God most likely exists
Debate Rounds (4)
Before I begin I'd like to thank Tejretics for instigating and accepting this debate.
R1 Pro gives opening statement\argument and definitions. Con challenges Pro.
R2 Pro and Con give Arguments
R2 Pro and Con give more arguments and rebuttals.
R3 Pro and Con give more arguments and rebuttals.
R4 Pro gives Rebuttals and Constructive criticism and closing statements. Con gives Rebuttals and Constructive
Criticism and closing statements
1.Votes may not be plagiarized.
2.Nether Pro or Con promotes Plagiarism.
3.Pro or Con cannot copy his whole debate from one debate only, and his whole arguments cannot be 100% plagiarism.
4. The BoP is shared.
5. Trolling and forfeiting from both debaters should not be tolerated
The Kalam Cosmological Argument
(1) Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.
(2) The universe has a beginning of its existence.
(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.
(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.
(5) God exists."
I'll explain the first points.
" Believing that something can pop into existence without a cause is more of a stretch than believing in magic. At least with magic you've got a hat and a magician.
And if something can come into being from nothing, then why don't we see this happening all the time?
No" Everyday experience and scientific evidence confirm our first premise"If something begins to exist, it must have a cause.
But what about our second premise? Did the universe begin or has it always existed? Atheists have typically said that the universe has been here forever-"The universe is just there, and that's all."
First, let's consider the second law of thermodynamics. It tells us the universe is slowly running out of usable energy" and that's the point.
If the universe had been here forever, it would have run out of usable energy by now. The second law points us to a universe that has a definite beginning.
This is further confirmed by a series of remarkable scientific discoveries"
In 1915, Albert Einstein presented his General Theory of Relativity. This allowed us, for the first time, to talk meaningfully about the past history of the universe.
Next, Alexander Friedmann and Georges Lema"tre, each working with Einstein's equations, predicted that the universe is expanding.
Then, in 1929, Edwin Hubble measured the red shift in light from distant galaxies. This empirical evidence confirmed not only that the universe is expanding, but that it sprang into being from a single point in the finite past. It was a monumental discovery"almost beyond comprehension.
However, not everyone is fond of a finite universe" So, it wasn't long before alternative models popped into existence. But, one by one, these models failed to stand the test of time.
More recently, three leading cosmologists"Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin"proved that "any universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be eternal in the past, but must have an absolute beginning."
This even applies to the multiverse, if there is such a thing.
This means that scientists "can no longer hide behind a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning." Any adequate model must have a beginning, just like the standard model.
It's quite plausible, then that both premises of the argument are true. This means that the conclusion is also true"the universe has a cause.
And since the universe can't cause itself, its cause must be beyond the space-time universe. It must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, uncaused, and unimaginably powerful. Much like" God.
The Cosmological Argument shows that, in fact, it is quite reasonable to believe that God does exist."
This is an argument that uses abductive reasoning, viz. an appeal to best explanation from observation of a given phenomenon. For this argument, I observe the phenomenon of the universe having the exact properties that entail the existence of complex life, and seek to postulate the most probable explanation for this phenomenon.
For characters' sake, I will refer to the 'universe having the exact properties to entail complex life' as an 'LPU' (life permitting universe). But note that I am specifically referring to complex life, the likes of mammals, reptiles, birds and so on - including humanity.
Observation: The universe is an LPU.
This is uncontroversial, we can observe empirically that complex life exists, and hence the universe permits it.
From this observation, we have multiple possible abductions we could make:
1. The universe is an LPU by chance
2. The universe is an LPU because it is necessarily so, viz. it could not have failed to be an LPU
3. The universe is an LPU because it was designed to be an LPU
The first two abductions are naturalistic, the last is deistic.
Now, we must address the relative probabilities of the three potential explanations.
1 - Chance
This explanation is by far the most improbable. The maximum deviations of any of the main universal constants are as follows:
Ratio of Electrons to Protons- 1:10^37
Ratio of Electromagnetic Force to Gravity- 1:10^40
Expansion Rate of Universe- 1:10^55
Mass Density of Universe- 1:10^59
Cosmological Constant- 1:10^120
If any of these constants deviated by more than their above values, then the universe would either be unable to form stars, be unable to form complex-life-permitting stars (LPS) or be unable to form galaxies. (2)
Just to give an idea of the huge improbabilities of even the most flexible of the above constants (1:10^37), I will quote Dr. Hugh Ross, a doctor of Astrophysics:
'One part in 10^37 is such an incredibly sensitive balance that it is hard to visualize. The following analogy might help: Cover the entire North American continent in dimes all the way up to the moon, a height of about 239,000 miles (In comparison, the money to pay for the U.S. federal government debt would cover one square mile less than two feet deep with dimes.). Next, pile dimes from here to the moon on a billion other continents the same size as North America. Paint one dime red and mix it into the billions of piles of dimes. Blindfold a friend and ask him to pick out one dime. The odds that he will pick the red dime are one in 10^37' (3)
But the probability of the universe being an LPU by chance is even more unlikely than 1 in10^37. If even one of the above constants deviated more than its maximum deviation then the universe would not be an LPU. So, in reality, the probability of the universe having the exact constants is:
(1/10^37) x (1/10^40) x (1/10^55) x (1/10^59) x (1/10^120) = 1/10^311
Which is an unimaginable tiny number. At this level, the probability is effectively 0.
2 - Necessity
Whilst this is an explanation that would explain why the universe is an LPU, we can reason that the universe is not necessarily an LPU.
This is because, in a modal sense, X is necessarily Y if and only if it is absurd or incoherent to postulate that there is a possible world where X =/= Y.
But it is not absurd to postulate a possible world where the universe is not an LPU, so the universe is not necessarily an LPU."
Out of the three this seems most likely.
Godelian Ontological Argument
I will be defending the ontological argument of Kurt von Godel.
D1) A "positive property," hereby +P, is a property that does not lessen the excellence of an entity, but whose negation lessens the excellence of an entity
D2) Something has necessary existence of it is not contingent on anything else
D3) A property is strongly positive if +P
P1) If 'A' is any strongly positive property, then, necessarily, there exists a being that both exists necessarily and essentially possesses 'A'. This is because necessity itself is strongly positive. If A, then A is separate from the universe, thus has to possess omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection, which are strongly positive. Thus, if +P, then A has +P.
P2) The properties of omnipotence, omniscience and moral perfection are strongly positive properties. Godelian ontological positivity refers to being "positive" in fields of omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection. Thus, these properties are +P. They are also +P because otherwise they are bound by logic, which *is* all ontological constraint.
P3) To possess a conjunct of strongly positive properties is a strongly positive property. This doesn't commit fallacy of composition since positivity is transferable by Godelian definition of positivity.
Thank you so much , Tejretics and Pilocat for allowing me to use the arguments they have made for this debate.
OV1: Pro is presenting rules in Round 1. There's no reason to adhere to Pro's rules, especially since they weren't clarified by the instigator. The rules are overly restrictive. First, Rule 4 is *completely* unjustified. I make it clear that Pro is making the affirmative claim, therefore has the entirety of the burden of proof. The burden -- therefore -- lies with Pro, and *cannot* be split evenly.
OV2: The format is overly restrictive as well. "Pro gives definitions" is also concerning, since, by standard debate convention, definitions are contestable. As long as there are no new arguments in the final rounds, rebuttals and defense can be arranged in any means. Pro doesn't give judges a reason to prefer their structure -- prefer mine as it isn't restrictive and is simple. Finally, Pro should *waive* the final round, as per Round 1 -- the structure seems to discredit this, without justification. Pro should go first and post "no round as agreed" in the final round.
OV3: Round 1 clearly establishes that "entire arguments cannot be copied," but Pro is violating this -- the *entire* teleological argument is copied from Philocat's debate against me. Please note the rule violation and penalize Pro for this.
OV4: Poor sourcing. Under the teleological argument, there are numbers in parantheses, which I shall presume are references -- these references aren't seen under the entirety of Round 1. Till Pro produces these references, *everything* Pro says under -- for instance -- the teleological argument is a bare assertion.
[Sidenote: as Pro has the entirety of the burden of proof, I need only refute their arguments to uphold my case, and needn't produce a case of my own. Note that I haven't plagiarized any arguments.]
== What is God? ==
The definition of the term "God" is crucial to the debate, since there isn't a clear, agreed-upon definition of that term in the world. God can be defined as "the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority."  This monotheistic conception of God is supported by most Abrahamic religions.  It is estimated that 54% of the Earth's population are members of this monotheistic faith.  Prefer this definition because it's the most *commonly used* definition of God. There are multiple definitions of God, and Pro can contest this definition. But I've given strong reasons to prefer this definition, (1) the definition appeals to the *majority* of theists, (2) the dictionary definition of this is the same standard conception, and (3) other conceptions are usually obscure and aren't used by the majority of the population. Further, this definition is compatible with Pro's arguments.
== Atheism is the default position ==
The burden of proof lies *entirely on* Pro in this debate. This is because atheism acts as the "default position," i.e. if there is no reason to think that God exists, then atheism entails as most likely correct. There are multiple ways to affirm this. The first is Occam's razor. Occam's razor is an epistemological razor that posits that, among a set of competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with least assumptions is most likely. Take, for instance, a box of crayons that hasn't been opened yet. Person X and Person Y are speculating about the characteristics of the crayons within the box, without seeing those crayons. Person X proposes that there are twelve crayons in the box, while Person Y says there are twelve *red* crayons in the box. Neither has any evidence, but since Person Y has the *additional assumption,* it's a priori more likely that there are "twelve crayons in the box," than there being twelve crayons that are all red -- since there's no proof for either assertion, but the latter has more assumptions. The idea of God is another such proposition -- there's no reason to think God actually exists, therefore God is merely another assumption within the God hypothesis, along with the hypothesis of the existence of the universe and its laws. Naturalism and atheism, on the other hand, *only posit two assumptions,* the existence of the universe and its laws. The second affirmation for this is by using Russell's teapot analogy. Bertrand Russell writes, "Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time." 
Conclusion: Judges must presume God doesn't exist, and, unless proven otherwise, the offense stands that it is -- abductively -- unlikely that God exists.
== Causality is incoherent ==
If God exists, the universe had a cause, meaning there was something "before the universe." But *time itself* began with the universe -- sans the universe, there is neither time directionality nor physical constraint. It is impossible to cognitively process anything time-less -- we use words such as "now," "then," "before," and "after," *all* of which presuppose time directionality. Sans time, there's nothing "before" or "after" anything, so there are no events and no objects. Therefore, there couldn't have been anything before the universe, and God couldn't have caused the universe.
== Rebuttal ==
R1) Kalam cosmological argument
(1) Pro's defense of the first premise is a hasty generalization. Just because most *observable* things don't "pop into existence," it doesn't entail that *everything* can't come into existence without a cause. It's an oversimplification. You can't generalize from "who killed Roger Rabbit" to "who created time and space." Further, "causality" presupposes time. For anything to coherently "happen," you require time. Our cognitive understanding can't *comprehend* anything timeless. But *time* began with the origin of the universe. Sans time, it's impossible to use words like "before," or "after," so you can't determine what came "before the universe," since the phrase is incoherent merely because we can't cognitively process something timeless.
(2) The second premise assumes that either the universe was past-infinite or began to exist. This is a false dichotomy. Under the B-series of time and eternalism, the universe wouldn't "begin to exist," it would just exist as a multidimensional block.  Most observations confirm eternalism as a likely model, entailed by special relativity (the relativity of simultaneity), therefore prefer eternalism. The second premise fails.
R2) Teleological argument
This argument is easily refuted by a reductio ad absurdum regarding the probability of the universe becoming a life-permitting universe by "chance." Consider a pack of cards, tossed sideways. The pack of cards would arrange itself in an order [as with a standard pack, it has 52 cards]. There are *multiple* orders to be arranged. Therefore, the probability of a single order arising by chance is 1:10^64. Consider these premises:
1. It is not due to chance
2. It is not due to physical necessity
3. It is due to design
But #3 is ridiculous, since *all* of those patterns did arise by chance. From this, we can conclude that -- of the many possible "tunings" of the universe, all of them can arise by chance and have an *equal* probability, with or without life, of being present.
Further, the rejection of physical necessity is unsound. Michael Hurben argues that the constants cannot have been "tuned" to anything else, since their tuning is out of physical necessity.  Pro straw-mans the idea of "physical necessity," confusing it with *modal* necessity. Modal necessity involves possible worlds. Physical necessity merely argues that all constants are physically *constrained* to be "tuned" out of necessity, and there are no other *physically* possible tunings. Pro fails to dismiss the physical impossibility, only arguing for the logical possibility.
R3) Godelian ontological argument
The argument itself is incoherent, and insufficiently warranted. Pro talks about "positive properties," and "strongly positive" properties. I observe that this is *subjective,* as "excellence" itself is subjective. Pro can't say their subjective interpretation of excellence must always exist, since they aren't God. Essentially, Pro is arguing: (1) necessary existence is positive, (2) X properties are positive, (3) to increase X's positivity, X has necessary existence. This doesn't entail *one* God, but an infinite regression of God-like entities, that are -- subjectively -- "positive." This subjective positivity cannot deal with objective existence. Further, Pro fails to establish what "ontological constraint" is, and fails to defend the Godelian definition, merely creating contradictory attributes. Pro fails to explain their standard for "moral perfection" either. Since this argument is insufficiently explained, prefer Con.
For all these reasons, Vote Con.
 Google ("define God")
The rebuttals for the overviews are in the comments.
1. The Big Bang goes hand on hand with the Kalam arguments. If the Big Bang is true it makes it more probable.
" Run the clock backwards to 13.8 billion years ago, and everything in the Cosmos started out as a single point in space. In an instant, everything expanded outward from that location, forming the energy, atoms and eventually the stars and galaxies we see today. But to call this concept merely a theory is to misjudge the overwhelming amount of evidence.
There are separate lines of evidence, each of which independently points towards this as the origin story for our Universe. The first came with the amazing discovery that almost all galaxies are moving away from us.
In 1912, Vesto Slipher calculated the speed and direction of "spiral nebulae" by measuring the change in the wavelengths of light coming from them. He realized that most of them were moving away from us. We now know these objects are galaxies, but a century ago astronomers thought these vast collections of stars might actually be within the Milky Way.
A cluster of galaxies as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope
A cluster of galaxies as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope
In 1924, Edwin
A cluster of galaxies as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope
In 1924, Edwin Hubble figured out that these galaxies are actually outside the Milky Way. He observed a special type of variable star that has a direct relationship between its energy output and the time it takes to pulse in brightness. By finding these variable stars in other galaxies, he was able to calculate how far away they were. Hubble discovered that all these galaxies are outside our own Milky Way, millions of light-years away.
So, if these galaxies are far, far away, and moving quickly away from us, this suggests that the entire Universe must have been located in a single point billions of years ago. The second line of evidence came from the abundance of elements we see around us.
In the earliest moments after the Big Bang, there was nothing more than hydrogen compressed into a tiny volume, with crazy high heat and pressure. The entire Universe was acting like the core of a star, fusing hydrogen into helium and other elements.
This is known as Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. As astronomers look out into the Universe and measure the ratios of hydrogen, helium and other trace elements, they exactly match what you would expect to find if the entire Universe was once a really big star.
Another evidence: cosmic microwave background radiation. In the 1960s, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were experimenting with a 6-meter radio telescope, and discovered a background radio emission that was coming from every direction in the sky " day or night. From what they could tell, the entire sky measured a few degrees above absolute zero.
WMAP data of the Cosmic Microwave Background. Credit: NASA
WMAP data of the Cosmic Microwave Background. Credit: NASA
Theories predicted that after a Big Bang, there would have been a tremendous release of radiation. And now, billions of years later, this radiation would be moving so fast away from us that the wavelength of this radiation would have been shifted from visible light to the microwave background radiation we see today.
The final line of evidence is the formation of galaxies and the large scale structure of the cosmos. About 10,000 years after the Big Bang, the Universe cooled to the point that the gravitational attraction of matter was the dominant form of energy density in the Universe. This mass was able to collect together into the first stars, galaxies and eventually the large scale structures we see across the Universe today.
These are known as the 4 pillars of the Big Bang Theory. Four independent lines of evidence that build up one of the most influential and well-supported theories in all of cosmology. But there are more lines of evidence. There are fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background radiation, we don"t see any stars older than 13.8 billion years, the discoveries of dark matter and dark energy, along with how the light curves from distant supernovae."
So, this proves the universe had a beginning and a cause E.G God. He expanded the first particle creating the universe.
If the Kalam argument and big bang isn't true then tell us how exactly the universe started.
2. Weak rebuttal. If the universe was created by chance what's the chances that God was created? To be continued....
3. I'll just explain it in more depth
"Axiom : If is good, and forces (that is, it's necessarily true that anything with property has property ), then is also good.
"Axiom : For every property , exactly one of and is good. (If is good, we may as well say that is bad.)
"Theorem (Good Things Happen): If is good, then it's possible that something exists with property .
Proof of Theorem : Suppose were good, but necessarily nothing had property . Then property would, vacuously, force every other property; in particular would force . By Axiom , this would mean that was also good; but this would then contradict Axiom .
"Definition : We call a thing godlike when it has every good property.
"Axiom : Being godlike is good.
"Theorem (No Atheism): It's possible that something godlike exists.
Proof of Theorem : This follows directly from Theorem applied to Axiom .
"Definition : We call property the essence of a thing when (1) has property , and (2) property forces every property of .
"Axiom : If is good, then is necessarily good.
"Theorem (God Has No Hair): If a thing is godlike, then being godlike is its essence.
Proof of Theorem : First note that if is godlike, it has all good properties (by definition) and no bad properties (by Axiom ). So any property that a godlike thing has is good, and is therefore necessarily good (by Axiom ), and is therefore necessarily possessed by anything godlike.
"Definition : We call a thing indispensable when something with its essence (if it has an essence) must exist.
"Axiom : Being indispensable is good.
"Theorem (Yes, Virginia): Something godlike necessarily exists.
Proof of Theorem : If something is godlike, it has every good property by definition. In particular, it's indispensable, since that's a good property (by Axiom ); so by definition something with its essence, which is just "being godlike" (by Theorem ), must exist. In other words, if something godlike exists, then it's necessary for something godlike to exist. And by the second theorem it is possible.
I'll post more rebuttals and arguments next round right now my Wi-Fi is going hay wire
The rebuttals cannot be "in the comments." Debate convention dictates that all arguments must be presented within the debate, or they are invalid. Further, Pro only challenges OV3, which I concede. But OV1, OV2, and OV4 still stand -- not touched upon, even in the comments. The rules and structure are abusive, therefore can be discredited. Further, Pro has dropped *all* my points against their arguments -- under the cosmological argument, Pro merely adds something about the Big Bang, but drops premise 1 and also drops eternalism. Presume Con. Additionally, Pro also drops my offense, that atheism is the default position, and drops that causality is impossible without time.
[: debate convention dictates that Pro cannot address my arguments with new objections or present any new arguments, rebuttals, or defense in the next round, as it is Pro's final round of argumentation, since Pro has to pass the last round. Therefore, Pro cannot refute my causality or atheism as default position arguments, or expand on his defense to his teleological argument.]
The Big Bang is completely compatible with atheism. I just don't see how the Big Bang links to God. All the Big Bang says is -- 13.8 billion years ago -- the universe was in an extremely high density state.  This merely means the universe was very small and dense, *not* that it began or had a cause. Pro also drops eternalism, under which the universe would just exist as a four-dimensional, tenseless block -- it remains logically possible, thus refutes Pro's assertions. Pro's second premise would completely fail under eternalism. As for the first premise, there are multiple ways the universe *could have been* brought into existence.
(a) Lack of causation
It is possible that *nothing at all* caused the universe. The universe needn't have been caused at all. The Big Bang -- the "singularity" -- created time, space, and matter (from nothing). A singularity is, inherently, something outside of human understanding. A singularity is defined as a point in gravitational spacetime with infinite density and zero volume.  This means that a singularity is both an infinite and a point of "nothingness," which means it is beyond human cognition itself.  As mentioned under the "time" argument, because the singularity occurred before time and space themselves, "when was it" and "what was before it" are both incoherent questions. A cause must precede its effect, but "preceding" the singularity is incoherent. Further, simultaneous causality fails since simultaneous causality itself has to be constrained by time, since we can comprehend simultaneous causality, but something time-less is something beyond human cognition.
Stephen Hawking explains, "Our everyday experience makes us convinced that everything that happens must be caused by something that occurred earlier in time. So it's natural for us to assume that something -- perhaps God -- must have caused the universe to come into existence. But you can't get to a time before the Big Bang, because there was no time before the Big Bang. We have finally found something that does not have a cause because there was no time for a cause to exist in. This means there is no possibility of a Creator because there is no time for a Creator to have existed. Since time itself began at the moment of the Big Bang, it was an event that could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything." 
(b) Quantum fluctuations
A quantum fluctuation "is the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of nothing, as allowed by the Uncertainty Principle."  During a quantum fluctuation, a particle and an antiparticle are generated from the quantum vacuum for a short period, and then annihilate. Edward P. Tryon proposed that the universe itself was a vacuum fluctuation.  This would be possible under the zero-energy universe hypothesis, which proposes that the net energy in the universe is zero. For these, the concepts of "positive energy" and "negative energy" are used. Positive energy is all scalar energy, while negative energy is vector and attractive. It is possible that the mass of all energy in the universe is zero, as gravitational attractive force "cancels out" all other energy. And this has been confirmed by the flat curvature of the universe.  Such a universe could be caused by quantum fluctuations.
Pro virtually drops my entire response here. All Pro says is that it is a "weak rebuttal," and fails to adequately substantiate as to *why* it is a "weak rebuttal." Pro's justification is incoherent. Pro says, "If the universe was created by chance what's the chances that God was created? I don't understand this one bit. I'm not asserting that "God was created," so Pro is begging the question, assuming God exists. Further, "to be continued" is not allowed, as Pro can't post *new* objections in the next round.
Pro drops all my objections here. Let me extend them in application to the new ontological argument -- being "God-like" is subjective, and the argument merely attempts to define God into existence. It's fallacious, since Pro is generalizing from "God is defined as being positive" to "God exists," without any justification. The argument is simply incoherent, since "positive" and "negative" properties are inherently subjective. The argument is insufficiently warranted (explained) and is incoherent, therefore can be discredited by the judges. "Good" is subjective, so *all* axioms are bare assertions. Pro's axioms and theorems are inherently bare assertions. Further, the argument only seeks to prove that, if "God exists," then God necessarily exists, thus is question begging. Basically, it says, "God would be even better if he exists, and since God has the maximum logically possible good-ness, and his existence is logically possible, God exists," but "better" and "good" are both subjective terms. I could say "God is bad, therefore God exists" as well, and any adjective can be made as such. I can conceive of another being with attributes I consider "good," and say that being exists, but that's incorrect.
For the above reasons, Vote Con.
 "Curiosity," Discovery Channel
 Edward P. Tryon, Is the Universe a Vacuum Fluctuation?
ClashnBoom forfeited this round.
Extend. Pro *must* simply post "no round as agreed," and must not make *any arguments,* in Round 4.
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Vote Placed by Balacafa 1 year ago
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