The Instigator
Jerry947
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
ThinkBig
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Does God Exist?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 748 times Debate No: 94150
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (28)
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Jerry947

Pro

Hello again! Lets get to it.

Rules:

-Pro argues for God's existence using various arguments.

-Con argues that God does not exist. And yes, Con actually has to provide arguments of their own for the non-existence of God. For some reason people never understand this.

Rules...

Round 1:
-Pro gives definitions and sets up debate
-Con accepts the debate (acceptance only).

Round 2:
-Pro gives opening argument
-Con gives opening argument...no rebuttals.

Round 3:
-Pro responds to what Con argued
-Con responds to what Pro argued

Round 4:
-Both debaters conclude their arguments and finish responding to what each other wrote.

Definitions:

God-the greatest conceivable being.

Exist-have objective reality or being.
ThinkBig

Con

Acceptance.

I thank my opponent, Jerry947, for setting up this debate, which I look forward to. As by the rules, I use Round 1 for acceptance. May the best man win!
Debate Round No. 1
Jerry947

Pro

The Cosmological Argument:

a. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.

Pretty self-explanatory...

b. The universe began to exist.

Modern science supports that the universe had a beginning. For example, the second law of thermodynamics helps us figure out that the universe is running out of energy (hence heading towards a heat death). In an eternal universe, it would have run out of energy by now. So since this hasn't happened, we know that the Universe had a beginning. Also, there is the discovery of red-shift in 1929. Basically, this discovery showed us that the universe is expanding which means if you were to go back in time, the universe would shrink and shrink until you get this infinite point. William Lane Craig says it better, he states that "as one traces the expansion back in time, the universe becomes denser and denser until one reaches a point of infinite density from which the universe began to expand."

c. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence
d. Since no scientific explanation (in terms of physical laws) can provide a causal account of the origin of the universe, the cause must be personal (explanation is given in terms of a personal agent).
God is the best explanation for the existence of the universe.

Truth Argument for God:

a. Truth is a statement that agrees with reality. Or in other words, truths make statements about what is real. For example, if I were to say that Obama is currently the President of the United States, I would be making a statement that agrees with reality.
b. Truth requires a mind. Sine truths are statements...and because statements are made by a mind, then it follows that truth requires a mind.
c. There are universal truths. 1+1 will always equal 2 no matter who is aware of this fact.
d. Therefore it follows that there must be a universal mind (God).

A Math Argument for God (by William Lane Craig):

1. If God did not exist, the applicability of mathematics would be just a happy coincidence.

The complexity of the mathematical structure of the physical world is something that doesn't have to exist.

2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.

Calling it a coincidence is not scientific.

3. Therefore, God exists.

I have just provided five arguments for the existence of God. I now await for my opponent to write up their post.

The Axiological Argument:

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

Since this premise is generally not disputed, I will only give a quick defense of it. Objective morals have to come from an objective source and that source can only be God. Nothing/nobody else could produce an objective moral code.

2. Objective moral values do exist.

a. Since we know what is absolutely wrong, there must be an absolute standard of rightness.

Murder is an action that all people (insane people are the exception) recognize as absolutely wrong. Taking the life of a human being unjustly is undeniably wrong and everybody knows it. That said, if we know what is wrong, we must have some idea of what is right. For example, if someone were to say that 2+2 were equal to five, we would know that they were wrong. But in order to know that, we would have to have some idea of what the right answer was.

b. If there wasn't a Moral Law, then we wouldn't make excuses for violating it.

We have all done something wrong at some point in our lives. It is interesting to note that we always try to make excuses for violating the moral law. But if there was no objective moral law, then we would not feel the need to apologize to people when we hurt them. For example, if I were to say some harsh words to a family member of mine, I might try to offer them excuses like "I was hungry."

However, if morality was subjective, and there was no right/wrong, we wouldn't feel the need to to say sorry whenever we did something "wrong". In fact, lets say that I owed a person money. I wouldn't have any moral reason to pay them back. The person I owed money to merely would have a different opinion of what morality was than me. And since there would be no objective moral standard, I would be perfectly justified in not paying him back.

But this is all ridiculous since we all are aware of the same objective moral law. And that is why we make excuses for violating it and that is the reason why we just know when someone wrongs us.

c. All people really do know that a standard of right/wrong exist.

Most people have an idea of what is right and wrong. Now some people might argue that there is no such thing as objective morality or a real right and wrong. But the people that argue this always go back on their claim a moment later (Lewis 6). The same people that say that morality is opinion based (or subjective) would still be irritated at people for treating them poorly. I can imagine that my opponent would be irritated if the voters gave me all the votes merely because they liked my username better than his. He would certainly feel wronged. But the thing is, if morality was subjective, no one should ever feel wronged. Why would someone feel wronged if morality was based on opinions?

Sometimes people try to argue that morality is created by societies. But we also understand that there are societies that have condoned evil practices when in fact people know that the society was wrong. For example, W. H. Auden, a famous 20th century poet, said that "there had to be a reason Hitler was utterly wrong." Auden said this famous quote after going to a theater that showed pictures of the Holocaust. These pictures sickened him and made him rethink his worldview. Before watching these pictures, Auden believed that it was up to the society to decide what was right and wrong. But during his time at the theater he realized that if societies decided what was right and wrong, and if morality is subjective, this would mean that Hitler was justified in everything he did. Well, at least according to that society. And who are we to tell them they are wrong if morality is purely subjective?

d. If there is no objective morality, there is no reason to be moral. If there was no objective standard of right/wrong, then all we would have is peoples opinions. Our opinion on morality would be like our opinion on what the best flavor of ice cream is. It just would not matter If we did something that people thought was wrong since there would be no objectively wrong things in the first place.

Some may argue that they are moral to benefit society. The problem with this response is that benefiting society is part of what it means to be moral. The question "why be moral" and "Why benefit society" are almost the same question. Benefiting society is a moral thing to do...but we want to know why someone should be moral if there is no objective morality.

Another objection would be that morality is merely an instinct. The problem with this claim is that people have different instincts which would make morality subjective. And again, if morality is subjective, we could never tell people that they are doing something wrong. Another problem with this argument is that morality is usually that thing that decides between which instincts to follow. For example, if a person were to hear a gun shot and a cry for help, people would most likely have two instincts. One would be to run away from danger; another instinct would be to run to help the person. Morality might push a person to choose the weaker instinct, which is to choose to help the person instead of saving themselves.

3. Therefore, God exists.

The Ontological Argument:

1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

I am interested to see what premises my opponent attacks.
ThinkBig

Con

I would like to thank jerry947 for his arguments.

Opening Statements

In this debate, I will attempt to prove that the universe we see today is far more in line with an atheist/naturalist understanding of philosophy than Theism. Both Naturalism and Theism makes predictions about the world that we live in. If I can show that the Naturalist model better fits the world that we live in, then I would have made a solid case for Naturalism, and consequently, atheism.

The Problem of Evil.

Paul Draper presents an interesting variation on the problem of evil and suffering. He argues that based upon the evidential problem of natural evil, that the existence of God is improbable, he writes (Draper [1])

E: For a variety of biological and ecological reasons, organisms compete for survival, with some having an advantage in the struggle for survival over others; as a result, many organisms, including many sentient beings, never flourish because they die before maturity, many others barely survive but languish for most or all of their lives, and those that reach maturity and flourish for much of their lives usually languish in old age; in the case of human beings and some nonhuman animals as well, languishing often involves intense or prolonged suffering.

P1: We know that E is true.
P2: Naturalism has much more predictive power with respect to E than theism does (i.e., E's truth is antecedently many times more probable given naturalism than it is given theism).
P3: Naturalism is more plausible than theism (i.e., naturalism is more probable than theism independent of all evidence).
C: So, other evidence held equal, theism is very probably false.

The predictive power of naturalism to account for natural evils makes atheism far more likely than theism. Evolution, by its very nature, is imperfect. Of all the species that ever existed on Earth, it is estimated that between 90-99.9% have gone extinct (Informscience [2]). One must wonder why God would go through the trouble of creating life on Earth just to have over 99% of his creation go extinct.

In the 20th century alone, Variola major and Variola minor, the main viruses that cause smallpox, caused the deaths of 300 to 500 million people, many of them children (World Health Organization [3]). Because species compete for survival and resources, nature guarantees that most animals will suffer a painful and horrible death.

If God existed and was omnibenevolent (which, by definition, he would have to be), then it does not make sense for the amount of suffering to exist.

The universe is ill-equipped to sustain life.

Note that this should not be seen as a rebuttal to pro's teleologicla argument, but rather an atheistic version of the same argument.

Among the classic Theistic arguments is the teleological argument, that is, based upon the design and complexity of the universe, it must have been created by a designer, who we call God. The problem with this argument is that the universe, far from being orderly and capable to sustain life, is actually very ill-suited for such a task.

Richard Carrier notes in his interview with TheBestSchools (Carrier [4]):

"If there is no god, we will only ever find ourselves in a universe finely tuned (in that case, by random chance), because without a god, there is no other kind of universe that can produce us. Likewise, a universe that produced us by chance would have to be enormously vast in size and enormously old, so as to have all the room to mix countless chemicals countless times in countless places so as to have any chance of accidentally kicking up something as complex as life. And that’s exactly the universe we see: one enormously vast in size and age. A godless universe would also only produce life rarely and sparingly, and that’s also what we see: by far most of the universe is lethal to life (being a deadly radiation filled vacuum) and by far most of the matter in the universe is lethal to life (constituting stars and black holes on which no life can ever live). Again, all exactly what we’d expect of a godless universe. Not what we’d expect of a god-made one."

Nicolas Everitt put this argument in syllogism form (Everitt [5]):

(1) If the God of classical theism existed, with the purposes traditionally ascribed to him, then he would create a universe on a human scale, i.e. one that is not unimaginably large, unimaginably old, and in which human beings form an unimaginably tiny part of it, temporally and spatially.
(2) The world does not display a human scale.
(3) Therefore, there is evidence against the hypothesis that the God of classical theism exists with the purposes traditionally ascribed to him.

Thus, if God created the universe, he would have created it for the purpose of sustaining life. However, we see that the universe is ill-suited and highly lethal to life. Therefore, it is improbable that God created the universe.

Conclusion

As I have demonstrated, naturalism has more predictive power than theism in accounting for the evils that can be found in nature, the size and scale of the universe, and accounting for the fact of biological evolution. Therefore, on balance, the weight of the evidence leans heavily in favor of the proposition of naturalism, and subsequently, atheism.

_______

Sources

1. http://infidels.org...;
2. Informnauka (Informscience) Agency. "The Sixth Wave Of Extinction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040816001443.htm (accessed July 24, 2016)
3. http://www.who.int...;
4. http://www.thebestschools.org...;
5. Everitt, Nicholas. The Non-existence of God. London: Routledge, 2004. Print
Debate Round No. 2
Jerry947

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for his arguments.

1. Naturalism VS. Theism

a. This debate wasn't really about showing which worldview better fits the world we live in. But since my opponent seems to want to go down that route let me point out that Naturalism is self-defeating and will completely destroy their case.

Naturalism is the the position that nature is all there is and my opponent agreed to this in the comments section. Naturalism reduces logical thinking to mere chemical reactions of the brain. Basically all of our thoughts and beliefs are determined. There is no free-will or rationality with this worldview. Therefore, stating that one ought to be a naturalist is self-refuting. And ironically, if my opponent tries to show that naturalism is true then they will have to use logic and rationality in order to do that which would in effect prove that Naturalism is false.

2. The Problem of Evil

a. What does my opponent exactly mean by evil? According to the online dictionary, evil is "profoundly immoral and malevolent" (https://www.google.com...). It has also defined as "the departure from the way things ought to be." But this is odd since if they affirm that there is a such thing as evil then they also have to say that there is a such thing as good. Why? Well, that is because in order to know that something is evil, you must also have some idea of what is right.

For example, if someone told you that 1+1 is 4 you would tell them that they were wrong. But in order to know that they were wrong you would have to have some idea of what the answer is. The reason I bring this up is because my opponent is actually affirming the second premise of my moral argument in round one.

If they claim that there is a real good and bad then they affirm that there is a such thing as objective morality which only helps me out. However, if my opponent decides to deny that there is a real good and evil, then their argument about the problem of evil disappears since what is evil would merely be a matter of opinion (meaning no actual problem of evil).

b. My opponent then writes "based upon the evidential problem of natural evil, that the existence of God is improbable."

My opponent cites Paul Draper to prove his point yet the quote only shows that organisms suffer. It does nothing to show that the existence of God is improbable based off of that fact. My opponent has the burden of proof here to show that the statements "God exists" and "Suffering exists" are logically inconsistent. There is no explicit contradiction between the statements and my opponent needs to do a lot more here with their argument.

Here is the rest of their argument:

"P1: We know that E is true."

Yes, suffering exists.

"P2: Naturalism has much more predictive power with respect to E than theism does (i.e., E's truth is antecedently many times more probable given naturalism than it is given theism)."

There is no evil in naturalism since nature is all there is. We are merely dying due to natural causes but nothing about that is remotely (or truly) evil since it is after-all...natural. So again, my opponents argument is self-defeating. But not only that, this premise is a complete bare assertion. They haven't made a single argument to support that premise.

"P3: Naturalism is more plausible than theism (i.e., naturalism is more probable than theism independent of all evidence)."

Another bare assertion.

"C: So, other evidence held equal, theism is very probably false."

This argument doesn't follow at all.

My opponent then states that "The predictive power of naturalism to account for natural evils makes atheism far more likely than theism. Evolution, by its very nature, is imperfect. Of all the species that ever existed on Earth, it is estimated that between 90-99.9% have gone extinct (Informscience [2]). One must wonder why God would go through the trouble of creating life on Earth just to have over 99% of his creation go extinct."

First of all, my opponent makes the assumption that a God didn't use the process of evolution. There are many theistic evolutionists out there. And my opponent asks why would a God allow 99% of his creation go extinct. Perhaps the better question is why has he allowed humans to keep killing his creation. That is after-all the reason why most of those creatures are going extinct. But in a sense, this argument is a red herring since my opponent hasn't shown why God couldn't have used the process of evolution and my opponent also hasn't proven that animals going extinct somehow proves that he doesn't exist.

Lastly, my opponent says that "If God existed and was omnibenevolent (which, by definition, he would have to be), then it does not make sense for the amount of suffering to exist."

Again, my opponent has done nothing to show that a loving God and evil cannot coexist. However, there could be a multitude of reasons as to why evil exists. A world in which humans have free will cannot be perfectly good. You can't make someone freely be perfect. Perhaps the purpose of our life is not to live in some perfect world and be God's pets. Perhaps our purpose is to know God and to be able to freely make decisions (which means a world in which there is evil).

3. The universe is ill-equipped to sustain life.

a. Really? What about the fact that "the amount of matter (or more precisely energy density) in our universe at the Big Bang turns out to be finely-tuned to about 1 part in 1055. In other words, to get a life-permitting universe the amount of mass would have to be set to a precision of 55 decimal places" (http://crossexamined.org...).

What about the galaxy mass distribution? If "too much in the central bulge: life-supportable planet will be exposed to too much radiation. [And] If too much in the spiral arms: life-supportable planet will be destabilized by the gravity and
radiation from adjacent spiral arms." See link below...

And what about these other 400 factors that have to come into play?
Link: http://www.reasons.org...

How can you possibly say that the universe is not fine tuned for life?

How about these facts? The 23 degree axis tilt of the earth is just right. If the tilt were altered slightly, surface temperatures would be too extreme on earth. Then there is the fact that if the gravitational forces in our universe were altered by .00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, the sun would not exist and then we would not either. Astrophysicist Hugh Ross said that the probability of a life permitting universe existing was 10^138. And the best part is that the odds outnumber the individual number of atoms in our universe (10^70).

b. My opponent actually helps me out by citing Richard Carrier. He states that we would only find ourselves in a finely tuned universe by random chance. This is insane! The chances are so astronomically high that no one could even possibly believe in a coincidence like that. Carrier is right, "most of the matter in the universe is lethal to life." Life is literally rigged in our favor. It is literally like we (the life permitting universe) is about to be executed by a firing squad and then the whole squad missed us. Chance is not even close to a decent explanation. But not only that, chance isn't an explanation at all. If a coin is tossed, it may have a 50% chance of showing heads but the cause of that happening is that a human flipped the coin.

c. My opponent then gives this argument:

"(1) If the God of classical theism existed, with the purposes traditionally ascribed to him, then he would create a universe on a human scale, i.e. one that is not unimaginably large, unimaginably old, and in which human beings form an unimaginably tiny part of it, temporally and spatially."

Bare assertion. Why would a God have to create a universe like that? What evidence does my opponent have to support this?

"(2) The world does not display a human scale."

Really?

"(3) Therefore, there is evidence against the hypothesis that the God of classical theism exists with the purposes traditionally ascribed to him."

This argument doesn't make a lick of sense. It starts off with a bare assertion and the ends with one.

d. My opponent claims that "Thus, if God created the universe, he would have created it for the purpose of sustaining life. However, we see that the universe is ill-suited and highly lethal to life. Therefore, it is improbable that God created the universe."

There is life that is sustained and it is a miracle considering the odds of that happening. Surely design is a way better explanation then random chance is.

4. Conclusion:

I have shown that naturalism is self-defeating even though this debate isn't about naturalism. My opponent tried to use the problem of evil yet they will either end up affirming an argument I made in round one or they will end up crippling their own argument. Then they tried to argue that random chance is a good explanation for why life exists and I think I have addressed that argument well.

I thank my opponent for a good round and I look forward to the next one.
ThinkBig

Con

Re: Cosmological argument

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
4. Since no scientific explanation (in terms of physical laws) can provide a causal account of the origin of the universe, the cause must be personal (explanation is given in terms of a personal agent), God is the best explanation for the existence of the universe

I’m going to begin by attacking the second premise. Whether or not the universe actually began to exist or not is still up for debate. First, it should be noted that the big bang theory, which is supported by overwhelming evidence, does not talk about the beginning of the universe; rather, it talks about how it developed over time (1).

The second, and perhaps most important issue, lies in the fact that this argument boils down to “something cannot come from nothing.” However, we must be careful as to how we defined the word “nothing.” In physics, “nothing” is defined as a quantum vacuum, i.e., a state with the lowest possible energy (2). We know that something does come from nothing: quantum fluctuations. As Talk.Origins notes (see source 1), “In the simplest case, an electron, a positron and a photon can appear effectively out of nowhere, exist for a brief time and then annihilate, leaving no net creation of mass or energy.”

Re: Truth argument for God

1. Truth is a statement that agrees with reality. Or in other words, truths make statements about what is real. For example, if I were to say that Obama is currently the President of the United States, I would be making a statement that agrees with reality.
2. Truth requires a mind. Since truths are statements...and because statements are made by a mind, then it follows that truth requires a mind.
3. There are universal truths. 1+1 will always equal 2 no matter who is aware of this fact.
4. Therefore it follows that there must be a universal mind (God).

My opponent has simply stated his premises, and has not defended them. He needs to give arguments to tell us why we should think they are true. I ask him to please do so.

Re: Math argument for God

1. If God did not exist, the applicability of mathematics would be just a happy coincidence.
2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
3. Therefore, God exists.

The first premise is a non sequitur because you cannot prove what is or is not required for the existence of math.

The second problem is that pro fails to provide any support for the second premise beyond saying that “calling it a happy coincidence is not scientific.” We know that happy coincidences happen all the time. For example, the chances of us coming into being at all is infinitely small. Indeed, the chances of the sperm and egg fertilizing us is less than one in 400 quadrillion (3). Indeed, our existence means that our ancestors from that life started met and lived to the age to have children. We are an unbroken chain of organisms going back to 4.5 billion years ago. Even if we accept a much younger age of the earth (i.e. 10,000 years), that is still infinitely small. Yet we are here today debating on debate.org. Are we to assume that every happy coincidence is because of God? I’d argue that stating God is the cause is an argument from ignorance – a god of the gaps argument.

Re: Axiological argument

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

To begin my refutation, I will bring up the famous Euthyphro’s dilemma: Is something good because God commands it, or is it good because it is already good? Some apologists have argued that the Euthyphro’s dilemma is a false dilemma and that the answer lies in God’s nature. The problem with appealing to God’s nature is that it simply delays the dilemma. We can reformulate it as follows (4): “Is something good because it is in conformance with God's nature, or do we say God's nature is good based on some other standard? If the good simply refers to God's nature, then again we can say that whatever is in God's nature happens to be good. Were it in his nature to command atrocities, then the commission of atrocities would be good.”

The second problem comes up in pro’s defense of the argument. Pro writes, “Sometimes people try to argue that morality is created by societies. But we also understand that there are societies that have condoned evil practices when in fact people know that the society was wrong.” Appealing to God simply delays the issue that arises when appealing to societies. Different gods and different religions have a different set of moral codes and moral law. They believe that their Deities gave them that law even if that law was evil (i.e., human sacrifices, killing infidels, etc.)

Re: Ontological argument

1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

Once again, my opponent has simply stated his premises, and has not defended them. He needs to give arguments to tell us why we should think they are true.

The first premise states that it is possible for an MGB to exist. Under what basis are we to believe this? Let’s, for a moment, concede this point. If it were possible for an MGB to exist, then it is possible that an MGB does not exist. However, the more important issue with this argument is, as Immanuel Kant argues, existence is not a predicate, that is a predicate which is added to the concept of a subject and enlarges it (5).

Conclusion

I am disappointed that my opponent has chosen to Gish gallop. Presenting 5 complicated arguments in a debate with only 10,000 characters brings a difficulty when attempting to challenge those arguments. It's easy to recycle syllogisms from textbooks and websites and not defend the premises, but it is harder to actually articulate them and to actually argue a case that considers real world implications. Pro is guilty of this. In order for his syllogisms to be sound, he must prove and provide support for each premise. He fails to do this.

The resolution is negated.


1. http://bit.ly...
2. http://bit.ly...
3. http://bit.ly...
4. http://bit.ly...
5. Peetz, Vera. "Is Existence a Predicate?" Philosophy 57.221 (1982): 395-401. Web.

Debate Round No. 3
Jerry947

Pro

1. Cosmological Argument

My opponent has decided to attack the second premise of my argument. They claim that "whether or not the universe actually began to exist or not is still up for debate."

Not really. Most scientists agree that the universe had a beginning and that is what the evidence supports. I originally gave two arguments for why the universe had a beginning and I noticed that my opponent hasn't responded to them nor has he even attempted to give a scientific argument for the universe being eternal. Therefore we can at least conclude that the premise "the universe began to exist" is more plausible than not.

Here are my two arguments for the universe having a beginning:

a. As you trace the expansion of the universe back in time, eventually, the distance between any two points in space becomes zero. At that point, you have reached the boundary of space and time and they cannot be extended any farther than that. In other words, the Big Bang Theory shows the beginning of space and time.

b. The second law of thermodynamics helps us figure out that the universe is running out of energy (hence heading towards a heat death). In an eternal universe, it would have run out of energy by now. So since this hasn't happened, we know that the universe had a beginning.

Using these two pieces of evidence, surely it is more plausible than not that the universe began to exist.

My opponent then states that "In physics, 'nothing' is defined as a quantum vacuum, i.e., a state with the lowest possible energy." This is not really true. Only Lawrence Krauss and his followers redefine the word nothing to mean something with physical properties. But nothing actually means "not anything" and that is what it will always mean. Since a quantum vacuum is something (it does have physical properties), it cannot be classified as nothing.

My opponent then states that "We know that something does come from nothing: quantum fluctuations."

No actually, we do not know that. There are about ten different interpretations of quantum mechanics (https://www.sciencenews.org...) and my opponent merely asserts his is the correct one. No one really knows which one is correct.

But I find it most interesting when my opponent's source claims that an electron can come out of nowhere.

What happens is that the particles borrow energy from the vacuum for their brief existence. William Lane Craig (Christian Philosopher) puts it this way, he says that "the energy locked up in a vacuum fluctuates spontaneously in such a way as to convert into evanescent particles that return almost immediately to the vacuum."

Furthermore Professor David Albert (non-Christian from Columbia university) said that "And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings " if you look at them aright " amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing."

Therefore since the quantum vacuum is not actually nothing, and since vacuum fluctuations do not actually appear out of nothing, this does not count as an exception to premise one of my argument. What does begin to exist does have a cause.

2. The Truth Argument for God

Here is my opponent's refutation: "My opponent has simply stated his premises, and has not defended them. He needs to give arguments to tell us why we should think they are true. I ask him to please do so."

My opponent completely disregarded my argument for no reason at all. I took the time to create this argument myself about three months ago and I made this argument as simple as possible. Let us take a look at the argument and see if these premises actually need to be explained any further...

a. Truth is a statement that agrees with reality. Or in other words, truths make statements about what is real. For example, if I were to say that Obama is currently the President of the United States, I would be making a statement that agrees with reality.

So that was my first premise. All you need to do here is accept the definition of truth. I see no need to have an argument for why the definition of truth is correct. Go look up the definition in a dictionary if you really have to.

b. Truth requires a mind. Since truths are statements...and because statements are made by a mind, then it follows that truth requires a mind.

Again, I use really basic logic here. Why do I have to present an argument to show that statements come from minds? It seems that my opponent merely didn't feel like responding to the argument.

c. There are universal truths. 1+1 will always equal 2 no matter who is aware of this fact.

So I guess my opponent also would like me to prove that 1+1 is 2 is a universal truth. Really Con?

d. Therefore it follows that there must be a universal mind (God).

This premise follows from the previous one. Since truths require minds, universal truths also require minds. Nothing about this should be overly complicated. My opponent merely has no interest in the argument for whatever reason.

3. Math Argument for God

My opponent claims that "the first premise is a non sequitur because you cannot prove what is or is not required for the existence of math."

There is a misunderstanding here. My argument has nothing to do with what is required for the existence of math.

My first premise only states that "If God did not exist, the applicability of mathematics would be just a happy coincidence."

Notice how I do not mention what is required for the existence of math? I merely am saying that the applicability of mathematics in our universe would just be a happy coincidence if there is no God.

Then my opponent states that I didn't really support my second premise. I disagree, but allow me to explain further since things were not clear enough. The complexity of the mathematical structure of the physical world is something that doesn't have to exist. I would hope that my opponent would agree with that.

But for some reason it does. It could be just a happy coincidence (random chance) or it could be that a God created the universe. These are really the two options here. My goal is to show that my explanation is better. Instead of giving up and saying that it is all a big coincidence, I look at the evidence and conclude that there was a designer. Since the universe is fine-tuned for life (see round three) and since current cosmology supports a beginning of everything (the universe), and because the universe has a mathematical structure that does not have to exist, it is absurd to claim that this is a coincidence.

My opponent also states that coincidences occur all of the time. Let us first define a coincidence. A coincidence is "a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection" (https://www.google.com...).

My opponent first claims that our existence is a coincidence since the chances of the sperm and egg fertilizing is very small. However, this is not a coincidence since there is a very (sex) apparent causal connection.

Then my opponent says that we should not say that every happy coincidence is because of God. I agree with him. But it is also very unscientific to claim that the universe exists due to a coincidence. Sometimes the evidence points to God and therefore I accept that conclusion. But never do I sit around and just accept that everything just randomly happened that way.

4. The Axiological Argument

a. My opponent brings up the Euthyphro Dilemma. He asks "Is something good because it is in conformance with God's nature, or do we say God's nature is good based on some other standard?"

My response is that God's nature is the good, and God's will necessarily expresses his nature.

My opponent also says that "Were it in his nature to command atrocities, then the commission of atrocities would be good."

No, because those things wouldn't actually be good and then God wouldn't be good by nature. I am saying that God has an objectively good nature (therefore would never call bad things good) and then necessarily expresses his nature.

b. My opponent asserts that different religions have different moral laws. However, the basic moral principles do not really change in each culture. My opponent brings up human sacrifices and killing infidels. These aren't really moral laws these cultures have. They do these things supposedly because they think their God is telling them to do them. In other words, they think they have a reason for doing immoral behavior. So this does not disprove objective morality.

5. The Ontological Argument:

The only premise that needs to be defended is really the first one which states that it is possible for a MGB (God) to exist. That premise is ironically supported by the previous four arguments I made. And if my opponent does deny that it is possible for God to exist, then he has to show that it is impossible for him to exist. As for Kant, I don't add existence as a property to God and define him into existence. That is a misunderstanding and my opponent needs to take time to actually address the argument.

Conclusion:

My opponent has not successfully shown that God does not exist and I used five solid arguments in this debate to prove my point. My opponent complains about me using five arguments...which is ridiculous. I spent the most time on three main arguments and one of them I created myself a while back. I am not guilty of giving just premises and I am a little offended since I spent so much time a while back doing research for these debates. The fact that my opponent feels like he can't respond to five arguments with 10,000 characters is their problem.

I do however thank my opponent for the debate. I had fun regardless of how things turn out.
ThinkBig

Con

My opponent has given me far too many claims to be able to respond to in a 10K character debate. Due to medical issues, I am unfortunately forced to waive this round.
Debate Round No. 4
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 3 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: distraff// Mod action: Removed<

1 points to Pro (Conduct). Reasons for voting decision: FF

[*Reason for removal*] The voter is required to do more than simply state that a forfeit occurred and award conduct. This is because the "forfeit" was actually a waived round by Con. The voter may explain why that is a conduct violation, but they may not merely represent that as a forfeit and presume that it is a conduct violation. Also, conduct only votes like this are not allowed without examining arguments. Even if the voter chooses not to award arguments, they are still required to assess them in order to award a conduct point like this.
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Posted by ThinkBig 4 months ago
ThinkBig
Yeah and this is a topic that has been beat to death so many times on DDO. There has been over 240 debates on the question "Does God Exist?", and that does not include different worded debates.
Posted by Jerry947 4 months ago
Jerry947
Sure. I honestly have no problem with doing that. But I like to change things up once in a while. I have done many God debates and sometimes I go all out and sometimes I hold back a little.
Posted by ThinkBig 4 months ago
ThinkBig
@Jerry, thank you. I would love to debate you on this again. Next time we debate, can we maybe try to limit ourselves to 2 or 3 contentions?
Posted by Jerry947 4 months ago
Jerry947
@ThinkBig

Sorry to hear about your medical problems. I do hope you feel better.
Posted by strategen 4 months ago
strategen
I think, con practically conceded this debate by introducing "the problem of natural evil" as his argument since by doing so he also indirectly admitted to the existence of "objective morality".
Posted by canis 4 months ago
canis
Why not..."provide arguments of their own for the non-existence of purple elephants in a far distance univers" Vs. "provide arguments of their own for the existence of purple elephants in a far distance univers"...Same thing.
Posted by C_e_e 4 months ago
C_e_e
@ThinkBig Well, I'm glad you understand his intentions. For, I thought "arguments of one's own" suggested originality of central points and their elaboration. And then, of course, Pro started with very conventional arguments for the existence of God. But, if you all have a working understanding, that's what matters.
Posted by ThinkBig 4 months ago
ThinkBig
Sounds good. That would make things fair.

1. Acceptance
2. Opening arguments
3. Rebuttals
4. Defense
Posted by Jerry947 4 months ago
Jerry947
I think you should only respond to my arguments. In the last round we will both defend our original arguments. I have in the past done things differently but I think things are simplified this way.
No votes have been placed for this debate.