The Instigator
KeytarHero
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
TheSaint
Con (against)
Losing
27 Points

God's Existence is More Plausible Than His Non-Existence.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
KeytarHero
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,266 times Debate No: 30071
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (105)
Votes (12)

 

KeytarHero

Pro

I wish to debate the proposition that God's existence is more plausible than his non-existence. This does not necessarily have to be the Christian God, just a Being, as described below.

God will be defined as a Maximally-Great Being. God has all great-making properties (such as honesty, power, etc.) to their maximal extent, and no lesser-making properties. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent.

I will take the Pro side and present my arguments in round two.

As the one with the Burden of Proof, I do not have to prove God's existence beyond the shadow of a doubt, I only have to show that God's existence is more plausible than his not existing.

Round 1 -- Acceptance
Round 2 -- Opening arguments/rebuttals
Round 3 -- Rebuttals
Round 4 -- Rebuttals/closing statements
TheSaint

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
KeytarHero

Pro

I wish to thank Con for taking the time to debate this topic with me. There are many great arguments for God's existence, but due to limited space I will limit myself to three arguments. In order to win the debate, Con must refute my arguments and present a case that it is more likely that God doesn't exist than that he does. My case will not specifically be for the Christian God, just for a God in general, as defined in the first round.

Argument One: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

The argument is as follows:

P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C: Therefore, the universe had a cause. [1]

Premise 1 -- Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

This is pretty self-explanatory, and pretty uncontroversial. The principle of causality is a first principle. In other words, it is self-evident. According to this fundamental principle, every effect has a cause and as such, non-being cannot produce being.

Premise 2 -- The universe began to exist.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics affirms that the universe is running out of usable energy and, hence, cannot be eternal. We also see that the universe is expanding, and at an accelerated rate. As we see the universe is expanding more and more rapidly, and the universe is running out of usable energy, the universe will inevitably run out of usable energy and result in a "heat death." As the universe is expanding and not static, we can see that the universe, indeed, had a beginning as it is not eternal.

We can also approach this from a philosophical viewpoint:

1) If an infinite number of moments occurred before today, then today would never have come, wince it is impossible to traverse an infinite number of moments.
2) But today has come.
3) Hence, there was a finite number of moments before today; the universe had a beginning. [2]

Conclusion -- Therefore, the universe had a beginning.

This shows the argument valid (as the conclusion follows from the premises), and that it is a sound argument. It can be scientifically and philosophically shown that the universe had a beginning, and therefore had a cause.

Argument Two: The Ontological Argument

This argument is as follows:

P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
P3: If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
P5: If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
C: Therefore, a maximally great being exists. [3]

This is a logically air-tight argument, and an uncontroversial one. Each premise logically leads to the conclusion, following modal logic. The only way to defeat this argument is to show that the concept of God is incoherent.

There are three types of entities to distinguish: First, are impossible entities. These are entities that exist in no possible world, because they are logically incoherent. For example, square circles. Second, there are contingent entities. These are entities that exist in some possible worlds, but not others. It is possible that they could not exist. Humans are contingent entities. Third, are necessary entities. These are entities that must exist by their own nature, and must exist in every possible world. Numbers are necessary entities.

God is a necessary entity, and as shown in the Ontological Argument, as long as it is possible that God exists, then he exists in the actual world (which is the world we live in now).

Argument Three: Thomistic Cosmological Argument

The third argument is as follows:

P1: Things do move. Motion is the most obvious form of change.
P2: Change is a passing from potence to act (i.e. from potentiality to actuality).
P3: Nothing passes from potency to act except by something that is in actuality, for it is impossible for a potentiality to actualize itself.
P4: There cannot be an infinite regress of actualizers or movers. If there is no First Mover, there can be no subsequent motion, since all subsequent motion depends on prior movers for its motion.
C1: Therefore, there must be a first, Unmoved Mover, a pure actualizer with no potentiality in it that is unactualized.
C2: Everyone understands this to be God. [4]

A quick note about actuality and potentiality.

Consider a red rubber ball. There are some qualities it has actually, such as redness, roundness, bounciness, etc. That red rubber ball also has potentialities (e.g. it can become blue if you paint it, it can become soft and gooey if you melt it, etc.). The red rubber ball can't actualize its potentials unless acted upon by an outside force.

For Aquinas, movement was a change from potentiality to actuality. Nothing can actualize its potential unless acted upon by an outside force. So nothing in the universe could not be moving unless there was a First Cause (not temporally first, necessarily, but first in the chain of causes), an Unmoved Mover who has no potentialities, but is all actuality.

I hope these arguments will prove illuminating. I look forward to Con's response.

[1] Craig, William Lane, On Guard, 2010, 74.
[2] Geisler, Norman L., The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, p. 399.
[3] Craig, William Lane, "The Ontological Argument," in To Everyone An Answer, Francis J. Beckwith, William Lane Craig, and J.P. Moreland ed., (InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL, 2004), p. 128.
[4] Geisler, p. 162.
[5] Feser, Edward, Aquinas: Beginner's Edition, Oneworld Publications, 2009, p. 10.
TheSaint

Con

Thank you for this interesting debate. I have long wanted to debate the existence of god. Let's see how it goes.

Argument One: The free will argument.

P1: Humans have free will.
P2: Having free will implies having power over oneself.
P3: To be a maximally powerful being you must control everything.
P4: Since humans have power over themselves no other being can have power over their free will.
C: Since no being can have complete control over human's free will a maximally powerful being cannot exist.

Premise 1-- Humans have free will.
This is uncontroversial. Look to the bible, Koran, Torah etc. Humans are always given free will. Without it any sense of sin or morality would not exist. I could elaborate on this if my opponent takes issue with this premise.

Premise 2 -- Having free will implies having power over oneself.
This as well is a simple definition of free will.

Premise 3 -- To be a maximally powerful being you must control everything.
Again, a simple definition of what it means to be maximally powerful.

Premise 4 -- Since humans have power over themselves no other being can have power over their free will.
A very logical conclusion, if humans control themselves it is automatically implied that they and nothing else controls them.

Conclusion -- Since no being can have complete control over human's free will a maximally powerful being cannot exist.
Again an easily created logical conclusion, going off premise 4, which derives from premise 1-3, we can conclude that it is impossible for any being to have power over humans making them not maximally powerful.

Argument Two: The Paradox Argument.

P.1: A maximally great being has the ability to do anything.
P.2: Since a maximally great being has the ability to do anything it should be able to create an object that it could not lift.
P.3: If a maximally great had a task that it could not achieve it would cease to be maximally great.
C: A maximally great being cannot exist

Premise 1 -- A maximally great being has the ability to do anything.
Simple definition of omnipotent.

Premise 2 -- Since a maximally great being has the ability to do anything it should be able to create an object that it could not lift.
This is an easily made logical conclusion, if a maximally great being has the ability to do anything it should be able to do this.

Premise 3 -- If a maximally great being had a task that it could not achieve it would cease to be maximally great.
If a maximally great being could not do something it would no longer be maximally great. Since it created a task for itself (creating an object it could not lift) that it cannot achieve it no longer can do something. If it could not create an object that it could not lift then again it has failed to achieve the task of creating an object it cannot lift.

Conclusion -- A maximally great being cannot exist
This conclusion derives from premise two and three. This maximally great being is tasked with both creating a task it cannot achieve and then achieving that task it had just created. The being would obviously be unable to achieve one of the two tasks and thus fail in it's definition of being maximally great by not being able to achieve all possible tasks.--This is very similar to the paradox of a unmovable object and an unstoppable force hitting each other. One of which must lose their inherent characteristics in that situation meaning that one of them cannot exist in the same universe as the other.

Rebuttal:
I would like to take issue with quite a few of my opponent's premises.

Argument One: The Kalam Cosmological Argument
P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C: Therefore, the universe had a cause. [1]

Rebuttal:
I agree with all the premises and even the conclusion of this argument. The issue is simply put that just because the universe had some creator and beginning does not mean that that creator was a maximally great being. For example, I can create a cake. I am not maximally great. I.E. The creator of the universe is not inherently maximally great.

I would submit that the creator of the universe was the big bang. This can be refuted but for the most part it is generally accepted by science. I would be happy to further back up this statement if it is refuted. The big bang is not maximally great as in it no longer has power, omnipresence, benevolence etc. What this means is that while you are correct, something created the universe, that something was not however a maximally great being.

I foresee that you will argue what came before the big bang?
Well, I don't know, in fact nobody knows. But we do know that something can come from nothing. Recently at cern using vacuum fluctuations between two casmir plates anti-particles and particles quickly came into existence and then vanished. [1]. This is allowed for under quantum physics and under Heisenberg uncertainty principle actually happens quite frequently. So, there doesn't necessarily have to be anything before the big bang in order for the universe to exist.

If you disagree with this it raises the question, Who/What created this Maximally Great Being? And if something created it wouldn't it be more maximally great? Which would negate the resolution.

Argument Two: The Ontological Argument

P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
P3: If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
P5: If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
C: Therefore, a maximally great being exists. [3]

Premise 1:Incorrect. See my first two arguments which logically prove that a maximally great being cannot exist. You cannot simply assume this...

Premise 2:This does not make sense. It only works under the Multi-Verse theory which is an extremely unlikely version of reality. I would task you of proving that entire theory in order to utilize the idea of multiple worlds.

Premise 3:Also doesn't make sense. Even if the Multi-Verse theory is accurate this doesn't work. Simply because something exists in one universe doesn't mean it will exist in another.

Premise 4:This fails after premise 1-3 have been negated.

Premise 5:This fails after premise 4 is negated.

Conclusion:All premises have been negated. Conclusion is negated.

Argument Negated

Argument Three: Thomistic Cosmological Argument

Premise 1: Motion is not a form of change. In fact, most theoretical physicists would agree that it is impossible to move as all movement is created in perspective due to the Theory of Relativity. From your perspective it looks as though the universe moves around you as you stand still. From any one perspective, self motion is impossible and is thus not change.
Premise 2: Conceded
Premise 3: Conceded.
Premise 4: Wrong, see my point about something from nothing, that works for energy as well. (Energy translates into motion)
Conclusion 1: This does not matter. This "original mover" is not necessarily a maximally great being. See argument about big bang.
Conclusion 2: This is an Argument Ad Populum. it doesn't mean anything.

Even if premises are correct the conclusion only states that there is a creator of the universe. That creator is not necessarily a maximally great being. It is likely the big bang and if it is god it does not show that he is benevolent, omnipresent, and omnipotent.I have negated premise 1 and 4 negating the conclusion. I have also shown the conclusions to be irrelevent to the resolution.

Argument Negated.

Final Conclusion: I have created 2 arguments of my own and negated all of my opponents arguments.

Resolution Negated.

Thank you for this interesting debate. I look forward to your rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 2
KeytarHero

Pro

I thank Con for his arguments and for continuing the debate. My opponent forfeited in my last few debates, so it's nice to have someone continue with it.

Con's First Argument: Free Will

Con's argument is unsound, as I will demonstrate.

I agree with Con's premise one. Humans have free will. Without it, it makes no sense to punish someone for doing wrong or to reward someone for doing right.

I take issue with his premise two. Free will is the ability to determine your own actions, to make decisions freely. Your moral actions are not uncaused or caused by another. [1] Thus, you can have your will taken away (such as being forced at gunpoint to do something). But in that case, you are still a free moral agent who is temporarily having your free will usurped by another. Which means that even if God were to force someone to perform an action, this does not mean that we are not free moral agents, just that we had our will temporarily usurped.

Con's premise three is demonstrably false, and hence his argument is unsound. Being a maximally great being does not entail that you can do absolutely everything. God can't do what is logically incoherent (more on that when I address the Omnipotence Paradox, below). As such, God doesn't have to be able to control everything in order to be maximally great. First, being able to control everything means that he could certainly control his own actions, so that he would not have to be in control of human beings at all times. But second, since God has made us free moral agents, then he can't control our behaviors. This is why people have been allowed to perform some atrocious evils in the past (such as the recent school shooters, Hitler, Stalin, etc.).

Due to Con's premise three being false, his argument is unsound.

Con's Second Argument: The Omnipotence Paradox

Con's argument here is also unsound.

Con's first premise is false. Omnipotence does not entail the ability to do everything. As a maximally moral being, God can't do anything immoral (e.g. he can't lie). Also, God can't do the logically incoherent (such as creating a square circle, a married bachelor, or a stone so heavy he can't lift it). As such, Con's argument fails because it relies on a false definition of omnipotence.

Con's premise two fails for the reasons outlined in my examination of his first premise. Omnipotence means "almighty in power," not the ability to do everything. [2]

The Omnipotence Paradox has essentially been rendered academic by philosophers like Alvin Plantinga, who show that an omnipotent being can't do what is logically incoherent. God can't create a square circle because squares, by their definition, have four sides and four corners, and circles have no sides and no corners. Likewise, God can't create a stone so heavy he can't lift it because any stone he could create, he could lift.

Con's premise three collapses because, again, it relies on a faulty definition of omnipotence.

Con's argument is unsound.

My first argument: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

Con has conceded my premises and argument, so my argument succeeds.

The problem with Con's rebuttal is that he is comparing himself baking a cake with God creating the universe, which is a false analogy. Con can bake a cake because we know about cooking, and we have the raw materials to bake the cake with. It takes an all-powerful being (read: an omnipotent being) to create the universe for two main reasons.

First, the universe is not eternal. Who- or whatever created the universe did so from nothing. Something cannot come from nothing uncaused, because "nothing" is literally "no thing" -- it has no qualities, no potentialities, it literally does not exist. In order for something to come from nothing, it requires a cause -- an intelligent cause.

Second, considering the absolutely massive scope of the universe, we know that the Creator had to be omnipotent because a being of limited power would not have been able to create a universe of this scope and this amount of order. It simply boggles the mind (to put it mildly) to argue that the creator of the universe wasn't an all-knowing, all-powerful entity.

I agree with the Big Bang (and it was originally seen as a problem by atheistic scientists because of its Theistic implications). But just like with any explosion, the Big Bang needed a Big Banger. The Big Bang was the start of the universe, but it required an all-powerful entity to cause it.

Regarding quantum physics, it has not proved that something can come from nothing. These particles come from a quanutm vacuum, which is a "sea of transient energy." That's not nothing; to claim it is is to equivocate on the word "nothing." Plus, the argument assumes that even though we don't know the answer now, we never will. But who's to say we won't discover the cause sometime in the future?

The argument does not say that everything has a cause, only that everything that begins to exist has a cause. No Theist argues that God began to exist; God has existed eternally. This is not special pleading. The universe was once seen as eternally existent. We now know it had a beginning, so we are postulating that God is the eternal entity who created the universe (since an infinite regress of causes is impossible).

My second argument: The Ontological Argument

Premise one succeeds, as I have shown that a maximally great Being is not impossible. It is possible that a maximally-great Being exists, so the rest of the argument follows necessarily.

Con has misunderstood the second premise. By "possible world," scientists do not mean "another world," such as another planet or another universe in the "multiverse." It is simply another way of viewing a possible reality. For example, unicorns exist in some possible worlds. They do not exist in our world (the actual world), but they exist in some possible worlds because there is nothing logically incoherent about a unicorn. As such, if it is possible that a maximally-great Being exists (as it is possible that unicorns exist), then a maximally-great Being exists in some possible worlds (as do unicorns).

The rest of my argument also succeeds. God is a necessary entity, which means that he exists in every possible world, including this one (the actual world).

The argument succeeds.

My third argument: Thomistic Cosmological Argument

I don't believe that Con has negated the first premise. Our intuitions tell us that we move around. If I can stand up and walk out my door, but I have not stayed in one place -- I have changed my location. We know that the Earth revolves around the sun (even though common thought was that everything else revolved around the Earth). I would encourage Con to support his contention with evidence and/or quotes from these physicists. Otherwise his argument can be rejected as having no support.

Con has conceded premises 2 and 3.

As for premise four, even if Con is correct and everything moves around us, that still shows that there is movement. A First Mover would still be required. Con has simply exchanged one problem for another.

The First Mover would have to be an intelligent agency, one who is pure act and no potentiality (since he exists as the first in the causal chain of movers). As I indicated last round, a thing's potentiality cannot be actualized unless acted upon by an outside force. That outside force must be an intelligent one, one in charge of his own actions, who has a reason for setting everything into motion.

The argument, again, succeeds.

Conclusion

I have shown that Con's arguments fail and I have supported my own arguments.

It is more plausible that God exists because an all-powerful entity needs to create the universe, if God's existence is possible then logically he must exist, and in order to account for movement in the universe God must be the First Mover.

I look forward to Con's rebuttal.

[1] Geisler, Norman L., Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, p. 262.
[2] ;
TheSaint

Con

I would like to define these two terms. They are similar to how my opponent defined them so I foresee no issues.

Omnipotence: "An agency or force of unlimited power" [1]

Free Will: "[The] capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives." [2]

With that said I will defend my two arguments.

Argument 1: Free Will Argument
Premise 1: Conceded.
Premise 2: My opponent does understand what free will is although argues that it can be taken away in some cases. He is either incorrect in this assumption or if he is correct he has violated another aspect that this maximally great being must posses.

1: Free will cannot be taken away.
The only example my opponent created was that of being taken at gunpoint and told to complete a task, for example, run in circles. In all likelihood if this happened to me or most people they would comply, but there is no case in which free will is utterly mitigated. I still could if given the choice refuse to run in circles, attack my oppressor or do any number of things that were not intended by my oppressor. If you want to use the bible take Satan for example, he disobeyed God despite God's wishes exercising his free will. People sin every day which means all of them are acting against the will of God. (This is the definition of sin originally used in the old/new testimate [3]). I have proven that while you can influence people by creating consequences to actions you cannot literally force someone to preform some action. Meaning that this maximally great being does not posses power over this person/moral actor, meaning that they fail to meet the definition of omnipotent.

If you prefer me to modify all previous statements about this Maximally Great being's inability to do certain things to: "It is not within his power" Consider it done. Overall means the same thing as not being able to complete certain tasks. Any semantics arguments on the part of my opponent have just been negated.

Premise Sound

2: If a maximally great being could take away free will it would cease to be maximally beneficial.
My opponent has agreed that free will is inherent to humans so if this being were to remove this inherent characteristic it would be a violation of our own sovereignty as beings ourselves. My opponent's example is an excellent one, forcing someone at gunpoint to comply with orders is not a moral action, so if this being does the equivalent of this through removal of free will this being ceases to be maximally benevolent, violating another premise of it's definition.

Resolution Negated

Premise 3:
Read the simple definition for omnipotent. Unlimited power means there is nothing that limits your power. If this being has no power over human free will then free will is a limit to it's power meaning that it no longer posses unlimited power and thus is no longer omnipotent. If the being can't influence the illogical then this is yet another limit upon its power. If the being cannot make a circle 4 sided or create a rock it cannot lift then the illogical is a limit upon its power and thus it does not posses unlimited power.

Premise Sound.

-I simply want to point out that being almighty in power implies that you have power over everything, if you have the power over everything you should be able to complete every potential task.

Conclusion: I have shown all premises to be sound. Argument is sound.

Argument 2:
Premise 1:
I already talked about this. If there is a limit upon power then you are not all powerful. Pro actually makes a compelling case for my side here. This being has the limit of which it cannot be immoral meaning it does not posses that power, this means that it is yet again not all powerful. A being cannot wield all power and be unable to preform certain tasks. I believe I argue this more effectively in defense of my first argument and I do not wish to reiterate myself further. I have shown that being omnipotent gives you the power to do anything due to the lack of limits upon power.

Premise sound.

Premise 2:
Simply because Alvin Plantinga overlooked the fact that an omnipotent being cannot have limits upon its power but inherently has limits upon it's power does not mean that it is a valid argument. I have said this three times now. There are inherent limits upon power which I have shown, this means the being cannot be omnipotent.

Rebuttal:

Argument 1: Kalam Argument.
My point here is simply that because there is some creator of the universe this does not imply said creator is maximally great. It simply implies that it is a creator. You have not shown through this argument that your creator is maximally great. The cake analogy is simply to show the irrelevance of the point.

First, I never said the universe is eternal, I have even submitted facts showing how literally "something" can come from nothing. But again, whatever causes it is not necessarily maximally great. You have not shown this. Also, you cannot simply assume the cause is intelligent. Should the cause be the big bang as I theorized, the cause is by no means intelligent.

Second, the big bang or whatever created the universe was powerful, but not necessarily maximally so. To a microbe, the cake I may bake is the same size of the universe to us, but simply because this microbe cannot comprehend the power that is me, does not mean that I am maximally powerful. I also wish to point out that this is simply an argumentum ad ignorantium.

Quantum Physics: The sea of transient energy has always been even before the big bang so far as we know meaning it could be the original cause. But yet again, simply because we don't know doesn't mean it is an all powerful being. Another argumentum ad ignorantium.

Argument 2: The Ontological Argument

Premise one fails as I have shown maximally great being to still be impossible.

Premise two:
Premise two fails since premise one has failed.
Premise two also fails because the argument makes no sense, the only world we live in is this universe. Simply because you can imagine or think of this being does not mean that it in some way exists in an alternate reality of thinking. Simply because something can exist does not mean it does.

Premise 4:
See argument entitled Quantum physics. Also, to use this you must prove to me intelligent design. You have not done so. Also, you must prove to me that the starter is maximally great.

Argument 3: Thomistic Cosmological Argument

Premise 1:
I will concede this premise due to a lack of relevance.

Premise 4:
You have failed to show us the first mover is maximally great.

I again agree, something did start the universe, it wasn't necessarily maximally great. See past arguments.

Argument is irrelevant.

Conclusion:
My opponent has simply failed to prove that the start of the big bang was a maximally great being. It was likely the everlasting energy that he refers to. That energy however is not maximally great. Unless my opponent can prove the "first mover" or "banger" of the big bang is maximally great I believe I have won this debate.

Resolution Negated.

I look forward to my opposition's rebuttal.

[1]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2]http://plato.stanford.edu...
[3] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 3
KeytarHero

Pro

Once again, I thank Con for taking up this challenge. I will just respond to a few of his points from last round before I end.

I have already explained that the definition of Omnipotent I am using is "almighty in power." Con cannot change the definition of Omnipotent, otherwise he is attacking a strawman. The definition of "omnipotent" that I gave is the definition used when describing God. The Omnipotence Paradox fails because an omnipotent Being can't do the logically impossible. This is an uncontroversial aspect of omnipotence. Con is trying to re-define omnipotence in order to give himself the win.

Con's first argument: Free Will

I did not say free will can be taken away, I said it can be usurped. You can be coerced into performing an action against your will by threat of force or fear. You are still a free moral agent, but if given the choice to perform an act or be killed is really no choice at all.

In my example, I was not thinking of a menial task like running in circles. I was thinking more along the lines of being mugged. If someone holds a gun to your head and tells you to give them all your money, it would be foolish to choose death. Your life is worth more than all the money you would be carrying. The best thing to do is give them your money. This does not mean you were not free to choose otherwise, but the choice you were making was not a free choice. This doesn't mean you don't have free will, you were just not free to choose whether or not to give the mugger your money.

God allows us to make free choices, since he gave us free will. He can't take that free will away, otherwise we would not be free moral agents. This doesn't mean he is incapable of taking it away (he could have created us as mindless automatons), but he chose to make us free moral agents.

Almighty in power means you have the power to do anything that is logically possible. God create the universe; it takes an omnipotent being to do that. It does not entail the ability to do what is logically impossible.

Con's argument from free will fails because it is unsound. Premise three is false because you don't have to control everything if you're omnipotent. In fact, to say that you must control everything is to not have control over your own actions.

Con's second argument: The Omnipotence Paradox

Omnipotence, again, does not entail the ability to do the logically impossible (and his assertion that Alvin Plantinga overlooked this fact is laughable). I have already explained this fact, so I will not re-hash it here. Con's argument is unsound because his second and third premises are false. An omnipotent being cannot do the logically impossible, so he can't create a stone so heavy he could not lift it. Any stone he could create, he could then lift. Saying that God can't do the logically impossible or can't do anything that is contrary to his perfect nature (e.g. God can't lie or be tempted with evil), is not to say that God is limited. God is almighty in power, meaning that he can do anything that is logically possible or within his nature to do.

My first argument: KCA

The cake analogy is a false analogy, as I have shown, because anyone can make a cake. It does not imply omnipotence to be able to bake a cake, since humans known how to bake and they have the pre-existing materials with which to bake it. God created the entire universe (some 14.7 billion light-years across) from nothing, no pre-existing materials. An omnipotent Being is needed to do that. If God was not omnipotent, he could not have created the universe ex nihilo.

I'm aware that Con never said the universe is eternal; just the opposite. But that works in my favor. Con conceded the argument in round two, so this argument succeeds. And since an omnipotent Being is needed to create the universe, the creater must be an intelligent, omnipotent Being. Since nothing can come from nothing uncaused, the Creator must have the intelligence to create and to want to create, and the power with which to do it.

The sea of transient energy has not always existed. It came into existence with the universe at the Big Bang. Since the Big Bang event was the event that created the universe, and the universe is described as all space, matter, time, and energy, then the sea of transient energy was created at the Big Bang. Before that point was literally nothing, and nothing can come from nothing uncaused.

The argument succeeds because Con conceded it, and the argument points to an omnipotent Being as the universe's creator.

My second argument: The Ontological Argument

Premise one succeeds, as a maximally great Being is not impossible. Since it is possible that God exists, the rest of the argument follows necessarily using the rules of modal logic.

The argument makes absolute sense. The concept of "possible worlds" is not a nonsensical argument to show God's existence. The concept of possible worlds is a legitimate tool in a modern philosopher's arsenal to consider the universe as it could be, and to test certain theories. Since a maximally great Being must exist necessarily, and if a maximally great Being could exist in some possible worlds, then since it is possible that God exists, and God exists in some possible worlds, then since God is necessary he exists in all possible worlds, including this one (the actual world). This is an uncontroversial philosophical concept. Numbers are also necessary entities. Numbers exist in all possible worlds.

The argument succeeds, showing that God exists following the rules of modal logic.

My third argument: TCA

Con has conceded the first premise, citing lack of relevance. Unfortunately for him, it's a very relevant premise. Since motion is a form of change, and nothing can change unless acted on by an outside force (since change is passing from potency to act), then there must be an Unmoved Mover who set everything in motion.

Since nothing can set itself into motion, there had to have been a First Cause, an Unmoved Mover who is pure actuality (this First Cause cannot have any potentiality, since there would be nothing that could actualize any of his potentials).

The argument succeeds.

Conclusion

I have shown by my three arguments that it is more probable that God exists than that he doesn't. I have also shown how Con's two arguments fail to disprove God's existence (though it's refreshing to see an Atheist try to disprove God rather than simply shifting the burden of proof onto the Theist). Con's cake analogy is a false analogy because it is not in any way analogous to the creation of the universe. Baking a cake is baking from pre-existing materials, whereas God created the universe from absolutely nothing. Nothing can come from nothing uncaused.

I thank Con again for debating the issue with me.
TheSaint

Con

First off I wish to address my opponent's accusation of my abusing of semantics. I defined omnipotent as an entity possessing unlimited power. Not only is this similar to his definition, I.E i'm agreeing with him, it's just better stated and actually backed up with a source.

To completely clear up with this issue about omnipotence I would like to create a logical deduction for what it entails.

P1. For a being to be omnipotent it must posses unlimited power.
P2. To posses unlimited power nothing can restrict your power.
P3. The inability to do the illogical is a restriction to power.
C. To be omnipotent there can be no restrictions to power.

P.1:
Definition of omnipotent.
P2:
Definition of unlimited.
P3:
Failure to have power to do something, such as a failure to have power to do the illogical is a restriction to power.
C:
If a being cannot do the illogical it has a restriction to power and thus is not omnipotent.

This is not a new argument, It does not show that a maximally great being is impossible, it just reinforces my first two points which then show that a maximally great being is impossible.

Also, to my opponent's points about how it makes no sense to do the illogical, that's my entire point, it is illogical for a being to be omnipotent because it will rely upon certain logical coherence with it's power which adds restrictions to it's power making it not omnipotent. The fact that it is illogical supports my point, not the other way around.

Free will argument:
My opponent concedes that free will cannot be taken away but can be usurped. That is not the same as controlling humans. Any being imaginable can influence me, my opponent has influenced me by making this debate which has usurped some of my free will, but he does not control me. I have chosen not to concede all of his points in violation of his will. Since I can violate any theoretical maximally great beings desire for me it is impossible for it to force me to do anything, meaning that there is a restriction upon it's power (It's power ends at human free will) and thus it is no longer omnipotent and no longer a maximally great being.

I would also like to point out that simply because the best choice at many times would be to do something and follow with influence of the higher power but I am not forced to do so. This has nothing to do with making rational decisions and more to do with common sense, but since I am not forced to do so, even if not doing so would be stupid, that mugger does not have absolute power over me, meaning that it is not omnipotent in that regard.

"He can't take that free will away, otherwise we would not be free moral agents. This doesn't mean he is incapable of taking it away"
My opponent has made a contradiction of himself here. If he can't take it away it means he is not capable of taking it away. If god can take free will away at will then it is no longer free will, it is the ability to comply with God's wishes until he chooses otherwise. Which is by no means free will, which my opponent has conceded does in fact exist.

Omnipotent does mean the ability to do everything. I have shown that through my opening logical deduction as well as just using the simple definition of the word omnipotent, if you do not have the power to do something because you have a limit upon your power, meaning you do not have limitless power.

You did not justify your point about having complete control implies no control so I cannot address it other then to say that it's a major post hoc without justification.

Argument 2: Omnipotence Paradox.

Logically impossible argument: I have already addressed this, I will not rehash myself.

My opponent did try and make a logical deduction here however:
P1. God cannot do anything contrary to his perfect nature.
P2. God is unlimited.
P3. God is almighty in power.
C. Since god is almighty in power so he can do anything that is logically possible or within his nature to do.

That defeats the idea of omnipotence, since this god does not have the ability to do the logically impossible or something outside of his nature there is a limit upon his power, meaning his power is not limitless, meaning God fails to meet the criteria for omnipotence and is thus not omnipotent.

Argument 1: KCA.

Ex nihilo argument:
It is impossible for there to be nothing. There was background energy before the Big Bang, which consolidated to form matter and the universe as we know it. If a maximally great being existed before the big bang then by definition there was something before the big bang and thus something was not created from nothing. All modern physics agree with this. With Heisensburg Uncertainty principle there are probabilities with the existence of matter and energy meaning you can create matter/energy out of nothing. Making an all powerful creator unnecessary. Also, if the theory of particles/anti-particles is true that would imply that with the creation of both the balance each other out they can be created from again literally nothing. [1]

ex Nihilo works on two premises:
1: Nothing can come from Nothing.
I have refuted this by showing it can.
2: There was nothing before the big bang.
Even if all of science is wrong the great being was there before the big bang which is certainly not nothing, meaning again something was not created from nothing.

Ex Nihilo argument fails.

Intelligent Design:
1. Chaos theory/Heisenburg's uncertainty theory imply that the universe is chaotic and not orderly.
All of the laws of physics imply a large amount of entropy and it is very likely that we came to be simply by chance. This does not imply intelligent Design, it shows simple probabilities.
2. Intelligence does not imply maximal power. I posses intelligence, I know the methods for creating certain objects, I am not maximally powerful. Even if intelligent design is true, which it probably isn't, the quality of being intelligent does not inherently mean the being is all powerful/benevolent/omnipotent etc.

My opponent also claims that a sea of transient energy has not always existed. He provides no sources to back this up. But I have provided a source to show that something can come out of nothing. Something can come from nothing uncaused.

Argument fails, also, argument is irrelevant since even if it succeeds completely, it only shows the creator is intelligent, not maximally great.

Argument 2:

1: Fails, I have shown a maximally great eing to be impossible.
Rest:
The ability to think about possible realities, does not imply that they are reality. Simply because it is possible (Not a concession) for a maximally great being to exist does not mean that it does. For example: it is possible that I am said maximally great being -> I am a maximally great being. It's a major post hoc that doesn't create results.

You compare god to numbers, I agree god is real as an idea, just like numbers, but ideas are not necessarily true. There must be real world evidence to support the theory of which you are lacking.

Argument 3: TCA:
Virtually the same argument as the KCA, it shows there is a creator. It does not show this creator is maximally powerful etc. It also is based around the Ex Nihilo argument, I have rebutted all of these premises. I am running out of space and do not want to rehash but look to my arguments about the KCA.


Conclusion:
All pro has realistically shown to be plausable is that there is a creator of the universe (Although this is contested). Pro has claimed that this creator is intelligent without much justification and I have rebutted this point, regardless, pro has failed to prove the creator is maximally great failing the resolution. I have through two arguments shown a maximally great being to be logically incoherent, making it an implausible phenomenon. Pro has failed to meet burden of proof as a result of this and I believe I have won this debate.

Thanks for the fun debate. Best of luck.

[1]http://scienceblogs.com...
Debate Round No. 4
105 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
Which is the perfect verse to curl up with your 7-9 yr old child as you share in the inspirational words? judges 19:22-30 :)

22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him."

23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don"t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don"t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don"t do such an outrageous thing."

25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, "Get up; let"s go." But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, "Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!"

christianity vs islam

It's deny equal human rights vs disrespecting human life, well played planet earth, well played :)
Posted by narmak 4 years ago
narmak
why did pro get any votes all he did was use arguments that fail on soo many levels and are purely based on assuptions and very little facts or proof
Posted by KroneckerDelta 4 years ago
KroneckerDelta
*why do they even bother...*
Posted by KroneckerDelta 4 years ago
KroneckerDelta
I don't think gilgil's comment was pertaining to this specific debate. And, as an atheist, I don't see anything wrong with defining god as the laws of nature. In fact, this is the only coherent definition of a god--it's just an unnecessary distinction. The laws of nature are the laws of nature, if that's all that's left of one's god, then why do they even both calling it a god at all?

However most pantheists who try to cop out of being accused of being delusional, by saying the above (i.e. god is the laws of nature), go further if you push them enough, which is that the laws of nature are somehow anthropogenic. There is no reason to believe that the laws of nature have a purpose of any kind, much less a purpose with human beings in mind.
Posted by Chase200mph 4 years ago
Chase200mph
Freewill is only expressed without conditions, if there are conditions, then no free will exists. Libre albedr"o masculine, he did it of his own freewill, in short, he was NOT coerced. The bible speaks incorrectly about freewill just like the author of Sherlock Holmes never gives an example of deductive reasoning in the book. Just because a book says it"s so, doesn"t mean it is".
Posted by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
This debate's definition of a God surpases all of those. This debate's definition of God is a being that is simultaneously maximally great in many possible ways. Con argued such a being is impossible, as being great in some ways, precludes being maximally great in others.
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
gilgil says "As I have pointed out on other debates why cant we all just agree the laws of nature are god."

The same reason we cant all agree that leprechauns are at the end of rainbows guarding a pot of gold, somethings are statistical improbabilities and have no place for a thinking person :)
Posted by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
If we define the word God to mean "The laws of nature", then we'd simply need another word for He who (possibly) created us, encourages the good in us, and whom we return to when we die. For this debate has substance and meaning. The differences can't be easily defined away.
Posted by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
gilgil, I suppose because many don't find that a satisfactory answer to questions such as, "Who made us?", "What is the meaning of life?", and "What happens when we die?"
Posted by gilgil 4 years ago
gilgil
As I have pointed out on other debates why cant we all just agree the laws of nature are god.

1. Everywhere at same time
2. Involved in every action.
3. Created every living thing
4. Beyond our grasp and ken
5. Nothing greater

What does some removed friend in our sky really add for us, I feel religious passion for the above description
12 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by BennyW 3 years ago
BennyW
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was well debated but ultimately con didn't seem to understand the difference between something being logically possible and logically impossible.
Vote Placed by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering jimloyd
Vote Placed by jimloyd 4 years ago
jimloyd
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: i am a christian
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: IMHO, Pro did not show that God--as he defined him--exists. This is not a vote against all concepts or even the Christian/Jewish/Islamic gods, simply the one he proposed. God is "maximally great--all great-making properties to their maximal extent". First, the only argument Pro proposed for this specific being is the Ontological Argument. We could grant him the KCA and TCA and he still loses as those arguments do not prove this type of God. Second, TheSaint made a strong argument that the Ontological Argument fails because Keytar's concept of God is logically incoherent. For example, maximal power and maximal morality cannot co-exist because morality imposes limits on Power. If an actual God exists who is as powerful as morally allowable, that God does not have both maximal power and maximal morality. Some powers have been checked. Therefore, Pro's argument fails and Con wins on arguments.
Vote Placed by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I am attempting to counter vb 5 points from devient.genie, 3 points from Delta, and give my own 3 point vote which adds up to 11. KroneckerDelta gives an invalid RDF since he assumes he is correct in what he says. RDF's must judge what happens in the debate, not what you think. Pro could be compeltely wrong but still win since the vote says: 'More convincing arguments.' Con would have to point out why Pro is wrong in order to get the vote, in this sense, Delta's vote is unjustified. Pro definitely won this debate as I explain in an RDF far more comprehensive than anyone else's. I will post the next half of my RDF later today, in the meantime, could all you votebombers withdraw or could people please counter them. Until they give a valid RDF and sensible vote.
Vote Placed by KroneckerDelta 4 years ago
KroneckerDelta
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro because Con introduced new ID argument in R4 (which is too bad because this would have solidified Con's case if only it had been presented in R2/R3 as a separate argument). Free Will: Pro refutes themselves in R4 and Con points this out. Omnipotence and free will are contradictory. Omnipotence: tie, I don't accept Con's definition of omnipotent which contradicts itself (but Pro fails to prove omnipotence is possible). KCA: Con, this argument implies nothing about "god". Ontological: Con, this argument is completely nonsensical. Con shows the possibility of existence does not imply existence. Pro tries to make a different argument about necessary entities which isn't stated in this argument. TCA: tie, this argument is nonsensical as well and mostly I cannot follow the argument. Con shows that Pro's view is not necessarily the only correct view. Since apparently it's acceptable to give points to counter other voters, I have changed my vote to counter smithereen
Vote Placed by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The integrity of the sources in pros arguments are well known beyond questionable. There is a difference between a creator and a slave supporting sexist homophobe with a perpensity to be concerned with what humans do naked with another consenting adult human. biblical god is a petty bully, the reason for everything is currently undefined.
Vote Placed by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter VB Maedis.
Vote Placed by Maedis 4 years ago
Maedis
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both arguments were pretty good, although I think Con effectively refuted the all three arguments proposed by Pro, especially the KCA.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
KeytarHeroTheSaintTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good job by both sides, I was tempted to leave it as a tie, but I feel the need to counter KroneckerDelta's vote. He clearly does not understand the ontological argument nor TCA. From his comments, I got the clear feeling that he's rooting/leaning for 1 side. Most of all he ends off "Con shows that Pro's view is not necessarily the only correct view." Did he not see that the title of the debate says "...more plausible...", not the only possability. & again in R1 "...more plausible than his non-existence..." & " I do not have to prove God's existence beyond the shadow of a doubt, I only have to show that God's existence is more plausible than his not existing." Also con added arguments in R4, those arguments obviously don't count, & cost the conduct point.