The Instigator
Kikomori
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
zimotic
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Does God Exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
zimotic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 weeks ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 267 times Debate No: 113572
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Kikomori

Con

Pro begins next round
zimotic

Pro

This is my first debate on debate.org and I think it'll be an interesting experience. On this first paragraph I'll begin explaining any bias that I can have. First I believe in the Christian God and I'm Catholic. I was an atheist for seven years of my life, so I'm sympathetic of the atheistic point of view. Also, since I'm Catholic, I believe in evolution.

I'll begin that in this debate I'm not interested in arguing in favor of the Christian God, despite my Catholic background. I'll try to use some of the classical arguments for a general God, creator of the universe, based on how I understand then, so I will end making some adaptations to the original arguments.

In order to one to believe in God, a person has to have some core beliefs about the nature of the universe. The most important is that the universe has an intrinsic order that is self evident when we analyze it. All effects has a cause and that's a basic observation that most people see it. I don't say it is written in stone or anything, I think that my opponent will disagree with me right in this basic principle and that's understandable. So let's begin:

1- Everything that exists has a cause. As I said before this is self-evident and based on core beliefs. It's even a scientific law, all energy (and matter) is transformed, never created and never destroyed. Everything goes on changing towards the state of higher organization (second law of thermodynamics). So if the universe is changing towards the state of higher entropy, then we must conclude that all energy was in a state of lowest organization at some point in time. I propose we make a thought experiment, it is logical that all things in the universe can be traced until its lowest entropy until we reach a singularity where all energy of the universe was condensed.

2- The universe exists. Some schools of philosophy doesn't see this as self-evident, I can grant them the benefit of doubt. But for the sake of argument I'll pass the objections of this thesis and take it for granted. I think my opponent and the readers would agree that the universe exist without contesting it.

3- Therefore the universe has a cause. If all things has a cause and the universe pretty much covers everything by definition, then the universe itself has a cause. As logical beings, the most plausible conclusion in our though experiment when we reach the singularity is that the singularity also has a cause, to suggest otherwise is to make a leap of faith into a paradox (in the sense of contrary to the common sense).

4- The universe began and Infinite regression is impossible. Based upon the second premise, the singularity of our though experiment has the property of existence. It exists and has a cause, but if we keep going on the existence-cause chain forever, nothing could ever exist because we will end in a infinite regression that everything has a prior cause. This way, no point of start can never be established and it would be illogical to conclude that the universe exist and its level of organization is rising, things we know that happens.

5- The conclusion. Since infinite regression is impossible, we need an entity that serves as our start point. This entity is a necessary being for the existence of the universe based on the previous points. A entity that does not have a cause is necessary in order to all things begin to exist. This entity is God.
Debate Round No. 1
Kikomori

Con

I would first like to thank my opponent for accepting the debate challenge and wish them luck on their first debate.

"1- Everything that exists has a cause."
My opponent makes a really crucial mistake here that really harms his entire argument, one which I'm sure many people picked up on.
If we assume that you are correct, everything that exists would also include God. You do later address this with C2, which I will move onto later. I do not necessarily disagree with this statement being applied within our very limited understanding of the universe, however.
"3- Therefore the universe has a cause. If all things has a cause and the universe pretty much covers everything by definition, then the universe itself has a cause. "
Not necessarily, You commit an equivocation fallacy during your premise and first conclusion. In P2, you use a scientific definition of the universe " all matter, space and time.
However, in C1, you use the colloquial definition of the universe " Everything that exists, has existed and will exist.
This difference is key, as saying the universe existed in the scientific sense does not say that absolutely everything came into existence from absolutely nothing. but using the colloquial definition, that is exactly what Is implied.
Premise 4 is perhaps the weakest premise you put forward, as it offers no evidence as to why this is the case. You simply state what you believe is logical. Unfortunately to a debate, this is fairly meaningless, and as you heavily rely on your premise to reach your conclusion, we can simply ignore the conclusion.
In your conclusion, you state that God is a necessary being, and would be outside the infinite regress. Here you commit the special pleading fallacy, by saying that God needs no beginning, but not substantiating this claim. You also must prove Gods existence outside of necessary existence as this logic is circular at best.
zimotic

Pro

As my opponent said he doesn't disagree with the first statement, he shouldn't say that my first premise is flawed or he would be admitting that his issue for my argument is also flawed. Let me explain, in the cosmological argument we can only use what our limited understanding of the universe provides. There's no reason to dismiss this premise based on what we don't know yet. Now addressing my opponent's counter-argument to the first premise, he says that God would fall into the category of something that exists therefore also has to have a cause. If this was true, we would fall into the infinite regression and nothing would exist, so one of the attribute of God is that He is alien to the Universe. That's a necessary condition of God, He needs to be outside the temporal realm in order to create it. If God falls in the category of something in our Universe, He would be part of the singularity in the thought experiment, therefore incapable of making the start point for the Creation thus not God.

The colloquial and scientific definition of the Universe works well to the third argument. Energy, matter, space and time sums everything that exists within our realm. In the thought experiment I proposed, it's irrelevant if I use the scientific definition or the colloquial definition, in both ways we can work on the cause-effect chain and reach the singularity. I didn't implied that the Universe came into existence from nothing, au contraire I said that our Universe came from a singularity of everything that exists (being it energy, matter, space and time or just everything), but since the singularity has the property of existence within our realm it also needs to have a cause. My opponent's counter-argument is also "Not necessarily" what I understand that he is referring to his previous argument that our knowledge of the Universe is limited. Again, we can only work based on what we know, the Instigator keeps appealing to ignorance in order to dismiss my arguments and that's a fallacy.

I personally think that premise 4 is the strongest of all. The evidence is plain logic and reason, not based on observation that can be flawed because of lack of knowledge, in a scenario that we reach a infinite regression of cause-effect the conclusion must be that nothing ever began. This conclusion goes against the evidences (universe exist) and must be rejected, the other conclusion possible is that there's no infinite regression and therefore there were a primordial cause for the beginning of our Universe and this cause can not have a prior one as needed condition. I heavily rely on my premises to reach conclusion because that's how a logical argument is made, the flaw would exist if I didn't rely on the premises to reach the conclusion.

God needs no beginning in order to the infinite regression conjecture be rejected. It's a necessary attribute for God, otherwise the conclusion of our observations of the Universe is that it doesn't exist or that it has no beginning. Based on what we know, both conclusions are impossible. The only way out the conclusion that God is an entity that is separated from the Universe and needed for its existence is to propose that some things in our Universe doesn't have a cause or propose that the Universe doesn't exist or began. My opponent needs to dismantle the premises in order to attack my conclusion, not the other way around.
Debate Round No. 2
Kikomori

Con

"We would fall into the infinite regression and nothing would exist, so one of the attribute of God is that He is alien to the Universe. That's a necessary condition of God, He needs to be outside the temporal realm in order to create it."
This is a common point used by many theists to conveniently place God outside of testable parameters in order to dismiss a point someone has made about that God. I must also point out that regardless of God being within or outside of this "realm," he would still be a thing that exists if we follow your line of logic, thus he must also have a cause if we follow your line of logic. Your attempt to "debunk," my argument here is flawed and gets you nowhere, my point still stands.

You also seem to be referring to a "singularity," a great deal in your argument. Are you suggesting that the universe came from the centre of a black hole, or a single point of near infinite density like it states in the Big Bang theory? Thats quite an important distinction.

"It's irrelevant if I use the scientific definition or the colloquial definition."
This statement is blatantly false, as one implies much greater meaning than the other, as I alluded to in my original argument. What you intended to imply is irrelevant here, as it's what you did imply that we are talking about. By using the colloquial definition of the universe in your conclusion, that creates a huge leap of logic from the premise.
In short, saying that [the scientific] universe has a cause is hugely different from saying that the [colloquial] universe has a cause. This is because saying that all matter space and time (i.e the known universe) has a cause is true " that cause being the Big Bang. However, saying that everything that has ever existed has a cause is a completely different matter, one that is unverifiable at best.
"appealing to ignorance in order to dismiss my arguments and that's a fallacy."
You also completely misrepresent the argument from ignorance fallacy here. The appeal to ignorance fallacy is when you assert something to be true because it has not been proven false, which I obviously have not done at any point during my argument. I was nearly suggesting that we may not know what had caused the Big Bang, similar to how 3,000 years ago we didn't know what caused the rain.

You state premise 4 is "plain logic and reason," but that is the exact issue I have with it. You essentially are saying that its true because it makes sense, but this would not wash in the scientific community, where something needs observable evidence behind it. Common sense is usually misleading in this context, and can never be used to prove something.
"My opponent needs to dismantle the premises in order to attack my conclusion, not the other way around."
Not necessarily if your conclusion is a leap of logic, like it was in your original argument. The universe having a cause in no way means that God must exist, like you seem to be asserting. At best, what you have shown is that the universe began. Nothing more.
zimotic

Pro

I'll not address any issues raised by my opponent in respect of the numbers of arguments made by each side. 2 for me and 2 for him.

I didn't understand what he was trying to say that with "pro begins next round" so I began on round 1 and not round 2 as the instigator intended. As I said I'm new on the website.

I use this space to thank Kikomori for engaging a civil discussion. I also hope this debate was beneficial for both parties and readers.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by zimotic 2 weeks ago
zimotic
Dukeofpanda. It's my adaptation the Cosmological argument of Saint Thomas Aquinas mixed with the Cosmogonical theory of the origin of the Universe. They are quit famous, so probably because of that you already heard this argumentation.
Posted by dukeofpanda 2 weeks ago
dukeofpanda
That or we are running out of novel ideas which would sadden me.
Posted by dukeofpanda 2 weeks ago
dukeofpanda
Umm. Zimotic is this really your first debate because I'm pretty sure I've read this exact argumentation in another debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by DoulosChristos 1 week ago
DoulosChristos
KikomorizimoticTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I believe pro could have made clearer that in the first premise of the cosmological argument, the caveat is that everything that ***began*** to exist has a cause. God did not begin to exist and is thus outside of the syllogism. Since scientific evidence points to the universe indeed having a beginning, it logically follows the universe needs a cause outside of itself. Even though pro did not make this 100 percent clear, pro's premise still stands. Con, with all due respect, did not offer a positive argument for why the universe needs no Creator.