The Instigator
passwordstipulationssuck
Pro (for)
The Contender
Envisage
Con (against)

God Exists

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Argument Due
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/14/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 days ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 307 times Debate No: 108050
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)

 

passwordstipulationssuck

Pro

First round is for acceptance. Let's keep this respectful on both sides. No backwardseden, please.
Envisage

Con

Accepted. Good Luck.
Debate Round No. 1
passwordstipulationssuck

Pro

the existence of the earth defies probability. Years ago, famed astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there are two necessary criterion for a planet to support life: the right kind of star and the planet must be the right distance from that star. That meant that there should have been an innumerable amount of life supporting planets in the observable universe. Therefore, scientists were optimistic when they launched the S.E.T.I program (search for extra terrestrial intelligence) equipped with a vast array of satellites in order to pick up anything that resembled an encoded signal. Over the years the silence from the universe was deafening. It was then that they realized that the early estimations were no longer tenable. Today, the number of stipulations for a planet to support life have risen to 200+ all of which must be met perfectly or else the whole thing falls apart. Mathematicians have come to the conclusion that the earth is a 1 in 700 quintillion oddity. At what point do we recognize that it requires far MORE faith to assume that it all "just happened" than to believe that an intelligent force ensured that all of these criteria were met? However, the fine tuning required for the earth to exist is nothing compared to the requirements for the Universe to exist at all. Scientists now know that the four fundamental forces: the gravitational force, the electromagnetic force, and the strong and weak nuclear forces needed to be determined within one millionth of a second after the creation of the universe ( be it by the Big Bang, God, whatever) and any slight modification of the values of the forces would have resulted in the Universes non-existence. for example, if the ratio between the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force were altered by the tiniest most inconceivable fraction stars could not form and the universe would not exist.

The fine-tuning of the laws of physics and chemistry to allow for advanced life is an example of extremely high levels of CSI in nature. The laws of the universe are complex because they are highly unlikely. Cosmologists have calculated the odds of a life-friendly universe appearing by chance are less than one part in 1010^123. That"s ten raised to a power of 10 with 123 zeros after it! The laws of the universe are specified in that they match the narrow band of parameters required for the existence of advanced life. As an atheist cosmologist Fred Hoyle observed, "a common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology." The universe itself shows strong evidence of having been designed. Studies of the cell reveal vast quantities of biochemical information stored in our DNA in the sequence of nucleotides. No physical or chemical law dictates the order of the nucleotide bases in our DNA, and the sequences are highly improbable and complex. Moreover, the coding regions of DNA exhibit sequential arrangements of bases that are necessary to produce functional proteins. In other words, they are highly specified with respect to the independent requirements of protein function and protein synthesis. Thus, as nearly all molecular biologists now recognize, the coding regions of DNA possess a high "information content" where "information content" in a biological context means precisely "complexity and specificity." Even atheist zoologist Richard Dawkins concedes that "biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." Atheists like Dawkins believe that unguided natural processes did all the "designing" but intelligent design theorist Stephen C. Meyer notes, "in all cases where we know the causal origin of "high information content," experience has shown that intelligent design played a causal role." The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. In this regard, ID uses the scientific method to claim that many features of life are designed"not just the information in DNA. After starting with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI), design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be tested and discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures through genetic knockout experiments to determine if they require all of their parts to function. When experimental work uncovers irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed.

This method has been used to detect irreducible complexity in a variety of biochemical systems such as the bacterial flagellum. Moreover, the more we discover about the cell, the more we are learning that it functions like a miniature factory, replete with motors, powerhouses, garbage disposals, guarded gates, transportation corridors, and most importantly, CPUs. The central information processing machinery of the cell runs on a language-based code composed of irreducibly complex circuits and machines: The myriad enzymes used in the process that converts the genetic information in DNA into proteins are themselves created by the process that converts DNA into proteins. Many fundamental biochemical systems won"t function unless their basic machinery is intact, so how does such complexity evolve via a "blind" and "undirected" Darwinian process of numerous, successive, slight modifications? Since cellular language requires an author, and microbiological machines require an engineer, and genetically encoded programs require a programmer, increasing numbers of scientists feel the best explanation is intelligent design.
Envisage

Con

The Universe Lacks A Cause or Creator


Here I argue that it is impossible for the universe to have had a creator, therefore by extension God. Furthermore I argue that the universe doesn’t need a creator either, therefore God wouldn’t even be the best explanation for the existence of the universe.


To argue that God created the universe also argues that the universe itself is caused by God (with God himself being the Efficient Arestolian Cause), however this runs into significant problems as causes can only occur if tensed facts exist. However such tensed facts can only occur within the A-Series of time (Presentism etc. being subsets), moreover science provides significant evidence against the A-Series of time, and significant evidence in favour of the B-Series off time (which is tenseless). To formulate:


P1. The universe is caused if and only if tensed facts exist


P2. Tensed facts do not exist


C. The universe is uncaused


Hence if the universe is uncaused, the clearly God couldn’t have caused it either. Premise 1 is uncontroversial in among time theorists, including cosmological argument proponents such as William Lane Craig, who affirms:


“From start to finish, the Kalam cosmological argument is predicated upon the A-Theory of time. On a B-Theory of time, the universe does not in fact come into being or become actual at the Big Bang; it just exists tenselessly as a four-dimensional space-time block that is finitely extended in the earlier than direction. If time is tenseless, then the universe never really comes into being, and, therefore, the quest for a cause of its coming into being is misconceived."[1]


So, the only point in contention is P2, which science affirms in earnest. The theory of relativity describes the universe in a four-dimensional ontology, with time itself being another axis in a four-dimensional plane. Affects we see such as length contraction and time dilation result from time being a tangable dimension, with sequential events approaching in a manner which violates the A-Series of time.


Moreover, these assumptions of relativity (that the speed of light is constant, and the laws of physics are the same everywhere, which is well-supported by observation) lead to successful predictions made by Quantum Mechanics & Quantum Electrodynamics, which have also been astonishingly successful (which would most likely have been impossible if the A-Series of time was true).


With this in hand, the universe itself never had a ‘beginning’ per say, but only a first-moment in time. The universe just exists as-is, with the past present & future all existing simultaneously, and hence cannot have been created.


Moreover, observations in quantum mechanics necessarily entail the existence of the future (and hence the falsehood of the A-Series of time), which I can formulate:


P1) If the A-Series of time is true, then retrocausality is impossible


P2) Retrocausality is true


C) The A-Series of time is false


P1 is uncontroversial, since Presentism literally requires only the ‘present’ to ever exist, by definition, to deny this is to deny the law of identity. P2 we know is true from results in delayed-choice in quantum mechanics. Moreover the predictions made by assuming retrocausality are fulfilled with tremendous accuracy so long as information is not transmitted.[4]



Universe Does Not Require God


This argument is formulated as follows using modal logic:



P1. If God is necessary, then spontaneous natural creation of the universe is impossible


P2. Spontaneous natural creation of the universe is possible


C. God is unnecessary



P1 is as sound as 2+2=4 if we assume ‘natural’ literally means ‘Non-Intelligently Caused’, and is the the modal formulation:


NG -> ~P~G



Axiom 1 & 2.



So the only room for debate is premise 2, which is increasingly affirmed by what we know of science. As I already affirmed in the quantum eternity theorem, the only way the universe could not be eternal is if the energy content of the universe is zero, this has the direct implication that the universe on average, contains zero energy, zero matter, and zero particles, and hence according the the laws of physics (quantum mechanics and thermodynamics), the universe that we see today could only have arisen naturally from a state of “zero energy, zero matter, and zero particles” if there is no ‘net energy’ in the universe today. Moreover such a universe can only exist if and only if the geometry of the universe is spacially flat.



That is exactly what we find when studying the cosmic microwave background, NASA scientists found that the universe is flat to within 0.4% error with most recent measurements, down from 15% in 2001.[5]



Furthermore, we know that empty space (absent of any energy, particles, photons) itself is instable, and spontaneously according the laws of quantum mechanics yields a bubbling brew of particles & anti-particles which annihilate on short-timescales (according to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle) which when gravity is applied, leads to particles of impunity. In other words, if you take empty space, and leave it, particles that persist will arise, which can easily account for the ‘stuff’ of the universe.[6,7]



References:


1. http://www.reasonablefaith.org...


2. http://arxiv.org...


3. http://www.preposterousuniverse.com...


4. http://en.wikipedia.org...


5. http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov...


6. http://en.wikipedia.org...


7. “A Universe from Nothing” – L Krauss Ch. 9




Rebuttals


Probability Argument


Pro argues of 200+ stipulations that must be met perfectly but fails to cite any of there, nor how his number of 1 in 700 quintillion figure is calculated.



Now, Pro’s argument isn’t presented formally, and that’s because it is incoherent if attempted. Take this following 52 card hand I have found myself with cards:


Link: http://www.debate.org...


click="document.location='/Envisage/photos/album/5124/35452/'" src="../../../photos/albums/1/6/5124/156777-5124-4765p-a.jpg" alt="" />



The odds of this happening by chance is is easy to calculate, it's simply 52 factorial, or 8x10^67. Vastly greater than Pro’s number of “700 quintillion”. Now using Pro’s line of reasoning, the staggering low probability of this hand being randomly dealt “requires far MORE faith to assume that it all "just happened" than to believe that an intelligent force ensured that all of these criteria (specific cards) were met”.



This is of course absurd, the hand is random, and if we assume that these criterion are random (which Pro hasn’t proven), then there is no argument here on its own. The reason why the original argument might be persuasive is because Pro has arbitrarily assigned some special value to “Earth existing” or “Life existing”, which is exactly that, arbitrary.



IF I were to assign value to this specific arrangement of cards in a 52 card hand, then if I were to randomly deal myself this exact hand again in the future, only then would I have a stronger case for an alternative explanation, such as a guiding intelligence, causing it. If someone were to deal this exact hand themselves then I could probably assume they rigged their 52-card hand, but we need to have value assigned to this hand first.



Pro’s entire first two paragraphs hinge on this premise and collapse until this is correctly addressed.



“High Information Content”


Pro hasn’t defined what “information content” means.



Living cells create new “information content” in their DNA all the time via duplication and mutations every time a cell undergoes mitosis. Sometimes entire sections of DNA get duplicated and then mutations render the region unrecognisable.[8]



Moreover the laws of physics govern how chemistry works, which if you had sufficient information (which is obviously impossible in practice given the sheer number of particles) would allow yu to perfectly predict the arrangement of nucleotides in the DNA. In principle the order of nucleotide bases in the DNA is indeed determined by physical laws governing quantum mechanics, electromagnetic force, and even gravity.



Moreover Pro doesn’t demonstrate how specific these DNA sequences need to be to form “functional proteins”, nor does he define what “functional proteins” means. Proteins usually exhibit significant fidelity in what amino acids can be substituted, which leads to proteins with different structures and differing levels of efficacy, even in highly conserved proteins between species such as Cytochrome C.[9]



To use Pro’s argument against him, there is no “physical or chemical law” which dictates that high information content” requires “intelligent design played a causal role”. It is not necessary in principle, and as already demonstrated, it not necessary in practice either, cells nowadays do it all the time.



A cool example of this is using natural selection mechanisms and random mutations to develop virtual “creatures” that “jump” obstacles with no input except a mechanism to remove less fit organisms from the pool.[10] The final parameters of the virtual creature, such as the links between “organs”, tension, length, etc. can all be said to be “High Information Content” giving functional creatures.



Irreducable Complexity


I’ll address this later.



References:


8. https://www.medicinenet.com...


9. https://releasingthetruth.wordpress.com...


10. https://www.youtube.com...

Debate Round No. 2
passwordstipulationssuck

Pro

I will first attack my opponent's case then address the attacks made on mine. First, my opponent makes the argument regarding the philosophy of Aristotle and the principle of the efficient cause. He does so by attacking the existence of tensed facts. A tensed fact is a fact that is true in relation to present experience but has no universal or permanent truth value. "Yesterday was July 26th", "today is Wednesday", or "I got a new job last month" are all tensed facts.

Some people believe that God must know tensed facts to be omniscient. William Lane Craig formulates a hypothetical argument that God is not timeless as follows:

1. A temporal world exists.
2. God is omniscient.
3. If a temporal world exists, then if God is omniscient, God knows tensed facts.
4. If God is timeless, He does not know tensed facts.
5. Therefore, God is not timeless.
There are, however, immense problems with this argument, regardless of whether or not we ultimately conclude that God is timeless.

Tensed facts only exist relatively by definition: a tensed fact is relative to the temporal moment as experienced by the specific observer -- as the momentary experience changes, so may the accuracy of the tensed fact. Further, a tensed fact (such as "it is Wednesday") may or may not be "true" for a separate observer (such as someone on the other side of the world).

Since there is by definition no universal and permanent truth or falsehood in tensed facts, God certainly does not know the universal and permanent truth or falsehood of any tensed fact -- it doesn't exist to be known. We could just as easily argue that since God does not know "the smell of the number red", He is not omniscient. But this is utter nonsense! In reality, though, such a nonsensical argument is no more absurd than the one offered above for God's temporality! In light of this, (4) above should be rewritten as such:

4. If God is timeless, there are no tensed facts relative to Him for Him to know.

However, God is well aware that as we perceive Wednesday, then for us, the statement "it is Wednesday" is a true tensed fact. We should then also take an eraser to (3) and edit it to make it more clear:

3. If a temporal world exists, then if God is omniscient, God knows all tensed facts as perceived by others, given specific conditions.

Thus, God knows all that we know, including tensed facts relative to us, in spite of the fact that He does not inherently change over time. Further, the specific knowledge that the original argument claims He does not have... does not (and cannot) even exist to be had.

In conclusion, God does not change over time, He experiences no tensed facts personally, but He is aware of the truth value of tensed facts as they apply to us, and, clearly, none of this infringes upon His omniscience.

Craig's prima facie adherence to B-relations and the primitive past cause his presentism to be subject to Taggart's paradox unless a reduction in temporal relations can be solved for.

1.) There is no available evidence for such a position (STE). In other words there is NO EVIDENCE that space-time existed eternally (without true beginning). To the contrary, all the scientific evidence points to the opposite view of "STE". Science says that the Universe did in fact have a finite beginning. A point in which space-time itself came into existence. To deny this is to deny science. To deny the evidence. To deny logic.

2.) B-theory of time is irrational and illogical because it is self-refuting for a number of reasons. "Static Time, or the B-Theory of time requires us to believe that our experience of change in the external world as well as within our own minds is wholly illusory. Both tenets are required to be believed if one wishes to hold to static time. However, If our changing experiences are themselves illusions, then we are experiencing a changing illusion, which is objective and leads to a vicious infinite regress. For example, if that change is an illusion, then something's causing that illusion, and that illusion, and that illusion. Therefore, the static theory of time is self-contradictory."

There are also many many other serious problems with the B-Theory of time::

3.) The delivery of the (supposed illusory) doses is perfect. There are no revealing dislocations of serial order of the moments. While there may be minor dislocations, there are none of the type that would definitely establish the illusory character of passage. We do not, for example, suddenly have an experience of next year thrown in with our experience of today; and then one of last year; and then another from the present. There are some minor dislocations, but they"re not the sort that suggests passage is illusory. They are the sort we would expect exactly if passage were objective, but there were occasional malfunctions of our perception of it. Take, for example, the odd experience we have under anesthesia of no time at all passing between the administration of the drug and its wearing off. That is easily explained in the passage view as a suspension of that part of our neural system that detects the passing moments. This world tube is like someone resting comfortably on a sofa. The sofa presses uniformly over the body, whose mind could in principle sense the pressure over the full length all at once. Yet the pressures are communicated to consciousness in a slow series that starts at the feet and marches inexorably up the length of the body to the pillow behind the head; and it is the same for every reclining body, without failure or serious dislocation. The result is that the reclining body and all others like it experience an illusory passage of pressure. If this sofa parable sounds fantastic, then you should find equally fantastic the same idea when applied to world tubes of brains. There is something odd in the idea that an element of our experience that is so universal and so solid and immutable is just an illusion.

4.) What of identifying the mechanism that restricts the delivery of moments to consciousness into the rigid series we experience? In particular, what in the neural machinery blocks us from having perceptions of tomorrow or next year? While neuroscientists have made enormous advances in recent years, I do not think that circuitry blocking this avenue of perception has been identified. But if passage is an illusion of our perception, there must be some mechanism that blocks us perceiving the future.

"We should stop protecting our vanity and admit what is now becoming obvious. We have no good grounds for dismissing the passage of time as an illusion. It has none of the marks of an illusion. Rather, it has all the marks of an objective process whose existence is independent of the existence of we humans. Passage exhibits no sign of being an illusion." (John D. Norton- Department of History and Philosophy of Science University of Pittsburgh-http://www.pitt.edu...)

I could use all of my characters addressing this but I need to move on.

The problem with my opponent's next argument and his use of quantum mechanics (the uncertainty principle mainly) is that it fails to account for the principle of the unmoved mover. Heisenbergs uncertainty principle simply states that it is impossible to measure both location and momentum simultaneously for infinite preciscion. However, these particles will have already existed and points us back to the unmoved mover. the original cause that had none. Every effect has a cause. except for the first effect.

A few of the stipulations are a position around the "goldilocks zone" a gravity rich planet (Jupiter in our case) to draw away space debris, I don't have enough characters remaining to address this fully now. the 1 in 700 qunitillion number came from astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson at Upsala University in Sweden.

I don't understand the point of the picture of cards but It isn't a rebuttal. the Earth or life existing has inherent value and is in no way arbitrary when factoring probability and a minute hand. the criterion of life I would argue are not random but rather carefully set in place by a Creator the probability of a random convergence of variables is very low. My opponents next argument is only relevant if we assume that a Creator would develop more than one of these hands. the force that rigged the hand would be the Creator.

My opponent begins to attack me with a lack of definitions. before I provide them I would like to point the attention of the voters to my opponent's lack of definitions. the Theories of time, Tensed facts, the uncertainty principle, the efficient cause, many advanced philosophical and scientific terms undefined.

Information content is clearly defined in my case. I'm not going to waste my few remaining characters redefining it.
My opponent argues that the laws of physics govern chemistry however, if you look back on my case, you see that the contention in question regards both physics and chemistry

a functional protein is a basic freshman bio term that is essentially a protein that serves a specific function as it's supposed to. the ability of life to adapt is not an argument that contradicts my point. and for the next argument, we're back to the unmoved mover. Furthermore, as for the necessary specificity of the amino acids in a protein, changing a single amino acid in a protein can cause a completely different functional protein to form, removing or adding a specific start or stop codon for example www.unc.edu/depts/our/hhmi/hhmi-ft_learning_modules/.../proteinfunxn.html

Natural selection does not conflict with my case at all. the inherent limits of natural selection in regard to the origin of life should be largely apparent. I would elaborate now, but I'm out of characters.
Envisage

Con

Con Case

The Universe Lacks A Cause or Creator

Clarification

Pro attempts to prove that God is not timeless. I’ll concede that to him since it is irrelevant to the soundness of the argument I presented. Whether Pro chooses to define God as timeless or not has no bearing.

My original modus tollens:

P1. The universe is caused if and only if tensed facts exist

P2. Tensed facts do not exist

C1. The universe is uncaused

This argument is incomplete since it doesn’t by itself argue that God doesn’t exist. However God by definition is the cause of the universe. Ergo we can just formulate this as a simple modus Tollens:

P1. If God did not cause the universe’s existence, then God doesn’t exist

P2. God did not cause the universe’s existence

C2. God doesn’t exist.

P1 comes from rote definition of God, if God is not the cause of the universe then ‘it’ isn’t God. P2 is a subset of C1, therefore the conclusion follows regardless of whether or not God is defined as timeless.

Pro then argues that God’s omniscience is not rendered incoherent by the non-existence of tensed facts. But this is also irrelevant to the argument. Pro wastes substantial space here. Tensed facts are relative, correct. However, P1 was formulated with a clear notion of objective tensed facts. That is, it really is a fact true/false that the 15th Feb 2018 is in the past, this only works in presentism. By extension, the notion “the universe not existing was in the past” would also need to be a tensed fact for universe to have a cause to be coherent. If the universes existence is tenseless, that is, there is no real “before” the universe, then it is impossible to coherently say the universe “came into existence”, and by extension, impossible to say the universe is caused.

Literally the entire first 1/3, or 1/2 of Pro’s round misses the mark.

B-Series

To make this very clear to both Pro and voters, and my purpose of defending B series is:

1. Presentism is a subset of A-Series of time.

2. There are multiple theories of time, B-Series is mutually exclusive to A-Series

3. The universe having a cause requires the A-Series of time

Pro asserts there is no evidence that space-time existed eternally. This is actually irrelevant, B-series can be a finite/closed system. The universe and time just needs to exist all at once, with time as a real forth dimension (imagine a 4 dimensional hypercube, essentially my arguments for B-Series postulate the entire universe as one big version of that). Now, this gets weirder with the universe, since space-time itself how we define our “before” and “after”, however time itself curves (as its part of the universe) due to relativity. You have a first-moment in time, but there is literally no “moments” in time “before” this point. Ergo, no moments in time exist where the universe, doesn’t exist.

I can put this as a horned dilemma:

P1. Either the universe is finite or infinite in time

P2. If the universe is infinite in time, it is uncaused

P3. If the universe is finite in time, is it (still) uncaused

C. In either case, the universe is uncaused.

Pro only seems to contend P3 here. So I will wait until the next round to see how he affirms this stance.

Pro argues that B-series of time si illogical, I will pick these apart 1 at a time, since this seems to be the most interesting part:

2. “B-Theory (means) …our experience of change in the external world as well as within our own minds is wholly illusory.”… entails a regress.

Pro’s regress point here isn’t limited to B-Series, it applies to any series.

We experience the change of the world and within our minds. We experience that experience... We experience that experience of that experience…

Ad infinitum.

Ergo, we don’t experience the world/minds.

To address this, “experience” is a difficult to define term, what does it even mean to “experience” a change? This experience depends on theories of consciousness/experience which itself is a horribly unresolved field. Ergo Pro’s objection here needs much more substantiation, and needs to break out of why we should be able to experience any change at all, regardless of the theory of time.

3. Lack of dislocations of serial order or moments disproved B-Series.

Why should we expect dislocations of serial order of moments in B-Series of time. I see no reason why the theory entails this. Why should our experience of gaps such as when under anesthesia be difference if B-Series is true? Pro assumes this is the case, but provides no argument for it. Thus this entire paragraph on dislocations is missing a major premise, and will be properly addressed once argument is provided for it.


4. We don’t experience the future (?).

Again Pro needs a good argument for why we should expect to experience the future in the first place. I take issue with Pro’s presupposition that we experience moments in a “rigid series”. People perceive time at different “speeds”, such as children experiencing time passing more “slowly”, and older people more quickly. Now this is largely unresolved, but common theories include the fact that more memories are recorded at that age, and we experience time in the difference in the quantity of memories/brain activity between them.[ https://goo.gl...] This also goes a way to explaining experiences of time “slowing down” when a person is under extreme stress or danger. Neural activity increase, and the time intervals between “bits” of activity decrease, “slowing down time”.

So, while the mechanism of time perception is unresolved (I assume that would require a much better understanding of consciousness…), nothing here precludes B series, and the assuming Pro’s implied “objective passage of time” in the mind is actually outright falsified if the experience of time really does “slow down” or “speed up” for people.

Pro doesn’t actually address any of my arguments from relativity (just presents his own counter-arguments), that A series is outright falsified by the implications of the theory. That the laws of physics are universal and the speed of light is constant. This is one of the most objective ways to determining whether or not A-Series is correct and Pro has ignored it…

Universe Does Not Require God

Arguments here dropped by Pro.

Pro Case

Probability Argument

So what if life didn’t exist?

“… came from astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson”. Source please.

Moreover, not all of these will need to be true in all cases. It might be true in Earth’s case that we needed Jupiter (I actually have yet to see why this is the case, humans certainly wouldn’t exist, sure, life as a whole has an annoying tendency to survive extinction-level events). Given that huge amounts of diversification happens after each extinction event (caused by asteroids), the opposite argument could be made that intelligent life would have developed more rapidly if Jupiter were say, smaller.[https://evolution.berkeley.edu...]


Pro misunderstands my argument using the 52 deck of random cards. It undermines a key assumption of Pro’s, that Pro has decided by fiat that “life existing” is a special outcome of some sort. I can happily concede (and I don’t) that there really is a 1 in 700 quintillion chance that the variables would set in a way that allows for life as we know it today.

If they didn’t, then life wouldn’t exist.

But so what? Life simply wouldn’t exist then. There is no reason why life ‘had to’ exist in the first place, it just happens to be the outcome of the variable we have set now.

When I showed the random 52 card hard, the odds of getting it are astromically low. Because they were low I asserted they must have been intelligently set that way. However they weren’t. Pro is making exactly the same argument on these variables in the universe. Just because they are low is irrelevant, the variables are just part of a card hand, and life just happens to be the outcome of it.

If the variables were different, there is no reason to believe that some other phenomenon (say, a singularity) would exist in that “alternative universe” what would be impossible were the variables set any differently. Pro has not explained why the phenomenon of “life” should deserve special consideration.

Assumptions

Even if we did assign special value to the universe having life, which in comparison, would be equivilent to me declaring what my shuffled 52 card hand would be before I dealt it, then Pro’s argument is still unsound.

Pro assumes a low number of “rolls of the dice”, that is, Pro assumes that there hasn’t been enough “chances”, say, versions of universes with different laws of physics/variables, to adequately cover this number by chance. Where is Pro’s justification for this implicit assumption? We don’t know the limits on the number of universes with their own physical laws or variables, it could even be infinite. Even if it wasn’t infinite, any number can be made to look small. A Grayham’s number of attempts would entail life with virtual certainty.[https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...]

Information Content

Pro doesn’t respond to any of my actual objections here. To summarise my take on Pro’s argument:

P1. Life contains high information content

P2. High information content requires an intelligent designer

C. Life has an intelligent designer (God)

P1 – A completely random series of digits in information theory contains the maximum amount of information. This is why is it impossible to compress a file containing truly random data.[ https://goo.gl...] All things, including atoms, contains “information” just by virtue of their physical properties. Thus why lack of definition of “high information content” is problematic.

P2 – I gave mechanisms (such as mutations, duplications, natural selection) which will yield high information content without the requirement of an intelligent designer.

Pro’s conclusion here is thus unsound since he hasn’t addressed any of my objections here.

Debate Round No. 3
passwordstipulationssuck

Pro

I did not argue that god is not timeless. I pointed out the errors in Craig's analysis which concluded that God could not be timeless this argument tied in to attempting to prove the existence of tensed facts then analyzing their existence relative to a timeless God. Furthermore, the omniscience argument was not intended to directly counter a point that was made but rather in tangent to other points which seek to reconcile the existence of tensed facts. This is in no way irrelevant to the debate as the existence of tensed facts is a key issue.

1. a temporal world exists
2. God is omniscient
3. God knows all relative tensed facts.
4. God exists separate from tensed facts.

The idea that a finite universe must be caused can to shown through a deductive argument.

1.whatever begins to exist has a cause
2. the universe began to exist
3. the universe has a cause.

I will address each of these premises in turn. Premise (1) seems to be true to anyone who examines it. It is constantly confirmed in our experience. The philosopher David Hume, known for his skepticism, wrote that he "never asserted so absurd a proposition as that something could arise without a cause." The most important word in this premise is "begins". If something did not exist and then existed, there must be a cause.

The first major piece of evidence for premise (2) is the second law of thermodynamics. This is a fundamental law which states that in any system the processes always tend towards an equilibrium. Energy runs down and "entropy" increases. Our universe is heading for what is called "heat death". It is what happens when your cup of hot coffee, if not drunk, reaches the same temperature as the room. Now when we observe our universe we know that it has not run down yet. Entropy is not at a maximum. This means that it is in the process of reaching that state. Such a process is time limited and had to start at some point with a state of low entropy. This means there must have been a start.

The second major piece of evidence for premise (2) is the big bang theory. We will not go into this now in any detail. Suffice it to say that this theory is held by the vast majority of cosmologists. The evidence for this comes particularly from two observations: firstly, the universe is expanding, as seen with the red shift of receding galaxies and secondly, the cosmic microwave background radiation surrounds us in every direction. The expansion can be run backwards in time and when we do that we come to a beginning. The cosmic background radiation has been very confirmatory of the afterglow from the big bang. Physicists tell us that it is at exactly the expected intensity.

So premise (2) seems to be confirmed to most people"s satisfaction. But what about the other theories already touched upon; for instance of how the universe may be oscillating or has been spawned from other universes? The main issue here is that we do not know if the big bang was the real start or came from some of these other conditions.

I think it is helpful here to use the term "universe" to mean the entire physical reality that has ever existed, be it our one known universe or the series of oscillating universes or the multiple universes that might be spawning other universes (or indeed any of the other ideas floating around such as the "vacuum fluctuation universe" or "quantum gravity universe"). All of these still come under the question: did such a physical reality begin to exist? This is where the Kalam argument comes in to play. The person who denies a first cause has to argue strenuously for an infinite series of causes going back into the infinite past. This is the only way in which to deny a first, uncaused cause. The question therefore comes down to whether an actual infinite series can exist.

What follows is the simplified mathematical part of the Kalam cosmological argument5 which seeks to prove that an actual infinite series of anything is not possible. It is based on the idea that the existence of an infinite number of anything leads to logical contradictions. There are 3 mathematical arguments, which I will give in order:

First mathematical argument

There are two types of infinites, potential infinites and actual ones. Potential infinites are used all the time by mathematicians in equations. They are useful but potential. The term "Actual infinites" refers to real things which are infinite; it is not enough just to conceive of this but there must actually be an infinite number of things.

The best known example to illustrate this is called the "Hilbert"s Hotel Paradox" (named after the mathematician David Hilbert). Hilbert"s Hotel has an infinite number of rooms, each occupied by a guest. As there are an infinite number of rooms and an infinite number of guests, every room is occupied; the hotel cannot take any more guests. There is a "No Vacancies" sign showing. There is also a "Guests Welcome!" sign showing. When a new guest arrives the manager asks the guest in room no. 1 to move into no.2 and the guest in no. 2 to move to no. 3...and so on. As for any room n there is a room n 1, every guest can be moved to a different room. This is to free up room no.1 for the new guest. Before the new guest has arrived there is no room left and yet we see that the guest can be accommodated after all. This is clearly paradoxical; it is not possible that a hotel both can and cannot accommodate a new guest. Hilbert"s Hotel is therefore impossible. David Hilbert said: "The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality.....The role that remains for the infinite is solely that of an idea.

This argument draws on the idea that actual infinities cannot be traversed.

If I were to set out on a journey to an infinitely distant point in space, it would not just take me a long time to get there; rather, I would never get there. A part of the journey would always remain, no matter how long I took.

Similarly, if I were to start counting to infinity, I would never finish. Now if the past were infinite, then it would not just take a long time for the present to arrive; it would never arrive. No matter how long time had passed, we would still be working through the infinite past. It is impossible to traverse an infinite period of time. Clearly though, the present has arrived, the past has been traversed. The past, therefore, cannot be infinite, but must be finite. The universe has a beginning.

Which leads us to premise (3): "Therefore the universe had a cause." This premise depends completely on premise (2). We have confirmed premise (2) and therefore we can conclude that premise (3) is correct.

If the universe had a cause we rightly ask ourselves, what sort of cause? This is where philosophy and science come together to point to an uncaused and eternal, non physical cause.

The first cause had to be uncaused, because we have learnt that there is no actual infinite series of causes. When someone like Richard Dawkins asks, "who caused God?",8 they are confusing the issue. There simply had to be a first cause which has not been caused; otherwise we go down the infinite regress which we have dismissed.

The key to understanding the regression argument is the point of an illusory static time. the regress in an A-Series is not contradictory. A regress of illusions in B-Series is. you experience a non-illusory world. Furthermore, we would expect a dislocation of time if time is illusory. If the passage of time doesn't exist then it's passage is subjective. without a biological function common to all, then this illusory, subjective should have breaches. it makes more logical sense that time is real and universal rather than illusory and subjective. For his next point, time is rigid. our perception of it may shift but this does not make the objective time any longer or shorter. if I am in danger and adrenaline causes a longer experience, a minute is still a minute without fail regardless of my perception of it's length.

a counterargument is perfectly sufficient but I can provide a quick refutation

Relativity theory never even talks about simultaneity. It talks about a different relation: simultaneity relative to a frame. Likewise, relativity theory never talks about spatial or temporal distances. It talks about spatial or temporal distances relative to a frame. These are different concepts: simultaneity, spatial distance and temporal distance are binary relations. Simultaneity relative to a frame, spatial distance relative to a frame and temporal distnace relative to a frame are ternary relations (the frame is a relatum). All the stuff Relativity says about simultaneity relative to a frame, spatial distance relative to a frame and temporal distance relative to a frame may very well be true. But wouldn't it follow, then, that contrary to relativity theory there is a privileged reference frame? There are two questions here: (a) Does it follow that there is a privileged reference frame? (b) Would this be contrary to relativity theory? And neither question has a clearly positive answer.

The standard answer to (a) is this. If we have absolute simultaneity and a Minkowski spacetime, then we can define a privileged frame as the inertial frame whose simultaneity relation matches the absolute simultaneity relation. But nothing that was said so far guarantees that any inertial frame has a simultaneity relation that matches our absolute simultaneity relation. Suppose, for instance, that there are two points, a and b, that are absolutely simultaneous but where b is in the forward light-cone of a. Then not only will there be no inertial frame according to which a and b are simultaneous, but there won't be any foliation by spacelike hypersurfaces.

zackrisson source https://evolutionnews.org...

the fifty two card hand is nowhere near as low as the probability of the universe existing I would address but I have no letters.
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Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by passwordstipulationssuck 13 hours ago
passwordstipulationssuck
that's fine.
Posted by Envisage 17 hours ago
Envisage
Going to be 1-2 days before I complete my round, busy with work. If
Posted by passwordstipulationssuck 19 hours ago
passwordstipulationssuck
read closer my friend. there are plenty of arguments for A. some direct, some indirect.
Posted by canis 1 day ago
canis
As always pro says A exist..With no argument for A at all...
Posted by missmedic 2 days ago
missmedic
Gods exist on belief alone, so establishing a god is as easy as admitting belief in one.
Posted by passwordstipulationssuck 2 days ago
passwordstipulationssuck
this site needs an infinite character count option for debates like this. But I could see the downsides. infinite spamming for trolls comes to mind.
Posted by Envisage 3 days ago
Envisage
I need to better budget my word count too...
Posted by canis 4 days ago
canis
Dreams exists...
Posted by AlyssaDBryant 5 days ago
AlyssaDBryant
Good luck to both participants. My immortal soul hangs in the balance. Just kidding...
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