The Instigator
Nzrsaa
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
chewster911
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Does God exist?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 683 times Debate No: 46713
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

Nzrsaa

Pro

1st round is for acceptance.
I assert that God exists, and Con's position is that God does not exist. Burden of proof is shared; I have to give arguments for the existence of God, and Con has to attempt to refute them. Con has to give arguments against the existence of God, and I have to attempt to refute them.
God is God in the classical sense.
Good luck!
chewster911

Con

I accept the challenge. Good luck to both of us!
Debate Round No. 1
Nzrsaa

Pro

Thanks Chewster for accepting, I hope this debate goes well.

I will offer 2 arguments for the existence of God - the Modal Ontological argument and the Kalam Cosmological argument.

Modal Ontological argument
The argument goes as follows:
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 a maximally great being exists in every possible world
4) If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world
5) Therefore a maximally great being exists in the actual world
6) Therefore a maximally great being exists
7) Therefore God exists

A couple of definitions may be helpful here:
Possible world: some description of reality that is logically coherent
Maximally great: possessing all great-making properties

Premises 2-7 all logically follow from premise 1 - if it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then such a being exists in some possible world. However, considering it is greater to be a necessary being rather than a contingent being, if a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world. The actual world is a sub-set of "every possible world"
Note, when we say "possible", we are not referring to a probabilistic claim. Rather, we are referring to subjective possibility; the form typically used in modal logic [1] which is concerned about whether a statement might have been or could be true. For example, I *could* have been named 'James' in some possible description of reality.
So what reasons do we have in support of premise 1? If there are no contradictions in possessing great making properties (which would include all the classical attributes of God - all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, etc.) then premise 1 stands. And it only seems logical - the fact is, there are no logical contradictions with a being that is maximally great.
So if Con is to refute this argument, then premise 1 must be refuted, by giving reasons to think that the concept of a maximally great being is logically incoherent.

Kalam Cosmological Argument
The argument is as follows:
1) Everything which begins to exist has a cause
2) the universe began to exist
3) therefore the universe has a cause

Defence of premise 1
Premise 1 is a metaphysical claim, stating that anything which comes into existence must have something which brings it into existence. This is based on a logical, universal, metaphysical truth claim - namely that "out of nothing, nothing comes". If there is absolutely nothing in existence, then there can be no potentialities, either. If there are no potentialities for something to come into being, then nothing will come into being. Hense, there must be an existing cause for anything to come into being.
Moreover we can use inductive reasoning to support this premise - we have never experienced anything to come into being without a cause, and yet every observation, ever, supports the statement that that whatever begins to exist has a cause to its existence. This only makes it rational to believe premise 1.

Support of premise 2
Why should we believe that the universe began to exist? One main reason is that an actual infinite cannot be traversed. If someone was to go on a journey to an infinitely distant point in space, it wouldn't just take them a long time to get there - the reality is, they would never get there. However long they had been travelling for, a part of the journey would still remain. They would never arrive at the destination, and therefore infinite space cannot be traversed.
It is the same of someone were to count to infinity; it wouldn't just take a long time to count to infinity, but they would never get there. For however long they were counting, they would still only count to a finite number, and so It is not possible to traverse a set of numbers from 0 to infinity.
We can then apply this to the past. If the past were infinite, it wouldn't merely take a long time to get to the present, but the present would never arrive. It doesn't matter how much time has passed, time would still be stuck in the infinite past. It doesn't matter how much time had passed, we would still be working through the infinite past.
However, we know that the present has arrived. The past can't be infinite - and therefore the universe came into being a finite time ago.[2]
We can also look towards modern science to support premise 2, concerning the Big Bang - the theory that asserts that all matter and energy came into being a finite time ago. We know this mainly due to the fact that: "The cosmic microwave background radiation can be explained only by the Big Bang theory. The background radiation is the relic of an early hot universe" [3]

Why God?
Well if the argument is correct, the the universe requires a cause. However, it must be timeless and therefore changeless because it created time. Because it also created space, it must transcend space, and therefore be immaterial and not physical. It must also be hugely powerful, because it caused the universe to exist. [4]
So we have painted a picture of God - a timeless, immaterial, hugely powerful creator of the universe.

I look forward to the next round!

Sources:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...
[3] http://www.astronomynotes.com...
[4] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
chewster911

Con

Thank you Nzrsaa for posting your arguments.
_________________________________________________________________

Modal Ontological argument:

There is a logical problem with this argument. Although premise 1 can be possible,the problem with this argument starts with premise 2,and there is another problem between premises 2 and 3:

"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 a maximally great being exists in every possible world"

I will first start with just 2nd first:

The argument describes a *maximally* great being,which includes all the characteristics of that being: the omnipotence,omniscience,omnipresence and so. We can mathematically conclude that our universe is not infinite (in space). Nothing in our universe is (maximally) perfect. The existence of a creator in "some possible world" means that that world/universe has to be infinite if we are to apply the existence of a creator through infinity argument,which states that simultaneous infinities are not logically possible. Since those infinities are not logically possible,there are no "worlds" where a "maximally great being exists". [1]

Premise 2 has been blown out of the water. In the same time Premise 1 has been blown too.

In the same way there is a problem between premise 2 and 3. The sub-set of words that Pro is talking about is not the case. It is defined as "set that is a part of a larger set". If it was actually how Pro described it,then it would be that both sets are equal,which is not the case. Some =/= every. This is a logical fail. If we refuted the 2nd premise,then all the other premises are invalid and are dismissed. However,if the 6th and 7th premises are dismissed,then the 1st premise is also dismissed.

Ontological argument is blown out of the water. There are contradictions with a being that is maximally great,opposing Pro's words.

Kalam Cosmological Argument:

If the Kalam Cosmological Argument refers to universe as the starting point of everything,this can easily be dismissed.

We know that energy cannot be created or destroyed (proved fact),it just changes it's form of being and can quantum tunnel. We have come to the theory of a compressed universe,which is explained as stretching of the universe from that amount of space that contained all mass of today's universe,otherwise known as an "big bang". The "cause" that is mentioned in the Kalam argument is,in fact,energy. This argument got it wrong in the premise 2 where it says "beginning of existence of the universe". The universe did not begin to exist at the expansion of the compresses space. Of course only this wouldn't make sense. So lets suppose that there is clearly nothing,no energy,no matter,nothing. However,nothing,as philosophical concept does not exist,according to quantum mechanics. The universe had no beginning. [2]

In relativity,gravity is negative energy,and matter is positive energy. Negative and positive energy has to be equal in total value for the universe to be stabilized/balanced. And it is balanced to zero. This means that our universe could have come to existence without violating conservation of mass and energy with the matter of the universe condensing out of the positive energy with cooling of the universe.

There used to be equal amount of antimatter and matter as gravity condenses into matter and antimatter. However there was an imbalance in this process,resulting in matter dominating the universe. [3]

Quantum mechanics prove that there couldn't be nothing in the universe before that singularity and before everything.

I can agree with Pro that the cause (energy) can be timeless in a correct context,however the energy is not changeless,since it constantly fluctuates and changes it's state of being.

Through the famous Einstein's equation E=mc^2 we can determine that energy can change it's state into mass. About 9 quadrillion J (Joules) of concentrated energy is 1 gram of mass. The "everywhere stretch" could be caused only by a massive amount of energy.

I explained that the Kalam argument is invalid and that universe had no beginning,that is, it existed forever (in different states).

I hand the debate back to my opponent. I look forward to the next round!

Sources:

http://skeptico.blogs.com... [1]
[2] (video)
http://press.web.cern.ch... [3]
Debate Round No. 2
Nzrsaa

Pro

Hey Con!
Modal Ontological argument

With premise 2, Con's objection fails when he says that "The existence of a creator in "some possible world" means that that world/universe has to be infinite if we are to apply the existence of a creator through infinity argument". However, this is simply false. Modal logic does not work like this - "some possible world" means to be logically coherent in some description of reality. This logical description of reality doesn't really exist per se. And so the real world has nothing to do with the first Couple of premises and so the universe does not have to be "infinite" - in fact, the actual universe has nothing to do with the argument (at least, until the 4th premise)

I would like my opponent to elaborate when he says that the "infinity argument ... states that simultaneous infinities are not logically possible". This is merely a statement, and has no backing behind it. I would like Con to explain what this means, as I'm not quite sure how to respond.

Con's second objection is that "some possible world" does not equal "every possible world". However, while this may be the case with contingent entities - things that might not have been - for example, the planet Mercury may not have been - it is not the case with necessary beings - like numbers or, indeed, a maximally great being. Because if it is possible that a necessary being exists, the it necessarily exists - after all, it is a necessary being. And the point is that it is greater to be necessary than contingent. So if it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being necessarily exists. So in this case, some does equal every.

Kalam cosmological argument

If I have understood Con's objection correctly, he says that due to the laws of conservation, energy cannot be created or destroyed, and therefore existed forever. So premise 2 is rendered false.

However, I see this to be fallacious. Sure, energy can not be created nor destroyed. But this only occurs once it has existed and only in a closed system - that is the only evidence we have available to us. [1] There is no reason to believe that energy could not have come into being at some point in the past, and then only after that point do the laws of energy conservation apply. So there is no reason to believe that energy existed forever, even if we do accept the laws of conservation.

And in fact I argue that it cannot exist forever. Because if the energy had existed for an infinite amount of time, and (as Con admits) this energy is not changeless, then this immediately arrives at the problem of infinite regression. This means that there would have to be an infinite amount of changes to the energy state, which I argue is not possible due to the fact that an actual infinite cannot be transversed. I'll give another example - imaging that I wanted to count from negative infinity to zero. How would that occur? Whichever point I decide to start counting down from would be a finite number. If I wanted to get to zero, I could only start at a finite number. Now, simply replace "zero" with the present. If there were an infinite amount of events prior to the Big Bang, then the Big bang would never occur. The present would never arrive. [2]

Con then goes on to describe how exactly the universe came into being - none of which I object to, and has no bearing to the truth of the argument.

Thanks Con and I look forward to the next round.

Sources:
[1] https://www.princeton.edu...
[2] http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...
chewster911

Con

chewster911 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Nzrsaa

Pro

Shame that Chewster forfeited, was just getting into the debate :)
As it is the last round, I would like to thank Chewster, the viewers and the future voters on a great debate, Even though it is not complete.
God Bless
chewster911

Con

chewster911 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Yes, but the fact is we are our own illusions, we don't exist as we think we are, it's all an illusion created by our own brains in order to keep ourselves content.
Posted by Killer11805 2 years ago
Killer11805
God does not exist. No got exists. I, myself, am a satanist. Now, many people confuse satanism with devil worship, however, I do not worship the devil. Satanism is the belief that there is no heaven nor hell, but that you are your own god rather than a man in the sky or a man under the crust. I believe we go nowhere after we die, and as most people would say "Yolo" I look at it in terms of there is nothing else. I agree with Yolo but Im not one of those annoying people. You do only live once so try to make the best out of it. Granted, this world is awful and pathetic and it would be nothing less than a gift to leave, but once you leave, theres no returning. Most people look for a god to light the way, but I do not believe in him. I don't believe in Jesus nor Lucifer. I believe if your going to live for anything, live for yourself, because its the only thing you can honestly prove, and it isn't a story that's been passed down for over 1900 years.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
There's so many generic, garden variety Gods, have to keep checking their product tags, likely many are manufactured in China or India and rebadged for sale under such brands as Christianity or Islam.
Posted by Hematite12 2 years ago
Hematite12
Arguing "against" a deity as a positive claim is like arguing against Santa Claus.

Sure, I could provide arguments against them like you mentioned. I could say that Santa Claus' proposed characteristics wouldn't make sense with physical laws or crap like that, but I shouldn't have to. BoP is on the Santa Claus' existence arguer.

The same applies to a deity (I'm not trying to belittle religion/deities by comparing to a stupid kid's tale, but the logic applies to both).
Posted by Nzrsaa 2 years ago
Nzrsaa
The debate is only about a generic "God" that exists. (exists means to be actualized in the real world)
I guess we are argueing about a deistic God - a single, supreme being that exists transcendent to the universe, created the universe, and may or may not be involved in creation.
Con should argue that such a God cannot exist.
Does that help?
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
Please add a definition for God, and a definition for Exist, also if arguing for one God instead of merely there being a god... That last one is because if pro is arguing that God exists, therefore all other religions are wrong, con gets two possible stances (either simply that gods do not exist, or that the premise of a singular God is false).
Posted by Nzrsaa 2 years ago
Nzrsaa
Evil? We have no experience of an unembodied mind? Naturalistic explanations for what we infer to be God's work?
There are many arguments against the existence of God. It is up to Con to chose.
Posted by PiedPiper 2 years ago
PiedPiper
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this topic doesn't lend itself to a shared burden of proof. When talking about a being that nobody can observe with any of the sense or in any scientific way, how can one further prove it's absence? I mean, how can the con say more to prove the absence of God than to say that one cannot see, hear, smell, taste, or touch Him? I don't mean to incite an argument in the comments, I'm just curious how you think the BoP for con will play out?
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