The Instigator
Ockham
Con (against)
The Contender
Moelogy
Pro (for)

God exists.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/24/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 437 times Debate No: 103654
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Ockham

Con

The resolution is that God exists. Pro will be arguing that God exists, while Con will be arguing that Pro has not established that God exists.

By accepting this debate, Pro agrees that they have the burden of proof to establish that it is objectively more likely than not that God exists. The rules for assessing this are the standard rules of logic, including the rules of deductive and inductive inference. For example, a deductive argument must be deductively valid and have premises that we have sufficient reason to believe are true, and an inductive argument must establish that the conclusion is the best or only explanation for the evidence cited in the premises.

God for the purposes of this debate shall be defined, by default, as an omnipotent, omniscient, all good person. I take this definition from the first paragraph of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on "Concepts of God." [1]

If Pro wants to use a definition other than this default definition, they should ask for me to approve it in the comments section before accepting the debate. The following types of definition are unacceptable: (a) Definitions that attempt to win the debate by defining God as something that obviously exists, like "God is love" or "God is the universe." (b) Definitions that attempt to define God as something radically different from the traditional Judeo-Christian God as conceived of by Anselm, Aquinas, Richard Swinburne, or other traditional authors.

[1] https://plato.stanford.edu...
Moelogy

Pro

Argument from Fine Tuning:

P1) There is incomprehensibly improbably fine tuning of the universe for life (sometimes, even for the universe to exist)
P2) The only logical explanations are chance, necessity or design
P3) It is not due to necessity or chance
Conclusion : The fine tuning of the universe is due to design.

P1) The cosmological constant is fine tuned to tha probability of 1 in 10^120. [0] Some even suggest 1 in 10^123 if applying the recent findings of quantum mechanics.[1] There are over 15 other fine tuned physical constants like critical density of early universe which is fine tuned to 1 in 10^40. [2] [3] However, truth be noted most of the fine tuning of the universe are situations like the probability that the early universe had an even distribution of mass and energy is 1 in 10^10^123. [4] [5] Multiply the probability of this incomprehensibly unlikely event happening by other unlikely events by infinitesimall likelihood of the fine tuning of all 15 constnats to a perfect match and you will comprehend the scale of this phenomenon.

P2) True unless my opponent wants to provide any other explanation.

P3) Necessity : Some constants do not even have to exist and you would still have a universe (hostile to any form of life, however) [2] therefore they are not necessary constants.

Chance : According to mathematicians, anything with the possibility of 1 in 10^50 is basically impossible [6] I have already proven that two of the fine tuning parameters have values exceeding well past this number. (1 in 10^120 and 1 in 10^10^123). However, to put that into prespective, the ENTIRE universe has 10^82 atoms in total. [7] To illustrate this, imagine a blindfoleded man in a room. You fill the room up with literally ALL the atoms in the universe but paint only one atom green. The likelihood that the man picked the green atom out of the 10^82 atoms is more likely than the cosmological constant having a value that permits life. LET THAT SINK IN. Multiply this incomprehensible unlikelihood by other likely improbable constants by the other unlikely events and you will realize that the chance explanation is a joke that no cosmologist takes seriously.

It takes less faith for design.

"This is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all . . . it seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature's numbers to make the universe. The impression of design is overwhelming." - Paul Davies

"THE REMARKABLE FACT IS THAT THE VALUES OF THESE NUMBERS SEEM TO HAVE BEEN VERY FINELY ADJUSTED TO MAKE POSSIBLE THE DEVELOPMENT OF LIFE." - Stephen Hawking

"IF ANYONE CLAIMS NOT TO BE SURPRISED BY THE SPECIAL FEATURES THE UNIVERSE HAS, HE IS HIDING HIS HEAD IN THE SAND. THESE SPECIAL FEATURES ARE SURPRISING AND UNLIKELY." - David Deutsch

Implications : The deliberate designer would have to exist before the universe existed (to design some of the constants required for the universe to even exist) and is therefore independent of nature (supernatural), universe and its dimensions (spaceless, timeless, immaterial, non-physical, etc.). The traits of this supernatural designer proves it is most likely God.


The Introspective Argument

P1) The mind exists
P2) Mind is not reducible to matter
P3) Substance dualism is false
C1) All is mind
P4) Solipsism is false and only theism is left to account for this
C2) Only theism can account for this
C3) Since Theism is true, God exists

Premise 1)

Theist or atheist, your mind and conciousness is the only thing you can be certain exists and is not an illusion. The fact that there is something going on around you and that you are experienceing something is undeniable. Even isolating yourself as much as possible from your surroundings then closing your eyes, the only thing you will notice is your mind, conciousness and mental experience. This is proven by Rene Descrates' "I think Therefore I am". To doubt the existence of the mind itself requires a mind. Sam Harris further corroborates my point. [8]

P2)

This is self-evident as can be illustrated through the distinction between the properties of the mind and the properties of the matter. For example, sugar as matter does not carry with it the "taste" of sugar. The substance would be sugar and the mental property would be the taste of sugar or Qualia which is obviously distinct from sugar itself since taste is all a mental experience and property. When you die, even if you have sugar in your mouth (matter), you will not have ualia to experience the taste. This is also evident with feeling pain (mental) and electrical signal (physical/matter) to the brain. The whole point of this passage is that our mental experience is fundementally different from matter. Sam Harris agrees with so that no amount of introspection of the mental experience can reduce to the matter. [9] Further corroboration and confirmation can be found in the Levine's explanatory gap and in the argument from modal idealism. Moreover even further confirmation can be found in the case of Mary, the color scientist. (https://www.youtube.com.........)

P3)

Though it appears obvious that the mind is immaterial, there is a problem. We often think of the world as divided between immaterial mind and material matter, the ghost and the machine. But there is a problem with this view often referred to as the interaction problem.
My immaterial mind can move my material body, but my material body moves via a material force. Thus if my mind can interact with my body, it must produce material forces. However if it produces material forces, it can not really be immaterial at all.
Thus substance dualism is found to be self-contradictory at close inspection and must be rejected. But if immaterial mind already exists, then no other substance can. Thus matter can not exist, and idealism is true necessarily.

atheist youtuber Gary Edwards illustrates this wonderfully here : https://www.youtube.com......;

- The interaction problem for substance dualism

Conclusion 1 predicts the philosophical foundations of quantum mechanics of the universe being a mental construct and that there is no objective reality and rather all of reality is subjective mental construct and that WE create objective reality. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]


P4)

"..... a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism" - Richard Conn Henry and Stephen R. Palmquist

However, solipsism can be debunked or rather prove God with a simple reductio ad absurdum argument

P1) If solipisism is conceivable, then a possible world exists with only mind (Per definition)
P2) Solipsism is conceivable
P3) Possible worlds can not be composed of only processes and properties, but must include entities
P4) There is no difference between the mind existing in a solipsist world and the actual world (Leibiniz's Law of indescernability of Identicals)
C1) Thus, the mind can not be a property but must be an entity
C2) Solipsism entails an eternal mind in the actual world which is the theistic view of God
C3) Solipsism, even if true, proves God.

Implications : If all is mind, then reality is dependent on a much larger eternal concious mind ... God and can not be entirely dependent on our mental construct (solispsism disproven)

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force .. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter" - Max Planck

Some find this argument irrational but ...

" .. most of the scientific community will reject these ideas .. their reasons are based on prejudice rather than sound argument" - Euan Squires.

Modal Ontological Argument:

P1) It is possible that a Maximally Great being (MGB) exists
P2) If MGB is possible, he exists in some possible world
P3) If MGB exists in some possible world, he exists in all possible worlds
P4) If MGB exists in all possible worlds, he exists in the actual world
Conclusion : MGB or God exists

Premise one) It is definitely possible for God or a MGB to exist in some possible world since it is not a logical contradiction.

Premise 2) If MGB is possible to exist, it logically follows that he exists in some possible world since existing in some possible world would lend truth to the possibility of his existence.

Premise 3) a maximally great being is by definition, one which has all the properties favorable to have than not. His existence would necessitate having all the great properties to the fullest extent. One great property that he would have to the fullest extent would be the property of necessity. a MGB would be categorized as a necessary being rather than a contingent being for it is greater and to a fuller extent to exist in all possible worlds (necessary) rather than to exist in some possible world (contingent). Therefore, a MGB would have to be a necessary entity. a necessary entity by definition is one that exists in all possible worlds including the world that we currently live in i.e. the actual world.

Premise 4) If God exists in the set of all possible worlds, it logically entails that he exists in this actual world since this world is possible to exist and does exist. Some might claim that reality and the actual world is an illusion or some computer stimulation, however, this has been disproven by Rene Descartes' "I think therefore I am".

Conclusion : If God exists in this world, then God exists in the actual world.

Question begging?

Some critics and skeptics might say that the argument uses God's definition to prove the existence of God. However. This is maliciously false since the argument uses the philosophy of ontology. [16] Moreover, the skeptics of such argument fail to recognize the difference between "de dre" and "de dicto". [17]

Unicorns?

Some claim that the argument could be used to argue for the existence of a single horned horse or the unicorn. However, proponents of this objection fail to realize the distinction that unicorns are contingent while a MGB necessarily exists in all possible worlds.
Debate Round No. 1
Ockham

Con

My opponent provides the classic trinity of natural theology: A teleological argument from fine tuning, an unorthodox cosmological argument from the existence of the mind, and an ontological argument from Plantinga. Unfortunately, these arguments are no stronger than they were in the days of Hume and Kant.

The fine tuning argument my opponent uses is taken straight from William Lane Craig, although oddly Craig is not credited. [1] The argument is based on controversial bleeding edge science which may be refuted or refined in the future. On the other hand, this is not out of keeping with the tradition of Christian and Muslim apologetics, which is why most cosmological arguments prior to the early modern period assume that the planets are mounted on transparent crystalline spheres and rotate in circles. [2]

My opponent invites us to weigh three options: necessity, chance, and design, suggesting that we will find design the most plausible after necessity and chance are allegedly eliminated. I have four objections to this argument.

First, the argument does not establish the omnipotent, omniscience, or all goodness of the designer, so it is irrelevant to the current debate, strictly speaking (see the definition in round 1).

Second, the only reason design looks even remotely plausible is that he considers necessity and chance first. Is it really more likely that a conscious architect set the constants as they are than that they are the result of some unknown physical law? All of the minds we have experience with require physical brains, which means that the universe has to exist for them to be conscious.

Third, our basis for distinguishing between things that are designed and things that are not is that we have seen things being designed by humans, so we can compare other things to them to conclude that they were designed. We have never seen a universe being designed by a human, and the universe does not resemble anything made by a human, so we have no basis for concluding that it had a conscious designer.

Fourth, the fine tuning argument is very anthropomorphic. What is the basis for concluding that a designer would want to create life? The only apparent basis is to assume that it would like the same things we like, and we like life, so the designer would like life. But this is just a projection of our desires onto reality, which is hardly reasonable.

My opponent's second argument assumes that (1) qualia will never be accounted for in terms of matter, even with our most advanced neuroscience and physics millions of years in the future, and (2) property dualism is false. These are massive assumptions, he provides no sufficient argument for either of them, and one or the other would be rejected by most philosophers of mind today.

He attempts to use the interaction argument to refute dualism, but it is clearly silly to argue that because we do not know how our minds interact with the physical world, there is no mind independent physical world. It is self evident that our minds can interact with matter. Every science starts with certain basic assumptions that are self evident from observation. We may not fully understand how our minds interact with matter, but they clearly do.

My opponent's third argument is Plantinga's modal ontological argument.

First of all, even Plantinga doesn't think this is a proof of theism - he thinks it makes it rationally permissible to be a theist. [3]

Second, the premise that the MGB is possible is question begging, since it asserts that a necessary being exists in some possible world, which is the same thing as saying that it exists in every possible world. The premise is too close to the conclusion.

Third, my opponent has not provided any observational evidence for the definition of God that the argument takes off from, so the entire argument is invalid. Definitions require evidence just like any other assertion. An argument that is not supported by observation at any point may be an interesting bit of poetry, but it is not a valid cognitive product.

[1] William Lane Craig, "Reasonable Faith," third edition, p. 161
[2] For examples, see William Lane Craig, "The Cosmological Argument from Plato to Leibniz"
[3] Plantinga, "The Nature of Necessity"
Moelogy

Pro

Rebuttals:


Objection 1 to argument 1

It establish part of the definition of God provided.

Objection 2 to argument 1

"than that they are the result of some unknown physical law?"

There is no physical law that determines the physical constants. That would be necessity which I refuted.

Objection 3 to argument 1

This has been debunked by John Leslie's analogy of the firing squad. A man is sentenced to death by firing squad. the commander goes 1.. 2. 3 and the soldiers fire. The man who is standing infront of the fring squad goes something like " Well of course I survived because I am here to observe it now" But then that only documents the observation without answering WHY that event happens. Same goes for your "critique" It is ridicolous for the man to go saying "Well I can not decide how unlikely that event is because there is no parallel universes where I can compare the same event. Do you see how ridicolous this sounds? We can see measure the likelihood of this event by loading the data on to the computer and changing various factors to see how unlikely the fine tuning was same thing physicists and mathematicians do with the fine tuning of the universe.

Objection 4 to argument 1

My argument has nothing to do with the design of life so I am not sure how is that even relevant but here it goes anyways ... The reason why God created the universe that ALLOWED life is because it is the test-takers that benefit from the test of life NOT the test-maker. When we are here, we can worship and love God which is shows how good life is. God benefits nothing. We benefit from the love and joy and worship of God.

"(1) qualia will never be accounted for in terms of matter, even with our most advanced neuroscience and physics millions of years in the future, and (2) property dualism is false. These are massive assumptions, he provides no sufficient argument for either of them, and one or the other would be rejected by most philosophers of mind today."


Did not really assume, I provided evidence that you did not even bother reading probably.


"He attempts to use the interaction argument to refute dualism, but it is clearly silly to argue that because we do not know how our minds interact with the physical world, there is no mind independent physical world. It is self evident that our minds can interact with matter. Every science starts with certain basic assumptions that are self evident from observation. We may not fully understand how our minds interact with matter, but they clearly do."

Glad to see that you agree with one of the premises which shows that my argument is valid. Dualism is false not just because of interaction argument actually.



Objection 1 to argument 3

"First of all, even Plantinga doesn't think this is a proof of theism - he thinks it makes it rationally permissible to be a theist."

How is this even relevant to the evidence or the validity of the argument?


"Second, the premise that the MGB is possible is question begging, since it asserts that a necessary being exists in some possible world, which is the same thing as saying that it exists in every possible world. The premise is too close to the conclusion."

This objection that the MOA commits Question-begging has been refuted in the my first round. Can we stop repeating the same refuted material, now?

"my opponent has not provided any observational evidence for the definition of God that the argument takes off from, so the entire argument is invalid."

I used philosophy and logic and deductive reasoning to establish the argument. Your objection is that it has no observation so it must be false. But that is ridicolous, do you have observational evidence for morals, logic, mathematics? No. This argument fits the definition because a maximally great being would have all the attributes in the definition like omnipotence and omniscience because potence and sciencia are both great-making property and it would have the maximal values of these properties.
Debate Round No. 2
Ockham

Con

Argument 1

My opponent says that his argument establishes part of the definition of God provided, but there is nothing connecting his fine tuning argument to that definition in his reasoning, so it is irrelevant.

He flatly asserts that there cannot be an unknown physical law that explains the constants, but his case against this is remarkably feeble. All he says, in effect, is that we can imagine a universe without the constants. But that does not mean there is not a more fundamental law determining them.

The firing squad analogy illegitimately switches from a context where we know deliberate intervention is possible to the beginning of the universe, where there is no independent reason to suspect intelligent intervention. Indeed, everything we know about minds suggests that they depend on a brain.

He says that God would be likely to create a universe with life because human test takers would benefit. But this is just as anthropomorphic as the original argument, since it assumes that because we like it that there are test takers, so would God.

Argument 2

No evidence supporting either of the assumptions in question was provided. He did link to some Youtube videos which may contain evidence, but this borders on violating the character limit. I am not obligated to chase down every link supporting his position that he can find - the content of the debate needs to be posted here.

Argument 3

Plantinga's opinion of the argument is relevant because, as the author of the argument, he is an authority on the weight of the argument.

The first alleged response just says that the argument uses "ontology" and links elsewhere, which does not tell me what his argument is and borders on violating the character limit as above.

The point about de re / de dicto also links elsewhere, but I will address it since the content of Craig's response can be quoted briefly:

"Second, you confuse necessity de re with necessity de dicto. Necessity de re is the necessity of a thing (res); necessity de dicto is the necessity of a statement (dictum). The first premiss of the ontological argument asserts that a certain statement is possible, namely, the statement that a maximally great being exists or that maximal greatness is exemplified. It is not the statement, "It is possible that it is necessary that a maximally excellent being exists." That statement involves the iteration of two modalities de dicto. If we let G be the proposition "A maximally great being exists," the first premiss should be symbolized: `74;G."

But this does not address the objection. "G" in Craig's symbolization stands for a being who by definition exists necessarily, so the argument remains question begging.

Finally, my opponent cites morality, logic, and mathematics as examples of areas of knowledge that are allegedly not based on observation. One option is to claim that these are not areas of knowledge, as the logical positivists effectively did (they would say that morality is an emotional matter and that logic and mathematics are based on empty manipulation of language).

But a simpler response is to point out that just because we don't know how to account for some areas of knowledge in terms of observation does not mean that forming concepts arbitarily is permissible. We do have good reasons for forming the concepts of morality, logic, and mathematics, even if we don't necessarily know how to reduce those reasons to observation. There is no reason to form the concept of God.
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Debate Round No. 3
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