The Instigator
debateprincess88
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
tfroitz1
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

God created the universe

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 553 times Debate No: 107556
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (0)

 

debateprincess88

Pro

We will be debating whether God created the universe.

By God I refer to the all-knowing, omniscient, eternal creator of the universe.

We will assume for the sake of the argument that the universe does in fact exist.

I also will ask that we do NOT get into specifics of any specific religions. Please do not ask me to prove MY specific God. This is a debate about the origin of the universe, not a venue to bash religious beliefs.

In this first round I simply ask that my opponent agree to the above statements and accept the grounds for debate.

Thank you and good luck.
tfroitz1

Con

Thank you for the debate. I agree to all of the statements above and hope for a good and interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
debateprincess88

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for accepting the terms to this debate. I would like to emphasize to the viewers that I do not claim to know anything 100%. Neither I nor my opponent KNOW if there is a God or not. The point of this debate is for me to argue that there is a higher probability that there is a God who created the universe than that there is not.

This round is for opening statements/arguments. I will limit my argument to 5 arguments for the sake of time.

1. The Cause and Effect Argument
- Everything we experience in our universe has a cause. Our experiences are like Dominos, every effect we see had a preceding cause that brought it about.
- The universe appears to have had a beginning (aka The Big Bang). I argue that God is the force that brought about the universe, He is what existed before the singularity and CAUSED the singularity to exist.
- Even if you hold to the B theory of time, that is that time is an illusion, than we still have an effect (the existence of the block universe) that would need a cause.
- Even if time is an illusion, by looking at the universe as a movie made up of 1 million+ still frames, each frame seem to lead to the next one. In other words, today seems to lead (or cause) tomorrow in that if I stay up all night tonight I will be tired tomorrow. So the universe would seem to still function on cause and effect even if time is an illusion.
- Therefore, what caused the first frame to come into existence? Or the chunk of all frames? I believe it would have to be an entity that exists outside the block universe and caused it to exist.
- I will also say, as I know my opponent is a follower of B time theory, that this theory has some problems with it. For example, if time is an illusion, why does it seem to flow forward? And why do we have a consciousness that seems to only be present in the present moment? Why does everything around us suggest a forward moving arrow of time - such as the expansion of the universe, aging of people, the lunar cycle, evolution, and the age of the universe by geology? Is this ALL some grand illusion set up by . . . . who?
- Or could it be that God exists outside of time and space and therefore time really is an illusion that He planted into our consciousness so that we could make choices? Maybe both A and B theory are true, depending on the perspective.

2. Consciousness
- This will be a quick argument. Science has no explanation for how we have come to have consciousness. Show me a study with any promise to solving this mystery. Meanwhile, God can explain this phenomenon. God gave us consciousness and this is where our free will comes from. He gives us ability to make choices and to choose between good and bad. If we had no free will, all our choices would be explained by genes and environment. The common sense feeling is that we make choices. I do not think this sense of free will is all an illusion.

3. Complex Patterns and Laws of the Universe
- If there is no designer, why is the universe so diverse and complex? Is complexity just an illusion too?
- The DNA code just 'exists'? A single cell just happens to be? The animal kingdom is just a pure accident? How did various plants evolve similar mechanisms to digest flies? How did various animals evolve the complex structures of eyes and wings?
- In nature, we see the golden ratio repeatedly. Why? Nature just happens to be 'smart' and evolve perfect structures that abide to 'laws' of math?
- Random mutations in humans are majority of the time harmful. So how do you explain the evolution from cell to human?
- The second law of thermodynamics is contradictory to the theory of evolution. The law of entropy says that the chaos of the universe should be increasing, not decreasing.
- If I see a bunch of random letters on a age and then I see a beautiful sonnet, do I assume the letters just randomly formed into a poem or do I assume there is a mind behind the poem?

4. Probability
- If the universe had no planner, why does it appear that a singularity expanded into a universe that is infinitely large and yet only has life on one planet that is perfectly fine-tuned for life. I will not bore you all with formulas, but I think we all can agree the probability of rolling a die with a single value out of 1 million is near impossible. But the creation of life is not even as likely as rolling a number on a die, because really why should it even be possible for a singularity to expand and create a planet Earth that is fine-tuned for human life? By fine-tuned, I mean look at one example - the expansion of water. If water did not expand when frozen, it would sink and kill the fish. Another example, the sun is the exact perfect distance from the Earth. I'm sure there are more examples, but you get the point. The chance of all of this happening is mathematically speaking impossible. And yet, here we are. Science cannot tell us why.

5. If there is no God, why do we have a string sense of right vs wrong? I realize there are psychopaths, but majority of people feel like there are moral absolutes. We struggle to fine tune the details here, but we all generally agree murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, etc. This sense seems ingrained in us. I argue that there is no objective morality without God, and the strong sense we have that there exists an objective morality is because God gave us this sense.

Science answers what we see. Be brave enough to consider the 'why.'
tfroitz1

Con

1.: Causation we experience is just the rearrangement of existing things. If you think about it you will see that there is nothing actually beginning to exist. Those reassembles such as the building of table from the wood, seem to caused but there is nothing to suggest that an actual beginning of existence requires a cause (no evidence). Also if you describe is as a causation, we would have to assume that god would have to cause something (a material cause) to become the universe as everything we experience beginning has such a material cause. As this is obviously not working for an immaterial god, you have to conclude that a normal causation just isn"t a fitting description of something beginning to exist and therefore there is no reason to believe that if the universe had a beginning it would need a cause.
Now lets come to the question if a beginning is even a good model. The big bang is just the sign of a our universe starting to expand from singularity, but this gives no reason to think it were the beginning of everything. Working and self contained models in modern cosmology also implementing quantum mechanics mostly have an infinite universe (it is not certain but seems to be the best way forward). If you now thing that the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem implies a beginning this is just false as it is only applying to a classical universe without quantum mechanics doesn"t apply). If we now come to the question whether an infinite universe works, we have to go into B theory of time. It states that time is not flowing with a past, present and future but rather a fourth dimension with all the attributes of the other dimensions in space. It works well with relativity as it allows for speed to influence the passing of time. If we now look at A theory it still holds to the common sense (not a reliable source) flow of time and uses a reference time frame with all other observers having an illusory time to explain relativity. The main frame has to be god. Now if you need A theory for the problem with an infinite universe as it would need an infinite number of events before everything and therefore nothing happening at all, you need a god to ground the theory in for the main frame and to account for the observed relativity of time. But then your argument is circular as you prove a god with a theory that ultimately needs god to ground it. B theory on the other hand is not just working better with relativity and our observations it also needs such assumption. The flow of time is due to the overall increase in entropy, which makes it different from the other dimensions. This is a major point and explains the arrow of time and so how one knows the difference between yesterday and tomorrow. If we come back to causation we see that it isn"t the case that any next moment is caused by the one before, similar to the next piece of space not being caused by the one before. If we come back to the infinite, we can see that there is no problem, as you can just be in one part of time with it being infinite in all directions as well as you can be in one part of space if it is infinite.

2.: Your argument boils down to the notion that the lack of a scientific theory of consciousness in some way makes god more likely. The reason science can"t explain all of consciousness is that it is dependent upon our brain, which can be seen in everything from the loss of it as the brain lacks oxygen to the influence of the lack of a morning coffee on the mood. So far there is no phenomenon that seemed even in the slightest to suggest that it is not based on the workings of the brain (e.g.: a consciousness working without a brain). Now as we know through the scientific method that consciousness is directly dependent upon the brain, the actual problem in your remark is that we don"t understand the brain, which is not surprising as it is extremely complex.
Regarding free will you argue that it seems to be the case that we choose but I have to object. If you look at it scientifically we can trace more and more actions directly to the neurons and even the thoughts of a person can be seen if measuring the currents in the brain. The thing is that in all those experiments the neurons of the brain were acting before the person knew what was thought suggesting that the brain activity was the cause of the experience. Even in the common sense way you talk about, which is concerning science one of the worst places to get knowledge, we can experience it. If one thinks back as something that just pops into their mind you will encounter the problem that you have no idea why you thought it. You may recollect that it is due to an experience at some point but mostly even this can"t be said. The central point is that you haven"t made the choice to think about it, but rather your brain, due to its complexity build by experience and genetics, brought in a deterministic way the thought you had, maybe because you have seen something like it earlier. All we know leads us to believe that all action work this way.

3.: First to the second law of thermodynamics I can just say that entropy (or randomness) increases in a closed system and our earth is not a closed system which is why it doesn"t apply. I can just recommend Sean Carroll on this topic as he explains it really well why you would expect complexity as entropy increases.
Coming to the complexity of life, you say that it seems to be so incredible and I have to agree. The thing is that science can explain a good amount of the problems you brought up. A modern cell didn"t just happen, but it started from a way more simple organism most likely with just a membrane and a replicating nucleic acid (very likely not DNA) (If you are interested in the current research on the beginning I can recommend Jack Szostak"s three lectures (Yes science has theories about it and we can be confident that we will ultimately find possible working mechanisms)). Evolution through random mutation and natural selection brings you from a simple protocell up to us and complex life. It uses things like the golden rule or results in eyes as they have benefits to the organisms possessing them, leading to a higher likelihood of reproduction and therefore the evolutionary mechanism.
Complexity in the universe arises due to our laws of nature as the pattern in our universe. Complexity and information is not as you say just build through a designer but through the workings of nature. If you drop a glass and is smashes on the ground the pattern emerging has all the information about the drop. Similarly has our universe in the laws of nature a pattern which is self consistent and gives an explanation for the things. The universe all in all is much more of a shattered glass than a written poem.

4.: The answer to almost all of it can be easily provided by science as it observes the nature working by patterns that explain everything(obviously we can"t do it with everything so far but the things you mention as water swimming or the distance between earth and sun is explained). I also have to object that either our planet or our universe is fine tuned for live. Our planet is uninhabitable in many part from the poles to the equator and our universe seems to be aside from us to be absolutely dead. This can"t be described as fine tuning but rather fits a natural description of the universe in which due to the specified needs for life there is only a few places where it fits. To conclude I can agree with you that if it was all random and just happened it seems to be impossible but as our universe is not random but governed by the laws of nature (the pattern the universe itself takes) we have only a small set of things that have to be there namely some constants and the laws of nature and here a notion of an infinite multiverse explains.

I sadly lack the space to finish but have to say to your last sentence that I don"t think there is any reason to expect a why in the universe.
Debate Round No. 2
debateprincess88

Pro

I will keep this pretty brief and just touch on a few flaws in my opponent's statements.

1. I get that you accept B theory of time. It sounds like you are trying to claim that cause and effect of materials in our experience are just a complete illusion? If this is correct, then why is our experience all designed to make us believe everything has a cause and effect? Furthermore, you explain the illusion of time flow by stating that entropy is increasing, but why is entropy increasing - shouldn't entropy just be an illusion too if you are saying cause/effect is an illusion? You can't pick and choose what is an illusion and what is not.

2. You state that the fine-tuning of the universe came about because of some law in the universe. I would argue this is a fallacy. If there is no God, who created any sort of universal law? Where did such a law come from?

3. The vastness of space speaks to a God. God created the wonders of space so we would be in awe of Him.

4. Your example of a broken glass does not make sense. The universe has much more pattern and intention behind it than shattered glass.

5. I still do not see a good explanation in your statement for how the complexity of a cell or the animal world came to be. I understand they think some 'simpler' version of a cell came first - but this is still a pretty complex thing to just occur. Also, you ignored my point about mutations being usually harmful.

6. You mention a multi-verse, but what proof do you have that there is a multi-verse?

7. You have not responded to my comments on objective morality.

I think maybe you should ask 'why' the universe exists at all! It may open your eyes to think a little deeper.
tfroitz1

Con

I will start with some remarks concerning your wish for the "why" questions. There is no reason to believe that a why question even makes any sense. Because the everyday life of humans works with a why and purpose there is no reason to believe that it applies to the universe too (this is a fallacy of composition to assume something for the whole just because it fits one part). If we ask the more useful question of "how" the universe exist we can at the moment and most likely for all times just come up with theories fitting the data in our universe. The infinite multiverse to which I will come back is such a model based on our data of the universe and posits an infinity making a beginning unimportant. Why there is something rather than nothing is in this context again a question that doesn"t necessarily make sense. It can be due to necessity, chance or even that "nothing" is just not an option. Another possibility which is even based on evidence we observe is that maybe the universe is just one configuration of nothing. If we count all the positive and negative energy and all the mass also taking dark matter into account we seem to come out at a total of zero, which could be explained by seeing us as a configuration of nothing. In all these questions it is dangerous and not helpful to just assume that the common sense notions of why and so on can also be applied to the universe itself.

Now I will first finish with all of your points and address the 5. or 7. point concerning morality. Firstly I see no evidence that an objective morality even exists. You say that certain believes about morality are ingrained into us which I agree with, but have to answer to that this seems to be way better explained by the cultural and social surroundings in which people grow up. This environment ingrains certain moral thoughts. You can even see that they are not absolute as they vary from culture to culture for example in the treatment of women which is in contrast between Saudi Arabia and the west where the first would be deemed immoral in western eyes. You see that there is morality that is adapted to the local surroundings. Also we see morality evolve over time if we look at for example slavery, which is deemed by almost all religions to be a normal moral practice, being regarded as immoral today. Therefore I can"t see that there is any evidence for morality being absolute. I have to agree with you that an objective morality is only possible with a foundation, but I think it is obvious that our morality is subjective. We can still say that certain things are wrong as all morality has certain things in common, which are mainly the notion of well being and the thought of a social contract. If you look down to the foundations of everyones morals whether the person comes from the Middle East or from South America, it will be ultimately the concern for human well being. The question why it is well being we value is the one making morality subjective as there is no absolute reason. The reason why still all morality is based on it, is the construct of a social contract, where you have to make rules for society not knowing where you will end up in this society. You could be everything from the most wealthy person to a begger in the streets. Now if one considers this, you will want to make basic rules that make every position good enough or equal as you have no idea where you will end up. Therefore the moral sentence of not killing is based on exactly the thought that you wish not to be killed yourself. It is well established in the golden rule. Therefore even a subjective morality allows from a common foundation judgments about right and wrong.

Now to your remarks:

1.No, I don"t say that causation is an illusion. It is a way of talking about our universe which works very well. It even applies seemingly to most things in the universe. The thing is that the notion of causing something to begin to exist means actually always the reassembly of already existent stuff. It is still causation with everything from the efficient to the material cause. The problem comes about if you apply this concept to the universe itself. You will see as I have explained, that the real beginning of something is not ever observed by us (think about it and you will see it). Now if you say god caused the universe to begin to exist, it has to be as with all causes something that is caused to become another thing, as it else isn"t causation any more. Now this is impossible as you can"t have anything if you want to actually begin something, which is why the common sense notion of causation can"t apply. As we also have no evidence of the universes beginning and have no reason to believe that it needs anything like a cause, you can"t say god has to exist because he has to cause the universe.

2.The problem with the question where the laws come from can be for example answered by the notion of a multiverse and therefore I will go on to point 6. The multiverse is not directly based on data we collect from the multiverse itself, but rather a spin-off from the data we can observe in our universe. If we apply the laws of physics rigorously it brings about a multiverse. Now I know that you would say that it is just guessing, but it isn"t as we observe evidence that leads us to this theory and the main point of the theory is to explain the, to us observable evidence. Now the one theory that is granted the highest credibility is the one that predicts data we have in our universe the best. The god hypothesis is just as well such a theory, but just a very bad one as it is so openly defined that any kind of data can just be attributed to gods mystery. It also has no good predictions (e.g.: you would expect one religion, you would expect to be able to observe god, and you would expect an interesting holy scripture" (and I now you can explain that away but this isn"t, as said before, positive, but rather a sign of a bad theory)). Therefore we can see that the multiverse is absolutely a working theory and is therefore as it explains the "fine tuning" as well as the laws of nature (they are build from basic laws through change of parameters) a way better theory than theism. The question where the fundamental laws come from is a very good question we most likely won"t ever be able to answer. Not because it is god but because we don"t have sufficient data to allow any basic predictions. It could be due to chance as they are not too complex, or necessity"

3.I see no reason to think so. We know why the universe has its size and it is because of the laws of physics. I would even say that a big dead space doesn"t point to a very capable god as his objective is to build life. Also life as it shouldn"t be purely natural just should be able to exist everywhere (why bother to think about the laws if you are god). Again you can explain it away by his mystery but again it doesn"t explain a thing and just shows how bad the theistic hypothesis is.


4.I see no reason to believe that the universe shows signs of creation as I have explained throughout. The things in the universe obey the laws of physics just as the glass does and it shows for example in life just being possible at a region where it is physically possible. On the theistic hypothesis you would expect life to be more than just the physical and be able to life wherever it wishes.

5.First life began from something that self assembled. It isn"t actually that complex, as it just has a membrane and a self replicating easy working nucleic acid (RNA is a likely candidate as it also catalyses). Now this self assembly is the thing people search for and we come closer and closer, with the membrane and also a good part of the nucleic acid already working. The point about mutations is that there are some good ones and if you take some positive ones in some generations you can wait several billion years and will have huge changes.
Debate Round No. 3
debateprincess88

Pro

Rebuttal:

"There is no reason to believe that a why question even makes any sense. Because the everyday life of humans works with a why and purpose there is no reason to believe that it applies to the universe too"
Of course you don't see a need for "why" question if you only see things through a strictly scientific viewpoint. If you don't accept that there may be a mind/intent behind this world we experience, then everything is purposeless and random. By opening the door just a crack to the possibility that there may be a designer to the universe, you then can ask the why to existence. I am not suggesting any of this "proves" God. No one can prove God 100%, like we've agreed. But to suggest the universe just exists for no reason at all seems the less common-sense claim, since everything seemingly complex in the universe itself has a purpose. You say that the part does not necessarily apply to the whole, which is true, but I would argue that the part often does in fact resemble the whole. And we have nothing in our experience except for the 'part' (aka everything we experience in our universe).

As for your remarks on morality, obviously I cannot prove 100% there is objective morality. My point is that, as you have greed, without God or some universal designer of laws there is only subjective morality. You state that society has evolved some sense of agreed upon subjective morality, in general (such as slavery overtime being seen as immoral). At the end of the day though, there is no 'right' and 'wrong' without God. There may be what society considers punishable or 'bad' via social contract. But murder itself cannot be inherently wrong without an objectively morality. I could argue for the murder of a sick infant or disabled infant based on 'subjective' morality. Who's well being trumps the other? The sick infant? Or the burdened parents? Well-being is not so easily defined. I believe there is something beyond well-being, morality. Morality is defined by God. Without God, there is no universal code of morality. Period. I can have an opinion. You can have an opinion. We can try to help each other out. But no universal morality exists without God.

"No, I don"t say that causation is an illusion. It is a way of talking about our universe which works very well. It even applies seemingly to most things in the universe." So you accept there is cause and effect in the universe for most things, which is obvious, but you don't think this applies to the universe itself? Why? Because then you would have to actually go outside of the comfort zone of science and try to explain how the universe came about? I know it is difficult to fathom, but literally every material effect in this universe has a cause. Just because we do not have proof of what the cause is of the universe does not mean it can have no cause. Show me any material thing in this universe that does not have a cause. (And no I don't buy that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle shows that something can occur without a cause, just because we can't measure the exact location of particles). Then you begin to mention (unless I am misunderstanding, your wording got a little confusing here) that if God caused the universe, why does He not need a cause? God is admittedly a concept we cannot understand fully. He exists outside of time and space. He is eternal. His will created the universe. God exists outside the laws of the universe (cause/effect) because He CREATED the laws of the universe. I don't know why atheists have such trouble with this concept.

You basically admit it is unexplained where the laws of the universe come from, unless you apply some larger 'multiverse.' But the multiverse explains nothing, it's just a way for scientists to say the singularity of the Big Bang does not really shows the universe has a beginning because then they may need to consider a God. What created the multiverse? What created the laws in the multiverse? Why should I assume there is a multi-verse? Because you claim it is proven by some theoretical physicists? I don't think there is any solid proof for a multi-verse, and you have not stated any sources for this.

My point about the vastness of space being there so we would look out in wonder at God's creation is more of a thought provoker than a proof, but I stand by it. There is no reason to think that God would 'fill everything up' just because He could if he wanted to. For thousands of years human kind has looked out into space.

I stand by my argument for intelligent design and fine-tuned universe. I do not see that you have proven a cell can form itself or that the diversity we see in the animal/plant kingdom can be adequately explained. Just because you say RNA came before DNA does not explain how RNA came to be. RNA is pretty complex itself. Some scientists have even concluded that aliens may have seeded it on our planet because they are so unwilling to consider the possibility of a creator (aka God). This says something.
tfroitz1

Con

Your first point is directly circular, as you ask me to open my mind to the possibility of intent behind the universe in order for me to accept that there may be "why" questions in the universe. But then you use the existence of "why" questions as a reason to think that it makes god, the intent behind the universe, more likely. This is circular as you first assume a god to see the "why" questions in the universe which in turn are supposed to convince me of god. If you would play the game honestly you would first go out and look whether there are any why questions and whether they actually are why questions and not directly explained by your knowledge of the universe and then as you found them you can argue in favor of god. As I have demonstrated earlier that there is no evidence to believe that the universe has purpose or "why", as you can"t apply common sense to the universe in the whole, there is still no reason to ask the "why" questions. Therefore there is still nothing to make the universe as a whole similar to our human society with purpose. Now you say that it is a less common sense claim that there is no reason for the universe than the opposite claim, but exactly this is the point. You can"t work with common sense of human affairs if you evaluate the universe which is why we look with the scientific method and see that the universe obeys laws and that there are no exceptions for something like a purposeful god.

I still agree with you that god would be necessary for objective morality. I still can"t see any reason to believe that our morality actually is universal and objective, as you just state possible problems. Whether you believe that it is universal or not is of absolutely no interest as we can look at morality in our society and evaluate whether it is or is not objective and as I have demonstrated there are scores of reasons to think that morality is a subjective concept which was devised by society. I know that well being is a concept that is not well enough defined to allow for us to argue well about the concept of morality but it at least allows the argument about morality which ultimately can result in moral growth in questions such as slavery. Not making moral absolutes is a positive thing if you look for example at the thought that life is sacred and that even a zygote has this moral right. While at first seemingly unproblematic it quickly becomes so if we look at embryonic stem cell research and the possible positive effect which are obviously way more important that a cell with no feelings etc.. The moral absolute here has clear immoral effect not possible with a morality that is open for debate. Therefore in general I see no reason to think that morality is objective or that a objective static morality would even be something positive. Therefore I would like to see your evidence for your claim that morality is objective.

Yes, I do think that causation works inside the universe (while not so clear in the quantum world) but this is not at all my point. Neither is that I think god would need a cause (while still the definition of god seems to just evade any questioning). The point is the question of causation if we look at something beginning to exist. In causation we have always a material cause which is the thing being caused to become the effect (e.g.: the wood being caused to become the table). Every causation has this material cause. Therefore beginning to exist in the universe means something else being caused to reassemble to become another thing. Now let"s apply this to an actual beginning of existence you claim has happened as god caused the universe to begin to exist. As with all causation we have the thing causing which is god and also we need the thing caused to become the universe. The problem here is that this actual beginning of existence lacks the material cause. There is nothing god could have caused to become the universe. Therefore such a real beginning of existence can"t be evaluated by the principle of causation. As we have no evidence or experience of something actually beginning to exist we can"t make any claim whether or not there is a need for something similar to causation.

We have to start with some general points. If we look at the way in which our universe is build and the laws of the universe were installed, we are always talking about theories as first and for most we have to say "we don"t know". The important point here is that you don"t know either. The only thing we can do now is to say that we need a model that works with the data we observe inside our universe as if it doesn"t even this it can be discarded. Now as neither side knows anything that would be necessary to say something from the standpoint of knowledge, both have to give models. We have some kind of eternal multiverse (therefore not created and again there is no need) or similar in the naturalistic model and a god on the theistic side. Now firstly as with every theory it has to be in itself well defined and working and we already come to problems with the theistic model as it seems to be as we will see later that all observations can be made to fit with the mode making it essentially not falsifiable. All multiverse theories are falsifiable as they predict data inside our universe and therefore can be discarded if not working. Then it has to fit with the observed data and again we come to problems with the theistic model if we assume it to be well defined. We have multiverse theories that can explain many things for example the laws of nature in our universe, but we obviously don"t claim that any of them are proven. We are even sure that all of them are not at the end of the full knowledge. Therefore all in all it is not the problem that god isn"t considered but that the theistic hypothesis just is a very bad one.

Now this is a direct example of how bad the theistic theory is. You say that there is no reason to think that god fills everything up, but there is just as well no reason to think the opposite. It is not important what the observation is because you can always say that is exactly what god would have done. A good theory has predictions it makes as this is the way we evaluate the quality of the theory. You say that just everything fits the theory making it infalsifiable. Therefore such claims about what god would have done are useless.

Now if we can agree upon the thought that through evolution a simple cell with just a membrane and a replicating nucleic acid (this replication with mistakes is the driving force in evolution and we know evolution works) we can now come to the problem how this first cell came about. The first answer is that we don"t know, because we have no direct data. Therefore the thing that is searched for is one possible pathway that could be taken as this proves that it is possible to get there just by natural processes. Whether it is this mechanism or another similar one that build life on earth, can"t be said. Now the question is whether there is a good reason to believe that such a pathway can be found and the answer can be seen in modern science. While not so far able to go all the way from the primordial soup to a cell, our knowledge so far leads us to believe that it is possible. To start with the membrane, we have no problem as all kinds of fatty acids build in water micelles which are small multilayered vesicles. Also it is found that they can split up through elongation and breaking. The nucleic acid we search for is certainly not DNA as it is to complex but rather something as RNA. We know that the early earth had all the monomers and starting points needed to build them. Now for the self assembly we have different possible mechanisms going from self-catalysis to clay as a catalyst. While we have so far no full mechanism it is clear that we come closer and the problems remaining are, while hard, nothing requiring transcendent help.
Debate Round No. 4
debateprincess88

Pro

Science asks how the universe got here. Philosophy asks why there is anything at all. I was not proposing that asking 'why' the universe is here is a proof for God. It is a philosophical question that science cannot answer. I accept that you do not think this question is a question to be asked. Let's move on from this point.

Sounds like we AGREE that without God there is NO objective morality.

You then say that God cannot be the cause of the universe because we do not have examples of things beginning to exist to compare it to. In other words, everything in the universe, you say, has a material cause. Look at this way - every material thing in the universe has a cause. You therefore cannot assume that the universe, a material thing, has NO cause. Eventually you get an infinite regress of causes. So there must be something that started it all. This is what we call God. He is simply the first cause.

Then you discuss the ideas of a multiverse and abiogenesis. I looked at your sources in the comment you left on this debate. I was shocked by the LACK of evidence. Amazingly, atheists shoot us theists down for positing that there is probably a God who designed the universe given it's complexity and fine-tuning and that it needs a cause, and yet the sources you showed me lack evidence. The scientist in the video discussing multiverse even states it is a 'prediction.' By this, he means that because we see some other phenomena (e.g. string theory), then we can make a prediction that a multiverse exists. It seems to me like he is taking some weird stuff we see in the world of theoretical physics and then trying to piece it altogether with this multiverse idea that has no true evidence. The sources regarding abiogenesis were no further acceptable either. I stand by my arguments for design and fine-tuning.

I don't really have anything else to say. Science can't explain the universe. It has obvious design and fine-tuning. At the end of the day, something had to cause the universe. That something is God.
tfroitz1

Con

If you ask a question about the universe you won"t get anywhere with armchair philosophy, as we have seen demonstrated throughout history. You need evidence from the universe itself to give you the questions that are useful and answer them as well. Else you don"t ask about this universe but the one you think has to be there and we know that we can"t make demands of our universe to be in a certain way. As we have no evidence of the "why" questions in the universe they have no meaning whether in a scientific or philosophical way as they just don"t apply to our universe.

Yes we agree that objective morality is only possible with god, but the main point is that morality is not objective or universal as I have demonstrated, therefore giving no evidence of god.

Again I have explained that this doesn"t make any sense. If every causation needs a material cause (the thing being caused to result in the effect) it is just logically impossible to have an actual cause with such a material cause at the beginning, as because it was the beginning there was nothing that could be a material cause or could be caused to become the universe. Now we know that an actual beginning has nothing to do with causation. Therefore we can"t say that the universe has been caused as causation doesn"t apply. It follows that we do not need god. Also an argument from first cause is not valid as this first cause is exactly a beginning of existence making causation again not a fitting description.

Firstly to the multiverse. The important point is that we don"t know and even more important is that you don"t know either. You have no evidence supporting your claim that god build the universe. You have no evidence of god at all. Science has no direct evidence of the multiverse which is true, but the main point is that it is a prediction starting from the things we know about the universe and looking where they lead us. They lead us to the multiverse. You on the other side have no Idea and no evidence and conclude from this that it has to be a god. The fundamental difference between the naturalistic and the religious worldview in this case is that in science you admit that you don"t know certain things and then you can say that you have certain models that could be a possibility. In theism you say that you don"t and can"t know something and therefore it is god. Your hypothesis that it is a god that has to create the universe could be a valid point and could be considered if it were based upon evidence inside our universe similar to the evidence on which the multiverse is based. Therefore the lack of evidence is not on the side of science but on the side of theism claiming that everywhere hole in science, has to be god. This is called the god of the gaps.

I am sorry to say that your opinion on the research of a noble price laureate as not acceptable is no argument. Again I would like to see your evidence as it is again the assumption that science is not able to do it because it hasn"t reached its goal. Again a god of the gaps argument.

Therefore all in all your arguments about both design and fine-tuning have no basis in evidence and can therefore be dismissed.

To conclude we can say that science can explain the universe. It can only answer the questions about the universe that make sense and which are based upon the things we see in the universe and not the common sense hope what we want to see in the universe. You have presented no evidence of either design or fine-tuning while not seeing the obvious scores of evidence that the universe is not designed for us. I also have shown that we don"t need a first cause for the universe and that morality in fact is not objective. Therefore none of your arguments are valid and none of them even imply a god.


I will also shortly reply to your comment. The video you added was pretty much self explanatory and I would like to know at which point you think this hints at design. The thing it beautifully shows is a core part of evolution: natural selection. It is the part of it that makes it non random. The appearance is an adaption to the environment. As it looks more similar to the leaf there will be less predators able to see it and therefore more will be able to survive. Those surviving organisms are then able to give their genes over to the next generation which is the core part of evolution. We can see that evolution as a whole is a two part process. First you have random mutations. Some god, many bad. And then you have natural selection which kills all those with negative mutations and lets all of those live with positive ones. The ones with positive mutations are able to reproduce more efficiently increasing their population and surviving. As evolution is a really fascinating subject and it seems obvious from your choice of example that you don"t fully understand the mechanism I can just encourage you to study it more thoroughly.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by debateprincess88 6 months ago
debateprincess88
Tfroitz1: It's been an interesting debate. To clarify my opinion, when I said I did not accept your sources for abiogenesis I really meant the study methods themselves (not the man behind the ideas). Until a scientist can show that RNA can make itself out of the materials existing at the 'beginning' of time I don't accept mere conjecture. As for evolution, of course there is a natural selection component but the mindless DNA has to still present just the right mutations to allow the bug to look exactly like a leaf. I think you can at least see where I'm coming from even if you have a hard time challenging accepted theory.
Posted by tfroitz1 6 months ago
tfroitz1
I am not arguing that the stance of Jack Szostak is correct because he is a noble prize laureate. I argue that to just say "The sources regarding abiogenesis were no further acceptable either." isn"t acceptable as in this case you take your own opinion without any kind of evidence to just say that the scientific research of a highly qualified scientist is not acceptable. I ask you to tell me what is not acceptable and on what basis you come to the conclusion that his research is not acceptable.

Then I have to add that it seems obvious that you miss the main step of evolution, because yes we begin with a random mutation but then it comes to a NON RANDOM natural selection based upon the adaptation of the organism to its surroundings. And your example is close to perfect to show how natural selection works as you have the leaf bug showing obvious signs of adaption (the leaf like shape and color). This is selected for by predators being less able to see the leaf bug in its surrounding. Therefore the first step of random mutation is now followed by the non random benefit to the organism.
Posted by debateprincess88 6 months ago
debateprincess88
Tftoitz1: Just because a Nobel laureate says something does not make it true. You cannot prove something in authority. That is a fallacy. Also, I am very familiar with evolutionary theory, I just find it incredible that people accept that a series of random mutations could ever lead to such perfect mimicry as seen in the Leaf Bug. Really challenge this notion for a second in your mind. Because maybe it could once, if even, but there are many different Leaf Bug variants. What is the chance that they could all happen to come up with the right series of RANDOM mutations that would all lead to perfect mimicry? I mean come on!
Posted by debateprincess88 6 months ago
debateprincess88
Here is just one example of design behind the universe:
https://www.youtube.com...

Try explaining again to me how evolution occurs through RANDOM mutations? Not so easy to explain, is it?
Posted by tfroitz1 6 months ago
tfroitz1
Some great explanations for the multiverse come from Sean Carroll"s research group:

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

For the question of the starting point of life I can firstly just recommend the three lectures by Jack Szostak the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in medicine:

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

in text: https://origins.harvard.edu...

As they are quite long I have two more:

http://www.sciencemag.org...

https://www.youtube.com...
Posted by habebate 6 months ago
habebate
New miracle ! Intelligent robot created itself or by chance !
A . Have you heard about the new miracle? .. Intelligent robot created itself or by chance ?!
B . How did that happen?
A . That occurred when pieces of material started to combine by themselves and formed components of the robot .. the components accumulated and formed the parts of the robot .. then the parts assembled themselves to form the complete robot which started to move, talk and act! ..
B . Where did that happen !?
A . In the minds of the atheists !
Posted by backwardseden 6 months ago
backwardseden
missmedic is right. And for you to agree with him when he emphatically says "i don't know" which is the proper, correct stance, because nobody does know, makes 0% sense for you to mention "MY" god because YOU don't know. Its a major hypocritical contradiction when you mention "the all-knowing, omniscient, eternal creator of the universe. " and "MY god". So how on earth can anyone, including your opponent possibly follow "your" debate? And again you do NOT own this so-called god in which you cannot even prove exists. I don't know. Nor do you. So in order for you to claim any recognition possible for your god, you MUST rely on faith which is not evidence, its gullibility.
"Why would you believe anything on faith? Faith isn"t a pathway to truth. Every religion has some sort of faith. If faith is your pathway you can"t distinguish between christianity, Hinduism, judaism, any of these others. How is it that you use ---reason--- in every of the other endeavor in your life and then when it comes to the ultimate truth, the most important truth your"re saying that faith is required and how is that supposed to reflect on a god? What kind of a god requires faith instead of evidence?" Matt Dillahunty

"Faith is the reason people give when they don"t have evidence." Matt Dillahunty

"Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong." Richard Dawkins

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is the belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." Richard Dawkins
Posted by missmedic 6 months ago
missmedic
Now if all knowledge is imperfect, why single out faith? Why is knowledge obtained through faith worse than any other knowledge? The answer is that, while all ways of knowing are flawed, some are better than others. What makes some ways better? The fact that they can be corrected through thought and experience. Thought and experience may not allow us to arrive at all truth, but they"re the best tools we"ve got " faith doesn"t bring anything to the table.
Posted by debateprincess88 6 months ago
debateprincess88
missmedic: Your statement is obvious. No one knows anything 100%. We operate in this world on beliefs based on what we find to be most probable.
Posted by missmedic 6 months ago
missmedic
The intellectual honest answer is "I do not know" because no one knows. To claim to have knowledge that no one has, is both arrogant and ignorant. Far from being arrogant the scientific method is one of humility. It acknowledges the limits of our current knowledge. It doesn't provide explanations or answers from a position of ignorance, but investigates the unknown in an attempt to reach understanding based on empirical evidence. Surely it is the superstitious or religious approach which claims to know the answers without any evidence except "faith" that is the arrogant approach. The more you know the less you believe.
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