The Instigator
Hagrid
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Secular_Mike
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Existence of God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Secular_Mike
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/27/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 601 times Debate No: 60976
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

Hagrid

Pro

First round is opening, second rebuttals and third closing.

As I am suggesting God exists the burden of proof is on me.

When looking at the universe we can see that all the entities that we know of are contingent in the sense that their existence cannot be explained without reference to another entity. For example my existence cannot be explained without reference to my parents. Therefore if all parts of the universe are contingent then it follow that the universe is contingent. So it follows there must be a cause of the universe. This cause is either itself caused by something or is has necessary existence (meaning exists and could not failed to have existed). If it has necessary existence then we have found God and if not then it has a cause. However if we follow the causes back they cannot go back ad infinitum lest the series could never have begun. So god must exist as the initial cause of the universe.
Secular_Mike

Con

First of all, I'd like to thank Pro for posting this topic. I also appreciate that you admit the burden of proof is on you since you made the positive claim.

First, let's define God:

From http://dictionary.reference.com... : "God: the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe."

From: http://www.merriam-webster.com... : "God : the perfect and all-powerful spirit or being that is worshipped especially by Christians, Jews, and Muslims as the one who created and rules the universe"

There currently is no evidence for a God existing. If actual proof did exist, this would be hailed as the greatest discovery of all time. The problem is that there is no reason to believe there is a God. I would also like to ask Pro, which God exists? Is it the Christian God? Allah? Odin? Zeus? Or are you taking a more deistic approach? Gods have long been believed in because it's in our human nature to desire answers that we currently do not have. The hypothesis of God gives us those answers. But just because the explanation of God may make sense to some, it does not make it true. Humans have always demanded evidence or proof to label something as fact. Why is God different? I argue that it isn't.

That is my opening statement and I very much look forward to the rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
Hagrid

Pro

Firstly to address your point about which kind of God I am aiming to prove the existence of I would like to make clear it is not the Judeo-Christian God but rather a creator of the universe . I do not aim to prove any of the characteristics of God other then that he exists. I think proof for the existence of God does exist and it is hailed as the most amazing piece of knowledge that the human race has by the majority of the human race (who do believe in a God). In terms of what that proof is, my opening statement explains. To recap this in short

1. Everything in the universe has a cause

2. These causes have other causes and this causal series stretches back to the creation of the universe

2. Therefore if we follow the chain of causes back to the beginning we must eventually come to something that has not been caused

3. This will be God and the creator of the universe

Can the con show me why my argument does not constitute proof?

Thank you for accepting my challenge.
Secular_Mike

Con

I see many flaws in your argument, so I'll begin with a little story.

Once upon a time, our ancestors could not see past the horizon, therefore the universe must be flat. They also had no explanation for this mysterious force called lightning; therefore it was proof of God. Simply attributing the unexplained to God, is not, and has never been proof. You are basically making the statement; 'I cannot explain, therefore I can explain'. I am willing to say that I don't know. I refuse to make any positive claims on something so complex and may be beyond understanding. Science admits it does not have all of the answers, and it probably never will. If it did, science would cease to exist.

A first cause is also a question that cannot be answered with the logic we possess. It's like asking, how much does love weigh? It doesn't make any sense. You are saying there had to be a cause for the universe, which had to happen moments before the universe came into existence. Well the flaw is, the universe is space and time. So when did this happen? It can't be answered since time didn't exist. When? would be an irrelevant question.

If what you claim is true, then God must have a cause right? You may not make an exception to a rule that your whole argument is based on. So, if this was the case, I could simply turn your own logic on you. I am not going to do that despite my temptation. Instead, I will use reason to prove the lack of proof for a God.

Everything we understand takes place within the universe. If we assume causality to exist everywhere within the universe, which there is no evidence for, then we can assume it exists within space-time itself. Scientists agree that the Big Bang was the creation of space and time. To assume these laws apply outside of space-time is a huge assumption, and that is the assumption that you are making. We know the laws of physics apply within the universe but we do not know that they apply outside the universe. There is no evidence to this claim, and probably never will be. Anything outside of space-time cannot be comprehended. It's as if there existed a color that no man has seen before. Could you imagine it? Of course you couldn't because you cannot comprehend a reality beyond your perception. Cause and effect describes a sequence within space and time, and that can be observed. To apply it outside the universe would just be a hypothesis. Therefore, God is a hypothesis. A hypothesis does not equal proof.

Your whole argument is:

"1. Everything in the universe has a cause
2. These causes have other causes and this causal series stretches back to the creation of the universe
2. Therefore if we follow the chain of causes back to the beginning we must eventually come to something that has not been caused
3. This will be God and the creator of the universe"

I think I did a pretty good job dispelling this. but to sum it up:

1)Yes, but you are making a claim to the cause of the universe, which would not be "in" the universe.
2a) Again, you are referencing laws within the universe. It is irrelevant.
2b) Yes, this would be the creation of the universe, A.K.A the beginning of space-time. Causality can only be applied after the Big Bang.
3) Whoa....WHAT? That is quite the leap. I had to double check that I didn't miss 3) 4) 5) 5) 5) 6).

I think I rest my case. If you can't explain A, then it doesn't automatically prove it's B.
Debate Round No. 2
Hagrid

Pro

Allow me to clarify the argument I am using to prove the existence of God so as to make sure it does not conflict with your counter.

Take entity A which is currently in existence. Entity A was caused to come into existence as a result of entity B. And B in turn was brought into existence by C and so on. Seeing as entity A is in existence we know that the chain of causes did not go on forever, as if it did then entity A could not have come into existence because entity B could not have caused entity A until it first existed, which would require entity C which could equally not do any causing until it existed and so on. So we have established that within this chain of events there is a start. However we now have a problem as all the parts of the series are dependent on earlier parts. So the only way we could have a series with a start would be an independent cause which does not itself have a cause. If this cause that was not caused did not exist then it would not be possible for the series to begin.

If we examine this first cause one of its properties must be existence. If it were not it could not start the series. If we ask ourselves what this thing is we come to the conclusion it is god the creator of the universe as nothing but the creator of the universe is capable of not having a cause.

The con asks the question why does God not have a cause and to this I would reply that he is missing the point. If whatever caused the universe to begin has a cause then it is not god but god can still be found by looking at the cause of this thing. If whatever caused the causer of the universe has a cause then it is also not God but as we know there is a universe we know eventually we will come to a causer who has no cause and this must be God. Who has (perhaps not directly but nonetheless) still caused the existence of the universe.

I would also point out to the con that it is not impossible that time could exist without a universe although I would not go as far as to say that this is the case I maintain it could be. It is perfectly possible that time is a human construct and simply a way of viewing the world to make greater sense of it and this concept can apply to anything as it is not an entity just an idea. In which cause the causal series could stretch beyond what we understand of the universe's creation in a plain that transcends what we understand of the universe.

Luckily for me it is not necessary for me to prove that all that is possible as it is not entirely relevant to the existence of God which as earlier demonstrated be proven through logic and the fact that the universe exists.

I would also like to say I have enjoyed this debate a lot and it has offered me some new criticisms to my argument that I had not heard before.
Secular_Mike

Con

Before I start, I would like to once again thank Pro for posting this fun topic. It is discussions like these that cause my mind to wonder and imagine all of the unknown knowledge just waiting for us. It's been fun Sir.

I would first like to remind everyone that the Burden of Proof is on Pro. Based on this fact alone, I don’t see a way he gets a vote. Here is why…

Ok, so what Pro did was provide a hypothesis regarding the origin of the universe. In this particular hypothesis, he claims God had to be the “causer”. This whole argument is filled with presumptions and assumptions, which by definition cannot be constituted as proof.


Pro: “So we have established that within this chain of events there is a start.”

I agree, within the chain of events that you provided there would have to be a start. The flaw is, Pro cannot prove that these chain of events lead back to the beginning of the universe. If Pro can’t prove this, then his argument dies here. It’s easy to provide legitimate alternatives Pro’s claims. Pro is assuming this to be true, but in fact there are theories that would directly conflict with Pro’s hypothesis (or “proof” as he claims). String theory is one possible explanation. According to string theory, we only can observe 3 of a possible 9 dimensions. If we can’t observe 2/3 of what’s around us, how can we make a claim that an intelligent being created everything? We can’t. Pro cannot even prove that the universe had a beginning. What if the universe is infinite? It would directly oppose Pro’s hypothesis. I’ll touch more on the infinite possibility later.


“I would also point out to the con that it is not impossible that time could exist without a universe although I would not go as far as to say that this is the case I maintain it could be.”

Well, since I see we are still playing the presumption game, I’ll concur, however every astrophysicist would disagree with you. But if this is the route that you want to take it only makes my case stronger. You admit we may not be able to grasp anything outside of the universe therefore we can’t make that positive claim. I actually agree with you and I made that same argument in round 2.

“1)Yes, but you are making a claim to the cause of the universe, which would not be "in" the universe.
2a) Again, you are referencing laws within the universe. It is irrelevant.
2b) Yes, this would be the creation of the universe, A.K.A the beginning of space-time. Causality can only be applied after the Big Bang.”

The reason I made this argument is that it directly refutes Pro’s proof of a god. This is because the laws that Pro is referencing as “proof” may not even be relevant outside of the universe. That is why I am rather stunned that Pro used this argument against me.


“It is perfectly possible that time is a human construct and simply a way of viewing the world to make greater sense of it and this concept can apply to anything as it is not an entity just an idea.”

I could say the same thing about Pro’s causality hypothesis that everything needs a cause….Next.


“In which cause the causal series could stretch beyond what we understand of the universe's creation in a plain that transcends what we understand of the universe.”

Finally something we agree on. We do not know, therefore it could. But it is also possible it couldn’t. The fact that Pro claims not to know these answers is working against him, but at least he is finally being honest. Pro’s “proof of God” is getting more and more unlikely.

“The con asks the question why does God not have a cause and to this I would reply that he is missing the point.”

He is the missing point huh? Does Pro show proof that he is the missing point? If Pro wants to win a debate where he proves God, and the burden of proof is on him, he would need to prove that he is the missing point. Even if the “First Cause” was probable, it still wouldn’t prove the existence of God. This would state everything needs a cause except God. Again, that is a major assumption. If I knew that (A+ B=12) with ‘12’ representing the universe, and ‘A’ and ‘B’ representing possible causes, then logically I can see that there are 2 causes (A and B). I cannot assume ‘A’ is 9 and ‘B’ is 3, when there are many other possibilities, which includes (10+2), (7+5), etc. Maybe an unknown particle that is beyond our comprehension was the cause. And it burned up during the Big Bang, therefore we have no idea it ever existed. Why can’t the universe be infinite? Wouldn’t that solve the causality issue? It is all speculation, and none of this should be constituted as proof.


“Luckily for me it is not necessary for me to prove that all that is possible as it is not entirely relevant to the existence of God which as earlier demonstrated be proven through logic and the fact that the universe exists.”

This confused me. What I got out of it is because the universe exists, therefore God. I keep rereading this whole debate trying to find this proof that you demonstrated. I seen Pro claim what has to happen within the universe, but this doesn’t apply in the slightest when talking about the creation of it. Finally in this round Pro spoke about pre-universe, or outside of the universe. All he did was admit that we didn’t have answers. I hope Pro knows that this killed his argument, but I admire the honesty. When talking about something coming into existence, you must be able to explain the moments prior, which it was demonstrated that he cannot. As for his claim that he used logic to prove God, I propose he only provided logic based on assumption. This logic therefore cannot be applied to any truth statement.


In conclusion, Pro can’t even prove his own hypothesis that everything needs to have a cause for the universe to exist, let alone proving an intelligent being we call God created it all. I’ve used this term hypothesis because that is all it is. Pro assumed that his original premise was fact. If he can’t prove step 1, then he cannot prove step 2, and so on (almost like his A,B,C argument this round). One of the most brilliant minds the world has ever seen, Stephen Hawking even declares we do not need God to explain the beginning of the Universe. Hawking states:

“[D]o we need a God to set it all up so a Big Bang can bang? … Our everyday experience makes us convinced that everything that happens must be caused by something that occurred earlier in time. So it’s natural for us to assume that something—perhaps God—must have caused the universe to come into existence. But when we’re talking about the universe as a whole, that isn’t necessarily so.”

This is a no brainer. It is impossible to read this debate and come out feeling like you just saw a formula that proved Gods existence.

Reminder: The Burden of Proof is on Pro.

Stephen Hawking Souce:

http://theosophical.wordpress.com...



Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy
It's Impossible to prove that God exists.

Since it's obviously Impossible to define God, trying to use
a definition of God to prove the existence of God doesn't make sense.

A devil's advocate & a theist are opposites.

Study my Debates, such as my " "Yahweh" was an Extraterrestrial ..."
before Debating concepts like this ...
Posted by WileyC1949 2 years ago
WileyC1949
I defined "Supreme Being" as He has been defined often through time, that is again "That which there can be nothing better". Certainly theists BELIEVE this being to be the omnipotent creator of the universe, as well as having many other attributes as well. Dictionaries always combine the one with the other even though in fact they are separate. As I said a "Supreme Being" inside and outside of our universe whether corporal or non-corporal MUST therefore exist. As I stated whether or not He has the attributes which we believe this being to have is a different question.
Posted by Hagrid 2 years ago
Hagrid
I just like debates and felt it would be a lot more challenging to argue a point of view I don't hold. Also I'm writing about the cosmological argument at the moment and in particular the 1948 debate between Bertrand Russell and FC Copleston so felt like it might improve my writing if i tried actually debating the issues myself.
Posted by Secular_Mike 2 years ago
Secular_Mike
I agree. Whenever I can debate the existence of God while discussing the vast Cosmos, I enjoy it.

I have to ask, because I do find it peculiar that you claimed that you could prove God's existence while not being a theist. What made you decide on this?

Thanks again for posting this debate and allowing me to participate.
Posted by Hagrid 2 years ago
Hagrid
This was a lot of fun to do and I really liked your last argument. In all honesty I'm not a theist I was just playing devils advocate. That might go some way to explaining why some of what I wrote wasn't as good as it could have been. But main thing I wanted to say was this was really fun and I enjoyed it.
Posted by Secular_Mike 2 years ago
Secular_Mike
WileyC,

The "Supreme Being" definition came from the Dictionary.com link, which of course is the better definition for your argument. I do think you are overlooking a very important detail as well. The other half of the definition. It reads as such:

the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

Most of what you say could be applied except that it says "ruler". This implies an intelligent being that still has power over the universe. We know how solar systems form, and there is nothing divine about it. With the advancement of astronomy, the more we are learning. Your logic that there "has to be a supreme being" is an abstract principle.

The "strongest man" argument doesn't apply. --- There has to be strongest man. There has to be a fastest man. Therefore there has to be an intelligent being that created it all. --- That is flawed inductive reasoning.

To say that there can only be ONE greatest being is a loose statement. Greatest in what? If life only exists on Earth and there is no God, then the Supreme Being must be human right? This in no way proves an intelligent being created the universe.

Anyway, thanks for the comment. I appreciate logical perspectives that counter mine.
Posted by WileyC1949 2 years ago
WileyC1949
Con you make a good argument but overlook one very important detail. As you agreed God is the "Supreme Being". This has been defined going back through time by various religions as "that which there can be nothing greater." Logically there can be only ONE Supreme Being, and that Supreme Being MUST exist.

Of all the men that exists in the world there can be only one who is the "strongest man in the world", and that strongest man must exist even if no one knows who he is. Likewise of all the beings that exist in the universe only ONE can be the greatest being within the universe. Of all the beings that exist inside or outside of the universe whether they be physical or non-corporal only ONE can be the greatest or Supreme Being. That He exists is obvious. Whether or not He has the properties that we believe Him to have is another issue.

Christians BELIEVE this Being to be a Triune God made up of the three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe Him to be transcendent (not a part of the universe), immanent (involved in the affairs of the world), omnipotent (capable of doing all that He wills to do that is not self-contradicting), omnipresent, omnibenevolent, omniscient (having all knowledge), and the creator of the universe. Certainly we may be wrong in that assessment... the "Supreme Being" inside or outside the universe could be Fred, the guy who picks up my recycling on Thursdays and who has no special attributes at all. But an the examination of the universe, its form and structure, that life sprang from the non-living and intelligence sprang from the non-intelligent, the huge list of "outside the normal" events both past and present, and even the fulfilled prophesies found in texts which we call "Sacred" have proved to theists that the Supreme Being must have these attributes. I have even show how recent scientific discoveries have certainly implied that He must exist and have these qualities. Don't urge me on or I will share them.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Mister_Man
HagridSecular_MikeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Like Con stated, Pro's only argument was "I cannot explain it, that proves God exists." This is not proof, and the burden of proof was on Pro. I have yet to see actual proof of God, not just "well we don't know, therefore God exists."
Vote Placed by Domr 2 years ago
Domr
HagridSecular_MikeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I completely agree with Pro. But the premise is wrong. Posting it is "likely" God(Creator) exists would have made this debate very easy, but Con is correct, Pro cannot prove the causation of the universe goes back to a creator.