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

God exists.

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Debate Round Forfeited
AKMath has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 300 times Debate No: 116210
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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.

Please note that the character maximum for this debate is 5,000 characters per round.

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

Pro

My understanding of the statement is that God (as in any supernatural being) does not exist. I will not be attempting to prove the existence of a specific God, but merely a requisite being.

Cosmological Argument:

>Everything finite and contingent has a cause
>The caused entity cannot cause itself
>A caused entity must have a causer

An infinite regress is not possible.

This can be extrapolated to the natural, observable world.

>The natural world is finite and has a cause
>The natural world cannot cause itself
>The natural world must have a causer

The natural world is bound by physical laws.

An entity outside the physical laws that bind the natural world would be necessary to cause it.

The natural world cannot cause itself and must have a causer, so an entity that is not limited to the physical laws that the natural world is must exist.

The necessity of being caused is a physical law of the natural world.

Since such an entity is not bound by the physical law of the natural world, it does not have to have a causer nor be caused.

The definition of a god: A being not bound by the laws that limit the natural world.

Using the transitive property of equality, the entity needed to cause the universe is by definition the same as a god(s).

There must be evidence of a god(s)

The natural world exists

The existence of the natural world is dependent on the existence of an uncaused causer.

A god(s) is an uncaused causer.

Therefore, a god(s) must exist in order for the natural world to exist.

Here's another thing. On a piece of paper draw a big O (circle). That circle represents all knowledge that can possibly be known or learned. Shade in the amount of the circle you know (it should be under 1/2 of the circle). Are you telling me that in half or less of the circle shaded, ther is a 0% chance of a God existing?
Debate Round No. 1
Ockham

Con

Pro starts out by saying that he only has to establish a supernatural being, not a specific God. This is not true. The definition of "God" given in the first round is an omnipotent, omniscient, all good being. Pro has to establish that an omnipotent, omniscient, all good being exists, not just that there is a supernatural being. He has not even attempted to do this.

The first premise of Pro's argument is "everything finite and contingent has a cause." He then applies this to the universe in order to conclude that the universe has a cause. From there, he appeals to the principle that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes to arrive at a first cause. There are many problems with this argument.

First, he has not established that the universe is "finite," or even defined what "finite" means. If he means that the universe has a finite spatial extension, then his premise may well be false. If he means that it has a finite temporal extension, then he needs to prove that.

Second, he argues that the universe must have a cause because it is contingent, but God seems just as contingent as the universe. God is a mind, and minds seem just as contingent as physical things.

Third, it is false that everything contingent needs a cause. The fundamental material constituents of the universe seem contingent, but there is no apparent reason why they would be in need of a cause - maybe they were just always there.

Fourth, Pro has not shown that an infinite regress is impossible. An infinite temporal regress does not strike me as impossible. The appearance of impossibility comes from the assumption that such a series would have to have a starting point, but this is false. In an infinite temporal regress, no matter how far back you go, there is always more time - the universe didn't start existing at some specific point and travel forward to the future through an infinite series of events, it was just always there. We have no problem accepting this kind of regress with regard to the future, so we should have no problem accepting it with regard to the past.

So, sum up the problems with the argument:

1. No evidence is given for the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, all good God, which is the resolution.
2. No evidence is given that the universe is finite.
3. There is no reason why all contingent things need a cause, and in any event God seems just as contingent as the universe.
4. No evidence is given that an infinite regress is impossible.

Finally, I'll comment on Pro's second (short) argument, which goes as follows:

"On a piece of paper draw a big O (circle). That circle represents all knowledge that can possibly be known or learned. Shade in the amount of the circle you know (it should be under 1/2 of the circle). Are you telling me that in half or less of the circle shaded, ther is a 0% chance of a God existing?"

This could be used as an argument for fairies, unicorns, or any imaginary creature. A unicorn believer could say that there might be evidence for unicorns hiding in the half or less of the circle that represents our lack of knowledge. This argument has no probative value in deciding whether or not there is a God.
AKMath

Pro

"So, sum up the problems with the argument:

1. No evidence is given for the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, all good God, which is the resolution.
2. No evidence is given that the universe is finite.
3. There is no reason why all contingent things need a cause, and in any event, God seems just as contingent as the universe.
4. No evidence is given that an infinite regress is impossible."

1a. Make the causer your definition of God. It really doesn't matter. I hope we both agree the God we speak of is a supernatural being.

2a. There is no groundbreaking evidence to suggest an infinite or finite universe. They are both just theories. However, I do believe the universe is finite as an infinite universe would suggest a flat Earth. Also, common sense tells you that everything has a limit. Everything ends/dies/parishes/etc. at some point somewhere.

3a. God nor the universe before and after the Big Bang are contingent they are axioms,

4a. An infinite regress is not possible as the universe cannot go backward. Or as the definition states go back to a less developed state.

As for the O/circle thing. Being Con for God exists, is the same thing as being Pro for God doesn't exist. God doesn't exist suggests you believe there is a 0% of God existing. This )/circle shows that there quite s high chance of a God existing.
Debate Round No. 2
Ockham

Con

I will use the same numbering as I used in my last speech for the arguments.

1. Recall the definition of God from round 1: "an omnipotent, omniscient, all good person." Pro has not provided a shred of evidence or reasoning in support of the claim that a being with these three attributes exists. Even if all of his arguments were successful (which they certainly are not), the most that would be established is that there is a supernatural being, which falls far short of the resolution he is supposed to be defending. This is sufficient by itself to warrant a vote for Con.

2. Pro concedes that his claim that the universe is finite is "just a theory" and that its only support is "common sense." This is not sufficient to establish the premise - he must show that an infinite temporal regress entails a contradiction, not just that it sounds wrong according to "common sense." Thus the premise is arbitrary and unsupported.

3. Pro says that God and the universe are not contingent but rather "axioms." I don't know what that means, and he provides no explanation. In any event, this statement directly contradicts Pro's premise in round 1 that the universe is contingent.

4. Pro says, "an infinite regress is not possible as the universe cannot go backward." But an infinite temporal regress does not require the universe to go backward in time - that is a clear misunderstanding. It only requires that, no matter how far back in the history of the universe we look, there always be more past before it.

Finally, Pro says that the O/circle argument shows that there is a high probablility of God existing, but again, it does not show that unless it also shows that there is a high probability of unicorns existing, which it certainly does not.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by hi234 4 weeks ago
hi234
Oh wait nvm I thought that con was trying to prove that god exists.
Posted by hi234 4 weeks ago
hi234
Con, You do realize that you're making the claim that god exists, Therefore, The burden of proof is on you, Right?
Posted by Considerthefollowing 2 months ago
Considerthefollowing
Faith is not. Just because you have faith in a fairy tale, doea not make it real.
Posted by missmedic 2 months ago
missmedic
Gods are by default invisible, inaudible, intangible entities that exits on belief alone. Faith gives believers the knowledge needed to believe in the supernatural, no empirical evidence is needed. How do you prove faith to someone with no faith? You should be asking - is faith a reliable path to knowledge?
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