The Instigator
orangutan
Pro (for)
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The Contender
usernamesareannoying
Con (against)
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0 Points

It is likely that a God or gods exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,224 times Debate No: 73799
Debate Rounds (4)
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orangutan

Pro

Is it likely that a God or gods exist?

I am not interested in a semantic debate. By God or gods, I do not refer to a specific monotheistic Judeo-Christian conception of God. Rather, I use a more general, commonplace definition in which gods are either supernatural creators of the universe or even simply supernatural entities that are responsible for a specific aspect of the universe (for example, Poseidon is the god of the ocean, or Mars is the god of war). That is not to say that God cannot possess attributes such as being omnipotent or omniscient or omnibenevolent. Rather, Pro does not necessarily need to establish both that the creator of the universe exists and that he possesses characteristics ascribed to him by Judeo-Christian theologians and philosophers.

Both Pro and Con share the burden of proof.

Round 1 is for acceptance only.
usernamesareannoying

Con

I accept. Please begin with your opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1
orangutan

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I present three arguments in order to affirm the resolution. These arguments are the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the Fine-Tuning Argument, and the Argument from Religious Experience.

Kalam Cosmological Argument

This argument can be formulated in the following way.
1.Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
2.The universe began to exist.
3.Therefore, the universe had a cause of its existence.

The first premise is very obvious to just about anyone. Our practical experience confirms that things do not pop into existence out of nothing. Moreover, for something to come out of nothing is metaphysically impossible. Nothing has no properties. Also, if universes could pop into existence out of nothing, why doesn"t anything and everything pop into being out of nothing with no cause? We do not see horses pop into existence in our living rooms. Due to both metaphysical and empirical reasons, the first premise seems very plausible.

Hence, the crucial premise is the second premise. Some nonbelievers claim that the universe has an infinite past and has never began to exist. However, the premise that the universe began to exist can be found in any science textbook. According to the Big Bang Theory, the universe began approximately 13.7 billion years ago.

Moreover, the second law of thermodynamics provides proof that the universe cannot have an infinite past. According to the UC Davis Chemwiki, the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of the universe, as a closed isolated system, "will always increase over time" [1]. Moreover, the second law states that changes in entropy in the universe "can never be negative" [1]. If the universe never began to exist, it would have an infinite past. However, if the past was infinite, then the entropy in the universe by now would be so great that life would be unable to exist. Since life does exist, the universe must have had a beginning a finite time ago.

Moreover, the very notion of an infinite past is metaphysically impossible. This is because the idea that an infinite number of things can actually exist is metaphysically impossible. For example, what is infinity minus infinity? Mathematics gives contradictory answers. In truth, while the notion of potential infinity is useful in mathematics, the concept of an actual infinity is metaphysical nonsense. This suggests that rather than there being an infinite past, the universe must have a finite past and hence must have begun to exist.

Given premises 1 and 2, the conclusion that the universe has a cause of its existence naturally follows. Since the universe consists of all time, space, and matter, the creator of the universe must be timeless, spaceless, powerful, and immaterial. Moreover, the cause of the universe must also be personal. This is due to several reasons, but here is one of them. The only things that can possess timelessness and immateriality that we know of are abstract objects and disembodied, supernatural minds. But abstract objects cannot cause anything. Therefore, the cause of the universe must be a disembodied mind, a supernatural creator of the universe which qualifies as a god.

The Fine-Tuning Argument (Argument from Design)

Physicists commonly agree that the universe is "fine-tuned" for the conditions of life. Many constants in the universe are fine-tuned for life in the sense that if these constants were very very slightly changed, intelligent life could never exist. To give an example, physicist Luke Barnes says that the amount of matter in the initial stage of our universe is fine-tuned to one part in 10^55 [2]. That is a 1 followed by 55 zeros! And that is just one of numerous examples.

This form of the teleological argument works by using the fine-tuning of the universe as evidence of design. It can be formulated as follows.
1.The fine-tuning of the universe is the result of law, chance, or design.
2.The fine-tuning of the universe is not the result of law or chance.
3.Therefore, the fine-tuning of the universe is the result of design.

The chance that the universe is fine-tuned by accident is almost zero. And no law of the universe seems to suggest that the cosmological constants need to be the way they are. That means that the fine-tuning must be due to design. But that implies that there is a designer of the universe, quite possibly one who was interested in creating life. Since such a designer would be timeless, spaceless, powerful, and immaterial, that creator would fulfill the qualifications of a god as we know it.

Argument from Religious Experiences

Many people are theists due to the cosmological argument and the argument from design. However, many people are also theists for an additional reason- religious experiences. Throughout human history up to the present day, most cultures have had a concept of religion and gods. According to the Pew Research Center, today more than 80% of people in the world belong to a religious group [3]. For a few of these people, God"s existence may simply be a comparatively abstract fact about reality, in the way that "there are seven days in a week" is a comparatively abstract fact. However, for a large proportion of believers, their belief in God or gods is much more than a simple abstract fact. They believe that they have or have had real religious experiences. Some Christians call such experiences "bearing witness to the holy spirit." Likewise, people of practically all religions report knowing that God or gods exist due to feeling the inner presence of a divine being.

This fact can be awkward for a naturalist. For on naturalism, there is no reason to expect that people would have any religious experiences at all. If God or gods do not exist, why should people have such powerful, moving experiences? If theism is true, there is a very straightforward explanation, namely that God or gods exist. The atheist, however, is hard-pressed to come up with any explanation for why people have religious experiences. Unless atheists can provide a compelling explanation for religious experiences, they will be hard-pressed to convince anyone who believes that they feel the presence of the divine in their daily lives. So my opponent must provide a naturalistic explanation for religious experience in order to give the atheistic worldview any credibility at all.

The atheist might object to this argument, questioning the validity of religious experience due to the apparent contradictions between the doctrines of different religions. In response, the atheist would do well to consider the parable of the elephant and the blind men [4]. In the parable, blind men touch different parts of the elephant and come to greatly different conclusions about the nature of the elephant. This story serves as a useful metaphor to explain religious pluralism and defend against the atheist"s objection. Just because people claim different things about the nature of the Divine does not mean that the Divine is not real. It simply means that people interpret religious experiences differently, rather than meaning that gods (the elephant in the parable) do not exist.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I have presented three arguments for the existence of God or gods. These arguments are the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the Fine-Tuning Argument, and the Argument from Religious Experience. If my opponent wishes to show that atheism is true, he must refute all three of these arguments and construct his own positive case for atheism. I again thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

[1] http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu...
[2] http://ia902708.us.archive.org...
[3] http://www.pewforum.org...
[4] A version of the parable may be found at http://www.cs.princeton.edu...
usernamesareannoying

Con

God - "the greatest being that can be conceived"
Arguments

Omnipotence Paradox

God possesses the following intrinsic maximums: omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience. The intentions of this argument is to convey that one specific attribute of God's is sophistry. If I successfully do this, it demonstrates that the concept of God is incoherent. If I do this, my burden of proof is fulfilled. The attribute I intend to attack is specifically "omnipotence". Omnipotence is defined as "almighty or infinite in power". (1)

My argument will assume the following logical format:

P1: God is defined as possessing omnipotence
P2: Omnipotence is sophistry
P3: If omnipotence is sophistry then God is sophistry
P4: Omnipotence is sophistry, so God is sophistry
P5: God is sophistry
C: Therefore, God is sophistry


Premise one:

Pro defined God as having omnipotence

Premise two:

If God has omnipotence, (unlimited power) then God would be able to create another deity that is more powerful than God. If God can do this, then this would violate the definition of "God", since God is the most superior. If God cannot do this, then God is limited by logic - if God is limited by logic, then God does not truly have unlimited power. Therefore, the concept of omnipotence is sophistry.

Premise three:

If God is defined as having omnipotence, and the concept of omnipotence is sophistry, then the concept of God is sophistry.

Premise four:

God has omnipotence, so God is sophistry.

Premise five:

A deduction of the premises infers that God is sophistry.


Therefore, the conclusion logically follows from the premises, and the argument is sound - God is sophistry.


The Argument from Atemporal Minds

The intentions of this argument is to convey that, minds cannot exist in a timeless place. If God does not have/is a mind, then God would not have omniscience. Omniscience is defined as: "infinite knowledge". (2)

This argument assumes the following logical format:

P1: God exists transcendently
P2: If God exists transcendently, then God does not exist within space-time
P3: God is/has a mind
P4: If God transcendent, then God's mind is atemporal
P5: If God's mind is atemporal, then God's mind cannot exist
P6: If God's mind cannot exist, then God cannot exist
C: God cannot exist

Premise one:

Space-time exists within the universe. If God created the universe, then God cannot logically exist within the universe. Therefore, God must transcend space-time.

Premise two:

Premise two is valid as long as premise one is valid.

Premise three:

If God exists, God must be/have a mind, because knowledge is contingent upon a mind.

Premise four:

Temporal minds imply a mind that exist within space-time. Since God exists outside space-time, the implication is reversed.

Premise five:

Minds imply an interaction in time, since minds include processes. Processes infer a finite amount of time, however, time is non-existent in a timeless place... If God's mind is atemporal, then God's mind cannot involve processes. Therefore, a timeless mind, is sophistry. If God is/has a mind, then God is sophistry.

Premise six:

Premise six is valid as long as premise five is valid.


Therefore, the conclusion logically follows from the premises, and the argument is sound.


Reverse Modal Ontological Argument

P1:It is possible that a maximally great being does not exists.
P2:
If it is possible that a maximally great being does not exist, then a maximally great being does not exist in some possible world.

P3:
If a maximally great being does not exist in some possible world, then it does not exist in every possible world.

P4:If
a maximally great being does not exist in every possible world, then it does not exist in the actual world.

P5:
If a maximally great being does not exist in the actual world, then a maximally great being does not exist.

C:
Therefore, a maximally great being does not exist.


In a logical format:

P1) ◊(∃x) (Mx)
P2) ◊(~∃x) (~Mx) ⊃ (◊(~∃x) (~Mx))

P3) ◊(~∃x) (~Mx)⊃ [] (~∃x) (~Mx)
P4) [] (~∃x) (~Mx) ⊃ (~∃x) (~Mx)
P5) (~∃x) (~Mx) ⊃ (~∃x) (~Mx)
C) (~∃x) (Mx)


Premise one:

Modal logic dictates that it is possible for MOA to not exist. To avoid a misconception is epistemic modalities, possibly does not relate to "I could possibly win the lottery tomorrow", it denotes truth in at least one possible world. Possible worlds does not relate to a multiverse of sorts; it relates to hypothetical plausibilities of how our actuality (our world) could have been. For example, in a hypothetical world, Planck's Constant could be different. However, some aspects of actuality are tautological (must be true throughout all possible worlds; necessarily true). Tautologies include: rules of logic i.e. all bachelors are unmarried. Mathematical aspects like "2 + 2 = 4" are tautological as well. For clarification, necessarily true means true throughout all possible worlds. It is not breaking any of the tautologies aforementioned to postulate that the non-existence of God could occur in at least one possible world, since the concept is coherent. The rest of the argument postulates that non-existence is necessary.

Premise two-five:

This is tautological


Since the conclusion logically follows from the premises, then the argument is sound.


Refutations:

KCA

P1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence

This is a very inductive premise, which affirms that premise one is probably the case. This primae facie assertion lacks justification. Pro attempts to justify the first premise with an appeal to intuition fallacy. He states that ex nihilio is impossible, but gives no justification for it, Until Pro provides evidence, beyond a primae facie posteriori, premise one lacks soundness.

P2: The universe began to exist

Pro validates premise two under false scientific pretenses - Pro states "According to the Big Bang Theory, the universe began approximately 13.7 billion years ago." This is a misconception - space-time expanded 13.8 billion years ago. Pro infers that the Big Bang Theory postulates ex nihilio - creation from nothing. However, ex nihilio has never been scientifically proven. Pro then proposes entropy always increases over time... This is fine. But I state that this began occurred 13.8 billion years ago, not an infinite time ago. The contingencies of entropy didn't exist until after rapid inflation which occurred 13.8 billion years ago - through the Big Bang. The universe existed before this time, however the contingencies of entropy was created after the Big Bang. For this reason, entropy has not been increasing for an infinite amount of time. Therefore, Pro's assertion does not invalidate an infinite universe.

Pro then tries to debunk the concept of infinity by stating that it is "metaphysically impossible" - this is intuition that is relative to each person. An oxymoron must be demonstrated to deem the concept of infinity incoherent.

Even if Pro finds a way to refute my contentions, his argument only inductively hints that a creator must exist. Since this is only an inductive argument, a deductive argument would take precedence.

Teleological Argument

Pro states that "Physicists commonly agree that the universe is "fine-tuned" for the conditions of life." This is an appeal to authority fallacy. Teleology is relative. Pro must devise a quantifiable method to show what is more fine-tuned than something else. Until Pro does this, the cogency of this premise is not shown.
This is an inductive argument, and as I have said deductive arguments assume greater precedence than inductive arguments. Therefore, is my arguments are not refuted, I need not refute an inductive argument.

Religious Experiences

Belief does not entail necessary metaphysical existence. The role can be reversed - some people do not feel an "inner presence of a divine being". Opinions are as valid as each other - the argument is moot.

"So my opponent must provide a naturalistic explanation for religious experience in order to give the atheistic worldview any credibility at all."

This is moving the goalposts.


Out of characters.
Debate Round No. 2
orangutan

Pro

First off, I would like to thank my opponent for what promises to be an interesting debate.

The Omnipotence "Paradox" and Reverse Ontological Argument

My opponent says God is the greatest being that can be conceived. He claims that God has omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience. Note that I never claimed to be defending such a narrow, strict, Judeo-Christian concept of God. In round 1, I stated the following:

"Rather, I use a more general, commonplace definition in which gods are either supernatural creators of the universe or even simply supernatural entities that are responsible for a specific aspect of the universe (for example, Poseidon is the god of the ocean, or Mars is the god of war). That is not to say that God cannot possess attributes such as being omnipotent or omniscient or omnibenevolent. Rather, Pro does not necessarily need to establish both that the creator of the universe exists and that he possesses characteristics ascribed to him by Judeo-Christian theologians and philosophers."

Indeed, none of my arguments imply that God or gods are omnipotent and omniscient. A God or gods might be very powerful, but I never claimed that they were all-powerful or all-knowing. Hence, both Con"s argument against omnipotence and his reverse modal ontological argument are simply irrelevant to this debate.

The Argument from Atemporal Minds

In regard to this argument, I dispute the second premise. If you make a house, are you not allowed to live in the house you made? Many theologians, such as William Lane Craig, believe that God exists omnitemporally, entering into time when he creates the universe [5]. Moreover, my opponent has not proven the fifth premise. Even a timeless mind can hold beliefs and knowledge eternally, without ever interacting in time. So it would seem that the Argument from Atemporal Minds is quite inadequate at disproving the existence of a God or gods.

Kalam Cosmologoical Argument

My opponent questions both premises of the argument, but his objections are weak. He claims that I provide no non-inductive justification for the first premise. I protest! I did provide good non-inductive reasons for believing in the first premise. For example, how can something come from nothing when nothing does not have any properties? My opponent gives no response to this argument.

Moreover, my opponent claims that somehow using inductive evidence like the fact that our everyday experience confirms the first premise is somehow a flaw in the argument. Science relies on induction all the time, so why should we suddenly question the value of inductive reasoning when it comes to the causal premise? My opponent is committing what has been called the Taxicab Fallacy, in which he takes and applies the causal premise to almost everything, yet gets out of the taxi when it takes him somewhere that he does not want to go, namely to the question of whether the universe must have a cause of its existence.

My opponent also questions the second premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, namely that the universe began to exist. However, he does not provide an alternate, compelling theory to compete with the standard Big Bang model of the universe to show that the universe has an infinite past. He claims that entropy did not increase until after the Big Bang, but this assertion is completely unsupported with no sources (In fact, his opening statement contains no sources!). In contrast, in the previous round, I provided a source that explicitly stated that the entropy in the universe "will always increase over time" and "can never be negative" [1]. Contrary to my opponent"s claims, the second law of thermodynamics does appear to provide evidence that the universe had a beginning.

Moreover, my opponent fails to show that the concept of an actually infinite number of past events is metaphysically possible. Why is it that if one tries to subtract infinity from infinity, one gets contradictory answers? Such results are metaphysically absurd. For a more in-depth illustration on how this is crazy, see the Hilbert Hotel thought experiment [6].

My opponent also claims that the Kalam Cosmological Argument as a whole is an inductive argument and therefore somehow weak. But this is a poor objection. Both the Cosmological Argument and Fine-Tuning Argument are deductive arguments in which their conclusions follow deductively from their premises. Only the Argument from Religious Experiences is not formulated deductively, but that is an argument for the best explanation. It would seem like any complaints about these arguments on the basis on their form simply fail.

Therefore, it would appear that my opponent has failed to provide any strong objections against the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Fine-Tuning Argument

Amazingly, my opponent denies the existence of the fine-tuning of the constants of the universe, a truth which most physicists accept. An appeal to authority is not fallacious when the claim is not particularly controversial among the majority of experts. I recommend that my opponent listens to the podcast I cited in the previous round with astrophysicist Luke Barnes if he wishes to know more about how the constants are fine-tuned [2]. Here is one example. Robin Collins claims that "if the initial explosion of the big bang had differed in strength by as little as 1 part in 1060, the universe would have either quickly collapsed back on itself, or expanded too rapidly for stars to form" [7]. Collins also cites numerous physicists in his article to demonstrate the scientific consensus on fine-tuning [7]. So I believe we have good reason to believe that the universe was fine-tuned.

Argument from Religious Experiences

My opponent provides almost no case against the Argument from Religious Experiences. He claims that it does not show that God exists necessarily, but I am not arguing for a conception of God as a maximally great being! Moreover, he points out that some people do not feel an inner divine presence. But this objection is as weak as saying that since some people are color-blind, colors do not exist! The fact is, very very many people throughout the world and throughout history have had religious experiences. There is a very simple explanation of them, namely that the divine exists. Meanwhile, divine experiences seem very implausible on atheism, and they require an explanation from the atheist. Without a good explanation on behalf of atheism, theism is clearly the best explanation for religious experiences. Arguments extend.

Conclusion

I have shown that my opponent"s arguments are either irrelevant to the debate at hand or simply false. Meanwhile, I have shown that my opponent"s objections to my arguments fail. Unless my opponent can provide a stronger case for atheism, we have good grounds for believing in a God or gods.

[5] See William Lane Craig"s Debate with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong in the book God? A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist
[1] http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu...
[6] http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com.... I will not rehash the long argument here, since this source explains the thought experiment in a much better way than I could with the limited space I have in this debate.
[7] http://www.discovery.org...
usernamesareannoying

Con

The Omnipotence Paradox and Reverse Ontological Argument.

I concede that the Omnipotence Paradox is irrelevant to this debate - not the RMOA. If we were to replace "MOA", with "God" or "Gods", then the argument would be completely acceptable.

P1:It is possible that"God" or "Gods" do not exist.
P2:
If it is possible that"God" or "Gods" do not exist, then"God" or "Gods" do not exist in some possible world.
P3:
If "God" or "Gods" do not exist in some possible world, then it does not exist in every possible world.
P4:If
"God" or "Gods" do not exist in every possible world, then it does not exist in the actual world.
P5:
If "God" or "Gods" do not exist in the actual world, then"God" or "Gods" do not exist.
C:
Therefore, "God" or "Gods" do not exist.

The same criteria applies for this argument as well.

This argument utilizes S5 Modal axiom to deduce that "God" or "Gods" necessarily don't exist. " if X is possibly necessary, it is necessary in at least one possible world; hence it is necessary in all possible worlds and thus is true in all possible worlds." (1) For something to exist in at least one possible world it must be coherent. For Pro to refute this argument, then Pro would have to inherently show why a non-existent deity/deities are incoherent.

Atemporal Minds

Pro strawmans this argument, as he states "If you make a house, are you not allowed to live in the house you made?" This completely evades the intentions of this argument. The argument dictates that a mind cannot exist outside space-time. These deities would have to exist outside space-time first before they create it.

He then states "Even a timeless mind can hold beliefs and knowledge eternally, without ever interacting in time." However, minds involve processes that do which renders the refutation inadequate.

KCA

Pro opines "how can something come from nothing when nothing does not have any properties?" I need not answer this, since it does not deductively point in the direction of a deity. My intentions were completely ignored in this argument. He provided no justification for his first premise, and completely ignores the appeal to intuition fallacy. Pro still hasn't provided a reasonable amount of tangible evidence to prove its veracity. Therefore, the accusation of a very informal fallacy is not applicable.

He states that I did not "provide an alternate, compelling theory to compete with the standard Big Bang model". I never denied the veracity of the Big Bang. Pro again, strawmans this argument. Pro stated that the Big Bang inferred creation out of nothing. However, it was expansion of space-time. I need not provide an alternate theory for that isn't my burden to carry.

Pro completely ignored my refutation to his finite universe argument. I stated that the contingencies of entropy did not exist until after the
Big Bang, so therefore, entropy would not need to increase for an infinite amount of time, if the universe is infinite. That's not even the problem here, Pro made the positive assertion that "However, if the past was infinite, then the entropy in the universe by now would be so great that life would be unable to exist." Yet provides no evidence for it. For this reason, premise two lacks validity.

Pro ignores that "metaphysically impossible" is relative to people. It does not mean "paradoxical". Hilbert's hotel paradox does not entail an oxymoron. Pro states " what is infinity minus infinity?" It does not matter if it is equal to infinity. 0 -0 = 0 - just because two values subtracted from eachother result in the same value, does not entail an oxymoron. All you have stated is that infinity is a weird concept. Pro has not debunked infinity.

Since both premises lack validity, the argument is a non-sequitur.

Teleological Argument

I never said that I deny the existence of fine-tuning, I stated that you did not provide any evidence for it. If the universe is fine-tuned, Pro has provided no evidence to why it must be a God that tuned it. For this reason, this argument does not suffice.

Religious Experiences

"My opponent provides almost no case against the Argument from Religious Experiences." That's because I stated right after, that I ran out of characters. If it's any consolation MGB does not necessitate modal logic. So when I say "necessarily", it does not entail a MGB.

The flaw of this argument is that, it fails to provide objective evidence. Faith is RELATIVE, meaning that it is valid for every frame of reference if it has no proof whatsoever. Pro says "Moreover, he points out that some people do not feel an inner divine presence. But this objection is as weak as saying that since some people are color-blind, colors do not exist!" However, colours are proven by science! It's like me saying, the bogeyman exists because 'I can feel it'. And someone else saying 'well, I don't feel it', and your logic would dictate that the person who could 'feel it' is more valid than the opposing view. Pro completely ignores Occam's Razor and gives ambiguity precedence!

"very very many people throughout the world and throughout history have had religious experiences. . There is a very simple explanation of them, namely that the divine exists."

You provide absolutely no evidence at all. Many people believe in ghosts, does that mean that they 'must exist'? Occam's Razor completely negates this argument, since simplicity takes precedence when no evidence is involved. (2)


Conclusion

I have defended the RMOA and the Atemporal Minds argument. KCA is refuted, since Pro still appeals to intuition to provide proof of its veracity - therefore he commits the appeal to intuition

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
orangutan

Pro

In my concluding remarks, I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

Omnipotence Paradox

My opponent completely drops this argument.

Reverse Modal Ontological Argument

My opponent's revised argument does not work because it requires God or gods to be necessary beings. Necessary beings must exist in all possible worlds. I have not argued that God or gods are necessary beings! Hence, the third premise of this argument does not work. I could even make a parallel argument to try and "prove" that my opponent does not exist! Clearly, without the assumption that God is a necessary being, this argument is simply invalid.

Argument Against Atemporal Minds

My opponent completely misunderstands my objection. Deities cannot exist outside of space-time "before" creating it because there was no time before the origin of the universe. Rather, I claim that the creator of the universe used simultaneous causation to create the universe. Moreover, God can be omnitemporal, entering into time at the moment of creation. This is what I mean by the fact then when you make a house, you can live in the house. God can exist omnitemporally when he creates space-time.

The above response also deals with my opponent's claim that a mind involves processes that do involve time. Nevertheless, my opponent has not specified how a mind must exist temporally other than asserting it in the previous round. Even a timeless mind can hold beliefs and knowledge eternally. My opponent has not explained which processes require a mind to exist temporally, as well as prove that a mind must necessarily, by definition, carry out those specific processes. No amount of underlining words can prove this for him.

Therefore, it seems that all three of Con's arguments are hopelessly inadequate to disprove the existence of a God or gods. What about my arguments?

Kalam Cosmological Argument

My opponent's objections are very confused. First, my opponent objects to one of my arguments for the first premise by saying that it does not point in the direction of a deity. Alone, of course it doesn't! The argument is meant to support premise 1 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, namely that whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence. This is a theologically neutral premise, as is the premise that the universe began to exist. It is the combination of both these premises that point to the existence of God. My opponent also seems to think that this argument is a mere appeal to intuition. But I provided justification for this argument, namely that since nothing has no properties, it is absurd for something to pop into existence out of nothing.

Contrary to my opponent's claims, I have also provided evidence for the first principle in terms of everyday experience. If a horse popped into being in his living room, would he just think it appeared with no cause? Or would he investigate the horse and surroundings for a cause? The first premise is validated every day by our experience, yet my opponent does not want to apply it to the universe. That is an example of the Taxicab Fallacy, and no amount of underlining changes that fact.

My opponent's objections to the second premise are also confused. Last round, I challenged my opponent to provide evidence for his assertion that entropy did not increase until after the big bang. He has not provided such evidence. He also doesn't realize that if entropy increases for an infinite amount of time, it would be too great to permit life in the universe. He also does not provide an alternate explanation to the standard model of the origin of the universe, in which the universe was created billions of years ago in the Big Bang. With all due respect, my opponent's responses to my scientific arguments are abysmal.

My opponent also disputes that the Hilbert's Hotel thought experiment shows that an actual infinite is metaphysically impossible. Note that Hilbert's Hotel is logically possible- but it is absurd. If there was a hotel with an infinite number of rooms with all rooms occupied, and everyone occupying an odd-numbered room checked out, then there would still be an infinite number of people in the hotel. In fact, the manager could fill the vacancy by shifting everyone one room down. So infinity minus infinity equals infinity, right? But if everyone but the occupants of rooms 1, 2, and 3 check out, then it would seem that infinity minus infinity is three! This is metaphysically contradictory and absurd. So my opponent"s objection that Hilbert's Hotel does not show anything is also false.

Hence, it would appear that my opponent has failed to debunk either premise of this argument. But that means God exists.

Fine-Tuning Argument

I am astonished at how poorly my opponent has responded to this argument throughout this debate. I have given many sources from physicists to verify that the universe is fine-tuned, but my opponent has denied my evidence. Moreover, he has not given any reason to believe that the universe is not fine-tuned. In fact, in his last round, he implied that he does not deny the fine-tuning of the universe after all! But since he does not dispute any of the other premises of this argument, this means that my opponent has to conclude on the basis of this argument that God exists.

Argument from Religious Experiences

Con misunderstands my arguments. Once again, he makes assertions that he does not back up, such as that faith cannot provide objective evidence. He challenges my analogy to colors, but his challenge misses the point. If ten people who have never heard of science are in a room, and eight of them say that they see colors and two of them state that they do not see colors, what is the best explanation for this result? That colors exist, or that eight out of ten people are participating in some sort of mass delusion? The theory that colors exist is simpler and more plausible. Likewise, the theory that God or gods exist is more plausible than the theory that everyone but the atheist is experiencing some sort of mass delusion. The theory that God exists is also supported by the parable of the blind men, which throughout this debate my opponent has completely failed to respond to.

He also claims that people believing in ghosts does not prove that ghosts exist. I agree! But people do not report having an inner sense that ghosts exist, and very few people claim to have ever experienced the presence of a ghost. The false belief in ghosts can plausibly be explained by fallacious reasoning and delusions among a small number of people. The theory that religious experiences are due to mass delusions is a much less satisfactory explanation for religious belief.

Thus, the Argument from Religious Experiences also succeeds in proving that a God or gods exist.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we have seen three arguments for the existence of God or gods, namely the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the Fine-Tuning Argument, and the Argument from Religious Experiences. All of my opponent's objections to these arguments have been rebutted successfully. Meanwhile, my opponent has dropped his argument against omnipotence, and I have successfully rebutted his other two arguments. I thank my opponent for the engaging debate, and I encourage voters to VOTE PRO.
usernamesareannoying

Con

Prologue

To win this argument from here, I need to prove that all of Pro's arguments are unsound, and at least one of my arguments needs to stand.

RMOA

Pro opines that this argument does not work, however, the only evidence he uses to substatiate this claim is that he never stated that God's are necessary beings. I believe that Pro has a misconception of necessity. Using the system 5 modal axiom, I can necessarily prove the non-existence of God. " X is possibly necessary, it is necessary in at least one possible world; hence it is necessary in all possible worlds and thus is true in all possible worlds." (1) I mentioned this last round. However, Pro completely ignores the axiom... For him to refute the argument, he would of needed to refute the axiom, which he has failed to do. Since system 5 ratifies the non-existence of God, since possibility of something in a possible world is valid as long as it is coherent. To postulate the non-existence of God is not inherently invalid, ergo, it is true in at least one possible world. The axiom does the rest from there - this fulfills my BoP.

Atemporal Minds

Pro states that God would exist omnitemporally, however, He would have to exist outside space-time during the creation of the universe, because creation infers a finite amount of time. " My opponent has not explained which processes require a mind to exist temporally". I stated that the mind involves processes and that processes are temporal, ergo, the refutation is invalid.

KCA

The only justification Pro uses for his first premise is: " namely that since nothing has no properties, it is absurd for something to pop into existence out of nothing." This is a bare assertion. He states that it can't, without any evidence to corroborate it. Hence it is an appeal to intuition fallacy. Since premise one lacks validity the entire argument fails.


I attempt to show that the universe exists infinitely, therefore, there is no need for cause for the universe, because it would have always existed.


First of all, I would like to postulate a theory that makes sense of wave-function collapse... The theory entails that all quantum events are fulilled. All possible quantum renditions are created within this theory. Therefore, a world with our apparent fine-tuning isn't actually that rare, since all possibile outcomes are created.(2) When the universe was contained at an infinitesimally small singularity, quantum systems assume a significantly higher precedence. Hence, an uncanny amount of universes are created. Therefore, the epstemological rarity and fine-tuning of our universe is completely explained.

Since this theory is contingent on the veracity of the Big Bang, I am obliged to provide evidence for it.

Big Bang Theory- "It states that the Universe was in a very high density state and then expanded." (3)

The theory can be conveyed with these illustrations:



Evidence for the Big Bang:

"1. Redshift of Galaxies The redshift of distant galaxies means that the Universe is probably expanding. If we then go back far enough in time, everything must have been squashed together into a tiny dot. The rapid eruption from this tiny dot was the Big Bang.

2. Microwave Background

Very early in its history, the whole Universe was very hot. As it expanded, this heat left behind a "glow" that fills the entire Universe. The Big Bang theory not only predicts that this glow should exist, but that it should be visible as microwaves - part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

This is the Cosmic Microwave Background which has been accurately measured by orbiting detectors, and is very good evidence that the Big Bang theory is correct."(4)(5)

Scientists examine the CMB to determine the validity of the Big Bang:


The CBA is a relict of the Big Bang: The universe is filled with blackbody radiation whose temperature now is T0=27250002 K, so the frequency of the peak brightness is max160 GHz. This CMB is a relict of the "big bang" creation of the universe and reveals precise values for a host of cosmological parameters. (6)


Since I have provided information for how our universe is not fine-tuned, and how the Big Bang is valid, I will now postualate why the universe is infinite.

When the universe is expanding exponentially. Since this is the case, it evades critical density, as shown by this diagram:

<a href=http://i1.wp.com...; />
Since it evades critical density it assumes the spatial universe type - it evades Euclidean geometry (8) - parallel lines never intersect.

Results of the WMAP mission and observations of distant supernova have suggested that the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating, which implies the existence of a form of matter with a strong negative pressure, such as the cosmological constant. (10) The catalyst of expansion is due to dark energy, which is corroborated by general relativity (9)(10)(11)


Hence dark energy accelerates the expansion to escape gravitational collapse, therefore, the universe is infinite.


The refutation of entropy increasing for an infinite amount of time is refuted by the contingencies of it only entering existence 13.8 billion years ago... Entropy is contingent of the thermodynamic system, (12), which is contingent upon matter. Matter did not exist until after the Big Bang as shown in the diagrams before.

Pro then tries to use Hilbert's Hotel to debunk infinity. Hilbert's Hotel only shows that infinity is a werid concept, not illogical. Pro throws metaphysical around as if it entails an aximoron - it doesn't. He even admits that it isn't logically impossible - "Note that Hilbert's Hotel is logically possible". Why is it absurd? Just because it does not act like other values, does not make it sophistry.

Teleological Argument

This argument is debunked by the Many World Interpretation of Quantum Fluctuations as aforementioned. "The theory entails that all quantum events are fulilled. All possible quantum renditions are created within this theory. Therefore, a world with our apparent fine-tuning isn't actually that rare, since all possibile outcomes are created." Ergo, the argument contains no form of abductive cogency.

Religious Experiences

Since there is no objective proof regarding the belief of a God (I commend that a feeling is not a valid proof, since feeling is relative (valid from every frame of reference)), the law of parisomony dictates that the non-belief-ers are more valid (13). This gives simplicity precedence, hence the negation of this argument is more valid, since the postive claim makes the assumption that God must exist. However, the people who don't feel it have a lack of assumption, hence simplicity assumes precedence, this argument is negated. Pro has not provided veracity of their feelings, he must prove the existence of God for their unwarranted assumptions to be valid. This argument is refuted.

Conclusion

My RMOA argument stands, since Pro failed to attack the veracity of the system 5 axiom, the Atemporal Argument stands, since the creator's mind would have to be outside space-time during the creation of the universe. KCA is refuted by the spatially flat universe, and a lack of justification for the first premise. The teleological argument is refuted, because of the Many World Interpretation - all quantum outcomes are fulfilled. Finally, the Religious Experience argument is refuted because Occam's Razor assumes the negation more valid, because it makes less assumptions, and Pro failed to prove why their beliefs are more valid than the opposers. Thanks for the argument, but I urge a Con vote. Vote Con!

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Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
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> Philocat // Moderator action: REMOVED<

5 points to Pro (arguments, sources). Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. [Relevant excerpt] Pro gets sources points because he used strong sources and wherever they were needed. Con could have done with citing more of his sources.

[*Reason for removal*] Con also used extensive sources. Mere reference to quantity is not sufficient to prove that one side had "more reliable sources." This is also too generic: "used strong sources ... wher[e] ... needed" could be said about any debate. If this was a valid RFD, it could be copied and pasted as your rationale for awarding sources ad naseum, without ever offering any useful, debate-specific feedback.
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Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
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>Reported vote: tejretics // Moderator action: Removed<

5 points to Con (arguments, sources). Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. Sources to Con as Pro's sources were primarily from W.L. Craig, that were all completely refuted by Con using sources based on advanced physics proving physical infinities, despite Con's many misconceptions regarding this debate.

[*Reason for removal*] Invalid sources vote because (a) double counting, refuting someone's sources (using arguments) should only be reflected under argument points, and (b) insufficient explanation for why WL Craig is a bad source and why Con's *sources* (as opposed to arguments against Craig) were better.
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Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@user, post it on @Philo's profile.
Posted by usernamesareannoying 1 year ago
usernamesareannoying
@Philocat

I don't understand why you awarded Pro with sources? I used more, and since they are relevant, surely I ought to have been awarded the point?
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
Reverse MOA

Pro made the valid point that this argument rests upon the premise that 'if God exists, he exists necessarily'. But Pro never defined God in such a way as to entail the veracity of this premise. Therefore the argument is a straw man.

Atemporal minds

Con argued that minds involve processes that are temporal, and so an atemporal mind is absurd.
However, Pro noted that minds do not *necessarily* involve temporal processes, it is only that our minds do involve them. Con did not demonstrate that minds *necessarily* have temporal processes. So the possibility of an atemporal mind is not refuted.

Naturalistic origin of the universe

Con explained this very well, but none of it actually explains how the universe came into being, all it does is explain how the universe developed. Therefore it does not pertain to the debate.

To conclude, Pro wins this debate because two out of his three arguments, despite only needing one, affirmed the resolution and he refuted all of Con's arguments that actually pertained to the resolution.

Pro gets sources points because he used strong sources and wherever they were needed. Con could have done with citing more of his sources.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
RFD part 1

Cosmological argument

Pro initially presented this argument well, and Con attacked premises 1 and 2. His attack of P1 consisted of accusations that it is an 'appeal to intuition', although it was actually a perfectly cogent reductio ad absurdum justification. If Pro had said 'we just know that something cannot come from nothing' then this *would* be an appeal to intuition, but Pro did give reasons for the premise, namely that 'nothing' has no properties and so cannot give rise to anything.

The closer sub-debate was regarding the Big Bang. Both debaters agreed with the Big Bang theory, although they disagreed with the state of the universe *before* the Big Bang, Pro arguing that it did not exist, Con arguing that it existed as a singularity for an infinite amount of time. So the debate turned to the coherency of an actual infinite. Pro demonstrated that, reductio ad absurdum, an actual infinite cannot exist because it causes absurdities, and is therefore incoherent.

To conclude, Pro won the cosmological argument.

Teleological argument

This was another good argument, in which Pro presented some statistics as to the degree of fine tuning within the universe, and hence affirmed the resolution that stated that 'It is *likely* that a God or gods exist'.

The only time that Con even comes close to refuting the argument is his 'many worlds hypothesis', but this was not raised until the last round (despite there being ample opportunity in earlier rounds) so Pro could not respond to it. I don't know how Pro would have refuted it, but he would have probably picked up on the implication that this hypothesis does not sit well with Ockham's Razor (since many universes are postulated, instead of just one).

Religious experience argument

Although this had the makings of a strong argument, it seemed that Pro was unable to formulate it into a convincing form. Ultimately, Pro did not do enough with this argument to adequately affirm the BoP.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
*Correction: Con wins this debate.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
== RFD Part 1==

*Reverse MOA*

The S5 Modal logic was left rather unrefuted by Pro. Since the same Modal logic would actually be both epistemologically and logically possible via. possible worlds with only one particle obeying a time-dependent Hamiltonian. This was adequately demonstrated by Con, as the expansive time-dependent Hamiltonian particle *could* expand into including possible worlds, which would further expand to include the universe, thus philosophically refuting the possibility of transcendence. Replacing "necessary being" with "God" can still disprove causality.

*Atemporal Minds*

Pro's sole refutation of this commits ipse dixit, a strawman argument on "living in a house". Pro must *prove* that temporality can be expanded, and that God can "exit the door", thus is a weak refutation. Con successfully demonstrated how atemporal minds ARE impossible despite their frequent misinterpretations of definitions.

*Cosmology*

Con *demonstrated* that the expansion of spacetime "stretching" via. dark energy (a) proves the BBT and discredits steady-state, and (b) proves that infinities are possible. The alleged metaphysical impossibility of actual infinities was very poorly demonstrated by Pro, and Hilbert's hotel was easily refuted by Con in that it merely shows *odd* properties which in no way disprove them.

*Teleology*

Con's refutation to this was rather simple, in that teleology is relative. From an existentially nihilist perspective, the relativity of teleology with regards to life is upheld and life's "value" is challenged, viz. what is the difference between a stone and a living being? Similarly, if there were even slight atomic differences, stones wouldn't exist, ergo this implies a value to life. Thus, Con wins here.

*Religious Experiences*

As Con demonstrated, these experiences are *subjective*, and subjective experiences are relative and easily subject to reductio ad absurdum. Pro's only defense was based on ad hoc claims,
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
==RFD Part 2==

CONCLUSION: Con defended all arguments and refuted Pro's, which were all based on ad hoc assumptions and were often logically fallacious (ipse dixit, Strawman fallacy), thus Pro wins this debate.
Posted by orangutan 1 year ago
orangutan
debate.org has problems with copy-pasting stuff
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