The Instigator
AdamDeben
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
fishinbub
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

Is God scientifically possible?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
fishinbub
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,159 times Debate No: 22082
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)

 

AdamDeben

Con

Rules:

The first round is for acceptance.
New arguments made in the fourth round will not be counted.

Resolution & BOP:

The burden on the PRO is to prove that God is theoretically possible, without the use of magic. The burden on the CON is to prove that God cannot exist without magic.

Definitions:

God will be defined as a supreme omniscient, omnipotent, conscious being who created and/or governs the universe. The PRO may tweak this definition in the first round.
Magic will be defined as anything against the laws of science.
Science will be defined as the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

fishinbub

Pro

I accept on the premise that some revisions are made to the resolution.

A god by definition is a being that is supernatural, or beyond the natural world. Your resolution, that a god (supernatural being) cannot exist without superseding the laws of science (study of the natural world) is a truism. Since a god (the supernatural), cannot be examined via science (study of the natural world), I propose we weak the resolution. Instead I propose the resolution states, "the natural world cannot exist without the supernatural". This was we essentially have the same argument, but we have a resolution to which science can actually be applied.
Debate Round No. 1
AdamDeben

Con

Agreed. I'd first like to thank my opponent for joining this debate, and better organizing the structure of this debate. Let's begin.

God is supernatural, therefore He is magic. Magic is just used to explain gaps. It doesn't matter whether or not I can explain the beginning of the universe, because magic is a non-explanation. It just genuinely does not count. If someone today asked, "Why is there lightning?" and a scientist responded, "Because Zeus is angry" then he would lose his job. There is no magic today, and there never has been.
fishinbub

Pro

First I would like to address my opponents logical fallacy. "Magic is just used to explain gaps". While traditionally the supernatural, or "magic", has been used by uneducated men to explain odd events, those events did not contradict the laws of science. There are no laws of science which dictates that lightning cannot happen.

Now on to my main point.

1)The universe had a definite origin. The second law of thermodynamics states that the amount of energy available to do work is decreasing over time. Because it is supernatural for energy available to do work to increase, we know that in an eternal universe bound by natural law, energy available to do work would have run out. Therefore a universe without a definite origin is not bound by natural law, and by definition is supernatural. Therefore Con must
a)accept this contention or
b)concede that the universe is supernatural, therefore conceding the debate.
Debate Round No. 2
AdamDeben

Con

I'd like to first point out my opponent's logical fallacy. "Magic is used to explain gaps" doesn't mean lightning doesn't exist if magic doesn't exist. It means lightning is not caused by magic; it's just a natural occurrence.

The second law of thermodynamics just states that energy cannot flow backwards. It goes hot to cold, not cold to hot; because cold is the lack of energy. Energy just flows to where it's not. The law does not state that energy disappears or becomes unfunctional once used. In fact, the first law says the opposite.
fishinbub

Pro

"The second law of thermodynamics just states that energy cannot flow backwards. It goes hot to cold, not cold to hot; because cold is the lack of energy. Energy just flows to where it's not."

This is correct, and usable energy is energy traveling from high concentrations to low. Think of a steam engine. Water is heated into steam. This hot steams travels up to areas of colder air. A steam engine takes advantage of this upward shift to do work. In a system of total entropy, where the concentration of energy throughout a system is equal, there is no energy available to do work.

The key words I would like to point out are, "energy cannot flow backwards". Think of a glass of water. If I hold it upside down, that water flows out of the glass until there is no more water present inside the glass. The water cannot flow backwards, into the glass. Therefore if the glass is upside down, and there is water in the glass, it can be concluded that some outside force, not bound by the laws of nature at work, acting on the water. It is a)flowing "backward" against gravity or b)not flowing forward, to an area of lower concentration.

If energy must flow from areas of high concentration of low concentration, and all energy in a system moves toward a state of equal concentration (no low/high concentrations), it can be concluded that energy in high concentrations cannot be possible in the natural world. Therefore concentrated energy must be supernatural.

Also according to the first law of thermodynamics energy cannot be created. Therefore the creation of energy must be supernatural.
Debate Round No. 3
AdamDeben

Con

1) The earth's atmosphere is a relatively closed system. This allows "controlled" processes, allowing the seemingly improbable formation of life, which happened over billions of years.
2) Heat rises. That does not mean magic exists or that heat is obsolete.
3) In your second example, water is matter, not energy. And the concept you're looking for is gravity, not thermodynamics. "Turn glass upside down, water falls out. You can't explain that."
4) Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, therefore it always existed in some form. The universe as we know it in it's current form was "born" out of the Big Bang which consisted of everything, not nothing. By "everything", I don't mean planets, people, cats, and toasters. I mean electrons, protons, neutrons, photons, energy, etc.

In conclusion, my opponent has failed to make any remotely compelling argument for the natural world not being able to exist without the supernatural world.
fishinbub

Pro

I would like to address a few major fallacies in Con's previous argument, but will do so using previous arguments to avoid bringing a new argument into the final speech. Then I will give a brief summary of why Pro has won this debate.

Con's points
1)This is a major red herring and has no bearing on the debate. This is a logical fallacy which is a voter for Pro.
2)Heat rising is the flow of energy from an area of high concentration to low. Con did not dispute this. Another voter for Pro
3)The water/cup analogy is just that, and analogy. The important aspect of this analogy is that water cannot flow backwards, and energy cannot flow backwards. This point was not challenged. Another voter for Pro.
4)We have already displayed the universe must a)have a beginning or b)is not bound by the laws of nature (ie supernatural) Because my opponent did not accept my contention in round two, he has conceded that the supernatural exists. Not only a voter for pro, but the final nail in the coffin for con.

The BOP lies on me to show that the supernatural must exist. I did so by demonstrating that concentrated energy cannot exist in the natural world without supernatural influence. At this point the BOP shifts to con to display that concentrated energy can exist in the natural world without influence of the supernatural. Con has failed do to so, which results in a victory for Pro. Therefore a vote for Pro is the obvious choice...
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by fishinbub 4 years ago
fishinbub
16kadams, read the resolution again. It does not include the word "god"...
Posted by AdamDeben 4 years ago
AdamDeben
@Zaradi
Fair enough. To clarify, I was stating that PRO was using arguments that did not make any case for magic whatsoever. Like cups spill water when turned upside down, energy flows from one point to another. I agreed on that before he even said it, yet he still thought heat flowing from one place to another meant the energy would be obsolete, and therefore that's a case for God. I was trying to explain to him his misconception of thermodynamics, as most religious people happen to see it. I obviously failed to do that, and therefore I agree with your vote out of technicality and PRO wins.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
Okay, I end up voting pro off of the thermodynamics argument, although I think that this would've been easy for con to refute had he just put a little more effort into refuting it instead of just dismissing it. Overall, I think that the pro did more work explaining the scientific level of the argument on a level that anyone could understand clearly (I'm 16 and have already taken a basic course on thermodynamics in my Junior physics class, but I'm still not a whiz in the subject). Con's basic argumentation, on the other hand, was a little harder to grasp, and I'm still not entirely sure what he was trying to say.

So off of clarity of argumentation and off of thermodynamics, I think I can easily pull the trigger pro.
Posted by fishinbub 4 years ago
fishinbub
Also, Stephen Hawkins, see the revised resolution that was accepted by Con."the natural world cannot exist without the supernatural"
Posted by fishinbub 4 years ago
fishinbub
I believe thaddeus is referring to the changes I was forced to make at the beginning of the debate, because your resolution flew in the face of the very definition of science.

Also, you state that you can't prove a negative. In the eyes of science, nothing can be proven, only disproven. Therefore the BOP lies on you to disprove my contentions...
Posted by AdamDeben 4 years ago
AdamDeben
Why would I challenge something if I agree with it? In fact, I'm the first one in this debate to say heat flows from high concentration to low. I stated that 'yeah, that is science' and it was no argument for your case.
Your water analogy clearly did not make sense, because it was about gravity and it did not make a case for the existence of magic.
I didn't choose between your 2 choices, because I offered a 3rd one, which is a logical compromise between the 2.
I can't prove a negative in this situation, so I have to rely on debunking your arguments in order to prove that you did not make a case for the existence of magic.
@Thaddeus that's the dictionary definition of science.

How are religious people so blind?
Posted by Thaddeus 4 years ago
Thaddeus
Oh wow. Con majorly misunderstands what science is to make this resolution.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
AdamDebenfishinbubTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I only vote Pro because of the entropy argument, otherwise Con would have had a valid point about the supernatural. Good job both.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
AdamDebenfishinbubTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro kept debating other things from the resolution as the supernatural. Supernatural isn't god, therefore his arguments where contrary to the resolution. Also as con rightly pointed out magic is not science, and there is no scientific proof in god. Pro did have the fallacy of magic explains gaps, so? Magic is not the answer for the gaps as con points out. Pro did not make a good case proving the natural wold needs a supernatural one.
Vote Placed by Buddamoose 4 years ago
Buddamoose
AdamDebenfishinbubTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments goes to con for total-entropy argument. Pro did not sufficiently refute. Pro gets 1 point for a well-gamed effort.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
AdamDebenfishinbubTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
AdamDebenfishinbubTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: fishinbub for some reason started arguing that the supernatural exists. This flies in the face of the entire debate resolution.