God's existence - supernatural explanation superior to natural due to violation of nature
Debate Rounds (3)
if you see a magician who waves his wand and makes cats turn into dogs, you could argue a natural explanation is possible, and perhaps even argue that it is preferable. but, the most direct observation is that violations of natural laws have occurred, and / or things outside of nature.
likewise, according to our observation in the early universe, things are not acting according to laws as we know them. more than just that, our observation indicates *violations* of laws as we know them. that is, something from nothing, and the thermodynamics issue.
-the law of thermodynamics. this says energy is always breaking down from higher states. this theory basically negates the idea that there is something in our physical universe that goes on and on back infinitely. there can be no infinite beginning, because there is no infinite end. we see an end point coming. that means there must be a finite beginning. that means, if you take things back further and further in time, something must have caused the highest energy level of the big bang. we could call that unknown, God. a reason why we might call it that, is because the phenomenon violates natural laws as we know it- a high energy level came from something other than a higher energy level.
-uncaused cause. we see a finite beginning with thermodynamics, and the big bang. there then apparently exists an uncaused cause. that is, every effect must have a cause, except apparently the first one. (we could speculate about God and his causes or lack thereof, but for our purposes in this reality, we have to content ourselves with what we see-and the cause of our universe apparently had no other cause before it) one might argue the universe could be its own uncaused cause. but that would assume something from nothing. something from something else makes more sense. (quantum mechanics shows something from nothing. but that is at the quantum level, where matter already exists to begin with. we have never observed matter to come from quantum happenings, let alone quantum happenings that didnt have matter already there to begin with)
should that something else be best considered natural or supernatural?
we could infer a naturalistic explanation and have it all be not supernatural, but the actual observation indicates a violation of laws. that is, it is something that doesn't exist in our universe. that is, there is nothing in nature to make note of that could cause what looks like something from nothing. sure, you could say it's merely something that doesn't exist in our universe 'as we know it', leaving open natural explanations. but the direct observation is more than just not what we know - it's violation of reality, or at least outside of reality, apparently more than is possible.
with the analogy of the magician and with God, this acknowledges that there *could* be other natural explanation possibilities. but nothing has to be definitively proven for it to be a called a proof, or even proven.
theists merely are arguing the most straightforward explanation - the magician apparently caused violations of nature, so we say it apparently is supernatural. it might feel wrong making that conclusion, but if that's what it looks like, that's what it's called.
First a preliminary.
I assume we are taking this definition:The concept of God as described by theologians commonly includes the attributes of omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence.
I will make my own case first and then I shall offer a brief refutation that I will further expand upon and the second round.
-Social Science and human qualities.
My case will be made from Social Science and why you would expect someone to create gods. Now I will deal with Physics and Cosmological arguments, and why these fail, but I believe it is more important to talk about human and societal development first.
-Sheer mathematical implausibility.
How many gods have been proposed in history? Over 3000. Let's take this one god, and put this over 3000. The calculation gives us the answer of 0.00033333. If we care about math, it is ridiculously improbable the god we are discussing exists.
Now my opponent and I agree that 99.99999% of these are false. We just differ on this one.
-Why have people invented gods?
Well throughout history, gods have primarily been invented to explain things.
Thor-- the lovely Norse god of thunder. People used to not understand natural forces, so they invented gods to explain them. Is god's existence explained by thunder? Nope
We could go on for quite a while about god's and what they symbolize. But the point I'm trying to make is, is that god's are usually present when we don't know something. This is referred to as god of the gaps. I'm not saying my opponent is doing this, she just is suffering from a misunderstanding of the science. The main point is the more we learn the less we need gods.
-For power and to justify bad things.
Humans are naturally good. If we naturally thought killing and acts like killing were moral, we would not have made it this far. Naturally humans will strongly resist the notion of burning people at stake, but if you introduce god, and contingent punishment people are all for it.
The Nazi party thought they were doing gods work.
Islamic extremist appeal to god to justify there poor acts.
Now I'm not saying religion is all bad; I personally think religion is great, but I am saying it is trivially easy to justify bad things with god.
Humans fear the unknown. Death is profoundly scary, so it is incredibly normal for someone to create something for consolation. The same is true for justice, we want justice. Theists love saying, hey if there is no god people can do whatever they want and they will have no punishment.
Well yea that's true, but then there would be no justice, so it's sensible that someone would create a false justice paradigm to deter bad acts.
There's more I can say on the sociology and evolutionary psychology, but that is sufficient for now. I think the concept of a god is pretty easily arrived at naturally, through the human condition and thought.
Now on the implausibility of god from logic and philosophy.
Exist:have objective reality or being.
What does this mean? I think it implies temporality. One would not say a being exists for -2 or 0 second or, that something with an objective existence, exists in no space.
So most notions of god say that god created the universe, but how does such a being exist before the universe.
Time and space begin with the universe, so saying something created the universe is to say a being exists in no time and no space. The same is true with the multiverse. Please demonstrate how any being exists outside of space and time.
Now onto the hard science.
My opponent appeals to thermodynamics, specifically the second law.
The second law of thermodynamics actually states:The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy.
Now you've made a few assumptions.
1. There's only one universe. I am inferring you think this because if there is a multiverse nothing you have said is especially meaningful or an indication of any god.
2. Everything has a cause.
3.Natural laws existed before the universe/multiverse.
4. Our universe can't be eternal
1.My case for the multiverse: Via inflation, some parts of the early universe expanded more than other, created bublbles of space time, which later developed into other universes, and our universe is just a bubble universe and requires no creator just a prior universe. The multiverse can be eternal.
2.Everything has a cause? How do you figure?
Well empirically not everything has a cause. Particles come in and out of existence from nothing with no cause.
3.Did the laws of physics exist before the universe. Well the laws of physics describe the universe, so if there's no universe how can there be laws of physics? They would be reduced to the laws of nothing?
4. Our universe can be eternal.
The Quantum Eternity Theorem states: under conventional quantum mechanics, any universe with a non-zero energy and a time-independent Hamiltonian will necessarily last forever toward both the past and the future.
Sorry I didn't realize tried to account for quantum physics. However you just kind of shrugged it off.
"but that would assume something from nothing. something from something else makes more sense. "
Well something coming from nothing makes more since to me than god being eternal and creating the universe from nothing. The former has let's variables.
When you apply quantum physics to gravity, the whole universe can come from nothing.
In my next round I will elaborate more on quantum mechanics, address any objections my opponent has and introduce the idea of god being a square circle. If god can do anything that is logically possible, and his existence is not logically possible, the he can't exist. I will go into detail in the next round
I await your rebuttals.
i will take his points about God being used to explain the unknown, as 'supernatural' is being used to explain the unknown. he has a point, it has often been the catch all for thigns we can't explain. but existance as we know it, and how that happened, no one can deny is unique unto itself/. it's not everyday we something that looks like it fcame from nothing, or that we see 'uncaused causes' or 'infinite regresssion'. you can argue that my magician point is just an analogy, but your analogy here is also just an analogy. again, we are dealing with a situation that is unique unto itself.
' Please demonstrate how any being exists outside of space and time.'
it is of course obvious that if something is supernatural. it doesn't have to and in fact wouldnt alwayts accord with laws as we know them. we have evidence of the supernatural, which just means we have evidence for something acting outside of laws as we know them. it's not definitive evidence, but it's sufficient ot say it's a proof, and it is indisputably somehting that could be called 'evidence'.
multiverse. yes ive admitted already taht there are other possible explanations. that doesn't mean we don't ahve sufficient evifence to state a theory or even a proof for something supernatural. and, those alternative explanations are just theories. they are not based on empirical evidence. the empirical evidence we do have i am arguing indicates the supernatural.
"Did the laws of physics exist before the universe. Well the laws of physics describe the universe, so if there's no universe how can there be laws of physics? They would be reduced to the laws of nothing?"
im not following what con is tryin to say here. it seems like if anything he is supporting the supernatural explanation. we can't describe something from nothing with phyhsics, and phsyics doesn't makes sense 'before' the universe'. so we go to the supernatural explanation.
"The Quantum Eternity Theorem states: under conventional quantum mechanics, any universe with a non-zero energy and a time-independent Hamiltonian will necessarily last forever toward both the past and the future."
i'm sure there are theories that say that. the standard model says that our iuniverse is breaking down from higher energy to lower energy and will go out with a whimper, as they say. we are fading to black.
"When you apply quantum physics to gravity, the whole universe can come from nothing."
you didn't really address my quantum points. we see something from nothing only at the quantum level. that means at the level where matter already exists to begin with. we also don't see quantum happenings causing matter to form. these are both huge obsticals in trying to put this in the same league with matter and the universe coming from nothing.
bottomline: if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.
Uhmmm... I don't really know what to do here. Pro has offered no new argument's and no real refutation to anything I said.
She did not even address the social science of why one would create a god.
I guess I'll elaborate on the science. The question here is: "are there more plausible models than god for the universe?".
The answer is yes, but before we look at plausible models, let's look at theism's cosmological model.
Theism's Cosmological Model:
Axioms: 1.There is one universe.
2.This universe can't be eternal.
3.The universe must have a cause.
4.The cause is transcendent.
5.The cause is god.
Statement: God created the universe from nothing.(whatever god is)
Let's analyze this.
Not only are the axioms unsubstantiated; not only is this much more complicated than any other model; worst of all it's not even false. In order for something to be false it must be able to be tested and measured against evidence and predictions of evidence.
I can not disprove god created the universe from nothing, just like I can't disprove there's a teapot between earth and mars.
However let's look at the axioms and see if they are sequitur, none the less hold up to evidence.
1. Let's revisit the multiverse. The multiverse is a natural consequence of inflation. Via BICEP2 Primordial gravitation waves have been detected, which is almost indisputable proof of inflation.
Inflation accounts for the:
1.Uniformity. The cosmic background radiation is quite uniform. Inflation adequately accounts for the uniformity. A uniform region expanded rapidly, evolving into our visible universe.
2. Mass density. Inflation predicts the omega should 1. The Planck satellite measures the omega as 1, which means our universe should be flat, which it is.
3.Small non-uniformity. The small non-uniformity in the universe is easily accounted for by quantum fluctuations, which have been observed in the CBR.
As explained in my previous round the multiverse is a consequence of inflation. All the other predictions have come true. I would say that would constitute a good reason to think the multiverse is true.
Why does the universe have to have a cause? If there must be an uncaused cause, why go past the universe? If you do so, you re violating Occam's razor.
PRO has not offered any strong refutation to the QET or the Hartle Hawkings model. We do have good evidence the universe began to exist, however that does not mean the universe can't be eternal.
Now even if axioms 1,2 and 3 were true, 4 and 5 WOULD NOT FOLLOW.
Theism's series is as follows: X(god) --> X -->Y (universe).
A much more simple and rational series is: X(universe)-->X.
In conclusion: Theism's cosmological model has 3 unsubstantiated axioms, and 2 non-sequitur axioms that follow.
Further more we can never expect theism to tell us why the universe is one way opposed to another, because in any universe a theist can say god made it that way.
-Laws of physics.
My point was if the universe comes from nothing, and before the universe was nothing thus no laws of physics, how is the 1st law of thermodynamics violated?
Also god is not implied by PRO's initial arguments.
-More models. Now that we have seen theism's implausibility as a cosmological model, let's investigate more plausible models.
-The Oscillating Universe
This is a self-contained model in which the universe evolves from a big bang, then expands and expands and then collapses upon it's self and then re-expands. This model is perfectly self-contained and no god is needed.
A boundless self contained universe model in which a creator is uneeded.
Once again, any universe that is described by quantum mechanics with non-zero energy and a time independent Hamiltonian is eternal in both arrows of time.
The universe is a quantum fluctuation. Suppose we have a timeline:
X and X are synonymous high entropy states. If you start in the middle with the low entropy state and go either right or left you will go to high entropy states.
Empty space is unstable. If one starts with empty space, one will always get something.
Surprisingly empty space has energy.
A quantum fluctuation in empty space can lead to a universe.
None of the models I presented might be the correct model, however all of them are self contained.
Even if they were not self contained, positing god would make the picture more complicated and would not solve anything.
con goes on to get into arguements that i didn't even make. but those arguments do have a good point which he didn't really address. based on our observation, the universe has a beginning. things are known to have causes. that means the cause must be outside our universe, trancendent as that proof he cited said. therefore, by definition a supernatural cause exists, given the cause is outside our natural existence. this makes more sense, cause we are estabslihing that something comes from something else, not that it comes from nothing.
i do not see how he used inflation to establish proof for the multiverse. as far as i understand it, inflation just means the universe is expanding. that comes from the big bang. and then we get into where did that come from etc. how is he really establishing anything of significance?
"Why does the universe have to have a cause? If there must be an uncaused cause, why go past the universe? If you do so, you re violating Occam's razor."
this is similar to if you see a bike rolling down the hill, and insist we shouldn't assume something caused it to happen. 'it violates occam's razor to think that!'. that rule is just a rule of thumb. as ive argued we naturally have to ask mroe questions, and in fact the razor rule is better satisfied with supernatural explanations than many other natural explanons, anyways.
as i argued before, con is just giving some theories for existence. these are just theories and are not based on empirical information. the big bang and the apparently nothingness before it, is. something coming from something else makes more sense than coming from nothing. just because it's not definitively proven doesn'/t mean it's not proven.
con argues that matter can come from empty space. he has not demonstrated that this has ever occurred, though. and, he has not estblished that it is true that matter can come from empty space. even if he did, he doesn't establish where that empty space came from. afterall, even empty space is temporal, and is an issue of existence. true nothingness appears to be before the universe, and appears to be more truly 'nothing' than empty space itself.
Pro makes this statement: "Things are known to have causes. that means the cause must be outside our universe, trancendent as that proof he cited said. therefore, by definition a supernatural cause exists, given the cause is outside our natural existence. this makes more sense, cause we are estabslihing that something comes from something else, not that it comes from nothing."
Sentence two does not follow from sentence one. As I say AGAIN, there is no good reason the universe can't cause itself. However, I think our universe is the effect of a prior universe. The multiverse solves the problem. We have a cause outside of our universe. It's not a transcendent being; it's just a different universe. Also we have not established nothing comes from nothing. I don't even think nothing in the sense she's using it is even conceivable. Something can come from nothing. I linked a scientific america article demonstrating that. Also you can read Lawrence Krauss's A Universe From Nothing for more information on the topic.
Pro:"i do not see how he used inflation to establish proof for the multiverse. as far as i understand it, inflation just means the universe is expanding. that comes from the big bang. and then we get into where did that come from etc. how is he really establishing anything of significance?"
My point was not that inflation is "proof", it was that it is evidence. If inflation were true we would expect to see certain things, and guess what? We observe these things. Inflation's predictions are right, and I think that constitutes a good reason to think inflation's prediction of the multiverse is true.
Pro:"this is similar to if you see a bike rolling down the hill, and insist we shouldn't assume something caused it to happen. 'it violates occam's razor to think that!'. that rule is just a rule of thumb. as ive argued we naturally have to ask mroe questions, and in fact the razor rule is better satisfied with supernatural explanations than many other natural explanons, anyways."
Occam's razor is not ever satisfied with a supernatural cause because supernatural claims are not able to be investigated. Supernatural claims are the opposite of Occam's razor because they beg unneeded questions that can't be answered.
Pro:"as i argued before, con is just giving some theories for existence. these are just theories and are not based on empirical information. the big bang and the apparently nothingness before it, is. something coming from something else makes more sense than coming from nothing. just because it's not definitively proven doesn'/t mean it's not proven."
A theory in science is different than an everyday conjecture. Also god is not supported by ANY EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE.
Once again god is an unneeded step. If we stay with a natural cause, that can be investigated, we don't need to invoke god, which is impossible to investigate.
'con argues that matter can come from empty space. he has not demonstrated that this has ever occurred, though. and, he has not estblished that it is true that matter can come from empty space. even if he did, he doesn't establish where that empty space came from. afterall, even empty space is temporal, and is an issue of existence. true nothingness appears to be before the universe, and appears to be more truly 'nothing' than empty space itself"
Once again I linked an article. Also there are many documentaries and textbooks that would agree with me.
Pro does bring up a good point about empty space and temporality. This is why I think absolute nothingness is inconceivable. However I will say I don't know, however theism solves no problems.
Pro has completely missed my point. Once again I am NOT saying that any of these are the correct model; the point is there are plausible self contained model.
Once again theism is a poor model; it has no explanatory power and it is not verifiable or falsifiable.
Even if we look at a non-self contained model, god does not do anything for us.
Pro has not once addressed my points about social science and why you would expect populations to naturally invent gods.
Thanks to my opponent for a good and interesting debate and happy voting.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TruthHurts 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con easily wins this debate by presenting numerous other, perfectly plausible accounts of the origins of the universe, which are never addressed by Pro. Con's argumentation regarding social science was also compelling. Ultimately, Pro relied upon assertion and fallacies from ignorance, while Con used well-sourced scientific argumentation. Pro cannot wave a magic wand and cast off science as implausible.
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