The Instigator
tejretics
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

God Probably Exists

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
tejretics
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 7/17/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,891 times Debate No: 77696
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (52)
Votes (3)

 

tejretics

Con

Preface

It has been a while since I last debated this seriously. For those who don't know, this has been my favorite topic for awhile. I hope for an interesting and truly stellar discourse. The debate shall have 72 hours to post each argument, with 10,000 characters per argument, and 5 rounds. Additionally, a minimum Elo of 2,500 is required to vote.

I have chosen Kasmic to accept this debate, and I am honored to have such a distinguished debater as my opponent.

Full Topic

God probably exists.

Terms

The definitions below are influenced by or excerpted from Wikipedia, the Oxford Dictionary, and the American Heritage Dictionary. If applicants wish, they can apply to change their definition to a God of their conception, though I do not guarantee a change, and changes cannot be made without my permission.

God - 'the Supreme Being ... includ[ing] attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, intelligence, and eternal and necessary existence ... the creator of the [contingent] universe'
Probably - 'most likely'
Exist - 'have objective reality or being'

I also define Universe as 'the totality of existence ... all of space and time.'

Rules

1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be individually provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling or deconstruction semantics
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (i.e. arguments that challenge an assumption in the resolution)
7. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolutional definitions
8. For all undefined terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
9. Pro must go first and must waive in the final round
10. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss

Structure

R1. Pro's Case
R2. Con's Case, Pro rebuts Con's Case
R3. Con rebuts Pro's Case, Pro defends Pro's Case
R4. Con defends Con's Case, Pro rebuts Con's Case
R5. Con rebuts Pro's Case, Pro waives

Thanks...

...again to Kasmic; I am looking forward to a truly great discourse!
kasmic

Pro

I accept this debate and wish Tejretics good luck. I am sure this will be a fascinating debate.

Clarification:


First I would like to remind my opponent and those reading what this debate is not about. This debate is not about the social impact of religion. It is not about the ethics of the Bible or Koran. It is not about religion at all. This debate is simply about the existence of God. That is to say the existence of a “Supreme Being ... includ[ing] attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, intelligence, and eternal and necessary existence... the creator of the [contingent] universe” I will show that such is likely.

I would also like to be clear that my arguments are not entirely or even mostly my own. I will be citing arguments
made by people much more intelligent than I. I will do my best to articulate and defend these arguments. The main source of my arguments is from Dr. William Lane Craig. Here is a link to his website. (1)

Sam Harris, one of the main figures for “new atheism” has said of Dr. Craig that he is “the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheist.”


Argument 1: Kalam Cosmological argument (KCA)

(Heavily influenced by Dr. Craig’s presentation on the subject)

P1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause

“Nihil fit ex nihilo” That is to say that nothing comes from nothing. Things do not just pop out of nowhere. Believing in magic performed by a magician is more practical than believing that out of nothing comes nothing. At least with a magician the rabbit pulled from the hat is claimed to have come from a hat as opposed to have just
materialized. This first premise is rationally intuitive and a fundamental principle of science. Thus we see the
first premise is true.

P2: The Universe began to exist

There is consensus in the scientific community that the universe is not eternal, that is to say has not always existed. Rather it is clear that the universe had an absolute beginning around thirteen billion years ago in the
event known as the Big Bang. Thus the second premise is true.


As both P1 and P2 are indisputably true it is only logical to conclude,

C: The Universe had a cause

There must have been a cause that brought the Universe into being. As Dr. Craig puts it “Now as the cause of space and time, this being must be an uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial being of unfathomable power…. Now, there are only two kinds of things that fit that description: either an abstract object, like numbers, or else a personal mind. But abstract objects can't cause anything. Therefore, it follows that the cause of the universe is a transcendent, intelligent mind. Thus, the cosmological argument gives us a personal creator of the universe.”(2)

Thus we see that the KCA provides a compelling argument for the existence of God. The resolution is affirmed by
this argument alone.
For Con negate this argument he will have to disprove either P1 or P2.

Argument 2: Fine Tuning

1.The fine-tuning (or appearance) of the universe can be explained through physical necessity, chance or design.
2.It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
3.It is due to design.

“From galaxies and stars, down to atoms and subatomic particles, the very structure of our universe is determined by these numbers:” (3) In other words, fine tuning is evident.

“* Speed of Light: c=299,792,458 m s-1

* Gravitational
Constant: G=6.673 x 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2

* Planck's Constant:
1.05457148 x 10-34 m2 kg s-2

* Planck Mass-Energy:
1.2209 x 1022 MeV

* Mass of Electron,
Proton, Neutron: 0.511; 938.3; 939.6 MeV

* Mass of Up, Down,
Strange Quark: 2.4; 4.8; 104 MeV (Approx.)

* Ratio of Electron to
Proton Mass: (1836.15)-1

* Gravitational
Coupling Constant: 5.9 x 10-39

* Cosmological
Constant: (2.3 x 10-3 eV)

* Hubble Constant: 71
km/s/Mpc (today)

* Higgs Vacuum
Expectation Value: 246.2 GeV”

Dr. Craig asks “What is the best explanation for this astounding phenomenon? There are three live options. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design. Which of these options is the most plausible?”(3)

Physical necessity: “Is a life-prohibiting universe impossible? Far from it! It's not only possible; it's far more likely than a life-permitting universe. The constants and quantities are not determined by the laws of nature. There's
no reason or evidence to suggest that fine-tuning is necessary.” (3)

Chance: “The probabilities involved are so ridiculously remote as to put the fine-tuning well beyond the reach of chance.”

Dr. Craig then concludes “Given the implausibility of physical necessity or chance, the best explanation for why the universe is fine-tuned for life may very well be it was designed that way.”

Fred Hoyle, a famous astrologer seemingly agrees with this conclusion having stated that “ A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect monkeyed with the physics… and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

To refute this my opponent must show that fine tuning is the result of chance or physical necessity. We see this is not the case. The Fine Tuning argument shows the likely hood of a designer all but evident. This argument by itself shows God’s existence probable.


Argument 3: The Moral Argument

Immanuel Kant, the central figure in modern philosophy, is credited with formulating this argument.(4)


P1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

P2) Objective moral values do exist.

C) Therefore God.


“that objective values do exist and deep down we all know it. In moral experience, we apprehend a realm of objective moral goods and evils. Actions like rape, cruelty, and child abuse aren't just socially unacceptable behavior. They are moral abominations. Some things, at least, are really wrong. Similarly, love, equality, and self-sacrifice are really good, but then it follows logically and necessarily that God exists.”(5)

This argument like the first two is sufficient on its own to affirm the resolution. Objective morals exists. Thus God exists.

Conclusion:

The resolution states “God probably exists.” Each of the arguments I have presented affirm this on their own. Collectively it becomes clear that the resolution is affirmed. Con will have to negate all three arguments to negate. This is quite the task to undertake. With that I turn it over to Con.

Sources:

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

(2)
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

(3)
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

(4)
http://plato.stanford.edu...

(5)
http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

Debate Round No. 1
tejretics

Con

C1) The universe never began to exist


My argument shall be that the universe never came into being at t, so it wasn’t caused. The argument is phrased syllogistically, valid under modus ponens:


P1. If the universe never began to exist, God does not exist

P2. The universe never began to exist

C. God does not exist


Defense of Premise 1


Premise 1 is justified by God’s definition, as the creator of the universe. For the universe to have been ‘created’, it must have begun existing. Philosopher William Lane Craig writes, “e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e’s existing at t is a tensed fact.” [1]


Defense of Premise 2


My argument shall focus on justification of the second premise. For the universe to have ‘begun’, it must have a distinction between the past, present, and future, i.e. an assumption of a tensed ontology of time being true. If a tenseless ontology of time entails, then the universe only ‘began’ as much as a scale begins with its first inch [2]. I shall proceed to justify a tenseless ontology of time.


JUS1: Under special relativity, no two events are absolutely simultaneous. According to relativity of simultaneity, the simultaneity of events is relative to the observer’s motion and speed of observation [3]. Each observer has a plane of simultaneity, a section of spacetime which contains a unique set of events that constitutes the observer’s present moment. A tensed ontology would entail that space is entirely three-dimensional, but a three-dimensional space wouldn’t explain observers at different motion experiencing separate simultaneity if there is offset in distance [4-5]. Only a tenseless ontology can account for this [6].


JUS2: My JUS2 shall justify a tenseless ontological position known as eternalism, the idea that the past, present, and future are all equally real, and the arrow of time is illusory [7-8]. Experiments from quantum mechanics vindicate eternalism. Photons have been entangled through time, where quantum entanglement results in photons being moved into the past [9]. An experimenter can choose to entangle photons even when they don’t exist in the present anymore. Other experiments also show time is an emergent phenomenon, ‘emerging’ from entanglement [10]. Furthermore, time travel would be metaphysically impossible if the universe began--but we have observed time dilation [11].


JUS3: God’s own nature implies eternalism. God is defined as being ‘omniscient’, meaning he knows everything--about the past, present, and future. Knowledge of past, present, and future means they are *all* real. Knowledge is justified true belief, and truth can only emerge from reality--thus, omniscience entails the past, present, and future are all equally real. So God’s own property of omniscience entails a contradiction by justifying eternalism.


The conclusion entails via modus ponens.


Therefore, God doesn’t exist.


C2) Abductive reasoning


Abductive reasoning is a form of logical inference that uses observations to infer the most likely hypothesis among competing hypothesis. Unlike deductive reasoning, the conclusion is not guaranteed, but a well-established inference [12]. Under abductive reasoning, an inference to the best explanation is formulated using the following criteria.


1. Explanatory power

2. Principle of simplicity

3. Background knowledge


With this argument, I shall use observations to derive that God probably does not exist.


a) Explanatory Power


All functions and mechanisms of the universe are fully explicable under natural laws. Relativity and quantum mechanics predict occurrences and events of the universe with enormous precision, and explain them. These scientific laws together make up the naturalist position.


A theistic position, on the other hand, fails to explain any events and occurrences of the universe. Since God is omnipotent, the God hypothesis acts as an ad hoc explanation which can virtually explain everything, but it still fails to posit valid, powerful hypotheses for the functioning of events in the universe. The question of *why* events occur is not sufficiently explained by theism, e.g. in cases of the problem of suffering.


As such, naturalism clearly has more explanatory power, acting as a more powerful explanation than theism, entailing less ad hoc hypotheses.


b) Principle of Simplicity


The ‘principle of simplicity’ basically states that among competing hypotheses, the simplest explanation entails as most likely a priori [13]. The principle states that the explanation with least assumptions is considered simpler, and is more likely than other complex explanations.


From a basic viewpoint, theism has a disadvantage against naturalism--naturalism *only* posits the existence of the universe, the physical universe and actual world we have observed, while theism posits the universe we have observed as well as God.


Theism also posits additional attributes such as omnipotence, omniscience, and non-physical intelligence. We have quantitative understanding of none of these properties. Intelligence and omniscience posit a non-physical mind, and the transcendence of God (since God caused the universe and is, thus, spaceless and timeless) indicates that God is disembodied, since for a being to have physical form, it needs spatial constraint. But we have no reason to believe that physicalism, which posits that nothing is non-physical, is false, and the mere logical possibility of physicalism shows that a disembodied mind is a priori unlikely.


c) Background Knowledge


The sole field of background knowledge used to make predictions about reality, like the God hypothesis does, is science. But physics, chemistry, and biology do not use the God hypothesis to explain inexplicable events--which means naturalism is assumed for the purposes of study.


The incompatibility of God with special relativity also demonstrates that naturalism is the position that is in line with background knowledge, and theism cannot hope to do so.


As such, I have established naturalism fulfilling the three criteria better than theism, so it entails as the a priori likely explanation.


C3) Causality is not necessarily true


This argument shall employ modal logic to show that God is necessarily false. In deductive format:


1. G --> []G

2. ~[]G --> ~G

3. ~[]G

C. Therefore, ~G


Premise 1 is true by definition. God is defined as a ‘necessary being’. This means that the properties of God are non-contingent, meaning that all his properties are necessarily true [14]. But if any attribute of God is not necessary, then God cannot be necessary. Since the existence of God is contingent on his attributes, if any attribute of God is not necessary, God is necessarily false.


Premise 2 follows from Premise 1 via modus tollens


Let ‘P’ be the proposition ‘G’, i.e. that “God exists”. Q is the proposition “[]G”, i.e. God is a necessary being, and all his attributes are such. So, if ~Q, then ~P. So, all I need to justify is ~Q, and ~P follows from modus tollens [15-16].


I shall justify that the attribute God holds as ‘creator of the universe’ is not necessarily true, i.e. there is not necessarily a creator of the universe. In other words, as the contention heading puts it, I shall affirm that “causality is not necessarily true.”


I shall posit that ~[]C (where C is the causality of the universe) with three observations:


1. For the universe to be caused, it began, and it did not necessarily begin

2. Causality needs time directionality and physical constraint to be necessarily true in regards to the universe, and there is no time directionality or physical constraint with causation of the universe

3. We have no reason to believe the universe was caused


#1 is justified under my C1--under eternalism or any other tenseless ontology, the universe couldn’t have begun, and classical interpretations of spacetime and the Lambda-CDM model fail.


#2 is true since for anything to be caused, it needs the flow of time. Without time, as Sean Carroll notes, nothing can coherently ‘happen’ in a process, and causality is an occurrence that requires the flow of time. Also, for anything to happen physically, there needs to be a standard for what is ‘physical’ in the form of physical laws and constraints. Outside of the universe, there is neither time nor are there physical laws, so causality fails.


#3 is true as the sole justification for a caused universe is that the causal principle applies within the universe. This commits the fallacy of composition, since properties of the parts of a whole don’t make up the properties of the whole itself--for example, a property shared by H2 and O2 is that they are gases at room temperature, but 2H2 + O2 --> 2H2O, and 2H2O is not a gas at room temperature [17]. Similarly, asserting the universe is necessarily caused is a hasty generalization, since there is only a set example of caused objects, and don’t know if objects that we do not know of require a cause [18].


Since ~[]C, ~[]G, and, from modus ponens, it entails that ~G.


The resolution is negated. Over to Pro.


== Sources ==


Sources in comments.
kasmic

Pro

kasmic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
tejretics

Con

For fairness, I am passing this round.

Let the revised round structure be:

R1) Pro's Case (done)
R2) Con's Case, Pro waives (done)
R3) Con waives, Pro rebuts Con's Case
R4) Con rebuts Pro's Case, Pro defends Pro's Case and Summarizes
R5) Con defends Con's Case and Summarizes, Pro waives

Additionally, Kasmic and I have agreed to waive Rule 2 -- citations/endnotes *do not* need to be within the text of the debate.
kasmic

Pro

Note to Con: Long weekend, I apologize for the delay and the forfeit.

Thanks Con, per rules I am to refute his argument this round. Before that, I would like to mention that Rule 10 is ridiculous. If you are voting on this debate, please don’t give me a win just because Con posted his sources in the comments and not the round. Likewise, please don’t award a win solely on my forfeited round.

Rebuttals:

C1) The universe never began to exist


P1. If the universe never began to exist, God does not exist

P2. The universe never began to exist

C. God does not exist

First I would like to note that if the universe never began to exist, it does not prove God does not exist. It merely negates the KCA’s justification that God exists, leaving my second and third arguments intact. This turns out not to matter as P2 is easily debunked.

p2. Con here relies on semantics to support the premise. He argues that “For the universe to have ‘begun’, it must have a distinction between the past, present, and future.”

In layman terms his arguments is as follows. Time is a construct of the Universe, if the Universe had a beginning there was no time before the universe. Thus there was no time the universe did not exist. Therefore the Universe never began to exist but has always existed.

In the scientific community there is overwhelming consensus that the Universe had a definite beginning. This is in spite of our inability to comprehend without time, science accepts the universe had a beginning, or in other words, “began to exist. (1)

David Hibbert, perhaps the greatest mathematician of the twentieth century states “The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature, nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea.” (2)

The physicist P. C. W. Davies explains, “The coming into being of the universe, as discussed in modern science . . . is not just a matter of imposing some sort of organization . . . upon a previous incoherent state, but literally the coming into being of all physical things from nothing.” (3)

C2) Abductive reasoning


a) Explanatory Power
b) Principle of Simplicity

c) Background Knowledge


Con claims “All functions and mechanisms of the universe are fully explicable under natural laws.” They are not, in fact as I have already argued in my fine tuning contention Those mechanisms are not natural laws, likewise the scientific community is quick to say we don’t know when they don’t. There is no “natural law” or mechanism that explains how life started. Thus Natural law is not the summum bonum of explanatory power.

Con then strawmans stating “A theistic position, on the other hand, fails to explain any events and occurrences of the universe.”

Con is setting up a false dichotomy. One does not have to choose between natural law and a theistic world view. They are not mutually exclusive. Thus this argument can be easily dismissed as it is fallacious.

C3) Causality is not necessarily true

Honestly even if I grant this claim it does not negate. Causality is only really tied to my first Argument.

Gods necessity is affirmed by all three of my contentions.

Sources:

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org...

(2) David Hilbert, "On the Infinite," in Philosophy of Mathematics, ed. with an Introduction by Paul Benacerraf and Hillary Putnam (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1964), 139, 141-42.

(3) http://www.abc.net.au...

Debate Round No. 3
tejretics

Con

Pro and I have agreed to waive Rule 2--sources can be outside the text of the debate.


R1) Cosmological argument


a) The first premise basically states the Law of Causality, the idea that nothing comes from nothing, thus everything has to have a cause of its existence. I argue that Pro fails to adequately justify this premise. The sole justification for a caused universe is that the causal principle applies within the universe. This commits the fallacy of composition, since properties of the parts of a whole don’t make up the properties of the whole itself--for example, a property shared by H2 and O2 is that they are gases at room temperature, but 2H2 + O2 --> 2H2O, and 2H2O is not a gas at room temperature [1]. Similarly, asserting the universe is necessarily caused is a hasty generalization, since there is only a set example of caused objects, and don’t know if objects that we do not know of require a cause [2]. Finally, Pro says that the premise is “rationally intuitive”, committing an appeal to intuition fallacy [3].


The universe did not require a cause. For the term ‘cause’ to be coherent, it assumes time directionality. As Sean Carroll notes, the directionality of time is a major requirement for causality [4], since time is required for any event to coherently ‘happen’. Outside the universe, there is no time directionality, thus causality is impossible.


b) The majority of the second premise is addressed under my C1. The universe’s beginning is only possible under a presentism ontology of time [5]. Under eternalism, the universe couldn’t have ‘begun’ at tensed time t, since it is a tenseless ontology. Experiments from quantum mechanics vindicate eternalism. Photons have been entangled through time, where quantum entanglement results in photons being moved into the past [6]. An experimenter can choose to entangle photons even when they don’t exist in the present anymore. Other experiments also show time is an emergent phenomenon, ‘emerging’ from entanglement [7]. Furthermore, time travel would be metaphysically impossible if the universe began--but we have observed time dilation [8].


c) Pro’s justification that the cause has to be God is that a ‘mind’ is the only substance that is timeless and spaceless, but can cause real events to occur. I argue that minds are contingent on time. While we don’t have a quantitative understanding of minds, it is reasonable to conclude that a mind requires a process. A mind is a faculty which allows a person to think, or process thoughts. Thinking is a process. And all processes are contingent on time, since an arrow of time (determined by entropy) is required for anything to ‘happen’, or a process to take place. Therefore, a mind is not timeless and spaceless.


R2) Fine tuning argument


The argument hinges on two ideas: (1) the universe’s cosmological constants are such that any minuscule variation in them would result in life not being formed, and (2) physical necessity and chance are not explanations for this. Pro then concludes God’s existence as likely true.


First, Pro’s examples of constants being ‘fine tuned’ for life are flawed. Some of the examples presented are the gravitational constant, the speed of light, Planck’s constant, and the cosmological constant. All these constants are not dimensionless, therefore have dimensions and depend on units for their value [9]. All constants of relativity and quantum mechanics are dimensionless, and, therefore, they “are not important [and] are arbitrary human conventions.” [10] The other forces of the universe aren’t finely tuned either. For instance, electromagnetic force and nuclear force can compensate for each other [11].



As seen above, this can result in fairly large levels of variations, thus these constants are not ‘fine tuned’. Constants can be changed to compensate for other constants, so they are not tightly fixed to these arbitrary values.


Second, some of these constants are with their values outside of physical necessity. Pro’s challenge of physical necessity confuses modal necessity with physical necessity. Many constants could not have different values. The ratio of particles to others is a result of charge conservation [12-13].


Finally, Pro rejects chance on unsound notions. The improbability is only if there are two universes fine tuned for life. Consider Theodore Drange’s reductio ad absurdum--if I toss a pack of 52 cards sideways, I would get a horizontal arrangement of cards. The probability of me getting that precise order is 1:10^64, but me getting that order isn’t improbable by chance.


R3) Moral argument


Premise one is a bare assertion. Craig (Pro’s source) only justifies premise two in that quote. I see no reason why objective moral values can’t exist sans God, e.g. in the genes, or as an evolutionary trait. Secondly, the proposition that we all know something is *objectively* wrong ‘deep down’ is also a bare assertion. Till these premises are justified, you can presume Con.


== Underview ==


I have soundly refuted all three arguments Pro presents in favor of God’s existence. Therefore, Pro has failed to fulfill their burden of proof, so voters can presume Con.


1. https://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://www.nizkor.org...

3. http://www.seekfind.net...

4. http://www.preposterousuniverse.com...

5. William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland. The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, p 184.

6. http://www.livescience.com...

7. https://medium.com...

8. http://www.phy.olemiss.edu...

9. http://math.ucr.edu...

10. Ibid.

11. Victor J. Stenger. The Fallacy of Fine Tuning, p 248.

12. https://en.wikipedia.org...

kasmic

Pro

1) KCA

I justified the first premise as “rationally intuitive” and con calls me out for the appeal to intuition fallacy. I ask you the reader if such a grasp of reality is intuitive or not. Do objects appear from nothing? Con also ignores the fact that the first principle is a primary accepted law of science. The only seemingly real rebuttal con has for this premise is to claim that “the directionality of time is a major requirement for causality [4], since time is required for any event to coherently ‘happen’. Outside the universe, there is no time directionality, thus causality is impossible.” As mentioned in my last round, this is entirely semantic.

In the scientific community there is overwhelming consensus that the Universe had a definite beginning. This is in spite of our inability to comprehend without time, science accepts the universe had a beginning, or in other words, “began to exist. (1)

You will notice that con has not addressed the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community on this point. The Universe is accepted to have had a beginning and thus a cause.

As such this argument stands.

Whatever begins to exist has a cause. The Universe began to exist. The Universe has a cause. This makes the existence of God probable and affirms the resolution. On this point alone people should vote pro.

R2) Fine tuning argument

Con rightly claims that this “argument hinges on two ideas: (1) the universe’s cosmological constants are such that any minuscule variation in them would result in life not being formed, and (2) physical necessity and chance are not explanations for this.”


My arguments here are largely ignored. 1 Stands firmly. Con argues that I did not reject chance on sound notions stating “The improbability is only if there are two universes fine tuned for life. Consider Theodore Drange’s reductio ad absurdum--if I toss a pack of 52 cards sideways, I would get a horizontal arrangement of cards. The probability of me getting that precise order is 1:10^64, but me getting that order isn’t improbable by chance.”

It is in fact improbable by chance. What I think con meant to say was impossible. He is right is would not be impossible. Rather, it is improbably. Recall the resolution is that God “probably” exists. For the fine tuning of the Universe to happen is infinitely more unlikely than even the 52 card example con gives. It is clear that chance is not a likely cause of fine tuning and thus my conclusion that God exists is much more probably than the chance con is implying. In fact if that is reasonable an example of what is “probably” by cons standards then even just the slim chance of God existing would be sufficient to affirm the resolution.

Thus this argument stands sufficiently to affirm that “God probably exists.”

R3) Moral argument

Con largely ignores this argument only stating he thinks it a bare assertion. It seems clear to me.


P1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

P2) Objective moral values do exist.

C) Therefore God.

Conclusion:

Thank you to my opponent for this debate. It has been fascinating. It is clear as we come to the end of this debate that God probably exists.

Vote Pro!

Debate Round No. 4
tejretics

Con

Housekeeping


Pro drops the majority of my arguments against fine tuning, drops my underview, and drops the background knowledge and Occam’s razor contentions under abductive reasoning. Therefore, voters must presume Con.


C1) The universe never began to exist


Pro accuses my argument of not linking to the resolution, and only to the cosmological argument. He just *drops* my justification of the first premise. The argument links because, for the universe to be ‘created’, it would have to have begun. If the universe simply existed without starting, then it can’t have been created [1]. As such, the argument links and the first premise is justified.


Kasmic argues my second premise is entirely semantic in nature, and doesn’t prove the universe didn’t begin. I shall go ahead and concede the universe is past finite, and shall establish a difference between ‘beginning’ and past-finite. Now, ‘past-finite’ merely means time began at some point. But, as I argue, time is merely an *attribute* of the universe. The universe existed forever, and time began within the universe at some point. Since time is an illusion, the arrow of time could have begun at any point, and this doesn’t affect the universe’s beginning under eternalism.


The scientific consensus is merely that the universe is past-finite, not that it began. For the universe to have ‘begun’, a classical interpretation of spacetime is required, which is dubious in light of quantum gravity [2]. The big bang wouldn’t be an ontological beginning. It would be like inch one on a ruler that has existed forever. Under eternalism, time is just another dimension, and future events are ‘already there’. This implies that the universe had no definite beginning, as Pro asserts. The cosmological evidence is not for a definite beginning, simply because the ability to do cosmology is predicated on the principle of the uniformity of nature. Only Lorentz Ether Theory is compatible with eternalism, and it rejects this principle.


An actual infinite is not metaphysically impossible. I argue that Pro’s quoting of David Hilbert is an appeal to authority, simply because actual infinites have been documented, e.g. in the case of gravitational singularities [3]. Michael Martin critiques Hilbert’s position, and argues that “a priori arguments [such as Hilbert’s arguments] are unsound and show, at most, that actual infinities have odd properties. This latter fact is well known, however, and shows nothing about whether it is logically impossible to have actual infinities in the real world” [4]. Once more, I’m not arguing the universe is past eternal--it’s a finite ruler that has a first inch, but has existed forever. Therefore, the argument isn’t semantical.


C2) Abductive reasoning


First, Pro *drops* Occam’s razor, and argues directly from explanatory power. Silence is compliance, therefore extend my argument. I’m not setting up any dichotomy. I’m arguing between two explanations--theism and naturalism. If natural laws can explain everything *without* theism, then naturalism entails as a priori most likely.


And they can. As I argued against fine tuning, the constants are related to natural laws--Pro just *drops* my objections to the fine tuning contention as well, merely arguing against the possibility of chance, and dropping physical necessity, so fine tuning is won by me by default. I’m not strawmanning anything. God doesn’t explain anything that science can’t. If naturalism can explain everything, we reject theism from Occam’s razor, so I haven’t straw manned theism at all.


C3) Causality is necessarily true


Pro argues that this argument doesn’t link. Let me explain why this argument links. God is defined with two attributes relevant to this argument--necessary existence and creation of the universe. If God is necessary, then *every* aspect of God has to be necessary, otherwise God wouldn’t be necessary. If God doesn’t have necessary existence, I have refuted one attribute, therefore God as defined does not exist. From Becker’s postulate, “If God necessarily doesn’t have necessary existence, then God necessarily doesn‘t exist” [5].


Now, the universe needn’t have been created, i.e. the universe was not created in all possible worlds. Therefore, a creator of the universe is not necessary, therefore doesn’t have necessary existence. Consider this premise:


~[]G --> []~G


From this, we can conclude that, necessarily, God does not exist, and the argument links entirely. Pro *drops* this argument, and, as mentioned, silence is compliance.


Crystallization


C1: The Universe Never Began


a) If the universe never began, God does not exist

- Premise is true because absolute ontological beginning is required for the universe to be ‘created’

b) The universe never began

- Under eternalism, the universe is past-finite, but has no absolute ontological beginning

- The argument is not semantical because time is not a criteria for ‘beginning’, as time is merely an attribute of the universe

- Actual infinities are metaphysically possible (c.f. gravitational singularities), and a priori arguments against their metaphysical possibility fail

- Cosmological evidence only demonstrates universe as past finite, since Lorentz Ether Theory is incompatible with cosmology


C: The universe never began


C2: Abductive Reasoning


a) Occam’s razor--theism is more complex than atheism, thus should be rejected

- Argument is *dropped* by Pro

b) Explanatory power

- Natural capacity explains everything

- The majority of my objections to the fine tuning argument are dropped, except for chance

c) Background knowledge

- Argument is *dropped* by Pro


C: God likely did not exist


C3: Causality is not necessary


Argument entirely dropped by Pro, and I have demonstrated: ~[]G --> []~G. Arguments do not secure this, and KCA preempted by C1, so presume Con.


Therefore, please vote Con.


1. William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland. The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, p 184.

2. https://en.wikipedia.org...

3. http://fqxi.org...

4. Michael Martin. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, p 104.

5. http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...
Debate Round No. 5
52 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
RFD (1/3)
I meant to post my RFD on Friday but things ended up getting busy at work and I left before I could. I will mostly be evaluating Pro"s case as it is the affirmative.
First the easy stuff.
1. The Moral argument.
Pro never justifies his premises. Why, if God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist? Why, do Objective moral values exist? I need to be given so sort of reason to accept these premises and thus its conclusion. Appealing to intuition as he does with his quote isn"t cutting it. Con gives us evolution as an explanation for objective morals existing, it need not be god.
2. Fine tuning.
Pro explains that the most probable explanation for these perfectly "tuned" constants is that only an omnipotent and omniscient being could set them (god). Yes, intuitively it seems incredible for them to be so exact, but Con gives me good reason to doubt that idea. When Con talks about constants and says that "[they] are not important [and] are arbitrary human conventions." I essentially take that to mean "they"re just there" and we use these as labels for our own means. These both seem equally likely, and if that"s all Con had to say on the matter I would probably tie it. Con does go on to explain though that some of these constants couldn"t be any other way, like the ratio of particles to others due to charge conservation. He also points out how some forces aren"t finely tuned since they can change (electromagnetic force and nuclear force). Accepting either of these arguments makes the universe not look tuned. Pro doesn"t dispute either.
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
RFD (2/3)
3. KCA
The biggest problem Pro had with justifying that the universe had a cause was understanding what Con"s theory of eternalism implied, or meant. I believe Con did try to paint an example for us with his scale analogy (and it"s first inch) in R4, but even then I failed to understand what it meant. It"s when I finally get to the layman explanation of "The universe existed forever, and time began within the universe at some point." that I understand what he means (hopefully). I think Con should have explained the differences between the universe, and the universe with "time". Eternalism seems to be a ruler with all of these "caused" events we know of, dotted along its side, all being equally real. If we go back to before each of these events we would reach a point before time started (pre-BB or even before that). It is here that we see even without time, the "universe" still exists, because it"s always been there, as Con asserts. So discussing its beginning is more illogical then semantical. The only thing Pro could have really done was refute the idea of actual infinities, which he tries to do by bringing up David Hilbert"s quote about none existing, but Con shows us the do with gravitational singularities. Although this is in R5 and Pro can"t really respond to that, I"m still going to give this to Con anyway because of the original fundamental misunderstanding Pro had with Eternalism. Another more minor argument that Con made and I would have liked for Pro to refute, was Con"s idea that the definition of god implies Eternalism. This argument is clever, even if Pro successfully refutes Eternalism (so the KCA affirms) he still needs to justify why God isn"t eternal or why omniscience doesn"t necessarily imply he needs a "process" to think.
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
RFD (3/3)
Conclusion: I almost feel to ignorant to vote on this. Maybe I also misinterpreted Eternalism as described by Con, but I like to think I haven"t. If I did, then I still feel Con negates the KCA because Pro never addresses Con"s R2, Contention 1, Jus3 (that last thing I talked about). Since Pro doesn"t get his way with any of his 3 contentions I vote Con.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@TJVN - An RFD is always good.

Thanks for the votes, n7 and TJVN!
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
aaaand, I dont meet the elo for voting....there goes 3 hours of my night haha
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Con takes the cake. All con must do is disprove the pro arguments and I default to god"s nonexistence. He does this, and Pro helps him out along the way.
The first argument of Pro"s is that of the The KCA. This argument is taken out in the very first premise, that whatever begins to exist must have a cause, Pro never responds to the fallacy of composition, nor to hasty generalization fallacy. Kasmic, your only response here is basically appealing to the voter, however I truly didn"t understand your logic in doing this. This debate is about finding reasons, and I can"t accept "well it seems so" as a valid answer. Also Kasmic, you never truly respond to Con"s main argument that the universe is infinite, only responding with, "it is an accepted fact" which I also can"t accept because this isn"t an actual argument. It would have been Exceeeeedingly easy for you to show that the universe had a beginning and is not infinite, I mean you could have dumped a mound of evidence on him, especially if it is truly such an accepted fact, however you don"t justify the position, and so from a purely debater perspective I can"t think of this as an argument in the first place. Con"s entire premise of an uncaused universe is pretty deniable, I would recommend that next time you see this argument you investigate to why an eternal universe and a cause of the universe are mutually exclusive. You may have been able to win on this point but clash is completely lacking here. This argument is gone.

The next argument is Fine Tuning. I had a very hard time understanding this argument however it"s not like a really needed to, I soon realized, because you flatly drop and thus concede tej"s arguments on probability which allows probability to be a factor here.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Your final argument is The Moral Argument, which I found to be strange. As it turns out tej came to the same conclusion I did when reading, which is that objective morality is not just a factor of god"s existence. Tej points out that perhaps objective morality can be found in genetics. As pro takes burden he has to debunk these claims, being that he doesn"t I presume there are potentially other sources of objective morality.

Being that the 3 argument supporting god"s existence are firmly taken down there is just no chance for pro to win this and I don"t even need to evaluate the other arguments in the round. Good job to both players.

Recommendations
Con: Your arguments are often not explained well enough, and the logical proofs as well as certain words can come off as pedantic. Try and explain some of these concepts a bit more, even though you do indeed do a sufficient job already.

Pro: Don"t drop so many arguments! I would also just try to substantiate your claims a bit more and explain some of your arguments a bit more, in this case I am specifically talking about the fine tuning argument, some people haven"t really heard this stuff before so its hard to grasp without a little explanation beforehand.

TJVN
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
@Kasmic
I won't disagree with that. At the same time though I can't help but want to fully understand both sides' arguments before voting.

Then again I guess I should hold it against the individual for not making it more clear.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
@Kozu, Telling a debater what they need to put in there final round for your vote during the debate is perhaps not good conduct.

Aside from that even if he or I clear something up in the comments it should not effect your vote.
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
@Tejas
"The first premise basically states the Law of Causality, the idea that nothing comes from nothing, thus everything has to have a cause of its existence. I argue that Pro fails to adequately justify this premise. "

So, are you arguing that the universe came from nothing, thus it's uncaused. Or are you saying the universe is infinite and without cause.

Your R4 doesn't address Pro's assertion that your relying on semantics. I hope you clear this up in R5 or in the comments. Not doing so would certainly effect my voting.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
tejreticskasmic
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: See comments
Vote Placed by Fkkize 1 year ago
Fkkize
tejreticskasmic
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: P1) of the moral argument was unjustified, P2 an appeal to emotion. Restating the argument is not a defence. Moral argument to Con. I'm somewhat cautious when evaluating arguments like Con's C3). In the context of such a debate a description theory of meaning is presupposed which I find to give an advantage to the atheist position. Creating a universe is arguably not an essential feature of a deity, but since Pro accepted I guess I can grant it. Pro unfortunately misunderstand the argument against the beginning of the universe. KCA and UNBTE to Con.
Vote Placed by n7 1 year ago
n7
tejreticskasmic
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: This is pretty straightforward. Pro fails to justify his first premise of the moral argument. Nor does he justify his second premise outside of an appeal to emotion. His defense was just a restatement of the argument. Pro ignored Con's attack that the constants presented weren't fine tuned. He only objected to them being tuned by physical necessity. Con's C1 and C2 are misunderstood by Pro as God is defined as the cause of the universe. Pro also misunderstands what it means for a universe to begin to exist. Science says the universe is finite, not that it begun. This also invalidates the KCA. Pro makes C2 linked with the FTA, which was discussed. Con notes that Pro only attacked explanatory power defense, not the Occam's razor defense. Pro doesn't do a good job of defending his arguments(sometimes they amount to mere restatements) and most of his objections to Con's are wrong a priori, since causing the universe is a part of God's definition. Arguments to Con