The Instigator
Sargon
Pro (for)
Winning
33 Points
The Contender
JustinAMoffatt
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

God does not exist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Sargon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,674 times Debate No: 35963
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (73)
Votes (8)

 

Sargon

Pro

Ave

This debate is about whether god exists. I will be arguing that god probably does not exist. Con will be arguing that god probably exists. The winner of the debate will be the person who proves their case beyond a preponderance of the evidence.

The first round is for acceptance of the debate format and rules. The next rounds are for back and forth debating.

General expectations of conduct should be followed.

God is defined as the personal (rational and conscious, omnipotent cause of the universe, matter, space-time, and everything else that exists.

Vale
JustinAMoffatt

Con

I accept my opponent's challenge.

Best of luck to him, and let's hope for a fun, edifying, and educational debate round.

Let's do it.
Debate Round No. 1
Sargon

Pro

Ave

I will assume, for practical reasons, that the A-theory of time is true. Only the present exists, and past, present, and future really exist. One can put forward the B-theory of time, but I am more interested in addressing theistic arguments on their own assumptions.
Academic theists would agree that god cannot exist without A-theory being true.

I will start off by defining important terms. A state of time is an instantaneous point. One hour after the Big Bang, two hours after the Big Bang, etc.. A first state of time is an interval of time which is preceded by no other state of time, and is followed by every other state of time that exists. It is represented by a beginning point with no end point. A ray from Euclidean geometry is a good example of this. (A represents the beginning point. The arrow represents the absence of an end point.)




A half-open state of time is a state of time that has an endpoint, but no beginning point. It is the opposite of a ray in Euclidean geometry, which has a beginning point but no end point. One could think of a half-open state of time as a backwards ray. There is a point such as C, and to the left of C is a line that extends infinitely. This ‘’backwards ray’’ has an end point, but no beginning point, so it is like a half-open state of time.



There are two ‘’types’’ of mechanics, classical mechanics and quantum mechanics . Classical mechanics deals with things on the scale of atoms, and quantum mechanics deals with things below the scale of atoms. Classical mechanics is the most important mechanism for this specific argument. The theory of general relativity is part of classical mechanics, and it describes space-time and how gravity functions. Since Einstein elucidated general relativity in 1915, physicists have derived metrics from his equation that describe the universe. A metric describes the geometric and causal structure of space-time. Physicists such as Alexander Friedmann, Georges Lemaitre, Howard Percy Robertson, and Robert M. Walker have, over time, derived metrics from relativity . These are called Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRK) metrics. The FLRK metric describes a universe that is homogeneous, isotropic, and expanding. These metrics also state that every finite interval of time is half-open.
(http://plato.stanford.edu...)

If every state of time is half-open, then this creates problems for a first state of time. A first state of time has a beginning point, but no end point, as every other state of time follows from it. This contradicts the theory of relativity in one important way. The theory of relativity tells us that every state of time must be represented with an endpoint, but no beginning point. The first state of time is a state of time, but it is represented by a beginning point with no end point. Since every state of time must be represented by an endpoint with no beginning point, and a first state of time is represented by a beginning point with no end point, a first state of time cannot exist.

The problem this presents should be obvious to the careful reader. God is defined as having the attribute of causing the first state of time. No such state of time exists. It not only doesn't exist, but it can't exist, because it contradicts the rule that every state of time is half-open. Now we have a conception of god with an attribute that cannot be actualized. The only conclusion we can reach is that god does not exist, because an attribute of god cannot be made real.


The possibility of instantaneous (or simultaneous) causation demonstrates how matter could have formed without god. Simultaneous causation is the idea that ‘’the causal order must not be the temporal order because of the possibility of cause and effect being contemporaneous.’’(http://plato.stanford.edu...) The existence of such causation is supported by EPR correlations (http://www.worldscientific.com...) and particle physics. If a photon x is measured to be in a 'spin up' state, this simultaneously causes a spatially distant photon y to be in a 'spin down' state. Source: Alain Aspect and Phillipe Grangier, 'Experiments on EinsteinPodolsky-Rosen-type Correlations with Pairs of Visible Photons', Quantum Concepts in Space and Time (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), 1-15.

Imagine atoms A, B, and C. A comes into existence and instantaneously causes B, which instantaneously causes C, which instantaneously causes A. All of the atoms have causal explanation, and they all begin to exist at the exact same time. This diagram should help you understand this idea.




Such an idea may seem absurd and insane at the face of it. I'll quote what physicist Paul Davies said in his book, God and The New Physics: 'The idea of a physical system containing an explanation of itself might seem paradoxical to the layman but it is an idea that has some precedence in physics. While one may concede (ignoring quantum effects) that every event is contingent, and depends for its explanation on some other event, it need not follow that this series either continues endlessly, or ends in God. It may be closed into a loop.' [God and The New Physics, page 47]

The Wavelength Function of the Universe shows us that atheism explains the universe better than theism. The WFU has been developed by scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Alexander Vilenkin. Quentin Smith, professor of the philosophy of physics at West Michigan University, explains the theory: '‘’Hawking's theory is based on assigning numbers to all possible universes. All of the numbers cancel out except for a universe with features our universe possesses.’’ Anyone interested in the physics of this should read about sum-over-histories, which I have included a link about in the references page. Quentin Smith also explains the evidence for this theory: ’Hawking’s theory is confirmed by observational evidence. This theory predicts our universe has evenly-distributed matter on a large scale, which would be on scales of super-clusters of galaxies. It predicts that the expansion rate of our universe -- our universe has been expanding ever since -- would be almost exactly between the rate of the universe expanding forever and the rate where it expands and then collapses. It also predicts the very early area of rapid expansion near the beginning of the universe called inflation. Hawking's theory exactly predicted what the COBE satellite discovered about the irregularities of the background radiation in the universe.’’ The problems that the WFU of the universe presents for an omnipotent cause of the universe are also elucidated by Smith: ‘’For the wave function of the universe implies there is a 95% probability that the universe came into existence uncaused. If God created the universe, he would contradict this scientific law in two ways. First, the scientific law says that the universe would come into existence because of its natural, mathematical properties, not because of any supernatural forces. Second, the scientific law says the probability is only 95% that the universe would come into existence. But if God created the universe, the probability would be 100% that it would come into existence because God is all-powerful. If God wills the universe to come into existence, his will is guaranteed to be 100% effective.’’(http://www.infidels.org...) Once can say that god created the universe with a 95% chance of coming into being, but Ockham's razor would tell us to prefer the naturalistic explanation, as the theistic one is ad hoc. (http://plato.stanford.edu...)

From my argument, we can reach the following conclusions. 1: A god who caused the first state of time cannot exist. 2: An omnipotent cause of the universe is improbable.3: The origin of matter can be explained through simultaneous causation. Ergo, god probably does not exist.

Vale


JustinAMoffatt

Con

I thank my opponent for his response.

I will begin by addressing his arguments.

P1: A God who created the first state of time cannot exist.

My opponent tries to make this point through the A-theory of time, and the theory of general relativity.

However, despite this argument being very eloquent and my lack of knowledge on the subject, this point is irrelevant.

This may be a huge letdown to my opponent, who no doubt spent much time presenting his case. However, in debate, we must debate the resolution.

I will address why this point is irrelevant in C1.

P2: An omnipotent cause of the universe is improbable.

I think this argument is rather amusing. Essentially, what my opponent is trying to say is that "If an omnipotent God exists, then there's a 100% chance he created Earth. However, if not, there's a 95% chance that it came into existence on its own (which I'll address in the next point's rebuttal)." Then he states that, since we can't prove God's existence, we have to assume that the 95% chance of success took place.

I will concede that, if there was a 95% chance of the world being created on it's own somehow (without God), then it would be less likely that God created mankind.

However, I don't concede the 95% probability of the world's spontaneous coming into being. Nor do I concede that this alone would prove my opponent's case.

P3: Origin of matter can be explained through simultaneous causation.

Now, here is the only argument of my opponent's which really must be debated. Can the origin of matter be explained through simultaneous causation?

The answer is a no.

This idea, which has no scientific observation to back it, is a mere hypothesis. Matter could have caused other matter, which could have caused other matter, which could have caused itself.

The reason this argument seems illogical is the very reason it is!

There has never been anything in history that would lead us to assume that something bound by science could not have a cause.

While this is a pretty theory, it ends up making no sense. There is no evidence to support that something could cause itself.

Can my opponent provide an example of something not needing a cause? I would be incredibly impressed if he could!



So we see, at the end of these short, concise, but sensible rebuttals, my opponent sounds very knowledgable (I'm sure he is), but his arguments are logically flawed.

Because...
P1: Is irrelevant, as will be shown in C1
P2: Relies on P3
P3: Is logically and scientifically unsound



Moving on to my points as Con.

C1: The God we are debating is omnipotent, as defined by Pro

The definition of God, as given to us by Pro in R1, defines God as the omnipotent cause of time (amongst other things).

First, a brief look at the definition of omnipotent.

Omnipotent- having virtually unlimited authority or influence.

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

So, we see that God is unlimited in his command of the universe. Correct?

This means that God created the same theories and such that my opponent is trying to trap Him with.

God, being omnipotent, can choose to exist outside of time and scientific law. Therefore, God could've created the first state of time and time as defined by the A-theory.

The problem isn't so much my opponent's reasoning, but rather the God that he is trying to disprove with it.

C2: The KCA

Yes, yes. I know. The KCA is an old logical argument that calls for the need for a creator. However, it is logically sound, and applies (considering that P3 has been shown to be false).

The KCA, or Kalam Cosmological Argument, is as follows:

  1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
  2. The universe has a beginning of its existence;
    Therefore:
  3. The universe has a cause of its existence.

Simple enough, right? This argument alone shows the need for God. Unless my opponent can show this argument doesn't stand (as he has already attempted, yet failed, to do so), then he may have a case. Until then, we must assume that God probably exists.

C3: My opponent's arguments don't account for life or the complexity of life

My opponent, with his P2 and P3, tried to show that God isn't absolutely necessary for creation. This isn't true, as I've shown. However, even if it was, my opponent still hasn't accounted for countless questions that would be left unanswered. These are questions such as...

How did the universe form?
How did Earth form?
Why did Earth appear as a prime habitat for life?
How did life begin?
How did life become complex?
How did humans gain sentience?

These are some of many problems my opponent would have to address. His arguments, if they were true, would only show that God might not be necessary for creation of matter. Yet he fails to account for everything else.

If P2 and P3 are still true, and God is the less likely belief for the origin of matter, He is still required for the answer to all of the questions I raised above. Therefore, He probably exists.



To recap:
C1: The fact that God is omnipotent excuses Him from the laws He created.
C2: The KCA shows need for God's existence.
C3: Even if God wasn't needed for the origin of matter, He would be the more probable explanation for things like life/the complexity of life.


I eagerly look forward to my opponent's responses.
Debate Round No. 2
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Con objects to my first argument by saying that god is omnipotent, so he can create a first state of time, even if relativity says its impossible. This is predicated on a false understanding of what omnipotence is. Omnipotence is not the ability to do everything, as Con defines it. Omnipotence is the ability to do everything that is logically possible. If omnipotence was the ability to do everything, then paradoxes like the paradox of the stone would refute the existence of god. This familiar paradox asks ‘’Can god create a stone so heavy, he can’t lift it?‘’. To answer this paradox, academic theists such as Craig and Swinburne say that god can do everything that’s logically possible, so there’s no problem if god can’t create a stone he can’t lift, as such a task is logically impossible. The only way for omnipotence to make any sense is if we define it as ‘’being able to do everything that is logically possible". If we define omnipotence as Con defined it, then there’s no way to solve the paradox of the stone. Con’s definition is a layman’s definition of the word, not the definition an academic theist would use. Besides, it’s apparent that the only way for an omnipotent being to exist is if it’s defined the way I did it.

I’ll summarize where we are with regards to the first argument. The only coherent definition of omnipotence is being able to do everything that is logically possible. If we define omnipotence as being able to do everything, even bring about absurdities, then an omnipotent being cannot exist (read my reasoning in the first paragraph). The theory of relativity tells us that a first state of time cannot exist, because it is not half-open. This means that a first state of time does not exist. Con doesn’t dispute any of the evidence from physics that I gave for this argument, so all of that is true. If a first state of time cannot exist, then god could not have created it. God cannot make a logically impossible state into an actuality, because he can only do things that are logically possible, not logical impossibilities. Therefore, a being who created a first state of time cannot exist. I’ve demonstrated Con’s response to this argument to be based on a flawed premise, so this argument is in my favor.

Con straw mans the second argument extensively. Con says “Essentially, what my opponent is trying to say is that If an omnipotent God exists, then there's a 100% chance he created Earth”’. This was not my argument at all. I argued that there is a 100% chance he created the universe. The universe and the Earth aren’t the same thing. Con further mischaracterizes my position by saying “Then he states that, since we can't prove God's existence, we have to assume that the 95% chance of success took place”. I didn’t say anything even resembling this in my opening statement. Where does Con get it from? I said that the universe had a 95% chance of coming into being based on its mathematical properties, not because we can’t prove god. Nothing substantial was said in response to the second argument.

In regards to my third argument, which relates to simultaneous causation, Con says that things are factually false. There’s absolutely no support for them at all, and they’re disproved by the evidence. He says that simultaneous causation has no scientific observation to support it. This is not true, because I provided many example from science to show that simultaneous causation does happen, which went ignored. I showed that EPR correlations imply simultaneous causation at the Big Bang. I quoted physicist Paul Davies as saying that simultaneous causation has support in physics. I also cited a study called ‘'Experiments on Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-type Correlations with Pairs of Visible Photons”, which found that if a photon x is measured to be in a 'spin up' state, this simultaneously causes a spatially distant photon y to be in a 'spin down' state. That’s two examples of simultaneous causation, and Con ignored both of them in the last round. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy also notes a simpler example: “Indeed, it might seem that simultaneous causation occurs in the actual world, for instance when an iron ball depresses a cushion”. There are also examples from quantum mechanics where simultaneous causation takes place. Quentin Smith, professor of the philosophy of physics at West Michigan University, was interviewed for a radio show (http://ia600409.us.archive.org...) At the 24:52 mark, he begins to give examples from quantum mechanics where simultaneous causation takes place. This gives me four examples of simultaneous causation from science and everyday experience, two of which were ignored by Con, who falsely asserts that there is no observational evidence of simultaneous causation. Con also straw mans the argument I’m making. I’m not arguing that something can cause itself. I’m arguing that an explanation of something can come from itself. If I was arguing that something could cause itself, then it would be a case of A causing A to exist. I’m talking about A causing B, which causes C, which causes A. It’s very different from what Con’s straw man is trying to make it look like.

There is a great irony in Con claiming that there is no evidence for simultaneous causation, while also arguing for the Kalam. Academic theists say that god created the universe through simultaneous causation! William Lane Craig, who popularized the Kalam, says this very thing (http://www.reasonablefaith.org...). Con is inadvertently undermining his own argument he says that simultaneous causation is impossible, has no evidence, or is just a hypothesis (which is wrong, because I have given four examples, and Dr. Craig gives many more on that article). As ApologeticsPress.Org says:

Philosopher William Lane Craig explains that this argument rests on a pseudo-dilemma, since the argument does not “consider the obvious alternative that the cause of the [alleged—JM] Big Bang operated at to, that is, simultaneously (or coincidentally) with the Big Bang” (Craig, 1994). Simply put: the Law of Causality allows for simultaneous causes.” (http://www.apologeticspress.org...)

I think this is clearly a knockdown argument against Con. Either simultaneous causation happens, or the Kalam is false. Pick your choice, Con, and choose wisely. (That’s meant to be facetious, not snaky.)

The entirety of C3 is built on a logical fallacy called ‘’god of the gaps’’. Theopedia defines this argument as “discredited and outmoded approach to apologetics, in which a gap in scientific knowledge is used as evidence for the existence of God” (http://www.theopedia.com...). Even if there is no explanation (yet) for any of the things that Con listed, it would not mean that god exists, or that the probability of god existing increases. That’s a fallacy. Besides, I think points two, four, and six are easily explainable by high school science, but I won’t elucidate because it wouldn’t matter to the debate.

To conclude, there are many examples of simultaneous causation from science, and if simultaneous causation didn't happen, the Kalam would be false. The Kalam is also undermined by the fact that there is no first state of time, and the WFU demonstrating that an omnipotent being could not have been behind the universe. Con's entire response to my first argument depends on a definition of omnipotence that would entail the non-existence of god (stone paradox). Instead, omnipotence should be defined the way academic theists and I want to define it, which is the trait of being able to do everything that is logically possible. Con's response to my second argument is filled with straw man arguments, and his entire C3 argument is based on a fallacy. Ergo, the evidence supports the conclusion that god does not exist.

Vale.
JustinAMoffatt

Con

I thank Pro for his response.

I will now refute his points once again.

P1: An omnipotent God who created the first state of time cannot exist.

My opponent contests my definition of "omnipotent" here. However, he fails to provide a counter-definition. Omnipotence was used as a defining term for God, was it not? Omnipotence was defined as shown in R2 - C1. My opponent's response to this definition's credibility can't simply be that it's a "layman's" definition.

My opponent's issues with my arguments, as will be shown to be the case later, seem to be based off a narrow perspective on an omnipotent God. That's understandable. Omnipotence can be a very difficult idea to capture. However, a God who can do anything, can also existence outside of anything. God can exist outside of logic.

After all, as was also in my opponent's definition of God in R1 as the cause of everything that exists.

This includes logic.

Logic doesn't contain a God that created it. But rather, God can exist outside of logic, time, etc.

My argument is inside logic. My "God" that I'm defending is not.

However, despite the point already being once again in my favor, as I believe it is, I will also raise two other contentions with my opponent's flawed view of this argument.

1. A first state of time must have existed.

Time exists within the realm of logic, correct? Everything logical must have a cause. Therefore, time must have had a cause.

If time had a cause, then it is not infinite.

If time is not infinite, a first state of time existed.

2. I'd also like to point out that time can not be proven to be infinite.

The A theory of time is great and all. However, there is no way to scientifically observe, test, and conclude how time works. The fact that there is an A theory of time that is quite popular does not make it hard fact. In fact, it's anything but.

Remember, despite these two seperate arguments, the fact that God is omnipotent, created logic, and is therefore exempt from it, is enough to prove my point.

My opponent may try and state that God is not logical, because he can't exist in logic. This is nto true at all. Not only have I shown how he could've created time within logic, but he also could've created time outside of logic, due to his omnipotence. Either way, his existence is possible.

P2: An omnipotent creator is improbable.

I'm sorry, I must've misunderstood this argument. I certainly didn't mean to misrepresent my opponent and didn't mean to fluster him.

I'm sorry. If I understand correctly this time, essentially, the only thing we have to draw away from this is that the universe supposedly has a 95% chance of coming into existence on its own. Since this is a high probability, and we can't prove God's existence, we should conclude that the universe created itself.

I stated that I conceded this, so long as it was understood that this only proves that if the universe has a 95% chance of creating itself, then it is more probable to believe this theory than one involving a God. However, as I showed in my response to P3 (which I'll readdress) and in C3 in R2, this isn't true and holds no weight anyways. (Or at least, not enough)

P3: Origin of matter can be explained through simultaneous causation

In logic, everything must have a cause. This is the foundation for why this argument falls.

All of the "examples" that my opponent has presented do not prove his point at all.

Simultaneous causation is when something is the cause of something, and the effect causes the causes, which causes the effect... etc.

There is no record of any matter creating itself, and there never will be.

My opponent has done a fantastic job of proving simultaneous causation's existence. However, it does not apply in the fashion that he is trying to force it to.

In order for something to be possible, it must be shown to be possible. In order for something to be probable, it would have to be shown to be likely. Sadly, my opponent has done neither in attempting to explain the origin of matter without a God.

Until my opponent can show either how simultaneous causation can cause matter, or another probable method for the cause of matter, we must assume that our omnipotent God must've done it.

C1: The God we are debating is omnipotent, as defined by Pro.

Not responded to directly. An attempt was made by Pro to refute it indirectly in his P1 - R3.

However, I've shown that an omnipotent God would have to be able to live outside of logic.

Regardless, this point isn't contested. (And it shouldn't be. It was more of a reminder to Pro anyways.)


C2: The KCA proves need for God's existence

This point has been refuted indirectly already. God can exist outside of time if he created it. Therefore, the divine creation of time was not simultaneous causation at all.

Also, I would like to reiterate that (although it's a bit irrelevant) I'm not trying to disprove simultaneous causation. I merely showed how it can't explain the origin of matter.

I hope that was straightforward enough not to be seen as snaky. It's the same line of reasoning I've been following all along. However, I'd be disappointed if Pro didn't try and discredit this point still, of course.

C3: My opponent's arguments don't accoubnt for life/the complexity of life

My opponent tries to brand this argument as a logical fallacy. However, science doesn't assume that it'll eventually be able to account for things. Does the fact that we don't have another (non-divine) explanation for these things prove God's existence?

No.

But by Occham's razor (as touted by Pro), it would be much more simple and logical to assume that a creator was the cause for the universe, rather than stating that science will eventually find the answer.

Occham's razor suggests that it is much more logical to take the single leap of faith that God is real (and everything in creation is the consequence) rather than having to take a million other non-divine answers on faith (which all would've had to coincide to form our universe) and to assume that anything still left unanswered would eventuall be answered by science.

Therefore, by Occham's razor, science's lack of answers for such questions increases the probability of God to the point where His existence should be assumed.


With that, I await my opponent's final arguments. I'm enjoying this debate.

On a side note (with a bit of humor):
I'm going to need something more than logic soon.
Not for arguments, of course. ;)
But for sources!
(Does the dictionary link count?) XD
Debate Round No. 3
Sargon

Pro

Ave.

I intend no offense to Con, but either he’s reading my argument poorly, or he didn’t read it at all. He claims that I didn’t provide an alternative definition of god, when I stated this alternative definition two times during my last round! Here are quotes from my last round:

The only way for omnipotence to make any sense is if we define it as ‘’being able to do everything that is logically possible".

Omnipotence is the ability to do everything that is logically possible

So Con’s claim is proven false. Furthermore, my argument against omnipotence being defined as ‘’the ability to do everything’’ was not that the definition was a layman’s definition, as Con says. That was just an observation that came after my argument. The argument I gave was this:

If omnipotence was the ability to do everything, then paradoxes like the paradox of the stone would refute the existence of god. This familiar paradox asks ‘’Can god create a stone so heavy, he can’t lift it?‘’. To answer this paradox, academic theists such as Craig and Swinburne say that god can do everything that’s logically possible, so there’s no problem if god can’t create a stone he can’t lift, as such a task is logically impossible. The only way for omnipotence to make any sense is if we define it as ‘’being able to do everything that is logically possible". If we define omnipotence as Con defined it, then there’s no way to solve the paradox of the stone.

This argument went ignored. Defining omnipotence as the ability to do everything is just pulling yourself down by your own bootstraps, because the stone paradox refutes it. The definition I offered for omnipotence in the last round has no such refutation or problem. It makes more sense to use mine over Con’s. If Con’s definition is true, then all he’s done is undermine his own case, because the stone paradox would apply. He can accept my definition, or he can destroy the possibility of omnipotence by using his own. Either way benefits my case.

Con further misrepresents the arguments I presented. I did not, at any point in the debate, say that time did not have a cause. Where he does he get this from? I said that since every state of time is half-open, a first state of time cannot exist. This does not entail time not having a cause. This only entails two propositions. The first proposition is that there is no first state of time for god to create, so god doesn't exist. The second proposition that every state of time is caused by a previous state of time, with no state of time that is not preceded by another state of time. If every state of time has a previous state of time, then you have a causal explanation of time itself, without any god.

Con said that god exists outside of logic, so he is not bound to do only logical things. I think this is just a tauology. According to Con, being outside of logic entails not being bound to do only logical things. Simply, being outside of logic = not being bound to do only logical things. This means that Con's argument can be reformulated as 'God is not bound to do logical things, so he is not bound to do only logical things".

But let's say I'm wrong. Let's say god really is outside of logic, so he can do everything. This entails that god does not exist because of the stone paradox. If god can create a stone he can't lift, then there's something he can't lift, so he can't do everything. If god can't create a stone that he can't lift, then god cannot do everything, because he cannot create that stone. So even if I'm wrong, Con's idea of omnipotence is disproven by the, as of yet, unanswered paradox.

Con's representation of my second argument is wrong. I'm saying that, if god made the universe, it would have a 100% chance of coming into being. It doesn't have a 100% chance of coming into being. It has a 95% chance. Therefore, god does not exist. Nothing Con said about my second round argument was accurate.

Con said that there is no evidence of simultaneous causation. I showed that denying simultaneous causation is impossible for anyone who uses the KCA. I didn’t see Con respond to this. In fact, he seems to agree that simultaneous causation is possible, because he says that I did a wonderful job of proving it. Anyways, I presented four examples of simultaneous causation, and linked to an article which gives many more. None of these examples were disproven by Con in the last round, and he didn't even try to. Instead, he dismissed them based on a false understanding of what simultaneous causation is. Simultaneous causation is not a cause when cause leads to effect, and effect leads to cause. That's something similar to what's called 'reverse causation', and that's not what my argument is. The definition of simultaneous causation, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (link in my earlier round), is when cause and effect happen at the same time. There is no warrant to Con's definition of simultaneous causation.

Con said that “In logic, everything must have a cause. This is the foundation for why this argument falls”. I’m sorry if this offends, but this is absurd. How am I suggesting that there is no cause? Does the 'causation' in 'simultaneous causation' not mean anything to Con? What does he suppose the word 'causation' means in this context? The cause of Atom A is Atom B, the cause of Atom B is Atom C, and the cause of Atom C is Atom A, and they all cause each other instantaneously. Never have I talked about things without cause. I'm talking about a system having a causal explanation from itself.

Con does bring up an issue that's important to address. Simultaneous causation presents us with an explanation of matter, but it doesn't necessarily show that such a thing actually happened. I think this can be solved easily. First of all, there is no evidence that god created matter, and Con has not tried to prove this in the debate. This means that there is no evidence for a personal creator of matter. Simultaneous causation can happen, it does happen, and physics shows that it happened at the Big Bang. Simultaneous causation may only be a possible explanation, but it's a possible explanation with evidence, unlike a personal creator of matter. This means that, epistemically, we should prefer simultaneous causation as an explanation of matter over god, because it has more evidence. (I shouldn't have to prove that something with more evidence is favorable over something without it.)

Con said that "Until my opponent can show either how simultaneous causation can cause matter, or another probable method for the cause of matter, we must assume that our omnipotent God must've done it". This is completely false. The only thing we would assume is that there is a cause of matter that we haven't discovered, and we need to go and look for it. There is no reason to assume that god did it, and the lack of explanation does not mean he did, as I showed in the last round. Con's logic is equivalent to saying 'We don't know what the cause was, therefore the cause was god". This is rather like saying "We don't know, therefore we know". It's a non-sequitur.

Con asserts that "This point has been refuted indirectly already. God can exist outside of time if he created it. Therefore, the divine creation of time was not simultaneous causation at all." This is another frustrating straw man argument from Con. I did not say, at any point in my arguments, that time was created by simultaneous causation. I said that simultaneous causation could explain matter. I never applied it to time.

I don't have the space to answer C3, but Con does admit that the lack of a natural explanation does not entail god existing. Maybe if he didn't misrepresent my case, I would have room to answer.

Everything Con said in this debate has fallen into two categories: factually wrong and misconceived. I think a Pro vote is the most justified vote, and I hope the audience can see that I've proved my case beyond a preponderance of the evidence.

Vale.

JustinAMoffatt

Con

I thank my opponent for his final response.

P1: An omnipotent God, who created the first state of time, can't exist

I saw Pro's opinion of what omnipotence was. However, our opinions do not redefine words. I have provided an actual definition for the term "omnipotence" that can be found in the Merriam Webster online dictionary.

His definition should be disregarded, seeing as it's his opinion. He seeks to provide a definition that God is bound by logic, but the same God made logic? This is illogical in itself. For God to have made logic, he would have to have the ability to live outside of logic. He couldn't have created logic while He was inside of it.

I understand that my opponent didn't get this. It can be a tricky concept. After all, things such as logic, time, and matter are all we know. But we can't limit an omnipotent God to what we know, now can we? No. In order for Him to have created everything that makes up our universe, then we must assume He had once lived outside of things such as time, logic, and matter.

My opponent suggested a change to the definition of omnipotence under the warrant that God would otherwise be contradicted by the stone paradox.

This is false.

He tries to use logic to contradict a God outside of logic.

God can do anything logical inside of logic. If He so chooses, He can operate inside of logic, thereby negating the stone paradox as Pro pointed out.

However, if He's outside of logic, God can both create a stone so big He couldn't lift it, but then He'd have no trouble lifting it.

"Whaaaaaaaat?" - Said some of you.

Why not? Because doing such a thing would be.... illogical?

Exactly. It would be. But we're talking about the God who created logic.

But either way, God's ability to create rocks is of no great concern. I've just shown how God can both do anything logically possible, and illogically possible.

If God can do anything illogical, then He could have created the first state of time.

I would go into the other arguments under this point, but I don't think they bear any weight. Whether or not a first state of time had to have existed is irrelevant. If it did, God could've created it. If it didn't, God could have created it.

But again, if you're still not convinced that God could've possibly created the first state of time, then remember that the A theory of time is not fact, but merely a theory. (Which... kind of ruins this whole point for Pro, so I've been trying to argue as if the A theory was true for better clash.)

P2: (The argument I just now understood) Essentially, another reason God can't exist.

This argument is rather silly to me, in the way I see it now (hopefully the correct way). Basically, if God created the universe then there's a 100% chance of it coming into being (seeing as He's God....). But there's only a 95% chance of it coming into being. Therefore, God does not exist. Otherwise He'd violate scientific law...

Which He created....

However, there are some issues with this. First, the 95% probability is based solely off of the WFU theory being true. The WFU theory has no proof obviously, seeing as it can't be tested and verified. It has been supported by observational data, but such data only supports the other predictions of such a theory (such as our universe's rapid expansion rate). IT does not provide any data to support that this was what actuall caused the universe.

Another flaw is that this theory violates logic. It states that everything came from one timeless space, smaller than a 10^-33 cm in radius. It claims this doesn't need a cause because it was before time (since time started with the big bang). However, without something that is outside of logic, it would still require a cause. Would it not?

Time is not what tells us that everything is caused by something, logic is.

And besides, how would time be confirmed to have started at the Big Bang? It wouldn't have.

So, in the end, this theory is far too new, rough, and frankly, illogical. If the theory isn't true (which it isn't, as I've shown), then there is no such 95% chance of the universe coming into existence.

P3: Simultaneous causation can account for the origin of matter

The KCA doesn't need simultanous causation to be correct. My opponent has shown that the William Craig himself thought that simultaneous causation was involved in creation. However, seeing as it's not mentioned in the logical syllogism, we don't need it for the logic itself.

We simply see that the universe needs a cause.

Simultaneous causation exists. Again, I conceded this in the previous round. However, it does not explain the origin of matter.

My opponent states that there is no evidence that God created matter, and therefore we must assume that anything natural is more likely. But again, it relies on matter having already existed. In order for A to exist, B must exist. In order for B to exist, C must exist. In order for C to exist, A must exist. This doesn't mean they all just randomly come into being. This means that none of them can exist until one does! It may be able to explain how more matter formed, but it can't explain the origin of matter. Pro has not shown how this is the case. In fact, as far as I've found, such an event has never happened.

If it can't explain the origin of matter, then we are back to God being the more likely choice. This is not illogical, just probability.

If there's mud on the carpet, and I state my buddye Joe (whom you've never met) came in and caused it, and you can't find any other explanation, then it is more logical to assume that I'm correct in my statement than it would be to assume that one day we'll find an answer that doesn't involve Joe.

Again, it doesn't mean there's no other explanation out there, but in our current state, with current knowledge, God probably exists.

C1: God is omnipotent

C2: The KCA

It stands. The only argument my opponent had against this was that the man who popularized it believed in simultaneous causation. This is irrelevant. It is three simple sentences that stand, simultaneous causation or no.

C3: My opponent's arguments do not account for life/the compexity of life

Conceded by Pro. I've shown that this does increase the probability of God existing. Is it proof? No. But if it's our only option as of right now, then it is more probable. My opponent didn't even respond to this. Seeing as this was probably the most important point as far as probability goes, I believe this is the nail in Pro's coffin.


At the end of this debate, we have this stance:

The God we're debating, due to the official definition of omnipotence, and the fact that He would have to be able to exist outside of logic, AND due to the A theory of time not being fact, could have created the first state of time.

The WFU is a theory that is illogical and needs more work, and cannot disprove God.

Simultaneous causation can not account for matter, and naver has caused matter, as conceded by Pro. Therefore, we're left without another alternative (aside from God) for the origin of matter.

The KCA shows the need for a creator of the universe.

The lack of ability to explain such things as life, and the complexity of life, show that (as of right now) God's probability is much higher than a none-divine explanation for creation.


My opponent claims that everything I've said was either wrong or misconcieved. However, I fail to see how this is the case. My opponent has failed to show how God can't exist. My opponent failed to show how matter can originate without God.

I've merely pointed these things out, as well as shown that, though the lack of explanation by science isn't proof of God's existence, it does raise the current ID theory's probability exponentially. We have no other alternative but to beleive that Joe tracked the mud ont he carpet! It would be foolish of us to choose to assume that science will be answer all these questions, rather than accept, by Occam's Razor, the one simple answer:

God probably exists.
Debate Round No. 4
73 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by O.Z 3 years ago
O.Z
Shouldn't this be in the Religious section of the website?
Posted by strilling7 3 years ago
strilling7
Pro was able to target and answer (almost) every one of Con's questions or retorts. Pro did not use circular logic or purposely ignore points. Con ignored sources of information, and often was entirely incorrect in his statements (i.e. definition argument). Con was irrational and assumed that a god could do everything, and could exist both within rationality and out of rationality which is both absurd and insane. Con provided almost no real evidence, only assumptions and counter arguments.

It won't let me vote :( just joined and I need two more debates...
Posted by Miles_Donahue 3 years ago
Miles_Donahue
Am I gunning, Rational_Thinker? AM I??? (:

Thanks for the clarification, Wiploc. I appreciate it.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Lol Miles is gunning for Sargon's spot as the top voter.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
Sargon wrote:
: Ok, so John doesn't know what equivocation is.

Or he likes it.
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Not at all Sargon, Not at all...
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Also I dispute that the two are compatible, one is saying God is not bound by his own logic, not that logic is unrealiable.... It was Sargon who argued that logic was absolute and God is bound by it, not Justin.
Posted by Sargon 3 years ago
Sargon
Ok, so John doesn't know what equivocation is.
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Logic is not realiable and is not ultimate truth, but that doesn't mean you can not draw true and false conclusions using logic....

Example: Jane is married to Tom, It is logical that Jane should expect Tom home from work at 8pm as he has done routinely for the past 25 years of their marriage together, but the logical conclusion although true on many occasions was one day false when Tom had an accident one night on the way home from work and was unable to be home at 8 pm as he has done rigoursly everyday in the past...

Conclusion: logic is not absolute truth but can be used to draw conclusions of what could be and can be true and at the same time it can be unreliable.

All said and done we can not exclude our intellect in the search for truth,
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
wiploc wrote:
: It doesn't equate to it, but it does entail it. That is, if god can bend logic, then logic is not reliable. If logic is
: not reliable then an apparently logical argument is not trustworthy or believable.

Of course, that may not be true. Because it is a logical argument, it is undependable if logic doesn't work.

But that could be wrong too. It could even be simultaneously right and wrong. But, again, we don't know that if logic doesn't work.

We don't know _anything_, if logic isn't reliable, so we cannot logically prove that gods do or do not exist.

All we can say is this: If logic works, then Con's illogic-based argument fails. If logic doesn't work, then Con's illogic-based argument has no weight, and there was no point in having a debate in the first place.

What the illogic-based argument generally amounts to is an attempt at special pleading: "I get to dismiss your logic, but for some reason you should still pay attention to mine."
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Poetaster 3 years ago
Poetaster
SargonJustinAMoffattTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro deployed several lines of relevant argument which he established and then defended against Con's rebuttals. Con apparently began misreading/misunderstanding Pro early in the debate, before finishing R1 with a "refutation by 1000 questions" fallacy. Con brought out the Kalam, which isn't a terrible move, but he undermined that move by denying the coherence of simultaneous causation. Con also bit the bullet on the "stone paradox", which was to his own disadvantage. On the whole, the rebuttals which Con gave were less compelling than what they were trying to rebut. Pro took notice of these things and called attention to them, while also keeping his own points in view (based on physics and cosmology, mostly). Pro showed his case to have a preponderance of the evidence in its favor. Arguments to Pro. Sources to Pro. All else is tied.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Con took a wrong turn my by attempting to define omnipotence to include the ability to perform a logical contradiction. Most theologians have abandoned that, and Pro gave the case successfully. God is defined extremely narrowly for the purpose of the debate, so Pro's arguments for non-existence amount to only affirming that the cosmological argument is wrong. Pro had the science to show that a natural explanation of the creation of the universe was more likely, with what amounts to showing that if a scientific explanation is possible there is good reason to prefer it to a mystical non-scientific explanation. Science avoids contradictions. Pro lost the conduct point for attacking Con personally, saying Con misrepresented and didn't understand. Pro should just get on with his rebuttal without characterizing his opponent. It's tempting, but it doesn't help.
Vote Placed by Miles_Donahue 3 years ago
Miles_Donahue
SargonJustinAMoffattTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments only because Con did not answer Pros definition to the word Omnipotent. Bear in mind pro was arguing this from a philosophical stand point. He demonstrated this beautifully with the stone argument. I think you pulled a red herring when he brought this up, by simply saying it is wrong. A lot of this pros points were derailed also by Con
Vote Placed by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
SargonJustinAMoffattTied
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Reasons for voting decision: It was interesting to see WLC's arguments so powerfully turned against his own position, kudos to Pro. Someday I'd very much like to see Sargon vs. Craig - I hope Pro speeds through his doctorate and gets a few attention grabbing books out before Craig retires. But at any rate, back to this debate, Pro had the clear advantage on sources. His thinking and strategic positioning was lightyears ahead of Con, who by his rebuttals gives me the impression that he's always catching up to what Pro is actually saying about a round or two after the fact. The KCA does no damage to Pro's argument at all, because Pro IS arguing that there is indeed a cause of the universe; in fact an impersonal naturalistic cause with a 95% probability of occurring. Perhaps all Con was doing was briefly glancing over his opponent's case, and completely ignoring all the knockdowns that were being made. Rd4 C3 was already refuted in Rd3 by Pro's discussion of the "god of gaps", for example.
Vote Placed by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had source points and arguments easily; this wasn't even close in the slightest. Con was promoting an incoherent definition of omnipotence, and not only that, he straw-manned every single one of Pro's arguments. For example, he completely misrepresented the argument from simultaneous causation and assumed that something would already have to pre-exist to cause something, which is begging the question. It was embarrassing all around for Con.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD, comment 24