The Instigator
shift4101
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
1 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...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 536 times Debate No: 19741
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

shift4101

Pro

4 rounds, 72 hour arguments, 6000 character limit, and a week for voting.

First round for acceptence.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Christian assertion: God is the most complex form of intelligence

Complex intelligence is only a bi-product of a complex brain, so a complex intelligence existing without a biological brain doesn't make much sense.
Expecting anyone to believe there is a complex intelligence that didn't come from a brain, is like expecting someone to believe you have a wooden chair that didn't come from a tree. There are no examples of any wood that didn't come from a tree, so it's not logical to assume that what the person is saying is true. There is no evidence that complex intelligence can operate without a brain, so to believe it is equally as foolish.

How did life start without the need for a God? Well, the early pre-biotic earth was filled with organic molecules (which are quite common in space), the building blocks of life. The pre-biotic environment contained many simple fatty acids, under a range of PH they spontaneously form stable vesicles. With naturally occurring simple fatty acids, we can have a vesicle that can spontaneously grow from consumption and divide. The pre-biotic environment contained hundreds of different types of nucleotides, all it took was one to polymerize, they can replicate themselves.
Continued: So, so far we have lipid vesicles that can grow and divide, and nucleotide polymers that can self replicate all on their own, but how does it become life? Well fatty acid vesicles are permeable to nucleotide monomers, but not polymers. Once polymerization occurs within the vesicle, the polymer gets trapped! In the ocean they will encounter convection currents. A vesicle with more polymer, through simple thermodynamics will steal lipids from a vesicle with less polymer, this is the origin of competition. A Vesicle that contains polymer can replicate, grow and divide faster therefore dominating the population. Self polymerizing molecules will kick off evolution, and we see things like complex sexual reproduction arise, basically where the fun begins ;)

God didn't create the universe, there could be no creator.

The conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, and every effect has an equal and opposite effect. Most cosmologists agree that the total energy of the universe = 0. The negative (-) energy of gravity balances out the positive (+) energy of matter exactly. How can a creator create something that cannot be created and that = 0?

You can have an account with $0.00 in it, or you can deposit $5 into an account with a -$5.00 balance, either way at the end of the day your account will have $0.00. If energy has always, does, and will always = 0 then the idea of a "creator" makes no sense. The Big Bang was most likely simply just a transition of one form of total energy 0 to another form of total energy 0, driven by the quantum vacuum. Even though there is no 100% proof of this, there is still more evidence for it than a supernatural being.

Science has delivered to us pretty much everything we perceive as true in the modern world, Occam's Razor is the number one measuring tool in science, it's is a principle that generally recommends from among competing hypotheses selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.

God is the biggest assumption there is, so to associate God with truth makes no sense, because God violates Occam's Razor, the very measuring stick of science, which is the best tool we have in determining truth.

Recap:

1. There is no evidence that complex intelligence can exist without a biological brain
2. Life can begin without God, meaning there is reason to believe God didn't created life.
3. The Universe can begin without God, meaning there is reason to believe God didn't create the universe.
4. Energy cannot be created, meaning no creator of energy can exit, If God is the creator of energy in theory, then no God can exist.
5. You cannot create something that equals zero, meaning no creator, meaning no God.
6. Belief in a God when it is not necessary violates Occam's Razor, which is the number one measuring stick in science. 7. Science is our best tool for figuring out what is true. If The God theory violates the number one measuring stick in a practice which determines what's true to the best of our abilities, then it makes more sense to assume the god theory is false.

Conclusion:

Nobody can know for sure with 100% certainly whether God exists, but the case can be made that it is most likely that he does not exist. I believe I made that case pretty well and clear in this first round of the debate beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Debate Round No. 1
shift4101

Pro

I would like to thank Rational_Thinker for accepting this debate. Although he did break the only rule of this debate, I don't think it really matters. Since he did present some argument, though, I guess I will begin by refuting them and moving on to my own arguments.

As a forenote, my opponent has set the debate to discuss the possible existance of the Christian God, who contains attributes such as omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenolovence. And we move on to contentions.

1. The fact that evolution is a certified scientific claim does little to the argument. Plenty of Christian scholars believe the events between Genesis 1-12 were simply fictional stories to explain existance to the Isrealites.

2. If God created the Universe, he definitely had a plan for our existence, being omniscient and omnibenolovent and all.

3. You have barely touched down on the topic of the Big Bang, and haven't really explained what it is. In fact, I'll take the position of having no idea what the big bang is. So feel free to expand on the subject, and explain how it realtes to your position.

4. Actually, the principle of Conservation of Energy states the following:

"Energy can be defined as the capacity for doing work. It may exist in a variety of forms and may be transformed from one type of energy to another. However, these energy transformations are constrained by a fundamental principle, the Conservation of Energy principle. One way to state this principle is "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed". Another approach is to say that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant." (1)

4 (continued): First of all, this principle only works in Isolated systmes. You have yet to define the limits and capacity of the whole universe in a non-paridoxial way. Second, these laws may very will be (and probably are) restricted to the bounds of the Universe, where science can observe Creation. Secondly, let us assume for the time being that God definitely does exist, and created the entire universe. What would suddenly prevent him from getting around or changing key principles that science claim are the foundation of the universe?

5. Why not? (Answer Above)

6. Thats why I have arguments.

7. God does not violate the 'measuring stick' of science, or you have yet to show/expand on how He does.


Kalam Cosmological argument

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.

We first stop at premise (1), which simply states why we see, or to be more precise don't see things randomly popping in and out of existance. If something were uncaused, what would stop infinite amounts of particles, macroscopic or microscopic, from suddenly and randomly appearing? Instead of this utter universal chaos, we can see the Universe is made up of certain laws or scientific truths.

Next we can stop at (2), which states the universe began to exist. To object this would to say the Universe has gone on for an infinite duration, which is absurd. You would have to assume infinite values exist in reality, which they cannot. One example of this is Herberts Hotel.

Herberts Hotel

Imagine an infinitely large hotel, completely full of an infinite amount of guests. Now imagine another guest walking into the hotel, and asking for a room. The hotel manager sees that all the rooms are full, so he moves the guest in room 1 to room 2, room 2 to room 3, room 3 to room 4, and so on and so forth. When the hotel manager is done, he will have another room. But how can this be? The hotel still has the same amount of guests as when it was full, but with one aditional guest.


Since the cause of the creation of the universe must be extremely powerful, if not omnipotent, it is safe to say a sound conclusion is God. So I turn over to my opponent.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

"These laws may very will be (and probably are) restricted to the bounds of the Universe"

I'd like to start of by addressing this and your cosmological argument at the same time. If you think the laws of the conservation of energy are bound to the universe, then it's only logical to assume that the rule of cause and effect is also. If your argument for "energy not having to be created" is that the law is bound to this universe, then my argument for your cosmological argument is the rule of cause and effect is only bound to this universe. This means the universe existing didn't need a cause because the rule of cause and affect is only bound to the universe after it was created.

Even though The Big Bang doesn't need a cause, there are very many reasons to believe that Quantum Fluctuations as far as physicists are concerned, could have produced our universe from "nothing" (with "nothing" simply being a boiling bubbling brew of virtual particles popping in and out of existence).

As far as the evolution comment goes, even though I mentioned evolution my main point was how life started not how it evolved.

Also, my argument is either
a) The Universe didn't need a cause, because the rule of cause and effect (along with space, time, energy, matter ect.) didn't exist until after the universe was created.
b) Quantum Fluctuations could produce a universe.
My opponent has not mentioned one reason why the God hypothesis is needed in the creation of the universe, or why a supernatural entity is more logical than the Quantum Fluctuation hypothesis, therefore he is not needed, and there is no reason to believe such an entity exists.

The Big Bang is most likely true based on scientific data. Most Christians and Atheists agree so it is not up to me to explain it, it is up to my opponent to explain why God must have caused it, and up to me to explain why God is not needed. More of the burden of proof is on the one claiming that something exists, not on the one claiming something does not exist anyway. I have already explained why God is not needed.

Also, I have already explained why God goes against the number one measuring stick in science.
The number one measuring stick in science is Occam's Razor:
A principle that generally recommends from among competing hypotheses selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.
Now since God is an assumption and not a necessity (which I have proved), then that means he goes against the number one measuring stick of science, since science is our number once tool for determining truth, it makes more sense to assume God is not true.

Also it's very clear that people who believe in God think he is perfect, but nothing perfect would create or design anything:

If I walk along a beach and I see a watch, I know the watch was created by someone who could not tell time on his own, meaning the designer must have been imperfect. If I see a car, I know it was designed by someone who could not teleport, meaning the designer needed the car to get from A to B and is not perfect. If I see shelter, I know the person who created it gets cold, meaning that person is imperfect.

So, if creation and design are:
Tools for imperfect beings to improve on their imperfection

And if God:
Is perfect

Then this means there is not one reason why a perfect being would create or design anything. If God is not perfect, he cannot be God by definition, meaning he does not exist.
Debate Round No. 2
shift4101

Pro

Thank you CON for your rebuttal.

CON starts off by stating the "rule of cause and effect" must also be limited to the universe if the "laws of conservation of energy" are also. My opponent is invoking antecedent predetermining conditions, which is not an observation that can be made by science. We cannot observe the laws of conservation of energy outside the bounds of the universe, so why think they apply, other than to eliminate an unfavorable conclusion, that of God?

For his statement about the rule of cause and effect, he has simply deemed this a "rule". I never included the word "rule" in my argument, I simply stated that it is a scientific observation that something does not come from absolutely nothing. My opponent stated that this observation is limited to only after the creation of the Universe. But he has yet to expand on how the Universe was appearently created, and we move on to his claims about the Big Bang.

In my round 2, I asked my opponent to explain what the "Big Bang" was. He stated an uncited claim that "Most Christians and Atheists agree [that the Big Bang created the universe]" and that the Big Bang does not need a cause. He has yet to go in depth about the Big Bang, so I am left here, completely ignorant of it, assuming it means that a box of cheese suddenly exploded and created the Universe. (The he says something about Quantum Fluctuations? How is that relevent?)

CON also remarks about how I have not supplied my burden of proof. I did supply the KCA, and stated this at it's conclusion:

Since the cause of the creation of the universe must be extremely powerful, if not omnipotent, it is safe to say a sound conclusion is God. So I turn over to my opponent.

This seems like an adequate position, so as long as the KCA remains sound.



Con also seemingly made case with Ockham's razor. Again, my opponent does not explain how his argument rebutes mine, but simply states that it does in fact does so. Ockham's razor can only be used if it follows these two princples:

1. Both explanations are equal in their explanatory power.
2. The necessary explanatory criteria are identified.

But am I not arguing that God is necessary for the Universe to have been created? Unless we appreciate the weak rebuttals revolving around vague, undefined concepts that CON "proved", I deem it safe to continue believing that the KCA is sound until Con defines these 2 terms:

The Big Bang
Quantum Fluctuations



My opponent concludes his round with another argument, Why would a perfect God create? Con argues that any action or creation exhibits a lacking on it's creators part. But why think this? I could spontaneously raise my hand, and yet not lack anything. I could have chosen not to raise my hand as well, so this action does not express any deficiency on my part. The same can said about God; why does a God with desires automatically make him an imperfect God?
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

"We cannot observe the laws of conservation of energy outside the bounds of the universe, so why think they apply"

We cannot observe cause and effect outside the bounds of the universe, so why think it applies, other than an unfavorable conclusion that God didn't need to cause The Big Bang? It seems my opponent is creating rules and only applying them to when it benefits his argument, so it seems to me that he has lost this part of the argument.

You claim that something cannot come from absolutely nothing, yet nobody claimed it came from absolutely nothing.

'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009
YouTube: watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo

In this video Prof. Krauss explains that "nothing" isn't nothing anymore in Physics. "Nothing" is simply a boiling bubbling brew of virtual particles that pop in and out of existence. So technically, all "nothing" is, is virtual particles popping into existence out of "nothing". Since the singularity was in a hot dense state comparable to the sub atomic level, there are hypothesis backed up by science which explains how Quantum Fluctuations could produce a universe. This leaves no room for God leaving my opponent defenseless in this aspect.

My position is simple, either:

a) The Universe didn't need a cause, because cause and effect is only bound to the universe after it is produced. Meaning the universe didn't need a cause to kick it off because cause and effect didn't even exist until after The Big Bang.

or

b) Quantum Fluctuations produced the universe, which was the "cause" meaning there is no need for a God hypothesis which isn't backed up by any scientific data like Quantum Mechanics is.

So whether a cause is needed or not does not matter, because neither a) or b) require any God.

My opponent also seems to not be too educated on The Big Bang or Quantum Mechanics so I will briefly describe the two:

The Big Bang happened 13.7 Billion years ago, everything in the universe was compact in a hot dense state called the "singularity" (which was smaller than a proton). Inflation caused all the matter, energy, time, space ect. to expand into the cooled down universe we see today. How do we know The Big Bang happened? Well we have observed that the universe is expanding at a measurable rate, we know how much more the universe has expanded since yesterday. So using mathematics we can calculate how far back it goes and it turns out the age of the universe is 13.7 billion years, as previously stated. If this Big Bang theory is true that means they should have found the cosmic microwave background radiation, which they did, it was discovered in 1964 confirming The Big Bang.

Now a Quantum fluctuation is the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of nothing, as allowed by the Uncertainty Principle. It is synonymous with vacuum fluctuation.
The Uncertainty Principle states that for a pair of conjugate variables such as position/momentum and energy/time, it is impossible to have a precisely determined value of each member of the pair at the same time. For example, a particle pair can pop out of the vacuum during a very short time interval.

My opponent may argue that Quantum Fluctuations my only be bound to the universe and can not exist independent of space and time. This is false, here is why:

Quantum Fluctuations take place within the quantum vacuum at scales below Planck scales for area, volume and duration. Below Planck those values have no meaning hence space-time has no meaning. Ergo fluctuations in a quantum vacuum exist outside space-time. Space-time is written upon the quantum vacuum in the form of discrete Planck-size units.

So I have shown that if my opponent can argue that the law "energy cannot be created" is only bound to the universe, then I can argue that "cause and effect" is only bound to the universe as well. I have also shown that it doesn't mat anyway, because if the universe did need a cause, quantum fluctuations could produce a universe. No God is needed.

"I could spontaneously raise my hand, and yet not lack anything"

My argument was that no perfect being could create or design, not that no perfect being would do anything at all. It seems my opponent is arguing against points that were never made and has not named one reason why a perfect being without flaw would create or design anything, because this reason does not exist, a perfect being would not create or design anything.

"Since the cause of the creation of the universe must be extremely powerful, if not omnipotent, it is safe to say a sound conclusion is God."

This is false. If the universe needs a cause, then the evidence points to Quantum fluctuations being that cause due to the fact that the "singularity" was at a sub-atomic level. Vacuum fluctuations inevitably caused the inflation and expansion of the universe and cooled it down over time.

So lets recap my positions I have stated in these rounds so far:

- Evidence shows complex intelligence is only the product of a biological brain, God in theory does not have a biological brain, meaning nothing to fuel it's intelligence, meaning no intelligence, meaning no God.

- Abiogenesis explains how life can arise from inorganic material.

- If the universe needed a cause, that cause would be a Quantum Fluctuation (as the video I posted explains in further detail). Evidence backs this theory up more than the theory of God, rendering the theory of God useless.

- Creation and design are tools for imperfect beings to improve on imperfection, meaning no perfect being would create or design the universe.

- God is an assumption, Occam's Razor says whatever involves the least assumptions is most likely correct, this means God existing is most likely incorrect.

Conclusion:

Neither my opponent or I can prove or disprove God's existence in a factual sense, nobody can. However, I believe I have proven without a shadow of a doubt that God most likely does not exist, and is a failed and outdated hypothesis.
Debate Round No. 3
shift4101

Pro

shift4101 forfeited this round.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Because my opponent has forfeited this round, I will simply disprove a God that is Omnipotent (all powerful), Omniscient (All knowing), a being who gave us free will and Benevolent (All good)
These are all characteristics attributed to him by people who believe in his existence.

Omnipotence:

Can God make a rock so heavy that he himself would not be able to lift it?

The only way to complete this task is to not be able to life the rock.

If he is not able to lift the rock, then that is something he cannot do, meaning he is not all powerful.

Some will say God cannot do the logically impossible, but there is two problems with this:

a) The "logically impossible" is a concept created by humans, God should be able to do any task thought up by one of his creations

b) It is not logically impossible for a human to take the materials required to make a rock so big he cannot lift, therefore, God should be able to do the same.

If God cannot do something his creations thought up/ can do, then he is not all powerful.

Omniscience and Free Will:

If God is all knowing, that means he already knew the outcome of everything before it happened, and will know the outcome of everything that happens before it does, this means free will is an illusion.

How?

Well If:

a) If I am a super intelligent being and I run a program knowing every single action that will take place once it is running, this means that every action that takes place was pre-determined, and there is nothing that can happen to cause a change of those actions, meaning no free will in this analogy.

b) I run a program not knowing the actions that will take place once it is running, this would be a test. If you knew the
outcome of a test, there would be no reason to run the test since a test is to determine an outcome.

If a) Life is not a test, free will is an illusion

If b) Life is a test, God is not omniscient

Benevolence:

God pre-determined and willed evil into existence if omniscient

God should be omnipotent, meaning he could destroy evil

God does not destroy evil, meaning he cannot be benevolent.

Summary:

I disproved an all powerful, all knowing, and all good God who gave us free will.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by shift4101 5 years ago
shift4101
And I lost the source. Oh well.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by wierdman 4 years ago
wierdman
shift4101Rational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: conduct goes to con for pro forfeited.