The Instigator
Ceci
Con (against)
The Contender
kenballer
Pro (for)

Is there a god

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/31/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 327 times Debate No: 103355
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Ceci

Con

In this debate BoP is on Pro to explain why there is a God.

round 1: arguments
round 2: rebuttals
round 3: rebuttals

No forfeit
No trolling



kenballer

Pro

Premise one: Information represents objective reality.

Premise two: Information existed prior to the first moment of the Big bang.

Premise three: Information can only exists within space-time insofar as minds perceive.

Premise four: minds are dependent and limited by brains for their existence and function.

Conclusion: an absolute mind with unlimited properties was the first cause of the big bang.

Premise One:

Realism is view point that external things are real and exist independently of mind. Materialism as opposed to idealism is that it is material things that shape our ideas and ideologies. This means that scientific realism is essentially materialism, but realism encompasses many more"ideas than materialism. In contrast, idealism states that ideas come first and then changes in material things are pursued in accordance with those ideas. The question as to whether the universe better represents an Idealistic or realistic world was explored by Brian Whitworth in a 2010 peer-reviewed journal [1]:

1. The objective reality (OR) hypothesis: That our physical reality is an objective reality that exists in and of itself, and being self-contained needs nothing outside of itself to explain it.

2. The virtual reality (VR) hypothesis: That our physical reality is a virtual reality that depends upon information processing to exist, which processing must occur outside of itself.

He looked at all the facts we know from experimental data (Just read p.242), and he concluded that the data better fits the idea we are a virtual reality:

"This paper links the conjecture that the physical world is a virtual reality to the findings of modern physics. What is usually the subject of science fiction is here proposed as a scientific theory open to empirical evaluation. We know from physics how the world behaves, and from computing how information behaves, so whether the physical world arises from ongoing information processing is a question science can evaluate. A prima facie case for the virtual reality conjecture is presented."

Although Brian's paper did not present new scientific results, there are experiments that have demonstrated that his conclusion is true and thus realism is false. In 2012, the "quantum erasure with casually disconnected choice" experiment demonstrated that space-time emerges from information and materialism is indeed"false"[2]:

"No naive realistic picture is compatible with our results because whether a quantum could be seen as showing particle- or wave-like behavior would depend on a causally disconnected choice. It is therefore suggestive to abandon such pictures altogether".

[1] https://arxiv.org...

[2] https://arxiv.org...

Premise Two:

There are two theories of time: A and B theories of time:

An A-theory of time involves a series of temporal positions that continually transform where an event is first part of the future, then part of the present, and then past.

The B-theory of time is the other name given to one of two positions regarding philosophy of time. B-theorists argue that the flow of time is an illusion, that the past, present and future are equally real, and that time is tenseless and changeless rather than tensed. This would mean that temporal becoming is not an objective feature of reality. B-theory is often drawn upon in theoretical physics,[1] and in theories such as eternalism."
https://en.wikipedia.org...

What implications does this have for cosmic origins?

If we assume an A-theory of time and realism is true, then a "before" the big bang is meaningless obviously because time did not exist and thus the universe did not exist. However, if B-theory is true" and information processing represents objective reality , then we can discuss what happened "before" the big bang"because experiments on materials in the present"can determine what happen to"those materials in the past. For example, the wave-function or the singularity/initial boundary"point"operates under this theory of time where the total energy of the universe is zero but"it is not made up of space-time, matter,"or energy. As Brian Whitworth has alluded to in the same paper:

"If the universe is a virtual reality, then its big bang creation could be simply when the system was booted up. Deriving core physics from information processing could reconcile relativity and quantum theory, with the former how processing creates the space-time operating system and the latter how it creates energy and matter applications. "

Premise Three:

There are two different types of causal interactions in nature: antecedent causation and simultaneous causation. Antecedent causation is where every event precedes another event in time because they are material causes that operate under our classical space-time dimension. On the other hand, simultaneous causation is what only minds produce because they are spaceless timeless immaterial causes where the cause exists with the effect inside the same event . For example, experiments in neuroscience have demonstrated that humans experience a B-theory of time rather than an A-theory of time:

"In conclusion, subjective time appears not to be a single entity; instead, it is made up of different timing mechanisms, such as flicker perception and duration perception, which generally work in concert but are separable."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

According to other studies, humans have the ability to affect their brains "by voluntarily changing the nature of the mind processes unfolding in the psychological space":
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Another study showed the same thing where "the changes made at the mind level, within a psychotherapeutic context, are able to functionally 'rewire' the brain":
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Lastly, our subjective experience of interacting with other people's faces ,has been shown by a study, to modify the face perception neurons in the receiver's brain:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Premise four is an obvious fact and thus the conclusion follows.

The God Hypothesis

If my hypothesis is true, then we should find certain aspects of the universe that show how this mind possesses consciousness, awareness and personal identity or selfhood. Moreover, we should find other aspects that show how this mind is uncaused or eternal, all-power, all-knowing, and all-present.

In the next round, I will address objections and scientifically confirm my philosophical conclusion.
Debate Round No. 1
Ceci

Con

First of all my opponent didn't bring any definitions, so I will.

mind - the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought;

reality - the state or quality of having existence or substance;

information - the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence;


Premise one: Information represents objective reality.

In the idealistic point of view, an idea exists in a state of perfection beyond space-time, and so reality can never match the idea because reality is limited by space-time. Material objects exists in the reality of space-time. They are information structures embodied in matter and interacting with energy. Information needs matter for its embodiment and energy for its communication, since we create ideas in our perceptions of physical objects, therefore ideas come after reality. Reality exists prior to our own observation or interpretation.

If ideas came first, then then the mind is limitless, and we would be able to think anything. But our own experience shows that our thoughts are limited by reality, because physical objects exist in the reality of space-time. We cannot think of what doesn't exist, therefore our ideas are shaped under our perception of the objects in the real world.

My opponent failed to give a convincing arguments in defense of his first premise. The claim 'Information represents objective reality.' is in huge contradiction with Brian Whitworth's paper since he states - ' The virtual reality model contradicts physical realism but not philosophical realism: that there is a real world “out there” generating experiences.' and later - 'In modern physics, it seems increasingly unlikely that the world is an objective reality.'

http://www.philosophybasics.com...


Premise two: Information existed prior to the first moment of the Big bang.

Einstein's general theory of relativity predicted that space-time began at the big bang singularity. Before the big bang, there was nothing, no space, no time, no matter, therefore no information, nothing. Everything that we observe is apparently created in an instant. Lawrence Krauss in his book Universe from nothing, have argued that a flat zero-energy universe and quantum physics show that it is not only possible, but quite likely, that our universe came from nothing.

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.' - Stephen Hawking

The God's complexity requires an explanation in its own right, which is far more improbable. For you to say that God is timeless or space less or any mysterious word in order to sound appropriate for his complexity, is a cop out. Just filling your own hypothesis with nothing and pretending that is something. The theist present the most lazy explanation by saying because we don't know yet understand everything, therefore God must have did it. Since religion makes extraordinary claims for itself, therefore there must be extraordinary evidence and explanations.

https://www.icr.org...


Premise three: Information can only exists within space-time insofar as minds perceive.

Premise four: minds are dependent and limited by brains for their existence and function.

I don't understand how these two premises support your hypothesis. Since your premise one failed, all the rest seems to come loose. I will ask my opponent to elaborate on premise 3 and 4.


kenballer

Pro

I am going to restructure some premises for clarity.



Premise three: Information can only exists in space-time through mental perception.

Premise four: (omitted)

Conclusion: Mental causation is a plausible explanation for the big bang.


If my hypothesis is true, then we should find certain aspects of the universe that show how this mind possesses consciousness, awareness and personal identity or selfhood. Moreover, we should find other aspects that show how this mind is uncaused or eternal, all-power, all-knowing, and all-present.



Consciousness and Awareness

Since dark energy is consistent with general relativity and affects the expansion of the universe, then the cosmologic constant would apply to the smaller universes created within the regions of our universe as well. For example, the cosmological constant is placed at a precise measurement of 10 to the 120th power , and when scientists trace the expansion back one second after the Planck scale of our universe, the degree of precision becomes an astounding value of 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power.


Hypothetically, this means that if our universe’s expansion rate had different values with larger amounts of dark energy, the sample size of those universes created in the expansion that try to clump together to form planets and stars ,where life of any kind might evolve on (or evolve at all), would have most likely blown the cosmic material apart instead. If our universe’s expansion rate had different values with smaller amounts of dark energy, the sample size of those universes created in the expansion would have most likely collapse back into a singularity before it ever reached its present size.

Thus, this suggests that God consciously chose the right values needed to allow life because these values essentially came into being the same moment the universe came into being and ,thus, had to be created by the same causal entity. For instance, we know through math that most of the values in the parameters will not allow life to exist if these values were smaller or larger. This means that we don't need to know what values don't allow life, just the relevant values of the constants that do produce a life permitting universe. This is why the cosmological constant is a great example of why the right values could only have occurred if they were carefully chosen that way by God with full awareness of the consequences of not doing so.




Self-consciousness and Personal identity

Church and Kosuri (2012) were able to create a biotech version of an e-reader, with the highest storage capacity to date. This involved encoding an entire book (along with illustrations) in DNA. The book consisted of 53,246 words, 11 JPG images, and even a javascript program.

Church, G. M., Gao, Y. & Kosuri, S. (2012). Next-generation digital information storage in DNA. Science 337, 6102.


Thus, the genetic code carries inherent meaning and information that is communicated between us on a regular basis. Since there could not be any conscious life before simple life emerged, God would not only have to be the explanation for the DNA information but a personal being like us who has intrinsic desires to create life.



Omni-potent, Omniscient and Omnipresence

According to Eternal inflation, the expansion rate of the universe will continue to accelerate forever and create an endless amount of configured pocket universes within the black hole regions of our universe. These small regions (i.e. gravitational waves) that are created by inflation have a background radiation that is nearly the exact same temperature as the background radiation of other regions where their space-time curvature is evolving lock-step with ours, but separating apart from each other in all directions. This acceleration of the expansion from inflation is supposed to be produced from an explosion or collision of quantum fluctuations of particles called "dark energy" that permeate the entire universe where a billion (plus one) of positive particles and a billion of negative particles come into existence at once. Then, they annihilate each other out of existence, and the leftover positive particle creates a smaller universe and accelerates the expansion of our universe in the process. Finally, these quantum fluctuations emerge from a universal wave-function describing the totality of existence and extend out to infinity where each one represents a different possible configuration of matter or a universe.

Thus, these observations demonstrates that this mind is causally active everywhere by expanding the universe in all directions using a quantum entanglement process (i.e. omnipresent). Moreover, it suggests that this mind knows every possible configuration of matter by creating every logically possible world eternally into the future from the universal wave-function (i.e. omniscience). Finally, it suggests that this mind has infinite power by using dark energy to accelerate our universe forever (i.e. omni-potent). For instance, in physics, power is the rate of doing work. It is the amount of energy consumed per unit time. As a physical concept, power requires both a change in the physical universe and a specified time in which the change occurs.


Eternal and Uncaused

Alan Guth along with Arvind Borde and Alexander Vilenken developed a singularity theorem and a inflationary theorem. If you combine the two theorems, they would mathematically prove that any universe that is on average in a state of cosmic expansion greater than 0 throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past, but must have a past space time boundary or singularity.

Now, even though the BGV theorems only applies to general relativity and classical space-time, Aron C. Wall's singularity theorem would apply to quantum physics as he showed: “The generalized second law can be used to prove a singularity theorem, by generalizing the notion of a trapped surface to quantum situations...... If space is finite instead, the generalized second law requires that there only be a finite amount of entropy producing processes in the past".

Aron C. Wall. The Generalized Second Law implies a Quantum Singularity Theorem. Class. Quantum Grav. 30, 165003 (2013)

More importantly, unlike other laws of nature, the second law is a property of quantum physics along with classical physics. This means that we would expect Wall's singularity theorem to apply in all possible universes according to quantum mechanics. Thus, these theorems suggest that there could not be an infinite number of material causes or alien minds in reality according to the principles of quantum and classical mechanics. In fact, we could postulate that there was an X number of universes that created and came before our universe and we can suggest that each one involved scenarios or models that potentially explained our universe's origin and many other possible universes. However, at some point, there would still need to be an absolute beginning.


In the next round, I will address CON's objections.
Debate Round No. 2
Ceci

Con


Omni-potent, Omniscient and Omnipresence

Consciousness and Awareness


According to Einstein's general relativity there has been a beginning of the universe, a big bang, and all will come to an end by either a big crunch singularity, if the universe recollapsed, or at a singularity inside a black hole. The argument made by my opponent in Omni-potent, Omniscient and Omnipresence, has nothing to do with a divine creator because of two simple facts, first, he is explaining something that doesn't require divine creator for its explanation, its just physics, and doing so with something more complex than what he is trying to explain. This is also what he is suggesting in Consciousness and Awareness part of the argument. For you to say that the fine tuning could only be possible by a work of God, you have to explain where the God came from, but then one can ask the question where does the creator of the creator came from, etc. Its a meaningless statement.

However narrow the range of the physical constants necessary to inhabit life are, or however improbable the origin of life and the origin of the universe are, only because of the fact that we are here we can observe it, it must have happened at least one. And here we are to observe the improbabilities.(1) Whatever the explanation of the fine tuning is, we can be almost certain that is not the work of God, because he is far more improbable and harder to accept, than the improbabilities l6;f the origins of lifek7;, cosmos and the fine tuning combined.

(1) Anthropic principle https://en.wikipedia.org...


Self-consciousness and Personal identity

'Thus, the genetic code carries inherent meaning and information that is communicated between us on a regular basis. Since there could not be any conscious life before simple life emerged, God would not only have to be the explanation for the DNA information but a personal being like us who has intrinsic desires to create life.'

After a very informative presentation of scientists encoding letters and pictures in DNA, my opponent suggests that the fingerprints of God are all over our biological information. He goes on explaining very little about how and why, to support his claim. Again, its not very plausible to suggest that God started life here on earth, beacause of his own uncaused existence. Surely its one of the few scenarios which we can imagine beacuse we don't have an answer to how life started. This hypothesis is tempting to believe because its enought of an explanation to satisfy us, withoth making any progress. It is too lazy of an explanation to say that because we don't yet understand, it must have been God, (God of the gaps). We know that life in the universe is extroadinarily rare, but we can't possibly be alone. There are millions of planets similar to our own, which are capable of inhabiting life. And now given these properties, life is not implausible.







kenballer

Pro




The claim 'Information represents objective reality.' is in huge contradiction with Brian Whitworth's paper since he states - ' The virtual reality model contradicts physical realism but not philosophical realism: that there is a real world “out there” generating experiences.' and later - 'In modern physics, it seems increasingly unlikely that the world is an objective reality.'


Well-known prominent physicists essentially agree with Brian’s conclusion that all the evidence shows how information is fundamental. In addition, they said that there is no evidence against this claim. https://www.youtube.com...

Here is the introduction to the video: "As computers become progressively faster and more powerful, they’ve gained the impressive capacity to simulate increasingly realistic environments. Which raises a question familiar to aficionados of The Matrix—might life and the world as we know it be a simulation on a super advanced computer? “Digital physicists” have developed this idea well beyond the sci-fi possibilities, suggesting a new scientific paradigm in which computation is not just a tool for approximating reality, but is also the basis of reality itself. In place of elementary particles, think bits; in place of fundamental laws of physics, think computer algorithms."



If ideas came first, then then the mind is limitless, and we would be able to think anything. But our own experience shows that our thoughts are limited by reality, because physical objects exist in the reality of space-time. We cannot think of what doesn't exist, therefore our ideas are shaped under our perception of the objects in the real world.


A 2013 poll suggested that most quantum physicists believe that the observer plays a fundamental role in the practical application of mathematical formulas and they believe these formulas ontologically exist in a objective way. Just read question 9 and 10:https://archive.org...



"Information needs matter for its embodiment and energy for its communication, since we create ideas in our perceptions of physical objects, therefore ideas come after reality. Reality exists prior to our own observation or interpretation."


That's not what experiments in quantum physics show us.


"....the values that you obtain when you measure its properties depend on the [observer's knowledge of the system]. So the value of property A, say, depends on whether you chose to measure it with property B, or with property C. In other words, there is no reality independent of the choice of measurement". https://www.newscientist.com...

As the researcher who conducted the experiment concluded:

“There is no sense in assuming that what we do not measure about a system has [an independent] reality,”



Experiments in quantum physics have also confirmed that the macro-world of general relativity emerges and is built by the micro world of quantum physics. This means that we cannot separate the two realms because quantum mechanics is ultimately fundamental [3]. In fact, a team of scientists have even succeeded in putting an object large enough to be visible to the naked eye into a mixed quantum state of moving and not moving [5]. These experiments show that the principles of quantum mechanics can apply to everyday objects as well as atomic-scale particles.


[3] http://meetings.aps.org...
[5]http://www.nature.com...



Lawrence Krauss in his book Universe from nothing, have argued that a flat zero-energy universe and quantum physics show that it is not only possible, but quite likely, that our universe came from nothing.



Many physicists including Krauss admiitted that this "nothing" they are refering to is actually a quantum mechanical wave-function, which is a mathematical abstract object that represents a possible configuration of matter or a universe. The reason why he calls it "nothing" is because it is not made out of space-time, matter, and energy but it is still real though:

Sean M. Carroll asked, "Do advances in modern physics and cosmology help us address these underlying questions, of why there is something called the universe at all, and why there are things called 'the laws of physics,' and why those laws seem to take the form of quantum mechanics, and why some particular wave function and Hamiltonian? In a word: no. I don't see how they could."
https://en.wikipedia.org...

The physicist George F. R. Ellis noted that " Krauss does not address why the laws of physics exist, why they have the form they have, or in what kind of manifestation they existed before the universe existed (which he must believe if he believes they brought the universe into existence)."


Thus, experiments in quantum physics show how Con's arguments actually supports why a mind creates or created physical reality:

"No naive realistic picture is compatible with our results because whether a quantum could be seen as showing particle- or wave-like behavior would depend on a causally disconnected choice. It is therefore suggestive to abandon such pictures altogether". [emphasis added]


"The argument made by my opponent in Omni-potent, Omniscient and Omnipresence, has nothing to do with a divine creator because of two simple facts, first, he is explaining something that doesn't require divine creator for its explanation, its just physics, and doing so with something more complex than what he is trying to explain. This is also what he is suggesting in Consciousness and Awareness part of the argument. For you to say that the fine tuning could only be possible by a work of God, you have to explain where the God came from, but then one can ask the question where does the creator of the creator came from, etc. Its a meaningless statement. "


Yes, I do have to provide an explanation that ties everything together so here it is:


Logical truths are considered to be necessarily true where they could not be untrue and no situation could arise which would cause us to reject a logical truth. It must be true in every sense of intuition, practices, and bodies of beliefs. In other words, logical truths are considered to be true in all possible worlds.

These logical truths, such as the wave function and the genetic code, are grounded in God's nature as explained before. This means that God contains the reason and cause for his own existence just like John verses 1:1-3 suggests is the case. He not only exists in all possible worlds but he must or needs to exist in them since he is the only one that can create and sustain every possible world. This means that if God did not exist, Con would not even be able to ask the question "why does God exist?" in the first place. Therefore, we can conclude that God is an omnipotent/ omnipresent/ omniscient /eternal /necessary/ personal/immaterial/ spaceless timeless cause who is the creator and sustainer of our Universe.
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JimShady 5 months ago
JimShady
He should be knighted
Posted by Ockham 5 months ago
Ockham
Con, it seems like you took my advice about the burden of proof. That is very wise and commendable.
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