Is atheism justifiable? (a viable possibility, worthwhile, true)
Debate Rounds (5)
Use round 1 to accept and simply state why you are an atheist (keep it short, 1 or 2 sentences total is enough) and specifically what position you will defend (big bang, evolution, whatever). Round 2 is your full opening argument. Rounds 3-4 are presenting more evidence and rebuttals. Round 5 is for closing statements.
I'm an atheist, because no god has been demonstrated physically, contingent on physical reality, or logically, and the origins of the universe do not allow for creation or a creator, divine or otherwise; since god is supposedly the creator of our universe that wasn't created, my rejection of god is justifiable.
No definitions were provided, so I shall supply my own.
atheism - disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of a god or gods.
god - the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority.
We live in the 21st century. We can KNOW that there are things that exist which our 5 senses cannot detect.
Examples: certain light spectrums and sound frequencies, sound waves, spores, bacteria, viruses, gases, air, etc.
If science took your approach it would fall behind. You could use that strategy to argue that when I push the button on a device that emits 40 kHz sound it doesn't make a sound at all. However, we could disprove that with a dog or a computer. The point is, you claim, "the origins of the universe do not allow for creation or a creator", which puts you in a VERY tight position. You must now account for everything we see around us, all of the evidence for a Creator. There are after all only 2 competing views, either there is a God who created everything, or, nothing became something, exploded in a very precise (huge understatement) way, formed all the necessary compounds, and became life somehow, (all in a random, uncaused fashion).
I am adamantly against the latter view. Here are some of the reasons why:
In order to speak of something and be taken seriously you must have some kind of idea/proof of how something is even possible. Anybody with some sense knows nothing just pops up out of nowhere. In fact, if this were the actual nature of things, it would destroy our reality as we know it. How can you make predictions in a reality where things can just pop into existence from nothing? Or random uncaused explosions happen...
Ponder this a moment... How amazed would you be to witness any one thing come into existence? You can choose anything you like. Can you tell me with a straight face that you wouldn't be flabbergasted? You would be shocked! Now imagine the WHOLE UNIVERSE, not just one little thing but in it's entirety... I hear people speak of these things as if it were good science, or somehow viable. I'm still waiting for anything that resembles science and not pure speculation at this point. To say you believe something could happen means little when science says it is not possible. Why should we trade in ACTUAL science such as established laws, math, and logic for this nontheistic belief system/religion of sorts? It seems more feasible that everything has a cause. Here are a few reasons (scientific laws) why we should reject atheism and the theories that accompany it:
1. The law of conservation of matter "Matter can be neither created nor be destroyed"
2. The law of conservation of energy "Energy can be neither created nor be destroyed"
3. Second law of thermodynamics (things wear down, they don't improve on their own)
4. The law of angular momentum "the angular momentum of a system remains constant unless acted on by an external torque" (If the big bang happened, we would expect to see everything spinning in the same direction. It doesn't.)
As if it weren't enough to defy all 4 of these basic, important, solid LAWS... it gets better. Did you know that the odds of everything happening just right like we enjoy presently (life permitting even) are 1 in 10 to the 60th? Which is this insane number:
(1 in 1 Novemdecillion) 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
Guess what though? That only takes into account gravity! There are obviously many more variables to take into account, such as (if big bang) expansion rate (1 in 10 to the 120th!), or the real whopper, mass and energy evenly distributed to a precision of 1 in 10 billion to the 123rd, an incomprehensible number! By the way, this is way more than the total number of atoms (10 to the 79th) believed to exist in the whole universe even! So if it was a lottery... even if you had 1 ticket for every single atom that exists in the entire universe, it would still be virtually IMPOSSIBLE to win! It's safe to say that math DOES NOT agree with atheism and the wild theories associated with it. Is it not reasonable to say that already at this point?
OK, so far atheism and the big bang have not fared well with established scientific laws or mathematics. What about logic? The 3 laws of logic are as follows:
1. The law of identity: P is P.
2. The law of noncontradiction: P is not non-P.
3. The law of the excluded middle: Either P or non-P.
OK. Now we shall plug in "state of nothingness" in the place of P.
1. A state of nothingness is a state of nothingness.
2. A state of nothingness is not a non-state of nothingness.
3. Either it is a state of nothingness or is not.
Are you starting to see how making these assumptions and speculations is to throw out all knowledge as we know it? If it were presented to you in a nutshell, you would rightfully discard it as foolishness. Nothing exploded, and here we are...
This is something presented as the truth and the best option to the kids in public schools. It is implied that smart people believe this, therefore, it must be pretty good. Some teachers just outright teach it as if it were some kind of established fact, which confuses and misleads the kid at an early age.
YOU can refute evolution. Using a clean test tube and water, insert 1 living single-cell organism. Now take a sterile needle and poke it open. You may now shake it, heat it up, shock it, do anything but add external existing life. You have all the necessary components for life, yet you cannot put Humpty back together. Keep in mind that this is granting the atheist WAY MORE than a sane person should, but it doesn't even matter because it STILL DOESN'T WORK!
Darwin also refutes himself by stating, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.
--Charles Darwin, Origin of Species
The eye in and of itself refutes him according to his standards. The eye is irreducibly complex. You cannot have a functioning eye without all the necessary components. Actually, every single cell is irreducibly complex! You need all of the parts correctly placed to function properly and thrive.
Notice how evolution has to give you a really low number of probability to excuse the lack of demonstrable data, yet we are to believe that this VERY rare instance just so happened to occur in a way that they were at the right place at the right time with a suitable mate? Scientists have attempted many tests with creatures and micro-organisms because of their high reproductive rate. Whether they use fruit flies, viruses, or bacteria, the results are always the same. You will find that information is only rearranged or lost, never gained or added to. So you may get variations but, unfortunately for the theory of evolution, it tends to be a negative attribute as a loss of information, like a fly with less wings or legs. Also, everything remains within a limiting range, as per the DNA code to select from. You will never breed a fly the size of a house for example.
DNA also is a great way to know how irreducibly complex everything alive is. Unlike the simplistic notion of some primordial goop with little complexity which we now know doesn't exist, as every single thing alive is more complex than a space ship. Or how about the fact that time is always added in as a "magic ingredient". The notion that something impossible will become possible if only you give it enough time, is absurd!
For most people this is enough evidence, however, there will always be those who reject the truth for an impossible scenario because of the implications of said truth.
Thanks for the debate Con.
I'm glad that Con accepts the definitions provided for "god" and "atheism," so that my burden is to justify the rejection of a creator of the universe.
I therefore affirm the resolution that atheism is justifiable, because without a big bang, there was neither stative time nor the passage thereof to allow for a moral creator to exist and then create the universe; creation is a temporal process, contingent on time, thus, without a universe and time, creator-->created couldn't have occurred.
1. So what is atheism?
Atheism is not really a presupposition, rather it's a default position.
In science, you cannot reject the null hypothesis until the hypothesis has been demonstrated and replicated; the null hypothesis is the default position.
Atheism is the null hypothesis for the existence of god; until there's a demonstration of god's existence, the default position is the null...atheism.
This, to me, is the exact opposite of presupposing; it's reserving your presuppositions about causation and correlation until there's evidence, which is justifiable to do.
Presupposing would be to assume a necessary agent where none has been demonstrated, and this is the position of the theist.
2. Quantum fluctuations = nothing, an unstable state.
First, I want everyone to think of the most basic existence of something...like down to the most basic level of what something is...atoms, particles, radiation, matter/energy itself.
Imagine this most basic physical existence, the smallest possible amount of matter/energy.
Now imagine that we could strip away this physical existence and be left with no matter/energy, no radiation, no particles or wavelengths of light, nothing, only empty space.
Ok, so now, everyone can stop imagining, because particle physics has already accomplished this.
In our universe of space and matter, the removal of all matter/energy/particles/radiation/wavelengths, using a vacuum, leaves us with empty space, and this empty space is filled with quantum fluctuations.
The article above refers to quantum fluctuations as vacuum fluctuations because, in our universe of space and matter, we've detected these fluctuations by using a vacuum that strips the basics of something from empty space.
Quantum fluctuations are sub nuclear particles existing and being annihilated by antiparticles, and the forces between these sub nuclear particles fluctuate as well.
I have to make this point perfectly clear.
These sub nuclear particles fluctuating in and out of existence are what nothing is, and this is always the case everywhere.
But the sub nuclear particles are something, right?
They never statively exist; they exist and don't exist at the same instant, and it is this fluctuation that makes up nothing.
There is no "nothing" without these fluctuations, period.
What is nothing?
It is a state of fluctuating sub nuclear particles and their forces called quantum fluctuations.
But what if we remove these fluctuations, that would be true nothing, right?
Even if you try to remove these fluctuations, they remain ubiquitous, thus you can never reach nothing without quantum fluctuations.
This video explains the concept quite well.
Again, the absence of something leaves us with empty space filled with quantum fluctuations, which, because they exist and are annihilated immediately, are in fact nothing; quantum fluctuations are the nothing state, and are always there ubiquitously.
Quantum fluctuations are as real as microorganisms, and we've demonstrated and measured them in detail.
But when there was no universe, "before the big bang" as people refer to it, there was no space, and instead, like the forces between the sub nuclear particles, space and time fluctuated along with the sub nuclear particles.
Space is merely the position of matter or the distance between matter; matter dictates space.
Without a universe, in a quantum fluctuation, a sub-nuclear particle exists and is simultaneously annihilated by its antiparticle, and this pseudo moment allows for the fluctuated existence/nonexistence of space and time and the forces between the sub-nuclear particles; this was the condition before the big bang, which is a constant fluctuation of time/space/matter/energy/gravity.
So, again, there was no stative time or space in "pre-big bang" fluctuations; both space and time are contingent on the sub nuclear particles, so space and time couldn't remain, and instead continually fluctuated in and out of existence.
These quantum fluctuations, nothing, are such an unstable state that energy is guaranteed to be expressed from them; that expression is called the big bang.
3. The Big Bang
The big bang left cosmic microwave background radiation behind.
With the right radio telescope, even you can see that the space between the stars above us isn't just black space, it's filled with microwave radiation.
NASA has measured it with an anisotropy probe located on a space shuttle called WMAP.
The radiation is basically uniform except for minor thermal variations proportional to the variations we've measured in quantum fluctuations.
With light, longer rays of light are in the red end of the spectrum while shorter rays of light are in the blue end of the spectrum.
When we look out at other galaxies, the light that hits us is in the red end of the spectrum (red shift) indicating that the light is being elongated, or stretched out as the senders of the light, other galaxies, are moving away from us and we from them thanks to inflation, which started at the big bang.
This all indicates that our universe is currently expanding or inflating, which means that it had to be very small in its origin.
The energy expressed from quantum fluctuations at the big bang allowed for space, which was extremely small, so even though the energy wasn't very potent, proportionally to such small space, this energy allowed for space to expand.
The universe originated at the big bang, from an unstable nothing state of quantum fluctuations that contain no stative time or space, and this does not allow for a creator or creation; this indicates that time itself did not exist until the universe began, thus negating a temporal concept like creation, before the universe.
4. Laws of quantum mechanics.
Already Con has mentioned:
"Anybody with some sense knows nothing just pops up out of nowhere."
That's a perfectly valid assertion when talking about things on a macro scale, because all physical things we see come from other physical things we see.
When talking about physics on a quantum scale however, one particle can exist in two places at the same time, come into existence from nothing, be affected by things done to other particles (entanglement), and be annihilated randomly.
So, unlike on our macro physics scale, where something must come from something else, on a quantum scale, annihilation and existence serve as the fluctuating variables responsible for "where things come from."
Quantum mechanics explains this counter intuitive realm with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
This is not simply theoretical; it is a demonstrated fact of existence.
"How amazed would you be to witness any one thing come into existence?"
As amazed as I was when I read the peer reviewed studies that I've already provided that demonstrate this idea.
Next round I intend to address Con's contentions, one by one.
Also, I reject your definition of atheism. If I wanted to debate an agnostic I would've set it up as such. The honest thing to do would be to get our definitions from the dictionary. The following definitions are from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
b : the doctrine that there is no deity
a : a person who does not have a definite belief about whether God exists or not
b : a person who does not believe or is unsure of something
It seems to be typical for a self-proclaimed atheist to want to retreat to the position of agnosticism when pressed for any kind of evidence or reasoning as to why they reject the possibility of there being a God. So far all you have had to say about the matter is that it is a default position when it isn't. If you have any good reason at all to consider something it would be damaging to science to not even consider it. Again, the atheist is one who affirms "there is no God". The agnostic is one who says they don't know for sure either way. The Christian affirms that there is a God. I'm not going to go into more because not only do people know this to be true already, but, why not just be honest and call yourself an agnostic? If that's really what you believe? What's the big deal? How have you convinced anybody to be an atheist as supposed to an agnostic or any other thing for that matter? Let me remind everybody that the terms clearly stated:
"The reader should vote according to whether or not that person makes a convincing argument (for atheism) compared to my arguments. Does this person's atheistic belief hold water and have the power to convince you or do the opposing arguments make more sense?"
So far you have only provided speculative scenarios that would force us to discard the solid science, math, and logic I already listed and the ones to come. As far as the points you tried to make, other than trying to dodge the burden of proof at the beginning, they will be addressed now.
In this source that you cite, I believe you may have overlooked some important things, like the conclusion (last page).
"Following similar argument we can SPECULATE that Biological Universe in the macroscopic level is the result of fluctuations." Did you notice that it says speculate now? How much does speculation weigh on you? Are you one to exchange everything you know to be possible for something that can only be described as speculation? Also an important detail you left out is the fact that it states (also on the last page):
"It is not possible to build up a theory for non physics content. But looking at the similarity of all the biological and other systems at is possible to make some bold assumptions regarding the existence of fluctuations at the initial stages."
Do you put your faith in something that even states is impossible to calculate or make a theory on and is pure "speculation" made on "bold assumptions"? What about the fact that any experiment being done already has space, time, energy, and matter present in the universe? Does that not confine anything dealing with an environment such as this in the speculation category? I personally can't think of a way to truly demonstrate such a thing. Another key thing to point out here is that you left out the part about how our universe would've been a mere flicker if fluctuations were the cause, thus, making it impossible (we are not a mere flicker for certain, and let some people tell it we have been around for a LONG time).
These subatomic particles appear and then disappear over such short time intervals that they cannot be directly observed. However, the effects of these virtual particles can be detected; they are, for instance, responsible for a very subtle effect on the spectrum of the hydrogen atom called the "Lamb shift." The short lifetimes of these virtual particles are governed by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP), which says that a short-lived state cannot have a well-defined energy. The HUP places a limit on the time that a quantum fluctuation can persist. The greater the energy of the fluctuation, the shorter the time that it may last. It is for this reason that virtual particles appear and then disappear after very short intervals. https://www.aip.org...
Heres a link you may want to check out too (entitled "Why can't Einstein and Quantum Mechanics get along?": http://www.physics.org...
"But the sub nuclear particles are something, right? Nope. They never statively exist; they exist and don't exist at the same instant,"
Does our universe exist and not exist at the same time?
"the absence of something leaves us with empty space filled with quantum fluctuations,"
Again, you are working in an environment that already has met various conditions that wouldn't apply to the beginning of everything that we know of such as space, time, and energy. Also I noticed the article you referenced in no way even attempts to make such an assertion such as: this could somehow explain creation. It simply says "These are all prerequisites for more ambitious proposals to exploit quantum effects in these systems for applications in quantum information processing and ultrasenstive force detection. This experiment also suggests the exciting possibility of using optomechanical systems to study fundamental questions involving quantum noise physics in even more complex settings, for example, in the presence of nonlinearities generated by strong optomechanical couplings."
"The big bang left cosmic microwave background radiation behind."
The Horizon Problem
The microwave background radiation from opposite directions in the sky is characterized by the same temperature within 0.01%, but the regions of space from which they were emitted at 500,000 years were more than light transit time apart and could not have "communicated" with each other to establish the apparent thermal equilibrium - they were beyond each other's "horizon". One way of expressing the problem is to say that the temperature of parts of space in opposite directions from us is almost exactly the same, but how could they be in thermal equilibrium with each other if they cannot communicate with each other?
The Galaxy Formation Problem
Random nonuniformities in the expanding universe are not sufficient to allow the formation of galaxies. In the presence of the rapid expansion, the gravitational attraction is too slow for galaxies to form with any reasonable model of turbulence created by the expansion itself. "..the question of how the large-scale structure of the universe could have come into being has been a major unsolved problem in cosmology" Trefil p43 "we are forced to look to the period before 1 millisecond to explain the existence of galaxies."
Also check The Flatness Problem and The Antimatter Problem.
"That's a perfectly valid assertion when talking about things on a macro scale"
Is that not the issue? Or does the universe consist of 1 particle?
I think I should stress here that my burden is to justify the disbelief in or rejection of a creator of the universe, per the accepted definition of god in this debate.
Thus atheism in this debate is the disbelief in this creator.
1. Atheism and Agnosticism
Con has issues with the difference between atheism and agnosticism.
Unfortunately, for this debate, the difference between the two terms is irrelevant.
As long as the term "atheism," as defined in round 1 and accepted by Con in Round 2, is the disbelief in a creator of the universe, agnosticism is irrelevant here.
Fortunately, I love to teach, and one of my specializations within my major was linguistics...
So, the base of the two words "agnosticism" and "atheism" cannot be overlooked, and the etymology proves such.
The base word gnostic:
"relating to knowledge," especially mystical or esoteric knowledge of spiritual things, 1650s, from Greek gnostikos "knowing, good at knowing, able to discern," from gnostos "known, perceived, understood,"
gnostic - pertaining to knowledge
The base word theism:
1670s, "belief in a deity or deities," (as opposed to atheism); by 1711 as "belief in one god" (as opposed to polytheism); by 1714 as "belief in the existence of God as creator and ruler of the universe"
theism - the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe
The term gnostic answers questions about KNOWLEDGE.
The term theist answers questions about BELIEF.
Though Con wishes to put "agnostic" and "atheist" on the same sliding scale, they are not gradations of each other, because knowledge is a subset of belief; one could use information (knowledge) to influence one's confidence (belief), but it's not absolutely necessary.
Gnostics claim to know.
Theists claim to believe.
Agnostics claim to not know.
Atheists claim to not believe.
In fact, one could not claim to know something, but still believe it to be so, and, conversely, one could claim to know something and still disbelieve it.
Atheism, not agnosticism, is the null hypothesis on the belief in god, which is a default position; until there is demonstrable, replicable evidence, we cannot reject the null.
This seems justifiable to do.
So, obviously Con is still debating an atheist; I do not believe that the universe was created, thus I do not believe in a creator of the universe, which is god in this debate.
"It seems to be typical for a self-proclaimed atheist to want to retreat to the position of agnosticism."
Atheism does not gradate to agnosticism; knowledge and belief are different concepts, which makes Con sound silly here.
2. My sources speculated?
Con pointed to my citation for the existence of quantum fluctuations, claiming it admitted speculation.
However, the speculation was not in regards to the existence of quantum fluctuations; they are a fact.
The speculation, in this article, was that the universe was a result of quantum fluctuations.
So, the source accurately supports the existence of quantum fluctuations, as I intended it to do, thus its speculations on the universe are irrelevant.
But the WMAP space shuttle probe used by NASA didn't speculate when it detected the quantum fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background radiation (proof of the big bang) that match the thermal variations detected in vacuum fluctuations.
Hey Con, are there speculations in this source?
I invite readers to check all of my sources; they're easy, interesting reads.
3. Quantum fluctuations with stative space VS Quantum fluctuations without stative space.
I had mentioned about pre-universe quantum fluctuations that there was no space, and instead, like the forces between the sub nuclear particles, space and time fluctuated along with the sub nuclear particles.
"What about the fact that any experiment being done already has space, time, energy, and matter present in the universe?"
I already addressed this 2nd round, but here it is again.
The vacuum fluctuations we've detected, of course, were discovered in our universe which has space and time.
Hey Con, do you see any speculations in these conclusions?
However, before the universe, there was no space or time.
Let me make this clear again.
When there was no stative space or time, both space and time fluctuated in and out of existence with the sub nuclear particles in quantum fluctuations.
While the sub nuclear particles are not matter, because they never statively exist, once the big bang occured, matter and energy were able to remain, which allowed space and time to remain.
Matter dictates space and time.
No stative matter, no stative space or time.
"Another key thing to point out here is that you left out the part about how our universe would've been a mere flicker if fluctuations were the cause"
Since quantum fluctuations without stative space are an unstable state, stative energy is guaranteed to result.
At our universe's origins, space was so small that the otherwise "flicker"of energy from quantum fluctuations was proportionally powerful in space the size of a sub nuclear particle.
4. The Big Bang
I sourced the fact that the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation indicates that our universe was once a hot dense point which then expanded out essentially evenly.
"One way of expressing the problem is to say that the temperature of parts of space in opposite directions from us is almost exactly the same, but how could they be in thermal equilibrium with each other if they cannot communicate with each other?"
While I reject that "temperature parts" communicate, Con has forgotten that the big bang's dense state was all one thing before space expanded.
So imagine a deflated balloon with a picture on it...the picture's matter is condensed, but as the balloon expands, the picture expands too, and would indicate that this expansion of the picture is uniform, and that the different parts of the picture need not "communicate." This is like our CMB radiation.
"Random nonuniformities in the expanding universe are not sufficient to allow the formation of galaxies."
It's not the anisotropy that allows for galaxy formation. Coalescence and gravitational instability of gas rich nebula allow for the formation of large-scale galaxies in the universe.
5. The laws of quantum mechanics.
I mentioned that in quantum mechanics, laws we associate with macro scale physics do not apply.
So Con says:
"Or does the universe consist of 1 particle?"
Though the universe's origins are largely due to quantum mechanics, galaxies and planets follow classical physics, because they are on that macro scale, the only one Con is aware of.
I must cite Con 1st round, with their claim of "ACTUAL science such as established laws."
"The law of conservation of matter 'Matter can be neither created nor be destroyed.'"
So, Con believes in a creator of the universe, which I adamantly reject.
The universe is made of matter and space.
Therefore, Con believes that matter and space were created, which violates the very law Con cites.
Con how do you reconcile this?
Also Con, please look at all of my sources before claiming speculation on particular concepts.
Oh, and if Con wishes to get around to it, Con should address the idea that creation is a temporal concept, contingent on time, and before the universe there was no stative time, so there could not be creation...
The semantics game can be funny. I won't go into a long rabbit hole of an explanation to address what is not that hard to understand. Agnosticism and atheism are both belief systems. They are both isms. They both pertain to belief/disbelief in God. You can go to the root word all you want but it doesn't change the meaning of the actual words in question. Apparently, you would like to create your own definitions which do not line up with the actual definition of the word. Still, I will debunk your assertion right now. In the definition given for agnostic it clearly says "a person who DOES NOT BELIEVE or is UNSURE". Therefore, disbelief does not mark a difference between the 2 terms. The only marker that distinguishes the 2 is the doctrine that there is no God. In other words, a truth claim that there is no God. Whereas an agnostic, being the default position, either disbelieves (but not holding to doctrine that God certainly doesn't exist), is currently unsure, or believes there is no way to be certain either way. You yourself made the very precise truth claim which you now cannot back up which was the following: "the origins of the universe do not allow for creation or a creator"
Therefore, you DO take PRECISELY the position which you retreat from all of a sudden. It is not merely a disbelief in the loose sense of the term like an agnostic, but to go as far as to say it is impossible that the universe could've been created. Therefore, having the inquisitive mind and consciousness that God gave me, I would like to ask for the EVIDENCE.
Your claims are not based on evidence. They are based on what you are presupposing. It is the fact that you go into your analysis excluding the possibility of there being a God from the very start. So how can you ever find evidence of something when you refuse to investigate the evidence with an open mind? Your own mind is the only thing prohibiting the possibility of there being a God. You somehow, in your infinite wisdom and knowledge have declared, at the very least in your own mind, there is no God. You are somehow so certain of this that you have no need to even consider it. Do you expect to reach some kind of groundbreaking discovery about something that you have already decided is not valid or worth considering? This null hypothesis you keep talking about has no place in something as complex as origins. There are certain things that we will never have hard evidence for. Does that mean we should not inquire about them? Should we never use our imagination to run tests and come to conclusions? Should we turn to you to see what you deem to be considered as evidence? What is worthy of inquiry and what is not?
I have some questions that I trust won't be too difficult, as you claim that the universe does not allow for a Creator.
What investigations have you personally done to prove/disprove the existence of God?
Can you reproduce or demonstrate the truth of the claim that quantum fluctuations and naturalism can account for everything we know to exist? (Including life, time, space, energy, mass, information, the laws of physics, and consciousness)
"The speculation, in this article, was that the universe was a result of quantum fluctuations."
That is the assertion (speculation) in question. At the end of the day though, it doesn't matter much what can or does exist now. What matters is what can and did exist then, if anything at all. You cannot even prove that the particle didn't already exist definitively can you? Can you prove that it isn't a preexisting particle which slipped through a different dimension for a flicker of a moment? No, you cannot. What you're doing is taking something that you know little about, running with it, and assuming that it can live up to all the speculations you've attributed to it. This grasping at straws has done little to convince.
"cosmic microwave background radiation (proof of the big bang)"
I've already presented powerful evidence that the big bang doesn't add up, yet you seem to have looked right past it and continue to call it "proof of the big bang". Again, it calls into question what you do and do not accept as evidence. It appears as though the criteria for what you allow as evidence is that which will make your naturalistic worldview seem possible. You discard the data which contradicts your theories, forget the immense holes in naturalism, and cling to speculative beliefs to support it. Except they don't. Even if you could somehow make the big bang from nothing seem possible, it still wouldn't follow, therefore there is certainly no God. We don't know what a creation fingerprint would look like for sure to say.
You keep saying "Hey Con, do you see any speculations in these conclusions?" as you misrepresent what I even meant. There is some data to interpret. Some things can be considered to be true until proven wrong, others are mere speculation and will never be proven one way or another possibly. You appear to give more credence to the latter.
"Let me make this clear again."
Making it clear for the 1st time will suffice. Without all the run around in the form of complicated incomplete explanations. The paper you cite says it is impossible to form a theory around it yet you seem to feel capable of taking this as far as you like. As if you've stumbled across a gold mine, except, it's only fool's gold since you cannot demonstrate it or prove that it is indeed possible. Or can you demonstrate/prove exactly what these fluctuations are, that they have always occurred (eternally), and why they occur at all?
"When there was no stative space or time, both space and time fluctuated in and out of existence with the sub nuclear particles in quantum fluctuations."
Translation: When space and time did not exist, both space and time fluctuated in and out of existence with particles (of which very little is known) that cannot be proven to have preexisted the universe.
I also would like to point out that you do believe in the eternal. I believe God is eternal. You believe either energy/particles/both exist eternally. What it boils down to so far is you have the choice between God and magic particles which somehow exist yet don't exist forever and are capable of accidentally making an entire universe with life, laws, information, consciousness, etc.
I will not present further evidence for now as I've already exposed at least 4 major issues with it that the scientific community all agree upon. If my opponent feels like he has all the answers that are missing (which the respective scientists in the field have NOT claimed to have solved), I would suggest he write a peer reviewed paper so we can get this news out that it has finally been solved. Then we could use it as evidence and it wouldn't deprive your brethren of all these answers you have single-handedly uncovered.
"The universe is made of matter and space."
You seem to have forgotten that more than that exists also, which can be readily detected. Information, laws, consciousness, etc.
"Con believes that matter and space were created"
It would follow that the Creator of said laws, energy, etc. would be able to.
"creation is a temporal concept"
God exists outside of space and time and is uncreated / eternal.
Quickly, one thing that Con mentioned from round 2 that I never addressed:
"Did you know that the odds of everything happening just right like we enjoy presently (life permitting even) are 1 in 10 to the 60th?"
Con's source never explained how these calculations were arrived at or if they can be verified. These numbers seem made up and irrelevant, and I extend that across all of Con's numbers of probability for "how things are."
Back to 4th round...
"You are presenting one of many views available, what are you doing to convince anybody that this particular view is not only correct but, it follows that there is no God?"
The particular view I'm affirming is that, without STATIVE time, in pre-big bang quantum fluctuations, creation couldn't have happened, because creation is a temporal concept contingent on STATIVE time and the passage thereof.
It follows that god, the creator of the universe, cannot be; there was no STATIVE time to create the universe, so disbelief in our universe's creation is justifiable.
The word "stative" simply means in a remaining state.
For example, "existence" is a stative concept, because it is a state that remains, while "running" is a dynamic, not a stative concept, because it is not a state and it doesn't remain; "fluctuating" is another dynamic concept.
So, when time was fluctuating in out of existence in quantum fluctuations, it never remained statively.
Once there was stative matter from unstable quantum fluctuations at the big bang, there was then stative time.
Temporal concepts require stative time.
Con, how can you justify ascribing a temporal concept like creation to an event that allowed for stative time?
"Agnosticism and atheism are both belief systems. They are both isms."
Con ignored the root words of these two terms that clearly show that gnosticism explains what you claim to know, and theism explains what you claim to believe.
If someone doesn't claim to know of god, they are agnostic.
If someone doesn't claim to believe in god, they are atheist.
Do you know of god?
Yes, I'm gnostic.
No, I'm agnostic.
Do you believe in god?
Yes, I'm a theist.
No, I'm an atheist.
One could be a/an:
1. gnostic theist - knows of god, and believes in god
2. agnostic theist - doesn't know of god, but believes in god
3. gnostic atheist - knows of god, but doesn't believe in god
4. agnostic atheist - doesn't know of god, and doesn't believe in god.
I hope this clears up any confusion on the matter, and I hope people see why atheism is the null hypothesis on the BELIEF in god, not the knowledge of god.
Also, Con, just because the two words have "-ism" as a suffix, doesn't make them a belief system.
Con, are these words belief systems?
Therefore, Con's reasoning, that agnosticism and atheism are both belief systems because of their "ism" component, is flawed.
"Your claims are not based on evidence. They are based on what you are presupposing."
My claims are that quantum fluctuations exist,
that cosmic microwave background radiation indicates that a hot dense state, the big bang, is the origin of our universe,
and that unstable quantum fluctuations explain the origin of this hot dense state, our universe.
Con, why are these sources not considered evidence, and how am I presupposing?
"Can you reproduce or demonstrate the truth of the claim that quantum fluctuations and naturalism can account for everything we know to exist? (Including life, time, space, energy, mass, information, the laws of physics, and consciousness)"
I've reproduced the truth of the claim that quantum fluctuations account for the origins of the universe, which explains matter, energy, space, time, information and the laws of physics; at the big bang, matter and all of its properties originated.
Life and consciousness come way after matter/energy, but I'll explain that too.
After the big bang, the afterglow light pattern, and the dark ages (check my big bang model 2nd round) lots of clouds of gas, nebula, were coalescing and forming galaxies and thus planets thanks to gravity.
Our iron planet coalesced from an accretion disk, and this, with the help of gravity, drew matter into the central massive body we call the earth.
Once you have this earthly planet, abiogenesis explains the origin of earthly life:
Compounds covalently (sharing electrons) bonded to carbon are organic.
Compounds not covalently bonded to carbon are inorganic.
Inorganic = H N C O (cyanate)
Organic = C 2 H 5 N O 2 (glycine, an amino acid)
You can tell that the difference between inorganic and organic carbon compounds is rather insignificant.
One more carbon atom, four more hydrogen atoms, and one more oxygen atom...that's it.
The Miller-Urey experiment in the 50's demonstrated that with an atmosphere, water salinity, electricity, and inorganic compounds likely of an earlier earth, inorganic compounds will produce organic amino acid compounds.
Though people agreed that lightning occurs without life and in atmospheres on other planets, people still complained that the atmosphere of earlier earth had more oxygen than the Miller-Urey experiment accounted for.
The replicated experiments of the Miller-Urey took that into account, and used:
1. H2, CH4, NH3, H2O, H2S and electricity, and yielded the amino acids cysteine, cystine, and methionine
2. CH4, C2H6, NH3, H2S and UV rays, and yielded alanine, glycine, serine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and cystine
3. CH4, H2O, H2S, NH3, N2, and electricity, and yielded methionine
"When reduced gases, including CH4, H2S and NH3, are emitted from a volcano into a lightning-rich atmosphere, hydrogen cyanide, ethylene, and acetylene can be generated."
So we know that amino acids, organic compounds, can come from inorganic compounds.
But what about genetic replication?
Amino acid chains (polypeptides) can fold onto themselves and become biologically active.
According to the NIH:
"The sequence of the amino acid chain causes the polypeptide to fold into a shape that is biologically active."
So we have biologically active amino acids...how do they replicate?
Well amino acids tend to speed up reactions; they're catalysts.
So before there was life, there were pre-biotic catalysts, amino acids.
"catalysis in a pre-biotic network initiated...the emergence of RNA as the dominant macromolecule due to its ability to both catalyze chemical reactions and to be copied in a template-directed manner."
So, from inorganic compounds of earlier earth, we got organic amino acids, which, when folded, become biologically active, and can catalyze reactions that lead to the emergence of RNA, which is necessary for genetic replication.
Consciousness is contingent on neural substrates, which come from life.
According to Cambridge University:
"Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states"
Con boldly claims:
"God exists outside of space and time and is uncreated / eternal."
What mechanism does god use to exist outside of time and still create the universe, and, what evidence do you have for higher dimensions?
According to the string theory:
"We stress that there is at present no experimental evidence for higher dimensions."
Round 1: I clearly state, "Use round 1 to accept and simply state why you are an atheist and specifically what position you will defend." My opponent responds with: "the origins of the universe do not allow for creation or a creator". Notice though that the only scrap of "evidence" brought forward to disprove God (and excuse being totallly close minded) was the assertion that there was no time as we know it, therefore it's impossible. However, he admits that something WAS possible (and obviously something happened), but for some reason has ruled out God. For some reason he can conceive of particles existing and not existing forever, which can accidentally create everything we know of, but cannot conceive of God being able to exist in a similar or different fashion. His "proof" relies on what he can or cannot conceive in his mind, nothing more. In his mind he believes God is not a possibility based on his preconceived notions. He failed to prove that God can't live outside of our boundaries of time and space just like he failed to prove that fluctuations and particles can. An "explanation" was provided so to speak, however, it is immediately noticeable how very little he knows about his own explanation.
I asked simply, can you prove what the fluctuations are and their cause? He had nothing other than the same thing to say, fluctuations happen and there is speculation about whether or not it could cause the universe. If he doesn't even know what they are OR what causes them, how can he be confident enough to cite them as a cause for something else? Also, it just keeps the eternal cycle going of, what caused that, and what caused that? Therefore, the whole argument was not only irrational, but incomplete in explanatory power. I have just as much proof for another dimension as my opponent has for particles certainly not existing yet existing and being eternal then causing our universe, none. But that is the whole point, it seems that his imagination is the only deciding factor. He can imagine particles that exist yet don't eternally, that can cause everything we know of to come into being, or in other words to be created, therefore, it is valid and true. He cannot imagine that the particle already existed in another dimension that is unseen by us and just briefly flickered in and out of our dimension, therefore, it is invalid and false. He cannot imagine God, who exists outside of space and time, just as he claims the magic particles do, therefore, it is invalid and false. He cannot imagine God causing the universe to come into being, or in other words creating it, just as he claims the magic particles did, therefore, it is invalid and false.
It's unfortunate that my opponent was never able to address various points and instead squandered the rounds trying to misrepresent terms and conclusions, requiring big long explanations to somehow make his arguments even seem feasible. You may wonder, "Why has pro never said what he means to say in an easy to follow way so we can clearly understand exactly what he's saying?" That's a perfectly valid question and this is the answer: To use these fancy elaborate words is the ONLY conceivable way of saying such things without being immediately detected as being complete and utter garbage. Also, notice that he never brings up one of the main points of my opening argument, the math part, until we're going into the conclusion round showing that he apparently didn't want any part of it. Readers, take a look back and notice the overall feel of the debate. I was straightforward, honest, and presented my case in a simple, easy to follow manner. I presented an ample amount of evidence to support my stance, refuted every last argument my opponent attempted to make, and never resorted to cowardly tactics which only undermine the whole point of debating (to get to the bottom of a subject for the sake of truth and knowledge). It's too bad we can't say the same about my opponent.
My opponent would do well to learn the terms he plans on using. Then he could avoid making up his own and making reference to terms that don't even exist outside of some random article or book. I would recommend to all learning what they actually mean from the dictionary. Then you won't fall into the same mistake of misrepresenting terms. You would then know that gnostic is actually defined as: an adherent of gnosticism. Or that gnosticism is defined as: the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis. My "claim" that atheism and agnosticism are both belief systems isn't based on the suffix, it is based on the definitions of the words and the real life usage since they were words. I assumed that my opponent had heard the saying of "isms" and that it has nothing to do with a word like prism, so, I will keep in mind for next time to write some type of disclaimer stating that it's only a saying and doesn't mean that every single word we have ever known that has ism in it applies. If it is a spade I will call it that, even if he insists it's actually somehow a diamond.
I should also warn the reader that my opponent will consider you to be "whining" if you ask for a conclusion which isn't based on mere speculation and unjustified personal beliefs. I guess he felt he had mixed in enough fact with fiction to pass it off but it is clear that the final conclusions, which is what actually matters, are fundamentally speculative scenarios which are based off other speculations or assumptions and cannot be proven to be possible with certainty, let alone to be absolutely true. As if irrational, incomplete, and speculative arguments weren't enough, we have to add in the false claims that state that I was given an answer as to the origin of information and laws. No argumentation made in any way addressed these matters. Not only does nothing exploding not even happen, but assuming it could, it wouldn't in any way account for laws or information. An explosion cannot cause laws to come into existence just like it can't create information. There was no good explanation given from credible sources for the major problems acknowledged by the scientific community to be associated with the big bang because the whole thing is a big dud.
I offered up an experiment which goes leaps and bounds further than any scientist has accomplished in the lab to get life and showed that it doesn't work anyway. This however was overlooked and he continues on to an explanation to life citing an experiment which was proven to be false years ago and fails to mention the problem of oxidation which occurs before life could possibly form. In other words, you need oxygen for life, yet, if you have oxygen it oxidates the substance before it could possibly build up in any significant way. He then continues on as if it weren't flawed from the beginning to show how little he knows of the actual complexity of what it takes to make something alive, functioning, reproducing, etc. As far as the explanation for consciousness, it brings out a previously unknown level of brevity. Maybe because it's not even an explanation, it just states that neural substrates come from life and that some animals also have a level of "consciousness", which I hope everybody already knew. That doesn't really explain why we would see such things occur and doesn't take into account human reasoning and overall mental abilities.
My opponent implies that his existence and mind are just a product of chance. Also, that his thoughts are merely a product of nerve signals and chemical reactions. He can't say that my nerve signals and chemical reactions are wrong or false and that his are right or true. There is no such thing as a right/wrong or a true/false nerve signal or chemical reaction. He has no reason to even trust in his own thoughts. Why should we?
In case you missed it, here's what Con missed:
1. My proof for the big bang and quantum fluctuations were both from NASA. Notice Con NEVER mentioned NASA at all, showing no contentions with their credibility or the correctness of their data; Con was too busy claiming speculation with the other sources to notice.
2. The image I provided, which clearly illustrates the big bang originating from quantum fluctuations was completely ignored by Con; it was also a NASA model.
3. Two of my sources were used to demonstrate the existence, not universe responsibility, of quantum fluctuations, and Con did not contend with the sources' support of quantum fluctuations' existence; Con instead only attacked quantum fluctuations' universe responsibility, which neither of the sources were used to support.
4. I mentioned that pre-universe, time wasn't stative. Con never addresses the stativeness of time pre or post universe; Con drops it completely.
5. I mentioned the red shifting galaxies that indicate the universe is expanding; Con dropped it completely.
6. I mentioned that nothing is an unstable state, and this will ultimately allow for energy from nothing; Con failed to acknowledge it.
7. I mentioned that energy resulting from pre-big bang quantum fluctuations in such a small space seems like a flicker, but proportionally to the small space is massively powerful. Con never addressed this small space = more powerful energy idea.
8. I mentioned that what Con claims are violations of laws, perfectly apply in the laws of quantum mechanics, and other than Con's own explanation of quantum mechanics, Con did not refute that these macro physics laws can be violated on the quantum level.
9. I mentioned that matter dictates space, and therefore time, and Con ignores this.
10. I mentioned Con's reference to the 1st law of thermodynamics, that matter/energy can neither be created nor destroyed, and its contradiction to the fact that Con claimed that god created matter/energy. Con doesn't actually drop it, he neglects its relevance in his response:
"It would follow that the Creator of said laws, energy, etc. would be able to."
Con never addressed how this doesn't violate the law "matter cannot be created."
11. I mentioned that creation is a temporal concept, and Con ignored this, only saying "God exists outside of space and time and is uncreated / eternal" without refuting that creation is contingent on time at all.
12. The most crucial shall be left for last.
The entire debate, I was rejecting a creator of the universe, god or otherwise, because claiming that a temporal concept (creation) occurred without time is nonsensical.
Since Con never responded to creation being contingent on time and he never responded to time being contingent on the universe, these resolution affirming arguments are completely dropped, hence one should vote Pro.
I also wish to respond to more of Con's conclusion.
Con shows his ignorance of temporal concepts:
"For some reason he can conceive of particles existing and not existing forever"
Yeah, Con, "forever" is one of those temporal concepts...forever requires time, and when there was no time, forever is nonsensical to talk about; it doesn't exist without time. When time fluctuated, "forever" wasn't a thing.
"In [Pro's] mind [Pro] believes God is not a possibility based on [Pro's] preconceived notions."
No, god doesn't seem like a possibility because no evidence indicates such. Con, had you provided some evidence for your universe creator, then I could reason a possibility of some creator in my mind; you didn't though.
Con wrongly states:
"[Pro's] "proof" relies on what he can or cannot conceive in his mind, nothing more..."
...and mountains of objective, WMAP-acquired-evidence from NASA that Con never contended with.
"I asked simply, can you prove what the fluctuations are and their cause? He had nothing other than the same thing to say, fluctuations happen and there is speculation about whether or not it could cause the universe"
The physics links I provided clearly state that these fluctuations are a zero energy state, and they are made up of sub nuclear particles, like quarks and bosons, that fluctuate with their forces; their cause is the absence of energy.
I never said there was speculation about their universe causing, Con did, and Con ignored the speculation-less evidence from NASA that shows quantum fluctuations-->big bang supports the speculation...voters please know that Con dropped my NASA evidence, the very evidence that has no speculation to it, because the evidence is a result of an anisotropy probe (WMAP) in outer space; the probe makes no speculations.
Con puffs his chest:
"I have just as much proof for another dimension as my opponent has for particles certainly not existing yet existing"
Great, where is it?
Oh you didn't cite peer reviewed articles, NASA's space probe, or leading physicists in the area of other dimensions?
Ok, then you don't have just as much proof, do you?
In fact, one could claim that you are making crap up; I make that claim, because string theory, the developers of the idea of other dimensions, admits there is no experimental evidence for other dimensions...you know what there is experimental evidence for?
Con continues illustrating his ignorance on temporal concepts:
"[Pro] can imagine particles that exist yet don't eternally"
Con, "eternity" is yet another...you guessed it...temporal concept, so I certainly never made the claim that pre-big bang fluctuations are eternal, because there was no time for eternity before the universe. Eternity, without time, is nonsensical; i really wish Con could have addressed the temporal concept issue more...too bad.
Con emboldens his ignorance:
"He cannot imagine God, who exists outside of space and time, just as he claims the magic particles do"
Con, you never showed how god exists outside of time and space, you merely asserted it baldly, so shame on you, and the particles are not magic, check my name, and don't exist outside of time or space, because time and space are both CONTINGENT on the particles and later of course stative matter...did you even read my arguments?
Con desperately tries to make an appeal to voters:
"You may wonder, 'Why has pro never said what he means to say in an easy to follow way so we can clearly understand exactly what he's saying?'"
Nope, I never wondered that, and I doubt readers of this will either...but I pride myself on making things clearer for people; I'm actually paid to do so as a teacher.
I mean to say:
Pre-universe, there was no stative time, so creation of the universe, which requires time, is a nonsensical idea.
P1 Before the universe there was no stative time
P2 Without stative time, creation couldn't happen
C1 Before the universe, creation couldn't have happened.
"I presented an ample amount of evidence to support my stance"
All I see is Con's ignorance of temporal concepts, bald assertions like "god exists outside of time", and a massive LACK of evidence for such claims.
What was Con's main source of evidence of a creator?
His preconceived notions that there must be a god, because he happened be taught to believe in a particular god, and rejecting this lifelong investment would certainly crush him...or something to that effect.
"I refuted every last argument my opponent attempted to make"
Except for the 12 I listed earlier this round, including the crucial resolution affirmation.
I extend all arguments that Con has not addressed, there are many, and I affirm the resolution that atheism is justifiable because a creator of the universe is not justifiable
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 10 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Given here: http://www.debate.org/forums/religion/topic/78470/. I'm also affording Pro sources because his most important sources were completely overlooked by Con. Con's own sources were noticeably weaker, lacked direct application to reasonable assessment of the debate, and were few and far between, often completely lacking on points that should have included them. I disagree that many of the points Con made were common knowledge or obvious enough to not require sourcing.
Vote Placed by Balacafa 10 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
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