The Instigator
tala00131
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
2-D
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Does God exist?

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
2-D
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/7/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 642 times Debate No: 37460
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

tala00131

Pro

The Cosmological Argument from Contingency: Whatever exists has an explanation of its existence, the universe exists, therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God. Let's look at premise one: whatever exists has an explanation of its existence. Either something exists necessarily, or it has a transcendent cause. God is not exempt from this premise, God exists necessarily , his non existence is impossible. Now, picture yourself running in the woods with your friends. You see a ball on the Forrest floor, you stop and look at it, your friend says: don't worry about it, it's just there, it has no explanation. You would either think he's crazy, or you'd think he wanted you to keep walking. Picture that ball the size of a house, it wouldn't change the fact that it had an explanation, picture that ball the size of the whole universe, it wouldn't change the fact that it had to have an explanation of its existence. Now, the universe can't exist necessarily, because the universe began to exist. The fact that the universe is expanding and running out of usable energy proves the universe had a beginning. Now, the second premise is obviously true, the universe exists. The third premise: God is that explanation, is also true. The cause of the universe must exist outside of time and space. The cause of the universe must be: timeless, space less, immaterial, and powerful. This sounds a lot like God.
The Kalam Cosmological Argument: The cosmological argument goes as follows: whatever begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist, therefore, the universe had a cause, the obvious cause is God. Is the first premise true? Logic tells us that it is impossible for something to come into being uncaused. Have you ever seen a horse come into being uncaused? No. Why? Because things don"t come into being uncaused. Believing something can come into existence uncaused is worse than believing in magic. Thus, the first premise is true. Is the second premise true? Did the universe begin to exist? Atheists have said for a long time that the universe is just eternal, and uncaused. But there are good scientific reasons to think that the universe began to exist. For example, the universe is expanding. This means that something had to start the expansion. The universe must have come into existence from a point. This means that the universe had a beginning. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that the universe is running out of usable energy. If the universe had been here forever, it would have run out of energy by now. This follows that the universe had a cause. Let"s examine what that cause was. Since the universe can"t bring itself into existence, the cause must be outside of time and space. The cause must be: timeless, space less, immaterial, and powerful. Something like God.
A fine tuned universe: Scientists have been shocked by the fact that the conditions of the universe have been finely tuned for life to exist. To give an example of this, if the rate of expansion of the big bang was changed by as little as 1 and 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 life wouldn't"t exist. If the atomic weak force was changed by 2% life wouldn't"t exist. This fine tuning can only be due to either physical necessity, chance, or design. Now, it can"t be due to physical necessity, because the physical constants are independent of the laws of nature. Now, could it be due to chance? The problem with this alternative is that the odds of the fine tuning occurring by chance is so incomprehensibly great that they can"t be reasonably faced. It is more likely that the stars will arrange themselves tonight to spell your name, then for the fine tuning to have occurred by chance. Thus, this gives us a designer of the universe.
Biological Complexity: When we look at our biochemistry, our cells, our organs. It is clear it is incredibly complex. While I accept evolution to be the leading explanation for biological diversity, I am quite skeptical about the mechanisms which drive evolution. To say that the diversity of life occurred by natural selection operating on random mutations is what I have a problem with. I believe that the complexity of our systems is more than enough evidence for a creator. There are billions of cells in the human body, which forms tissues, which forms mussels, and they all work together almost perfectly well. I have a hard time to believe that this occurred by selection acting on mutations.
The Moral Argument: If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist. If God does exist, then objective moral values do exist. When I say objective moral values, I mean morals that are binding and true whether you believe in them or not. Picture a house burning, and there are two children in that house. What would you do? You would help them. So who instilled that in you. Some atheists have responded to this by saying that objective moral values are just illusions ingrained in us by evolution. The problem with this is that evolution has nothing to do with morals. Evolution is all about survival, and reproduction. So this follows that since objective moral values exist, God must exist.
The resurrection of Jesus: If Jesus really did rise from the dead, we would have a supernatural occurrence, therefore, evidence for the existence of God. Now, you might say that the resurrection is just something you believe in, by faith. But there are some fact which I believe to be best explained by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Fact number one, Jesus" tomb was discovered empty by a group of his women followers. Now, attempts by atheists to explain this fact have included the following: someone stole the body, or they went to the wrong tomb. The Jews and Romans had no motives to steal the body. Jews do not believe in a savior. So why would they steal Jesus" body to prove something they don"t believe in? Most Romans were pagans, so they also did not believe in Christian salvation. The group of women who went to the tomb watched Jesus be put into the tomb, so they knew exactly where it was. It seems unlikely that they would forget after just three days. Another fact is that women had no rights back then. If someone wanted to make a story up like this, they would have put it so that a man (such as John, or Paul) found the body. Another fact is that people saw images of Jesus after his crucifixion. Not just Jews and Pagans, but also enemies of Christ. Why would an enemy of Christ tell stories of how they saw images of Jesus if they didn"t believe he was divine? Thus, this follows that Jesus rose from the dead, and Christianity is true.
2-D

Con



Hello Talla, it looks like we have two debates going, I didn’t notice when I accepted this one. At least initially my position is that the arguments for God are not compelling and that there is no good reason to believe that God exists.



The Cosmological Argument from Contingency:



-How does your set up lead to a God?



Even if I agree with you that everything exists has an explanation and that the explanation of the universe must transcend natural laws how on earth do you jump to a God? Why is this assumption better than any other? For instance, a collision of two other universes [6] that transcend the law of causality may have caused our universe, transcendent aliens or something we cannot even imagine.



-False dichotomy



You have not demonstrated that something exists necessarily or that it has a transcendent cause and I don’t agree that this is a true dichotomy, that these are the only two options. Why do you make this assumption?



True dichotomies must necessarily contradict themselves [7] as in, “I both exist and do not exist.” In order to form other dichotomies you either claim omniscience or clearly define both sets to be mutually exclusive and omit everything else from either set by definition.



-Composition fallacy



You look around and realize that in every instance there is an explanation for the current form that matter and energy take. According the big bang theory the current form of the universe does have an explanation but existence itself my not. Everything that exists has a cause for it’s current form but there is no reason to suspect that existence itself has a cause. Lawrence Krauss popularized a likely hypothesis of an existence without a cause in his lecture, “A Universe From Nothing” [2]



-Special pleading



You are using special pleading when you assert that God necessarily exists using your false dichotomy that something exists necessarily or has a transcendent cause. I have given a few examples where the universe could exist in this form without the God you describe. Why is it necessary for God to exist?



-The God you propose is extremely complex and inverts everything we know about science



The God you propose would be extremely complex arriving out of know where. Everything we know about the origins of the universe [1], the diversity of life [3] and the formation of life [4] confirm that complexity arises slowly over time. The beginnings of the universes current form were very simple slowly increasing in complexity over time. The same is true of all forms of life we are aware of. Why is this extremely complex cause of the universe a more likely explanation than the comparatively simple origin discovered by science?



-Expanding matter/dissipating energy



That the universe is expanding only indicates that the area of space we are aware of was likely once more densely packed. I think it is more correct to say that the energy of the universe is dissipating and that it was once more dense as well. This does not indicate that the universe had a beginning and there is no reason to suspect that that beginning would be a God.



The Kalam Cosmological Argument:



God is not an explanation; you cannot solve a mystery with another mystery. I don’t find this argument to be that distinct from your argument from contingency and it has the same flaws.



A fine tuned universe:



Are potholes finely tuned so the water perfectly fits in every crack and crevice after the rain? My point is that life formed specifically to survive in this universe. We are finely tuned to live here in this universe. It’s possible that there are many other universes with different constants and life there would look very different.



I object that the universe is finely tuned for life anyways. The vast majority of the Universe is hostile to life [8]. We are not aware of any other place in the universe other than earth where we would not die instantly. It took 3,500,000,000 years for multicellular life to form and 99% of all species of life are extinct.



What scientists were shocked, how were these probabilities calculated, where are you even getting this information? Again this is not a scientific forum and yet you are using a scientific argument to convince laymen of an idea that the majority of science disagrees with.



Biological Complexity



You are simply using an argument from ignorance here. Just because you do not understand how evolution occurs does not mean it is not the best explanation for life. I’ll assume you are not an evolutionary Biologist so I would not expect you to understand how complexity arose from simple single celled organisms. Even if evolution were not true how does this contribute to your argument?



What is your evidence for a creator? You haven’t presented any. Just because it looks to complex to have formed naturally, from your perspective, does not mean that a magic being did it. You have not bypassed the complexity problem at all you have just shifted it to a mysterious world beyond time and space that we cannot observe.



The Moral Argument



You have not presented any proof that objective moral values exist or shown why that would prove there is a God. There are natural biological causes of empathy, fairness and compassion which are natural traits found, in a simpler form, in other animals.



Other social animals have simpler versions of our morality [5]. There are obvious benefits to cooperative behavior. If we work together to achieve a common goals we will be more likely to be successful. You are grossly mistaken that morality has no survival or reproductive benefits, they are very helpful to any social species.



The resurrection of Jesus



How do you know that a body disappeared or that Jesus appeared to others following his death? Are all ancient books true? Why is the bible more reliable than the dozen + Hindu scriptures, the Egyptian book of the dead, The Buddhist Sutras or the Quran all of which contradict each other. They can’t all be true but they can all be false.



Even if I were to accept that there were eyewitnesses to these events why should I suspect they are reliable? We know nothing about there character other than they have an agenda to spread Christianity. I can find hundreds of eyewitness testimonies of alien abduction and these people are alive and have similar stories.



-



Any of your arguments could take up an entire debate and even then they are not compelling at all. I have never met a Christian who was converted using any of the arguments.



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



[2] http://www.nytimes.com...



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



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



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



[6] http://discovermagazine.com...



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



[8] http://darwins-god.blogspot.com...



Debate Round No. 1
tala00131

Pro

I would first like to thank my opponent for making this debate so interesting.

My opponent Said: -How does your set up lead to a God?
Response: These are deductive arguments, meaning if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. If my opponent is to say that something can exist without an explanation; he's invited to list one thing that this falls under.
My opponent said: You have not demonstrated that something exists necessarily or that it has a transcendent cause
Response: This is false, either somethings non existence is immposible, or it has a cause. The universe must have a cause, because, it began to exist.
My opponent Said: According the big bang theory the current form of the universe does have an explanation but existence itself my not.
Response: The big bang model says that the universe sprang into existence without a cause from a point in the finite past. I have already explained why this defies logic. My opponent also mentioned Dr. Krauss. We've seen when you pressure Krauss, he admits he's not really talking about nothing, he's talking about empty space with low levels of energy.
My opponent said: You are using special pleading when you assert that God necessarily exists using your false dichotomy that something exists necessarily or has a transcendent cause
Response: There can't be an infinite number of causes. If there was a creator, he must be non-contingent.
My opponent said: The God you propose would be extremely complex arriving out of know where
Response: The argument is that God is eternal, and un-caused. God does not have to be complex. God, is just a mind, with complex thoughts, that doesn't mean he is complex.
My opponent said: you cannot solve a mystery with another mystery.
Response: Again, these are deductive arguments.
My opponent rejects the fine tuning. This is absurd. Every scientist agrees that the conditions of the universe had to be set in a small range of values in order for ANY life to exist. My opponent says that I only question Darwinism because I'm not an evolutionary biologist. I said that I do accept evolution. I said that I'm skeptical of the mechanisms. I have spent a long time studying evolution. My opponent rejects objective moral values. What would he saw someone being raped? He would want to help them. My opponent rejects the historical facts of Jesus, he's invited to debate with historians.
2-D

Con

These are deductive arguments, meaning if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true.

I’m familiar with dedective arguments and agree that if they are formed correctly and the premises are true then the conclusion is likely true leaving a whole lot of room for human fallibility. As an aside it is impossible to be certain of the abosolute truth of virtually anything. My point was that your argument can lead to multiple, in fact an infinity of explanations so there is no reason to suspect the correct conclusion is God. If I agree that the Universe has a cause and later that it has a transcendent cause there is absolutely no reason to leap to a mind that makes universes.

The cosmological arguments have a terrible form and can be used to support all sorts of rediculous conclusions and esentially define God into existence. This argument follows a similar form:

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause

2.The Universe began to exist

3.Therefore that explanation is a team of transcendent aliens, other colliding universes, the hot dense state of the universe before time [9], universe creating pixies, a team of God like beings, something our tiny minds could never imagine, any number of things that we have not discovered

You see an argument that can end in an infinite number of conlusions is not a argument that proves anything. Notice the most basic form your argument can be used to support the Big Bang theory as well which I’ll address later.

You asked for an example that something can exist without explanation

It’s not my position that there is something that exists without explanation although I agree that is possible too. I may have been a little sloppy with the language: I think there is no reason to suspect that the universe began to exist or has cause.

You are claiming that God exists without any explanation or cause.


This is false, either somethings non existence is immposible, or it has a cause.

So your response is to just restate what you said before? Why do you believe this? You haven’t provided any evidence explained why you believe this is true. Let me help you out a bit. The Universe exists so at the present moment it’s non-existence is impossible.


The big bang model says that the universe sprang into existence without a cause from a point in the finite past.

This is not what the Big Bang Model says. The model says that the prior form of the universe was hot and dense [9] and that before the expansion of the universe time did not exist [10]. Since time did not exist, again, it does not make any sense to ask what came before or what caused the universe. The Big Bang Model describes the expansion of the Universe into it’s current form and says nothing about what happened before. The question, “what happened before time?” does not even make any sense

I have already explained why this defies logic.

Why is this a problem? I do not see how the Big Bang Model defies logic but is an area where we most certainly do not have a full understanding. When you don’t understand the logic you should just say, “I don’t know,” and don’t invent a magical solution.

My opponent also mentioned Dr. Krauss. We've seen when you pressure Krauss, he admits he's not really talking about nothing, he's talking about empty space with low levels of energy.

That was my point. I mentioned Krauss while explaining why the universe need not have a cause. Low levels of energy and empty space may have preceded the prior form of the universe and be the natural state pushing the beginning of time/motion back further.


There can't be an infinite number of causes. If there was a creator, he must be non-contingent.

Great what else are we aware of that is not contingent and have examined. You are claiming a positive existence of such a being here not a remote possibility. You are claiming that this solves the problem and is the most likely explanation without any proof of a God or anything remotely similar. In order to have any reason to suggest this you should have sufficent proof that it is a likely solution.


God, is just a mind, with complex thoughts, that doesn't mean he is complex.

A mind is just about the most complex thing that I am aware of. The more complex thoughts available the more complex the brain [11]. Our minds are incredibly complex and we have no idea how to create a universe. In fact without our bodies we are unable to create anything. Are parapalegics likely to create a universe? What examples do you have of mind’s without a brain and if you have none how is this a likely explanation for the creation of the universe?


Every scientist agrees that the conditions of the universe had to be set in a small range of values in order for ANY life to exist.

What scientists? You have not listed any evidence that supports the idea that scientists have reached a consensus that no life could exist if these constants changed. You have not listed any evidence that a universe can exist when the constants are different. We are only aware of the one with these constants.

You have also not refuted my position that we are finely tuned to the universe and not the other way around. The universe is clearly not finely tuned for life and, as I stated, in the vast infinite expanse of space we are not aware of even one other location where we would not die instantly.

Skeptical of Evolutionary Mechanisms

I don’t care if you were an Evolutionary biologist. The opinion of one lone man that we do not completely understand evolution says nothing about the existence of God. I’ll agree, we don’t understand completely how evolution works or any other scientific theory such as the germ theory. If we had no idea how life formed that would not make creation any more likely.

You have also not mentioned what problems you have with evolution, how they are relevent to the God question or provided any scientific sources that agree with you.

My opponent rejects objective moral values

I do not reject objective moral values. In fact I think although technically speaking morality is subjective it is likely as objective as any other soft science.

My point was that you have brought up no proof to suggest that morality is objective or demonstrated how this would connect to a God. You have simply asserted that morality is objective and this means there is a God without evidence or sources to back this up. I provided an alternate explanation of moral evolution in humans with a source and you have not refuted this.

-

You have brushed off my arguments with single sentences that are often just your origional assertion without any evidence. You have not used a single source. You cite scientific arguments that the scientific community disagree with. Your logical arguments can be used to support any number of conclusions and you have completely or effectively dropped all of my arguments.

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

[10] http://science.howstuffworks.com...

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

Debate Round No. 2
tala00131

Pro

My opponent says that the explanation of the universe could be many things, such as aliens. This is false. The cause of the universe must be beyond space and time, since it must transcend space and time. My opponent also said that it's not his position to give an example of something coming into being without a cause. Actually, it is his position. If he is going to state that the universe came into existence without a cause, he must give an example of how this might happen. My opponent said that I'm claiming that God exists without a cause. This again is false. I said that either something exists, or it has a cause. If there was a creator of the universe, it must exist noxiously. My opponent has the big bang wrong. First of all, there are many big bang models. The most common big bang model says that the universe sprang into existence from a singularity, and nothing existed before the singularity. My opponent said that minds are complex. God is a mind without a body. We humans have minds, we think about things that are much more complex than us. We think about physics. I said every scientist agrees that the universe is finely tuned. If my opponent is going to be this idiotic, hear you go:
2-D

Con


My opponent says that the explanation of the universe could be many things, such as aliens. This is false. The cause of the universe must be beyond space and time, since it must transcend space and time.


First, It’s not clear to me that you have eliminated all possibilities within space and time leaving only room for a transcendent cause, second just insert ‘transcendent’ in front of my list of explanations. Even add non-contingent or any other qualifier you feel is necessary. Your argument does nothing to narrow the possible causes to a God.


Say a collision of two trancendent, non-contingent universes caused our own, trancendent aliens, etc. It seems to me that the singularity existed outside of time and was subject to a different set of laws.


In other words your argument can be used to support the current Big Bang Model so why on earth do you think a God is more likely?



If he is going to state that the universe came into existence without a cause, he must give an example of how this might happen.


Again this is not my position I think it’s likely that some form of matter or natural laws have always existed. I see no reason why existence itself must have been caused. We have never observed the sort of ‘nothing’ that you describe: no matter, energy, natural laws etc. Why do I have any reason to think that there has ever been nothing?


The only thing we are aware of in all the universe is different instances of ‘something.’ Why should I suspect that ‘nothing’ must necessarily be the previous state. I thought I was clear that I saw no reason why existence itself required a cause but this isn’t really even highly relevent. I’m just casting doupt on your position by providing alternatives.


Your statement is really a shifting of the burden of proof. Even if I have no idea why existence is here this does not add any weight to your claim that a God put it here. I am not claiming that existence was always here, I’m not sure that it was but I have no idea what that would even mean. You are claiming that God put it here and I don’t see why this is likely.



My opponent said that I'm claiming that God exists without a cause. This again is false. I said that either something exists, or it has a cause.


Ok so the universe exists. Why is it more likely that this God just exists than that the trancendent singularity just existed?


The most common big bang model says that the universe sprang into existence from a singularity, and nothing existed before the singularity.


Yeah, I understand there are multiple models and I referenced an article with three alternate explanations for the the current state of the universe. I am by no means a Big Bang expert but the sources I reference make it clear that they do not say anything about what came before the singularity.


Scientists have no idea what existed before the singularity and it’s likely that time did not exist as my referenced source explains so the question does not make any sense. You have not provided a single reference that any scientist believes that a state of ‘nothing,’ as you have decribed has ever been or is even possible. Nothing being a state where there are no physical laws, energy, matter etc.


We have never observed ‘nothing’ so why on earth do you think that was the previous state of the universe?


God is a mind without a body. We humans have minds, we think about things that are much more complex than us. We think about physics.


I don’t know what it means to suggest that we think about things more complicated than ourselves, the laws of physics govern us after all. We think about physics because we live in a universe where the laws of physics are observable. Mind’s learn from stimulous. How would A disembodied mind existing in nothing with no one to talk to be able to envision and create anything much less something as complicated as the laws of physics.


Every mind we are aware of requires a physical brain, learns only through stimulous and cannot create anything. There is no reason so suggest that a disembodied mind is responsible for anything much less the universe.


I said every scientist agrees that the universe is finely tuned. If my opponent is going to be this idiotic, hear you go:


First, accusing me of being idiodic won’t exactly earn you conduct points and claiming I’m ignorant because I disagree with you absurb. Your only source in this debate is a youtube video that repeats the same thing you have without providing evidence. That was 11 minutes of ‘experts’ claiming that the type of life existing on earth could not survive if one constant was shifted. At one point they do claim that the majority of scientists agree but cite no survey or statisitcs that contribute to this point.


The video does nothing to address the common concerns that I brought up. The universe isn’t finely tuned for life it is extremely hostlile to life. They said nothing about the possibility that other forms of life may exist if these constants changed. They also said nothing to refute that we are finely tuned to exist in this universe and not the other way aroung. Finding a few experts that agree with you is not evidence. There are scientists that believe in alien abduction, big foot and the loch ness monster.


-


It was interesting to debate so many of the typical arguments for God all at once but I think it takes more time to build a convincing case for any of these arguments. Even then, these are the same tired arguments that have been refuted dozens of times and it is difficult to see how some still find them compelling.


Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
Well thanks I appreciate it. Yes, it's fun sometimes to say that you accept, for the sake of argument, that God is real or Evolution is flawed and challenge someone to move onto arguments for a particular religion or Creationism. They are inevitably stumped or just continue with the same arguments.

I am a fan of The Atheist Experience, a live call in show, and they deserve a lot of the credit: http://www.atheist-experience.com.... It can get repetitive but they take live call ins from a lot of theists who argue for their position. You hear every conceivable argument for God and each host/co-host has there own unique way of tackling the arguments.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
2-D, I have become quite enamored with your debate style and arguments. You seem very knowledgeable about the philosophical debate surrounding a god or gods. What I find funny about all of his arguments is that even if they were all right, none of them points to the Abrahamic god, but just a god in general. If they were right, it would only make his case only slightly better.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
No, this is a common objection to the argument. If you can find a link or article to support that I would be interested. Even your video makes it clear that the type of life on earth that we are aware of could not exist.

I don't even see how it would be possible to state that other forms of life could not exist. We would know absolutely nothing about them. You would have to imagine every possible state of life then eliminate there possibility in a universe we can't observe or study.
Posted by tala00131 3 years ago
tala00131
I think the scientists would disagree with you. I wish there was a way to have a dialog online.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
Just to clarify a point. I do agree that the type of life on earth would not be possible if one of these constants changed. I do not agree that other forms of life that would be very different from our own may exist in such a universe.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
tala001312-DTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO relied on far too many fallacies, some of which almost seemed lifted from logic textbooks. These fallacies cannot be used to build strong arguments. (Appeals to ignorance, special pleading, false choices.) CON was only required to identify these errors, and answer them.
Vote Placed by mrsatan 3 years ago
mrsatan
tala001312-DTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources - Con actually used source Arguments - Pro divided his arguments among so many other arguments (Contingency, KCA, Fine-Tuning, Biological Complexity, Morality) that he cannot devote enough time to any one of these arguments to actually meet his BoP. The Contingency argument requires an explanation, but saying God did it is not actually an explanation. Pro does nothing to explain the leap from the KCA to God, that if the universe has a cause, it must be God. Con refutes the universe being fine-tuned for life with life being fine-tuned with for the universe, and Pro does not even address this. Biological Complexity - As Con says, whether or not we understand the mechanics of evolution does not matter. Evolution is a much more plausible explanation for our complexity than God is, especially considering "God did it" is not actually an explanation. Morality - Pro does nothing to show that morals are actually objective. Even if they are, evolution would be an acceptable basis