The Instigator
21MolonLabe
Pro (for)
The Contender
DrAnomaly
Con (against)

God Exists

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 1/5/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 384 times Debate No: 106422
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (0)

 

21MolonLabe

Pro

Rules:

1. No forfeits
2. Citations may be posted in comments.
3. No new arguments in the summary.
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. For all undefined terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate (unless otherwise specified in R1)
8. Con begins in R1 and must write,"I waive this round." Or something like that in R5.
9. Violation of any of these rules, or of any of the R1 set-up, merits a loss

Structure:

R1. Con's Case
R2. Pro's Case; Con's Rebuttal
R3. Pro's Rebuttal; Con's response to Rebuttal
R4. Pro's response to Rebuttal; Con summarizes case. No new arguments.
R5. Pro summarizes case. No new arguments; Con waives round.

Definitions:

God - An extremely powerful, incorporeal mind that created the universe and is the source of morality.
DrAnomaly

Con

My case can be summed up simply: Nuh uh.

By saying "Nuh uh" I am rejecting your posit, that being "God exists," allow me to get this straight, I am not positing my own hypothesis for why or how the universe came about, I'm only rejecting your hypothesis (The God Hypothesis as I call it)
Debate Round No. 1
21MolonLabe

Pro

Cosmology
P1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2) The Universe began to exist.
C1) Therefore, the Universe has a cause.


P1 is rooted in metaphysical Principles of Causation and Sufficient Reason. Everything must have an explanation of a cause, including the universe. Theist and atheist philosophers alike affirm this premise. Even renowned atheist philosopher, David Hume affirms it, “But allow me to tell you that I never asserted so absurd a Proposition as that that anything might arise without a cause.[1]” Also, the negation of P1 leads to absurdity. We do not observe things just popping into existence without any cause, and we have no reason to believe that such is possible.

P2 is proved by the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem and the properties of infinity. The BGV theorem states that any universe which has been, on average, expanding throughout its history must have a beginning [2]. The universe is expanding [3]. Thus it has a beginning.

An actual infinite can't be formed by successive addition, which the past has been formed by. So the universe cannot be actually infinite. This is obviously true because there are no 2 finite numbers you can add together to get infinity. Time can only be potentially infinite, but not an actually infinite.

What’s more, you cannot transverse an infinity. Suppose you told someone that you were going to jump into a hole of infinite length. You would never hit the bottom because you would have an infinite amount of length before you got there. The same goes for time. If the past was infinite prior to today, January 5th, it would take an infinite amount of time to get here. It would never reach today as there would be an endless amount of time to traverse before you reached today.

Thus there is a cause of the universe. It must be timeless and immaterial since both time and material arose with the universe [4]. It must be extremely powerful, if not omnipotent, since it caused a universe with no preexisting material. It must be intelligent since it caused such an ordered universe. It must be a free agent since there were no preexisting conditions to determine how it acted. Since it is free, it must have the capacity to be personal. A timeless, immaterial, extremely powerful (if not omnipotent), intelligent, personal, free agent that caused the universe to exist is the very definition of God.

Idealism
P1) The mind exists.
P2) Mind is not reducible to non-mind.
C1) Irreducible mental substance exists.
P3) Dualism is false.
C2) All is mind
P4) Solipsism is false.
C3) Theism is true.

P1 is universally accepted, as it is contradictory to posit that the opposite is true. Whether you believe that the mind is an emergent property of the brain, or a different substance altogether, you cannot deny the existence of the mind.

So for P2 to be true, I must show that there are properties that the mind can have which matter cannot. This can easily be done by considering 2 things: Feeling pain and an electrical signal to the brain. They cannot be the same thing as an electrical signal can be sent to the brain without the feeling of pain. What we experience is a correlation between the two. However, one can conceive of a possible world where one can have the feeling of pain without an electrical signal. As atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel says, "If a mental event really is a physical event in this sense [the same sense that H2O is Water], and nothing else, then the physical event by itself, once it's physical properties are understood, should likewise be sufficient for the taste of sugar or the feeling of pain... But it doesn't seem to be.[5]" He goes on to say that for any physical event, there should be a physical event without any experience. However taste seems to be something extra, something produced rather than constituted by the brain state. So it can't be identical to the brain state in the way that water is identical to H2O[6].

Thus we arrive at conclusion 1.

There are 2 kinds of dualism. Substance Dualism and Property Dualism. Basically Substance Dualism holds both mind and matter are fundamental. However there is a problem. The immaterial mind can move a material body, but a material body moves via a material force. Thus if a mind can interact with a body, it must produce material forces. However if it produces material forces, it can not really be immaterial. Thus substance dualism is self-contradictory upon close inspection. This shows that matter and mind cannot interact. So if the mind exists, and it cannot interact with physical substances, then physical substances cannot exist.

One could try to use the 1st 2 premises to arrive at the conclusion that Property Dualism is true. Property Dualism is the belief that the mental world is just a property of the physical world and therefore doesn't reduce to physical substances. However, this is neither parsimonious nor verifiable and should be dismissed.

Thus we arrive at Conclusion 2. If all that exists is the mind then we are faced with 2 options: Solipsism and Theism. Either I can only know that my mind exists, or there must be some transcendent mind to ground reality.

P4 is easily defended. All we have to do is simply note that while matter does not exist independent of measurement, we cannot control how the universe works, and so it cannot be a creation of only your mind. Thus some transcendent mind must exist to ground reality. Thus C3 is true.

Morality
P1) Morality is a rational enterprise.
P2) Moral Realism is true.
P3) Human imperfection and disagreement cannot allow morality to be grounded in human rationality.
P4) Morality is grounded in a necessary, rational, sentient source.
C) That source is God.

P1 is pretty uncontroversial. What is moral is discerned through reasoning, not through empirical investigation. No amount of observing and action can help us determine if it is moral or not.

We have 5 reasons to believe that P2 is true. The first of which is the argument from Epistemic Realism. If moral facts do not exist, then epistemic facts don't either. However epistemic facts do exist, so moral facts must exist. Epistemic facts and moral facts work almost identically. The problem is how can a moral relativist prescribe epistemic "oughts", but reject moral "oughts?" For example, I post my argument and you respond, you will probably agree that I ought not use logical fallacies to argue, or use biased and outdated sources. While if I do this, I will not be doing anything morally wrong, it still describes a way that I ought to act. The question arises, "Why ought I act in that way?" Which the moral relativist cannot justify.

The second reason we should accept P2 is the Argument from Experience. Mere empirical observation shows that it is extremely hard, if not impossible to live out moral subjectivism. A good example of this is Jean Paul Sartre, a moral relativist who spoke out against genocide. But why would you try to cast your beliefs onto others? If morality is subjective, why should it matter how people are treated? If you speak out against the actions of an individual or a group, you think they are committing actions that you think they should stop, regardless about what they believe about the morality of their behavior. But that would mean that you believe that there is some moral reality and that it isn't all relative. Simply put, moral relativism cannot be put into practice.

Reason 3 why we should accept P2 is the problem of Moral Disagreement. Not only do we act as if some actions are moral and others are not, but we converse as if Morality was objective. For example, some say that abortion is wrong while others claim that it is a right. Logic says that both views cannot be correct. But if Morality is relative, then we have no right to condemn the actions of others, yet we do anyway. In essence, if Morality was subjective, we would not actively disagree with others moral views. Yet we do, so Moral Realism must be true.

The fourth argument to support of P2 is from Moral Progress. Moral Progress could only make sense if realism was true. For example, we believe that it is progress that slavery is now considered unacceptable. If we consider this progress, it would only make sense if we were working towards an objective standard. So if you accept that things such as the unacceptableness of slavery as moral progress, then one must believe in a moral standard.

The fifth and final reason we should accept P2 is because moral realism is intuitive. If we see an infant being tortured, none of us would intuitively think, "Who am I to judge how a parent treats his or her child?" On the contrary, we would be disgusted, and would hopefully call CPS or the police. But why? Because the idea that there is an absolute right and wrong is self evident and intuitive. The burden is on the skeptic to demonstrate that our intuition is wrong. We are not sceptic of our experiences of the physical world, unless we have a good reason. Likewise, we should not be skeptical of our moral intuition unless we have a good reason.

Moving on to P3. It is pretty self explanatory. Humans, not having complete knowledge, can't know all the facts. Everyone fails to fully know the facts and perform moral duties. On top of that, humans are contingent beings, so an objective morality could never be grounded in human rationality.

P4 follows logically from the first 3. Since an objective morality cannot be grounded in something contingent, then it must be grounded in something necessary. And since morality is a rational enterprise, it must be grounded in a rational source. And since non-sentient things can't be rational, it must also be grounded in a sentient source.

Since God is a necessary sentient being, it follows from the premises that God is the source of Morality.

The resolution is affirmed.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 21MolonLabe 6 months ago
21MolonLabe
canis,

Your comment makes no sense.
Posted by 21MolonLabe 6 months ago
21MolonLabe
That was supposed to say, "Sources in next comment. I guess I got cut off by the character limit. Anyway, here they are:

[1] Petros, Gezahegn (2000)."The Karo of the lower Omo Valley: subsistence, social organisation and relations with neighbouring groups. Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Administration, Addis Ababa University. p."57.

[2] Ibid
Posted by 21MolonLabe 6 months ago
21MolonLabe
DawnBringerRiven,

You're shifting the burden of proof. Anyone making a truth claim about the way reality is has a burden to prove. You're making the positive claim that God, if He exists, has a beginning. And as I said, I *could* demonstrate that God doesn't have a beginning, but I am waiting to see if DrAnomoly uses the same objection within the parameters of our debate.

Yes, there are people that do not believe that torturing infants is wrong. However this doesn't disprove that Morality is intuitive. I would argue that there are two main reasons why this is so. The first is that of mental illness. Obviously, people with mental illnesses are not in the right state of mind, and thus can have wrong ideas regarding what is true. I would argue that someone that wants to torture babies for fun probably falls into this category. The second reason is that of factual differences. For instance, there are certain tribes in Africa that believe that people with physical abnormalities are impure and influence others to do evil [1]. It is because of this, that they practice infanticide, and dispose of them without a proper burial [2]. As you can see, their belief in killing certain babies, is based on the factual error that deformed infants are basically cursed. It's beliefs about facts, not morality that cause differences. So when these 2 are accounted for, I would argue that people widely agree on basic moral facts.

If Solipsism was true, there would be no objective reality. Since, on Solipsism, the only thing that can be known is your own mind and subjective experience, there can't be an objective reality. By extension, hallucinations and dreams can't exist as they are deviations from objective reality. Even if you so not accept this particular argument against solipsism, there are a myriad of other objections to solipsism that make it untenable. What's more, there is a difference between something one creates and something one's mind creates.

Sources in next comm
Posted by DawnBringerRiven 6 months ago
DawnBringerRiven
Molon you are the Pro here. You presented the argument that the universe has a beginning and that God exists. The burden of proof to prove that God does not have a beginning is entirely on you. You can not dismiss my statements if the burden of proof is yours.

"I never said anything about a general consensus." "If we see an infant being tortured, *none* of us would intuitively think,..."

You claimed that not a single person would intuitively decide that a parent torturing their child is morally right. I stated that to be false by proving that there indeed are human beings who do not believe torturing infants is morally wrong, therefore there is not an absolute right and wrong. I further reinforced this claim by stating that even if most individuals followed a certain moral code, that does not definitively mean that said moral code is absolutely correct. This is why I stated a general consensus is not an absolute consensus. For there to be an absolute moral code there must be an absolute consensus I.E. every human on the planet agrees. There is no moral that is held by every individual, therefore morality is not absolute/objective.

You are entirely right in saying that even in the possibility of computer simulated world God could still exist. I will drop that contention and consider it refuted. I will present a different contention. You claim that simply because the world is created by your mind, and that since you are not in control of your surroundings solipsism is not true. I believe this to be flawed. Even in hallucinations, pure creations of your mind, you can not control them. You can not always control your dreams either. Even in the physical world you can create mechanisms you can not control. For these reasons solipsism can indeed be true as simply because something is your creation does not at all mean that you will have complete control over it.
Posted by 21MolonLabe 6 months ago
21MolonLabe
DawnBringerRiven,

Why does whatever created the universe need not be a God? Until you can demonstrate that, you're assertion is just that, a bare assertion. Why must God have a beginning? This is, again, a bare assertion. It can be demonstrated logically that there has to be an uncaused cause at some point. I will refrain from doing that here in case DrAnomaly uses the same objection within the parameters of our debate.

I didn't argue that because there is a general consensus on morality, it must be objective. The quote you singled out was based on our personal intuitions about right and wrong, not a general consensus. In fact, on of my points was about how Moral *Disagreement* proves that Morality is objective. But I never said anything about a general consensus.

Possibility does not equal probability. Even if it was, you brought up the universe possibly being a simulation. There still has to be someone running the simulation. So even if the universe was a simulation, we can still conclude that God exists.
Posted by DawnBringerRiven 6 months ago
DawnBringerRiven
The idealism part of Pro's argument is flawed. Pro assumes that solipsism and theism are the only two possibilities. This is not at all the case. Our reality being a computer simulation is also a very large possibility. There are many other possibilities other than just computer simulation. For this reason Pro's logic of process of elimination fails. All of Pro's arguments are flawed and are not at all logically sound.
Posted by DawnBringerRiven 6 months ago
DawnBringerRiven
"If we see an infant being tortured, none of us would intuitively think, "Who am I to judge how a parent treats his or her child?" On the contrary, we would be disgusted, and would hopefully call CPS or the police." The notion that there are absolute rules to morality simply because of a general consensus is fundamentally flawed. A general consensus never means an absolute consensus. Obviously the parent torturing their own infant does not believe that the act is morally wrong. This parent is still a human and therefore their morals can not be disregarded as exceptions. This argument is self-defeating.
Posted by DawnBringerRiven 6 months ago
DawnBringerRiven
The first part of Pro's argument asserts that since the universe must have a beginning it must have been created, though what created the universe does not need to be a god. Secondly, God must also have a beginning. Pro has not shown how God can be created from nothing. From Pro's own logic God must have been made by a god, which would mean the God that created God must have been created by another God, and so on. This makes Pro's argument fundamentally flawed. I do hope that Pro will not assert that God "always existed" without giving reason as to why this is so.
Posted by canis 6 months ago
canis
"Since God is a necessary sentient being, it follows from the premises that God is the source of Morality.

The resolution is affirmed."
Yep it is why we have Odin and all the others...We are all vikings...
Posted by 21MolonLabe 6 months ago
21MolonLabe
Sources for Round 2

[1] http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...

[2] http://arxiv.org...

[3] http://curious.astro.cornell.edu...

[4] http://www.hawking.org.uk...

[5] https://books.google.com...'s%20understood%20should%20likewise%20be%20a%20sufficient&f=false

[6] Ibid
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