The Instigator
Typhlochactas
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Nimbus328
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

It is most probable that a god exists.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Typhlochactas
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/22/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 949 times Debate No: 31574
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

Typhlochactas

Pro

Ave!

I've sent this challenge to Nimbus because (s)he agreed to debate the existence of god with me. I'll lay down some basic definitions.

God is a maximally great being, and by definition, you cannot conceive of anything greater than god.

'Most probable' simply means that it is more possible than its negation.

Exists means to be a part of reality.

For rules, I think we should just follow general ideas of DDO conduct. Sources are not needed for this debate, but they can be included. Burden of proof is on myself.

Vale!
Nimbus328

Con

I accept the challenge.
Debate Round No. 1
Typhlochactas

Pro

Ave!

Contingency Argument
P1) Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
P2) The universe exists.
P3) The universe has an explanation of its existence.
P4) The explanation of the universe is not due to necessity.
P5) The explanation of the unverse is due to an external cause.
P6) The external cause must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, omnipotent, and personal.
P7) If god existed, he would at least have the traits of being spaceless, timeless, immaterial, omnipotent, and personal.
C: The external cause of the universe is god.

Principle of Sufficent Reason
- For every entity X, if X exists, then there is a sufficient explanation for why X exists.
-For every event E, if E occurs, then there is a sufficient explanation for why E occurs.
- For every proposition P, if P is true, then there is a sufficient explanation for why P is true.


The Universe is Not Necessary
It is easy to conceive of some logical state of affairs where the universe does not exist. There is nothing in logic that would require the universe to exist necessarily. From this alone, we have very good reason to believe that the universe does not exist necessarily.

There is also the problem of an actual infinity. If the universe exists necessarily, then it existed eternally. If the universe existed eternally, then it existed an infinite amount of time ago. But this would mean that there would be an infinite number of events before the present moment, making this debate impossible. Ergo, the universe could not exist necessarily.

Something cannot from nothing
The universe could not have come from nothing. If the universe had come from nothing, then that 'nothing' would have the property of someting coming from it. Nothing is the state of having no properties. If the universe came from nothing, then it wouldn't be nothing at all!

Virtual particles are given as an example of something coming from nothing. But virtual particles don't come from nothing! They come from the quantum vacuum, which a sea of energy composed of elementary physical stuff.

The Need for a Necessary Cause
The universe didn't come from nothing. The universe isn't eternal or necessary. The only option left is that the universe had an external cause of it coming into being. Since time began to exist during the Big Bang, the cause must be sans (without) time. Ditto for space and matter. The enormous power required to create the universe to exist suggests that the cause is omnipotent. Finally, the cause must be personal because it decided to bring another state of affairs into existence.

In conclusion, the most plausible explanation of the universe coming into being is a personal, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, omnipotent, necessary being.

Ontological Argument
P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
P3: If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
P4: If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
P5: If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
C: Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

Possible World
A Possible World is a Maximal Description of Reality, not planets or a universe. It's just a way reality might be. Imagine a huge conjunction where propositions, p, q, r, s … and worlds, W1, W2, etc:


A possible world is a conjunction which comprises every proposition or its contrary. Such a conjunction yields a maximal description of reality—nothing is left out. So by negating different conjuncts in a maximal description of reality would yield different worlds:




W1 = p, q, r, s …


W2 = p, ¬q, r, ¬s …


W3 = ¬p, ¬q, r, s …


Only one of these worlds can be the actual world, that is a world with all true conjuncts. Possible world conjuncts must be capable of being true individually and together. For example, The prime minister is a prime number isn’t even possibly true!


Saying God exists in some possible world means the proposition: God exists is true in some maximal description of reality. Thus God is ‘maximally excellent’ in every possible world: God has ‘maximal greatness.’

To have Maximal Excellence is to possess great making properties. Great making properties are things like omniscience, omnipotence, moral perfection, etc. But we can gradually discover what a great making property is, without undermining the objective notion that God would, by definition, possess all such properties.


Maximal Greatness is thus possibly exemplified. But then it must exist in a maximally excellent way in every possible world, including the actual world, therefore God exists.


Moral Argument


P1) If god does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not ext.
P2) Objective moral values and duties exist.
C) God exists.
The moral argument is a logically valid. It's a standard Modus tollens formulation. Logically, it states that if P implies Q, and not Q, therefore not P. Here's an example of what Modus tollens looks like in an argument.

Without hydrogen and oxygen, water could not exist. Water does exist. Therefore, hydrogen and oxygen exist.

Moral Truth Exists
There are three forms of moral relativism, all of which claim that objective morality does not exist. This has obvious implication on the moral argument, because premise two can't be true if relativism is true. So, it is vital to demonstrate that moral truth exists.

Descriptive relativism argues that moral conflict exists. This view doesn't have any implications on the objectivity of morality. If I say that voodoo practices are justified by physics, and Victor Stenger tells me otherwise, then the logic imples that there must not be any truths to be known about physics! But there are truths to be known about physics, so descriptive realtivism can't disprove moral truth.

Meta-ethical relativism argues that when there is moral conflict, no side is actually right or wrong, because objective rights and wrong do not actually exist. However, there are good reasons to believe that right and wrong actually exist. The following is an argument for moral truth.

1) For any action A affecting some person P, if A has moral content, then A cannot be amoral

2) If such morals exist, then they would exist necessarily

3) Some objective moral knowledge exists

4) Moral truth exists

Ergo, meta-ethical relativism cannot be true.

Finally, we approach normative relativism. This argues that since there is no objective right or wrong, we should be tolerant of other people's actions and behaviors, even if we find them to be wrong. However, this presents us with a contradiction. Tolerance is treated as a universal moral value that we should all act by. A moral relativist in America thinks we should tolerate other moral systems, and a moral relativist in Brazil would believe the same. On relativism, everybody should be tolerant of other people's morality. Ergo, tolerance is assumed as objectively moral, making normative relativism self-contradictory.

God and Objective Morality
'An objective moral prescriber is necessary for objective moral prescriptions, and an objective moral standard is necessary for objective moral values. God is a maximally great being, and since it's intuitively greater to be the standard of moral perfection rather than exemplify it, then it follows that God would be the moral standard were he to exist, which makes him uniquely qualified in issuing commands. Therefore, God is the most plausible and least arbitrary standard, necessary for moral reality.' -Apeiron

Conclusion
There are three good arguments for thinking that god exists, making his existence more probable than the negation.

Vale!


Nimbus328

Con

Contingency Argument
P5) The explanation of the unverse[sic] is due to an external cause.
P6) The external cause must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, omnipotent, and personal.

Counter:
The Big Bang is the current scientific explanation for the existence of the universe in its present form.
Evolution is the current scientific explanation of mankind in its present form.
Science sees a bottom-up view of everything, while religion takes a top-down view of everything.
Science sees simple atoms combining inside of stars to form more complex atoms, which explode to create more complex atoms, which created earth which GREW to its present form.
Science needs small things to begin. Religion needs big things to begin. Small things are obvious and present in today's world. Big things are not.

P7) If god existed, he would at least have the traits of being spaceless, timeless, immaterial, omnipotent, and personal.

Why not a UFO? Why not a time traveler? Why does it have to be something bigger and more extraordinary than what we know of already?
Every advance known to man is believed to be magic by preceding generations. A personal God would be sociable and walk with his people. He does not,

Principle of Sufficent[sic] Reason
It is unclear why my opponent makes this statement.

The Universe is Not Necessary
This is a point of philosophy, and is not testable by modern science. The religious typically take the other standpoint, that the Earth was necessary for the creation of mankind, which was necessary because God was bored.
Something cannot from nothing
“At this time, the apparent asymmetry of matter and antimatter in the visible universe is one of the greatest unsolved problems in physics[1].”
Simply because we do not yet know the reason does not mean God is necessary. This is called the God of the Gaps. Many scientists are asking this question, and at some later time we might know for certain. Not now.
The Need for a Necessary Cause
My opponent stated “The universe didn't come from nothing. The universe isn't eternal or necessary.
It is know that the standard laws of physics do not apply at the time of the big bang. What happened before the big bang? It is speculation at best.

Ontological Argument
P1: It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
Why.
Einstien's theory of General Relativity restricts all beings to the speed of light. This means that a god would have be based on the moon to have meaningful contact with humans. The nearest planet is 13 light years away, or as fast as man can travel, 10.72 mi/s, 338065920 mi/yr, 17377 years away. This is longer than religion, so a god must have evolved on the earth. Which he did.
P2: If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
This depends on the multiverse which is outside of mainstream science[2].
Possible World
Depends on Ontological Argument, which I contest the validity of.
Moral Argument
P1) If god does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not ext[sic].
This is tabula rasa, meaning blank slate[3] in Latin. This is the epistemological theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content.
This idea is largely discarded due to the complex interaction of nature and nurture[4].
What is nature? That of primal savages. Do primal savages exist? Yes. Therefore the morality of primal savages exists, and is valid in that context.
Now take the primal savages to a city. They are used to a clan of ~50 people. Now they must content with 250,000 people. The caveman methods of dealing with people no longer work. So a new system must be put in place. This is nurture. The collective wisdom of people that are used to living together in large groups, for how the individual can survive and flourish in the context of the large group.
Then take the cultured Europeans, and place them in the midwest, cowboy country. Their moral code changes dramatically. Every man for himself.

God and Objective Morality

'An objective moral prescriber[sic] is necessary for objective moral prescriptions, and an objective moral standard is necessary for objective moral values. God is a maximally great being, and since it's intuitively greater to be the standard of moral perfection rather than exemplify it, then it follows that God would be the moral standard were he to exist, which makes him uniquely qualified in issuing commands. Therefore, God is the most plausible and least arbitrary standard, necessary for moral reality.' -Apeiron
Assault, sexual offenses, and robbery, are the most common violent crimes. These are the instinctual reactions of a primal savage mind to his environment. These do not work, and so are condemned by all developed cultures.
There has been no standard moral code beyond the basics. Woman’s rights, gay rights, slavery, circumcision, sabbath, these are all items that religion has gotten wrong.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Typhlochactas

Pro

Ave!

Contingency Argument
Con argue that the Big Bang explains why the universe exists. Unfortunately for his argument, the Big Bang does not explain why the universe exists. It only tells us about the evolution of the universe from a singularit about fourteen billion years ago. Wikipedia's article on the Big Bang explains:

"There is little evidence regarding the absolute earliest instant of the expansion. Thus, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on."

Con brings up the theory of evolution to explain why life exists. This is not relevant to the contignency argument at all. The contingency argument deals with the origins of the universe, and evolution deals with the origin of life on Earth. There is simply no reason to think that evolution has anything to do with the the contingency argument.

Con also explains how (s)he thinks the Earth formed. Again, this is not at all relevant to the contingency argument for the reasons I gave above.

Why couldn't it be a UFO? A UFO is an object. An object is physical. A physical object cannot have existed sans matter, like the cause of the universe would have. Therefore, a UFO could not have caused the universe to exist.

The idea of a time traveler causing the universe to exist is just absurd. Why think that a time traveler would be capable of such an event? Furthermore, time has to exist for a time traveler to exist. Yet, the time traveler would have to exist sans time in order to cause the universe. But this means that the time traveler must exist without time, even though time is part of his essence! It is logically contradictory to posit a time traveler that exists before time.

Con argues that there is nothing in modern science to show that the universe does not exist necessarily. However, I feel that there is very good astrophysical evidence to show that our universe began to exist. I quote: "Arvin Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin, were able to prove that any universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary. What makes their proof so powerful is that it holds regardlessof the physical description of the universe prior to the Planck time. Because we can’t yet provide a physical description of the very early universe, this brief moment has been fertile ground for speculations. (One scientist has compared it to the regions on ancient maps labeled “Here there be dragons!”—it can be filled with all sorts of fantasies.) But the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem is independent of any physical description of that moment. Their theorem implies that even if our universe is just a tiny part of a so-called “multiverse” composed of many universes, the multiverse must have an absolute beginning."

Ontologial Argument
Con asserts that the ontological argument can only be true if multiverses exist. This is simply an embarrassing misundersanding of what 'possible worlds' means in modal logic. A possible world is not some alterantive universe or state of being. It's a logically possible state of affairs. As I said in my opening round, a Possible World is a Maximal Description of Reality, not planets or a universe.

Con says he contests the validity of the argument. Sadly, he never gives us any reasons to think that the argument is logically invalid. I'll leave it to him the doubt the validity in the next round.

Moral Argument
Con's response to this argument is bizzare. Nowhere in my argument did I endorse the idea of Tabula rasa. In fact, the moral argument would be sound even if no humans existed! Because of this, there's no way for the argument to depend on nurture over nature.

The only other argument Con gives is that religion has been wrong about what is moral. He never gives us any atheistic standard of right and wrong, so there's no way for him to claim that religion has been wrong about morality. His observation is ultimately pointless, because it has no bearing on the truth of the moral argument. He's fallaciously using epistemology against an argument about ontology.

Conclusion
Con's case is based off of misunderstandings of my arguments, non-sequiturs, and vague claims that the logic is invalid. These bold claims are not adequately justified in the last round. A vote for Pro is the superior choice.

Vale!
Nimbus328

Con

I would like to point to the spelling errors from my opponent, and call for a point in my favor based on the following list.

Pro, Round #2
unverse
Sufficent
someting
exists.The (no space)
imples
realtivism

Pro, Round #3
argue[s] (grammar)
singularit
contignency
the the (unnecessary repetition)
regardlessof
misundersanding
alterantive

***************************

On to the debate.

I have responded to the fatal flaws in my opponent's argument. Please see the context of my previous statements. There is emotional arguments that might distract from the central issues. Please review my previous argument, which stands even in the face of the rhetoric in Round #3

***************************

I will rephrase a closing argument from my opponent, replacing the word "time traveler" with God.

"The idea of God causing the universe to exist is just absurd. Why think that God would be capable of such an event? Furthermore, time has to exist for God to exist. Yet, God would have to exist sans time in order to cause the universe. But this means that God must exist without time, even though time is part of his essence! It is logically contradictory to posit a god that exists before time."

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by StevenDixon 3 years ago
StevenDixon
So...you were never really intent on supporting premise 2 of the moral argument were you?
Posted by Typhlochactas 3 years ago
Typhlochactas
What the f are the 'rules of time'?

God exists sans time.
Posted by Nimbus328 3 years ago
Nimbus328
Is your god governed by the rules of time?
Posted by Typhlochactas 3 years ago
Typhlochactas
No?
Posted by Nimbus328 3 years ago
Nimbus328
God is a time traveler.
Posted by Typhlochactas 3 years ago
Typhlochactas
Also, Con can't switch around my statements like he did.

"The idea of God causing the universe to exist is just absurd. Why think that God would be capable of such an event?'

He's omnipotent.

'Furthermore, time has to exist for God to exist. Yet, God would have to exist sans time in order to cause the universe. But this means that God must exist without time, even though time is part of his essence! It is logically contradictory to posit a god that exists before time."

The first sentence is false, so the rest is also false.

Clearly, my criticisms of the time traveler argument cannot be applied to god.
Posted by Typhlochactas 3 years ago
Typhlochactas
Aww, man. You better vote for Con because I messed up thirteen words in the whole debate.
Posted by wildcard173 3 years ago
wildcard173
I like this debate. I am glad that the Pro has his thoughts in order, although I do find some faults in his 2nd argument.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by yuiru 3 years ago
yuiru
TyphlochactasNimbus328Tied
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Total points awarded:22 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros arguments did not convince me but con only really argued 1 round. Con had better spelling and had sources
Vote Placed by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
TyphlochactasNimbus328Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Spelling and grammar to Con, as he gave us good reason to in his third round and arguments to Pro as quite a few of his arguments weren't properly refuted.