The Instigator
usernamesareannoying
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
sillydebater
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

God Does Not Exist

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
usernamesareannoying
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/27/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,660 times Debate No: 75762
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (36)
Votes (1)

 

usernamesareannoying

Pro

Prologue

Hey there, this is quite simply a God vs no God debate.


Acceptance


This should be impossible to accept. If you'd like to debate with me, please say so in the comments.


Burden of Proof


The BoP is shared in this debate.


Definitions

"God" is defined as "being the creator of the universe and possessing the following attributes:

-Omnipotence (has the power to do anything)
-Transcendence (outside space-time)
-Omniscience (has unlimited knowledge)"

"Exist" is defined as "having objective reality, insofar as existing outwith the mind."


Format of the Debate


R1: Con forwards their contentions
R2: Pro presents their affirmations, and Con rebuts Pro's case
R3-4: Pro defends their arguments, and rebuts Con's case. Con rebuts, and defends their arguments
R5: Pro rebuts and defends their arguments, and Con waives the round



Good luck
sillydebater

Con

Introduction

Science has taught us much about the physical world around us. We now understand things our distant ancestors could never have even imagined. In contrast, our understanding of the divine, of God, is still in its infancy. We are like the first humans staring up at the moon, trying to comprehend that bright light in the sky. Just like our early kin in regards to the moon, we today lack the tools and knowledge needed to prove much about God. Our science is still not mature enough. However, our science is able to prove enough to definitively say that God exists; even if we can't say much more than that about the nature of that God.

In this debate, I will outline what science can prove about God, and how that is enough to refute the statement that "God Does Not Exist".


Science

Science is great at showing us the truth about things we can observe, alter and manipulate. Unfortunately, for the most part God doesn't fall into one of those categories. Our science is a bad candidate for trying to understand God because God is not something we can measure. Even so, there is something important that science teaches us: that there are rules to the universe.

Every day, science gives us more and more evidence that the universe has a set of rules by which everything must follow: Laws of gravity, laws of relativity, laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy; mechanical laws, laws of electromagnetism, laws of chemistry and laws of quantum mechanics. Science has found, through exhaustive testing and observation, that these laws exist and hold our universe together. Without these laws, the universe as we know it wouldn't exist.

Some argue that the mere existence of these universal laws is proof of God (i.e. proof from intelligent design). Though there may be some validity in that stance, I am not going to use that argument in this debate. Instead, I want to focus on what enforces these laws. This is an aspect of God I call "The Great Enforcer"


The Great Enforcer

Imagine you are standing still. Imagine you have a rock in your hand and are holding the rock in mid-air. Now imagine you let go of the rock. If I were to ask any sane person what would happen to the rock when it is released, every one would say that it would fall. Even a little toddler would answer correctly. If you repeated the experiment again, ten times, a hundred times, a million times, each and every time the result would be the same. The rock would drop towards the earth. But why? When you let go of the rock, why does it fall? Why doesn't it go sideways, or up, or just hover there?

The simple answer is because of the law of gravity, namely that objects with mass exert an attractive force on other objects with mass. The earth is pulling the rock towards itself, and the rock (in a very minor way) is pulling the earth towards itself. That sounds like a satisfactory answer at first glance. However if we look a little closer, it actually is insufficient.

The law of gravity is exactly what it says it is: a law. It is merely a rule that exists, and we only know about it because we've observed it. Yet laws, rules, don't have any power on their own. They require something to enforce them. Without something to enforce the laws of the universe, the universe would be chaos. Things would happen randomly, predictions would be impossible. Yet science proves to us, time and time again, that the universe is not chaos, that the universe has rules. But, more importantly, science proves that something is enforcing those rules, with everything, in every situation, without fail. This is The Great Enforcer.


An Aspect of God

The Great Enforcer is an aspect of God. By testing the Great Enforcer against the requisite attributes of God, this will become easy to see.

Omnipotence
Science shows us that the Great Enforcer is omnipotent. We have found no object that is exempt or immune to the power of the Great Enforcer. All matter and energy, everything in the entire universe is subject to the laws of the universe, and there is nothing we have found that can break these laws. The Great Enforcer has total dominion over the universe.

Transcendence
Science has shown us that the Great Enforcer is transcendent. We've learned that the Great Enforcer has been enforcing the laws of the universe from the very beginning of time. There has never been a recorded or studied time in which the laws have not been enforced. The Great Enforcer holds its power throughout all of time.

Similarly, the Great Enforcer has enforced laws across all of observed space. We have found no place where the Great Enforcer has not been able to enforce the laws of the universe. The Great Enforcer holds its power throughout all of space.

Finally, the Great Enforcer enforces laws dictating space and laws dictating time. It also enforces relativistic laws that deal with both space and time. In order to enforce laws regarding space and time, the Great Enforcer must exist outside both. If it were affected by its own enforcing of the rules, then it would open the possibility of a gap in which it would be unable to enforce the rules in a given time or space. We have no evidence of such a gap.

Omniscience
Science has shown us that the Great Enforcer is omniscient. We have found no instance of a situation or object that the Great Enforcer doesn't know about. It is impossible to fool or distract the Great Enforcer, or to hide from its power. The Great Enforcer has knowledge of everything in the universe, and thus is able to enforce the rules for all.


God Exists

Science has shown us that the Great Enforcer exists; every day it gathers more proof that there is something in the universe that is enforcing universal laws. Science has shown us that there is no object, no place, no time and no situation that is not subject to the power of the Great Enforcer. The Great Enforcer has the attributes of God, is omnipotent, transient and omniscient. The Great Enforcer exists, the Great Enforcer is an aspect of God, God exists.

Even if my opponent argues against the Great Enforcer meeting the criteria for one or more of the attributes of God, my opponent would still need to come up with another explanation for what the Great Enforcer is. Something that can literally control every thing in every place across all time certainly sounds like the definition of God.


Summary

My argument is as follows:

P1 -> The Great Enforcer Exists
Science has given us more than ample evidence that the universe has rules and there is something that enforces those rules

P2 -> The Great Enforcer is an aspect of God
The Great Enforcer meets the criteria for omnipotence, transience and omniscience. It has the power to enforce the rules over everything, everywhere, in every time and in every situation.

C -> God Exists
If an aspect of God exists, God exists.


Afterward

Although science can prove the existence of the Great Enforcer, unfortunately it can't tell us anything about it. The reason is because science actually uses the existence of the Great Enforcer as one of its founding tenets. Specifically, science relies on the idea that if you perform the same actions to the same objects in the exact same situation, you will get the same result. In other words, science requires the Great Enforcer to enforce the laws of the universe the same from experiment to experiment. Without the Great Enforcer, science is meaningless. And, as the Great Enforcer is part of the basis of all science, science itself can't be used to learn more about it.

This is what I meant when I said we are like the first humans, looking up at the moon. Our knowledge of reality, our science, is not mature enough to be able to get a true understanding of God. All we can know is that God exists, and from there, do our best at making guesses as to what this God is. However, to deny the existence of God, to say there isn't a force out there that has total dominion and control, is to ignore the proof science is showing us. It makes as much sense as staring up at the moon and shouting that it's not there.
Debate Round No. 1
usernamesareannoying

Pro

Affirmative Case

A1 Transcendent Entities Cannot "Exist"


This is an argument created by myself. I would like to see how it turns out in a debate.

P1: “Exist” is temporal i.e. it assumes a present tense
P2: Present tenses are temporal phrases
P3: God is transcendent – outside space-time
P4: For something to “exist” that entity must be within space-time
P5: Since God is outside space-time, God cannot exist
C: Ergo, God cannot exist

All premises in this argument appear axiomatic. I will provide further justification if Con wishes.

A2 Eternalism


Eternalism is the ontological nature of time, where the past, present and future are all equally real. Eternalism is corroborated by special relativity, as it shows that absolute simultaneity is false. (1)
Image result for einstein block universe
But this raises the question: if all three tenses of time are equally real, then why can't we "remember" the future? This question can be simply answered by the radiative arrow of time:

Hence, we cannot "remember" or "see" the future, as the light has not reached us yet.


"Thus causality is intimately bound up with time's arrow." (2)

Causality is contingent upon "The Arrow of Time" viz. causality is inherently incoherent without time's arrow.
The Arrow of Time is the asymmetry of time, thus The Arrow of Time cannot exist without time itself. Hence, God could not have created the universe, without an arrow of time. Since there isn't an arrow of time in a timeless, static place, God could not have created the universe.


A3 Quantum Superposition


P1: God should collapse all particle's wave functions
P2: If not all particle's wave functions are collapsed, God does not exist
C: God does not exist

Defense of premise one
The double-slit experiment demonstrates that particles can act like, waves and particles. The experiment belongs to a general class of "double path" experiments, in which a wave is split into two separate waves that later combine into a single wave. Changes in the path lengths of both waves result in a phase shift, creating an interference pattern. (3)


As shown by the double-slit experiment, particle’s (when observed) wave functions collapse so the particle can choose one quantum state. Until it is observed, we must assume all quantum states to be equally real, as postulated in the ‘Schrödinger's cat’ Analogy.

When observed, particles become localised.
God is transcendent viz. God should be able to see the whole universe and everything in it, as God is outside of it. Since God sees all particles, they should all be collapsed.


Defense of premise two

This must be true, as if it was not, Quantum Superposition would not be true and the Cat analogy would have never been thought of.



A3 Omnipotence Paradox


P1: God is defined as possessing omnipotence
P2: Omnipotence is sophistry
P3: If omnipotence is sophistry then God is sophistry
P4: Omnipotence is sophistry, so God is sophistry
C: Therefore, God is sophistry



Defense of premise one
God is defined as having omnipotence



Defense of premise two
If God has omnipotence, (unlimited power) then God would be able to create another deity that is more powerful than God. If God can do this, then this would violate the definition of "God", since God is the most superior. If God cannot do this, then God is limited by logic - if God is limited by logic, then God does not truly have unlimited power. Therefore, the concept of omnipotence is sophistry.


Defense of premise three
If God is defined as having omnipotence, and the concept of omnipotence is sophistry, then the concept of God is sophistry.


Defense of premise four
God has omnipotence, so God is sophistry.



A4 The Argument from Atemporal Minds


This argument assumes the following logical format:

P1: God exists transcendently
P2: God is/has a mind
P3: If God transcendent, then God's mind is atemporal
P4: If God's mind is atemporal, then God's mind cannot exist
P5: If God's mind cannot exist, then God cannot exist
C: God cannot exist

Defense of premise one
God is defined as having transcendent existence



Defense of premise two
If God exists, God must be/have a mind, because knowledge is contingent upon a mind.


Defense of premise three
Temporal minds imply a mind that exist within space-time. Since God exists outside space-time, the implication is reversed.



Defense of premise four
Minds imply an interaction in time, since minds include processes. Processes infer a finite amount of time, however, time is non-existent in a timeless place... If God's mind is atemporal, then God's mind cannot involve processes. Therefore, a timeless mind is sophistry. If God is/has a mind, then God is sophistry.



Defense of premise five
Premise five is valid as long as premise five is valid.




Negative Case

Science & The Great Enforcer

In this argument, Con states many physical laws and how they exist within our universe. My opponent synthesizes this argument under the pretenses that all physical laws must be enforced. This commits the bare assertion fallacy -- why do these laws have to be enforced? Until appropriate citation is utilized, this assertion remains unverified.

Nevertheless, even if this assertion is deemed with proper veracity, it does not affirm the existence of a God. Moreover, Con arrives at an unwarranted conclusion that it must be a God that enforces these physical laws. This begs the question, so it is invalid. Thus, the validity of the two fundamental facets of Con's argument need to be demonstrated. This argument is a non-sequitur, as Con cannot fulfill the burden that the physical laws must be enforced -- Con makes the claim that "science proves that something is enforcing those rules", but this remains unsourced, and Con must then argue that a God is the one that enforces those rules.


An Aspect of God

In this argument, Con begins to justify that "The Great Enforcer" is in fact "God". He does this by stating that He has the attributes that God was defined as.

"Science shows us that the Great Enforcer is omnipotent. We have found no object that is exempt or immune to the power of the Great Enforcer. All matter and energy, everything in the entire universe is subject to the laws of the universe, and there is nothing we have found that can break these laws. The Great Enforcer has total dominion over the universe."

Con's justification appears counter-intuitive. His rationale for The Great Enforcer having omnipotence, is that there is nothing (that we have observed) that is exempt to His power. In fact, we have not observed The Great Enforcer create two universes. We have not observed The Great Enforcer create a 500ft tall human. If Con comes to the conclusion that if everything we have observed is not immune to The Great Enforcer's power, then God must have omnipotence, then I also have the right to state that God is not omnipotent, because we have not observed his unlimited power. If we have not seen Him 'do everything' we have no reason to believe that God is truly omnipotent.


"Science has shown us that the Great Enforcer is omniscient. We have found no instance of a situation or object that the Great Enforcer doesn't know about. It is impossible to fool or distract the Great Enforcer, or to hide from its power. The Great Enforcer has knowledge of everything in the universe, and thus is able to enforce the rules for all."

The same form of reverse logic can be applied in this argument. Knowledge of everything in our universe does not pertain to "unlimited knowledge". If we assume Con's logic is sound, then we can come to a reverse conclusion; Con states that we have not observed anything that God doesn't know, therefore, He must be omniscient. If God is omniscient, God must know what the result of this debate is, although, since we haven't observed what the result is, we have no reason to believe that God knows it (under Con's logical pretenses). We cannot 'observe the future' until it happens, hence we have no reason to believe that God knows the future (as we haven't observed it yet). Ergo, Con has not demonstrated that this God has true omniscience.

God Exists

In this summary of sorts, Con moves the goalposts by stating:

"Even if my opponent argues against the Great Enforcer meeting the criteria for one or more of the attributes of God, my opponent would still need to come up with another explanation for what the Great Enforcer is. Something that can literally control every thing in every place across all time certainly sounds like the definition of God."

That is not my burden to carry. Con is the person who ought to make the ontological leap; not me. If you accuse me of stealing your cookie, and I present an alibi of how it could not of been me, you simply cannot say, "well if you didn't steal it, you must present to me the person who actually stole it". This is raising the bar.


Con's Syllogism

Well, it's not really a syllogism, as Con uses an premise as a conclusion. To invalidate the logical format, I will attack that premise.

"If an aspect of God exists, God exists."

Con makes the bare assertion that "The Great Enforcer is an aspect of God". I commend that Con provides credibility for this claim. Con also makes the unwarranted escalation that if an aspect of God exists, God exists. "Aspect", seems rather subjective to me. I normally link it to "property". Moreover, I would like Con to find an objective denotation of this, and provide evidence that if an aspect of God exists, then God exists.


Conclusion

I have shown with many affirmations that God does not exist. I thank my opponent for accepting my debate and I wish him good luck with his rebuttal. :)


(1) http://plato.stanford.edu...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org...
sillydebater

Con

Negative Case

Science & The Great Enforcer

Pro has misunderstood my argument and represented it incorrectly. I will clarify:

Laws are enforced, by definition.

Pro writes: "My opponent synthesizes this argument under the pretenses that all physical laws must be enforced. This commits the bare assertion fallacy -- why do these laws have to be enforced? Until appropriate citation is utilized, this assertion remains unverified."

The Oxford Dictionary defines law in this context to be "A statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present."1 Wikipedia defines laws as being "strongly supported by empirical evidence - they are scientific knowledge that experiments have repeatedly verified (and never falsified)"2

By definition, a physical law is consistent (i.e. enforced) in all cases without exception. They have become laws because we have observed them to be consistent universally. Questioning why a law must be enforced is irrelevant, as by definition they are.

The Great Enforcer: the Root of Laws' Consistency

Pro writes: "Con arrives at an unwarranted conclusion that it must be a God that enforces these physical laws. This begs the question, so it is invalid."

This is misleading and incorrect. My precise wording was: "Science proves that something is enforcing those rules". I then used the term The Great Enforcer to describe that 'something'. I never stated that "it must be a God" that enforces these laws. The Great Enforcer is simply a term to describe whatever is at the root of the consistency of physical laws. I then go on to show how that root possesses all the requisite attributes of God, thus it meets the criteria set out at the start of the debate.

To say my argument begs the question is dismissive and not addressing the argument itself.

Attributes of God: Omnipotence

Pro writes: "If Con comes to the conclusion that if everything we have observed is not immune to The Great Enforcer's power, then God must have omnipotence, then I also have the right to state that God is not omnipotent, because we have not observed his unlimited power. If we have not seen Him 'do everything' we have no reason to believe that God is truly omnipotent."

Pro seems to misunderstand how scientific belief is formed. We form beliefs and understanding based on the evidence at hand. We can extrapolate from our limited findings to make assertions on situations we have not observed. If we observe a physical law holds for each and every object we have ever tested, then we can safely extrapolate that the law will hold for any similar object we have not yet tested. This is why the definition of physical laws contains the wording, "always occurs", even when not all possible situations have been tested and verified.

In this situation, we have seen without fail that whatever is at the root of laws' consistency, enforces that consistency on every observed object in existence. From that, we can extrapolate that its influence applies equally over those objects we have not observed, until otherwise disproven. In other words, it is appropriate to form a scientific belief that all objects in the universe are subject to these laws.

Something that has the power to force any object in existence to adhere to arbitrary rules is certainly all powerful.

Attributes of God: Omniscience

Pro writes: "If God is omniscient, God must know what the result of this debate is, although, since we haven't observed what the result is, we have no reason to believe that God knows it (under Con's logical pretenses). We cannot 'observe the future' until it happens, hence we have no reason to believe that God knows the future (as we haven't observed it yet)."

Pro's argument is flawed in two ways. I have already discussed how it is proper to develop a scientific belief using the evidence at hand and extrapolating out to scenarios that are untested. In this instance, the root of laws' consistency has maintained that consistency for all of observed time, unerringly. We can extrapolate that the consistency has also held for all unobserved time, and will hold into the future.

Pro's argument is also flawed in another way. In my argument, I showed that the root of laws' consistency is transcendent, that it exists outside space-time. Any discussion of past or future for something that is transcendent is irrelevant, as time does not apply to it.

God Exists

Pro writes: "I would like Con to find an objective denotation of this, and provide evidence that if an aspect of God exists, then God exists."

Since the word 'aspect' seems to be causing problems, I will rephrase.

At the beginning of this debate, there were three requisite attributes of God: omnipotence, transience and omniscience. I have shown that the root of laws' consistency is omnipotent, transient and omniscient. Thus, it meets the requisite attributes of God. If something that meets the requisite attributes of God exists, then God exists.
If that is not the case, then there would be another requisite attribute that has not been met.

At the bare minimum, we can prove that God exists, and that God is the root of laws' consistency. I believe there is more than simply this to God, however with our current science and knowledge, not more than this is provable. Still, it is enough to make a firm statement on God's existence.


Affirmative Case

A1 Transcendent Entities Cannot "Exist"

Pro writes:
P1: “Exist” is temporal i.e. it assumes a present tense
P2: Present tenses are temporal phrases
P3: God is transcendent – outside space-time
P4: For something to “exist” that entity must be within space-time
P5: Since God is outside space-time, God cannot exist
C: Ergo, God cannot exist

Although the argument is sound if you assume P1: "Exist" is temporal, it's a senseless argument, as that immediately makes P3 nonsensical. P3 states that God is outside-space time. By using the word 'is' as a synonym of 'exists', P3 becomes a contradiction. You've set the argument up to fail from the very beginning by choosing your definitions to do so.

Even if you want to hold to this, you have not proven the truth of P1. Without that proof, it's just valid but not sound.

Finally, it's easy to refute the argument as follows:

P1: “Exist” is temporal i.e. it assumes a present tense

P2: Present tenses are temporal phrases
P3: God is transcendent – outside space-time
P4: For something to “exist” that entity must be within space-time
P5: God is omnipotent - has the power to do anything
P6: Since God has the power to do anything, God has the power to "exist" outside space-time, even in a situation of logical contradiction
C: Ergo, God can exist

In fact, only P5 and P6 are really needed for the conclusion.


A2 Eternalism

Pro writes:
The Arrow of Time cannot exist without time itself. Hence, God could not have created the universe, without an arrow of time. Since there isn't an arrow of time in a timeless, static place, God could not have created the universe.

This is the argument from first cause, only turned on its head. The argument here is that the Arrow of Time would have to exist before God could create the universe (which includes time). Thus, God could not have created the universe and time.

The problem here is that God is irrelevant to the argument and can be removed. Once done, it's easy to see that this suffers from the same problems as the argument from first cause. Namely:

The Arrow of Time cannot exist without time itself. Hence, the universe could not have been created without an arrow of time. Since there isn't an arrow of time in a timeless, static place, the universe could not have been created.

So, what caused the Arrow of Time? It could not have been created without another Arrow of Time, in which case, what caused that? Alternatively, if the Arrow of Time has existed infinitely, then there's no contradiction in the creation of the universe, God-driven or otherwise.


A3 Quantum Superposition

Pro writes:
P1: God should collapse all particle's wave functions
P2: If not all particle's wave functions are collapsed, God does not exist
C: God does not exist

I like this one. It's fun. :)

There are more premises behind this argument than you formally lay out, but you explain them in the defense texts. There are a few ways to rebut this argument:

1) You state: "God is transcendent viz. God should be able to see the whole universe and everything in it, as God is outside of it. Since God sees all particles, they should all be collapsed."

Being able to see is not the same as seeing. Even though God is able to see all particles, God could simply choose not to.

2) God is omnipotent: God could decide to be immune to the effect of localization, or could choose to reset the superposition immediately after observing.

3) God is omniscient: God already knows the nature of all particles, so God doesn't need to observe them.


A3 Omnipotence Paradox

Pro writes:
If God has omnipotence, (unlimited power) then God would be able to create another deity that is more powerful than God. If God can do this, then this would violate the definition of "God", since God is the most superior.

If God has unlimited power, and is the most superior, then God would be able to create a more powerful God without violating the definition of "God", as doing so without violating the definition is more powerful than doing so while violating it. In other words, if God is omnipotent, then God is not limited by logical contradictions.


A4 The Argument from Atemporal Minds

Premise two is unproven: "If God exists, God must be/have a mind, because knowledge is contingent upon a mind." One could argue that artificial intelligences posses knowledge, but they don't have minds.

Premise four is unproven: "Minds imply an interaction in time, since minds include processes." There's no proof that minds must have processes.

1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
usernamesareannoying

Pro

Negative Case

Science & The Great Enforcer

I now concur -- for now. Although, "enforce" seems a little vague. What is this enforcer doing exactly?

Attributes of God: Omnipotence

"We form beliefs and understanding based on the evidence at hand. We can extrapolate from our limited findings to make assertions on situations we have not observed.We form beliefs and understanding based on the evidence at hand. We can extrapolate from our limited findings to make assertions on situations we have not observed."

I understand how scientific proof works, however it is not a deduction. You must 'definitively' prove that the Great Enforcer is omnipotent. All Con has proposed, is that the great enforcer enforces all physical laws, it makes another ad hoc assumption. Hence, the hypothesis that this being is omnipotent is simply refuted by Occam's Razor. Occam's Razor gives simplicity precedence -- if two hypothesises are competing, the hypothesis with the least amount of ad hoc assumptions is a priori most likely. To extrapolate that this enforcer is definitely omnipotent with limited observation posits another ad hoc. Hence, the opposing hypothesis is deemed a priori most likely.

"In this situation, we have seen without fail that whatever is at the root of laws' consistency, enforces that consistency on every observed object in existence. From that, we can extrapolate that its influence applies equally over those objects we have not observed, until otherwise disproven. In other words, it is appropriate to form a scientific belief that all objects in the universe are subject to these laws."

I concur, but this is the furthest that the extrapolation extends to -- the great enforcer enforces laws on all objects. Hence, it is unwarranted to say that this enforcer is omnipotent, as we have not observed it create anything -- even if it enforces the rules does not mean that it created them viz. a police man enforces the law, but the police man did not necessarily establish that law. Moreover, the great enforcer has only been shown to be an enforcer, nothing else. I could equally say that Ronaldo is omnipotent, because he is talented.

"Something that has the power to force any object in existence to adhere to arbitrary rules is certainly all powerful."

How so? It has not been demonstrated that it can do everything. It can force objects to adhere to rules, that's it.

Attributes of God: Omniscience

I admit, the analogy I proposed was refuted, but the logic behind it has not. Since this enforcer has only been shown to enforce physical laws, it does not necessarily 'know' everything. Con's scientific proof only extends to it knowing everything about 'physical laws'. For example, if we observe a pack of wolves co-operating to capture prey, we can deduce that they can co-operate to tackle 'all' of their prey. However, saying that the great enforcer knows everything is like me asserting that those wolves know quantum mechanics. The qualities are not necessarily linked in any way, hence it is invalid to make that leap.

"I showed that the root of laws' consistency is transcendent, that it exists outside space-time."

Why can't the enforcer exist within space-time? Why can't the enforcer enforce all physical laws within space-time? Con has not provided adequate justification for that claim.


Affirmative Case

A1 Transcendent Entities Cannot "Exist"


"Although the argument is sound if you assume P1: "Exist" is temporal, it's a senseless argument, as that immediately makes P3 nonsensical. P3 states that God is outside-space time. By using the word 'is' as a synonym of 'exists', P3 becomes a contradiction. You've set the argument up to fail from the very beginning by choosing your definitions to do so. "

This can be easily rectified, the third premise can be reiterated like so:
P3: If God were to exist
Hence, it is an 'If' statement. So I am not referring to an already existing God in the format.


"Even if you want to hold to this, you have not proven the truth of P1. Without that proof, it's just valid but not sound."

I thought that it was axiomatic, but as commended: (1)Verbs have tenses -- "to exist" is a present tense, hence it is temporal since it is contingent upon time.

"P5: God is omnipotent - has the power to do anything
P6: Since God has the power to do anything, God has the power to "exist" outside space-time, even in a situation of logical contradiction"

I guess this argument relies upon the omnipotence paradox argument.

A2 Eternalism

"So, what caused the Arrow of Time? It could not have been created without another Arrow of Time, in which case, what caused that?"

There would have to be an Arrow of Time for causality to happen. Without it, causality is incoherent. This point has not been addressed and Con presents a strawman to this argument.

"Alternatively, if the Arrow of Time has existed infinitely, then there's no contradiction in the creation of the universe, God-driven or otherwise. "If the Arrow of Time existed infinitely, it would render the definition of God incoherent, as the creator of the universe was an inherent requisite under this resolution...

A3 Quantum Superposition


I accept the refutations Con has presented. Well done Con. :)

A3 Omnipotence Paradox

"If God has unlimited power, and is the most superior, then God would be able to create a more powerful God without violating the definition of "God", as doing so without violating the definition is more powerful than doing so while violating it. In other words, if God is omnipotent, then God is not limited by logical contradictions."

Con just presented the paradox it creates. It would cause a logical contradiction while doing that.

A4 The Argument from Atemporal Minds

"Premise two is unproven: "If God exists, God must be/have a mind, because knowledge is contingent upon a mind." One could argue that artificial intelligences posses knowledge, but they don't have minds."

A mind can be defined as: "
intellect or understanding, as distinguished from the faculties of feeling and willing; intelligence." (2) Hence, anything that fulfills this definition has a mind.

"Premise four is unproven: "Minds imply an interaction in time, since minds include processes." There's no proof that minds must have processes."

Knowledge is contingent upon a mind (a point which Con did not refute), which is contingent upon intelligence (as shown by the definition). Intelligence requires processes, so therefore, a mind requires processes. Intelligence is defined as: "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills." (3) "To acquire" is contingent upon time, since it implies that something will get something in the future viz. to acquire something in a static place is incoherent.


(1) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
(2) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(3) Google "Define 'Intelligence'"

sillydebater

Con

Negative Case
Science & The Great Enforcer

Pro writes:
"I now concur -- for now. Although, "enforce" seems a little vague. What is this enforcer doing exactly?"

I'm glad to hear we agree that The Great Enforcer exists. As I mentioned, this is just a term for whatever is at the root of the consistency of physical laws. What the enforcer is doing is creating, dictating or "enforcing" that consistency.


Attributes of God: Omnipotence

Pro writes:
"All Con has proposed, is that the great enforcer enforces all physical laws, it makes another ad hoc assumption. Hence, the hypothesis that this being is omnipotent is simply refuted by Occam's Razor. ... To extrapolate that this enforcer is definitely omnipotent with limited observation posits another ad hoc."

I don't understand what part of my argument is 'ad hoc', or 'after the fact'. I've been arguing this from the beginning:

P1: Whatever enforces the physical laws has the power to enforce them universally to all things.
- Evidenced through countless scientific experiments

P2: There is nothing in the universe immune to the enforcer's power.
- From P1

P3: There is nothing in existence more powerful than that which enforces the physical laws.
- For something to be more powerful, it would have to be able to resist the enforcer's power

P4: The enforcer of physical laws is the most powerful force in the universe, i.e. all powerful
- From P3

P5: A being that is all powerful is omnipotent
- From the Latin, omni = all, potens = powerful

P6: The enforcer of physical laws is omnipotent
- From P4 and P5

C: The enforcer of physical laws is omnipotent


Pro writes:
"it is unwarranted to say that this enforcer is omnipotent, as we have not observed it create anything -- even if it enforces the rules does not mean that it created them"

I agree that we cannot say whether the enforcer created the rules. Limitations of science prevent us from determining that.

However, we can definitely say that the enforcer created every physical object in this universe. From the very beginnings of the Big Bang, we have scientific evidence to show that physical laws were being enforced. By enforcing the laws, quarks and gluons were created. Laws were enforced to combine these to create proton and neutrons. Elemental atoms were created by laws being enforced, and then molecules. 1

Molecules made larger collections of matter, which gathered together to create suns and planets, air, land and water. The enforcement of laws created the chemical setup required for life, first cells, then more complex organisms, eventually you and me. 2

Everyone and everything is causally linked back to the start of the universe. And at the root of each and every causal event is the enforcement of the laws of the universe. If those laws were not consistently enforced, then we would not exist. As a corollary, because those laws were enforced, we and everything around us does exist.


Attributes of God: Omniscience

Pro writes:
"Since this enforcer has only been shown to enforce physical laws, it does not necessarily 'know' everything."

I disagree. In order to be able to enforce laws universally, it must know everything. If it didn't know everything, then it could not properly enforce the laws.

The problem here is that you're defining knowledge using a human understanding of it, not in a universal sense. You might say that the enforcer doesn't 'know' that a person is sad. Yet, 'sad' is a human concept. 'Sad' doesn't truly exist, just as 'red' or 'blue' doesn't truly exist. Colors are simply wavelengths of light. Emotions are simply neurological states. We may experience 'sad', but all that really exists is the chemical and electrical signals in our brains.

The enforcer of laws knows the chemical and electrical states of our brains, and of every brain in the universe at all times. It knows everything at the most fundamental level of knowledge, the physical level.

One could argue that knowing purely physical knowledge doesn't really result in higher comprehension of that knowledge. However, that argument is moot, as by definition, omniscience is 'all knowing', not 'all comprehending'. Besides, using comprehension would bias the argument toward one understanding of the universe, in this case 'human understanding'.


Attributes of God: Transcendence

Pro writes:
"Why can't the enforcer exist within space-time? Why can't the enforcer enforce all physical laws within space-time?"

I've already explained that the enforcer has been shown to exert its power throughout all of time and all of space, and enforces laws that influence and change time and space. In order to be able to enforce these laws universally, it cannot be subject to the changes in time and space that occur when these laws are enforced.


Summary

Pro has agreed that the Great Enforcer exists, but has contentions about whether the enforcer has the requisite attributes of God. I have answered Pro's questions and have given reasons why those attributes are met.


Affirmative Case

A1 Transcendent Entities Cannot "Exist"


Pro writes:
"I guess this argument relies upon the omnipotence paradox argument."

It sounds like the fate of A1 will depend on A3-2, Omnipotence Paradox. If A3-2 is proven, A1 may be sound. If A3-2 is disproven, A1 is not sound. If you are in agreement, then I think we can conclude discussion of A1, and focus on A3-2.


A2 Eternalism

Pro writes:
"There would have to be an Arrow of Time for causality to happen. Without it, causality is incoherent. This point has not been addressed and Con presents a strawman to this argument."

Pro dismisses my argument as a strawman without giving any reason to back up that claim. I present my argument again, and invite my opponent to give reasons why it is a strawman:

Pro's argument suffers from the same problems as the argument from first cause. If there must be an Arrow of Time for causality to happen, then what created that Arrow of Time? There are four possible answers to that question:

1) Something created that Arrow of Time in a situation without an Arrow of Time
- Pro has already argued that this is impossible

2) Something created that Arrow of Time in a situation where there was another Arrow of Time
- If this is the case, then the next question is, what created the earlier Arrow of Time? Either it reduces to option 1, or the question remains unanswered as it continually takes option 2 (this option) ad infinitum.

3) The Arrow of Time was not created, and exists without cause
- If the Arrow of Time has existed infinitely, then there is no contradiction to the creation of the rest of the universe using that Arrow of Time for causality

4) The Arrow of Time is not actually required for there to be causality

Pro should either answer the question of what created the Arrow of Time, or explain why my argument offers no value to the discussion.

In reference to option 3, Pro writes:
"If the Arrow of Time existed infinitely, it would render the definition of God incoherent, as the creator of the universe was an inherent requisite under this resolution."

This would be true unless the Arrow of Time were God (or a part of God). If God were the Arrow of Time, and existed infinitely, then God could create the universe without contradiction.


A3-1 Quantum Superposition

Thanks. It was a neat theory.


A3-2 Omnipotence Paradox

Pro writes:
"Con just presented the paradox it creates. It would cause a logical contradiction while doing that."

A logical contradiction would normally render a premise impossible. However that is not the case when talking about omnipotence.

P1: Something that is omnipotent is all powerful
- By definition

P2: Something that is not limited is more powerful than something that is limited
- By definition of power: "The ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way" 3

P3: Something omnipotent is not limited
- From P1 and P2

P4: Proof by contradiction requires a premise to be limited by logic 4
- Proof by contradiction starts with assuming the negative and showing that the assumption logically leads to a contradiction. If it leads to a contradiction, then the original assumption cannot exist in light of the contradiction, therefore the opposite must be true. (Pro lays out a proof by contradiction in the 'Defense of premise two' part of Pro's round 2 arguments)

The limitation invoked is that the assumed premise cannot exist in light of the contradiction. This is a logical constraint, which follows the rules of classical logic. If this limitation didn't exist, then proof by contradiction wouldn't work.

P5: Something omnipotent cannot be disproven using a proof by contradiction
- Something unlimited cannot be limited by logic

P6: Pro's Omnipotence Paradox argument uses proof by contradiction
- See 'Defense of premise two' part of Pro's round 2 arguments

C: Pro's Omnipotence Paradox argument does not disprove omnipotence.

It's apt that Pro calls this the Omnipotence Paradox. A paradox is "A seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true." 5


A4 The Argument from Atemporal Minds

Pro writes:
"If God exists, God must be/have a mind, because knowledge is contingent upon a mind."
"A mind can be defined as: 'intellect or understanding, as distinguished from the faculties of feeling and willing; intelligence.' Hence, anything that fulfills this definition has a mind."

Although Pro has supplied a definition, Pro still has not proven that God must have a mind. There is nothing saying God must have intellect, understanding or intelligence. Knowledge is not contingent upon a mind. A library contains much knowledge, but has no mind.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
4. http://mfleck.cs.illinois.edu...
5. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 3
usernamesareannoying

Pro

Negative Case
Science & The Great Enforcer

I have been enlightened. It turns out this argument is known as the "Natural Law Argument", which normally uses this syllogism:

"p1. There are natural laws which govern the universe
p2. All laws have a law giver
c1. That law giver is God"

I will now present why this argument is fallacious.

P1. This is false, as it equivocates the definition of "law". A physical law is not a law like our democratic laws... Physical laws are not physical entities that something can enforce. This in turn creates a reification fallacy.

P2. Philosopher Edwin Bertrand states: "Why did God issue just those natural laws and no others? If you say that he did it simply from his own good pleasure, and without any reason, you then find that there is something which is not subject to law, and so your train of natural law is interrupted. If you say, as more orthodox theologians do, that in all the laws which God issues he had a reason for giving those laws rather than others -- the reason, of course, being to create the best universe, although you would never think it to look at it -- if there was a reason for the laws which God gave, then God himself was subject to law, and therefore you do not get any advantage by introducing God as an intermediary." (1)

C. This argument is a non-sequitur, even if the first two premises are sound, as it just creates a god of the gaps argument, because there might be another cause for natural laws.



Attributes of God: Omnipotence

"I don't understand what part of my argument is 'ad hoc', or 'after the fact'. I've been arguing this from the beginning"

Your hypothesis ads an ad hoc assumption. An ad hoc assumption is something added to an argument to save it from falsity. Hence, the hypothesis with the least ad hoc assumptions (in this case, the opposing hypothesis) is a priori most likely -- according to Occam's Razor.

From here I need not refute Con's logical argument as it I have already refuted the natural law argument.

"I agree that we cannot say whether the enforcer created the rules. Limitations of science prevent us from determining that."

Hence, we cannot assume that it is omnipotent.



Attributes of God: Omniscience

"The problem here is that you're defining knowledge using a human understanding of it, not in a universal sense. You might say that the enforcer doesn't 'know' that a person is sad. Yet, 'sad' is a human concept. 'Sad' doesn't truly exist, just as 'red' or 'blue' doesn't truly exist. Colors are simply wavelengths of light. Emotions are simply neurological states. We may experience 'sad', but all that really exists is the chemical and electrical signals in our brains."

I know -- non-cognitivism. This argument suffers the same fate as the omnipotence one -- whether I can list an objective feature that the universe has shown this enforcer not to know. Occam's Razor simply refutes this leap.



Attributes of God: Transcendence


"I've already explained that the enforcer has been shown to exert its power throughout all of time and all of space, and enforces laws that influence and change time and space. In order to be able to enforce these laws universally, it cannot be subject to the changes in time and space that occur when these laws are enforced."

How so? If we apply that logic, a builder cannot enter a house after one creates it.



Affirmative Case

A2 Eternalism

"Pro's argument suffers from the same problems as the argument from first cause. If there must be an Arrow of Time for causality to happen, then what created that Arrow of Time? There are four possible answers to that question:

1) Something created that Arrow of Time in a situation without an Arrow of Time
- Pro has already argued that this is impossible

2) Something created that Arrow of Time in a situation where there was another Arrow of Time
- If this is the case, then the next question is, what created the earlier Arrow of Time? Either it reduces to option 1, or the question remains unanswered as it continually takes option 2 (this option) ad infinitum.

3) The Arrow of Time was not created, and exists without cause
- If the Arrow of Time has existed infinitely, then there is no contradiction to the creation of the rest of the universe using that Arrow of Time for causality

4) The Arrow of Time is not actually required for there to be causality"


I don't realise how this argument suffers problems... I state that causality is incoherent without time. To state "then what caused the arrow of time to exist?" is completely irrelevant. For example, if I simply propose a simple law: the conservation of energy -- that energy cannot be created or destroyed, just because we do not know what created that energy ex nihilio, does not mean that the law itself is false. Hence, Con's propositions are strawmans. We have no reason to believe that the arrow of time needs a cause.

Every one of Con's four propositions listed, is synthesized under the pretense that everything needs a reason to exist. This is wholly intuitive and lacks actual objectivity. If Con would like to justify that everything that exists must have a cause, he may do so. Until that occurs, what created the time's arrow is completely irrelevant.

"Pro should either answer the question of what created the Arrow of Time, or explain why my argument offers no value to the discussion."

So if you state the conservation of energy law, you must also prove what created the energy ex nihilio? This is moving the goalposts, I need not do that at all.

"This would be true unless the Arrow of Time were God (or a part of God). If God were the Arrow of Time, and existed infinitely, then God could create the universe without contradiction."

That's also question begging and if that's the case, then God is not transcendent, ergo refuting the definition provided. The universe is defined as "all space-time, matter and energy as a whole", so to state that God 'is time' in a timeless place is metaphysically impossible.


A3-1 Quantum Superposition

"Thanks. It was a neat theory."

It was neatly refuted as well.

A3-2 Omnipotence Paradox

I attack my opponents second premise:

"Something that is not limited is more powerful than something that is limited"

Let's say that there is a universe with only a rock, and all the physical laws needed to support a rock are present. Now let's say that there is our universe, which has all the physical laws need to support human life. In the rock universe, Newton's law: F=ma wouldn't necessarily exist... If there was a universe with just a rock, that rock would not move unless a force is acted upon it. This is just an example, that we would have more physical limitations than a rock, and are still able to do 'more things' than that rock. Hence, this premise isn't valid.

A4 The Argument from Atemporal Minds

"Although Pro has supplied a definition, Pro still has not proven that God must have a mind."

I did: "Knowledge is contingent upon a mind (a point which Con did not refute)". I will elaborate: knowledge is defined as "acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition"(2) and intelligence is contingent upon knowledge as its definition is "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills", and intelligence is contingent upon a mind as a mind is defined as "intellect or understanding, as distinguished from the faculties of feeling and willing; intelligence." Hence, I have created a casual link of contingency.

"Knowledge is not contingent upon a mind. A library contains much knowledge, but has no mind."

This is only a metaphor. Libraries are not objectively knowledgeable.






(1) http://www.users.drew.edu...
(2) http://dictionary.reference.com...
sillydebater

Con

Issue of Debate Format
I have a point of contention with the proposed debate format. Please see the comments.

Negative Case
Natural Law Argument

Pro presents the "Natural Law Argument" and proceeds to argue against it. Specifically, Pro argues against the following:

"p1 There are natural laws which govern the universe
p2 All laws have a law giver
c1 That law giver is God"


Unfortunately, that is not the argument I am presenting. My argument goes as follows:

P1 Science has provided us with overwhelming evidence to show that there exist universal laws which are consistent for all things, in all places, over all of time

P2 The cause of the consistency of the universal laws passes the requisite attribute test for God as outlined in Round 1: Omnipotence, Transcendence and Omniscience.

P3 Something exists that passes the requisite attribute test for God.

C: God Exists

Note that I do not speak anywhere of what created the laws, a.k.a. the 'law giver'. What created the laws is irrelevant to the debate. I've shown that whatever causes laws to be consistent meets the requisite attributes of God, which is enough to prove God exists.

Similarly, there is no non-sequitur. The conclusion follows from P3, which itself follows from P1 and P2 with no gaps.

Finally, there is no reification fallacy, as it is not up for debate as to whether physical laws are consistent. By definition they are (see my arguments in round 2), and we have a huge amount of scientific evidence to back up that definition.

Bringing up the "Natural Law Argument" is simply a distraction, and has nothing to do with the debate at hand. I invite my opponent to debate my argument, and not someone else's.


Attributes of God: Omnipotence

Pro writes:
"
Your hypothesis ads an ad hoc assumption"

Pro asserts this, yet does not answer my question as to what assumptions were ad hoc. Pro gives no examples, and just states this as truth. If Pro is stalling until Round 5 to offer an example, it would not be very charitable, as I would have no opportunity to rebut it.

"
From here I need not refute Con's logical argument as it I have already refuted the natural law argument"

Pro has decided that, by refuting someone else's argument, Pro doesn't need to address the arguments I made. As I have shown that my argument is not the natural law argument, my case for omnipotence still stands. I invite my opponent to address my arguments from Round 3, or otherwise let them stand as sound.


Attributes of God: Omniscience

Pro writes:
"
This argument suffers the same fate as the omnipotence one -- whether I can list an objective feature that the universe has shown this enforcer not to know. Occam's Razor simply refutes this leap"

Whether you can list a feature or not is irrelevant. The fact that universal laws are consistent for everything, everywhere, for all time is true by definition. That definition is backed up by thousands upon thousands of scientific studies. The cause of the the laws' consistency is able to make them consistent for all things everywhere. Therefore, the cause of laws' consistency must have access to the knowledge of everything, everywhere. Occam's Razor has no place here, as the conclusion logically flows from the definition of physical laws.

Attributes of God: Transcendence

Pro writes:
"
How so? If we apply that logic, a builder cannot enter a house after one creates it"

It makes no sense to equate the cause of laws' consistency to a builder. A builder creates a building, stops, and then can enter the building. Physical laws' consistency is constantly maintained and never stops. The universe was not created at the beginning and is then done. It is forever being changed by the universal laws.

Even if one insists that God must be able to enter into space-time, it still doesn't contradict my argument. I have proven that the cause of laws' consistency exists outside space-time and is transcendent. If the cause of laws' consistency happened to also exist within space-time, it wouldn't disprove its existence outside space-time. There is no reason to believe existence must be limited to one or the other.



In Conclusion

As I will not have the opportunity to defend my arguments in Round 5, I will conclude here.

I have successfully shown that there are universal laws that apply to all things, in all places, across all time. Science shows us these exist and that they are consistent.

That consistency must have a cause. Without a cause, the only alternative is that physical laws are consistent simply by coincidence, which is absurd.

The laws created everything in the universe, defined as "All existing matter and space considered as a whole"
1. If the laws weren't consistent, then the universe would not exist as it does.

The cause of consistency is omnipotent, able to cause laws to be consistent to all things. It is transcendent, as it cannot be influenced by the changes to space and time that are made by the enforcement of laws. It is omniscient, as it must have access to the knowledge of every real piece of matter and space if it is able to uphold that consistency universally.

The cause of laws consistency exists, and it meets the prerequisites of God as defined in Round 1. Therefore, it qualifies as God and therefore God exists.

My opponent has attempted to discredit my argument mainly through misdirection:

In Round 2, Pro accuses me of using the bare assertion fallacy and begging the question, but then backs down later. Pro argues God isn't omniscient because of time considerations, but then backs down later.

In Round 3, Pro accuses me of using an ad hoc assumption, but doesn't state what that assumption is. Later, when asked to provide specifics, Pro refuses and continues simply to assert the existence of ad hoc assumptions, providing no examples.

In Round 4, Pro introduces and debates against an argument that is significantly different than the one I have presented. Pro then proceeds to ignore my arguments, under the justification that Pro has disproved Pro's new argument. Pro mentions Occam's Razor without explaining why it is relevant. Finally, Pro offers a comparison to a 'builder' (which turns out to be invalid), without explaining how it applies.

Throughout, my argument has held up, while my opponent has tried to misdirect, argue without providing reasons or examples, and bring up points and arguments irrelevant to the discussion.

I ask the voters to look carefully at Pro's rebuttals in Round 5. Do they strike at the heart of my argument? Or does Pro simply attempt more smoke-and-mirrors' arguing, lacking either relevance or support?


Affirmative Case

A2 Eternalism

Pro writes:
"The universe is defined as 'all space-time, matter and energy as a whole'"

Pro offers this definition without any citation. Oxford dictionary defines the universe as, "All existing matter and space considered as a whole"
1. The universe is not defined as having time as part of it, so to create the universe you would not have to also create time. Pro even admits to this:

Pro writes:
"
We have no reason to believe that the arrow of time needs a cause"

This sentence undermines the entire Eternalism argument. Pro's original argument states: "
God could not have created the universe, without an arrow of time. Since there isn't an arrow of time in a timeless, static place, God could not have created the universe"

If the arrow of time doesn't need a cause, then there's no requirement for God to cause it. If there's no requirement for God to cause it, then it could already exist for God to create the universe.

If the arrow of time does need a cause, my questions in Round 3 are valid and Pro needs explain how the arrow of time was first caused.


A3-2 Omnipotence Paradox

Re: "Something that is not limited is more powerful than something that is limited"

Pro writes:
"we would have more physical limitations than a rock, and are still able to do 'more things' than that rock"

Although the rock would have fewer physical laws than humans, we certainly have fewer limitations than the rock. We can walk, talk, think, feel... When examining overall limitations, the rock is certainly much more limited.

Again, the definition of power is, "The ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way"
2. By definition, something that is less able or has a more limited capacity to do something is less powerful.


A4 The Argument from Atemporal Minds

Pro writes:
"
knowledge is defined as 'acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition'"

This is just one of several Oxford dictionary definitions. It doesn't seem very appropriate, as the typical concept of God doesn't have God gaining omniscience through extensive studying or investigative work.

Even so, to prove that God can be omniscient (have unlimited knowledge) without a mind, it is sufficient to show that God can have unlimited knowledge according to at least one of the definitions of knowledge. In particular, knowledge is defined as "something that is or may be known; information"
3.

This definition is more appropriate, as we usually think of God as having instantaneous access to all information in the universe, to everything that is or could ever possibly be known. Nowhere in that definition is any process implied. Knowledge is simply a body of information, which doesn't require a mind.

Finally, Pro writes:
"
intelligence is contingent upon knowledge ... and intelligence is contingent upon a mind. Hence, I have created a casual link of contingency"

Not quite. Sure, intelligence is contingent on (needs) knowledge, and intelligence needs a mind. But the links don't go both ways. Just because intelligence is contingent on knowledge (I --> K) doesn't therefore mean knowledge is contingent on intelligence (K -X> I). With your setup, it's still possible to have knowledge without intelligence.

1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
2. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
3. http://dictionary.reference.com...

Debate Round No. 4
usernamesareannoying

Pro

Issue of Debate Format
Proposal accepted.

Negative Case
Natural Law Argument

"Unfortunately, that is not the argument I am presenting"

It is a reiteration of your argument. I used it for simplicity; the casual voter will realise this.

Let's compare:

"P1 Science has provided us with overwhelming evidence to show that there exist universal laws which are consistent for all things, in all places, over all of time"

This corresponds to: "p1 There are natural laws which govern the universe"

"P2 The cause of the consistency of the universal laws passes the requisite attribute test for God as outlined in Round 1: Omnipotence, Transcendence and Omniscience."

This corresponds with: "c1 That law giver is God"
and "p2 All laws have a law giver"

Just because I reiterated your argument for simplicity's sake, does not mean you can evade the contentions.

"What created the laws is irrelevant to the debate."

Not at all. God is not only defined as being omniscient, omnipotent etc. He is defined as being the creator of the universe. I mentioned this earlier in the debate and it was completely ignored. Hence, Con's argument (even if completely sound) is still inadequate.

Nevertheless, I will refute Con's interpretation of the natural laws argument.

"P1 Science has provided us with overwhelming evidence to show that there exist universal laws which are consistent for all things, in all places, over all of time"

"Natural laws, on the other hand, are descriptive: they are human concepts that describe how some aspect of the universe behaves." (1) Not all laws are consistent with everything either: "For example, entities governed by the laws of quantum mechanics do not follow the same thermodynamic laws that govern the macro universe. " (1)


"P2 The cause of the consistency of the universal laws passes the requisite attribute test for God as outlined in Round 1: Omnipotence, Transcendence and Omniscience."

It has not been shown that there needs to be a cause of consistency. Earlier in the debate, Con defines laws as: "A statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present." Wikipedia defines laws as being "strongly supported by empirical evidence - they are scientific knowledge that experiments have repeatedly verified (and never falsified)" He then comes to the conclusion that these laws have an enforcer, and that the definition coins that outcome. Why? How does this definition do this? He uses circular logic to arrive at this conclusion. Nowhere does it state that it needs to be enforced; all it states is that it happens if the certain conditions are present.

Enforce can be defined as: "cause (something) to happen by necessity or force" (2)

As aforementioned, nowhere in that denotation says that it is caused to happen by "necessity or force".

Moreover, this premise commits the 'reification fallacy' -- Bertrand Russell states: ""We now find that a great many things we thought were Natural Laws are really human conventions. You know that even in the remotest depth of stellar space there are still three feet to a yard. That is, no doubt, a very remarkable fact, but you would hardly call it a law of nature."" (1) to extend this: "the laws in question are descriptive abstractions of what the universe does, not prescriptive legislations about what the universe can do" (1) hence, there is no reason to believe that these laws need an enforcer, as they are not analogous to legislative laws. Even if all this was proven to be false, and The Great Enforcer was proven to be real, it would create a euthphro dilemma: if the Enforcer enforces all laws, then it coins the question: where did this Enforcer get His laws?

Even if all this was proven to be false, there is no way to deduce what the enforcer is: "even if we grant the false premises that there are prescriptive natural laws, and by extension the existence of a lawgiver god, it does not follow that that god is the one the apologist has in mind, or even that there is only one god involved. It could just as likely be the Flying Spaghetti Monster, purple space pixies, Santa Claus, or invisible pink unicorns, as it could be Yahweh."(1)

I have shown that the Natural Law argument is only a reiteration of my opponent's. Despite this, I refuted his interpretation of it regardless; he cannot say that I am refuting a wrong argument.


Attributes of God: Omnipotence

Con writes: ""Your hypothesis ads an ad hoc assumption"

Pro asserts this, yet does not answer my question as to what assumptions were ad hoc. Pro gives no examples, and just states this as truth. If Pro is stalling until Round 5 to offer an example, it would not be very charitable, as I would have no opportunity to rebut it."


I am hurt that my opponent would even question my integrity. I commend my opponent not to beat around the bush, and if he wants to accuse me of being uncharitable please present solid evidence of this being the case. If I misinterpreted your intentions, I apologize, but it seems to me that you're trying to get brownie points with the voters.

Nevertheless, the ad hoc assumption is that this enforcer must have omnipotence... If your argument is correct we know:
  • The enforcer has power over all entities
  • The enforcer enforces all physical laws

That's what we know (as fact). You add an ad hoc assumption by stating that this being has unlimited power (something we do not know). Con tries to justify this by saying that you can extrapolate it as a scientific proof. Yet, we would not know for sure unless it was observed, or we know that it couldn't exist without it. Hence, Occam's Razor dictates that the assertion: the enforcer can only do the previously indented things, a priori most likely.

"P3: There is nothing in existence more powerful than that which enforces the physical laws.
- For something to be more powerful, it would have to be able to resist the enforcer's power

P4: The enforcer of physical laws is the most powerful force in the universe, i.e. all powerful
- From P3"

Premise three: You stated that all this being does is enforce things in the universe, hence something transcendent could be more powerful than this being. This premise is not cogent.

Premise four: Just because it could be the most powerful being in the universe, does not mean there isn't anything less powerful that is external to the universe.



Attributes of God: Omniscience

"Therefore, the cause of laws' consistency must have access to the knowledge of everything, everywhere."

Not necessarily. It might not know how to create energy, matter etc. ex nihilio. That has not been demonstrated. The ad hoc assumption here is that it must have unlimited knowledge, because it knows everything within the universe. This is obviously limited, and Occam's Razor opposes this argument as well.

Attributes of God: Transcendence

No problem with this

"Or does Pro simply attempt more smoke-and-mirrors'"

Please don't make such an unfounded assertion without evidence.

Affirmative Case

A2 Eternalism

"Pro offers this definition without any citation."


It will now be sourced: "All space-time, matter, and energy" (3) Since this definition was proposed first, Con has no right to change it.

"If the arrow of time doesn't need a cause, then there's no requirement for God to cause it. If there's no requirement for God to cause it, then it could already exist for God to create the universe." Under the pretenses of the definition provided, this does not explain the creation of time (something Con needs to prove, as God (by definition) created all matter, space-time and energy). Con's definition of the universe is self-refuting, as he suggests that time can exist externally to the universe, which is preposterous. He also states that the universe is only matter and space. Space and time are intertwined and can only co-exist.

"If the arrow of time doesn't need a cause, then there's no requirement for God to cause it."

Time pertains to "universe", so yes it He does.

The argument still follows through; there is no creation, without an arrow of time, what caused the arrow to exist, or if it even needs a cause is irrelevant.

A3-2 Omnipotence Paradox

"We can walk, talk, think, feel... When examining overall limitations, the rock is certainly much more limited."

You just proved your premise false; you concede that the rock has fewer physical limitations, yet we can "walk, talk" etc. and a rock cannot.

A4 The Argument from Atemporal Minds


I am ok with the reiteration of "knowledge" as it does not affect my argument.

However, to state that this God is omniscient without intelligence it could not create the universe. Intelligence is defined as: ""the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills". If God 'knew' how to create a universe, without being intelligent, He could not 'apply' that knowledge and go ahead and create one. Equally, if this God was not intelligent, it would put a limit on what God can do, hence this being would not be omnipotent. I have shown why this casual chain is justified.

Conclusion

For voters:

I have demonstrated that Con's only argument is fallacious as it commits the reification fallacy, the equivocation fallacy, and that physical laws cannot be enforced and comes to an unwarranted conclusion... Bare in mind, Con has not presented any argument that this being created all space-time, matter and energy ex nihilio - out of nothing. It is impossible for Con to fulfill this burden of proof. So even if his argument remains, it does not negate the resolution. I have shown that Con has no way to prove that the Enforcer needs omnipotence, and omniscience. All my arguments (bar the quantum superposition) remain. Hence, I affirm the resolution. I thank my opponent for this debate.

By the way, you can not present any new arguments Con.



(1) http://wiki.ironchariots.org...
(2) Google "Define 'enforce'"

(3) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...


sillydebater

Con

Issue of Debate Format
For voters who might not have seen the comments section, Pro and Con have agreed for Con to be able to rebut Pro's arguments in Round 5, so as to give both sides an equal number of chances to rebut. I will not be defending my arguments in this round, as we are already even in chances to defend. You can find my closing statement for my arguments at the end of my Round 4 post.


Affirmative Case

A2 Eternalism

Pro writes: "[Pro's definition of the word 'Universe'] will now be sourced: 'All space-time, matter, and energy' Since this definition was proposed first, Con has no right to change it ... Time pertains to 'universe'"

I assert the right to challenge any definition presented that was not agreed upon before the start of the debate.

Pro offers a hand-picked definition of 'Universe' that includes Time from thefreedictionary.com1, a website that aggregates definitions from a variety of other dictionaries. However, also on the same thefreedictionary.com page is the following definition in which Time does not pertain to 'Universe':

"All matter and energy, including Earth, the galaxies, and the contents of the space between the galaxies, regarded as a whole."1

The same goes for the definition I offered:

"All existing matter and space considered as a whole"2

This last definition comes from the Oxford Dictionaries website, run by Oxford University Press, which as been publishing the Oxford English Dictionary since 1884 3. Note that there is no definition of 'Universe' on the Oxford Dictionaries page in which Time is an element.

Using either my definition, or the other definition from Pro's source, the only things that must be made during the creation of the universe are matter, energy (which is equivalent to matter)4 and space. Anything else, including Time and the Arrow of Time, could already preexist the creation of the Universe, as defined in both sources.

Therefore, God could definitely create the Universe in the presence of a preexistent Arrow of Time. Even Pro's arguments support this conclusion, with Pro stating:

"what caused the arrow to exist, or if it even needs a cause is irrelevant."

I wholeheartedly agree with this assertion.

Finally, there is good reason why many definitions of 'Universe' do not include time. There are some strong theories that time does not actually exist, and is simply an illusion of how we experience an already defined universe5,6,7, much like a reader reading an already completed book.

A3-2 Omnipotence Paradox

In response to my statement: "We can walk, talk, think, feel... When examining overall limitations, the rock is certainly much more limited.", Pro writes:

"You just proved your premise false; you concede that the rock has fewer physical limitations, yet we can "walk, talk" etc. and a rock cannot."


These arguments about semantics are getting frustrating. Please note that I used the phrase 'overall limitations'. You cannot simply focus on one type of limitation, in this case physical limitations, without consideration for all others.

As my opponent has refused to rebut my following point, I will simply restate it. Power is defined as:

"The ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way"8

By definition, something that is less able or has a more limited capacity to do something is less powerful. The rock you proposed is more limited in its ability and capacity to do something or act in a particular way, therefore it is less powerful. Conversely, we are less limited overall than the rock in the ability or capacity to act, therefore we are more powerful.


Hence my original premise:

"Something that is not limited is more powerful than something that is limited"

A4 The Argument from Atemporal Minds

Pro writes:
"to state that this God is omniscient without intelligence it could not create the universe ... If God 'knew' how to create a universe, without being intelligent, He could not 'apply' that knowledge and go ahead and create one."

There is no requirement that God needs to 'apply' knowledge. Applying knowledge implies an action taken over time, with a point in time before the application of knowledge, and a point in time after. By definition, God is transcendent and exists outside of space-time. Thus, the universe could be created without knowledge needing to be applied. Furthermore, because God is omnipotent by definition, God has the power to create a universe without applying knowledge.

Pro writes:

"Intelligence is defined as: 'the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills' ... if this God was not intelligent, it would put a limit on what God can do, hence this being would not be omnipotent."

Not having intelligence would not limit God at all. Because God is omniscient, God has no need to acquire knowledge. God already has all knowledge at God's disposal. Furthermore, as I mentioned above, God is transcendent, does not act in time, and so does not 'apply' knowledge.

Note that by your definition, computers are intelligent as they have the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. And, as you have argued that intelligence is contingent on having a mind, you are arguing that all computers have minds. I think most people would disagree.

In Conclusion

For Voters

Pro offered five arguments as proof of the non-existence of God:

1. Transcendent Entities Cannot "Exist"

In Round 3, Pro conceded that this argument is reliant on the Omnipotence Paradox argument below, essentially making this argument redundant in the debate.

2. Eternalism

Pro argues that before the creation of the universe was a "timeless, static place", that God created the universe "ex nihilio". In the original debate premise, however, there is no such requirement set out. The only requirement was that God created the universe. I have definitively shown that by several common, trusted definitions of the universe, including one from Pro's source, that the creation of time, or an 'Arrow of Time' is not a required part of creating the universe. Time could already preexist or, as some theorize, time may not exist at all. Regardless, my opponent backs me up by stating that "what caused the arrow to exist, or if it even needs a cause is irrelevant".

3. Quantum Superposition

Pro has agreed that this argument has been refuted.

4. Omnipotence Paradox

Pro attempts to use a proof by contradiction to argue that something omnipotent can't exist. In Round 3, I provided a valid and sound logical argument to show that something omnipotent cannot be disproven by contradiction, as by definition, something all powerful has the ability to exist in the presence of a contradiction. Instead of attacking my argument, in the following rounds Pro creates a semantic debate about the term 'limitations' in which Pro tries to argue that a human's limitations are greater than a rock's.

Even the term 'Paradox' goes against Pro: "A seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true."9 This paradox falls in line with others such as Zeno's Paradoxes10, that sound reasonable at first, but don't fall in line with reality.

5. Argument from Atemporal Minds

In order to be sound, Pro's argument requires the premise "knowledge is contingent upon a mind" to be true. In Round 5, Pro agrees to the definition of knowledge being "something that is or may be known; information"11. This fits with the definition that libraries, computers and the internet contain knowledge. None of those three have minds, however. Since we can show there exists something that has knowledge but no mind, then it is false that knowledge is contingent upon a mind. Thus, Pro's argument is not sound.

Pro goes on to argue that if God did not acquire and apply knowledge, then it would be impossible for God to make the universe. I countered with the fact that omniscience means that God already knows everything, and does not need to acquire any knowledge. Furthermore, due to the omnipotent and transcendent nature of God, 'applying' knowledge is unnecessary and nonsensical.

Summary

Of Pro's original five arguments, every single one has either been refuted, made redundant by another argument, or has devolved into semantic arguments instead of arguing the issue. Pro has not met Pro's BOP obligation, and thus the resolution cannot be affirmed.

I wish to quickly address my opponent's conduct in respect to my rebuttals. A few times during this debate, Pro has avoided arguing points raised, and simply dismissed them as strawman arguments, accusing me of moving the goalposts, and of begging the question. Each time, I have had to explain why my rebuttals don't suffer the issues raised, and even afterwards, Pro has still refused to debate some of my arguments presented. Finally, Pro has offered definitions without citations, and then has declared unilaterally that I have "no right" to disagree with the definitions Pro presents.

As with my last post, I will call out debating behavior that I don't feel is conducive to a good debate, and will point out arguments that I feel are not made in good faith. I mean no ill will towards my opponent, and I apologize if I have offended.

I thank Pro for the debate.


1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://www.scientificamerican.com...
6. http://www.popsci.com...
7. http://physicscentral.com...
8. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
9. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
10. http://en.wikipedia.org...
11. http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 5
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@user: did you edit the metaphysics of time image?
Posted by sillydebater 1 year ago
sillydebater
@salam.morcos
Thanks for the advice. Will do!
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
@sillydebater - Word of advice (and you probable were going to do that anyways), make sure you note in your R5 that you and Pro agreed to allow you to rebut (refer to comments). A voter might automatically give you a loss otherwise.
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
Sure thing @sillydebater, sorry about that.
Posted by sillydebater 1 year ago
sillydebater
I have a point of contention with the proposed debate format. As set out in the beginning, the format was to be:
R1: Con forwards their contentions
R2: Pro presents their affirmations, and Con rebuts Pro's case
R3-4: Pro defends their arguments, and rebuts Con's case. Con rebuts, and defends their arguments
R5: Pro rebuts and defends their arguments, and Con waives the round

However, how the debate has actually happened is as follows:
R1: Con forwards their contentions
R2: Pro presents their affirmations and rebuts Con's case. Con rebuts Pro's case and defends their arguments
R3-4: Pro defends their arguments, and rebuts Con's case. Con rebuts, and defends their arguments

The proposed format wasn't followed in Round 2. Pro rebutted Con's case, and Con defended their case, neither of which was supposed to happen. If we were to continue as initially proposed:

R5: Pro rebuts and defends their arguments, and Con waives the round

then there would be an unfair imbalance between Pro's and Con's opportunities to rebut. Specifically, Pro will have rebutted four times, whereas Con will have rebutted only three times. I therefore assert the right to rebut Pro's case in Round 5, to ensure a fair debate. I will not defend my case in Round 5, as we will each have defended three times by then.
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
Hehe
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
Romanii
I suppose so... I don't see why that's the case, though. To me, the time/causation arguments against God's existence are about as persuasive as the ontological arguments for God's existence -- i.e. not at all. They're both just examples of intellectual masturbation lol.
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
It tends to be the backbone of a lot of these types of arguments haha @Romanii
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
Romanii
semantical argument relating to time and causation are annoying -_-
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
hehe, we can debate in the future Tej!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
usernamesareannoyingsillydebater
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: In Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1USlPaHyduyKqD9FPAZ24jOamde7aaAC78-soubHl4qs/edit?usp=sharing