The Instigator
kohai
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Crede
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points

God Exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Crede
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,249 times Debate No: 18716
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (31)
Votes (5)

 

kohai

Con

Greetings,

I challenge Crede to this debate, "Does God Exist." By God, I am referring to the God of traditional theism and a God with the attribtues of the judeo-Christian God.

Round 1: acceptance
Round 2: Opening
Round 3-4: Clash
Round 5: Closing/Clash.

Good luck!
Crede

Pro

I accept your challenge Kohai!

I want to thank Kohai personally for challenging me to this debate. This topic of "God Exists" is exactly why I joined DDO in the first place.

If Kohai wants me to specifically challenge and refute his arguments for why God does not exist I will, or if he wants an exchange of arguments and counters I'm happy to do that as well. If Con specifically wants to take the side of an Atheist I welcome it, but I want to make something clear.

Atheist by definition is to be without a belief in Theism (God). Many other worldviews could fall into this line of ideology, but Atheism itself is also a belief. To withhold belief in God, is to believe in God not existing. If you are simply saying "I withhold belief and do not assert in either way to the existence of God", then you are more of an Agnostic. You could argue that you are just apathetic to religion, but that doesn't fit either due to debating the topic and taking the stance that God does not exist. If I am wrong here in my assessment of your view please correct me, but my assumption here is that you are asserting the positive truth of Atheism.

If this is the case then I will be contending two themes. To steal some what from Dr. William Lane Craig, I'll be arguing that there is no good evidence that Atheism is true. Secondly I will be arguing that there is good evidence that Theism is true. I have my own version of the arguments and how they flow into one another so hopefully I can provide some new insight into certain arguments.

I hope to have an engaging debate with you Kohai and I await your opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1
kohai

Con

Thank you for accepting this debate. My purpose is to justify my non-belief in God. Just to clarify, I will be defining God as a singular being who is:
  1. All-just;
  2. All-powerful;
  3. All-merciful;
  4. Immutable;
  5. Transcendent;
  6. Is ruler of the universe;
    1. And is active in it;
  7. Omnipresent; and
  8. All-good.

1) Presupposition of Atheism
  1. If a claim is extraordinary, then in the absence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor, the claim may be considered false.
  2. The claim that God exists is an extraordinary claim.
  3. Therefore, in the absence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor, the claim that a god exists may be considered false.
  4. There is no extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor.
  5. Therefore, the claim that god exists may be considered false.

This argument is often known as “Extraordinary claims means extraordinary evidence.” To clear everything up, I will define an “extraordinary claim” as the following:

Extraordinary claim: A claim that contradicts the accepted physical laws or our common sense, everyday experiences in the world.

Fact: Extraordinary claims vary in their degree of extraordinariness. For example, allow me to provide three statements:

  1. I ate a PB&J for lunch.
  2. I won $1,000,000 in the lottery.
  3. I rode a unicorn through the forest last night and saw the tooth fairy.

Statement 1 is the least extraordinary of the three. It would not contradict the laws of common sense, nor would it contradict our physical experiences. Therefore, little evidence is required for a (sane) person to believe the statement.

Statement 2 is even more extraordinary because most people do not win the lotto. This claim contradicts our laws of common sense as most people do not win the lotto. It also contradicts our personal experiences as most people have not won the lotto. However, we know that people do win the lotto, so if you see my ticket matches up with the numbers in the newspaper or on the news, then it is perfectly normal to accept it as truth.

The third one, on the other hand, is extremely extraordinary and highly unlikely. If you wanted to believe that latter claim, you would have to change your beliefs about:

  1. The reporting of history.
  2. The study of zoology.
  3. The method of exploring the earth, etc.

Therefore, it is most rational to reject the account of the third statement as false, unless quite a bit of evidence was to be presented.

The claim that god exists is an extraordinary claim of the highest degree of extraordinariness. The claim is about a being who is not only different than all other creatures on earth, but also what we know about the universe. God is purportedly to be a being who is unfathomable and perfect in every manner—far different than anything on earth! Therefore, it is rational to reject the belief in god.

2) Incoherent Attributes

  1. Any being with contradictory properties cannot exist. [Premise]
  2. God is a being with contradictory properties. [Premise]
  3. Therefore, God does not exist. [Conclusion]

It is possible that a being with unusual powers or characteristics may exist, but a being with contradictory features cannot exist. When I state that a being’s attributes are “incoherent,” I mean much more than the attributes of that being are strange or mysterious, but that they are contradictory. For example, we know that the Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be her holy hooves) cannot exist as it is impossible to be both invisible and pink.

There are numerous contradictory properties that are ascribed to traditional theism; however, the tradition is incoherent.

a) Omniscience v. Omnibenevolence: Knowing pleasure in sin

A human terrorist: Can know by direct acquaintance the experience of satisfaction derived from unjustly killing a human being.

God: Cannot know this by experience since he cannot sin and is omnibenevolent.

In this case, a human being can know something that god can't know. But god is supposed to be omniscient, so god must know it. But god can't know it. Thus, the syllogism is as followed:

  1. A human being can know what sin is and can take pleasure in this.
  2. God, because he is omnibenevolent, does not know what it is like to take pleasure in this.
  3. God is omniscience (all-knowing).
  4. Because he is all knowing, he must know what it is like to take pleasure in sin.
  5. God cannot sin because he is omnibenevolent.
  6. For God to know what it is like to sin, he must have sinned (necessary truth).
  7. God does not exist.

An omnibenevolent God cannot know by personal experience the pleasure felt by a terrorist at killing large numbers of civilians. There are many other examples of cruelty or torture that can also be used to describe this. When I say that God is omnibenevolent, I mean that he is morally perfect. This precludes God from enjoying suffering or torture.

b) Omniscience v. Omniscience: Making a mistake.

Humans: Can know the experience of finding out he or she made a mistake.
God: Cannot know this as he is supposedly all-powerful and perfect in every manner.

In this case, God cannot know what it is like to make a mistake. Thus the syllogism is as followed:

  1. God is perfect, all-powerful, and all-knowing.
  2. Because God is all knowing, he must know what it is like to make a mistake.
  3. If God knows what it is like to make a mistake, God made a mistake.
  4. God knows what it is like to make a mistake.
  5. Hence, God knowing what it is like to know what it is like to make a mistake makes him not perfect and all-powerful.
  6. Hence, God does not exist.

c) All-knowing v. Omnipotence

Human beings: Know what it is like to learn how to do something.
God: Already knows everything, so he cannot know what it is like to learn or how to do something.

So in this case a human can perform the action of learning, which god cannot, so it would seem that a human can also perform actions that an omnipotent being cannot.

In this case, humans can perform the action of learning, which God cannot, so it would seem that humans can also perform actions that an omnipotent being cannot. Thus the syllogism is as followed:

  1. God is omniscient.
  2. God is and always has been omniscient.
  3. A being’s omniscience entails, among other things, that it has all experiential knowledge.
  4. Having all experiential knowledge entails knowing what it is like to learn.
  5. God knows and has always has known what it is like to learn.
  6. Knowing what it is like to learn entails having learned something.
  7. Having learned something entails that one has gone from a state of ignorance to a state of knowledge.
  8. God has gone from a state of ignorance to a state of knowledge.
  9. There was a time when God was in the state of ignorance.

10.God has not always been omniscient.

11.God has always been omniscient and has not always been omniscient.

12.Therefore, God does not exist.

There are many—many more, but that is just scratching the surface.
Simply put, God of traditional theism cannot exist because he has contradictory attributes.

Thank you.

References

Krueger, Doug. "The Krueger-McHugh Debate: Theism or Atheism." Secular Web: Atheism, Agnosticism, Naturalism, Skepticism and Secularism. The Secular Web, 2003. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.infidels.org...;.

Stringer, Ryan. "Omniscience and Learning." Secular Web: Atheism, Agnosticism, Naturalism, Skepticism and Secularism. The Secular Web, 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.infidels.org...;.

Drange, Theodore M. "Incompatible-Properties Arguments: A Survey." Secular Web: Atheism, Agnosticism, Naturalism, Skepticism and Secularism. The Secular Web. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.infidels.org...;.

Crede

Pro

Thanks to my challenger for this debate as I hope to learn more about the subject and current evidences / arguments pertaining to it.

To make clear my original opening acceptance and definition of Atheism I want to refer the reader to my reasoning behind taking this stance. I have given a more detailed explanation of my reasoning in the 5th comment in the comment section.

Con I agree mostly with your definition of God’s attributes, but I would like to change one thing. If you could replace “all” with “maximally” I’d agree more, and is the stance I will take. I don’t think it will change any of the arguments presented, but it does have some significance in other arguments pertaining to the attributes of reality in relation to the infinite.

For the most part I will be refuting Con’s arguments as there are many, and hopefully be able to provide positive arguments in detail in another round.

Rebuttal

An Extraordinary Claim Demands Extraordinary Evidence!

So the unicorn Con presents here is definitely extraordinary. Does this mean we should automatically discredit Con for being a crazed fairy tale realist? Perhaps, but what if Con shows us evidence for his claim? The evidence would have to suit the claim, i.e. we need to see some foot prints, fairy dust, unicorn droppings, or other things to indicate the story to be true.

First I think we need to understand something about evidence. There are facts, and then interpretation of facts. These interpretations, when compiled together, can often provide strong or weak probabilities for objective realities and so give us “evidence.” Even if we can’t put an exact number on the percentage of probability, we can still have a sense of strong and weak. Now if I can prove that God can even possibly exist then I have defeated Con’s truth claim behind his resolution of “God does not exist.” If this is not your resolution please let me know.

So God existing is an extraordinary claim, so is their extraordinary evidence? Like I said before the evidence has to suit the claim, so in claiming “God exists” we need to look for evidence pertaining to origins of the universe, the meaning of existence, the meaning of man, qualities of design, objective morals and duties, and last but not least, why is there anything at all instead of nothing? These are not the only things we need evidence for, but are some of the most common topics, and as I stated before, there need be only a possibility of God to disprove the absolute claim of “God does not exist.”

Here is a list of some of these evidences used in modern Apologetics.
1. Cosmological Argument (origin of the universe)
2. Contingency Argument (why anything exists in stead of nothing)
3. Moral Argument (The presence of objective moral values and duties)
4. Teleological Argument (Fine-tuning or design argument)
5. Ontological Argument (Possible world rebuttal)
6. The argument for Christ and his resurrection (Historicity of the OT and NT scripture, and how it helps us in understanding the meaning of man)
(Some referenced from an essay from the Campus Crusade Initiative)

That was a list of “extraordinary” evidence for the existence of God. So to say there is a complete absence of evidence is false, but I will accept the position of not believing these evidences to be valid. If so I’ll be glad to hear your reasons, but to say there is an absence of evidence is wrong. Also this entire concept is a logical fallacy of “an appeal to ignorance.” This is more commonly called “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Con doesn't use this argument of no evidence to support his truth claim "God does not exist," and turns to a set of arguments that try to show how God cannot exist because of his own attributes.

The Argument of Incoherent Attributes

Premise 1: Any being with contradictory properties cannot exist.

- I would like to point out that for this premise to be true Con would have to be asserting properties of the same parameters. In his example of the invisible pink unicorn being a contradiction because it being invisible and pink is presupposing “invisibility”, and “pink” to be perceived in the same parameters. Maybe the unicorn can only be seen by an entity that can perceive the entire spectrum of light and in being able to do so see’s the unicorn as pink. So the unicorn is still invisible to some, but pink to others. Now if we add to the argument set parameters we get a true contradiction: The invisible pink unicorn is real to all humans with sight obtained through the brains interpretation of light, and who are not considered to be color blind. Obviously in these parameters the unicorn is now in contradiction with itself and so thus does not actually exist.

- The point I’m making here is that “Attributes” can be subjective, and they can also be objective when considering set parameters.

Premise 2: God is a being with contradictory properties.

- This is the main premise I will be attacking. All of Con’s arguments based on incoherent attributes are based on God being omniscient. The problem is that Con does not have the correct definition for omniscient. Since this word is the cornerstone of his arguments, I think we should have the proper definition.

        • Omniscient:
          • S is omniscient =for every proposition p, if p is true then S knows p. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
          • So God knows only and all true propositions!
          • Since there are constantly new true propositions, God’s knowledge is constantly changing as he acquires new beliefs.

- So God does have the experiential knowledge of learning, even though experiential knowledge is not a requirement of being omniscient. Only propositional knowledge is required to be omniscient.

- So one could object here that God already knew what was going to happen, so he didn’t actually learn anything new.

      • The answer is that God has learned, or come to believe in a new truth. The truth here is the tensed version of the proposition. Take for example the fact that I’m a Paramedic. At one time I was not a Paramedic because I had not yet been licensed. At that time God knew the true proposition “I am not a Paramedic.” He also knew that I eventually would be a Paramedic, but he did not know the proposition that “I am a Paramedic” because at that time I wasn’t. So as time progresses new propositions become true, and therefore God learns knew propositions. (Omniscience, Tensed Facts, and Divine Eternity by Dr. William Lane Craig)


Conclusion: Therefore, God does not exist.


- In showing how premise 1 is problematic, and how premise 2 utilizes a wrong definition for omniscient, the conclusion is absolutely false.

How does this new definition of omniscient manifest in Con’s 3 arguments based on incoherent attributes?

1. The first he shows a man taking pleasure in sin, and how God can’t know what this is like because God does not sin. Well God does not break the definition of omniscient here because he does not have experiential knowledge of sinning, however he does have the propositional knowledge. He knows that one will feel guilt, remorse, or being wrong. Or he knows the heart of the “terrorist” whose heart takes pleasure in suffering and killing, and God would then know the true propositional realities of the emotions that would manifest from acting in sin.

2. His next argument about making a mistake again relies strictly on having experiential knowledge. Once again he has the true propositional knowledge of what one would feel when they make a mistake without ever having made a mistake Himself.

3. His last argument is false even if being omniscient required God to learn experientially as I already showed in my definition of omniscient. God learns new tensed truths constantly, even though he already knows all tenseless truths.

So these arguments Con has presented us, in regards to God having incoherent attributes, crumble under the true definition of omniscient.

All sources referenced in the comments
.
Debate Round No. 2
kohai

Con

Thank you for a quick response and I am looking forward to an engaging debate. I am quite disappointed in my opponent that he has not provided any arguments for God's existence, but instead, just refuted my arguments.

Presupposition of Atheism.

Please forgive me for the confusion. I use this argument to justify my position that there is no god, rather than prove that there is no God.


My opponent cited a few "proofs" for God's existence. They are:

1. Cosmological Argument (origin of the universe)
2. Contingency Argument (why anything exists in stead of nothing)
3. Moral Argument (The presence of objective moral values and duties)
4. Teleological Argument (Fine-tuning or design argument)
5. Ontological Argument (Possible world rebuttal)
6. The argument for Christ and his resurrection (Historicity of the OT and NT scripture, and how it helps us in understanding the meaning of man)

Respectfully, I am debating you, NOT your sources. Please actually provide the argument so I can refute them with you and discuss them. It will be like me giving you a link to infidels.org and saying to refute this.

I have recently updated the presupposition of atheism argument and neglected to mention that the evidence that is currently in use is "outdated" (i.e., has been refuted) and not compelling. The 6 "proofs" are far from compelling.

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family Ministry states, "[F]aith ranks at the top of God's system of priorities...This determination to believe when the proof is not provided and when the questions are not answered is central to our relationship with the Lord. He will never do anything to destroy the need for faith." [1]

What can we glean from this? We know that God is not going to do anything to prevent us from needing faith. In other words, faith is necessary for belief in God because there are no compelling evidences for God's existence.

"That was a list of “extraordinary” evidence for the existence of God. So to say there is a complete absence of evidence is false, but I will accept the position of not believing these evidences to be valid. If so I’ll be glad to hear your reasons, but to say there is an absence of evidence is wrong. Also this entire concept is a logical fallacy of “an appeal to ignorance.” This is more commonly called “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”"

This is not a list of extraordinary evidence, because all of them have been refuted. [2]

In conclusion, my opponent has not fully responded to my justification for my rejection of God.

The Argument of Incoherent Attributes

We have different views on what it means to be omniscient. Omniscient, according to my opponent is, "For every position p, if p is true then S knows p. So God knows only and all true propositions. Since there are constantly new true propositions, God's knowledge is constantly changing as he acquires new beliefs (?).

Respectfully, I disagree with my opponent's definition. Matt Slick, founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, and theologian, states, "Omniscience is an attribute of God alone. It is the quality of having all knowledge (Isaiah 40:14). God knows all things possible as well as actual..." [3]

So what we see is that God does not acquire "new beliefs." If God acquired new beliefs, then it would contradict his immutability. Immutability refers to the fact that God is unchanging in his nature and does not vary[4].

My opponent admits that God has the experiential knowledge of learning, but claims that experiential knowledge is not a requirement of being omniscient.


So one could object here that God already knew what was going to happen, so he didn’t actually learn anything new.
Correct


The answer is that God has learned, or come to believe in a new truth. The truth here is the tensed version of the proposition. Take for example the fact that I’m a Paramedic. At one time I was not a Paramedic because I had not yet been licensed. At that time God knew the true proposition “I am not a Paramedic.” He also knew that I eventually would be a Paramedic, but he did not know the proposition that “I am a Paramedic” because at that time I wasn’t. So as time progresses new propositions become true, and therefore God learns knew propositions. (Omniscience, Tensed Facts, and Divine Eternity by Dr. William Lane Craig)

William Lane Craig gives an example of him once being a paramedic, and him once not being a paramedic. God knew (from his omniscience and omnipresence) that person X would be a paramedic and that during present time, p, that person X was not a paramedic. God did not learn anything new.

It appears my opponent neglected this argument in its entirety. If God came to learn or believe a new truth (?) then how can he possibly be perfect?

    1. God is perfect.

    1. if God is perfect then he knows all things true.

    1. God is all-knowing and present-everywhere so he cannot learn anything new.

    1. Therefore, all "new truths" God already knew and believed would happen.

Thank you. PRO, please provide some arguments for God's existence in the next round.

References
[1] Dobson, James Dr. When God Doesn't Make Sense, pp 17-18

[2] Barker, Dan. Refuting God, available online http://ffrf.org...
[3] Slick, Matt. Dictionary of Theology: Omniscience. http://carm.org...
[4] Slick, Matt. Dictionary of Theology: Immutability. http://carm.org...
Crede

Pro

Thank you Con for your responses and comments.

God Learning True Tensed Propositions
To make clear I was not trying to give a source and run when it came to the arguments themselves. I wanted to show that there are many out there and to say there is no evidence is wrong. I didn’t expand on them, as I made clear in round 2, because I wanted to focus first on refuting your evidence. In fact I will finish refuting your evidence first in this round as I can see you did not understand what I meant when I said God learns new truths and acquires new beliefs.

First off I apologize at my source quoted from Dr. Craig. Those were not his words, but I did reference his article for information. I used my own analogy of myself being a Paramedic. He used the analogy of Christopher Columbus.

1. God knows all true propositions (definition of omniscient).
2. God learns new propositions and acquires new beliefs constantly.
How does # 2 here follow without contradicting # 1? As I said last round God learns new tensed truths all the time. Let me use Christopher Columbus now as an example to drive home this point.

Before 1492 God knew:
(1) the true proposition that Christopher Columbus (C.C) had not found America.
He also knew:
(2) the true proposition that C.C. will find America in 1492.

After 1492 (1) becomes false in that C.C. had now discovered America and no longer will discover America. So God acquires a new true proposition that C.C. had discovered America in 1492. Proposition (2) becomes false because of the same reason. So God learns new tensed true propositions, even though he knows all tenseless propositions (C.C. discovers America in 1492). God knew when, where, and how C. C. would discover America before, during, and after he did it. But the true tensed propositions regarding these events changed as they unfolded. So # 1 can follow from #2 without contradicting because God learns new tensed truths while maintaining knowledge of all tenseless truths!!

Definition of Omniscience
You tell us this is the real meaning of omniscient by this quote: "Omniscience is an attribute of God alone. It is the quality of having all knowledge (Isaiah 40:14). God knows all things possible as well as actual..."

Problem 1: I’m not sure if you thought I wouldn’t check out your source but let me go ahead and finish the quote for you using the source you provided:

“ An attribute of God alone. It is the quality of having all knowledge (Isaiah 40:14). God knows all things possible as well as actual. He does not need to experience something to know about it completely. Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and Omniscience represent the nature of God concerning His relation to the creation.” [1]

With your definition, in full, completely destroys your arguments utilizing omniscience. Your quoted definition also says experiential knowledge is not needed for God to have complete understanding.

Problem 2: Using Isaiah 40:14 doesn't help your case for a definition.

Isaiah 40:14
14Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding? [2]

Here we see that God does not obtain knowledge from man, and it has nothing to do with gaining knowledge, or God having knowledge of experience.

Evidence for God

I did not mean for you to argue the sources, but was just showing you that there is evidence out there in support of God’s existence. Also due to character limits I couldn’t get to it last round. I will present only 1 argument so I can go into detail.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument [3]

Premise 1 (P1): Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

Premise 2 (P2): The universe began to exist.

Conclusion: Therefore, the universe had a cause.

P1: This is evident all around us. Everything in the physical universe can be traced back to a beginning, and attributed to a cause. My parents were my cause, and their parents theirs. This computer I’m typing on was caused by a computer company manufacturer and so on.

  1. Objection to premise 1: A common objection is if everything had a cause then what was Gods cause? But this is just a misunderstanding of the first premise. Whatever begins to exist has a cause. God being eternal wouldn’t need a cause since He never had a beginning. He is an uncaused causer of the universe. Premise 1 still holds.

P2: Scientific evidence:

  1. The expansion of the universe aka The Big Bang!
    1. Expansion: We have been able to observe galaxies growing farther in distance from one another. Also to reverse time we can see that all galaxies grow closer together into a singularity. How could this singularity come into existence from nothing? The answer here is that it couldn’t…it was caused as evidenced by everything else that has come into being.
    2. Cosmic Radiation: Cosmic radiation was predicted in 1948 by Cosmologist George Gamov. He theorized that there must be left over radiation from the initial rapid expansion of the initial heated universe. Then a Nobel Prize worthy discovery of the radiation was found in 1965 by Arno Penzias & Robert Wilson. [4]
  2. Second Law of Thermodynamics
    1. Here is a definition referenced from allaboutscience.org [5]: The Second Law of Thermodynamics is commonly known as the Law of Increased Entropy. While quantity remains the same (First Law), the quality of matter/energy deteriorates gradually over time. How so? Usable energy is inevitably used for productivity, growth and repair. In the process, usable energy is converted into unusable energy. Thus, usable energy is irretrievably lost in the form of unusable energy. "Entropy" is defined as a measure of unusable energy within a closed or isolated system (the universe for example). As usable energy decreases and unusable energy increases, "entropy" increases. Entropy is also a gauge of randomness or chaos within a closed system. As usable energy is irretrievably lost, disorganization, randomness and chaos increase…”
    2. “…The implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics are considerable. The universe is constantly losing usable energy and never gaining. We logically conclude the universe is not eternal. The universe had a finite beginning -- the moment at which it was at "zero entropy" (its most ordered possible state).”

Philosophical evidence:

  1. An infinite number of things cannot exist in reality!
    1. No infinite number of things can exist. Absurdities would arise making the reality of an infinite number of things to exist impossible. Infinity only exists in mathematics, but has no place in the physical reality we live in.
  2. We could not exist in a single moment if we had an infinite past!
    1. If there were an infinite past, we could have never reached this moment in time, yet at the same time would have reached this moment in time an infinite amount of time ago. These absurdities start to become apparent when considering the infinite existing in reality. The universe simply had an absolute beginning.

In showing how P1 and P2 are scientifically and philosophically sound, the conclusion logically follows. Now the question is do these premises give us any light on the cause of the universe? In fact they do.

1.The cause must be able to exist outside of time and matter since it caused into existence time and matter.

2.This cause must be uncaused because an infinite number of causes is impossible.

3.It must be overwhelmingly powerful to have created the universe.

4.It must have been from a personal mind due to the cause being timeless yet creating a temporal system (the universe). This is showing a free-will in that it created something spontaneously making the mind a personal being and not just a transcendent cause.

5.From pt. 1, 2, 3, and 4, we can conclude with a strong sense of probability that the universe was caused by an eternal, non physical, and immaterial personal mind aka God!

If need be I will expand on this argument next round, and I hope to include more arguments in the effort to provide evidence for God.

Thank you Con and I await your response.

References in Comments
Debate Round No. 3
kohai

Con

I would like to thank PRO for providing his arguments in a very timely manner. You have been a great opponent and I look forward to debating you once again. In efforts to prove God exists, PRO has used the Kalam Cosmological Argument. We will see why this argument holds no water and it is far from convincing. I will be refuting just the cosmological argument.

Premise 1 is false as we know something does, in fact, come from nothing. These are vacuum fluctuations. They are uncaused, random events. Victor Stenger notes:

The theological significance of inflationary cosmology is this: It shows how the universe can have formed from nothing, in complete chaos (maximum entropy), and have order form spontaneously, without violating any known principles of physics. That is, it provides an economical explanation of the origin of the universe without creation or design. A creator is not required by the data. In general relativity, space-time can be empty of matter or radiation and still contain energy stored in its curvature. Uncaused, random quantum fluctuations in a flat, empty, featureless space-time can produce local regions with positive or negative curvature. This is called the "space-time foam" and the regions are called "bubbles of false vacuum." Wherever the curvature is positive a bubble of false vacuum will, according to Einstein's equations, exponentially inflate. In 10^-42 seconds the bubble will expand to the size of a proton and the energy within will be sufficient to produce all the mass of the universe. [1]

In fact, the truth of the matter is that these vacuum fluctuations are possibly what caused the Big Bang. Remarkably, the laws of modern physics allow for this possibility—the possibility that the universe is a gigantic vacuum fluctuation. [2]

Since I have shown that “not everything that begins to exist has a cause” is false, then we can conclude that the entire syllogism is (most likely) false. However, let’s continue with premise 2.

Premise 2 is wrong on several accounts. The most crucial issue is that unless we know that this premise is true; then the whole argument fails. It is possible that the Big Bang was a local event, and that we are in a much larger multiverse. This is called the M-Theory.

It is indeed a quantum leap to say “The universe has a cause” and to turn around and say, “That cause has to be God”—especially the God we defined it as.

| Conclusion |

In order for the Kalam Cosmological Argument to be salvaged, theists must answer these questions, at least:

  1. 1. Is God the only object accommodated by the set of things that do not begin to exist?
  • o If yes, then why is the cosmological argument not begging the question?
  • o If no, then what are the other candidates for the cause of the universe, and how have they been eliminated?
  1. 2. Does the logic of Kalam apply only to temporal antecedents in the real world?
  • o If yes, this assumes the existence of nontemporal antecedents in the real world, so why is this not begging the question?
  • o If no, then why doesn't the impossibility of an actual infinity disprove the existence of an actually infinite God?
  1. 3. Is the universe (cosmos) a member of itself?
  • o If not, then how can its "beginning" be compared with other beginnings? [

Bibliography

[1] Stenger, Victor. Inflation and Creation http://www.colorado.edu...
[2] Pagels, Heinz. 1982. The Cosmic Code. Toronto: Bantam.

Crede

Pro

Thank you, Con for your response as you too have been an excellent opponent. However your last round did somewhat disappoint me. As I read the argument and then referenced your sources, I saw that most of all your work was copied and pasted. Nothing was really in your own words. Like you said before, I’m not here to debate your sources. Just copying them and pasting them into the debate doesn’t really make it any less your source due to you having no real input. I understand if you were short on time, but please give some more personal thought into the next round.

Since you completely dropped the topic of incoherent attributes after my last rebuttal I’m assuming you have conceded the point and are moving onto just disproving my positive evidences for God’s existence. If you have conceded to the attribute of being omniscient is not incoherent, and want to move onto other attributes, I would like to tell you that they are all easily refuted with clear definitions of the words.

I will defend the KCA argument as I think it to be one of the strongest arguments for God’s existence.

KCA
P1: You argue that premise 1 is invalid due to observable things coming into existence from nothing. Your evidence then lies in the quantum vacuum. The problem here though Con, is that the vacuum is not comparable to nothingness. The vacuum has a fluctuation of energy, and energy is something. The energy fluctuates and can convert into a quantum particle, but then is almost immediately converted back to energy. There are observable properties within the vacuum which is contradictory to nothingness. Nothingness has no properties, it has no energy, there are no fluctuation vacuums, but it simply is just nothing. So to compare these vacuums of fluctuating energy to nothingness is dishonesty to science.

You supply this quote provided by your second source; “In fact, the truth of the matter is that these vacuum fluctuations are possibly what caused the Big Bang. Remarkably, the laws of modern physics allow for this possibility—the possibility that the universe is a gigantic vacuum fluctuation.”This would indicate that a vacuum fluctuation large enough, and with enough energy would exist, and is what creates our universe over and over again. Two problems are present with this logic.
  1. The universe is not self-eliminating like we see the quantum particle almost immediately doing once it has borrowed enough energy from the vacuum to manifest. If the universe perhaps needs to contract back down to a singularity for this to happen we run into another road block. The universe has expanded so far now that gravity could not pull it back to a singularity. We are now an ever expanding body of space-time with all matter being pushed further and further out. NASA agrees and states current evidence promotes an expanding forever universe. [1]The theorem developed by Hawkings and Penrose in the 70’s was the beginning death of an oscillating universe idea, and wrote “almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.” [2]
  2. The theory would only work on an infinite time scale in order to counter a causer (God). It would have to not have an absolute beginning. If it had a beginning then what caused it? But again here we run into the infinity in reality dilemma in that we should have an infinitely old fluctuation pattern causing the universe into existence. The fluctuating vacuum can manifest in any part of space thereby potentially causing universes to pop up anywhere and everywhere. This combined with an infinitely old vacuum would have an infinite number of universes spawning from anywhere and everywhere. Of course none of this has ever been witnessed as we only have one universe relatively young, and nothing has ever, EVER been witnessed in absolute nothingness.


So in light of these rebuttals I think it is absolutely safe to say that premise 1 is still completely logical and consistent with reality. The premise holds.

P2: Con here states premise 2 is invalid because the Kalam states the universe had a cause, and then that Theists say the cause is God. He only offers one alternative, which fortunately enough is easily refuted. M-theory is yet another infinite in reality fallacy. There can’t be an infinite number of actual things; therefore there aren’t an infinite number of universes or other worlds. If our universe did come from a large network of universes (multiverse), or other dimensions of universes (multi-world), and these alternatives are not infinite, then how did they get their beginning? Multiverse or universe, the question is the same; what was the cause? Getting closer to God aren’t we?
Premise 2 holds.

Cons 3 Questions
Con gives us 3 questions at the end of his round to answer. They follow:
1. Is God the only object accommodated by the set of things that do not begin to exist?
a. No. Numbers and sets do not begin to exist. They exist necessarily as God does. Their existence is not contingent on other realities, and need no cause. They are exempted from causing the universe in that numbers and sets can’t cause anything alone. They simply just are in order to quantify and collaborate. God is the only non-beginning causer that can fit the bill.

2. Does the logic of Kalam apply only to temporal antecedents in the real world?
a. No. The logic applies to things that begin to exist. They don’t have to be temporal in that God created the temporal universe. How then does this not disprove God in that he is infinite, yet infinity cannot exist in reality? This is just a misunderstanding at the surface level of Gods nature. God exists transcendent from time, in that He created time; therefore there is no time that can be attributed to him. His existence is not quantitatively infinite, but rather qualitative. He exists necessarily, and his eternal nature is qualitatively infinite, even though there is nothing actually quantitative about it.

3. Is the universe (cosmos) a member of itself?
a. This is the taxicab fallacy at its finest. This is a line of defense used in that Atheists accept the causal argument of everything except for everything itself. There is no reason to believe that just because the universe is all encompassing of known reality for it to be exempt from the premise. This world had a cause, our solar system had a cause, our galaxy had a cause, and this universe had a cause. The universe is a member of the set of things that began to exist, and therefore needs a cause.

I now turn this debate back to you Con and await your response.



References
[1] NASA Big Bang 101. See http://wmap.gsfc.nasa.gov...
[2] Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 20.
Debate Round No. 4
kohai

Con

Thank you, Crede, for being such a great opponent. I am sorry I did not respond to all of your objections and should note that I did not drop the incoherent attribtues argument. I wanted to spend more time refuting your argument than backing up my own arguments.

To answer my questions, PRO admits that God is not the only thing that does not begin to exist. I think you have misunderstood my question: Is God the only possible cause of the unniverse? If not, why not.

I stated that it is a quantum leap from saying, "the universe has a cause" and then to say "that cause is the God of classic Theism." Even if I were to accept these claims (which I do not), then one must answer the question how the God of classic theism is the only God that could have caused the universe to exist.

I failed to point out that an actual infinity does exist in the form of a singularity. Let us look at the definitions for "singularity.":

1: "A gravitational singularity or spacetime singularity is a location where the quantities that are used to
measure the gravitational field become infinite in a way that does not depend on the coordinate system.
These quantities are the scalar invariant curvatures of spacetime, which includes a measure of the
density of matter."[1]
2: "A point at which a function takes an infinite value, esp. in space-time when matter is infinitely dense, as
at the center of a black hole"[2]

Hence, if an actual infinity cannot exist, how can God possibly exist if he is supposedly an actual infinity? (Try not to use special pleading).
With your definition, in full, completely destroys your arguments utilizing omniscience. Your quoted definition also says experiential knowledge is not needed for God to have complete understanding.

To quote Ryan Stringer on this issue:

Another possible place of contention is P3—perhaps experiential knowledge (knowing what it is like to experience something) is not included in omniscience. For instance, perhaps omniscience only entails having all propositional knowledge. In that case omniscience only entails that a being knows all true propositions and believes no false ones—not that it has all experiential knowledge. However, this objection questionably assumes that experiential knowledge does not count as a genuine kind of knowledge, contrary to our common linguistic practices. For instance, assertions like "I know what it is like to lose someone close to me," "I know what it is like to be nauseous," or "I know what it is like to be an atheist" seem unproblematic. We also quite frequently talk about learning what something is like, which implies acquiring information or knowledge about the world. Moreover, people can sometimes participate in discussions based on similarities in experience, while those lacking the relevant experiences cannot participate in the same way. This suggests that the "experienced" individuals possess genuine information (or knowledge) about the world that the "nonexperienced" individuals do not possess.Thus there is a strong presumption that experiential knowledge counts as genuine knowledge, and this should be taken for granted until good epistemological grounds for rejecting it are provided. Until then, the claim that omniscience can only involve propositional knowledge is unjustified. [3]

Thank you for a fun debate. Please do not vote on your presupposition.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] Gravitational singularity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.).Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 18, 2011, from <http://en.wikipedia.org......>
[2] http://tinyurl.com......
[3] http://www.infidels.org...;
Crede

Pro

Thank you Con for your final argument. I have enjoyed this debate as well.

I will start with your final argument / quote for incoherent attributes. Ryan Stringer argues that experiential knowledge is a necessity for being omniscient. Unfortunately any respected dictionary or encyclopedia disagrees with him, and until he gets those changed the definition of omniscient stands. If you would like to debate on what the meaning of omniscient should mean in stead of the current recognized definition I’d love to do so. But let us entertain this for a minute and try and see why these definitions don’t require experiential knowledge.

What is a more powerful being when comparing the two following options?
  1. 1. A being that knows exactly what something is like without having to aquire the experiential knowledge to know it fully. (Knowing all propositional knowledge, and a manifestation of the current and true definition of omniscient)
  2. 2. A being that has to experience something to know it fully.

I think it is obvious that option 1 is more consistent with a more powerful being. If God can know something so intimately by knowing all true propositional truths regarding whatever that something is, and not have to commit the experiential act to know something, seems undeniably better than a God that would have to experience something in order to know it. Another thing is that I am not saying God doesn’t experience anything, rather I am saying he doesn’t have to experience everything to remain omniscient…and so do all current definitions. Sorry Stringer but your argument holds no weight in the world of philosophy. For one thing I think God experiences the feeling of loss and sorrow. I think God is deeply saddened whenever someone chooses the path against him and causes destruction in life. He experiences joy and compassion when we do the opposite.

So the argument of incoherent attributes is flattened and God is shining through.

Why Not Many Creators
For one reason, and the most obvious here can be quoted from Ockham's razor; “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.” [1] There is no need to over complicate the cause to defend a polytheistic view. Also there is the idea that multiple existing omnipotent beings would contradict each other making it so there could only be one or none. For their to be omnipotent beings working in perfect unison they would have to be completely harmonious in every line of thought…(leads to doctrine of the Trinity). But for the most part, there is no reason to assert multiple causes for the universe. So the actual “quantum leap” here would be to assert multiple causes.

Singularities and the Infinite in Reality
Unfortunately both your first two sources don’t go anywhere so I had to try and find them through google. I found the Wikipedia page you used for your gravitational singularity quotes and found interesting things there. For one, they also state that the infinite cannot exist in reality but in mathematics. In talking about singularities Cons wiki source also says this: "Equations for these physical theories predict that the rate of change of some quantity becomes infinite or increases without limit." This is not quantifying anything in reality at current time as being infinite. Rather it is quantifying things that exist in mathematics (rate of change) in a potential infinite (ever expanding but with a finite and absolute beginning).

In using your first quote for a singularity: “A gravitational singularity or spacetime singularity is a location where the quantities that are used to measure the gravitational field become infinite in a way that does not depend on the coordinate system. These quantities are the scalar invariant curvatures of spacetime, which includes a measure of the density of matter." Fortunately on the same page it goes into defining these curvatures that create infinites. “Solutions to the equations of general relativity or another theory of gravity (such as supergravity), often result in encountering points where the metric blows up to infinity. However, many of these points are in fact completely regular. Moreover, the infinities are merely a result of using an inappropriate coordinate system at this point.” [2]

It is showing that the measurement of space (metrics) can become zero. These measurements are the mathematics of defining a negative. When mass is condensed so much to where there is no space between them they have an infinite density in that they cannot be condensed farther. But these measurements of metrics are not measurements of physical realities, e.g. an infinite amount of actual mass. This shows that these quantities are just mathematical infinites in the measuring of the distance of space given an infinite amount of time for space-time to expand or contract. No actual infinite of something exists in reality, just mathematics.

Your second definition is talking about the gravitational singularity and how at the center of a black hole the space-time curvature will spiral into itself infinitely. This would create an infinitely dense singularity. Matter itself cannot be infinitely dense in relation to itself as a single particle, as it cannot be broken down past a certain point. The quantum particles are the known most elementary form of matter and if broken down farther they don’t exist. The space-time curvature may be infinite in its mathematical progress into itself, but the matter caught up into it is very finite.

Conclusion
Con built his argument on two concepts.
  1. 1. God has incoherent attributes, and specifically the idea of being omniscient is incoherent with itself.
  2. 2. Positive arguments for God’s existence are false. Specifically in this debate the argument of the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

I showed how God does not have incoherent attributes in simply giving the proper definition of the words used in describing his attributes. These incoherent attribute arguments are simply elementary understandings of the philosophical definitions, and are easily refuted as I did with the truth in their real meanings.

I gave positive evidence for God in the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Con gave some rebuttals, however I refuted all of them and the Kalam, in this debate, holds logically sound. I also showed how the Kalam gives us certain attributes of God by the very nature of being a causer of the universe.

In light of breaking Con’s two concepts for showing how God doesn’t exist, I have won this debate and provided solid evidence for the existence of God.

Thank you Con for a fun debate. Happy voting!

Sources:
[1] What is Occam's Razor?Updated 1997 by Sugihara Hiroshi. Original by Phil Gibbs 1996. http://www.physics.adelaide.edu.au...
[2] Gravitational Singularity Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 5
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Crede 5 years ago
Crede
Alrighty then. And since have become a Jew?
Posted by Mr.Infidel 5 years ago
Mr.Infidel
Crede,

I am sorry I just noticed your comment. I changed my username.
Posted by Crede 5 years ago
Crede
Something happened because his account is no longer active. That's wierd because he had like 40 something debates.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
The problem is we see creation ex nhilo and the universe can be eternal if it was in a a singularity ss the bbt says.
Posted by Crede 5 years ago
Crede
Wow, fast resopnse.
Posted by Crede 5 years ago
Crede
Using logic and observable physical laws are what I am using. For example how nothing can only come from nothing.
Posted by Kethen 5 years ago
Kethen
Just saying....why don't you guys focus on proven laws not theory (big bang) because theory can be disproved tomorrow. Many like evolution which seems completely logical and it has to be true has been proven false on many accounts and is not a law because of it. You guys are using the Big Bang THEORY! The big bang theory is not a law because it has been proved to be false more than it has been proved to be true. To be a law it can not be considered false once.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
References
[1] Stenger, Victor. Inflation and Creation http://www.colorado.edu...
[2] Pagels, Heinz. 1982. The Cosmic Code. Toronto: Bantam.
[3] Barker, Dan. Cosmological Kalamity. http://www.infidels.org...

There is a third one that I somehow missed.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
I understand. You are doing well, I must admit.
Posted by Crede 5 years ago
Crede
Also if I sound abrasive at all in the debate round, it is nothing personal, but I am trying to be more of an aggressive debater and I get passionate about what I'm debating about.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by jewgirl 5 years ago
jewgirl
kohaiCredeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was off to a good start but in R3 switches coarse slightly. and finally begins petering out in 4 and 5.
Vote Placed by rogue 5 years ago
rogue
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Reasons for voting decision: I am not going to lie I am probably a biased voter. But con really did make convincing evidence. Pro did a very good job as well.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 5 years ago
KRFournier
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Reasons for voting decision: Kohai seemed to run short on time or interest for the last two rounds were phoned in. On balance, Pro had a solid stance with stronger rebuttals.
Vote Placed by GaryBacon 5 years ago
GaryBacon
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a very interesting debate. Although I am still an atheist, I do believe that Pro made more convincing arguments. The effort that Con put into his arguments started strong and seemed to fade in the 4th and 5th rounds. Basically, I think Pro did a better job and that is why I am placing a vote that conflicts with my beliefs.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
kohaiCredeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con completely changed his stance on the argument in round 3. He goes from arguing he does not exist to his stance on why he thinks god doesnt exist, a very big change so i gave Pro conduct. Pro provided better arguments as well. Both sides used the same amount of sources so that was split. Grammar was alright too