The Instigator
stubs
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
MikelaC2596
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

It is more probable that God exist than that God does not exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
stubs
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/24/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,219 times Debate No: 24426
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (6)

 

stubs

Pro

First round is for acceptance and clarification only.

The rest of the rounds are used for arguments and rebuttals

For this debate God will be defined as a maximally great being as to include the general attributes (ie: omnipotence, omniscience) commonly associated with Judeo-Christian monotheism. That is to say, I am not referring to any specific deity. Hence doctrines such as the incarnation and Trinity are irrelvant to this debate. "Probable" will be defined as being more likely than not.

The burden of proof is shared. It is incumbent on me to show that God's existence is probable, and it is incumbent on my opponent to show that God's existence is not probable.

No semantics

Good luck
MikelaC2596

Con

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing?Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing?Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing?Then why call him God?" –Epicurus

Thank you for allowing me this oppurtunity, and good luck to you, Sir. Please present your claim.
Debate Round No. 1
stubs

Pro

I would first like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well as thank my opponent for accepting the debate on such a critical issue. C.S Lewis has said, "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important." [1]

My first argument is the basic kalam cosmological argument:
P1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause
P2: The universe began to exist
Therefore, the universe has a cause.

We notice that the two premises are not religious at all. The fact that the universe began to exist can be found in any astrophysics and cosmology text book. This premises can be shown true for a few reasons.

First: If the universe is infinite, then an infinite number of past events had to occur. This is obviously false because infinity is not an actual thing but rather just an idea. David Hilbert, possibly the greatest mathematician of the 20th century, said, "the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. it neither exist in nature nor provides a legitement basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea." For example, what is infinity minus 10? Infinity plus 2? Mathematically you get self contradictory answers. Also Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang." [2]

Since everything that begins to exist has a cause and the universe began to exist, we must look to see what the cause has to be. The cause would have to be an abstract object such as numbers or a personal mind. The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal and powerful. It cannot be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything. The personal mind would have to be outside space and time and be immaterial in order to be logically coherent.

Anthony Kenny (agnostic philosopher): "(A proponent of the big bang) theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that matter came from nothing and by nothing." [3]

We know this cannot be true because out of nothing, nothing comes.

My next argument will be the ontological argument:

1: It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists.
2: If it is possible that God exists, he exists in some possible world.
3: If God exists in some possible world, He exists in every possible world.
4: If God exists in every possible world, He exists in the actual world.
5: Therefore, God exists in the actual world
6: Therefore, God exists
7: Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

When philosophers talk of possible worlds, they mean they way things could have been. There is nothing logically incoherent about unicorns. Therefore, unicorns exist in some possible world, but not the actual world. There is nothing logically incoherent about a maximally great being, therefore he exists in a possible world. Since God is, by definition a maximally great being, and exists in a possible world, he exists in all possible worlds. The argument flows to the conclusion that a maximally great being exists from there.

In conclusion I have shown that the kalam cosmological argument shows there needs to be a creator of the universe. Second, I have shown that the ontological argument concludes that a maximally great being exists.

I look forward to hearing my opponents arguments and rebuttal.

Thank you

Sources:

[1] http://www.brainyquote.com...
[2] Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 20.
[3] Anthony Kenny, The Five Ways (New York: Schocken, 1969), 66.
MikelaC2596

Con

If I understand correctly, your first main argument is that a deity must have created the universe. But, The First Cause Argument, or Cosmological Argument is internally contradictory and raises the following questions:
Who or what created god?
Why can't the universe be causeless?
Why should a hypothetical ‘cause' have any of the common attributes of a god?
Why is the ‘cause' a specific god? and most importantly:
Why rule out all other possible explanations?

Your second argument seems to be Argument from ignorance, a common attempt to shift the burden of proof or ‘make room' for a god. Yhis represents a type of false dichotomy that excludes the fact that there is insufficient investigation and the proposition has not yet been proven either true or false. The failure to disprove the existence of something does not constitute proof of its existence.

I raise my own point, that the existence of this God is irrational because of its strange disappearances. Why is it now that we have developed rational inquiry we hear only a deafening silence from a god who once supposedly engaged regularly in human affairs? Why does god not simply speak to us or appear before us as he supposedly used to? Why are we the losers in the dice roll of time? If a god places such a high value on us worshipping and believing then why not simply make its existence obvious to us?
Also, If one accepts the prevailing scientific understanding of the development of the universe, but also believes in one of the major religions, then presumably a god sat idle for 13.7 billion years –waiting as the galaxies, stars and planets formed. Then it watched with complete and utter indifference as modern Homo Sapians evolved, struggled and died for a further 100,000 years. Finally, a few thousand years ago, this god suddenly decided to reveal itself to several people in the most primitive, illiterate and remote portions of humanity in a completely unverifiable way –and then simply disappeared.

Belief is not as valid a position as skepticism when dealing with unsupported or unfalsifiable claims because all such claims would need to be believed implicitly.
Debate Round No. 2
stubs

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for her response.

She has stated that the Kalam Cosmological argument is contradictory. But is this true?

Who created God?

"The question presupposes that all things need a creator -- even the eternal sequence of creators -- which becomes logically absurd. Furthermore, if there is an eternal regression of creators that are eternal, then the question is not answered. In fact, it cannot be answered, since its weakness is that "all things need a creator." Of course, this only begs the question in that how did the process begin? Therefore, the question only raises the same problem it asks, and it is a question that, by its own design, cannot be answered. Therefore, it is invalid." [1] Furthermore, the premise is that "Whatever begins to exists has a cause." God did not begin to exists. He exists eternally. Therefore, he does not need to have a cause.

Why can't the universe be causeless?

This is simple. Nothing comes into existence without an efficient cause. This is the reason we don't see dogs and cats just popping into and out of existence.

Why should a hypothetical cause have any of the common attributes of a god?

I answered this in the second round, but I will post it again here. Since everything that begins to exist has a cause and the universe began to exist, we must look to see what the cause has to be. The cause would have to be an abstract object such as numbers or a personal mind. The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal and powerful. It cannot be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything. The personal mind would have to be outside space and time and be immaterial in order to be logically coherent. These are all attributes of the Judeo-Christian God (Maximally Great Being).

"Your second argument seems to be Argument from ignorance, a common attempt to shift the burden of proof or ‘make room' for a god."

It is not an argument from ignorance, nor does it attempt to shift the burden of proof. I take full burden of proof for that argument. You did not make any objections to it so I am forced to assume you agree with the arguments conclusion that a maximally great being exists. Since that is the resolution, if you do not make any objections to it than I have won the debate.

"I raise my own point, that the existence of this God is irrational because of its strange disappearances. Why is it now that we have developed rational inquiry we hear only a deafening silence from a god who once supposedly engaged regularly in human affairs?"

I think that God has given us more than sufficient reason to believe in his existence. You would need to show that if God exists, than we would expect to see more evidence. However, this is nearly impossible to prove due to our epistemological limitations.

"Also, If one accepts the prevailing scientific understanding of the development of the universe, but also believes in one of the major religions, then presumably a god sat idle for 13.7 billion years –waiting as the galaxies, stars and planets formed"

Efficiency only matters to those with limited time or limited materials. God has neither of those limitations. Therefore He could have taken as long as he wanted. Regardless, this does not show that a maximally great being does not exists. If it shows anything, it only shows the maximally great being took about 13.7 billion years with creating the universe.

"Belief is not as valid a position as skepticism when dealing with unsupported or unfalsifiable claims because all such claims would need to be believed implicitly."

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are completely falsifiable. If you could show a contradiction in God then the belief in God as a maximally great being would be falsified.

Conclusion:

I have responded to all of my opponents refutations. The key in this debate was the ontological argument because it concludes that a maximally great being exists, which is the resolution to this debate. My opponent did not even attempt to refute any of the premises, nor did she try and show that the conclusion does not follow from the premises. In light of this, I strongly believe that the resolution has been affirmed.

Thank you

[1] http://carm.org...
MikelaC2596

Con

The argument that all things have a cause continues to move in circles. You say God has no cause, and then say that in order for something to exist it must have a cause. You in your own words are proving God to be nothing but a paradox.
Further more Even if "everything must have a cause" necessitated the existence of a god, the fact that "energy and mattercannot be created or destroyed" (the First Law of Thermodynamics) would necessitate an un-created/eternal universe. Theists can't cherry-pick physical laws to prove their god'sexistence. Even if there was a first cause, how is this a proof of a god? The only characteristic such a "god" would have is that it was the "uncaused cause" of everything else. You can't say anything about whether it still exists, is intelligent, cares about humanity,or any other purported characteristic of the kinds of gods worshiped by theists. The law of cause & effect is described as: 'when an effect is caused, the cause must occur first.' It is a temporal rule defining the terms cause and effect. As stated above, an effect does not require a cause; merely if there was a cause, then it must occur first. Not everything has a cause. God is only one large mess of contradicting characteristics. Every thing whose concept is contradictory does not exist. The concept of God is contradictory. Therefore, God does not exist.
Debate Round No. 3
stubs

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for debating this topic with me. As this is the last round, I will try to keep it short and simple for the readers and voters.

"You say God has no cause, and then say that in order for something to exist it must have a cause. You in your own words are proving God to be nothing but a paradox."

I am sorry if I was not clear, but I do believe I stated that, "Whatever begins to exist has a cause." I never said that "everything must have a cause" as you falsely accused me of saying.

You stated that you believe in an eternal universe, but I have already shown that to be logically incoherent, because an actual infinite number things is impossible in reality. Until you can prove that an actual infinite amount of things can occur in the actual world, or find some other way around the problem, I cannot say anything more about your claim because you did not justify it in any way.

"Even if there was a first cause, how is this a proof of a god? The only characteristic such a "god" would have is that it was the "uncaused cause" of everything else. You can't say anything about whether it still exists, is intelligent, cares about humanity,or any other purported characteristic of the kinds of gods worshiped by theists."

You are close to being correct with this statement. I have shown that the cause would have to be: immaterial, personal, powerful, and exist outside of space and time. You did not refute that in any way so I have to assume you agree with it. You are totally correct when you say this argument does not show the creator of the universe cares about humanity. The only problem is I never tried to make this argument say that. My second argument was the critical one and also addresses that issue.

"The law of cause & effect is described as: 'when an effect is caused, the cause must occur first.' It is a temporal rule defining the terms cause and effect."

I totally disagree that causality is a temporal relationship. There are many times when simultaneous causation occur. William Lane Craig gives an example of a heavy ball resting on a pillow [1]. The ball would cause a depression in the pillow. The ball and the pillow could have existed from eternity, so that the ball was always on the pillow. It is false that the cause has to exist temporally prior to the effect. They can be simultaneous. If you would like more clarity please watch the video I put as a footnote because I'm sure Dr. Craig can explain it better than I can. I hope that I did a good enough job that you can understand it.

"God is only one large mess of contradicting characteristics. Every thing whose concept is contradictory does not exist. The concept of God is contradictory. Therefore, God does not exist."

This is an unjustified claim so there is nothing for me to refute. My opponent merely asserted that God was contradictory, but did not give us any reason to think so.

Conclusion:

My opponent has misunderstood the KCA as meaning "everything that exists has a cause" when the argument states "everything that begins to exist has a cause." The bigger part to this debate was the ontological argument because the conclusion of that argument is that a Maximally Great Being (God) exists, which is the resolution to the debate. My opponent did not even attempt to refute the premises, nor the conclusion. So as much as I doubt she does, I am forced to believe that she agrees with me that a maximally great being exists.

I want to thank my opponent for her taking time out of her week to debate this with me as well as all the readers and voters for their time. Please vote honestly for whoever you think won, whether that be myself or my worthy opponent.

Thank you

[1]
MikelaC2596

Con

Seeing as I have repeatedly said that the God you speak of is a paradox, and a contradiction that can not exist, I am surprised that you can say I believe in him.

Your ball and pillow example is illogical. Where did the ball come from? If I took the ball of the pillow would it still be indented? Perhaps the pillow is merely bowl shaped, meaning the placement of the ball is frivolous. In order for the indention to be an effect of the ball, the pillow must exist without a dent before the ball was placed. If the pillow has always and will always have a dent, then the pillow's characteristic has nothing to do with the ball at all. Unless one is causing an effect on another, there is no relation besides proximity.

If God existed, then we would have factual evidence because he would leave traces of his work.
if God is eternal, then evidence could be found in all time periods, because he has been there always.
if there is a God, then you would be able to prove he existed, because there would be solid evidence.

If there is no God, you could prove he was possible, but not factual, because both sides are only presented with a void of invisible possibility. We've been arguing over whether or not there is a giraffe sculpture in the block of clay. Maybe, but until you prove it, there isn't.

I appreciate the chance to discuss. Your points are recognised, but I don't believe they are enough to change anyones mind. I thank you for your time. Bonŝancon.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by stubs 4 years ago
stubs
Thank you for the compliment Gileandos. That was very kind of you.
Posted by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
Great job on these rounds Stubs. Very exciting read and great flow to it!
Posted by stubs 4 years ago
stubs
Yessir, I am a big fan of Dr. Craig and most of my initial argument is straight from things he has said. Thank you for the compliment of saying you like my argument.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
I like Pro's argument, and like me he seems to watch a lot of WLC's debates.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Sojourner 4 years ago
Sojourner
stubsMikelaC2596Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con appeared not to have understood KCA and was unable to adequately refute Pro's arugments
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 4 years ago
ScottyDouglas
stubsMikelaC2596Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro offered many examples why God can exist. Pro also had better spelling and structure. Con stuck to God is a paradox but could prove her claim. Both had good conduct. Pro was the only one with sources but they were few. I gave both sources. Argument was far and away was for Pro.
Vote Placed by mecap 4 years ago
mecap
stubsMikelaC2596Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Spelling and grammar go to Pro, because Con had some spelling mistakes. Pro also had better source, while Con had none. Con still had a better argument with questions which Pro couldn't properly address... in particular, Pro did not provide evidence which shows that God (rather than simply an uncaused cause) exists more likely than not. However, Con didn't address some of the points that Pro raised.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
stubsMikelaC2596Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's biggest mistake here is that, as Pro pointed out, she tried to change the first premise of the KCA to everything existing having a cause when Pro clearly stated the first premise that beginning to exist is what is required, therefore negating her point by showing how God is not defined temporally. Furthermore, Con never directly answered the OA but instead tried to label it with vague fallacies. Most of her arguments were just statements with no substance. Overall, arguments to Pro.
Vote Placed by Doulos1202 4 years ago
Doulos1202
stubsMikelaC2596Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct and Sources to Pro for responding to all of Con's arguments. It appears that Con picked at what she felt were weak arguments and ignored the others. Also the epicurus quote is easily dismantled and therefore not a strong argument against Pro.
Vote Placed by dirkson 4 years ago
dirkson
stubsMikelaC2596Tied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: In my opinion, Pro's case is dismantled by the quote in the acceptance round :D That's not part of my RFD, though. Pro clearly brought his A-game, while con had a lazier debate style - Conduct point to pro for that. However, Pro picked swiss-cheese arguments that even con's lazy approach found easy to dismantle. Con wins the arguments. Con's approach did not include sources, so sources go to Pro. A closer debate than I would have guessed. -Dirk