opens his argument from non-cognitivism in showing that the property of "greatness" is incoherent without the universe, since (a) it's inherently subjective, and (b) it requires a standard to be coherent, which it lacks since there is nothing outside the universe except, by the God hypothesis, God.

Pro's first objection is that to ascribe properties to a being, it must exist, which is thoroughly refuted by Con in that one need only conceive of a being to ascribe it properties. Additionally, Pro says that since God is "great" by definition, if his case affirms, then God is great, but, as Con points out, since none of Pro's contentions uphold the property of greatness, the impact still stands.

Pro drops all the core impacts, and concedes (via omission) that greatness is both subjective and requires a standard to become meaningful, and, thus, I award the argument from non-cognitivism to Con as not adequately refuted.

Transcendental Argument

Con's transcendental argument was rather weak. It is based on the core assumption that God grounds reason, which Pro adequately challenges. Pro demonstrates that reason could extend beyond the universe as well.

Unfortunately for Pro, those precise objections can be replicated to refute their own argument from reason, so the two cancel each other out, since if reason is contingent on God, God *does* ground reason.

Thus, both arguments are incoherent and fail to demonstrate God"s existence/nonexistence.
Posted by AdithyaShark 1 year ago
AdithyaShark
(Pt. 2)

Cosmological Argument

Pro first presents Craig's KCA, asserting that everything that begins to exist has a cause, and the universe begins to exist, thus the universe must have a cause. He then goes on to present a dichotomy to demonstrate that the universe would have to be created by an abstract concept or a mind, and, since the former is incoherent, Pro chooses the latter.

Con objects to P1 as unjustified since it commits the fallacy of composition, and goes on to say that sans physical laws and time, the causal principle breaks down. Con attacks P2 by justifying eternalism via special relativity, which entails an impact that nothing can coherently begin to exist. Finally, Con attacks the dichotomy in showing that an atemporal mind would require a process.

Pro entirely drops Con"s accusation of their committing the fallacy of composition, and then begins a justification of presentism by human experience. Pro then argues with ad hoc that if God were the atemporal mind, it would exist timelessly.

Con then refutes the justification of presentism by saying that human experience of time is experience of events and is subjective, and shows the passage of time is illusory. Con shows that while the ad hoc would refute this if it were an argument against God, the dichotomy remains falsified due to the ad hoc's nature.

Thus, P1, P2, and the dichotomy of the KCA are unjustified, and Con wins KCA.

Teleological Argument

Neither side adequately explained their points in this argument. Pro begins by saying the universe is finely tuned for life, and says this is explained via a trichotomy of either physical necessity, chance, or design. Pro dismisses chance and physical necessity as improbable, and argues design would be necessary.
Posted by AdithyaShark 1 year ago
AdithyaShark
(Pt. 3)

Teleological Argument (Contd.)

Con responds saying many philosophers and physicists argue for physical necessity, and Pro gives no reason to believe the natural laws are unrelated to cosmological constants. Con then says Pro has failed to justify the metaphysical possibility of God, thus chance is more likely, and offers a reductio ad absurdum of a pack of cards being tossed sideways.

Pro fails to justify the metaphysical possibility of God and drops the reductio, and fails to respond much to Con"s physical necessity objection, though he notes that Con commits appeal to authority fallacy.

Nonetheless, Con's objections were equally poor in justification, and I"m forced to tie this argument.

Argument from Reason

Pro asserts that there is no reason to assume the validity of logic and reason sans the existence of God, thus reason would have to be contingent on the existence of God. Con responds to this argument in two ways.

First, if reason is contingent on God, God would ground reason, and then using reason to justify God, even via this very argument, is begging the question. Secondly, Pro's proposition that reason would be valid if contingent on God is a bare assertion, and Con notes that if God grounds reason, then reason is contingent on a mind, and, thus, is subjective.

Ultimately, Pro fails to properly justify this argument, and their own responses to the transcendental argument refute this, thus I award this argument to Con.
Posted by AdithyaShark 1 year ago
AdithyaShark
(Pt. 4)

Resurrection of Jesus

Pro provides historical facts concerning the resurrection of Jesus, three facts that, Pro argues, confirm the probability of the resurrection of Jesus actually occurring, and this vindicating God's existence.

In response, Con questions a core assumption of this argument, that God as defined is the only one capable of resurrecting Jesus. As Con points out, this is only an argument against naturalism, not atheism, and something supernatural does not, in any manner, entail the existence of God as defined and described. Con also questions the sightings of Jesus as not being vivid, etc. and dismisses the resurrection as a post-Paulian interpretation.

As Pro points out, dismissing the resurrection as post-Paulian is entirely ad hoc and should be dismissed, but does not properly manage to refute the sightings of Jesus. Pro fails to adequately respond to the other rebuttal of supernatural being outside of God.

Thus, I tie the resurrection argument.

Conclusion

I vote based on the burden of proof. Both sides had relatively weak arguments, but the BOP was entirely on Pro, and Pro failed to fulfill this BOP, since all their arguments were either refuted by Con or tied. Con managed to uphold one primary contention of theirs, thus nonetheless negating the resolution independently.

As a confession, I was asked by Con to vote on this debate, but their asking did not impact my RFD in any manner.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
RFD Conclusion

I think it is close, but Pro's two successful arguments (the teleological and the resurrection arguments) imply that God exists more than Con's arguments against his existence. Therefore Pro wins arguments by a narrow margin.

However, Con gets the sources points because he used many sources from distinguished sources, including respected scientists, to support his arguments. Whilst Pro did present some sources, they were not used in all rounds and Con used them more. I did notice a few unsourced assertions by Pro, I would advise him to provide sources wherever possible.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
RFD part 3

Argument from reason

Con is right here in saying that even if the atheistic paradigm entails that we cannot trust our rational faculties, this does not entail theism. Instead, it entails agnosticism - since our reason would be both untrustworthy to affirm either atheism or theism. Also, Pro oversimplifies our brains here, it is not a random process of 'chemicals fizzing'.

Therefore, Con refutes this argument.

Argument from resurrection

I was impressed by this argument, and thought it did very well. Pro's strongest point was the inference that Jesus genuinely rose from the dead by virtue of the fact that his many apostles were willing to be horrifically killed for claiming it. If they were lying, then it would be extremely improbable that the apostles would be so convinced and fanatical. Con postulates that there could be 'a supernatural cell or genome', but Con argues that this is a far-fetched stretch of naturalism, it seems to be grasping at straws a little.

Con questions whether there is sufficient historical evidence for the resurrection, but Pro does present many examples of accounts that reference the resurrection.

Finally, Con argues that it does not follow from Jesus's resurrection that God exists, but Pro rightly highlights that it is a cogent inference - since Jesus's resurrection heavily implies that it was supernatural.

Therefore, Pro succeeds with this argument.

Transcendental Argument

I think this argument is based on an unwarranted assertion (that God created logic), but Pro failed to point this out. Therefore I cannot award Pro any credit for refuting it.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
RFD part 2

Kalam Cosmological Argument

This is generally the go-to argument for these debates, and one that Con has encountered many many times. Pro's reasoning seems fine, yet Con presents three main rebuttals:

1. The premise that 'nothing begins to exist without a cause' is only verified within the universe and subject to physical restraints, it is a dubious jump to conclude that this premise is also true outside the universe and outside of physical restraints.

2. Eternalism entails that causality is incoherent

3. A flat, zero-energy universe renders is physically possible that the universe could have been uncaused.

Pro could have defended the argument better, and on the whole I believe Con deconstructed the argument. Note that this does not mean that the KCA failed, all it means is that Pro failed to defend it sufficiently (sorry!). Ultimately, Pro does not justify premise 1 being veridical outside of the physical universe. Therefore, this argument does not succeed this time.

Teleological Argument

As Pro laid out, this argument is a debate between which is the best explanation for the fine tuning of the universe. Pro argues that God is, Con argues that physical necessity is.

Con's argument was somewhat weaker here, as Pro pointed out that 'he does not actually make a case of his own'. Instead, he refers to different scientists. Whether or not this is an appeal to authority is dubious, but Pro rightly highlights how it is not demonstrated that the physical laws affect the physical constants - which is what Con needed to do.

The second sub-debate was whether God was possible. Con highlights the distinction between metaphysical and logical possibility, but fails to demonstrate that we should consider metaphysical possibility over and above logical possibility. Con needed to demonstrate that the statement 'God is possible' refers to metaphysical, not logical possibility.

Overall, I think Con did not sufficiently refute this argument.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
RFD part 1

Non-cognitivism

Con's argument is that the definition of God as a 'maximally great being' is incoherent, since there is no objective concept of greatness. This is a source of confusion in the debate, since it was never clarified that this definition of God was the one that pertained to the resolution. Pro could have saved a lot of trouble by declining to ascribe to the definition of God as the maximally great being. Nevertheless, Pro embraces the definition - yet Con is right to point out that neither the KCA, DA or argument from reason conclude that a God *of this definition* exists. However, Pro's argument from Jesus's resurrection, if sound, infers that the Bible is a veridical source of evidence. As Pro points out, the Bible states that God is maximally great and hence this argument affirms the definition of God as a maximally great being. So now the point of contention falls back to whether God defined as a 'maximally great being' is a coherent (and therefore logically possible) concept.

Pro attacks Con's argument by stating that we cannot talk of a being's properties without first accepting that this being exists - so Con cannot attack God for being incoherent without first accepting that God exists, otherwise he wouldn't be attacking anything. The problem with Pro's argument here is that Con is not attacking God directly, instead he is attacking the *concept* of a 'maximally great being', which only presupposes that the concept exists, not the actual being.

Nevertheless, the argument from non-cognitivism only attempts to demonstrate that an essentially 'maximally great being' is incoherent and therefore cannot exist. Yet it does not follow that God is *necessarily* a maximally great being, it is possible that God could not be maximally great, or at least not essentially so. Therefore Con's argument, whilst sound, does not pertain to the resolution that 'God exists'.
Posted by MaskedSpartan 1 year ago
MaskedSpartan
Sources for second rebuttal (some of the same):
The Orthodox Study Bible, page 1357
The Orthodox Study Bible, page 1569
Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig, pages 152-196
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, pages 275-328
Miracles by CS Lewis pages 25-31
http://www.alwaysbeready.com...
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by AdithyaShark 1 year ago
AdithyaShark
MaskedSpartantejreticsTied
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