The Instigator
danhep
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
SargonOfAkkad
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

I will debate ANY TOPIC

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
SargonOfAkkad
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 679 times Debate No: 67805
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

danhep

Pro

I will take the challenge of debate ANY topic. The contender can post any topic as long as
1. It is logical and debatable
The burden is shared as I have to justify the action or take the side of it...
Debate goes as follows
Round 1: Acceptance/topic
Round 2: Consgtructive Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttal
Round 4: Rebuttal/Voting Issues

Good luck to whoever accepts
SargonOfAkkad

Con

Ave

I accept this debate. I choose the topic "The Kalam Cosmological Argument is Sound". Pro will argue that the Kalam Cosmological argument is sound, while I will argue that it is not sound. The Kalam Cosmological Argument goes like this:

1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2: The universe began to exist.
3: Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
4: If the universe has a cause of its existence, there exists a personal, transcendent creator.
5: A personal and transcendent creator exists.

Thanks to Pro for setting up this debate.

Vale
Debate Round No. 1
danhep

Pro

Thanks for such an interesting topic. So I accept my opponents definition of the theory and will offer one more:
sound - according to the rules of logic (MW Dicionary)

Observation 1:
The resolution uses the word "sound". Therefore my burden is to simply prove the theory is logical. Any arguments on the fact that the theory my be proven false and automatically be negated.

Contention 1: The argument uses deductive reasoning.
The argument uses deductive reasoning to maintain it is logical. Each part adds on to the other to show a logical chain (similar to a proof in math). It clearly has a logical chain.
1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2: The universe began to exist.
3: Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
Logically, since we have shown that anything that exists has a cause and the universe exists, then the universe had a cause.
4: If the universe has a cause of its existence, there exists a personal, transcendent creator.
5: A personal and transcendent creator exists.
Because we have shown that a creator exists if a universe has a cause, then a creator exists in this universe.

Look, this may not be true as it is a religous faith based theory. Yet, I show that it follows logic.
Also, realize that steps 1,2, and 4 are faith based postulates so they cannot be proved or disproves, but steps 3 and 5 progress logically.

Contention 2: Each step can be justified

Whatever Begins to Exist has a Cause

1. Something cannot come from nothing " in other words, being only comes from being, being cannot come from non-being. This principle of metaphysics seems intuitively obvious, when you think about it. For how could the potentiality for something"s existence be turned into actuality without something that caused it to do so? In the case of the universe, this should be even more obvious, for in this case there wasn"t even the potentiality for the existence of the universe, for there wasn"t anything prior to the universe!

2. If something could come into being out of nothing, then it becomes inexplicable why anything and everything don"t come into being out of nothing " if universes can come into being out of nothing, why can"t horses and potatoes likewise do so? If they can, then why don"t they? Why aren"t lions and tigers and bears coming into being right now, if it"s possible that they can? What would make nothingness so discriminatory? But nothingness isn"t anything, and therefore it can"t discriminate, right?

3. Common experience confirms and never falsifies premise (1) " some have appealed to virtual particles as an empirical falsification of premise (1), but this is false. If my opponent wishes to raise this objection, I will answer it. Suffice it to say that premise (1) has experience on its side.

The Universe Began to Exist

Here I will sketch two arguments for premise (2), a scientific argument and a philosophical argument.

1. The Impossibility of an Actually Infinite Number of Things

An actual infinite is a collection of things who"s total number of members is infinite. It is not growing towards infinity, it is complete and actual. An example of this would be the set of all positive numbers. I will argue that an actual infinite, so defined, cannot exist because its real existence leads to absurdities.

Imagine an infinite collection of marbles, numbered 1, 2, 3, and so on out to infinite. Now imagine that you want to give your friend some marbles because he doesn"t have any. You take away all the even numbered marbles and give them to your friend. How many marbles do you have left? An infinite amount, for you still have all the odd numbered marbles. Here infinity minus infinity equals infinity. But now rewind the scenario, so that you have all the marbles again. This time you decide to give your friend all the marbles numbered 3 and above. How many marbles would you have left? Well, 2. Here infinity minus infinity equals 2. But that contradicts the answer we got in our first thought experiment. Because the real existence of an actual infinite leads to contradictions, it cannot exist in reality.

But if the universe is eternal in the past, then there have been an actually infinite number of events in the history of the universe prior to today. Because an actually infinite number of things cannot exist, the universe cannot be eternal. Rather, it had a beginning.

We can summarize our argument as follows:

1. An actually infinite number of things cannot exist.

2. An infinite number of past events is an actual infinite.
3. Therefore, the number of past events must be finite.

2. The Big Bang Theory

In the early 1900s, Albert Einstein formulated his General Theory of Relativity. One of the disturbing implications of this theory was that it predicted that the universe was either expanding or contracting, which contradicted the then dominant idea that the universe was static and unchanging. A few years later two physicists independently found solutions to the equations of General Relativity (GR) which predicted an expanding universe. Later that same decade Hubble observed that the light from distant galaxies was shifting towards the red end of the spectrum, which implied that they were moving away at fantastic speeds. This implied that the universe was expanding. This was the first of many empirical confirmations of what later became known as the Big Bang theory.

Because this theory is based on the equations of GR, it does not predict that galaxies are being pushed apart from a central point, but rather that space itself is expanding. As you trace the expansion backwards in time, space gets smaller and galaxies get closer together. The universe gets denser and denser, until you reach a time when everything is crushed down to a point. The density of the universe at this point is infinite. Before this, the universe did not exist. Cosmologist Alex Vilenkin writes:

"Some people suggested that the big bang singularity was an artifact of the assumption of exact homogeneity and isotropy that Friedmann adopted to solve Einstein"s equations"Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking"proved through a series of theorems showing, under very general assumptions, that the Big Bang singularity cannot be avoided." [1]

Of course, over the years alternative models have been proposed to avert the Standard Model, but until my opponent raises a model as a potential way of restoring an eternal universe, I will not respond to it.

If the Universe has a Cause, that Cause is a Spaceless, Timeless, Changeless, Immaterial, Beginningless, Uncaused, Enormously Powerful Mind

Having established that the universe has a cause, we may now inquire what such a cause must be like. As a cause of space and time, this cause must be spaceless and timeless (that is, it must transcend space and time). It must therefore be immaterial and changeless. This cause must be uncaused, for we"ve seen that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes; you must get back to an Uncaused First Cause. This cause must therefore be beginningless, for anything with a beginning has a cause.

But I think we can go beyond that and establish that this cause is also personal.

Abstract Objects vs. Unembodied Minds

There are only two things which could be spaceless and timeless, and therefore only two things which could be a cause of the universe: abstract objects, such as a number, or unembodied minds. But abstract objects can"t cause anything, let alone the universe. That"s part of what it means to be an abstract object. Therefore, the cause of the universe must be an unembodied Mind.

[1] Vilenkin, Alexander. Many Worlds in One. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006. Print.
SargonOfAkkad

Con

Ave

Pro did nothing more than plagiarize his entire argument from my friend, Miles Donahue, who also debates the Kalam Cosmological Argument on DDO. As such, DDO conventions indicate a full forfeit. (http://www.debate.org...).

Vale
Debate Round No. 2
danhep

Pro

I honestly didn't mean to use it as plagarism. I was using it as a source to justifiy.Even then, it was only my second contention. Yet, I sincerely apologize. My second contention's source is from Miles Donahue. I was trying to bold it but it didn't work. Pro, I will let you refute and write a constructive case next round.
SargonOfAkkad

Con

Ave

I will keep this round relatively simple.

In contemporary philosophy, an argument is sound if all of the premises are true and the argument is logically valid. Since I believe that the argument is logically valid, I will refute the truth of the premises, thereby establishing the unsoundness of the argument.

Pro employs ambiguous language, a great sin in analytic philosophy, in defending premise one. He defends it based on the "obvious" metaphysical principle that "out of nothing, nothing comes". Even if this metaphysical principle is true, it does nothing to support the first premise. An entity can begin to exist without a cause even it does not come out of nothing. For example, in certain interpretations of quantum mechanics, virtual particles emerge out of the quantum vacuum with no cause, thus constituting an entity that begins to exist without a cause. However, they did not emerge from absolute nothingness.

Pro's second defense of premise one is ambiguous, as it changes the meaning of the first premise. Pro asks why we don't see entities popping into existence every day if the first premise is incorrect. Here, Pro is not speaking of entities coming from nothing, but entities coming into existence in a spatio-temporal context, much like virtual particles. P1 is first defended by the notion that something does not come from nothing, but now it is being defended on the notion that everything that begins in space-time has a cause. The same is true for the third premise. Pro bases his defense on our experience, which takes place in a spatio-temporal context. Therefore, he is again defending it based on the notion that everything that begins in space-time has a cause, not on any metaphysical principle about entities coming out of nothing.

Pro implicitly assumes that we should trust our "metaphysical intuition", whatever that may mean. Such "metaphysical intuitions" are seldom accurate. Aristotle's metaphysical intuitions about motion were overturned by Galileo and Newton's first law. Our intuitive notions about action-at-a-distance, or locality, were overthrown by Alain Aspect's experiments with elementary particles. Experiment, contrary to our metaphysical intuition, has demonstrated that two particles can have instantaneous causal relationships with each from opposite sides of the universe. From the history of science, there are no good reasons for accepting our "metaphysical intuition".

Pro states that we experience things coming into being having causes, so everything that begins to exist has a cause. This is clearly an attempt at inductively justifying the first premise. I'm shocked that he does this without noting any of the problems with this method. I can use inductive generalization to disprove the theory of relativity! In all of my experience, when an object in motion gets pushed, it travels faster. Therefore, I can make an inductive generalization that an object in motion goes faster when it’s pushed. Imagine a William Lane Craig book traveling at the speed of light. According to my inductive generalization, if I push the book, it will travel faster than the speed of light. This means that my inductive generalization has proven that an object can travel faster than the speed of light. If your warrant for P1 can be used to disprove one of the most confirmed theories in all of science, there’s something wrong with your warrant.


There is another problem with this kind of reasoning. Pro is utilizing inductive reasoning, which does not yield necessarily true conclusions. In another words, it can always have its conclusion disproved at a later point. However, premise one purports itself to be necessarily true for anything that begins to exist. Inductive generalization is only tentative, so it cannot be used to support a premise that claims to be logically necessary.

Pro is taking Einstein's general theory of relativity beyond its range of validity. Physicists do not know if the universe began to exist or not. General relativity, which invokes principles such as the principle of locality, is inconsistent with quantum mechanics, which demonstrates non-locality. This inconsistency has greatly disturbed physicists, and they have taken up numerous attempts at solving this inconsistency through quantum gravity and string theory. On some of these models, the universe began to exist, while on others, the universe existed forever. Since physicists don't know which one of our complete theories of the universe is true, they refuse to conclude whether or not the universe began to exist.

Pro's mathematical proof against an actually existing infinite is not convincing. In his first scenario, one has an infinite number of marbles and gives their friend all of the even numbered marbles. One would then have an infinite number of marbles remaining left. However, if one gives their friend every marble three and above, then they will have two marbles left. However sound this may appear, it has no application to time. When one is dealing with marbles, they cannot have "1.7 marbles" or "2.8" marbles. One either has a marble, or they do not. This means that in the second exchange, one cannot have an infinite number of marbles because they cannot have all of the numbers in between zero and one and one and two. However, when dealing with time, such quantiites are possible, like "1.5 seconds" or "9.8 seconds". If we take Pro's argument and use time instead, then the problem becomes quite clear.

Suppose that one has an infinite amount of time, whereas their friend has no time. If they give them all of their time after three seconds, the person will have an infinite amount of time remaining. Thus, infinity minus infinity is infinity. What if they give all of their time above two away? They will still have an infinite amount of time, for there are states of time corresponding to 2.1, 2.11, 2.111, ad infinitum. Thus, infinity minus infinity is stil infinity.

It is logically possible for the universe to have caused itself to come into being. This may seem absurd at first glance. As popular reasoning goes, "If something causes itself, doesn't it exist before it begins to exist?" I would agree that this type of self-causality is absurd. Something cannot cause itself to begin to exist before it begins existing. However, there is a different type of self-causality which does not fall into this absurdity. Suppose that the universe brings itself into being at an instantaneous moment; In other words, it causes itself at the same time it comes into being. One cannot object to this scenario on the basis that the universe exists before it causes itself, because there is no temporal gap in the scenario I am describing. Therefore, there is a logically possible situation where the universe brings itself into being.

It is logically possible for the universe to have no cause. I have already shown that the warrants Pro gives for the proposition that “everything that begins to exist has a cause” are insufficient. Therefore, it is entirely possible for the universe to have began without any cause.

In conclusion, Pro's defense of P1 requires him to take two inconsistent interpretations of what P1 is even saying, entailing that his case for the premise is incoherent. Furthemore, his justifications cannot be taken as support for the premise. His contention that the universe began to exist cannot be established by contemporary physics.

Vale






















Debate Round No. 3
danhep

Pro

NOTE: My opponent has no constructive case. This means he has no ground. He and I can't make any new arguments since this is rebuttals. This simplifys my burden to defending my opponent's attacks and if that is done, I win the round.

"Since I believe that the argument is logically valid" - He literally concedes with the resolution. Resolved: The Kalam Cosmological Argument is sound. And since sound is "according to the rules of logic" as per MW dictionary. In my obeservation 1 I point out the parameters for the round and that my opponent has to disprove that is is sound. Yet, he concedes... so pretty much he affirms. He offers a counter definition of "if all of the premises are true and the argument is logically valid." However, this definition is extremely abusive as it pushes the burden beyond the resolution. It goes from just proving it is logical to proving it is completely true. Also, this definition has no source. So reject this definition, remain with mine, and realize my opponent agrees with the resolution.

"Pro employs ambiguous language, a great sin in analytic philosophy, in defending premise one. He defends it based on the "obvious" metaphysical principle that "out of nothing, nothing comes". Even if this metaphysical principle is true, it does nothing to support the first premise. An entity can begin to exist without a cause even it does not come out of nothing. For example, in certain interpretations of quantum mechanics, virtual particles emerge out of the quantum vacuum with no cause, thus constituting an entity that begins to exist without a cause. However, they did not emerge from absolute nothingness." First, I don't have to prove each premise TRUE. I have to prove the premises flow in a logical chain. Also, if things are appearing randomly, like in the quantum example, then there is a cause. In addition, there may be a cause not known to man yet. Logically, x causes y. Just because I don't know that doesn't mean it is without a cause. It is simply knowledge humans haven't reached yet. So this argument falls and I re-support the first premise.

"Pro's second defense of premise one is ambiguous, as it changes the meaning of the first premise. Pro asks why we don't see entities popping into existence every day if the first premise is incorrect. Here, Pro is not speaking of entities coming from nothing, but entities coming into existence in a spatio-temporal context, much like virtual particles. P1 is first defended by the notion that something does not come from nothing, but now it is being defended on the notion that everything that begins in space-time has a cause. The same is true for the third premise. Pro bases his defense on our experience, which takes place in a spatio-temporal context. Therefore, he is again defending it based on the notion that everything that begins in space-time has a cause, not on any metaphysical principle about entities coming out of nothing." Ok, my opponent simply kritiks my argument because it operates under the paradigm that our sptio-temporal context universe is all there is. However, again, that is all we know so far. Nothing has proven a multiverse theory or anything besides what we know. Also, the universe is the spatio-temporal one. It is the only logical universe we can look to, as we have quantitative and qualitative data of it's existence. So my opponent is saying I can't win because the entity could be in a different universe. We can only base our meta-physical postulates off what we experience (this universe) so reject this skeptic argument as this attack falls.

"Pro implicitly assumes that we should trust our "metaphysical intuition", whatever that may mean. Such "metaphysical intuitions" are seldom accurate. Aristotle's metaphysical intuitions about motion were overturned by Galileo and Newton's first law. Our intuitive notions about action-at-a-distance, or locality, were overthrown by Alain Aspect's experiments with elementary particles. Experiment, contrary to our metaphysical intuition, has demonstrated that two particles can have instantaneous causal relationships with each from opposite sides of the universe. From the history of science, there are no good reasons for accepting our "metaphysical intuition"." Ok, look; these institutions were inaccurate, but you are talking about 2,000+ year old places. We can only trust our knowledge at this moment. In addition, the development of our knowledge and technology helps us realize more on the meta-physical aspects of life. Again, my opponent avoids the argument and argues the assumption that metaphysical institutions are inherently bad. So, I disprove this so this attack falls.

"Pro states that we experience things coming into being having causes, so everything that begins to exist has a cause. This is clearly an attempt at inductively justifying the first premise. I'm shocked that he does this without noting any of the problems with this method. I can use inductive generalization to disprove the theory of relativity! In all of my experience, when an object in motion gets pushed, it travels faster. Therefore, I can make an inductive generalization that an object in motion goes faster when it"s pushed. Imagine a William Lane Craig book traveling at the speed of light. According to my inductive generalization, if I push the book, it will travel faster than the speed of light. This means that my inductive generalization has proven that an object can travel faster than the speed of light. If your warrant for P1 can be used to disprove one of the most confirmed theories in all of science, there"s something wrong with your warrant."

"Pro states that we experience things coming into being having causes, so everything that begins to exist has a cause. This is clearly an attempt at inductively justifying the first premise. I'm shocked that he does this without noting any of the problems with this method. I can use inductive generalization to disprove the theory of relativity! In all of my experience, when an object in motion gets pushed, it travels faster. Therefore, I can make an inductive generalization that an object in motion goes faster when it"s pushed. Imagine a William Lane Craig book traveling at the speed of light. According to my inductive generalization, if I push the book, it will travel faster than the speed of light. This means that my inductive generalization has proven that an object can travel faster than the speed of light. If your warrant for P1 can be used to disprove one of the most confirmed theories in all of science, there"s something wrong with your warrant." Look, I am not trying to disprove any other theories. I am simply trying to show that the Kalam Cosmological Argument is Sound. I am not disproving the Theory of Relativity, simply offering other ideas which can be logical. In addition, my opponent claims I make a inductive generalization, but doesn't warrant it. So reject that assertion with the remainder of the attack.

"There is another problem with this kind of reasoning. Pro is utilizing inductive reasoning, which does not yield necessarily true conclusions. In another words, it can always have its conclusion disproved at a later point. However, premise one purports itself to be necessarily true for anything that begins to exist. Inductive generalization is only tentative, so it cannot be used to support a premise that claims to be logically necessary." My opponent further claim that I simply use inductive reasoning. Yet, he doesn't warrant it. So we must leave it at its face value, an assertion, and have this attack fall.

He continues on with more attacks, but I lack the amount of characters to defend further. I do not concede with the attacks and do not permit extension of them. For next round, we will do conclusion/voting issues
SargonOfAkkad

Con

Ave

Pro criticizes for me for not making a "constructive case", despite the fact that I was never required to by the rules of the debate. In any case, I would say that Pro hasn't made a constructive case either, as stealing somebody else's constructive case doesn't count as making your own.


Pro seeks to implement arbitrary rules that were not stated in R1. For example, he states that I am not allowed to post any refutations in this round, and must only conclude the debate and discuss voting issues. However, the rules in R1 explicitly state that I may use this round for rebuttals. Therefore, I do not feel the slightest bit uncivil in ignoring Pro's request and continuing with rebuttals in this round.

Every philosopher that I have ever read, every philosophy textbook that I have ever read, and every debate on philosophy that I have ever read, treats a "sound" argument as an argument which is 1) logically valid and 2) has true premises. As the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy states, "A deductive argument is sound if and only if it is both valid, and all of its premises are actually true." Ironically, the debate that Pro plagiarized his entire opening argument from utilizes this definition as well. For this reason, Pro is factually incorrect in treating my admission that the argument is logically valid as a further admission that the argument is sound. When I state that I believe the argument to be logically valid, I am only agreeing that the argument meets one requirement of soundness, not all of them. Furthermore, Pro is incorrect in calling my definition of soundness "abusive". If anything, defining soundness as mere logical validity is the abusive definition, since a debate on the mere logical validity of an argument is no substantive than a debate on whether or not 1+1=2.

As a reminder to the audience, no definitions of "sound' were stipulated in the first round, so the proper definition is still very debateable.

Pro states that the quantum mechanics example I provided does not actually demonstrate an example of something beginning to exist without a cause. This is beside the point, as I only used quantum mechanics to explain the difference between "begin to exist without a cause" and "come out of nothing", which Pro erroneously treats as the same thing in defending P1. Simply put, I don't really care if quantum mechanics shows that something can begin to exist without a cause. I only care if "begin to exist without a cause" and "come out of nothing" mean the same thing. Since they clearly don't, it follows that the metaphysical principle "something does not come from nothing" provides no warrant for believing in P1.


Pro has completely misinterpreted my next criticism, which is likely due to linguistic differences between us. My argument has nothing to do with criticizing the assumption that space-time is all there is, or any kind of multi-verse theory. My argument, instead, was that Pro continues to equivocate, switching from a defense of "everything that begins to exist has a cause" to a defense of "something does not come from nothing", which are not the same principles. Pro, due to his misinterpretation of my argument, has failed to address it as it actually is.

Pro's defense of P1 relies on the accuracy of metaphysical intuition, which he has still failed to precisely define. I provided examples of metaphysical intuitions that have been destroyed by empirical evidence. Pro dismisses this as "two thousand year old places", even though one of the examples I mentioned relates to an experiment carried out in 1982. Pro states that we can only trust our knowledge at this moment, which has dubious relevance to my argument, as I am basing it on knowledge that we have at this moment.

I agued against the use of inductive reasoning as a support of P1 by showing that 1) inductive reasoning has its limits and 2) inductive reasoning cannot support the type of assertion that P1 is making. In regards to the first contention, Pro's remark is totally off-point. Nobody is accusing him of trying to disprove special relativity. I am using SR as an example to show the limits of inductive reasoning. In regards to the second contention, Pro denies that he is making an inductive argument. An inductive argument is an argument that reasons from specific cases to a general rule. Pro. in his opening case, attempts to prove the general rule that "everything that begins to exist has a cause" through specific cases. Therefore, his argument is obviously a case of inductive reasoning.

Pro's entire opening argument was plagiarized. Despite this, I put in effort to criticize his arguments. He responded to these criticisms by quoting massive amounts of my own writing and then adding a few sentences of commentary at the end. The vast majority of this commentary totally misunderstood the argument being quoted, or fell into the category of "completely irrelevant". The remaining portion was easily refuted in this round. Thus, I find a Con vote to be the best choice in every regard.

Vale





Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Miles_Donahue 2 years ago
Miles_Donahue
danhepSargonOfAkkadTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had the weight of argument on his side, and Pro plagiarized his entire constructive argument from me. Which, by the way, I take as a compliment. Nevertheless, I see this as reason enough to give Con full points.