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Rational_Thinker9119
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The Contender
Dmot
Con (against)
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God Exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/28/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 839 times Debate No: 43052
Debate Rounds (4)
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Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I think it would be interesting to do this debate. I am going to be arguing that God exists; my opponent must undermine my argument.

Definition of God:

"The conscious being responsible for the universe we see"

First round for acceptance.
---
It would be interesting to see a theist accept this debate (double devil's advocate), but if an atheist wants to accept it; no problem.
Dmot

Con

I'm a theist, I've accepted the debate. The BOP is on you to prove God exists. I will attempt to show that your arguments are flawed.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Argument From Quantum Mechanics

I will be arguing God from Quantum Mechanics.

The Collapse Of The Wave Function

In quantum mechanics, a wave-function describes the propagation of the wave with regards to any particle or group of particles[1]. A wave function collapse is the process by which a wave function—initially in a superposition of different eigenstates—appears to reduce to a single one of the states after interaction with an observer[2]. This means that particles do not have definite positions until observed. The video attached explains this process in further detail[3].

The Entire Universe Has A Wave Function

The entire universe has a wave function[4]. There is even direct evidence of it as well (this is because time emerges from quantum entanglement[5].)

What Collapsed The Universe’s Wave Function?

The question that remains is; what collapsed the universe's wave-function? It must have been an external observer! What counts as an observer though? Well, it could either be a conscious observer[6], or a physical system made of particles, like a measuring instrument[7](there are even experiments where the collapse of a wave-function occurs due to the system simply bathing in photons[8]).

Thus, either a conscious observer observed the wave-function of the universe into definite states long ago, or it was due to a particle, or collection of particles and/ or photons (some classical system).

The idea of a particle or photons existing outside the universe seems absurd. After all, if the universe is defined as the physical world, then we cannot have a particle, or particles existing outside of the physical world; as particles are physical. That would be a contradiction. If you believe there are other physical worlds, then we get an infinite regress. Something had to collapse that particle (and/or photons), or particles into definite states, and something had to collapse what collapsed those particles; ad infinitum. However, an infinite past is impossible. If we counted up the amount of universes there would have had to have been in the past, it will always equal a finite number; reaching infinity is impossible. This is based on a simple mathematical principle:

“Any finite number + A finite number = A finite number”

Therefore, there couldn't have been an infinite chain of classically physically systems collapsing quantum systems. Thus, a conscious observer is the only reasonable option left. A conscious being must have collapsed the universe into its definite state; which is the universe we see.

Therefore, God exists.

Atheistic philosopher Quentin Smith has this to say about arguments like these:

"According to the Copenhagen Interpretation (standard Quantum Mechanics), the wave function needs to be collapsed by something outside the system being measured. The wave function of the universe, accordingly, needs to be collapsed by something outside the universe. Now most versions of the Copenhagen Interpretation regard the observer (often explicitly identified with consciousness) as what collapses the wave function. In this respect, the cosmological application of the Copenhagen Interpretation may reasonably be thought to posit God (or a disembodied person who has superhuman attributes) outside the universe. Indeed, it seems to be the best scientific argument for God which is present in the twentieth century science." - Quentin Smith[9]

My argument is similar enough to fall into the range of what Quentin Smith was generally speaking about.

Introspection Argument

Interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. To quote Atheistic philosopher Austin Dacey:

"Souls (or minds) are thought of as purely non-physical, they can't be weighed, split in half, heated or cooled, they lack mass, electric charge and so on...but how could they possibly have a cause and effect relationship with bodies that are said to have these, and only thesephysical properties?" - Austin Dacey[10]

Substance 1 has to have at least one identical property with Substance 2 in order for them to interact. However, if this is true, then they are not really two fundamentally different substances at all (if my opponent mentions property dualism, I will delve into that as well). Thus, to account for this apparent interaction, the matter my physical body is composed of (and all matter and fundamentally) must be an illusion, and/or my mind is an illusion. However, as philosopher Descartes famously said:

"I think, therefore I am" - Rene Descartes[11]

To quote Atheistic Neuroscientist Sam Harris

"Consciousness is the one thing in the universe that cannot be an illusion" - Sam Harris

Your mind is not doutable, because to doubt it is to presupposes that you are capable of doubt in the first place; which presupposes a mind. However, matter is doutable. Thus, all is mind and mental, and there is no matter. This is because if there is matter and stuff like material atoms independent of perceptions, then this means there are neurons and synapses causing my conscious states. However, based on dualism being false (things like neurons and synapses cannot have a causal relationship with consciousness), this is impossible. One has to go out the window, but I know I experience, and this is the basis for all knowledge. Thus, everything is just ideas or mind "stuff".

If the everything is mental, then perhaps it is only mental in our minds. This doesn't mean an ultimate mind with consciousness is responsible for what we would call the universe, right? Well, this is wrong. If we are the creators of the reality we see, then we should be able to control it at all (like we can with other things in our mind). We generally control what is in our mind. For example, the sun is blowing up in my mind right now, but the sun I see when I look up won't blow up no matter how hard I try. This is because one scenario is purely in my mind (the one where the sun blows up at will), the other one isn't. Thus, there has to be an ultimate mind, or consciousness responsible for a universe that we cannot control at will; but he can.

Thus, some mind/ consciousness is ultimately responsible for the universe we see. Thus, God exists.

Conclusion

I argued for God using two arguments:

(i) The Argument From Quantum Mechanics

(ii) The Introspection Argument

My opponent must knock down both of these arguments sufficiently to win the debate. I wish my opponent luck in his next round...

Sources

[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[2] http://www.princeton.edu...
[3] Video Source
[4]
http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] https://medium.com...
[6] http://xenophilius.wordpress.com...
[7] http://aflb.ensmp.fr...
[8] http://prl.aps.org...
[9] Theism, Atheism and the Big Bang Cosmology, p. 325
[10] Video Source 2
[11] Principles of Philosophy (1644)


Dmot

Con

Quantum Mechanics Argument-
Very interesting argument, and in fact, it has the potential to be true. The problem is that it rests on some major assumptions that I will argue are dubious at best and false at worst. First of all, there are some who argue that observation is not practically necessary for the collapse of a wave-function. It is actually possible, that there is not really a collapse in the traditional sense at all. http://en.wikipedia.org... Read the "History and Context" section of the article. Also, I would bring up the Many World Interpretation of QM which treats collapse differently. In this scenario, there is no real "collapse" only a split in the worlds, such that every possibility is itself realized. Therefore, it is not enough to argue from QM, you have to argue from a specific interpretation of QM in order to make your argument sound. http://plato.stanford.edu...

Next, you say the universe could either be collapsed by a "conscious observer" or a "physical system." Now, you say "the idea of a particle or photons existing outside the universe seems absurd." However, this is unfounded. It is true, that a photon or particle of this universe outside of this universe is a self-contradiction. However, that is different from saying that there is an external sort of universe with particles that exists outside of this one. In fact, many scientists speculate that our universe emerged from a multiverse http://bigscience.fm.... If this is the case, it is entirely reasonable to assume that a physical system exists outside of our universe. Now you say we end up with an infinite regress. However, why should an infinite regress be problematic in this case? You argue that it is because infinite time is impossible. But I suggest that an atemporal universe is at least logically possible. Even if it is not, suppose the universe exists as a four-dimensional block (length, width, height, time). We tend to think of time as a series of progressing events. However, if we reconsider it as a mere dimension, then it may proceed to infinity in any direction. Scientists for a long time considered this to be the case as did philosophers. http://en.wikipedia.org.... You could never count to infinity, but that assumes you could count all universes, which begs the question as it assumes a finite past time.

Further, there is a way to avoid this regress. First, suppose outside of this universe there exists a physical system which could collapse a wave function that need not be collapsed. Maybe in this other universe, the laws of QM are not applicable, at least not in the same way. Suppose in this other universe, the laws of QM emerge from a physical system that is in principle classical, even in small scale items. There is no way to know this is false, and therefore, your argument fails.

There is another possibility. That is that our own observation of the material world creates the past as it were. Thus, the wave function of the universe is not collapsed until our observation of the universe collapses the wave function, which entails a creation of the past. Thus, we would be considered "god" in your argument, however, I think that would render the concept essentially meaningless.

On a side note, I know that I agreed to debate "the conscious being responsible for the universe" However, this is an odd definition. It is possible that a conscious being collapsed the wave function that had more rudimentary knowledge than we have, perhaps a higher end animal like thing. This is an odd candidate for "god" in any sense. Now sure, it satisfies your definition, although, it might just make your argument meaningless. In any case, what if you are right? What collapsed the wave function of this observer? If it is physical, and the laws of QM apply (which you need to be the case for your argument to work) then it seems we must appeal to an immaterial obsever. However, how do you know that an immaterial observer even can collapse a wave function by its knowledge? How does a purely immaterial being interact with a material world?

A final problem with your argument is that most physicists aren't theists. If it were this simple that our universe needed an observer it would seem that every physicist would be forced to conclude that some sort of god exists. I understand how a physicist could be bad at philosophy, but how could physicists be bad at physics to resist the obvious conclusion? Physicists like Hawking and Krauss who are outspoken atheists would be lauged out of work...Also, a Catholic physicist here discusses QM and materialism. Even here, he is arguing against materialism, but does not make the argument you made which is very odd considering he is a Catholic arguing against materialism and says "QM does not make it easier to believe in God in any direct way..."
https://www.bigquestionsonline.com...




Now, for your next argument.
You assume that the mind is immaterial without giving arguemnt for it, which means your argument is unfounded. Further, even if the mind is immaterial, it need not have an idential property with the brain in order to function. Perhaps, the mind acts as a "formal cause" of actions and the brain as "efficient cause" http://faculty.washington.edu...

Or what if our immaterial mind collapses a wave function within the brain in order to act, thus, an immaterial mind interacts with a material body. (i.e. mind acts as observer of wave function within brain)


Maybe, our mind is like an "interprative eye" of some sort. In other words, consciousness is the immateiral eye reading and understanding the function of the brain. If the brain stops working, the eye sees nothing, and consciousness is off. So consciousness depends on the brain and the brain's "eye" as it were. There is no reason to suppose that this sight is impossible. Otherwise, you have to say that immaterial cannot in any way detect the material, which would undermine your argument for God.

This is all speculation, nothing I say here is necessarily true, but it shows that you have not proved your case. There is no reason to deny the external real world and therefore your argument fails.


Finally, "If we are the creators of the reality we see, then we should be able to control it at all (like we can with other things in our mind). " this statement is false. You commit a fallacy of equivocation on "create." In the first instance, you use create to mean some sort of non-realist position, where all that exists is in your mind. This would entail you are deluded as to your sensory perception of some sort. You aren't actually "creating" or causing the external world, only imaginining an external world which is true TO YOU. However, in the second sense, you use create to mean willfully causing something to exist. It is entirely intelligable that all that exists is in our heads as some sort of deulsion and at the same time we cannot control this delusion. The reason you say otherwise is that you misuse the term "create." Also, simply because we can control some things in our mind it does not follow that we can control other things. This is arguing from a particular to a universal which is fallacious. Therefore, the argument fails.


Your turn

Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Argument From Quantum Mechanics

My opponent says that there are some who argue that observation is not practically necessary for the collapse of a wave-function. This seems bizarre, as an observation of some kind is needed (whether conscious, or some other system), or else we do not have quantum mechanics involving wave-function collapse. The interesting point my opponent made was that there are interpretations of quantum mechanics where the wave-function doesn't actually collapse in the traditional sense. This is not true in the Copenhagen interpretation (collapse is real in the traditional sense under this interpretation). The interpretation that has the most support by physicists is the Copenhagen interpretation. The evidence for my statement is the fact that it has been proven by many polls. Here is the most recent[1]:

Quantum Poll
I do not want to just appeal to authority here. I will give good reasons as to why we should adhere to interpretations where collapse is real. Take this experiment for instance:

**Quantum Erasure With Causally Disconnected Choice**

By physicists: Xiao-song Ma, Johannes Kofler, Angie Qarry, Nuray Tetik, Thomas Scheidl, Rupert Ursin, Sven Ramelow, Thomas Herbst, Lothar Ratschbacher, Alessandro Fedrizzi, Thomas Jennewein, Anton Zeilinger[2]


The chief implication of the paper, with regards to our debate is:

"No naive realistic picture is compatible with our results because whether a quantum could be seen as showing particle- or wave-like behavior would depend on a causally disconnected choice. It is therefore suggestive to abandon such pictures altogether."

Naive realism is the view that reality has concrete existence (particles exist that have definite positions and such) when not being perceived or measured. This is what both the Many-Worlds interpretation, and Bohmian mechanics entails. Thus, this experiment shows that the Copenhagen interpretation is vindicated; wave-function collapse is probably real. Not only that, but scientists have actually captured the wave-function collapse in slow motion[3].

Another objection brought up was that there is no good reason to assume that there couldn't be particles and/photons existing outside the universe, which could have collapsed the universe's wave-function. This is a huge mistake. The wave-function of the universe deals with a causally connected space-time region. This means that if there are other regions of space-time which could causally effect our region (our region of space-time since the Big Bang, which excludes any pocket universes spawned after), then they would actually be part of the universal wave-function. However, if there are causally disconnected universes, then they couldn't collapse our universal wave-function anyway (they are causally disconnected after all).

Also, the infinite regress isn't just dealing with time, it deals with the idea of an infinite amount of something. Any finite number plus a finite number is always a finite number. If you were going to add up all the universes, there couldn't be an infinite amount. The block universe view was also mentioned, which is completely compatible with my argument as my argument wasn't completely exclusive to the temporal aspect in context.

Now, Con says:

"Further, there is a way to avoid this regress. First, suppose outside of this universe there exists a physical system which could collapse a wave function that need not be collapsed. Maybe in this other universe, the laws of QM are not applicable, at least not in the same way." - Con

This is ad hoc though, and full of contrived maybes. "Maybe" God planted the fossils and made them so they would be dated wrong, to fool us into thinking evolution is true. Nobody takes this idea seriously because it is merely logically possible. Regardless, this view from Con certianly seems impossible. If the laws of Quantum Mechanics are not applicable in the same way, then there couldn't be a collapse of the wave-function in the same way.

"There is no way to know this is false, and therefore, your argument fails" - Con

This assumes that if something is logically possible to the contrary to A, we cannot say A is true. This leads to radical epistemological skepticism (a view no philosopher takes seriously). We would have to say that there is no way to say I am not 100 feet tall, because the demon from the planet Gordoan "could be" fooling us in our measuring ways. Not all truths are logically necessary. Thus, just because it is possible that something is false, that doesn't mean we cannot say with confidence that it is true.

"There is another possibility. That is that our own observation of the material world creates the past as it were." - Con

This doesn't work for the wave-function of the universe as a whole; collapse must occur by something outside the system. We are a part of the system:

"According to the Copenhagen Interpretation (standard Quantum Mechanics), the wave function needs to be collapsed by something outside the system being measured." - Quentin Smith (Philosopher of Physics)[4]

My opponent's other objection about an animal collapsing the wave-function, making the term God meaningless, doesn't work for this reason as well.

"However, how do you know that an immaterial observer even can collapse a wave function by its knowledge? How does a purely immaterial being interact with a material world?" - Con

The Introspection Argument is an argument for Idealism. Under this view, the material world is an illusion and is all mental. This is what solves the interaction problem.

"A final problem with your argument is that most physicists aren't theists. If it were this simple that our universe needed an observer it would seem that every physicist would be forced to conclude that some sort of god exists." - Con

I don't see this as a problem. Perhaps scientists just aren't really taking seriously the philosophical implications of their work. Either way, many scientists only focus on the surface:

"The first drink from the cup of natural science brings atheism, but at the bottom of the cup waits God." – Inventor of the Heisenberg Principle, Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976)

Introspection Argument

"You assume that the mind is immaterial without giving argument for it, which means your argument is unfounded."

It is self-evident that the mind is immaterial. You cannot weigh a "thought", or cool down a "perception" like you can material things like atoms.

"Perhaps, the mind acts as a "formal cause" of actions and the brain as efficient cause" - Con

The brain is made of matter. However, the Introspection Argument shows that matter is an illusion.

"Or what if our immaterial mind collapses a wave function within the brain in order to act" - Con

This presupposes matter; what the Introspection Argument shows cannot exist due to the interaction problem. All is mental.

"You commit a fallacy of equivocation on "create." In the first instance, you use create to mean some sort of non-realist position, where all that exists is in your mind. This would entail you are deluded as to your sensory perception of some sort." - Con

This is false. All has to be mind because if there is matter, then matter is interacting with mind, but that is impossible because of the interaction problem with substance dualism[5]. The argument shows that the reason we agree upon the same perceptions and cannot change them (I cannot cause the sky to be on fire at will), is because they are grounded in God's perceptions; only he can change them. They cannot be matter, but only mind "stuff". Also, my opponent says I am equivocating, but this is false. The two "creates" are not mutually exclusive.

All of Con's objections fail.

Sources

[1] http://www.preposterousuniverse.com...
[2] http://arxiv.org...
[3] Murch, K. W., Weber, S. J., Macklin, C. & Siddiqi, I. Nature 502, 211–214 (2013)
[4] Theism, Atheism and the Big Bang Cosmology, p. 325
[5]
Video Source

Dmot

Con

Quantum Mechanics Argument
First of all, this argument as you note requires an interpretation of QM with an actual wave function collapse, something which not all interpretations require (for example, the MWI which I linked to in my last argument). Now, this kind of interpretation may be true, as you noted, there is experimental evidence (however I would question any experimental evidence that attempts to show an interpretation of QM because this is usually regarded as outside of the realm of physics). Also, most physicists hold to the Copenhagen school. However, this should not be a surprise given its founder is the most prominent (Bohr) and given that it is nice for practical purposes which is what many physicists are concerned about. Even so, the interpretation of QM is more a matter of the philosophy of physics rather than physics itself. So even though it may be the correct way to look at the results of QM, you haven't shown that it is.


Second, it is entirely possible that we act as the observers of the function of the universe. The wave function does not collapse until we enter the picture to collapse it. In doing this, our observation creates a past history for the universe. This is a realistic possibility and I see no reason why we must exclude this. You state that it has to be collapsed by something outside of the universe, however, physicist John Wheeler poses the question "Does looking back now give reality to what happened then?" Implying that we can create past realities in our own universe.



Further, you say that many physicists might just not realize the implications of their work. However, this is such a glaring implication that any physicist should consider. The anthropic coincidences http://www.firstthings.com... are at least acknowledged by most physicists even though some would argue that they point to a designer. However, there is a good enough objection at least on the surface (multiverse) that physicists don't have to conclude there is a designer. On the other hand, with your argument, it appears as though if you are correct, the physicist should see the obvious necessity of a conscious observer to collapse the wave function of the universe and posit some sort of immaterial, outside the universe, consciousness. Quentim Smith himself who you quote is in fact an atheist.

"This assumes that if something is logically possible to the contrary to A, we cannot say A is true"
Actually, there is a difference. In your example of you being 100 ft tall, you have to distrust your senses and basically say "I am under a delusion of some sort" Which is r.e. skepticism. What I did was provide logical alternatives that do not involve delusion or anything like that. Therefore, these might be true, we might find out they are true, and they involve no delusion or extreme skepticism.

Finally, there can be an actual infinite amount of anything. I agree with your argument (finite + finite= finite). Where you go wrong is that this argument shows that you can never count to or reach infinity. Not however that it cannot exist. Infinity would mean that you would always have one more. True you would never reach it, as it is not a meaningful number. But it is a meaningful concept and could be a reality. Mathemeticians discuss infinities all the time, as do physicists who postulate infinite universes, an infinitely large universe, and not so much anymore but in the past an infinitely old universe.




Introspection Argument
I'll concede that we are part immaterial and certain mental acts are immaterial.
My proposals were possible alternatives to your argument that if something is immaterial it cannot interact with the material world. For instance, my proposal that the immaterial is a "formal cause" is one possible solution to the interaction problem. Another, is the internal wave-function collapse (the immaterial mind acts as an observer of some wave function within the brain). You say that these presupose matter and that your argument shows that matter is an illusion. HOWEVER, this begs the question because my proposals are ALTERNATIVES to your premise that the immaterial cannot interact with the material. Therefore, you cannot counter my alternatives with the conclusion of your argument as this would be begging the question (assuming your conclusion). My alternative proposals are not meant as proofs but just demonstrations that the immaterial might be said to interact with the material. Even if my proposals turned out false, I do not know why in order for two substances to interact they must have an idential property.

http://www.closertotruth.com...
http://plato.stanford.edu...;




The above links discuss possible solutions to the mind-body interaction problem as it is known.


Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Argument From Quantum Mechanics

I already proved in my last round that the interpretations that don't entail real collapse are false. Thus, mentioning other interpretations doesn't harm my case.

"
So even though it may be the correct way to look at the results of QM, you haven't shown that it is." - Con

Yes I have (perhaps my opponent missed it). Interpretations where there is no real wave-function collapse entail naive realism, because the particles exist and have definite positions even when not perceived or measured if naive realism is true:

"(Naïve Realism) veridical experiential episodes have mind-independent objects and features as constituents."[1]

The experiment I cited shows that naive realism is false. Here it is again:

**Quantum Erasure With Causally Disconnected Choice**

By physicists: Xiao-song Ma, Johannes Kofler, Angie Qarry, Nuray Tetik, Thomas Scheidl, Rupert Ursin, Sven Ramelow, Thomas Herbst, Lothar Ratschbacher, Alessandro Fedrizzi, Thomas Jennewein, Anton Zeilinger


"No naive realistic picture is compatible with our results because whether a quantum could be seen as showing particle- or wave-like behavior would depend on a causally disconnected choice. It is therefore suggestive to abandon such pictures altogether."[2]

This rules out interpretations where there is no real wave-function collapse. Therefore, saying I haven't proven my case is strange indeed.

P1: If the wave-function collapse is not real, then naive realism is true
P2: Naive Realism is not true
C: Therefore, the wave-function collapse is real

This is a knockdown argument (it is valid Modus Tollens, and the premises are true); Con hasn't even attempted to refute it.

"Second, it is entirely possible that we act as the observers of the function of the universe." - Con

Not really. Something outside the system has to collapse the wave-function of the universe, we are part of the system. Therefore, we are not sufficient to collapse the wave-function of the universe.

"According to the Copenhagen Interpretation (standard Quantum Mechanics), the wave function needs to be collapsed by something outside the system being measured." - Quentin Smith (Philosopher of Physics)[3]

Here is a quote from physicist Alexander Vilenkin:

"The orthodox Copenhagen interpretation, which requires an external observer to perform measurements on the system..." - Alexander Vilenkin[4]

I already showed the problems with other interpretations of quantum mechanics. Therefore, we should accept the Copenhagen Interpretation. However, this means that something outside the system had to collapse the wave-function, since we are part of the system (not outside it), then we are not sufficient to bring about the universe in context.

"It appears as though if you are correct, the physicist should see the obvious necessity of a conscious observer to collapse the wave function of the universe and posit some sort of immaterial, outside the universe, consciousness. Quentim Smith himself who you quote is in fact an atheist."

This is because Quentin Smith adheres to the Bohmian interpretation. Since this entails naive realism, and I already showed an experiment that rules that out; Quentin Smith is wrong on that account. My opponent has to understand that this experiment is a very recent breakthrough experiment (from 2012). Also, it doesn't matter if most scientists realize the philosophical implications of their work or not. God exists based on my argument. The fact that other scientists cannot see it doesn't undermine my case one bit. This is just an appeal to authority.

Regardless, physicist Sean Carrol explains why many scientists can have a popular opinion which may be wrong:

"It is the difference between being a race car driver and a mechanic. In order to drive the car really well and really fast, you don't necessarily need to know all of its inner workings." - Sean Carrol

Not all scientists really think deeply about the implications of certain results. If they did, they would know that God exists.

"The first drink from the cup of natural science brings atheism, but at the bottom of the cup waits God." – Inventor of the Heisenberg Principle, Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976)

This argument that if I was right, more scientists would agree is a cop out. You cannot ignore a sound argument in favor of popularity.

"What I did was provide logical alternatives that do not involve delusion or anything like that. Therefore, these might be true, we might find out they are true, and they involve no delusion or extreme skepticism." - Con

I showed that we have scientific reasons to accept the Copenhagen interpretation. Under this interpretation, something external is needed to collapse the wave-function of the universe. Therefore, the possibility that we can retro-cause this to happen is false. We are part of the system, not outside it; we cannot have been the cause of the collapse of the wave-function of the universe. Thus, these "possibilities" my opponent mentions aren't even really possibilities. Either way, all the evidence we have shows that particles can only exist if a wave-function collapses (by consciousness, or other particles and/or photons). This seems to lead to an infinite regress without consciousness to stop it. There is no evidence that anything needs to collapse to have consciousness. Thus, we can be confident in saying that a conscious observer stops the infinite regress, but not some other classical system. This is why my argument for God still works. Now, not much in life is 100% certain, I did demonstrate my case sufficiently however.

"Where you go wrong is that this argument shows that you can never count to or reach infinity. Not however that it cannot exist." - Con

We should take Occam's Razor seriously. We only need to assume this universe, and an external conscious observer to collapse the wave-function (2 entities). Assuming an infinite amount of universes is multiplying entities beyond necessity. Also, the idea of an infinite amount of universes is absurd. Someone won the lottery 10 times in a row? Well, it is bound to happen at least once if there are an infinite amount of universes, so we shouldn't suspect foul play! This seems outrageous.

Either way, the existence of an "amount" of something, presupposes that if someone was there, they could count them, even if nobody is. The reason that person would never reach infinity; is that it cannot exist.

"Mathemeticians discuss infinities all the time, as do physicists who postulate infinite universes, an infinitely large universe, and not so much anymore but in the past an infinitely old universe." - Con

They must have never heard of Hilbert's Hotel[5]. The idea of an actual infinite amount of things leads to logical and metaphysical absurdities. Take ∞ - ∞ for instance, and other such nonsense.

Introspection Argument

Con's only objection is that there are "possible" solutions to the interaction problem. However, consciousness being just a formal cause won't work, because if matter exists, then I am controlling it using sufficient causation (not just formal causation). Formal causation is still interaction regardless, so it doesn't dodge the problem. All these other solutions are bound to fail, because the immaterial doesn't share any properties with the material which would metaphysically allow for interaction. If they did share a property, then they aren't really two fundamentally different substances; substance dualism is still false. Property dualism is problematic as well, it violates parsimony (which should be taken seriously), and it entails that material and mental properties are epistemically connected, but this is false[6]:

The resolution has been established.

Sources

[1] http://intl-analysis.oxfordjournals.org...
[2] http://arxiv.org...
[3] Theism, Atheism and the Big Bang Cosmology, p. 325
[4] Many Worlds In One, p. 115
[5] Video Source
[6] Video Source 2




Dmot

Con

As for the QM argument:

1- That is one experiment about the interpretation of QM and not about QM itself. It seems as though however for the experiment to work the choice would have to be casually disconnected. Yet, it is possible that this is not the case as there is a lot we don't yet know about QM.


2- "Not really. Something outside the system has to collapse the wave-function of the universe, we are part of the system. Therefore, we are not sufficient to collapse the wave-function of the universe."

-I don't think this is entirely correct, as I provided a quote from a physicist to support my contention that we couldve collapsed the wave function

3- There is a lot we still are unclear about with QM. It seems rash to suppose God exists simply because of oddities in QM especially given the fact that many physicists do not believe in God.

4- Hilbert's hotel is a problem however it more shows that infinity is not a number. As a concept it can work and therefore, conceptually there could be an infinite regress.


As for introspection:

1- Just because they do not share a property does not mean they cannot interact, you assert this as if it is self-evident and give no argument to the contrary

2- Formal causation can work because an immaterial substance can be the form of matter.

3- You contradict yourself. In the first instance you say that a mind is needed to collapse the wave-function of the universe. Yet this mind must be immaterial in order to avoid being part of another (or the same) wave function. Hence you say that an immaterial mind can collapse a material wave function. This contradicts your premise that the material and immaterial can interact. I would argue that an immaterial mind can collapse the wave function inside the brain and this is a solution to the interaction problem (although there is no evidence so far that this is the case, it is at least possible).

4- There is a lot about physics we do not yet know. it is possible that there are physical laws or states that can interact with the immaterial thus providing a solution to the interaction problem

Hence your argument fails
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 2 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
The quantum mechanical argument for example I just argued for fun, I don't actually adhere to it. The introspective argument I do find interesting.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 2 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I don't really really feel like debating these exact arguments again necessarily. I will debate that idealism is a better ontology than realism though.
Posted by Sargon 2 years ago
Sargon
I'd like to debate these arguments with you.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 2 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Ya, I'm starting to consider some form of panentheism.
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
RT, did you become an agnostic recently?
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 2 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
A causally disconnected choice violates Special Relativity, so to act like it is possible means you don't believe in Special Relativity. Also, I never contradicted myself. To be part of the universal wave-function that thing must have physical properties, if some raw consciousness caused the collapse of the wave-function, then it wouldn't be part of the wave-function without other physical properties. Also, collapse has to be due to an outside observer (as I proved by quoting a physicist and a philosopher of physics) in the Copenhagen interpretation, so we couldn't have caused it.

This is not part of the debate, and I urge voters not to take into account this comment section, I just wanted to educate my opponent.
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