The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
awatkins69
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points

Does God exist ?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
awatkins69
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/26/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,024 times Debate No: 15612
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (22)
Votes (4)

 

Illegalcombatant

Con

Definition of God - Its existence is uncaused, morally good, all powerful, all knowing, personal, the prime/first mover.

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE ACCEPTING DEBATE

BURDEN OF PROOF

Both sides of this debate have a burden to carry

I as the CON have to try and prove that God probably doesn't exist or at the very least that Gods non existence is more likely that its existence.

My opponent as the PRO will try and prove that God probably does exist, or at the very least that Gods existence is more likely than its non existence.
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PROBLEMS ?

If you have any problem with the debate please post in the comments section first so we can try to come to an agreement before starting.
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To the PRO

You can argue for a more general theistic position or a more specific theistic position, eg Christianity, Islam, etc, its up too you.

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EXPECTATIONS

It is expected that both parties act in good faith, eg no semantics, no cheap shots.
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DEFINITIONS

God = Definition of God - Its existence is uncaused, morally good, all powerful, all knowing, personal, the prime/first mover
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I normally argue in favor of Gods existence, so in this debate I will be jumping to the dark side, that God doesn't exist or at the very least, that Gods non existence is more likely than God existing.

OPENING ARGUMENTS.......

Contention 1) There are more things that don't exist than do exist.

Image all the things we could come up with and argue that they exist..... blue elephants, gremlins, witches, inter dimensional aliens, invisible rocks, particles that travel backwards in time etc. We would need a super computer to come up with all the possible things that could exist, and 99.9%+ of them, don't exist, never have and never will.

If a claim is made that X exists, and we have no other information other than the claim that it exists, there is a 99.9%+ chance that it doesn't exist, and yes that number is just made up by myself but I think you get the point.

Seeing Pro is the one arguing that God exists, I shall leave it up to them to provide their reasons, until then, most possible things don't exist and as such we can be confident in the absence of any reason to the contrary that Gods non existence is more likely than Gods existence.

I look forward to Pros response.
awatkins69

Pro

Thank you for the debate. I will argue that there is good evidene for the existence of a God as you've defined it, and that there are no good arguments against it. For fun I've decided to use two classic arguments as opposed to modern ones.

Opponent's Argument:
I think my opponent is saying that, in the absence of evidence for an entity X, we can conclude that X doesn't exist. I can agree with this. Hence, I need to show that there is good evidence for God's existence.

Argument 1: Inductive Cosmological Argument:
(1) The universe is caused or uncaused.
(2) Complex things are most likely caused
(3) The universe is complex.
(4) Therefore, the universe is most likely caused.

Argument 2: Anselm's Ontological Argument:
(1') God is the thought object (TO) than which no TO can be thought to be greater.
For reductio, suppose that:
(2') God is only in the intellect. (In other words, God is thought of, but does not exist in reality)
(3') Any TO that can be thought to exist in reality can be thought to be greater than any TO that is only in the intellect.
(4') God can be thought to exist in reality.
(5') Therefore, some TO can be thought to be greater than the TO than which no TO can be thought to be greater.
But (5') is a contradiction, and hence by indirect proof
(6') God is not only in the intellect, but exists in reality.

I'll wait to see whether my opponent thinks the first argument is cogent and whether the second argument is sound. If so, then I will try to explain why the cause in the first argument is God. If not, then I will defend them. Also, if my opponent has any objections to theism I will try to reply to them.

Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their quick reply.

Concerning the first argument "Inductive Cosmological Argument" by Pro, the conclusion is "Therefore, the universe is most likely caused."

Even if this is accepted, this isn't an argument for God existing. I would also point out that this argument doesn't argue that the universe must have a cause, but rather a more modest claim that the universe is most likely caused. And obviously it doesn't argue that God is necessary for the universe to exist.

Seeing the argument doesn't argue that God exists, I won't challenge it, but reserve the right to challenge it later if I think I need too.

I would also like to add, according to the same reason given in this argument that "Complex things are most likely caused", consider this argument.

God is Complex argument..........

1) Only something that has intelligence can intelligently create something
2) It is most likely something possessing intelligence is complex
3) God intelligently created the universe ( I am betting Pro will make this claim)
4) Therefore God is most likely complex

God has a cause argument..........

1) God is most likely complex (from the God is complex argument)
2) Complex things are most likely caused (according to Pros cosmological argument)
3) Therefore God is most likely caused

Concerning Pro's second argument "Anselm's Ontological Argument:"

I follow premises 1-4 easily enough, but premise 5 I don't think I quite understand the argument.

Premise 5 says "Therefore, some TO can be thought to be greater than the TO than which no TO can be thought to be greater.
But (5') is a contradiction, and hence by indirect proof"

I think I will have to get you to explain premise 5 better for me. With that said here is what it sounds like to me....

1) God exists as the greatest being (greatest being defined as existing in reality)
2) It is greater to exist in reality than just in the intellect
3) Therefore God exists in reality

Trouble is this is question begging, the conclusion (that God exists) is already stated in premise 1 (that God exists). But like I said I am not too sure on this, cause I am not confident I understand the argument.

I look forward to Pros' response.
awatkins69

Pro

Objections:
My opponent objects that even if the Inductive Cosmological Argument is cogent that we still will not have established the existence of anything like God. I will challenge this assertion, and then relate it to my opponent's counter-example.

Attributes of the First Cause:
Note that the conclusion of the argument is that there is probably a cause of the universe. So what are the attributes of this first cause? Well, we can figure this out by considering the attributes of what it is causing. The universe is the totality of space, time, energy, and matter. To be a cause of the universe then, it must exist outside of these things. Hence, the first cause must be timeless, immaterial, and enormously powerful. I would also argue that the first cause is changeless because (arguably) time is just a measurement of change, intelligent because the universe is highly complex, and that it is personal insofar as it is the ultimate cause of the existence of rational creatures. Hence we've come to the existence of a timeless, changeless, immaterial, extremely powerful, intelligent and personal creator. What more could one ask for?

Counter-Argument from God's Complexity:
My opponent argues that my reasoning is self-defeating because if the first cause is complex then by my own criteria we should conclude that it's probably caused. However, I want to challenge the premise that the first cause is complex. As we saw, if we draw the inferences from my conclusion we find that the first cause is indeed simple. It is not composed of any parts, not material, it is outside of time, it is unchanging. Even if we predicate complex thoughts to it we can still say that the first cause itself is simple. Hence, it doesn't fall to any counter-argument.

The Ontological Argument:

My opponent attempted to re-phrase my presentation of the ontological argument. If that were what I meant, then it's true, my argument would have been question begging. However, I suppose that it is my fault for not being clear enough, so I will try to explain.

Remember, in my argument we're taking (2') as just an assumption. That is to say, suppose that (2') is true, as the atheist will agree it is. Well, if we follow (2') by (3') and (4') we end up with a flat contradiction. Since we inferred a contradiction from (2') it follows that (2') is false. This form of argument constitutes what's known in logic as a reductio ad absurdum; it's a form of indirect proof that we use in mathematics all the time for instance. If a proposition p implies a proposition q and q is false then p is false because a statement with the truth-value of true can only imply something that is true.

Conclusion:
With my points from the first argument cleared up and defended and with my second argument explained I look forward to hearing what my opponent thinks about this and also whether my opponent thinks there are any good reasons to think that God probably does not exist.
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for there response.

I would like to start off with the ontological argument.

I have read various kinds of ontological arguments. My understanding is that at the core of the ontological argument is that if God is possible, then God must be actual. Suffice to say, just because something is possible doesn't mean its actual.

But I am not too sure if that applies to Pros argument cause I don't fully understand it.

Premise 5 of Pros argument says..... "Premise 5 says "Therefore, some TO can be thought to be greater than the TO than which no TO can be thought to be greater."

Am I the only one that finds this is just gibberish ? Anyone want to try and explain premise 5 to me ? Feel free to comment in the comments section.

I think Pro is making the argument that either God exists or God doesn't exist, (which I agree) and that if it is proven that Gods non existence is not possible, by logical necessity that proves God exists.

But how does the ontological argument prove that God not existing, is not possible ?

As such this is not proven, it must be conceded that God not existing is possible.

Objections to the Cosmological Argument

When presenting arguments to argue for Gods existence, there is A HUGE problem, and the problem is this. That the argument that is used to infer Gods existence if applied to God actually prove God does not exist.

But you see Pro has an explanation, Pro after making the argument that infers Gods existence merely states, but the argument doesn't apply to God. Consider this example.......

1) Complex things most likely have a cause
2) The universe is complex
3) Therefore the universe most likely has a cause

Now I countered

1) Complex things most likely have a cause
2) God is complex
3) Therefore God most likely has a cause

Pro doesn't dis agree with the logic, after all its based on the same reasoning they have used, but argued that the premise 2) is wrong, that God is simple, thus the argument doesn't work on God.

Noticing a pattern here ? It goes something like this.....

1) Argument X infers God
2) Argument X if applied to God would prove God does not exist
3) Argument X does not apply to God
4) Therefore argument X does not prove God does not exist

On this basis alone, we should be very skeptical of these arguments. Its kinda like, a house of cards, the argument for Gods existence is based on an argument, and once the argument is used to prove Gods existence, the argument is then discarded by making God the exception, and thus the house of cards comes tumbling down.

Now this type of reasoning could be used in many different variations, but the end result is always the same, the argument X does not apply to God.

So lets ask this question, instead of telling us what doesn't apply to God what does actually apply to God ?

Pro does make some claims that actually apply to God himself. Pro says about the first cause (read God).... "To be a cause of the universe then, it must exist outside of these things. Hence, the first cause must be timeless, immaterial, and enormously powerful. I would also argue that the first cause is changeless because (arguably) time is just a measurement of change, intelligent because the universe is highly complex, and that it is personal insofar as it is the ultimate cause of the existence of rational creatures"

I object to the claim that God/first cause must not be X to be the cause of X, pro argues.....

1) God caused material
2) Therefore God is immaterial

1) God caused time
2) Therefore God is timeless

1) God caused X
2) Therefore God is opposite of X

In order to show the irrationality of this type of argument consider the following argument. Your parents are the cause of your existence, and you a material, therefore your parents must be immaterial. The argument is as follows......

1) Your parents caused you, you being a material object
2) Therefore your parents are immaterial

But of course this is faulty reasoning, although your parents don't possess YOUR body, they do possess their own bodies. Now consider the universe, just like a body, is possess it owns material, and of course the cause doesn't possess the same material but never the less can possess material of its self, just like your parents.

I would also add, from the observable evidence, that material effects most likely have a material cause, example you and your parents.

Argument for the universe having material cause

1) Material effects most likely have a material cause
2) The universe is material
3) Therefore the universe most likely has a material cause

Counter Argument that God is simple.

Pro presented no argument to support the claim that God is simple, other then their own assertion. Fair enough, I can make the assertion that if God exists then God is complex.

Allow me to present my argument why my assertion is more probably.

For the sake of arguments lets concede, that God is all powerful, all knowing, all good, intelligent and caused the universe, but the point of dis agreement is whether this God is simple or complex ?

Pro is arguing that God is all powerful, all knowing, all good, intelligent, immaterial, personal................but simple.

Con is arguing that God is all powerful, all knowing, all good, intelligent, immaterial, personal............but complex.

So which one of these two arguments on the surface seems more likely ? I argue on the surface that this "God" or being, or thing, is more likely to be complex and than simple.

As said before.........

God has a cause argument

1) God is most likely complex
2) Complex things are most likely caused (according to Pros cosmological argument)
3) Therefore God is most likely caused

Pro also argues that God is personal because Pro says "is personal insofar as it is the ultimate cause of the existence of rational creatures"

I object to this type of reasoning, consider this argument based on a metal pot made by a human.

1) The human made a metal pot
2) Therefore human must be made of metal

The cause of something, doesn't have to have the exact same characteristically as the effect.

In summary

1) There are more things that don't exist than do exist, and absent any good reason to believe that "X" exists, we are justified in claiming that "X" does not exist or at the very least, that "X" non existence is more likely than its existence.

2) The reasons that infer God, if applied to God would actually prove God does not exist, so God is exempted from the argument. This type of reasoning should be rejected or at the very least not be accepted as showing that Gods existence is more likely than its non existence.

3) Arguments that apply to God (as opposed to arguments that exempt God) are illogical, such as claiming God must be a personal cause to have a personal effect, and that God must be an immaterial cause to give rise to a material effect.

4) Because of the above reasons its more likely that God does not exist, than does exist.

I look forward to Pros response.
awatkins69

Pro

Since I explained the ontological argument in the comments I'll forego re-stating it and wait for my opponent's reply in the next round.

The Cosmological Argument: Objections
I would first note that my opponent has questioned neither the strength nor the cogency of the version of the cosmological argumet that I presented. None of the premises themselves have been brought into question.

Now, my opponent says that because I try to show that the same reasoning of my argument does not apply to God, that we should be skeptical of my argument. But that's not true. If my argument does not apply to God, then all the better for the theist, plain and simple.

Attributes of the First Cause:
He also disagrees with my reasoning about the attributes of the first cause, and believes that my reasoning is faulty. He says that we cannot simply infer from the fact that X is the cause of Y that X is the opposite of Y. Surely that's correct. However, the problem is that this is not my argument at all.

Recall that the universe is the totality of space, time, energy, and matter. I'm not saying that the first cause must have none of these attributes because of the fact that it was its cause. Rather, if it is an external cause, then it by definition can't have these attributes. Why? Well, because of the fact that if it were material then it would be a part of the universe. But how could it both be the cause of the universe *and* a part of the universe? That doesn't make sense. We can state this argument again as another reductio ad absurdum.

Suppose that
(1*) The external cause of the universe is material or in time.
Now, we said that the universe is the totality of space, time, energy, and matter. Hence,
(2*) Whatever is material or in time is a part of the univere.
Therefore,
(3*) The external cause of the universe is a part of the universe.
But this is plainly contradictory; how can the external cause of the universe be a part of the universe? Since this is a contradiction it follows
(4*) The external cause of the universe is neither material nor in time.

This suffices also to show that God is simple, since he is not composed of parts, and hence we can't infer that he is caused. If that doesn't count as simple, what *would* count as simple on my opponent's view?

As for the creator's being personal, I will admit that the argument for this attribute is less strong than the others, at least based on the cosmological argument alone. However, I simply think it's more plausible that there is a personal explanation of why the universe contains such complex and intelligent creatures as us who can even think about their creator. It seems to me very unlikely that a random and non-thinking agent would do that.

I hope my opponent will now be able to respond to the case I've laid out for the first cause. I also look forward to hearing back about the ontological argument now that it's cleared up.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

--- The Ontological Argument ---

I would like to start off with refuting the ontological argument.

The ontological arguments starts be assuming that God only exists in the mind.

It then proceeds to argue that a God that exists in actuality is greater than a God that exists as just a concept.

I agree with the argument up to this point, but to then argue this proves God actually exists in a non sequitur. All this proves is that the concept of God existing in actuality should be regarded as the greatest thought object refuting the claim that concept that God only exists as a concept is the greatest thought object (as my opponent puts it)

Even if the premises are true, the conclusion that God actually exists does not follow. At best it proves that the concept of God existing in reality is the greatest thought object.

--- The ontological argument from the comments section ---

Here is my objection that I had written for the comments section, from out discussion there. Same objection just a bit more detail.

Pro says "Premise 2) that God is only in the intellect and not in reality. This is the atheist's position, that God is just a figment of our imagination. So let's suppose it's true, that God exists only in the mind"

Con says "Proving premise 2 false, doesn't prove that God actually exists, it just proves that you had a view that God only exists in concept, but now you have a view that God exists in actuality as well, this proves your first view that God only existing in concept as a maxium conceivable being was wrong, not that God actually exists."

Consider this argument......

1) X exists only as a concept
2) Having a concept of X existing in both concept and reality is greater than X just existing as a concept
3) Therefore X exists in reality

Non Sequitur, even if the premises are true, they don't support the conclusion

This argument is no way proves that X exists in reality, it doesn't even increase its probability of X existing

--- Countering that the universe is the totality of space/time/energy in existence ---

Pro says "Recall that the universe is the totality of space, time, energy, and matter"

It is my understanding that Pro is claiming not just that the universe contains space/time/energy etc, which I agree, but that the universe contains ALL space/time/energy in existence. On what basis do you make this claim ?

Maybe it wasn't obvious enough, but your parents being material, and you being material analogy is a refutation of this premise. As I said before, you have a body that is made up of all the material in it, just like the universe is made up of all the material in it. But your body doesn't possess ALL of the material in existence, just like the universe doesn't possess ALL of the material in existence.

On what basis do you make the claim that the universe is the totality of space/time/energy in existence. Why not make the claim that the universe contains space/time/energy but that doesn't mean there aren't other universes or realities that contain their own space/time/energy ?

I remind Pro of this argument..........

Argument for the universe having material cause

1) Material effects most likely have a material cause
2) The universe is material
3) Therefore the universe most likely has a material cause

--- The arguments that infer God, if true would actually disprove God exists, so God is exempted from the argument ---

Pro says "Now, my opponent says that because I try to show that the same reasoning of my argument does not apply to God, that we should be skeptical of my argument. But that's not true. If my argument does not apply to God, then all the better for the theist, plain and simple."

I find this a baffling statement. No its not better for the theist. Can I tell you what would be better for the theist and a much more powerful argument that infers God existence ? A much better argument would be one that infers God but also if applied to God himself would not prove Gods non existence. As opposed to arguments that infer Gods existence, but God has to be exempted from the argument.

Can you provide such an argument ?

--- Countering that God is simple ---

Pro still maintains that God is simple, I thought just on the surface that the two options of a complex God and a simple God would be enough. Never the less, I shall now provide more reason why this should be rejected.

Now Pro claims that a being intelligently created the universe. I am assuming that this being knew what he was doing, that is to say, created the universe, but also knew how to create one.

1) The more information/knowledge something possess the more likely it is to be complex
2) God is all knowing (Claimed by Pro)
3) Therefore God is likely complex

--- The creator of the universe has a cause ---

1) The creator of the universe is most likely complex
2) Complex things are most likely caused (according to Pros cosmological argument)
3) Therefore the creator of the universe is most likely caused

--- Countering that God is personal ---

Pro says "I simply think it's more plausible that there is a personal explanation of why the universe contains such complex and intelligent creatures as us who can even think about their creator. It seems to me very unlikely that a random and non-thinking agent would do that"

This seems to be a false dilemma argument

1) Either an intelligent and personal cause or randomness
2) Not randomness
3) Therefore an intelligent and personal cause

The reason this is a false dilemma is because it excludes NON intelligent NON random causes, such as natural selection.

From wikipedia "Natural selection is the process by which traits become more or less common in a population due to consistent effects upon the survival or reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution" [1]

Also from wikipedia "For example, the peppered moth exists in both light and dark colours in the United Kingdom, but during the industrial revolution many of the trees on which the moths rested became blackened by soot[citation needed], giving the dark-colored moths an advantage in hiding from predators. This gave dark-colored moths a better chance of surviving to produce dark-colored offspring, and in just a few generations the majority of the moths were dark" [1]

Natural selection, non intelligent cause, but not random.

I look forward to Pros response.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
awatkins69

Pro

Thanks for the response con.

Ontological Argument:
My opponent thinks that my conclusion, that God does not exist only in the mnd but in reality as well, does not follow from my argument. However, it's not clear to me where the logical mistake is. If it is false that God is only in the intellect and not in reality, then it is true that God is not only in the intellect but in reality as well. It's very simple. If the atheist position is false then the theist position is true. And my argument does prove that conclusion if all of the premises are true.

If con thinks there is a flaw with my presentation of the ontological argument I'd appreciate it if he could tell me either how my argument is invalid or which of the premises are wrong. I have to kindly say that I think his re-presentations of my argument do not accurately convey the same form as mine, so I suggest we only stick to my presentation.

Cosmological Argument:
Con does not think that the universe is the totality of space, time, energy and matter. Well, that's how I've defined my terms. What I mean by universe is this. If you want you can label it something else, say U. That way neither of us can quibble over definitions. So, to re-present the argument, let U = the totality of space, time, energy and matter.

(1) U is caused or uncaused.
(2) Complex things are most likely caused.
(3) U is complex.
(4) Therefore, U is most likely caused.

Notice, my opponent cannot make the objection that there is no basis for me saying that U is the totality of space, time, energy and matter. That's precisely how I've defined it. Clearly the world we live in, whatever you consider that to be, is part of U, since the world is made up of space, time, energy and matter.

First Causes' Immateriality and Timelessness:
My opponent objects that we can induce the first cause's materiality. But notice that my opponent's argument is inductive, and does not guarantee its conclusion. So if I can offer a sound deductive argument for the First Cause's immateriality and timelessness then it still works. I already did, but I'll restate it again.

Suppose that
(1*) The external cause of U is material or in time.
Now, we said that U is the totality of space, time, energy, and matter. Hence,
(2*) Whatever is material or in time is a part of U.
Therefore,
(3*) The external cause of U is a part of U.
But this is plainly contradictory; how can the external cause of U be a part of U? Since this is a contradiction it follows
(4*) The external cause of U is neither material nor in time.

First Cause's Simplicity and Personalness:
Con also offers an argument for the first cause's complexity. However, I think it doesn't work because the first premise is false. I simply believe minds are not complex. Even in humans with knowledge our minds are not complex even though our brains are. But our minds are not our brains (even if we suppose, arguably, that they are dependent on our brains). Now, thoughts might be complex. But there is a distinction to be made between a thought and the mind in which it inheres. Likewise, although the first cause has complex thoughts, all we can infer from this is that the thoughts themselves are complex, not the first cause.

I'd still like to know, if the immaterial, timeless, spaceless first cause is not simple what would be simple?

Finally, with regards to the first cause's being personal, I will admit that this argument is less strong. However, if as we've determined the first cause is highly intelligent then it seems it would know all the possible worlds it could create. And yet it created *this* one.

Note that I'm not saying that the process by which humans arose was a random process. What I am saying is that the creation of a universe in which such a process would take place was either chosen by means of some agent or was caused by chance, and it is the former that I find more plausible.

Questions:
To get everything straight I'd like to close with some final questions for my opponent.

1) How is my presentation of the ontological argument invalid or unsound?
2) How can something external to the totality of space, time, matter and energy (U) be a part of U?
3) If an immaterial, timeless, spaceless, changeless entity with no parts is not simple, what would be simple?

I'm excited to hear my opponent's final remarks as we wrap up this debate.

Debate Round No. 4
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

Before I begin, I forgot to mention, I was meant to state at the beginning of this debate that round 5 should not bring in new arguments. rebuttals of previous arguments/counter arguments and summaries are fine but. I will adhere to this, I realise its unfair for me to demand that you do the same, since you weren't aware of this from the beginning so I can only ask you too and leave it up too you.

--- Addressing the Ontological argument ---

Pro asks me, what my objection to the ontological argument is, as I said my objection is that it doesn't seem a valid argument, cause even if we accept the premises, it doesn't prove that God exists, only that the CONCEPT of God existing in actuality exists rather than God actually existing outside of just our concepts.

(1') God is the thought object (TO) than which no TO can be thought to be greater.
For reductio, suppose that:
(2') God is only in the intellect. (In other words, God is thought of, but does not exist in reality)
(3') Any TO that can be thought to exist in reality can be thought to be greater than any TO that is only in the intellect.
(4') God can be thought to exist in reality.

Then comes premise 5 which says....

"(5') Therefore, some TO can be thought to be greater than the TO than which no TO can be thought to be greater.
But (5') is a contradiction, and hence by indirect proof

But here is the question, what exactly is the contradiction ? Is the contradiction between God existing and God not existing ? No.

The contradiction is between your original concept of God which exists in premise 2 as only existing in thought, and your next concept of God as existing in reality and in concept.

The concept of God existing in reality and as a concept, is still a concept itself, you haven't being able to move this "concept" into actuality.

In order to prove Gods existence by indirect proof, you have to prove the logical negation as false, which is God doesn't exist.

1) God exists
-1) God doesn't exist (logical negation of 1)
2) Argument X proves that its impossible for God to not exist
3) Therefore God exists

Your ontological argument doesn't prove Gods non existence as impossible.

--- Countering First Cause's Simplicity ---

Previously I had argued....

1) The more information/knowledge something possess the more likely it is to be complex
2) God is all knowing (Claimed by Pro)
3) Therefore God is likely complex

Pro makes some comments about the mind being simple, and the brain mind relationship but that was about it. How does that refute this argument ?

--- Countering that God is personal ---

Pro presents a new argument to justify that God is personal and says "However, if as we've determined the first cause is highly intelligent then it seems it would know all the possible worlds it could create. And yet it created *this* one. "

Pros argument is as follows

1) God is highly intelligent and knows all possible worlds
2) God caused this world
3) Therefore God is personal

Non Sequitur. God being highly intelligent and causing this world doesn't prove God is personal.

Pro also says "What I am saying is that the creation of a universe in which such a process would take place was either chosen by means of some agent or was caused by chance, and it is the former that I find more plausible"

This again is a false dilemma

1) Either the cause of the universe is a personal cause or by chance
2) Not chance
3) Therefore a personal cause

How about a cause for instance, that is non random, but non personal.

Seeing that you have done this two times in a row, consider this from wikipedia.... "A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black and white thinking or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options" [1]

--- The Mind ---

Pro says "However, I think it doesn't work because the first premise is false. I simply believe minds are not complex"

Well hopefully Pro will concede that I have a mind, and as such.........

1) Simple things don't have to have a cause (this is the excuse pro gives to God to get out of needing a cause since only complex things need a cause)
2) I have a mind which is simple (Pro says minds are not complex)
3) Therefore my mind don't need a cause

Looks like simple things do need a cause after all, eg God.

Let me guess, my simple mind needs a cause, but God being simple doesn't, cause God always gets a way out right ?

--- God compared to Non existence things ---

Pro has alot to say about God through out this debate, not so much what God has, but rather what God has not.

Allow me to compare God to another non existence thing, my good friend, the invisible, immaterial, some what knowing, not quite all powerful, pink, unicorn.

God doesn't have any materiality, well either does the invisible pink unicorn cause things that don't exist don't have materiality.

God doesn't exist in time, well either does the invisible pink unicorn cause things that don't exist don't exist in time.

God doesn't exist in space, well either does the invisible pink unicorn cause things that don't exist in space.

God doesn't change, well either does the invisible pink unicorn cause you have to exist in the first place in order to change.

God doesn't have any parts, well either does the invisible pink unicorn cause things that don't exist don't have parts

God is without complexity, well either does the invisible pink unicorn cause things that don't exist don't have complexity

God has thoughts, well so does my pink unicorn friend, just don't ask me to prove it, just take my word for it ok ?

Isn't it amazing that my non existence good friend, the invisible pink unicorn, has so much in common, with God. I wonder why ?

--- Closing Arguments/Summary ---

1) Most possible things don't exist and as such we can be confident in the absence of any reason to the contrary that Gods non existence is more likely than Gods existence. This initial premise went without challenge through out the debate.

2) The ontological argument doesn't prove that God exists, only that one concept of God existing is greater than another concept of God existing.

3) The arguments that are used to infer God as the first cause, have premises in them, that if accepted as true and applied to God, would actually prove God doesn't exist, as such God is ALWAYS EXEMPTED from the argument.

4) None of Cons arguments had premises that infer God, and also can be applied to God that if accepted as true don't prove that God doesn't exist.

5) Cons argument to justify Gods person hood were based on a false dilemma and a non sequitur.

6) Con did not refute that the more knowledge something has, the more likely it is to be complex, thus God is complex and thus has a cause.

7) God has alot in common with the non existence invisible pink unicorn

In conclusion the God that was defined as, Its existence is uncaused, morally good, all powerful, all knowing, personal, the prime/first mover is more likely to not exist than to exist.

I ask a vote for the Con.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

--- Remarks on the debate and possible future debates ---

I thank Pro for participating in this debate and consider them a formidable opponent. I believe I have increased in my ability to argue for both for and against the existence God and as such thank them for that.

On a side note, I got a few debate idea's I want to raise with you, such as arguing the ontological arguments, or the cosmological arguments, but on their own, so we can go into more detail on them. I still had various lines I wanted to pursue but for space/time and debating effectiveness didn't pursue them.

Till next time
awatkins69

Pro

I want to apologize to con for my taking so long to reply; I've been busy so I haven't been on the website for a couple of days. I'm going to summarize the main points.

Ontological Argument:
With regards to the ontological argument, we see that if we go on the assumption that God doesn't exist in reality but only in the mind then we're led to a contradiction, namely, that God is both the greatest thought object and not the greatest thought object. Hence, we have to deny our supposition which led to this consequence, and affirm the existence of God.

Cosmological Argument:
I argued that it's likely that the universe, which I understand to be the totality of space, time, energy, and matter, is probably caused due to its being highly complex. I've argued that this cause is immaterial, timeless, changeless, extremely intelligent, extremely powerful, and personal. My opponent never questioned any of the reasoning itself, but said that by my own reasoning the first cause is probably caused. Even if this were true, it doesn't make my argument false. However, I don't think it's true.

First Cause's Simplicity:
I've argued that we cannot infer the first cause's being caused because it is simple. Con countered this, saying that the first cause probably is not simple because it has complex thoughts and knowledge. What I believe is that all we can infer is that the complex thoughts themselves are caused.

I've argued that an immaterial, timeless, changeless being which does not have parts is simple. My opponent's arguments do not establish its complexity. Besides, if that's not simple, what is? I've asked this question to no avail. My opponent also says that by my reasoning we should conclude minds don't need a cause. But that's not my argument at all. All I'm saying is that we can't conclude that minds such as our own are caused based on my reasoning. I'm sure we could conclude this some other way, say by an argument from our minds' finitude.

First Cause's Personality:
I don't think I've made a false dilemma, that either the universe was caused by a personal agent or by chance. I think that even if the universe were caused by some non-random non-intentional process it would count as being caused by chance. Why? Well, because if that were true then it would *just happen to be the case* that this universe were generated. And this is what I find implausible.

Finally, my opponent makes a comparison between my first cause and a pink unicorn. However, I will forego going into any depth about this since it's obviously a disanalogy.

Final comments:
I want to thank my opponent for this good debate and his respectful tone.

I didn't realize how time-consuming these debates are, but I suppose I could do maybe a shorter 3-round one. Feel free to message or comment on my page. Thanks again.
Debate Round No. 5
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by i8JoMomma 5 years ago
i8JoMomma
charles manson exists
Posted by awatkins69 5 years ago
awatkins69
O rly?
Posted by unlikely 5 years ago
unlikely
Does god exist ....er no
Posted by sal 5 years ago
sal
Where does the premise that something with intelligence has to be complex come from?
Posted by breelexy101 5 years ago
breelexy101
I do strongly believe the god exists.
Posted by awatkins69 5 years ago
awatkins69
Haha thanks. I'm sort of undecided about Wikipedia..

Anyways, sorry I'm taking a while to respond. I'll get back to you later tonight con. ;-)
Posted by Illegalcombatant 5 years ago
Illegalcombatant
Your entitled to your opinion ourgod, no mater how wrong and bias you are. :)
Posted by ourgodisaconsumingfire 5 years ago
ourgodisaconsumingfire
No more Wikipedia Cites should be a rule on debate.org lol Awatkins you have given a complete thorough argument that could hold up in any court.
Posted by awatkins69 5 years ago
awatkins69
Wolf, I'm not sure what you're saying; you don't think the universe is complex? It's composed of parts. That's what complexity *is*.

As for Anselm's argument there have been plenty of replies to Gaunilo. For one, the fact is that there is no upper bound in the qualities which make an island great, and so the idea of a perfect island is incoherent, making the argument unsound. This isn't the same for Anselm's God. For instance omniscience is the ability to know all true propositions, omnipotence is the ability to do all there is to do, etc. On the contrary, Gaunilo's "counter-example" is a schoolboy error.

I'm not sure how saying "the universe might not have a cause" helps us here. Sure, it might not for all we know. But that's precisely what we're arguing about..Best.
Posted by wolfhaines 5 years ago
wolfhaines
Why is the Universe complex? The rules that dictate the Universe are simple, therefore it's cause can be simple. Complexity judgements can only be found in comparisons, and seeing as we have no other Universe to compare it with we can't state it is complex.

Anselms Ontological Argument hasn't been used seriously for about 400 years. People new to it see it as a revelation, but those familiar with it know Philosophers have been tearing it apart from centuries. Using it is a school boy error.
Counter Argument: "Imagine a perfect island greater than any other island. To exist in reality is greater than existing in imagination. Therefore this perfect island exists in reality. Except it doesn't. "

To put forward the theory of a God being the first cause is acceptable. But to claim he DOES exist is not acceptable, as it is only a theory, not fact. All first universal causation theories are to be treated equally.

Those who argue God mustn't a cause can be countered with arguments that says the Universe might not have a cause.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ExNihilo 5 years ago
ExNihilo
Illegalcombatantawatkins69Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: You completely misunderstood the OA. I am surprised, I thought Anselm was done...very interesting OA formulation.
Vote Placed by IamZero 5 years ago
IamZero
Illegalcombatantawatkins69Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Cons arguement that most things don't exist is invalid. If it doesn't exist, it isn't remotely arguable, and not a "thing".
Vote Placed by bradshaw93 5 years ago
bradshaw93
Illegalcombatantawatkins69Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: better argments.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Illegalcombatantawatkins69Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: "At best it proves that the concept of God existing in reality is the greatest thought object." - no, it proves it exists - are-examine the premise