The Instigator
qopel
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Billdekel
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

Is there a God?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Billdekel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,105 times Debate No: 30566
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

qopel

Con

I am an Atheist looking for a Theist to have an honest and fair debate about the existence of God. I'm not looking for a game of semantics.
If you have the guts to take this debate, you must abide by the following:
1. No use of Wikipedia. You can't use Wikipedia on a college paper. I won't tolerate it here.
2. No vague definition of words. If you use a word that can have several meanings, make it clear what you actually mean.
3. No references to Creationist websites. Creationists are con-artists and their made up nonsense isn't worthy of consideration.
4. No adding new arguments as you go along. State your arguments in the first round and be prepared to defend them later. Do not try to flood the last round with new arguments that I don't get a chance to address. That's dishonest and cheating.

Now the definitions of words that will undoubtedly, be used:
God: The one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
Atheism: The lack of the belief of a God. An Atheist does not claim that there is no God.
Scientific Theory: A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. It is NOT the same as the definition of a layman's theory. The theory of evolution is just as valid at the theory of gravity.
Evolution: Change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. It has nothing to do with Abiogenesis.
Exist: To have actual being in the PHYSICAL UNIVERSE.
Space: A distance that separates matter or energy. Space itself is "something" and can contain within it, both matter and energy.
Nothing: The lack of everything.*
* NOTE: There has never been a physical "nothing" for anyone to examine. Any claim that something can't come from nothing is not valid because it can not be proved. There has never been a nothing for anyone to examine for something to come out of.
NOTE: "Con" is not an assertion that there is no God. "Con" is only a non belief that a God exist. "Pro" will have the burden of proof that there is, in fact, a God that exists. It is impossible for anyone to prove something doesn't exist. It is, however, possible to prove something does exist. If you take on this debate, you will have the burden of proof.
NOTE: Please don't resort to the use of logical fallacies.

I will start off by saying I do not believe a God exists. If you want to claim that there is indeed a God, You may take on this debate and provide EVIDENCE for such a God. If you can not provide sufficient evidence, the default position of there not being a God will result. That is the null hypothesis.
Billdekel

Pro

I don't believe in God either, but I spent my life learning how to debate it and that's what I'm going to do.

I accept the definitions.

Kalam

1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
2. The universe has a beginning of its existence;
A. If the universe were infinitely old, it would have reached a state where all usable energy was gone.
B. It would require an infinite amount of time to become infinite in size. Since the universe had a beginning, it has not had an infinite amount of time to expand; therefore, it is finite in size

Therefore:
C. The universe has a cause of its existence.

This uncaused cause must be supernatural.

By supernatural, it is meant completely 'other' than the universe and is not the product of it. This uncaused cause must be incredibly powerful to bring the universe into existence.

TAG

The laws of logic are conceptual by nature and absolute. Being absolute, they transcend space and time. They are not the properties of the physical universe (since they are conceptual) or of people (since people contradict each other, which would mean they weren't absolute).

How does an atheist account for these logical laws?

Since the Logical Absolutes are transcendent, absolute, are perfectly consistent, and are independent of the universe, then it seems proper to say that they reflect a transcendent, absolute, perfect, and independent mind.
We call this transcendent, absolute, perfect, and independent mind God since a physical brain is not transcendent by nature because it is limited to physical space, and God is, by definition, transcendent in nature.

Argument from numbers (A.K.A TAG 2. Electric Boogaloo)

An argument proposed by Ronald Nash is known as the argument from numbers. This is how Ronald Nash explained it:

" " when I used to teach philosophy to undergraduate college students, I would sometimes ask them to tell me what the number one is. They would usually reply by writing some of the many symbols we use such as "1" or "I". I would then explain that such symbols are not really the number we are seeking but are only convenient ways we use to refer to the real number one. No wise person should ever confuse a symbol for something with the thing itself.

So what then is the number one? The first step is to recognize that the number one is a concept. What is a concept? The short answer is that it is an idea.

The next step is to ask where the concept of oneness exists. The idea of oneness, like all ideas, exists in minds.

The third step is to note that the number one is eternal. If someone has trouble with this claim, ask when the number one began to exist.

Not only has the number one always existed, it is impossible for the number one ever to change. If the number one were ever changed, it would cease to be the number one. After all, if the idea of oneness changed, let us say, into the number two, then it would no longer be the number one.

So where are we? I believe we can show many people that the concept of oneness is an eternal and unchanging idea that exists in some mind. And, the only kind of mind in which this kind of eternal and unchanging idea could exist must be an eternal and unchanging mind. When I reach this point in my little example, some student in the back of the classroom usually raises his hand and asks if I am talking about God."
Debate Round No. 1
qopel

Con

Kalam

I agree with 1, 2, A, B and C. I do not agree with the definition of "supernatural".

My opponent defines supernatural as "completely other than the universe and is not the product of it."

I will argue that the uncaused cause of the Universe must not necessarily be supernatural. Science has proved that the natural laws, as we know them here and now, can be different under certain circumstances. Einstein"s theory of relativity states that time slows down as an object's speed approaches the speed of light. The speed of light itself, once believed to be a constant, can be slowed down, or even stopped. A black hole has been proved to stop light from escaping its gravitational pull.

Under the circumstance of having the entire Universe converge into a singularity, the laws of nature break down completely to the point where they no longer exist. This is still a natural occurrence, not something supernatural.

I agree that the cause for the Big Bang must have been incredibly powerful to bring the universe into existence. However, taking into account, the billions of stars that exist and the amount of energy they produce, there is, in fact, an incredible amount of natural power (energy) without the need of anything supernatural.

Tag:

My opponent has made a claim that Logical Absolutes are independent of the Universe. Everything known to exist is in fact, a part of the Universe, including Logical Absolutes.
The burden of proof is on those who make a positive claim. If my opponent wants to claim that Logical Absolutes are independent of the Universe, he will have to prove that is the case. Since there is no proof that anything exists outside the Universe, I fail to see any evidence that supports my opponent"s claim.

Argument from numbers

The argument from numbers is much like the question, "If a tree falls and nobody hears it, did it make a sound?"

If a number exists, and there"s no mind to grasp the concept of it, is it still a number?

I would argue that a tree that falls makes a sound, even without an ear to hear it and a number exists, even if there"s no mind to comprehend it.
Billdekel

Pro

Kalam

My opponent accepts the Kalam as valid. I agree that the laws of physics were broken down in the early state of the universe, but I don't see what that has to do with the argument. Causality came into existence at the same time with the Big Bang.

There was no nature and there were no natural forces ontologically prior to the Big Bang"nature itself was created at the Big Bang. That means the cause of the universe must be something beyond nature"something we would call supernatural. It also means that the supernatural cause of the universe must at least be:
"spaceless because it created space
"timeless because it created time
"immaterial because it created matter
"powerful because it created out of nothing
"intelligent because the creation event and the universe was precisely designed
"personal because it made a choice to convert a state of nothing into something (impersonal forces dont make choices) and how can an impersonal cause give rise to a temporal effect?

Natural forces don't fit these descriptions.

TAG

My opponent here says the logical laws exist because they are dependant on the universe. This is false, the laws can't be found in atoms, pictures, in heat, under rocks, ect. They also can't be weighed or frozen.

Logical Absolutes are not the product of our universe, because this would mean they're contingent on the things listed above.

Logical Absolutes can't be contingent on those things since that would mean we could measure them in the same way we measure atoms, heat, ect.

Furthermore, the laws can't be products of the universe, because if the universe didn't exist, they still would. If the universe didn't exist, it would still be true that something cannot bring itself into existence and that something can't be itself and not itself at the same time.

Argument from numbers (A.K.A TAG 2. Electric Boogaloo)

If number one is a concept in a mind it wouldn"t exist if that mind didn't exist. A tree isn't a concept in someone's mind nor is sound.
Debate Round No. 2
qopel

Con

Kalam

My opponent is making claims without evidence.

Some of the claims I don't agree with:

The supernatural cause of the universe must at least be powerful because it was created out of nothing.

The Big Bang Theory states that the Universe was, in fact, a singularity, which is a something, not a nothing.

The supernatural cause of the universe must at least be intelligent because the creation event and the universe was precisely designed.

There is no evidence that the Universe was designed or had any designer.
Show me the evidence for that. Where are the blue prints?

The supernatural cause of the universe must at least be
personal because it made a choice to convert a state of nothing into something.

As stated before, the Universe did not come from a state of nothing. It came from a singularity.
There is no evidence that a choice was made. The expansion of the singularity was not a decision,
just as the sun igniting into a "fireball" was not a decision. They both are naturally occurring.

Tag

My opponent is only taking matter and energy into account. He is ignoring information.
A Logical Absolute is not matter or energy and should not be compared to atoms or heat.
A Logical Absolute is a form of information. It has been shown that information does not get lost,
even inside a black hole. There is no reason to believe that such information could not
exist within a singularity as well. Since the entire Universe emerged from a singularity,
there's no reason to assume that a Logical Absolute is not a product of our Universe.

http://physicsworld.com...

Argument from numbers

I will argue that a number is not a concept of the mind, rather it is a form of information
that does not require a mind to exist. The rule of quantum mechanics says that
information cannot be destroyed, even with the lack of a mind to store it in.
Billdekel

Pro

I would like to thank con for an excellent debate!

Kalam

Con based some of his objections on the idea that the Universe did not come from a state of nothing, but from a singularity. Not only is this completely unsourced but is also wrong.

"At this singularity, space and time came into existence; literally nothing existed before the singularity, so, if the Universe originated at such a singularity, we would truly have a creation ex nihilo" (1)

"Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment"(2)

His objections to the powerful statement and half of personal are now invalid.

My opponent asks for evidence of design. It's clear the universe was fine tuning, showing design.

Such as the mass density of the universe (3)

" ...1 nanosecond after the Big Bang. The black curve shows a critical density case that matches the WMAP-based concordance model, which has density = 447,225,917,218,507,401,284,016 gm/cc at 1 ns after the Big Bang. Adding only 0.2 gm/cc to this 447 sextillion gm/cc causes the Big Crunch to be right now! Taking away 0.2 gm/cc gives a model with a matter density ΩM that is too low for our observations. Thus the density 1 ns after the Big Bang was set to an accuracy of better than 1 part in 2235 sextillion." From (3)

Many astrophysicists have looked at the universe and came to the conclusion that there had to be fine tuning!

George Ellis (British astrophysicist): "Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word 'miraculous' without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word." (4)

Paul Davies (British astrophysicist): "There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all....It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature"s numbers to make the Universe....The impression of design is overwhelming". (5)

John O'Keefe (astronomer at NASA): "We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures.. .. If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in."

Con"s comment about the sun not choose to ignite itself is just a "your theory doesn't work under my theory, therefore your theory is wrong" response. Con is assuming God had no part in the creation of the sun or natural processes to make this response. The sun couldn't choose to ignite itself because everything that begins to exist has a cause.

My opponent"s objections are very weak and he never negates the cause as being a supernatural one.

TAG

This is exactly what I'm saying! How does a universe just produce immaterial, absolute, perfectly consistent information? Information must come from a mind. Con hasn't accounted for their existence.

Argument from numbers (A.K.A TAG 2. Electric Boogaloo)

My opponent makes claims about quantum mechanics without giving a source. A source should always be given when talking about something as complex as quantum mechanics. Same as above, information must come from a mind.

Sources

(1) Barrow, J. and Tipler, F. (1986) The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

(2) http://big-bang-theory.com...

(3) http://www.astro.ucla.edu...

(4) Ellis, G.F.R. 1993. The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments. The Anthropic Principle, F. Bertola and U.Curi, ed. New York, Cambridge University Press, p. 30

(5) Davies, P. 1988. The Cosmic Blueprint: New Discoveries in Nature's Creative Ability To Order the Universe. New York: Simon and Schuster, p.203.

(6) Heeren, F. 1995. Show Me God. Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 200.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by qopel 3 years ago
qopel
I wish this debate was longer, because I do have sources that say the singularity actually had a size and was not a nothing.

I also wanted to point out that you can't use the term "nothing" because nobody has ever had a nothing to examine. If you can't define what a nothing is, it shouldn't be used.
Posted by qopel 3 years ago
qopel
If causality came into existence at the same time with the Big Bang, then there was no cause for the Big Bang, because no cause was needed, since causality didn't even exist. So the statement that everything needs a cause isn't true. It's only true AFTER the Big Bang happened. The Big Bang happened without a cause, because causality didn't exist when it happened.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chicken 3 years ago
Chicken
qopelBilldekelTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: I vote Pro on the dropped Kalam argument. Sources to Pro, and S/G to pro. Con does not refute the kalam cosmological argument, rather he goes off on a tangent with a counter interpretation, then seemingly refutes that. This is a strawman. Pro was justified in extending it, and therefore wins on it.