The Instigator
Installgentoo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Dan4reason
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

God Does Exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Dan4reason
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,022 times Debate No: 48900
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (3)

 

Installgentoo

Pro

I believe I can show that God exists.

Atheists or agnostics; debate me.
Dan4reason

Con

I will present arguments that God does not exist. I look forward to hearing my opponent's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
Installgentoo

Pro

Okay, I will now present my arguments for God's existence;

1. The Comsological Argument from Contingency

1. everything that exists has an explanation of it's existence, either in the neccesity of it's nature, or in an external cause- the universe would be a physical object, i.e all of space and matter.

2. if the universe has an explanation of it's existence, that explanation is God- since the explanation is outside of it (per 1), the cause must be immaterial, since it is outside space and time.

3. the universe exists- obviously the universe exists!

4. therefore that explanation of the universe's existence is God

2. The Kalam Cosmological argument

1. everything that begins to exist, has a cause- this is supported by the law of cause-and-effect, by the fact things don't come into being uncaused out of nothing, and the fact that this obviously does not happen to the material in our world as otherwise we would see tigers come into being in our living rooms.

2. the Universe began to exist- this is backed up by Guth-Borde-Villenkin Theorem [1], which shows scientifically that any universe that is on average expanding (like ours) must have had a beginning of it's existence a finite amount of time ago. This applies to the multiverse too, if it exists.

3. therefore, the Universe had a cause- this cause must be immaterial, atemporal, immensely powerful and personal because if it exists without time then it exists infinitely, but if a cause exists infinitely it's effect will have existed infinitely also, but the universe is not infinite. Therefore, the cause can only be a personal agent who could freely choose to create the universe.

3. The Teleological Argument From Fine-tuning

This deals with a number of fine-tuned constants and quantities necessary for the existence of intelligent interactive life-forms like us. It turns out there are 50 quantities and constants which, if they were altered by a hairs-breadth in the initial conditions of the universe prior to the Big Bang, would have resulted in a non-intelligent life permitting universe. These could have come into existence in one of three ways. Either they came into existence as a consequence of the natural laws of the universe, chance, or else design. They could not have come about by natural laws since the natural laws only came into existence once the Big Bang happened. They could not have reasonably come into existence through chance either because the range of propbability of all these constants falling into place by chance is so tiny that all of these constants and quantities cannot reasonably be faced on a mathematical level.

We may summarize the teleological argument thus far as follows;

1. the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life is due to either chance, necessity or design
2. it is not due to chance or necessity
3. therefore, it is due to design

The moral argument for God

The moral argument for God relies on the fact that there exist certain objective moral values and duties which we know to be binding on us- even if our society does not accept them! f we agree there are some things that are wrong regardless ofwhat people think, then we must agree there is some grounding for our morality. The best source of that biding morality, I wil argue, is God. Thus if objective moral values and duties exist, then God must exist.

The argument goes like this;

1. if God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist
2. but objective moral values and duties do exist
3. therefore, God exists

I look forward to my opponents counters of these arguments, and his own arguments for why God doesn't exist. I thank him for his timely acceptance of this debate.
Dan4reason

Con

Hello Everyone. I would like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. We need to have more debates like this. So lets go over a few of my opponent's points.

The Teleological Argument
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We have all heard of this little gem from the middle ages. Basically it argues that the fine tuning we see in the universe must have been designed. Since this is, in my opinion, the strongest of my opponent's arguments I am surprised he did not spend more time on it. Two examples pointed to are the complexity of biological life and the incredible fit this planet is for life.

In the 19th Century the Theory of Evolution showed that most of the complexity seen in biological life, except for traits already in the universal common ancestor are due to the processes of natural selection and mutations. I will now provide some evidence for the theory.

Theory of Evolution
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We have found thousands of hominids which are transitional between humans and apes. These specimens often have human traits such as the ability to walk, flatter faces, and larger brains relative to apes. However they have ape traits such as a more projected face, eyebrows, and a more prominent jaw. They also have brain sized much smaller than modern humans.

The vast majority are in much older strata than any human fossils we find. Examples of whole species we found are homo Erectus, homo Habilis, homo Ergaster, and Australopithecus Afarensis (1). Evolution predicted we should find these specimens since we are most genetically related to apes.

We have also seen evolution in action. For example, scientists in the lab observed the evolution of the ability for strains of e coli to digest citrate in oxygen rich water. This happened through decades of natural selection and mutations. They did not have this ability previously (2). If my opponent wishes for a more thorough discussion of the theory of evolution, I can provide more evidence.

Evolution explains most of the complexity in biological life and shows that you can indeed get complexity without a creator thus negating the teleological argument.

Repeated Trial Argument
----------------------------------------
It may seem improbable that the forces capable of creating such complexity can even exist, but yet here they are. Natural Selection and mutations could not have been created by God because natural selection is just the fact that some animals survive better than others, and mutations is that DNA copying isn't perfect. It would take a God to make these forces not true.

The reason they exist is because we have billions of interconnected processes and forces throughout the universe forming many other logical relationships. While it is unlikely that any one of these combinations will be able to build complexity, we will find at the very least one which will be able to do so. This kind of process is what I call repeated trial.

Repeated Trial also explains why earth is so perfect for life. Since there are billions perhaps trillions of planets, we know that at least one will have the right conditions for life. In short, repeated trial is the dumb person's way of getting something right.

Repeated Trial is the answer to the teleological argument and so far is a much better explanation because it has already been shown explain the majority of complexity in the universe, the complexity in life by explaining evolution's existence. Design has never been shown to explain any complexity. You cannot assume design from complexity. Now lets move on to the cosmological argument.

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Cosmological Argument from Contingency

1. everything that exists has an explanation of it's existence.

2. if the universe has an explanation of it's existence, that explanation is God.

3. the universe exists- obviously the universe exists!

4. therefore that explanation of the universe's existence is God.
------------------------------------------------------

I have a real problem with premise #2. This assumes that the explanation of the universe is God from the start. It completely ignores the possibility that whatever created the universe was some sort of natural phenomenon or force. Many scientists today suspect that this universe is simple one of many universes like a bubble among many. More bubbles are being created through big bang effects. This theory is posited under many versions of string theory (3).

While these theories have not yet been completely proven, neither had the idea that a disembodied mind created the big bang.

---------------------------
The Kalam Cosmological argument

1. everything that begins to exist, has a cause.

2. the Universe began to exist.

3. therefore, the Universe had a cause.

4. this cause must be immaterial, atemporal, immensely powerful and personal because if it exists without time then it exists infinitely, but if a cause exists infinitely it's effect will have existed infinitely also, but the universe is not infinite. Therefore, the cause can only be a personal agent who could freely choose to create the universe.
------------------------------

I have a problem with premise #4. It argues that if a cause exists infinitely, so much the effect. I see absolutely no basis for making this claim. Why couldn't a force outside this universe in a multi-verse not be able to create space-time bubbles? It is also possible that when the universe was created, it was not created out of nothing. It may have converted from one form to another. The original energy of the universe may have been converted and changed in the process of the big bang.

So the universe may have existed all along in a different form. This naturalistic explanation is not proven, but neither is the God explanation. You cannot just assume one is right and the other is wrong.

-----------------------------------
The Moral Argument

1. if God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist
2. but objective moral values and duties do exist
3. therefore, God exists
-----------------------------------

My opponent never really showed us why we should believe that objective morals exist. I have something of a Buddhist life philosophy and believe that to be truly enlightened, you should be acting morally or else you will go on in this wasteful cycle of craving and suffering. This is one of many things you should do to become enlightened.

Even if an objective morality exists, my opponent never explained why it has to be the commands or beliefs of a person (God). Can anything be true simple because of the opinion of a person? Someone's opinion all by itself has no effect on the real world. Truths come from logic not opinions. Maybe that is why morality exists, because it is logical.

Argument against God
-----------------------------------
I don't really need to prove God doesn't exist, I only have to argue as Con that Pro isn't able to show that God exists. I don't have much space for this so I will only present one.

If there is no evidence for a proposition then it is unlikely that this proposition is true. For example, if you don't know what the color of a ball is under a blanket, it is unlikely that it is green because it has to compete against equally unlikely possibilities. Maybe the probability is like 1 in 10. The same goes for God.

My opponent argues that a mind without physical parts (no evidence), that can exist without a body and outside space-time (no evidence), somehow has the ability to create a big bang. One can come up with any number of unsupported theories for our universe and until one of them is shown to be true, any one of them is unlikely to be true.

1: http://www.talkorigins.org...
2: http://en.wikipedia.org...
3: http://www.pbs.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Installgentoo

Pro

My opponent has stated that his objection to the teleological argument is evolution. To my mind, this totally underestimates the level of fine-tuning that's necessary to produce complex, interactive life like us. If the force of gravity was weaker, no carbon could have formed in dying stars and no life would be present at all.

On the cosmological argument from contingency, he asks why I assume God is the explanation of the Universe. Well this is because the explanation of the Universe has to be outside of space and time. It has t be immaterial and atemporal because of this. The only thing that could cause things to come into existence and be outside of space and time is a disembodied mind, which is what most people refer to as God.

I will move onto Con's statements that unembodied minds have not been proven to exist later on.

His objection to the Kalam Argument relies on him ignoring the first premise, whic he has accepted by offering no refutation to it. If all things have a cause and this is based on the law of cause-and-effect, then we must accept this law in all cases. This law stipulates that causesalways preceed effects. Therefore, we must posit the cause of the universe as being an intelligent agent because only agent causation can cause violate this rule of cause-and-effect we have set up.

The moral argument objection assumes that we haven't known since forever that murder, genocide, etc, are really wrong. I believe we have and that there is good evidence for this. As long as one objective moral value exists, then God exists. God is the only ground I can see for objective moral values and duties and thus if the viewers of this debate agree with me that some things are really wrong and other things are really right, then they should vote pro.
Dan4reason

Con

I would like to point out that my opponent decided not to challenge evolution in this debate, so I will assume that evolution has been accepted for the purposes of this debate.

Evolution Doesn't Explain All Complexity

My opponent claims that since evolution doesn't explain all the fine tuning in the universe that it doesn't refute the teleological argument. The forces of evolution themselves don't require a creator, but there are certain conditions that are required for evolution to happen. You need a universe, the right universal constants to support life, the right planet to support life, and some way of producing the first life-form. So we can both agree that the theory of evolution cannot completely explain all the complexity in existence or explain the existence of life itself.

All evolution shows is that it is possible to increase the level of complexity through natural selection and mutations without a designer. It has also been responsible for the vast majority of complexity in modern life. The fact that complexity can be increased without design by forces not created by a designer shows that the teleological argument is wrong when it assumes that you need a designer to create complexity.

A wing is fine-tuned and it wasn't created by God, it was created by evolution. Same goes for the human brain.

Fine Tuning of the Constants of the Universe

This argument sounds familiar doesn't it. In fact the same kind of argument was used to "prove" that the complexity in life is fine tuned by a creator not naturalistic forces. It was also used to "demonstrate" that the conditions in this planet are too fine tuned for life to have developed here undesigned. Now of course we know that there are billions of planets so at least one is going to be just right for us.

So in two really big cases, this argument has failed. Just because something is fine-tuned does not mean it had to be designed. Maybe there are many different types of life, so while life on this planet would not exist in a universe like this, maybe a different kind of life would exist in a different kind of universe. Maybe there is a special set of forces out of many that can create universes right for this kind of life. This is an analogy to evolution.

If there is more than one universe then while most universes may not have life a lucky few did, just like a lucky few planets in this universe are fit for life. This argument also assumes that there is only one universe. I choose not to make that assumption without evidence that there is only one.

In nature we always see any kind of event happening more than once. Thunder strikes more than once, it rains more than once, planets are made more than once. So why do we assume that the big bang happened only once if things in the universe always happen more than once? Given how thing work in the universe it is likely it also happened more than once. So there is a good chance somewhere else there is another space-time bubble containing another universe.

The Cosmological Argument
Pro:
"the explanation of the Universe has to be outside of space and time. It has t be immaterial and atemporal because of this. The only thing that could cause things to come into existence and be outside of space and time is a disembodied mind, which is what most people refer to as God."

There is no evidence that there is an immaterial mind in the first place. There has been no evidence that a mind if it exists can do anything to the physical world without a body. There is also no evidence a mind can exist outside space-time. Why is my opponent assuming a force outside space-time cannot create a big bang but yet an unproven disembodied mind can? I don't really know.

Kalam Argument
Pro:
"If all things have a cause and this is based on the law of cause-and-effect, then we must accept this law in all cases. This law stipulates that causesalways preceed effects. Therefore, we must posit the cause of the universe as being an intelligent agent because only agent causation can cause violate this rule of cause-and-effect we have set up."

Within this universe, cause precedes effect in time, however that doesn't mean this will hold true in a realm outside time. Also, there is no evidence minds can violate cause and effect. Thoughts and emotions according to neurology comes from chemical processes within the brain. No evidence has been provided to show anything different. Even thoughts and the way they make the body do things are all cause and effect. The effects they do come after the thoughts are made.

Moral Argument:
"The moral argument objection assumes that we haven't known since forever that murder, genocide, etc, are really wrong. I believe we have and that there is good evidence for this. As long as one objective moral value exists, then God exists. God is the only ground I can see for objective moral values and duties and thus if the viewers of this debate agree with me that some things are really wrong and other things are really right, then they should vote pro."

Sure people have believed that some things are objectively wrong but that doesn't mean that they actually are. My opponent claims there is good evidence for objective morality but never cares to state the evidence. My opponent again assumes that God can be the only basis for objective morality and fails to show how the opinion of a being (God) alone can somehow create moral fact. Morality based on logic is also never ruled out.

A final analysis:
As stated before, if a claim has no evidence, then it is unlikely that it is true statistically. I have refuted all the claimed evidence for God that has been given. No evidence has also been given for a God who is immaterial and can exist outside space-time.

So lets test some of the predictions of a God-less universe and a God created universe.

If the universe is God-less then over time complexity in it should be explained nationalistically over time. If it is created by God, then evidence of design should show. In fact the Godless predictions are being confirmed.

If the universe was God-less then most of it should be unsuitable for life, because of the Repeated Trial Argument. This is so because for a mindless force to create something complex, it requires many tries failed. For example for every planet suitable for life, we should see billions not suitable. This prediction is also confirmed. Why would a creator make so much of the universe uninhabitable?

So because of the lack of evidence for a universe created by a disembodied mind, and the fact that the predictions made based on the assumption that the universe was not created by a mind have come true, rather than those based on the idea it was created by a disembodied mind, I can say that it is unlikely that the universe was created by a disembodied mind.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by perplexed 2 years ago
perplexed
Installgentoo
do your knuckles drag on the ground when you roam from cave to cave?
Posted by Dan4reason 2 years ago
Dan4reason
Sagey. Thanks for the analysis of the paper. I have one question about it. How could the boundary of an inflating region ever correspond to the beginning of the universe?
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
@ Install: That paper never meant the Universe came from Nothing; The authors of that paper stated: "What can lie beyond the boundary? Several possibilities have been discussed, one being that the boundary of the inflating region corresponds to the beginning of the Universe in a quantum nucleation event."

There is no concept of God in their paper, nor that the Universe began from absolutely nothing such as a complete Vacuum.
The universal Idiot, William Lane Craig, often irrationally cites the same paper which I have a copy of and he totally misunderstands it. Critics rake him over the coals for using a paper that does not support him, but the Ignorant fool still cites it, regardless.

Here is Vilenkin's statement when asked about whether they meant that the universe had a beginning in their paper.
"f someone asks me whether or not the theorem I proved with Borde and Guth implies that the universe had a beginning, I would say that the short answer is "yes". If you are willing to get into subtleties, then the answer is "No, but"" So, there are ways to get around having a beginning, but then you are forced to have something nearly as special as a beginning."

Though it would go towards having relevant sources so you may have equalized the points there.
Posted by Installgentoo 2 years ago
Installgentoo
I forgot to post a link to the Guth-Borde-Villenkin Theorem on the second round of the debate. Here it is: http://arxiv.org....
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
When making brash assumptions like "The cause must be outside of time and space" the person making the argument must at least cite a source that somehow verifies this. As if we are just expected to take the debater's word for it, then they will lose points. Pro cited no sources that back up all the wild assumptions made.
Because they are assumptions made without any demonstrated basis, they can be negated as arguments.
Just because some idiot (Anselm, Aquinas, etc...) made such arguments, they are not really intelligent nor evidence backed arguments. The debater needs to find evidence or cite a source of evidence that does back such assumptions.]

Though problem for Pro there is all those arguments may sound rational to the naive, but to people versed in philosophy and reason, they are all entirely Subjective and mostly highly Irrational.

So to mount these arguments in a debate, and expect the voter to at least consider some form of evidence for their argument, voters cannot be expected just accept assumptions without evidence.
If the evidence is supportive, they may win votes that went against them for unsupported evidence such as my votes.
Posted by Rasputin45 2 years ago
Rasputin45
Pro, prove to me that the universe 'obviously' exists. You can't. We just assume it does because assuming it doesn't gets us nowhere. Assuming god exists on the other hand gets us nowhere as well.
Posted by Dan4reason 2 years ago
Dan4reason
My last link got cut off so it doesn't work. Here it is:
http://www.pbs.org...

To Bob Roberts. I won't try to prove there is no God, I will only try to show his existence is improbable. I hope I did that. When it comes to grammar, I tend to let the computer do too much of that for me.
Posted by BobRoberts 2 years ago
BobRoberts
Sorry, but since I can't edit my comment, I am correcting it now!
Mistakes corrected...
"However I think you can not prove THERE is NOT a god"
"There IS so much foolish content in the bible"

I hate incorrect grammar, ergo the corrections...
I know it is silly but my mother and was a teacher (and my daughter is a teacher and my wife is a principal) and I correct grammatical mistakes constantly because of these circumstances. So I must correct myself as well. :-)
Posted by BobRoberts 2 years ago
BobRoberts
You can NOT prove there is a god... However I think you can not prove the is NOT a god since you can not prove a negative logically.
But I will go with the atheists values even though they are not able to be proven!
There are so much foolish content in the bible it should make you question god's existence. For example, god said "thou shalt not kill" and then he killed almost everyone on earth! THAT IS NOT NICE!!!
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
LOL Agnostic verses Agnostic, this could be interesting.
Since Deism is a form of agnosticism.
Actually the famous Deistic founding father of the Constitution is also a grandfather of Atheism in the US.
Yes Deism evolved to Atheism.
It's a natural Evolution.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by MartinKauai 2 years ago
MartinKauai
InstallgentooDan4reasonTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO essentially rehashed some old favorites from William Lane Craig, arguments that have been debunked for decades, and are only convincing based on the amount of evidence in favor of the premises. Just as William Lane Craig has never provided convincing evidences for his premises, neither did PRO. PRO demonstrates some very flawed thinking: "As long as one objective moral value exists, then God exists. God is the only ground I can see for objective moral values..." A non-sequitor followed by a personal appeal to incredulity. Very poor debate tactics.
Vote Placed by SNP1 2 years ago
SNP1
InstallgentooDan4reasonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had no viable sources. Pro also was irrational with his arguments.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
InstallgentooDan4reasonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro presented no viable sources for starters. Pro's argument was purely a priori, though irrational, which is not a good argument. Pro makes a lot of purely subjective assumptions that were not backed up by evidence: "if the universe has an explanation of it's existence, that explanation is God- since the explanation is outside of it (per 1), the cause must be immaterial, since it is outside space and time." This is a wild assumption or pure speculation, there is no evidence that the cause of the universe needed to be outside of all space and time, events outside our universe may have their own space and time, such as two black holes colliding could be the cause of our universe, those black holes had their own time in forming the collision event. And: "if God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist", firstly Pro needs to ascertain that objective moral values actually exist, before making such an Assumption. Which Pro did not. Con's Argument was far more sound.