The Instigator
tala00131
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Does the Cosmological argument prove God?

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/21/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 761 times Debate No: 36895
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

tala00131

Pro

Here is the cosmological argument: Whatever begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist, therefore, the universe had a cause. The first premise is obviously true. It defies logic to say something can come into existence uncaused. Now, let's look at the second premise, "the universe began to exist". There is lots of scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning. This includes: the fact that the universe is expanding, the fact that the universe is running out of usable energy. Because the second premise is true, the last premise must be true. Now that we can see that the universe had a beginning, let's see what that cause must be. That cause must be, timeless, and space-less (as this cause must bring time and space). Only two things can be timeless, and space-less. Abstract objects like; numbers and symbols. Or, an unnumbered mind. Numbers and symbols can't cause anything. For example, the number 70, doesn't cause anything. This leads us to our only other option, an unembodied mind. This mind would be called God.

There are different models of the big bang. The most accepted model is the model that says space, and energy itself exploded into existence from literally nothing. But surely this doesn't make sense. Out of nothing; nothing comes. Have you ever seen a horse come into existence from nothing? No. Why? Because something can't come from nothing. There is another model of the big bang that is put forth by Stephen Hawking. This version says that all matter that we see today was packed into one small, hot, dense singularity, that was uncased. There are two problems with this model. One, there is no evidence that this singularity existed. Two, it is not possible for matter to have always existed, due to the fact that the universe is running out of usable energy.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Did The Universe Come From Nothing?

The standard Big Bang model does not speak about any origin of the universe from nothing, it only explains what happens after an initial point:

"The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that describes the early development of the Universe."[1]

The idea that the point in space must have came from nothing is not warranted. The two main pieces of evidence for The Big Bang are the Cosmic Microwave Background[2], and the Red Shifting of the galaxies[3]; none of which say anything about the universe coming from nothing. Any added commentary, even by scientists themselves, about the universe coming from nothing is not supported by the actual science. We know the universe is expanding, and that the universe is running out of usable energy; that has nothing to do with creatio ex nihilo.

The Universe Had A Beginning Point, Does That Mean it "Began To Exist"?

Forget coming from nothing, there is no reason to assume the universe "came from" at all. In order for something to come into being, there must be a prior to that thing at which it is out of being. For example, I came into being in 1987, we know this because prior to that, I did not exist (there were many points at which I was out of being prior to my coming into being). However, who said there needs to be a "prior" to the universe (even an atemporally prior)? The idea of there being a first point of the universe in no way necessitates that it had to come from a prior non-being of the universe. In the diagrams below, I show the difference between:

(i) Something that has a finite past, a starting point, and comes into being (a "prior" to the first state of e is plugged into the equation at which e is out of being)

(ii) Something that has a finite past, a starting point, and does not come into being (no "prior" to the first state of e is plugged into the equation at which e is out of being)



Pro must show that there was a prior to the first state of the universe.

False Dichotomy

Pro hasn't shown that the only things that can be timeless and spaceless are abstract objects and unembodied minds. Either way, that is clearly a false-dichotomy. Lets assume a cause... Alexander Vilenkin's model of comic origins[4] describes the universe emerging from a quantum tunneling event (without a sufficient cause) with a finite size (a = H-1) and with a zero rate of expansion/ contraction (da/dt = 0) from an empty geometry which is timeless and spaceless (Vilenkin calls it "nothing", but its really not). This is all possible within the laws of physics; an empty geometry describable by laws that allow for space and time to tunnel into existence spontaneously is something that can be timeless and spaceless.
Debate Round No. 1
tala00131

Pro

My opponent wins, I give up. I'm an atheist.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Cool. Moving along...
Debate Round No. 2
tala00131

Pro

tala00131 forfeited this round.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Pro gave up.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Dmot 4 years ago
Dmot
dj21,
I agree with both of those comments except for the part about needing time to exist. I think the way we experience reality, we need time. However I don't think time is logically necessary for existence. It is logically necessary for change though.
But your point that there cannot be true "nothing" I agree with. Nothing is a paradox.

"Put another way, if God exists, then Something exists. If Something exists, then creation is not truly from Nothing, and quantum fluctuations are back on the table. Both arguments use the same starting point and neither involves TRUE ex nihilo."
Very true. What is meant by creation ex nihilo is that God's creation presupposes nothing BUT His will. So no matter how you put it, no one really believes in something coming from absolute nothing.
Posted by Dragonfang 4 years ago
Dragonfang
@dj21

Strawman. You are simply changing language and science to squeeze in the word "Nothing" which means not anything. Not even energy. Vacuum is the closest... "thing" we have to nothing, but energy, electromagnetic waves, and particles are not nothing.
If virtual particles are from nothing that it. We don't need explanations or attempts to determine equations. Seriously, calling "Something" "Nothing" is an oxymoron and self-refuting.

We have to distinguish between possibility and necessity, if something is possible to exist then it must exist in some possible worlds, if an-all powerful God is a non-paradoxal, then he must exist in some worlds, but to be all powerful he must exist in all worlds.
Also, you are right, nothing we observe can be an absolute truth. The simplest thing we can make sure it exists is one's own conscious and thoughts. What science and logic do is discount possibilities, although science can't absolute disprove something. Logic alone can absolutely discount paradoxical possibilities like a square circle or a married bachelor. Also, by saying that there is no absolute truth, you are contradicting yourself because that statement must be an absolute truth to be true.

Anyway, the debate is about the cosmological argument.
Posted by dj21 4 years ago
dj21
Put another way, if God exists, then Something exists. If Something exists, then creation is not truly from Nothing, and quantum fluctuations are back on the table. Both arguments use the same starting point and neither involves TRUE ex nihilo.
Posted by dj21 4 years ago
dj21
You're quite right about quantum fluctuations, Dmot. Thanks for the clarification. Is there a current "proof" theory that there was ever "nothing"? It seems to me the idea of "nothing" in itself becomes a paradox. "Nothing" cannot "exist", for existence (as we perceive it) requires time, no?

So to apply the logic of "nothing" needing a cause to make "something" seems, to me, to miss the point. Nothing cannot "exist." There can be nothing to BE a cause if there is true "nothing".
Posted by Dmot 4 years ago
Dmot
dj21,
I part agree but part disagree with what you say. I agree that appealing to intuitions isn't enough. I agree that premise one of the KCA needs better support than just "it defies logic." A better defense should be given by pro.

I think you misunderstand something coming from nothing. I don't really know if its relevant to the KCA, but I do think that something from nothing is impossible. Nothing has no casual capacity, it has nothing to give, it is indefinable, and has no properties. Nothing is the absence of anything. Scientists cannot observe something from nothing because scientists are always observing the realm of something. So to determine if something could come from nothing, scientists would have to rely on something besides direct observation (which they do in many cases although not in this case).
Quantum fluctuations aren't something from nothing. The way I understand them (as they are relevant here and as they are used to show "something from nothing") is that in a vacuum, a particle pair can arise with a certain probability for a very short period of time. Well that's in a vacuum with quantum states governed by QM. Hardly nothing...

Now pro,
Be careful about something. I don't think its a good idea to call this "THE" cosmological argument. It is a version, namely the Kalam version, although not the only version. I want to point this out because I personally think there are other strong versions of the CA that are not related to the KCA. Also, make sure you are accurate with your scientific terminology. I think that your last paragraph could be touched up.
Posted by Dmot 4 years ago
Dmot
dj21,
I part agree but part disagree with what you say. I agree that appealing to intuitions isn't enough. I agree that premise one of the KCA needs better support than just "it defies logic." A better defense should be given by pro.

I think you misunderstand something coming from nothing. I don't really know if its relevant to the KCA, but I do think that something from nothing is impossible. Nothing has no casual capacity, it has nothing to give, it is indefinable, and has no properties. Nothing is the absence of anything. Scientists cannot observe something from nothing because scientists are always observing the realm of something. So to determine if something could come from nothing, scientists would have to rely on something besides direct observation (which they do in many cases although not in this case).
Quantum fluctuations aren't something from nothing. The way I understand them (as they are relevant here and as they are used to show "something from nothing") is that in a vacuum, a particle pair can arise with a certain probability for a very short period of time. Well that's in a vacuum with quantum states governed by QM. Hardly nothing...

Now pro,
Be careful about something. I don't think its a good idea to call this "THE" cosmological argument. It is a version, namely the Kalam version, although not the only version. I want to point this out because I personally think there are other strong versions of the CA that are not related to the KCA. Also, make sure you are accurate with your scientific terminology. I think that your last paragraph could be touched up.
Posted by dj21 4 years ago
dj21
I don't have the time to engage in this debate (and I know there are a host of regular participants on this site who I'm sure will snatch it up quickly), but aren't things like Godel's Theorum and the host of various logical paradoxes evidence enough that Pro's early remark ["(everything created has a cause) is obviously true... it defies logic to say something can come into existence uncaused"] is unfounded.

For one, scientists have observed "something" coming into and out of existence from "nothing" in what are called quantum fluctuations. It's energy and it's for infitesimal periods of time, but it is exactly what you described as defying logic (which it does). That's an observed phenomenon. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Both formal logic and even mathematics experience paradoxes that defy logic. Godel's Theorum is probably one of the best. It is part of meta-physical reality, it seems. Point being, just because the human mind connects cause-and-effect universally does not necessarily make it a universal law. It is something we observe, but not necessarily a natural "law", nor is logic alone grounds to discount the possibility of an alternate possibility. Or so it seems to me.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Sargon 4 years ago
Sargon
tala00131Rational_Thinker9119Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 4 years ago
johnlubba
tala00131Rational_Thinker9119Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF