Does God Exist?
No ad hominem
Nothing- Not anything.
God- Timeless, Spaceless, Immaterial, Omnipotent and Personal Creator of the universe.
Faith- Trust in something being true
Universe: Entirety of the natural world, i.e space/time and its contents.
Both sides must make a case here. The atheist must present reasons why God does not exist, and the theist must present reasons why He does. Merely refuting the opponents arguments is not enough, as absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. This applies both ways. if I merely refute my opponents arguments and make none, it ends as a draw. If my opponent merely refutes my arguments and makes no case as well, the case is neutral as well.
The 'famousdebater' accepts your challenge.
Potential Infinite: A collection which infinitely grows towards infinity, but never reaches it.
Kalam Cosmological Argument
Premise 1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
Premise 2: The universe began to exist
Premise 3: The universe has a cause
Premise 4: If the universe has a cause, that cause is God.
Premise 1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.In order for premise 1 to be false, something must be able to come from nothing, utterly uncaused.
Evidence: The fact that whatever begins to exist has a cause is practically a given. If anybody, even an atheist saw a car suddenly manifest out of a junkyard, they would say that there would have to be a cause. for why that car just suddenly popped into being. So for somebody to object to the first premise would cripple science, i venture. For if something could come from nothing, we should expect to see this all of the time, with blimps, cars, etc. For there isn't anything that can constrain "nothing" and her supposed creative power, for there isn't anything to constrain.
Premise 2: The universe began to exist.
Besides the fact that the standard big bang model indicates that the universe began to exist 13.8 billion years ago, there are other reasons to hold to the second premise.
Scientific Evidence 2: The 2nd law of thermodynamics. The level of entropy, or unusable energy in a system increases over time. if the universe has existed for an infinitely long period of time, we would have already reached heat death, the end of all usable energy. New energy cannot be injected into the universe on naturalism, given how then it is seen to be a closed system. had the universe gone through previous incarnations, via the oscilliating model, the chain could not be extrapolated to an infinite past thanks to the second law.
Scientific evidence 3: The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem.
The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem requires that even on a multiverse, the natural world must have had a beginning.
"It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape: they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning."
alexander vilenkin, many worlds in one.
Philosophical evidence 1: The absurdity of an actual infinite.
I could only post the link as my time to debate right now is rather limited.
Philosophical evidence 2: An actually infinite set cannot be reached from succession.
P1: the series of past events is formed by succession.
P2 a succession of events ever increasing will never become actually infinite.(merely potentially infinite)
P3: therefore the series of past events cannot be actually infinite.
P4. an actually infinite series of past events is required if reality did not begin.
P5. (From 3 and 4) Therefore an actually infinite past is impossible.
P6. If an actually infinite past is impossible, the universe not have existed forever, for an infinite series of past events is implied by an infinitely old universe.
Conclusion: The Universe has a cause
Properties of this cause:
I am quoting William Lane Craig, from the Blackwell companion to Natural Theology.
1.A first state of the material world cannot have a material explanation and must originate ex nihilo in being without material cause, because no natural explanation can be causally prior to the very existence of the natural world (space-time and its contents). It follows necessarily that the cause is outside of space and time, immaterial, and enormously powerful, in bringing the entirety of material reality into existence.
2.Even if positing a plurality of causes prior to the origin of the universe, the causal chain must terminate in a cause which is absolutely first and uncaused, otherwise an infinite regress of causes would arise. (It is important to know the distinction between an Actual Infinity, and a Potential Infinite. A potential infinite is where infinity is merely an ideal limit, which is never reached. An actual infinity is a complete infinite set. )
3.Occam's Razor maintains that unicity(only one) of the First Cause should be assumed unless there are specific reasons to believe that there is more than one causeless cause.
4.Agent causation, volitional action, is the only ontological condition in which an effect can arise in the absence of prior determining conditions. Therefore, only personal, free agency can account for the origin of a first temporal effect from a changeless cause.
5.Abstract objects, the only other ontological category known to have the properties of being uncaused, spaceless, timeless and immaterial, do not sit in causal relationships, nor can they exercise volitional causal power.
the cause of the universe has to be:
personal,(from 5 and 4)
Now while I concede that this merely proves the deistic concept of God, it does drastically raise the intrinsic probability that the Christian God exists.
Contention 1: God cannot be Omnipotent (1)
God is defined as omnipotent. Omnipotent: " having unlimited power; able to do anything."
P = Premise
C = Conclusion
P1)If God exists, then God is omnipotent
P2) This means that there is nothing that god can't do
P3) There are things that God is unable to do.
C1) God does not exists
It is clear that my opponent will agree with me on P1 and P2 since they are advocating the existence of the Christian God (according to R2). Since my opponent will most likely not accept P3, I will defend this argument.
Defense of P3
P1) An omnipotent being can create an object it can't lift.
P2) If an omnipotent being can create an object it can't lift, it can't lift the object, thus it isn't omnipotent
P3) If it can't create an object it can't lift, then it is not omnipotent.
C1) Omnipotence is impossible.
The usual objection to this claim is that this is a logical impossibility and god is bound by the logical absolutes. However to say god is bound, is a concession to his omnipotence. God can't even do all that is logically possible.
P1) An omnipotent god can be evil
P2) An Omnibenevolent god can't be evil
C1) A god that is defined as omnipotent and omnibenevolent can't exist.
Explanation of P1: An omnipotent God can do anything and therefore an omnipotent God can be evil.
Explanation of P2: God in Christianity and many other major religions, is defined as omnibenevolent (all loving).
Explanation of C1: These two statements cannot simultaneously exist however in the Bible they do. This means that the God (as defined in the Bible) cannot exist based on these logical fallacies.
God is described as omnipotent in the Bible here:
"For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
"Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure." Psalm 147:5
Contention 2: Free will (3)
The Bible clearly states that we all have free will. This cannot be true since it also describes God as omniscient (all knowing). If God is all knowing, this means that he knows what will happen in the future for a complete certainty. Therefore this future is predetermined.
P1: If the God of the Bible exists then he gave us free will.
P2: If the God of the Bible exists then he is omniscient.
P3: If God is omniscient then he knows what will happen in the future.
C1: God must know what we are doing at all times
C2: The God of the Bible creates a paradox.
C3: The God of the Bible does not exist.
Explanation of P1 and P2: God is described as omniscient (2) in multiple Bible verses, described as the following:
“Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD” Psalm 139:4
“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” Psalm 147:4-5
The concept of God giving us free will is presented in the Bible here:
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9
Now that this has been established I will move on ...
Explanation of P3: This is utterly contradictory. If God knows that in 5 seconds a man will jump off a building for a 100% fact. Does that man have any choice of not jumping off that building? No. God knows that it is a 100% fact - that, by definition, is omniscience. The man has no free will however (apparently) God gave us free will and therefore, as a result of this, God has contradicted himself, which makes his existence significantly less likely.
Explanation of C1: Assuming that God exists then this is true via omniscience and omnipresence.
Explanation of C2: This is true since omniscience is contradicted by free will.
Explanation of C3: God cannot exist because that would make a logical impossibility due to the previous conclusion (C2).
Some advocates of God's exist believe that the big bang did not occur. Some advocates believe that God's existence coincides with the big bang. I will now demonstrate the following.
P1: There was nothing before the universe was created
P2: The universe was created by the big bang
P3: The big bang was not created by God.
C1: The Universe was created by the big bang
C2: God did not create the universe
C3: This disproves the existence of the Christian God since Christians believe in a divine creator.
Demonstration of P1: The universe has no energy due to the fact that it is being cancelled out by both positive and negative energy - ie. matter and gravity (7). This means that there is nothing. Nothing, scientifically can be described as quantum fluctuations. A quantum fluctuation in this context can be described as something that has no matter,gravity, time, radiation and most importantly - energy (5). This is what there was before the big bang occurred. Since there was nothing in the beginning it is extremely difficult to prove that a creator was involved (6). Yes, it is possible but it isn’t necessary. You could say that God created evolution. It is possible but there is a perfectly rational explanation of evolution without the intervention of God. Quantum fluctuations because they’re … nothing. This instability will certainly allow energy to be expressed and since there is nothing, the proportion of energy to the universe is huge. This created the Big Bang.
Demonstration of P2: I will now prove the second premise of my argument. The Big bang must have created the universe because it coincides with the following truisms. The redshift of distant galaxies means that the Universe is probably expanding. If we then go back far enough in time, everything must have been squashed together into a tiny dot (4). The rapid eruption from this tiny dot was the Big Bang. Another piece of evidence that falls in line with this theory is in regards to the mixture of certain elements. As the Universe expanded and cooled down, some of the elements that we see today were created. The Big Bang theory predicts how much of each element should have been made in the early universe, and what we see in very distant galaxies and old stars is just right (4). You cannot look in more recent stars, like the Sun, for this particular evidence, because it contains elements that were created in an older generation of stars. As such, the composition of new stars will be very different from the composition of stars that existed 7 billion years ago, shortly after the Big Bang. This is just some of the coinciding evidence that the Big Bang contains with current universal truisms.
Explanation of P3: The explanation provided by me shows that the Big Bang was naturally caused and a God is not necessary to involve in the theory. Unless my opponent can prove to me that it is beyond 50% chance that God caused the Big Bang voters and my opponent have no other choice than to buy my creation claim.
Explanation of C1: See P2
Explanation Of C2: See P3
Explanation of C3: See P3
I will address my opponent’s arguments in the next round. I have shown through reliable evidence and sources that the universe was not created by God and that God cannot exist through paradoxes in Christianity. I hand it back over to my opponent for their rebuttals to my arguments.
Rebuttal to contention 1: God cannot be Omnipotent
Evil God rebuttal:
An omnipotent being can do evil. An omnibenevolent being wouldn't do evil. It is the difference between "would" and "could". Would an omnibenevolent being murder somebody right now? Of course not! But this doesn't mean He couldn't murder somebody. So God's omnipotence means that he can do anything, not that he will do anything.
God's Rock rebuttal
Logical impossibilities are not "things" which can be actualized, just contradictions. Luke 1:37 does not imply that God do something logically impossible.
"Luke 1:37. ΠQ18;ν Q65;Q34;μα, every word [thing]) As to things contradictory in the very terms, whether such are possible to happen, is not a subject which need be disputed; for they do not constitute a word [in the sense Q65;Q34;μα, verbum, is here used, a true word or thing]: nor does a thing done and undone, i.e. true and false [a word verified and then falsified], constitute a word; for repentance of His deed or promise does not apply to God: Genesis 18:14, μP52; O36;δυνατεQ50; παρP48; τQ83; ΘεQ83; Q65;Q34;μα; Is any word impossible with God? (Surely not.)"
I would contend Omnipotence doesn't entail the ability to do that which is logically impossible.
Rebuttal to Contention 2:
Where is the contradiction between somebody knowing what you will do, and you freely choosing to make said action? You have failed to really demonstrate that knowing what someone will do implies that they did not freely choose to do so.
The problem between omniscience and Gods foreknowledge is dealt with by Molinism, or God's middle knowledge.
Rebuttal to Contention 3:
Definition: Nothing- Not anything.
1.) The big bang works in the favor of theism by establishing that the universe began to exist.
2.) Quantum fluctuations are hardly nothing. They are particles which fluctuate from the quantum sea of energy, the quantum vacuum, and disappear back into it. These arise from the quantum vacuum, which possesses a richly defined structure governed by physical laws-- Hardly nothing as well. 
As for evolution, if it occured, despite the prohibitive odds against intelligent life actually forming, the fact that the initial conditions were right for that chain of effect to occur is practically an argument for God. When in biology when they refer to "unguided" mutations, they refer to that these mutations occur irrespective of their benefit to the organism.
There was certainly nothing before the universe, though the thing is, nothing, is not just "something" you call quantum fluctuations.
Further Arguments for God:
Definition: Objective: independent of our opinions
P1: If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist
P2: Objective moral values and duties do exist
C1: Therefore God exists.
Defense of P1
Most atheists philosophers and scientists; Dawkins, Sartre, Russel, Nietzsche, would agree quite wholeheartedly with the first premise. After all, on naturalism we are little more than "biological machines who exist solely for the purpose of propagating genetic material". We are just highly evolved electrochemical machines, and to invest humans with any more worth than this would be to commit an unjustified act of speciesism. Now this isn't to say that people cannot recognize these moral values without belief in God, merely that if God does not exist, our moral values are nothing more than illusions.
Defense of P2
The apprehension of our moral duties and values is no more invalidated by learning them via evolution than our sight or hearing is invalidated by the discovery that evolution is responsible for these as well. Would you say that right and wrong, good and evil, are merely subjective illusions? The price of rejecting premise 2, leads to near abject insanity. To say that objective moral values exist, is to say that the holocaust would still be evil; even if the Nazis who carried it out had won WW2 and brainwashed everybody into thinking that it was good.
If any of these values had been been different by an astronomically small amount;(For an idea of what we mean by fine tuned, the gravitational constant, if it had been altered by one part in 10^60, life would be utterly impossible. )
The fact that life exists despite the extremely prohibitive odds against it, would scream design.
(I will develop the fine tuning in more detail later, as my time is limited.)
Rebuttal 1: KCA
" Premise 1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
Premise 2: The universe began to exist
Premise 3: The universe has a cause
Premise 4: If the universe has a cause, that cause is God. "
Premise 1 is agreed to by the opposition.
Premise 2 is also agreed upon by the opposition.
Premise 3 is also agreed upon by the opposition.
Premis 4 is rejected by the opposition.
Explanation for P4 rejection: I reject P4 based on the fact that this is a huge jump to conclusions. I have already shown that the Big bang is the cause for the universe and a god is not a necessary intervention. I will address my opponent's big bang rebuttals in the next round but the reason that I reject this is because the big bang created the universe - not God.
Philosophical Evidence (PE) 1: This is pointless and I'm not entirely sure why this point was brought up by the affirmative case. I have already agreed that the universe is not infinite and that it was created by the big bang. This is utterly pointless and still would be if it was actually explained, which it wasn't.
Philosophical Evidence (PE) 2: This is also pointless for the same reasons presented in PE 1. I understand that nothing can be infinite and this was conceded to in my big bang argument. This is pointless and has no impact upon the resolution.
Rebuttal 2: Continuation
This isn't really a titled rebuttal and because I am just an unimaginative person I will leave this rebuttal untitled but will quote from my opponent in case anybody is confused at what I'm refuting. Just in case anybody is unaware, everything that I am now responding to is NOT my opponent's work and merely quotation from William Lane Craig. I accept that my opponent is open about doing this however it is a mitigating factor to all of the following arguments:
A first state of the material world cannot have a material explanation and must originate ex nihilo in being without material cause, because no natural explanation can be causally prior to the very existence of the natural world (space-time and its contents). It follows necessarily that the cause is outside of space and time, immaterial, and enormously powerful, in bringing the entirety of material reality into existence.
This is an easily refuted point and I will now explain why. It begins by asserting that the material world cannot have a material explanation. This is not explained in any detail at all and is just left for people to assume that it's true. Apparently it must have an enormously powerful entity to create the world. This is false since my explanation of the big bang shows that the world can be created from something other than a powerful and intelligent source - not a deity.
Even if positing a plurality of causes prior to the origin of the universe, the causal chain must terminate in a cause which is absolutely first and uncaused, otherwise an infinite regress of causes would arise. (It is important to know the distinction between an Actual Infinity, and a Potential Infinite. A potential infinite is where infinity is merely an ideal limit, which is never reached. An actual infinity is a complete infinite set. )
This argument basically states that there must be a first cause however this is contradictory to their case and can be used against the affirmative case. If everything has a cause what is God's cause? My opponent states that nothing can be infinite so they cannot state that God has always been there because this would be contradictory to these arguments.
I will now show how this does not affect may case. As explained in my theory of the big bang. Before the universe was created there were quantum fluctuation only and with nothing else, time was non-existent. This was the very first cause and since there was no time required this was the first cause. There was no infinite chain without a first cause.
Occam's Razor maintains that unicity(only one) of the First Cause should be assumed unless there are specific reasons to believe that there is more than one causeless cause.
As demonstrated above, there was a first cause and the only contradictory statement is the existence of God because that WOULD create an infinite process with non existence.
Agent causation, volitional action, is the only ontological condition in which an effect can arise in the absence of prior determining conditions. Therefore, only personal, free agency can account for the origin of a first temporal effect from a changeless cause.
This part of the argument makes no sense and I would like to point out again that these are all quotes that my opponent has failed to expand upon at all. This is similar to Zaradi's style of debate however the difference between this and Zaradi's style is that Zaradi actually explains the argument in his own words as well. Just quoting chunks of text and failing to explain them shows that you either are not bothered to explain them or that you do not understand you arguments. I do not understand this argument and I am not the one at fault. This is written in an extremely confusing way and my opponent has made no effort at an explanation in their own words.
From my understanding of the quote (which may be wrong due to the lack of explanation) is that it has no impact upon the resolution for the following reasons. So I went to wikipedia which had my opponent's whole argument quoted exactly on it. I then clicked on the link for agent causation because this is what the argument supposedly relates to. It states on the source of my opponent's arguments:
"agency is the capacity of an entity (a person or other entity, human or any living being in general, or soul-consciousness in religion) to act in any given environment. "
I assume that this is the context that William Lane Craig (not my opponent) was talking about since it was the link relating to the argument. After, a bit of research into the terminology and context I can conclude that William Lane Craig's agent causation argument means the following this.
"The ability to act in any given environment is the only condition relating to the mind in which specific factors do not need to be put in place for it to happen. Therefore this is an explanation for the first cause (presumably God)." Famousdebater (me)
I will refute this argument not my opponent's and I apologize if I've interpreted it incorrectly.
The first part of the argument does not matter as much on its own. It is the first part that requires the second part to be true so I will convert this into an argument for my opponent:
P1: The ability to act in any environment is the only condition in which factors do not need to be put in place.
This is not true. This is not the only condition in which factors do not need to be put in place. The big bang contention (again) is a reflection of the fact that this is completely untrue. Factors did not need to be put in place for the big bang. Since there was essentially nothing of any significance (at the time), it was impossible for there to be factors put in place. Therefore, this premise is disproven.
P2: This explains that the first cause is God.
This only proves that there is a possible first cause. Not that the first cause must be God. This allows the big bang to be created. This premise also fails since the big bang fails.
C1: God exists
No, God does not exist because this argument is illogical and makes no sense. Both premises have been refuted and therefore the conclusion cannot be met.
Just a note before I continue on to refute the final part of this argument I will note that I have completely explained my opponent's argument for him and then refuted it in the same detail of my explanation. My opponent merely quoted the passage with a failure to explain.
Abstract objects, the only other ontological category known to have the properties of being uncaused, spaceless, timeless and immaterial, do not sit in causal relationships, nor can they exercise volitional causal power.
Again this is not explained at all. I do understand this argument and will rephrase it to show you how this argument is flawed and actually works in my favour in this debate:
Abstract obejcts that have the properties of being uncased, spaceless, timeless and immaterial do not site in causal relationships. If these are not causal relationships then this removes any doubt that the big bang does not coincide with the previous quote regarding agent causation. This means that the concept is flawed since it coincides with both God and the Big Bang theory for creation. It supports both the affirming and negating position in this debate and therefore both 4 and 5 have no place in this debate.
I will now show what the cause of the universe has to be:
personal 4 and 5 do not stand in this debate
unimaginably powerful the universe can be created by the big bang which is not unimaginably powerful
timeless - true this is coinciding with quantum fluctuations
spaceless - true this is coinciding with quantum fluctuations
immaterial - true this is coinciding with quantum fluctuations
uncaused - true this is coinciding with quantum fluctuations
Sunfire315 forfeited this round.
Sunfire315 forfeited this round.
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